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[2]: Interesting
by Alfman on Thu 26th Jul 2012 05:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Interesting"
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

phoenix,

"However, a lot of people have problems when they find themselves in another directory on the disk/system/network, and don't know how to get back to their stuff."

You hit the nail on the head. In fact this is one of the best points that's been brought up; users can obviously understand their own directory structures. The main aspect that might be genuinely confusing is being exposed to rather arbitrary and scary system directories (including C:\ on windows).

"And Microsoft has been making this harder and harder with each release of Windows, with Libraries being the epitome of 'hide things behind abstractions so that no one knows where things are actually stored'."

It is hard to use because it lacks consistency and solid points of reference. Windows puts system directories at the root, but that's not what a user wants to see. From a user standpoint, the root directory should be initially empty and take on whatever files / hierarchy the user creates there.

The system files, nor their associated hierarchy should ever need to be displayed to normal users. Placing users at the root (even if only a virtual root) makes it that much harder to get genuinely lost since users would be intimately familiar with their root directories.

Novice users needn't be intimidated by any pre-existing system hierarchy, advanced users should be able to override the configuration, and everyone should be able to work with directories & archives without any silly device directory limitations.

Of course for any paradigm to be successful it must be adhered to consistently in software, which is far easier to do with a new platform than an existing one.

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