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from the fact that Android's share menu addresses many of these concerns, his point still stands: files are not an outdated, archaic concept.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 some1
by Dr.Mabuse on Sat 30th Jun 2012 10:46 UTC 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

RE[5]: Comment by some1
by Dr.Mabuse on Sat 30th Jun 2012 23:43 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by some1"
Dr.Mabuse Member since:
2009-05-19

"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.)
"

Check the context of the article:

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.


...And then the next thing you know we hear: "Oh, but the user doesn't need that anyway" (or words to that effect.) Coincidence?

"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/
"

XKCD is very clever.

But I transfer files all the time, and the company I work for transfers gigabytes of files on a daily basis via various protocols: SMB, ftp/sftp, http and so on.

It's not particularly difficult (although it can be difficult to do it right in the corporate setting.) Even Windows lets you setup a share for a home network with a few mouse clicks.

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.


So .. I have to rely on a 3rd party company to share my ... content?!

What about the various privacy and security issues that arise from this?

Don't get me wrong, they are nice services for the target audience, but there is no way in hell I would share a REALLY private video, photo or business document via YouTube (or equiv. service.)

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.


What if the application chooses not to provide this feature? Or decides to restrict it in some way?

How do you get access to the "raw bytes" if not by files?

We had seen this in the past from certain providers of music content. You no longer have any rights over the property you have purchased. Others decide when and how you get access. What a loathsome solution.

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.


It doesn't work for who? Who are you talking about? It works for millions of computer users everyday! How can you possibly come to this conclusion?

It sounds like you've read this somewhere and are just repeating it.

The concept of files and folders being your "content" and "storage area" is absolutely intuitive and is explained to newbie computer users with-in minutes. I've never met anyone that has struggled with this concept.

"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.
"

You don't have to state it explicitly, It's the logical conclusion - IF I can't access my "content" directly, I am at the mercy of the company to provide the relevant export features. You merely assume that files can be created on demand.

If that's the future, I want no part of it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by some1
by zima on Fri 6th Jul 2012 23:59 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by some1"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

> 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/

BTW such scenario with files seems to be a largely solved problem, judging from my experiences with official Google Talk win32 client, when setting it up with "computer illiterates" (often distant, guiding them during a phone call; the point usually being comfortable & inexpensive VoIP with somebody far away, but it's also nice for transfers) - strangely and sadly, not only that specific IM client didn't become very popular, it's also essentially retired...

Edited 2012-07-07 00:07 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2