Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 4th Nov 2010 22:40 UTC, submitted by rhyder
Linux "For a fairly scruffy looking guy, I have a surprisingly healthy approach to organising my files. However, I'm constantly pushing up against the limitations of a system that is based around directories. I'm convinced that Linux needs to make greater use of tagging, but I'm also beginning to wonder if desktop Linux could abandon the hierarchical directory structure entirely."
Thread beginning with comment 448639
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Not just tagging
by Zifre on Fri 5th Nov 2010 12:53 UTC in reply to "Not just tagging"
Zifre
Member since:
2009-10-04

One thing I forgot to mention: file names. We really need to stop relying on names to locate files. Something like a UUID would be much better. The name would solely for display purposes, and would just be a regular indexed extended attribute. Links would reference the UUID, not the name. The entire file system would essentially be a giant database. You could query the file system based on any attributes, and the result would be a list of UUIDs. You could then open a file through the UUID. Directory structures could be implemented using a parent attribute that would refer to the "directory" (really a file) containing a file. To get a listing of the files in a directory, you would query for all files with a parent attribute equal to the directory's UUID. Tagging would be implemented in a similar way.

Unfortunately, this is a bit harder to implement. The major problem is dealing with broken links. If you delete a file, do all the references to it go away, or stay broken? Would it be possible to create a file with a specific UUID in order to fix a broken link? These problems are a lot harder to solve, so I would not expect to see a system like this for a long time. It is somewhat similar to WinFS. Does anyone know how WinFS solves these problems?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Not just tagging
by sbalmos on Fri 5th Nov 2010 20:09 in reply to "RE: Not just tagging"
sbalmos Member since:
2008-01-31

Unfortunately, you've pretty much described an inode, and how filesystems generally work already. Especially a directory being a special file that contains other file ID (sorry, inode) references.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Not just tagging
by Zifre on Sat 6th Nov 2010 20:12 in reply to "RE[2]: Not just tagging"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Unfortunately, you've pretty much described an inode, and how filesystems generally work already. Especially a directory being a special file that contains other file ID (sorry, inode) references.

Except that you can't open a file by inode number. File paths/names are the main interface, and inodes are mostly just an implementation detail (except when dealing with hard links and other special files).

Reply Parent Score: 2