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from the fact that Android's share menu addresses many of these concerns, his point still stands: files are not an outdated, archaic concept.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[2]: Comment by some1
by some1 on Sat 30th Jun 2012 04:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by some1"
some1
Member since:
2010-10-05

It takes less than five minutes to teach someone the meaning and hierarchy of files, directories.

Oh sure, it takes much less than a minute to explain what file and directory are, unless you're using Unix command line to do this. The problem isn't knowing what they are, the problem is using them. Humans are not very good at generating and memorizing hundreds of names. It's hard to organize random stuff into hierarchies (where do I put photos from a 2011 friends' wedding -- 2011, Friends, Weddings?) -- which is why, for example, tags are wildly popular on the web -- first web catalogs tried to use hierarchies. Most email clients support either tags or virtual folders that allow many to many relationship between files and directories.
Have you ever tried to manage a big photo archive, or music archive, or video archive? Pretty much the only way is to automatically rename/move files based on metadata, usually keeping metadata in some database for quick access. At this point files and directories cease to have any useful purpose.
What I'm saying is that OS should provide standard services for managing contents based on metadata, rather than giving users files and leaving management to 3rd party apps, which do this in a million incompatible ways.

Yes. They want their files.

Only clueless nerds want files. Everyone else wants contents.

Edited 2012-06-30 04:28 UTC

Reply Parent Score: -3

RE[3]: Comment by some1
by Dr.Mabuse on Sat 30th Jun 2012 10:46 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by some1"
Dr.Mabuse Member since:
2009-05-19

Users don't care about files.


Haha, I was waiting for someone to write this! It seems to be the standard response to any criticism of a certain company based in Cupertino.

"Oh but the user doesn't care about that."

Plenty of users care. Even the ones that don't care, will ask people that have a clue to take care of the problems they will inevitably experience with these devices for them - and they will care.

We don't all need to be covered in bubble-wrap to protect ourselves.

"Yes. They want their files.

Only clueless nerds want files. Everyone else wants contents.
"

Clueless? Really?

How does one transfer "content" from device to computer, from one platform to another? Wait for iTunes to be ported?

Is this really the state of modern computing?

More importantly: Is this really what you believe? (you *must* be trolling!) (Edit: I see you do care, so it's another case of just believing everyone else is too stupid to handle it.)

Get serious!

I cringe at the idea of being held at the mercy of a company, ANY company that does not support basic interoperability via files.

Talk about being held to ransom by the lowest common denominator.

Edited 2012-06-30 10:52 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[4]: Comment by some1
by some1 on Sat 30th Jun 2012 17:22 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by some1"
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

Clueless? Really?

Yes. You object to the things I didn't say. I wonder if you've actually read my comments or you're just channeling your righteous anger at Apple. (Note that I didn't mention Apple or their products anywhere before.)

How does one transfer "content" from device to computer, from one platform to another?

Say you have files, does this help? http://xkcd.com/949/
If you want to share stuff, you can have content-specific ways of doing it, like uploading to Youtube or Flickr, posting on Facebook or whatever. Sending by email is one of the universal options. Note that email doesn't have a concept of files -- attachments are just parts in multi-part message. Also note that sharing can do on-demand conversion to some standard format, if for some reason the content was stored in a different format. If all else fails, you should be able to access the raw bytes and do whatever you want with them.

This has nothing to do with the point that I'm making. My point is that files, in the sense of Unix files, should not be the user interface to data. It does not work. Even if you know everything about files, it's still annoying to use with non-text data. Files were simply not designed for this. The move to "apps" is just admitting that fact -- we failed to teach computer to organize content in a generic and sensible way; instead we teach users that they need to use a photo app to view their photos. Of course, this leads to interoperability/sharing problems you're complaining about. But the apps approach is the reverse of what I say.

I cringe at the idea of being held at the mercy of a company, ANY company that does not support basic interoperability via files.

Where did you read that in my comments? Files can be created on demand when interfacing with systems that require it.

Reply Parent Score: 1