Happy New Year, everone…  I wanted to do that post about the code I was working on through December but I came down with this throat infection of sorts that’s lasted throughout the New Year weekend and I’m still getting rid of it as I write this, so I figured I’d post some thoughts on a radical idea.

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000461.html

The subject of the blog entry in the link above is the eradication of the filesystem paradigm from the personal computer.  On a certain level, I can’t agree with him more.  Nothing is worse than being asked to choose a file name when you’re just spewing out ideas and don’t want them to be lost.  This results in this massive pile of files named ‘Untitled’ or the like, and I used to be good for having a directory named ‘shit’ on every computer I touch.  I’ve since learned that naming files ‘untitled’ and putting tempororary things in ‘tmp’ is a lot more professional.

If you need a case example of a non-filesystem at work, look no further than Palm OS.  It’s true, there are filenames in Palm, but they’re mostly invisible to the user, or obscured until necessary.

Because computers are powerful enough to run content searches, says the blog entry, why not load your file by searching for its content?

That works excellently in a small computer with a limited amount of files, though I worry what could happen if the space searched is too big and if the search is too general.

Beneath the screen, closer to the metal, though, the filesystem must remain in tact forever.  It’s a tried and true paradigm of programming that needn’t always be shown to the user, but it’s important to organize the data or our programs will become too slow, use too much memory, or be too incomprehensible.  Without the filesystem, we lose the pipe, the filter, and everything else that made UNIX tick, and lastly, the existance of a filesystem is the only thing all operating systems have in common.

Despite that, we should always think of new ways of doing things.

Just something to ponder.

Thanks for the comments:

Organic_Gaming:  For others’ benefit, OG’s comment is because I told him that loud, overzealous Christians often push other more genuine Christians into the proverbial closet.

Mister_Green:  I guess I shouldn’t mind posting it here, I’ll be up in the week of Jan 24.  Send me an email so we can work out a visit.

See you next time.

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3 thoughts on “

  1. I think perhaps there are certain people who need a good file system.  Hehe…  If only people were smarter and put more thought into things…  Do you think that a person’s computer and its upkeep and functionability reflects the person?  Lots of good points… nice to see you’re still alive and kicking.  Hope all is well for you, happy new year!
    ~Josh

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  2. “Do you think that a person’s computer and its upkeep and functionability reflects the person?”I think it does.  My computer would show that I’m a chaotic person that’s constantly trying to reach a state of order.  If I was more organized and knew where all my install disks were I would want to clean out my computer and start over…

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