Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 29th Jun 2012 22:55 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes "Whenever there is a conversation about the future of computing, is discussion inevitably turns to the notion of a 'File'. After all, most tablets and phones don't show the user anything that resembles a file, only Apps that contain their own content, tucked away inside their own opaque storage structure. This is wrong. Files are abstraction layers around content that are necessary for interoperability. Without the notion of a File or other similar shared content abstraction, the ability to use different applications with the same information grinds to a halt, which hampers innovation and user experience." Aside from the fact that a file manager for Android is just a click away, and aside from the fact that Android's share menu addresses many of these concerns, his point still stands: files are not an outdated, archaic concept. One of my biggest gripes with iOS is just how user-hostile the operating system it when it comes to getting stuff - whatever stuff - to and from the device.
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RE[3]: Comment by tupp
by Doc Pain on Sat 30th Jun 2012 01:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by tupp"
Doc Pain
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Of course, files are fundamental to computers. The file system sees the "abstraction" and uses it -- that is very, very basic to almost every operating system.

The OS uses those files, too.

Maybe I did a bad expression. Of course you're right characterizing files as a common means of the OS to access data and address functionalities. This tradition of abstraction is present for many decades of computing now.

Of course, today's users use files -- they are often just "hidden" from them (for their own protection).

That doesn't relativate their lack of recognition what they do, and that's why they cannot use the concept imminent to files to boost what they're doing.

"They even don't use programs, let alone an operating system. They "do stuff" - and that's it.

Of course, they use programs -- they are just too utterly ignorant to realize that they do.

It's primarily a question of terminology. They don't use programs like "I start Firefox to go to Facebook"; it's rather "I visit my friends." The concept of files and programs is not present in average IT-related conversations anymore. Abstraction and simplification has had this effect.

GUI representation (hiding files and changing interactions, e. g. by a task-centric interface vs. an object-centric interface) also has this effect.

The preponderance of people who don't realize that they are using files and programs is the precise problem about which I am arguing! These are such basic simple and fundamental concepts that anyone could learn in five minutes, and then they would not be so helpless.

Yes, I fully agree. It doesn't take much to learn that concepts, but many are actively refusing to learn anything (because "the authorities" told them there's no need to), and those "special candidates" need constant handholding and help getting their stuff done.

Outfits such as Apple, Microsoft and Gnome encourage such helplessness.

Not neccessarily. As I described, the file and directory concepts are still in there, and if you know them, you'll recognize them. That's so great about abstractions: They are familiar even though the current implementation might be different, both at file system level and within a GUI. Users who know the power of file names and hierarchical directories can utilize this idea even within a Gnome environment.

Those environments can also be used even to teach the concept. As I said, it doesn't depend on a specific implementation or interface.

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