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Re: Some impressions about the current status of Unity


On Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 05:52, Michael Hall <mhall119@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> Locating/searching is one thing .   And the actual storage of the
>> files is another thing .
>> Let's not mix those two things together.
> A filesystem, hierachical or not, is nothing more than a simple database
> with a specially crafted primary key.  I guarantee you there is no tree
> structure on your hard disk, it's an illusion presented to you by the
> filesystem.

The low-level structure of the filesystem  can be indeed anything.

However ,   the API exposed by all filesystems is standardized .  This
is why all programs can work with files , no matter which filesystem
is being used.

The discussion about the directory file structure emerged when you've
mentioned that saving a file  should done in some new kind of place
,   instead of a usual (hierarchical)  file path .

Let's take an example :    open Gimp , draw an image , save .

How could Gimp save in some kind of new "database"  ?    You'd have to
modify the Gimp to make it capable to save data in a database instead
of a normal file.

 So there are two possibilities :
-  leave the file systems alone  , and continue to use them even if
the directory tree gives headaches to some users
-  store everything in a new kind of "database"  ,  and patch every
single application in order make it capable to work with the new
"database" .  Huge effort for minimal gain .

The obvious choice is to continue using directory tree  ,  and only
build some fancy GUI that partially hides it from the user .     But
when opening/saving   files in applications the user will still see
the _real_  filesystem  .

>> However it's hard to imagine how could someone backup the photos if
>> the files are stored "nobody knows where"   and are accessible with
>> multiple search paths .  This sounds like chaos .
> The same way you backup any database, either in full or in part.  It takes
> no more effort to say "Give me all the data with a name starting with
> /home/user/Pictures" than to say "Give me all the data tagged as being a
> picture".
>> So you are thinking to have the metadata stored in a small database.
>> And integrate into the desktop the ability to manage the files with
>> labels , and search for them.
> That's all a filesystem is, metadata stored in a small database with
> pointers to disk locations.
>> So I would take this idea much more seriously if i had heard you guys
>> speaking of designing a new modern filesystem that adds support for
>> file metadata , file tagging , and advanced search capabilities .
> Linux filesystems have supported extended attributes for file metadata for
> years.

Such a filesystem would also need to provide tools (and a library)
for allowing the creation of tags and searching for tags.


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