or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Software › Mac OS X › Does incorporating iOS features into Mac OS mean Mac OS won't have a Finder?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Does incorporating iOS features into Mac OS mean Mac OS won't have a Finder? - Page 2

post #41 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by pik80 View Post

When you name a file you have only one name to give it and you better memorize that name because that is the only way to find it. With tags you can have as many names as you want to help you find the file, 10, 15, 20 doesn't matter. The more tags the greater your chances of finding it. With only one file the smaller your chances. Using just file naming requires you to remember thousands of files. This is not about being disorganized it's about not having powerful enough tools to name and search for files, power that the finder lacks.

Which is a load of crap; choose names that are descriptive and to the point - I swear when I fix peoples computers up they have the most fucking ridiculous names for their files and they don't even get close to describing what is in the file itself. Maybe what you should be focusing on is instead of big elaborate tags and stuff you learn how to give your files meaningful names that can succinctly describe what is in the file or fail to organise their files in such a way that the file is stored in a meaningful location. Its interesting that these same people who whine about the complexity of computers are able to organise a filing cabinet with no problems but when it comes to organising their files on a computer all those practical skills are some how forgotten.
post #42 of 67
Ah yes, it always comes down to user error.
Please don't be insane.
Reply
Please don't be insane.
Reply
post #43 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Ah yes, it always comes down to user error.

Ha! Exactly. macintoshtoffy the fact is I could give a file the most perfectly logical well thought out name that anyone has ever thought up but if I don't remember that exact name then I am doomed bottom line. If I put in 10 or more tags I will be able to at least remember 2 or 3 for sure. Also what if I type in a name that is a synonym to the file that I am looking for? How does a folder help you there? With tags you can apply those synonyms which increases your chances of finding it.
post #44 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by macintoshtoffy View Post

Which is a load of crap; choose names that are descriptive and to the point

You say "nameS" in plural sense as if the save dialog box has several fields for you to enter different names in. Their is only one name for a filename.
post #45 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by pik80 View Post

Their is only one name for a filename.

There is only one sentence for a filename. If you have a film for example, you can write:

Inception (2010 starring Leonardo Di Caprio rating:4/10).avi

or you can have:

/images/screencaps/Megan Fox/jennifer's body.jpg

You can say that tags give you everything that system gives you and more but tags aren't cross-platform. Hierarchy and filenames are. If I try to send a tagged file to another device without a tag browser, I get a single tag (a short filename) and lose all my references in one fell swoop.

If I open a file in an editor like Photoshop and then do save as... the new file won't replicate the tags I created for the original file. Obviously the save as... needs to be modified but apps can use custom dialogs so some programs will work and others won't.
post #46 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

There is only one sentence for a filename. If you have a film for example, you can write:

Inception (2010 starring Leonardo Di Caprio rating:4/10).avi

What if you do a search for another staring or even non staring actor in the movie besides Leonardo? What if you search by the director? What about the movie's genre? What is the movie's rating? (PG, PG-13, etc)

The Finder only shows you a very small number of character names so most of that title won't be shown and the title still doesn't include all the information that I wouldn't think would be essential.
post #47 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by pik80 View Post

What if you do a search for another staring or even non staring actor in the movie besides Leonardo? What if you search by the director? What about the movie's genre? What is the movie's rating? (PG, PG-13, etc)

The Finder only shows you a very small number of character names so most of that title won't be shown and the title still doesn't include all the information that I wouldn't think would be essential.

You're on a fool's errand. You simply cannot incorporate all of the information that you might consider relevant, interesting, or even essential in the filename or in tags. Your example of the video file is an excellent case in point. Entire books have been written about single movies. Each word in the indices of these books could conceivably be a tag. This is impractical in the best case and impossible in the worst case. You must find other way.
post #48 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

You're on a fool's errand. You simply cannot incorporate all of the information that you might consider relevant, interesting, or even essential in the filename or in tags. .... You must find other way.

What you need to have tagged in a file is anything that you think you might want to search for later on. That might only be three tags in some cases. I never said that you had to include every piece of information there is that corresponds to a file. The example I gave where just choices that you could use if you relied on tagging.

Marvin might want to be able to search for the star of a movie. I however might not care who stars in the movie I might just want to know who directs my movies. Therefore I wouldn't bother typing in all the stars names. Why enter in the information if I know that I won't be searching for it? As I have said a numerous number of times you probably want somewhere around 10 tags per file give or take a few tags depending on the file.
post #49 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I'm sure it was Leap I used.

