Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 22nd Sep 2010 17:58 UTC
Apple As I was casually browsing around today, I came across this blog post. It's about the recently released VLC media player for the iPad, which you can use to play just about any video under the sun on your iPad. The blog post is a complaint about a bit of help text that's not properly rendered inside the application - annoying, but no dealbreaker. Until I actually read the text - this is how you're supposed to get content on your iPad?
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axilmar
Member since:
2006-03-20

Files and directories is not the appropriate metaphor for illiterate computer users. There needs to be another metaphor.

Reply Parent Score: 2

werpu Member since:
2006-01-18

Files and directories is not the appropriate metaphor for illiterate computer users. There needs to be another metaphor.

Well apples approach was to hide them and make things in this area 10 times more complicated. Guess what 90% of computer users are perfectly fine with folders and files the 10% impaired cannot be helped not even by removing folders and files but trying that causes problems for the 90% who actually can think and adapt.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Icaria Member since:
2010-06-19

Bullshit. If you can't comprehend a file and *folder* metaphor for cataloguing your data, you're officially too retarded to use a computer and shouldn't be allowed.

The problem isn't the metaphor, the problem is:

a) Implementation. The FHS and layout of the Windows filesystem are both horrible. FHS is redeemed only by everything the user creates being in the /home/username/ directory. Windows can't even get that right, with files ending up all over the place, merged folders and shortcut abuse (nothing is quite as retarded as recursively navigating the filesystem in Windows) - although Windows at least has a sane way of managing multiple filesystems, without nesting them inside of one another.

b) Abstraction. MS gave up on the filesystem back in the mid 90's. It was about then that they started introducing recent files lists and shortcuts in the file dialogues, making the filesystem *less* apparent to the user. These days, it's gotten to the point where 'desktop search' in a standard feature on most desktops, which is absurd; it should never have gotten to the point where you need to search for files on your own bloody computer.

c) Users simply aren't schooled correctly on how to use a filesystem. Beginners' tutorials in computing generally consist of performing a task, like writing a document, or using a web browser. The filesystem and file management are either assumed, or neglected. It's up there with tooltips and the menubar, on the list of shit that people should learn about but are never taught.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

I wish I could could vote up your comment 100 times. It is by far the best explanation of the problem with file system use I have read.

Reply Parent Score: 2

macUser Member since:
2006-12-15

Bullshit. If you can't comprehend a file and *folder* metaphor for cataloguing your data, you're officially too retarded to use a computer and shouldn't be allowed.

The problem isn't the metaphor, the problem is:

c) Users simply aren't schooled correctly on how to use a filesystem. Beginners' tutorials in computing generally consist of performing a task, like writing a document, or using a web browser. The filesystem and file management are either assumed, or neglected. It's up there with tooltips and the menubar, on the list of shit that people should learn about but are never taught.


In regards to C it's also quite possibly the most boring thing to learn. Most end users simply don't care and don't want to learn such trivial minutia. They know that Word keeps track of their documents, or at the very least the open dialog takes them to the directory Word uses.

While I wish iTunes was just used for music, it makes sense from a "typical end user" point of view to interact with the iDevice from one interface. Unfortunately that interface is iTunes. I wish Apple would give more sophisticated users more doors to get in.

Personally, I own a computer so that I have to do as little work as possible. I don't mind an application minding my music's organization (though I do hate iTunes). For the iDevice, I think Apple's intent was to protect the data each application uses. That's what this sharing business is about. I don't disagree there could be better implementations, but I also don't think Thom's "solution" would work for 4 out of 5 family members I know. In the reverse, those who even know what VLC is are probably more than capable of following instructions.

Reply Parent Score: 2

FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

[quote]Bullshit. If you can't comprehend a file and *folder* metaphor for cataloguing your data, you're officially too retarded to use a computer and shouldn't be allowed. [/quote]

Funny how you can get away with that comment. If this is an article about Linux usability then you'd be publicly tarred and lynched for being an elitist that don't understand average users.

Reply Parent Score: 2