Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 25th Jul 2012 22:18 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes The article I'm about to link to, by Oliver Reichenstein, is pretty terrible, but it's a good way for me to bring up something I've been meaning to talk about. First, the article: "Apple has been working on its file system and with iOS it had almost killed the concept of folders - before reintroducing them with a peculiar restriction: only one level! With Mountain Lion it brings its one folder level logic to OSX. What could be the reason for such a restrictive measure?" So, where does this crusade against directory structures (not file systems, as the article aggravatingly keeps stating) come from?
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RE: Not mutually exclusive
by galvanash on Thu 26th Jul 2012 04:37 UTC in reply to "Not mutually exclusive"
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

Directories are a natural solution to the problem of clutter. It's quite synonymous to real life organisation skills, so while the on screen execution might pose a slight learning curve, the *concept* should hardly be foreign to anyone.


But it isn't... Directories in conventional file systems simply don't work the same as real world "directories". There are massive differences. For simplicity, lets just say we are comparing directories to drawers in a desk:

1. There is only one way to get to the top left drawer of my desk. It is impossible for me to open the bottom right drawer and look inside and end up seeing the contents of the top left one...

2. If I put a file in the top left drawer of my desk, it cannot also be the drawer below it. And I don't mean a copy - I mean the same damn file!

3. I can't open a drawer and end up looking at the contents of a drawer in someone else's desk.

4. I can't accidentally delete a drawer.

5. When I put a container of some kind (which holds things) into a drawer, it is invariably not another drawer...

I'm just saying it is an imperfect analogy to the real world, and most of the imperfections are actually intentional features. They are useful of course (symlinks, network shares, etc.), but we can't just pretend that it is all simple - it isn't. We made it complicated over time - admittedly to fulfill real needs, but that doesn't mean it is without complexity.

Even if someone wants to keep all their files (or directories in this case) in one big pile, let them...I couldn't care less what others do, but that's a terrible reason to deny me the ability to use directories. The two approaches are not mutually exclusive, and actually they both enhance one another.


You are right. They are not mutually exclusive. But Apple seems to take the approach that the best way to "teach" a new behavior to its users is to thrust it upon them and see if it sticks. I guess this is because they do not do user acceptance research the way most companies do. Anyway, they are wrong sometimes - well see if this is one of those times. My gut says that their users will have no problem adjusting to this...

In other words, let us choose what's best for ourselves. Of course user opinion seems to be very unimportant to corporations these days.


You can choose for yourself. You can choose not to buy an Apple computer, can't you? And then if Microsoft does the same thing, you can always run Linux. And if enough geeks rage and end up doing this then all those corporations will wake up and put things back the way they should be right?

The problem with this is Microsoft and Apple don't sell products for geeks anymore. They haven't for some time, we are simply too small a market to matter to them...

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