Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 29th Jun 2012 22:55 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes "Whenever there is a conversation about the future of computing, is discussion inevitably turns to the notion of a 'File'. After all, most tablets and phones don't show the user anything that resembles a file, only Apps that contain their own content, tucked away inside their own opaque storage structure. This is wrong. Files are abstraction layers around content that are necessary for interoperability. Without the notion of a File or other similar shared content abstraction, the ability to use different applications with the same information grinds to a halt, which hampers innovation and user experience." Aside from the fact that a file manager for Android is just a click away, and aside from the fact that Android's share menu addresses many of these concerns, his point still stands: files are not an outdated, archaic concept. One of my biggest gripes with iOS is just how user-hostile the operating system it when it comes to getting stuff - whatever stuff - to and from the device.
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RE[5]: Comment by tupp
by robertson on Sun 1st Jul 2012 19:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by tupp"
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"The first version of the Macintosh didn't have the concept of files at all.

Of course it had files. I used one. What do you think you put in the "trash can?"

I think he may be referring to early prototypes of the Macintosh when Jef Raskin was still on the team. I recall a story conveying that Jobs didn't like Raskin's interface ideas very much, including a "document-centric" approach (as opposed to file/application-centric) and easily learned keyboard commands in place of a mouse.

If one looks at the Canon Cat, one gets an idea of a system in which the file structure is made irrelevant to the user in favor of a different, document-centric approach. The Etoile project is also aiming at a document-centric environment, as I understand it, but will also have utilities for exporting your work as files.

All of this is really only tangentially related to the linked article, which seems to be more about apps locking in your data in annoying ways. A document-centric system needn't make it impossible to extract and move your data around different "apps."

All this said, I like the "Unix way" of "everything is a file" for the transparency it provides. I also like the document-centric design philosophy for its kindness to the mind when one just wants to work on documents, graphics. The great both/and principle...

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