You really have to try a lot of other tagging programs because they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Leap has some things I really like but it has some pretty funky things about it as well. It isn’t necessary the model program.

“Right but a fixed location means you don't have to look at the contents as the file has a unique location.”

No I still think you look at the contents in a folder. Otherwise why would there be so many different ways to view the file from with the Finder?

“What happens when you get too many tags?”

You would have the option of sorting the tags in groups like you do in Lightroom. It’s true that I am making a hierarchy with the tags in a somewhat similar fashion as I am with folders in the Finder but this doesn’t bother me like the Finder’s hierarchy does (limited wording vs throughly planned out keywords so that nothing falls through the cracks.) It is just more logical. The Finder is chaotic and incomplete. Also you can filter tags just like you can filter files so that the tag list isn’t so long. Leap worked this way (as well as Lightroom.)

“I reckon it would be a bit of nightmare for a software developer as computer programs generally rely very heavily on a rigid hierarchy”

Then the developer software would enable developers to browse a hierarchy from with in their development software. That’s doesn’t mean it would have to be forced on the end user.

“What could happen is that the hierarchy remains but is never visible to the end user.”

Yes

“The way the list would work of course is that the tags with the highest file count appear first”

That could be one way to do it. Tag clouds that show bigger text for higher file count would also work. I would like to have the option of viewing the tags alphabetically as well. Leap shows alphabetically as well as by highest file count. Maybe that is why they use bigger file to represent high file count, it lets you both browse alphabetically and easily see the what has the biggest file count at the same time.


“It's not a problem narrowing it down to what you want as long as you know what you called it”

...and because tags support several names you will know at least two or three of those names if you tagged the file with about 10 or so tags. Searching through files requires you to know the EXACT file name. There is no margin for error if, say, the word you are searching for is a synonym to what you named the file. File search through folders has no safety net if you don’t know the exact words in a file.

“If I'm looking for an image and I remember what the image looked like but I have no idea at all what I named it because I haven't gotten round to tagging it properly, how do I find it?”

Those files would go into a untagged folder at the top of the sidebar like they do in LittleSnapper. I try to tag those files as soon as I can though. Right now I only have 3 unprocessed files in LittleSnapper out of 250 files. It would not be wise to let those files add up of course. I don’t let them sit there for more then a couple of days at most. If you are doing a search and can’t find the file you are looking for then the untagged folder should be the first place you look. However the onus is on you to not let those untagged files pile up. You need to be at least somewhat responsible.

“What I do is the same thing I do when I lose my keys - check where the last place I visited that I knew where it was.”

You only have one or two sets of keys so this is a manageable goal. With hundreds of projects you won’t remember the last place you were. Since you don’t remember what it was called either you are up a creak without a paddle. Are you really telling me that you never forget where you put a project in the Finder? This problem happens to me constantly. It is especially troublesome when a client is sitting next to me wanting to see a project I am working on and I keep fumbling around trying to find that file that they want me to bring up.

“If I use a tag system, the only way I can go back to where I was is to remember the tags (out of 4000 tags) that I selected to get to that result set e.g did I pick vacations + 2008 + beaches and browse near the middle or did I pick voyeur + nudist + teen. With a fixed hierarchy, I can figure out where I was much more readily.”

Your problem is that you are only applying three tags to a file. All through out this thread I have been suggesting applying 10+ tags to a file. What you need to do is apply all six of those tags to that file (It would probably be best to apply more then that but I haven’t seen your files so it would be hard for me to suggest the exact amount that would be reasonable to apply.)

Remember you don’t have a limit to tags that you apply but you do have a limit to the VISIBLE number of characters in a file name. File names have a limit of 255 characters but only 45 of those characters are visible. Looking at the extensive tagging list is helpful because I might decide that I want to search by one of the tags I have in a selected file in order to find more alike files.
Also there is no reason that you can’t save tagged sets. Lightroom lets you apply saved sets of tags to photos upon being imported. There is no reason you couldn’t apply a set of tags to a search as well.

“This wasn't referring to the identical filename issue but the idea of having one-level deep folders.”

I used to think that one-level deep folders was a problem too. I wrote a nasty review of iPhoto that said how much I hated iPhoto being one-level deep but then it occurred to me almost several years later after using many more tagged based applications that it was iPhotos crappy tagging that I really hated. I don’t think that the one-level deep events are a problem at all. After using the new iPhoto today I am pleased to have learned that Apple has done absolutely nothing to improve tagging in iPhoto at all. It still uses the same lame tagging window that is buried under some menu item and not right within the iphoto interface. I thought this was the company that is supposed to be so great at UI design and they have had this lossy tagging solution for, what, the past 3 or 4 versions? But anyways I am getting a little off subject here.
post #50 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by pik80 View Post

...

