Data organisation

July 18, 2008 by Michael

The way i organize my data has changed a lot over the last years.

Way back in the last millennium i had folders for everything. A folder within a folder within folders. And somewhere buried deep within that, my applications, music, pictures, email and whatnot.

Although Apple does the best a company can going from great to suck, it’s their OS and applications that changed my mind a lot.

I refuse to browse my music by folders. I like it by artist, album or some other arbitrary tag. The same and more for my email. I was used to have a folder structure /private/ and so on… The same for my digital fotos. It sooo much better telling the application “give my all emails from foobar in the last month” or “show me all fotos from the last vacation with me in it” than digging around somewhere in some folders.

Spotlight was the first desktop search i used and after it was stable and performed well after the first view release, it is great. I roughly “arrange” data by themes (i.e. images, programming, music) and put programs in one big directory and i’m done. Oh, remembering my old Windows 95 box with a folder “dos_app” for well… DOS programs and games and a second “win_app” for gui thingies… Hell!

I certainly heard about Windows Future Storage a.k.a. WinFS back in 2003, a relational filesystem by Microsoft which should have been available in Vista but has never made it that far. Today, i read somewhat more and I’m really putting my head against the wall. This thing could have been huge! It’s pity that the problems releasing Vista must have been that big that they (Microsoft) cut their plans of an intelligent file system once again.

After all that Java and Ruby stuff here, i am a database guy, i like the maths behind relations and the power within. Furthermore, this video called IWish Concept Video must be one of the few cool ad videos Microsoft has ever made. Great stuff and i think absolutely possible with all the great ideas in WinFS.

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