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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I'm going to extrapolate what you're saying to the real world. Basically you think that nothing should be organized a long as it tagged labelled, which basically amounts to a massive wall of documents covered in post-it notes labeling the various pages with strings showing connecting all the related documents. Those kinds of rooms are the rooms of crazy people.

All information in the world is organized in hierarchies simply because it would be too distracting to shove all information everywhere at a person.

Ugh.. Im not opposed to hierarchies. Im just saying your computer and its applications can do a much better job of defining them than you can. LET IT.

Hierarchies are great for browsing lots of things. So use them for that - the system can define them for you (by size, by types, by arbitrary metadata, whatever). The thing that is wrong about directories (from a UI perspective) is that they are location specific taxonomy, and they are exclusive. It is an artificial limitation - it is taking power away from you and making you waste braincells.

We even have stupid workarounds, like symbolic links, complicated things that serve no real purpose other than a UI crutch. They shouldn't be necessary - the only reason that they exist is because we use hierarchies as the primary means of organized storage. We all concern ourselves with something that in reality doesn't even matter - "where is my file?". Why the hell should it matter where your file is - what matters is if you can get to it easily when you need to.

Im just saying why not let your computer keep things organized for you? That way you can, I don't know, go do real work.

Edited 2012-07-26 16:13 UTC

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