and then deletes rows where folder has reached -3 (roughly).
So I think it is actually between 2 and 3 days before a "deleted" message is irretrievable, depending on the time of day when it is "deleted".
You can find -3 hard-coded quite a few places in the other bits of code that deal with "message folders". So we could lengthen the grace period by updating all of those (as well as, I think, just the one instance of "-3" in one cron job).
Part of the reason I do so relatively little at PerlMonks now is, in part, due to trying to avoid that much more blame for what I don't manage to do
Ever wonder if your bedside manner could share in the blame? You regularly come across as gruff with shortness in your answers, maybe a simple rephrasing would head off much of that blame? "It is already several days. About 3, as I recall. I don't have the rest of your answers at my fingertips, but poke me a in a few days if no one has expanded on this to see what I can pull up." That extra 30 seconds is all that's required.
And if you are doing so little here, are you at least willing to cede a growing amount of power to others, especially those who may view the monastery differently than you do, to continue maintenance and perhaps growth in new directions? Because you do a lot here, but we don't want the site to die just because you run out of tuits. And no, I don't have any suggestions of who. I have some thoughts as to who not, but that's even less productive, so I will hold them to myself.
are you at least willing to cede a growing amount of power to others
I've actively worked to do that for years. Even more important to me is working to address aspects of contributing that greatly contribute to volunteer churn here. Appointments to positions of power have been increasingly designed to promote sustainable delegation rather than continuing the parade of churn and replacement (to varying degrees of success).
I keep hoping to get to trying to address much of that directly myself, but I'm still climbing out of 1.5 years of issues that have significantly impacted my effectiveness on volunteer projects (and more time before that which restricted the complexity of projects I could volunteer for).
That extra 30 seconds is all that's required.
There are sure a lot of people who have very low estimates for me about how long it should take me to come up with a sufficient level of eloquence. It indeed would only take 30 seconds of typing. But that isn't the time-consuming (nor tiring) part of the process. Having actually many times added verbiage with a particular goal while only taking a very short time to do it, I find that it very often is beyond not-helpful and can have quite the opposite of the desired effect. So, thanks for the suggestion (sincerely), but I believe that it is neither as easy nor as effective as you believe (in my case).
"I don't have the rest of your answers at my fingertips, but poke me a in a few days if no one has expanded on this to see what I can pull up."
Somehow I don't find it likely that adding "If nobody contributes, don't worry, I'm sure I'll come up with the answers" would actually encourage somebody else to go looking for them. (: