Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 15:37 UTC
Editorial Earlier this week, we ran a story on GoboLinux, and the distribution's effort to replace the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard with a more pleasant, human-readable, and logical design. A lot of people liked the idea of modernising/replacing the FHS, but just as many people were against doing so. Valid arguments were presented both ways, but in this article, I would like to focus on a common sentiment that came forward in that discussion: normal users shouldn't see the FHS, and advanced users are smart enough to figure out how the FHS works.
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FHS i an API, bad or not.
by John Nilsson on Sun 24th Aug 2008 12:39 UTC
John Nilsson
Member since:
2005-07-06

The reason users shouldn't see the FS is the same reason users shouldn't see the libc API. I see the FS no different from any other API the only difference is that somewhere we decided that that API was a good UI metaphor and build thin GUI wrappers around it like file managers and desktop icons and folders for user managed documents and such. Imagine if we did the same for libc: What is a good icon for printf that my father could use? That question is just wrong. (Hint: It assumes the solution before stating the problem)

FHS my very well be a bad API, and doing a better API is probably a good ideas. But the intended audience for API is application programmers. Don't design a bad UI for application users just because the basic assumption is that the application user is the audience.

IF you want to fix the way a user interacts with computing objects I don't think the solution looks anything like a structure of files, hierarchal or not.

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