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from the fact that Android's share menu addresses many of these concerns, his point still stands: files are not an outdated, archaic concept.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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However this same problem would happen under a tagging system which lacked versioning as well. The solution is obviously to incorporate versioning.

Absolutely, but part of of the problem is also that we won't know in advance what kind of user scenarios might appear in the future. What we need is something that is completely extensible in every possible way.

Q: How do you work with large multi-source projects on a platform that doesn't expose any kind of a file hierarchy?

You could complement or replace the file hierarchy by a basic project hierarchy. That may seem like splitting hairs but it might make things more easily managed. I won't deny that software is developed in hierarchies to some extent and that there may be a benefit in that.

The trouble with transparent/automatic versioning is garbage collection - when to delete old copies. For source code it's not a big deal, but with photos & can quickly escalate resources. It could be configured differently in each application, but that's inconsistent. What are your thoughts?

People keep saying that this is a problem but in reality on systems like OpenVMS it very seldom is. OpenVMS doesn't have an automatic mechanism for doing a "purge" of old versions (at least that i know of) but a couple of solutions could be used. (I usually just ran a scheduled job to back up old versions of important stuff and just purged the rest.) With a more flexible tagging system however you could specify purges of old versions depending on the type of file you were dealing with.

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