Marvin might want to be able to search for the star of a movie. I however might not care who stars in the movie I might just want to know who directs my movies. Therefore I wouldn't bother typing in all the stars names. Why enter in the information if I know that I won't be searching for it? As I have said a numerous number of times you probably want somewhere around 10 tags per file give or take a few tags depending on the file.

In this paragraph, you betray many flaws in your thinking. First off, one major flaw is that you seem to believe that your files are your own and will never be seen or used by anyone else. This is simply not true. If you share your file with Marvin, then Marvin will need some way to identify the file. Obviously, this identification cannot be limited to your concept of what is important. A second major flaw is that you seem to believe that what is important to you when you create the file will be what is important tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. Again, this is simply not true. In my career and personal life, I often refer back to correspondence, creative works, and other files for information, document formats, and numerous and sundry uses that were inconceivable when the files were created. In a world that followed your suggestion, I would be substantially less productive.
post #51 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

If you share your file with Marvin, then Marvin will need some way to identify the file.

Lets supposed that I am sending a PDF out to 50 people, there is no way that I can know what is important all those 50 people and even if I did know that there are still tags that would some people would not want in their file. Obviously the solution to this problem is for Marvin to retag the file once I give it too him so that the tags are appropriate for his use. File naming has this same problem what is a logical name to someone else isnt to me. This isnt a flaw of tags it is a flaw of the receive choosing to not come up with a logical name whether that is a file name or a tag name.

you seem to believe that what is important to you when you create the file will be what is important tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year.

Yes, that is what I believe. When I look back at the files I have tagged years ago I would still go with the same set of tags. Of course if I think of something else I have the option to add it. Are you suggesting that file naming is a better solution to updating the names of the files over time? I dont see how that could be file names dont just automatically update by themselves over time, you still have to go in there and change the name of the file name like you would the name of the tag.

In a world that followed your suggestion, I would be substantially less productive.

You will have to explain that in more detail how that can be. From your last post I am not getting that same impression.
post #52 of 67
Thread Starter 
After I wrote my last letter to Marvin I really started to think about what I told him. That part about how tag hierarchies work well and folder hierarchies do not. A few things occurred to me. Tagging is auto updating, I don't remake a new folder each time I will often just apply a preexisting tag. With folders you are continually getting buried under this enormous number of collections. With tagging more files do not necessary mean that there has to be more tags.

Before tagging I would often have a large set of folders in my documents folder. After there got to be this large number of folders It was headache inducing to sort though them all so I started putting my old work in a folder called "old work". Then later on I found out that I would need one of those old projects and couldn't remember what project I put into the old folder and what stayed in the document folder. With tagging the tags don't keep piling up at the same rate that the folders do. That is why tagging has become so manageable when arranged in a hierarchy.

Tagging also gives me greater freedom. Going back to Marvin's example about beaches I can see all the files related to beaches or if I choose three or four different beaches, maybe just beaches in the southern hemisphere, or during a two year time frame, or where we went surfing. With folders you have to keep going back and forth between the different beaches and to further complicate things all the beaches might not be stored in a "beaches folder" maybe some of the beach files are stored under a folder that is titled "trip to australia". How am I going to remember that there are beach files stored in a folder called "trip or australia" or "drive down the oregon coast" or "california" several years after the project groupings where made. This is not good.

Tagging is a similar concept to smart folders (in the way that they both auto update.) If smart folders are called smart are they trying to imply that regular folders are dumb folders? That would be a most logical conclusion. I have heard people who work around in the military describe smart bombs and numb bombs. Apple probably doesn't want to call any part of their products dumb as to risk hurting sales. Therefore they come up with terms like "classic" that has a nice ring to it but actually means outdated technology. If Apple didn't have the risk of hurting their sales I believe they would be calling regular folders "dumb folders" in the same way that the military calls certain kinds of bombs "dumb bombs." Folders really do a lossy job at how they organize files.

I believe tagging gives you the kind of power that makes a computer superior over a traditional filing. You just can't tell me that the computer can only be on the same level as traditional filing cabinets were. Yet that is exactly where the Finder is at, we still haven't surpassed the way filing cabinets work and that is a shame. It baffles me that Apple didn't take the opportunity to rewrite the folder in cocoa by simultaneously rethinking how file navigation works.
post #53 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by pik80 View Post

Your problem is that you are only applying three tags to a file. All through out this thread I have been suggesting applying 10+ tags to a file.

