Normal people don't even understand filesystem hierarchy.

You might think they do, because you watch them use a computer successfully.

But they're just memorizing where to click. They're not conceptualizing anything.

Change anything and the illusion falls apart.

@kai @Gargron yah because we hid filesystem hierarchy pretty well behind an interface with a different hierarchy to make it easier to Normal People. Now is it their fault that 🏠HOME == /home/user or Desktop (which contains everything including My Computer) is actually C:\Users\user\Desktop thus apparently inside itself?

We must be transparent, show users how things work. They can learn, it's our fault for keeping them in the dark with our UI that aspires to "Just Work".

@kai Yeah, it’s terrifying. “Where did I save the file? What do you mean? It’s in Microsoft Word, of course.”

@mkb @kai application-bound context makes a lot of sense. That is why many apps filter file types by what that open/save. I am still waiting for a reasonable file organization system that groups various different files into projects. Until then, I am bound to maintain this mess myself.

@saper @mkb @kai Even this is too conservative thinking. It's either "find the best way of working with #filesystems" or "a totally different approach".
The latter would be: file system is for OS/binary only. All user-generated content is not stored in classical files at all. Not even file names are necessary.
And there were systems that implemented this: #Apple #Newton had a similar approach.
#WinFS could have been another one.

@publicvoit @mkb @kai I think #mainframe #zOS does the same, too: you can but don't have to ask that your data should be catalogued in the volume table of contents. Otherwise it won't be (also can be deleted at the end of processing, great for temporary space). I think the ideas of data sharing between applications that came with GUI tried to get pretty far in the opposite direction with Object Linking and Embedding data stream being the last?

@saper @mkb @kai Thanks for the hint - I'll read about it. might be of interest for you as well: #applicationless systems (with filesystem-less storage) is the way to go. Let's hope for the future. Transition is not trivial though. 😞

@publicvoit @mkb @kai I read your piece with interest, although it skip few things to concentrate on the object manipulated by the user interface. I hope that #orgmode could become for me what you describe, but my attempts so far were unsuccessful. I think the invention of the spreadsheet got pretty close, Lotus Agenda was also nice. If only I could use Orgmode without #Emacs ... :)

@kai I remember that some users don't even consider a program to be installed if there is not a shortcut on their desktop.

@kai That's true. I don't understand how they are able to use a computer without these kind of basic knowledge, but they do !

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