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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RE[3]: Oliver has lost it.
by daedalus on Thu 26th Jul 2012 08:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Oliver has lost it."
daedalus
Member since:
2011-01-14

Indeed, Linux is guilty of the the same sort of confusion, and more so when you look at system files! I still admire the Amiga way of arranging things. It keeps each device separate, so the highest point in the file system is just a list of devices. This also corresponds to the desktop, which contains all the attached drives and can hold shortcuts, but isn't actually a directory. It's just a fancy list of devices. Very intuitive and very quick to grasp.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[4]: Oliver has lost it.
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 26th Jul 2012 15:45 in reply to "RE[3]: Oliver has lost it."
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Luckily a typical low-skill computer user of one of the mainstream Linux distros, you practically *never* have to leave your home directory and enter such system territory as /etc and /boot. You might need /etc if you're dealing with daemons, but I doubt that an inexperienced user will even know what that is let alone need to run them.

Similarly, with Linux's stronger separation from root from users, a user most likely won't have to worry about totally screwing up their entire OS with malware so it won't boot, and is even more unlikely to need to lurk around in /boot. Even then, with a clean segregation of / and /home partitions, a fix without losing any of your personal settings is just a reinstall away, keeping your existing /home untouched.

Windows is certainly not any cleaner with its C:\WINDOWS, C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM and C:\WINDOWS\System32 directories, among others. In my opinion, it's much more of a mess.

I will say though, that I'll take something like /etc/hosts over C:\WINDOWS\System32\drivers\etc\hosts any day. [Drivers? Really? WTF?]

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Oliver has lost it.
by tupp on Thu 26th Jul 2012 18:13 in reply to "RE[3]: Oliver has lost it."
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Indeed, Linux is guilty of the the same sort of confusion, and more so when you look at system files!

No. Linux is almost always very straightforward, with none of the "pseudo" weirdness found in post 3.x Windows and without the wholesale obfuscation of system internals found in OSX.

The basic difference between the hierarchal models of Linux/Unix systems and DOS is is very simple:
- with Linux/Unix, all devices, files and folders are contained within the root partition;
- with DOS, all partitions/devices exist together at the root level, and one does not contain another.

If you are confused by system files, just don't look at them!

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Oliver has lost it.
by daedalus on Fri 27th Jul 2012 12:27 in reply to "RE[4]: Oliver has lost it."
daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

If you are confused by system files, just don't look at them!


Which is all well and good until something doesn't quite work. There are plenty of tools and things out there which need to have their configurations manually set in text files - some of them are in /bin, some are in /usr/bin, some are in the home directory and so on. For example, on my Ubuntu 10.04 box I can't save changes to my graphics card settings without editing the text file manually because something funky is going on with the Nvidia configuration tool. I've done it several times, yet I still couldn't tell you which file I need to edit or where it is until I spend a while trawling through forums and FAQs. The same for SMB mounts of my NAS. They're not reliable unless I mount them by hand, and so to have them available at boot means wading through the system files.

I appreciate that that's a little OT, and that with Linux all the folders are basically as you see them, but it doesn't stop it from being confusing / messy. Again, comparing it to the Amiga way of handling drives, mounting media is quite unintuitive, with things like a CD drive having nothing to distinguish it from any folder on the hard drive. IMHO there shouldn't be a filesystem higher than the root of any drive, and having the root of a CD at /mnt/cd0 or whatever just doesn't make sense in the whole desktop/folders paradigm.

Reply Parent Score: 2