I'm mainly talking about the situation before you decide how to tag a file. Naturally you may have related files and want to tag them the same way but it's easy to lose untagged files or files with few tags and not remember how to get back to them in order to name them better. With a fixed location, I find it easier to navigate files.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pik80 View Post

after using many more tagged based applications that it was iPhotos crappy tagging that I really hated. I dont think that the one-level deep events are a problem at all.

I would find it difficult to keep track of which files I hadn't managed. I regularly sort files in the hierarchy by going through it in order. So I would do the following:

/images/folder1/
/images/folder2/
/images/folder3/file1.jpg, file2.jpg, file3.jpg
/images/folder4/...

When I hit folder 3 and file2.jpg, I can mark them as being the point I managed up to. Obviously the untagged folder is the place to sort files but I'd find it easy to lose a file that I gave just one tag by accident if I already had a lot of tags.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pik80

With folders you have to keep going back and forth between the different beaches

That's assuming it's either tags or hierarchy. I think we need both and the Finder needs a powerful tagging system that gives easy access to reusable tags. The linearity of the fixed layout is more limited but it works best for uniquely identifying files. Tags works best for advanced grouping.

A big part of the problem is going to be coercing people to build a tag collection so whatever system Apple implements, it will have to help the user as much as possible. So the hierarchies that already exist should be part of the tag browser by default. This means that no file in the tag browser will be untagged and a user has a good place to start.
post #54 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Naturally you may have related files and want to tag them the same way but it's easy to lose untagged files or files with few tags and not remember how to get back to them in order to name them better.

NEVER give a file just some of the tags that it needs. Either give it all the tags necessary or dont give it any. It will be saved for you in the untagged folder. You will get used to just checking this folder when a particular file that you are looking for doesnt show up. Of course it goes without saying that it is best to tend to this folder as soon as possible and not let files pile up for too many days.

I would find it difficult to keep track of which files I hadn't managed.
Just check the untagged folder (I am assuming by managed you mean tagged.)

Obviously the untagged folder is the place to sort files but I'd find it easy to lose a file that I gave just one tag by accident if I already had a lot of tags.

How would you give a tag to a file accidently? I have applied thousands of tags to files and havent had this happen to me. It seems like the kind of thing that would be very hard to do accidently.

When I hit folder 3 and file2.jpg, I can mark them as being the point I managed up to.

How would you remember that file2.jpg was the last file that you tagged? The only way I would know how to do this would be to click on every file to see if it shows a tags applied to it. This would seem like an impossible task to me. I fail to see how the untagged folder couldnt do this better. With the untagged folder there would be zero memorization on your part. Just instantly go to those untagged files and start tagging away.

That's assuming it's either tags or hierarchy.

You could do both tag and use folders like how Lightroom works. It has folders on the left sidebar and tags on the right sidebar. I see a couple of problems to this approach. One is that both sidebars basically do a very similar thing so why use up the screen real estate for two sidebars that do the same thing in different ways? Apple usually replaces a feature when they come up with a new similar feature. They rarely keep piling on similar features

The second problem, that I think is worst of all, is that the collections feature is buried down at the bottom of the sidebar below the folders area (where you cant see it most of the time.) This is really a tragic UI design decision because I find that I rarely ever rely on the collection feature in Lightroom. That is a shame because unlike the folders area the collection area is not just a similar function to tagging but rather you group your files after applying a series of tags (or other filtering information.) I believe that ideally collections should replace folders. Having both just creates too many groupings. When you find that right combination of tags you want to save it in a collection similar to how you would group a folder but with far greater power as collections auto update. This area is also the same place that you go to save smart collections as well (which is the same as a smart folder Adobe just gave it a different name.)

The linearity of the fixed layout is more limited but it works best for uniquely identifying files.

How would a file not be unique with tagging?

A big part of the problem is going to be coercing people to build a tag collection so whatever system Apple implements, it will have to help the user as much as possible.

I agree. Since Apple hasnt implemented any real tagging solution into any previous operating system people are going to have to start tagging their files from scratch. That is a really big job, had they added tagging to the save as dialog 10 years ago it wouldnt be such a big chore.

hierarchies that already exist should be part of the tag browser by default.

I agree at least initially. Like I said many posts ago I think it would be best to have two file browsers for a while (one with a hierarchy and the other without) and eventually phase out the one with the hierarchy out over the next couple of os releases. This would give people several years to tag their files before dropping folders.

