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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_txf_
Member since:
2008-03-17

Yet I do it every day. So do you. Why? Because my computer is designed to make me think that I need to. Adding search didn't make me stop doing it. Computers thrust the concept of "file management" on me at every turn, you can't escape it - it is primal to modern computer interfaces. The only way to get rid of it is to expunge it, otherwise it will never truly go away.


I'm going to extrapolate what you're saying to the real world. Basically you think that nothing should be organized a long as it tagged labelled, which basically amounts to a massive wall of documents covered in post-it notes labeling the various pages with strings showing connecting all the related documents. Those kinds of rooms are the rooms of crazy people.

All information in the world is organized in hierarchies simply because it would be too distracting to shove all information everywhere at a person.

Look at a document. We have paragraphs, headings and subheadings for a reason; they're not strictly necessary, but we use them to make things more manageable. Same thing with folders.

Edited 2012-07-26 10:50 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

I'm going to extrapolate what you're saying to the real world. Basically you think that nothing should be organized a long as it tagged labelled, which basically amounts to a massive wall of documents covered in post-it notes labeling the various pages with strings showing connecting all the related documents. Those kinds of rooms are the rooms of crazy people.

All information in the world is organized in hierarchies simply because it would be too distracting to shove all information everywhere at a person.


Ugh.. Im not opposed to hierarchies. Im just saying your computer and its applications can do a much better job of defining them than you can. LET IT.

Hierarchies are great for browsing lots of things. So use them for that - the system can define them for you (by size, by types, by arbitrary metadata, whatever). The thing that is wrong about directories (from a UI perspective) is that they are location specific taxonomy, and they are exclusive. It is an artificial limitation - it is taking power away from you and making you waste braincells.

We even have stupid workarounds, like symbolic links, complicated things that serve no real purpose other than a UI crutch. They shouldn't be necessary - the only reason that they exist is because we use hierarchies as the primary means of organized storage. We all concern ourselves with something that in reality doesn't even matter - "where is my file?". Why the hell should it matter where your file is - what matters is if you can get to it easily when you need to.

Im just saying why not let your computer keep things organized for you? That way you can, I don't know, go do real work.

Edited 2012-07-26 16:13 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

galvanash,

"The thing that is wrong about directories (from a UI perspective) is that they are location specific taxonomy, and they are exclusive. It is an artificial limitation - it is taking power away from you and making you waste braincells."

Oh you are hopeless, maybe this will help: DIRECTORIES ARE NOT EXCLUSIVE TO TAGGING AND METADATA!!! You seem to be wilfully ignorant of this fact and every single one of your arguments thus far has relied upon that ignorance to make a case in favour of metadata and against directories. You prefer tagging, fine, however you don't speak for me or anyone else. The big pile approach is a regression for millions of users and professionals. It's an arbitrary decree that computers shouldn't enable us to organise our digital files as we would in the physical world, all because you can't spare the brain power.


"Im just saying why not let your computer keep things organized for you? That way you can, I don't know, go do real work."

To the extent that works, then sure, but nobody here has argued against that.

Read DeadFishMan's post:
http://www.osnews.com/thread?528371

If a user uses a device to download music and movies, then metatags should work great. No user brain cells wasted here. Though it is still not an argument against *allowing* for directories. Permitting both is a simple solution that works for everyone, there's no reason to get authoritarian over how other users choose to work.

Edited 2012-07-26 17:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1