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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"The problem is not that users use directories to organize files. The problem is that users organize files. It is totally pointless... It serves absolutely no real purpose. It is a distraction. It is stupid. It is nonsensical."

Right, go tell that to your doctor, accountant, etc. Seriously do you hear yourself? As a developer I have technical reasons that I need directories, but even if that was not the case I would rather not merge all my client's data in a single hodge-podge directory with metadata only to search for them. I'm advocating a methodology that combines the best of both worlds, you're advocating a methodology that removes my choice. Why does my having a choice bother you so fundamentally?

"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'. Your only referring to specific implementation issues that stem from evolutionary designs and legacy interfaces...The only way to get rid of it is to expunge it, otherwise it will never truly go away."

You are still complaining against existing implementation problems as a reason to eliminate the directory concept all together, that's an illogical jump. I'm saying both tagging and directories should be designed from the ground up as well integrated equals on a new platform. If that's the case, you could throw all your files into one top level directory to your heart's content. Giving me the ability to use directories doesn't harm your ability not to, but removing my ability to use directories does harm my ability to organise my files as I see fit.

In other words, your proposition is biased towards your needs, mine is inclusive of both our needs as far I as can honestly discern.

Reply Parent Score: 2

BushLin Member since:

One man argues that if you're to get all aspects of an OS and it's applications to use only an e-mail like organisation of files using only meta-data then you'd need to do away with regular user access to the file system...
otherwise some applications will use the file system as the default means for file access and therefore some files won't have/need the meta-data and we stay in the situation we're in now.

Another man argues that he doesn't want to live in that world, it'd be totally impractical for doing his job. The file system needs to exist for so many functions.

Both are correct and I hope both would agree that in an ideal situation, anyone looking to implement an OS without regular user access to the file system would would implement it well enough to make it worth everyone's time (by saving it) but still make access to the file system a trivial root/administrator function for those that need it.

BTW, I have no problem finding files. Name, dates, extension, location etc. is more than enough for me but I understand why people like the e-mail concept.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:

I appreciate the 40k foot view.

By the way, the controversy isn't over exposing users to the native file system per say (most users shouldn't have to be aware of the native file system in my opinion). It is over whether user directories should be totally flat, with all of a user's files in a single directory, or if users should be allowed to place files in separate directories to organise them.

Reply Parent Score: 2