Someone earlier on talked about how he couldnt believe how people did such a poor job at naming their files. I would suggest that people are struggling with how to summarize a file with one file name and only 45 visible characters. This is why I continue to believe that this is a flaw of the system and not just that the person naming the file is clueless. Whenever I see someone with 100 files on their desktop it tells me that people are struggling with organizing their files into folders. Otherwise why would they want to look at a clutter mess of files all over the place? I cant see any reason that someone would choose to save files in that way other then that they dont like go up and down in these hierarchies. It seems to me that they would rather even look at a big cluttered mess rather than have to depend on a computer centric solution like folders. I think the best solution would be to make a user centric solution while not have to depend on a clutter desktop.
post #55 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by pik80 View Post

How would you give a tag to a file accidently? I have applied thousands of tags to files and havent had this happen to me. It seems like the kind of thing that would be very hard to do accidently.

Say you are in the untagged folder and you add a custom tag to a file but forget to give it any other tags. That file will no longer be in the untagged folder but out in the tag cloud, which could potentially be among hundreds if not thousands of other tags. The only way to get to it again is to know what tag you gave it or sift through all your tags. You have to assign groups of tags all at once to prevent that happening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pik80 View Post

How would you remember that file2.jpg was the last file that you tagged?

Colour labels so it stands out easily in the list. If you add a similar tag to a file, it won't matter because you aren't going through the files in order as they have no fixed order to fall back on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pik80 View Post

How would a file not be unique with tagging?

When two files have the same tags. In a hierarchy, two files cannot have the same name and the same location. You can obviously prevent files from having identical tags but you may want to store file revisions in the same place and use the modification date as the unique tag. It makes searching files awkward as you will often go through by filename. When the hierarchy gets removed, people either spend ages building tag collections or all of their similarly named files merge into a big pile. To the machine they are unique but to the user, they can look the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pik80 View Post

Someone earlier on talked about how he couldnt believe how people did such a poor job at naming their files. I would suggest that people are struggling with how to summarize a file with one file name and only 45 visible characters.

I don't think it's the naming aspect but rather most people don't want to consider the file entity at all. In the end files are just containers for content. In many ways the tag system does help here as you can eliminate the concept of what a file actually is so a user doesn't have to think much about where it goes or what the format is. They just click a label that shows them all their movies and everything else gets out the way so they only see the movies.

People will need to get used to this gradually though and the best way forward would be to add an innovative tagging system to the current Finder. The iOS way of encapsulating files inside apps is not the right way forward IMO.
post #56 of 67
Thread Starter 
Say you are in the untagged folder and you add a custom tag to a file but forget to give it any other tags.

The same problem could happen with a file name where you dont give the filename all the words that it needs to have and then perform a search thinking that you had all the words typed in. Either system will fail if the user is being careless. I suppose they could have a folder in the sidebar that would contain any files that are under a certain tag number such as files that have less then 3 tags. I have never had this problem and I think it has more to do with the user being very careless. Like I said before I always add every tag to a file or no tags at all. Just adding some tags will get you in trouble just like adding part of a file name in a folder will get you in trouble if you got to perform a search.

Now the one problem I can see is if you tag ten files as a group and then want to apply a few extra tags to those ten files but not all of them. Once you tagged the ten files and selected one of them to tag all the tagged files would disappear which would prevent you from tagging the rest. I suppose they would have to come up with some kind of holder for those files that prevents them from disappearing. The company that makes Leap also makes another program called Fresh that stores two types of files Fresh and The Cooler. The Fresh section changes constantly, realizing that people didnt want certain files to disappear they made a section called the Cooler that never removes a file until you remove it yourself. Perhaps there could be a holding button in the untagged folder where when it got unchecked it would clear all the files from the folder.

Colour labels so it stands out easily in the list.
It seems that this would require you to not only color the file but also all the folders that that file is in. When you wanted to get back to that file you would have to follow the path of folders to get there again. Either that or search by label from with in spotlight. Do you really number every one of your files with in a folder so that you know what the order is? That seems a little hard to believe. I suppose you could do it alphabetically but then you would have to remember to have sorting set by alphabetical order every time you you applied the tags and keep it set by alphabetical when you go back to the folder to keep going where you left off.

