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 all files are created equal.
by l3v1 on Thu 26th Jul 2012 10:08 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

I see this whole misery around file system hierarchies to be very much pointless and generally a waste of time. There are two important things to keep in mind in this topic:

1. Average users have pictures/videos, a few documents, applications and games. For the latter two, they don't care how and where they are stored and what they contain. For the first two, they need two locations (folders, libraries, whatever you want to call them) an be done with it.

2. More involved users, who also sometimes develop, create content (graphics, videos, applications, etc.) plus advanced users and developers (basically geeks and coders). They have a million different projects, a trillion files with mixed type, content and purpose. They simply can't live with a library where you dump everything and then search for files when you need them. It just can't work. E.g. I have projects that have thousands of files associated to them, which don't have any meaning from another project's point of view, they simply belong under their parent.

Without a hierarchical organization, people in category 2 would always be in pain and suffering. That can't be. If you cause pain and suffering to those who make the lives of the people in category 1 enjoyable, then you'll find out soon enough that you can't just ignore them.

I'm not against simplifying file system use for average users. By all means, do that. But I'm arguing against the killing of the hierarchical file system paradigm, simply because of far-reaching practical reasons, the most important being: we don't yet know a better way to do it. We can't just jump into a very much inferior option just for the sake of "evolution".

From the linked text:

Here is what I came up with for my own folder structure in the iCloud Document Library: Notes, First Drafts, Edits, Archive, Trash


Well yes, if all you do is write quick notes and blog texts and such, there's not much more you'd need. But come on, think of the children - ;) - I mean think of the other people, you know, those who are not you, and do more with their computing devices (I mean the full range here) than yourself.

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