Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 25th Jul 2012 22:18 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes The article I'm about to link to, by Oliver Reichenstein, is pretty terrible, but it's a good way for me to bring up something I've been meaning to talk about. First, the article: "Apple has been working on its file system and with iOS it had almost killed the concept of folders - before reintroducing them with a peculiar restriction: only one level! With Mountain Lion it brings its one folder level logic to OSX. What could be the reason for such a restrictive measure?" So, where does this crusade against directory structures (not file systems, as the article aggravatingly keeps stating) come from?
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Not mutually exclusive
by Alfman on Thu 26th Jul 2012 00:32 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

Directories are a natural solution to the problem of clutter. It's quite synonymous to real life organisation skills, so while the on screen execution might pose a slight learning curve, the *concept* should hardly be foreign to anyone.

Even if someone wants to keep all their files (or directories in this case) in one big pile, let them...I couldn't care less what others do, but that's a terrible reason to deny me the ability to use directories. The two approaches are not mutually exclusive, and actually they both enhance one another.

In other words, let us choose what's best for ourselves. Of course user opinion seems to be very unimportant to corporations these days.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Not mutually exclusive
by galvanash on Thu 26th Jul 2012 04:37 in reply to "Not mutually exclusive"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Directories are a natural solution to the problem of clutter. It's quite synonymous to real life organisation skills, so while the on screen execution might pose a slight learning curve, the *concept* should hardly be foreign to anyone.


But it isn't... Directories in conventional file systems simply don't work the same as real world "directories". There are massive differences. For simplicity, lets just say we are comparing directories to drawers in a desk:

1. There is only one way to get to the top left drawer of my desk. It is impossible for me to open the bottom right drawer and look inside and end up seeing the contents of the top left one...

2. If I put a file in the top left drawer of my desk, it cannot also be the drawer below it. And I don't mean a copy - I mean the same damn file!

3. I can't open a drawer and end up looking at the contents of a drawer in someone else's desk.

4. I can't accidentally delete a drawer.

5. When I put a container of some kind (which holds things) into a drawer, it is invariably not another drawer...

I'm just saying it is an imperfect analogy to the real world, and most of the imperfections are actually intentional features. They are useful of course (symlinks, network shares, etc.), but we can't just pretend that it is all simple - it isn't. We made it complicated over time - admittedly to fulfill real needs, but that doesn't mean it is without complexity.

Even if someone wants to keep all their files (or directories in this case) in one big pile, let them...I couldn't care less what others do, but that's a terrible reason to deny me the ability to use directories. The two approaches are not mutually exclusive, and actually they both enhance one another.


You are right. They are not mutually exclusive. But Apple seems to take the approach that the best way to "teach" a new behavior to its users is to thrust it upon them and see if it sticks. I guess this is because they do not do user acceptance research the way most companies do. Anyway, they are wrong sometimes - well see if this is one of those times. My gut says that their users will have no problem adjusting to this...

In other words, let us choose what's best for ourselves. Of course user opinion seems to be very unimportant to corporations these days.


You can choose for yourself. You can choose not to buy an Apple computer, can't you? And then if Microsoft does the same thing, you can always run Linux. And if enough geeks rage and end up doing this then all those corporations will wake up and put things back the way they should be right?

The problem with this is Microsoft and Apple don't sell products for geeks anymore. They haven't for some time, we are simply too small a market to matter to them...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Not mutually exclusive
by Alfman on Thu 26th Jul 2012 06:02 in reply to "RE: Not mutually exclusive"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

galvanash,


"But it isn't... Directories in conventional file systems simply don't work the same as real world "directories". There are massive differences. For simplicity, lets just say we are comparing directories to drawers in a desk:"


I disagree, when speaking about the *concept* of a directory, it's pretty close to how people already organise things in the real world. An office can have file cabinets, labelled drawers, labelled files, individual documents in the files. A disk directory is a very good representation of these abstractions, and I dare say anyone already familiar with the physical equivalents would automatically be comfortable with an identically structured disk directory. Do you really think otherwise?

Heck, if you wanted to loose a level of abstraction, you could get ridiculously literal and render graphical representations of unique rooms, cabinets, drawers, files, etc. It would show the exact same information as the directory layout, would that make you happy? I think most people are mature and educated enough to understand directories without office pictographs to correlate to the physical world.

All your points seem to revolve around an implementation of the directory abstraction rather than the concept of a directory itself. Please note I'm defending the concept of a directory, not a specific implementation.



"They are useful of course (symlinks, network shares, etc.), but we can't just pretend that it is all simple - it isn't. We made it complicated over time - admittedly to fulfill real needs, but that doesn't mean it is without complexity."

Well, that's true, but the debate about whether directories should be overloaded for other purposes is different from the debate about whether they should exist. Even without any of those "features" you brought up, directories still have an undeniably useful role in allowing users to organise files.


"You can choose for yourself. You can choose not to buy an Apple computer, can't you?"

In the case of apple, yes, but it does nothing to dispel criticism of their practices.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Not mutually exclusive
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 26th Jul 2012 07:39 in reply to "RE: Not mutually exclusive"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

4. I can't accidentally delete a drawer.

Bullshit. Just start throwing folders and documents in the trash without giving it much thought. You can nearly empty the drawer in no time, no doubt having the potential of throwing out some things you didn't mean to. And you have until the garbage men come to get it out of the recycle bin/trash/whatever. Drink some booze and you'll be even more likely to f--k up and not even realize it. It's not really any different from a person dealing with a computer file system who actually understands the concepts... f--kups happen, whether real or virtual.

Edited 2012-07-26 07:45 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2