When two files have the same tags.
But having files with the same tags doesnt make them identical at all. Whether by folder or by tag you still rely on icon view to help you figure out if it is the right file. This works if the file is text or image. Even if you do make a direct copy of a file you would then apply a tag that would help distinguish it from the file it was copied as.

but you may want to store file revisions in the same place
Then separate the files the same way that we do at the company where I work. Just write Rev A, Rev B, etc in the tag. It seems like you would also include the revision number in the file name as well. When I look at a folder of similar files I would like to see the revision number in the name rather then have to click through all the tags.

people either spend ages building tag collections or all of their similarly named files merge into a big pile.

Yes it is unfortunately that tagging wasnt included in the OS years ago and that is the reality that we have to live with as Apple decided to not include it.

most people don't want to consider the file entity at all.

What other system is there?
post #57 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by pik80 View Post

The company that makes Leap also makes another program called Fresh that stores two types of files Fresh and The Cooler. The Fresh section changes constantly, realizing that people didnt want certain files to disappear they made a section called the Cooler that never removes a file until you remove it yourself. Perhaps there could be a holding button in the untagged folder where when it got unchecked it would clear all the files from the folder.

There would certainly need to be something but personally I think that 'something' is the fixed hierarchy. I don't think it negatively impacts the usefulness of the tag system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pik80 View Post

It seems that this would require you to not only color the file but also all the folders that that file is in. When you wanted to get back to that file you would have to follow the path of folders to get there again.

That's right. It's only 2-3 levels deep though and usually I only colour the parent folder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pik80 View Post

I suppose you could do it alphabetically but then you would have to remember to have sorting set by alphabetical order every time you you applied the tags and keep it set by alphabetical when you go back to the folder to keep going where you left off.

That's exactly the issue. In column view, your filesystem has the same layout and is pretty much always alphabetical unless you change it in preferences so when you get back to it, you already have a visual layout in your mind of where things are.

Take the analogy of driving a rented car and parking it at an airport. It's not your car and you haven't used it a lot so you have no association with the car itself so the vehicle is like an untagged file and you don't have the parking lot number. The way you'd get back to the car is by using visual cues e.g was it parked near a bus stop, perhaps you remember if you parked nearer one side of the car park as you had to walk a long way to the terminal.

None of those forms of identification can be replicated with tagging as files all have a non-linear relationship to each other but they can with a hierarchy so tagging + hierarchy is the most powerful solution not tagging alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pik80 View Post

most people don't want to consider the file entity at all.

What other system is there?

The iTunes system. I think that most average users don't want to deal with filing whether it's tagging, naming or hierarchy structure so you end up with a pile of badly named and badly located files. With iTunes, you put a CD in, rip the content and it gets the Gracenote info about album name, track name, artist, genre and you never have to even think about the tracks as file objects.

Apple manages to do this on iOS to some extent when you group applications as it can pick out a group name for you and does it quite well. Spotlight obviously indexes file contents too so they can put systems in place to help with the tagging process. So if you have a biography about John Lennon but it's named biolenn.docx, it may be hard to find it again. There could be an intelligent indexing scheme that creates unique reusable tags from the content you have and presents them as options in a tag creator.
post #58 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

There would certainly need to be something but personally I think that 'something' is the fixed hierarchy. I don't think it negatively impacts the usefulness of the tag system.

What is negative about having two filing systems is that you are doing twice the work for no reason that I can see. You are have to spend time tagging files and then placing your tags in a tag hierarchy and then turn around and name and put files in a folder hierarchy. Why am I doing this again? Wasnt once enough? I just dont see the need for duplicate functionality.

That's right. It's only 2-3 levels deep though

The project I am working on now is 5 levels deep. If you have more than one hard drive in your computer it would be necessary to label the files all the way to the top starting from the hard drive level. This would then make it 8 levels deep in the case of my current project.

usually I only colour the parent folder.

I dont see how that could work because you wouldnt see the the label if you were near the top of the hierarchy. This seems like too much complexity. For the file I am working on right now I would have to label five levels deep and then remove those labels and then relabel another path of folders to get to the next file I was going to label. Why not just go to the untagged folder and by pass labeling five folders and then unlabeling five folders?

That's exactly the issue. In column view, your filesystem has the same layout and is pretty much always alphabetical

Unless it is in another view where it could very likely be labeled by date, size, or kind. A person would then have to know that you can only organize in certain views and not others constantly having to remember am I in the right view? This is making the problem overly complex. This problem can be as simple as clicking on an ever present icon and which would eliminate the bread crumb concept of finding the file.

most average users don't want to deal with filing whether it's tagging....

I dont think that that is a far assessment because I dont believe that the average user has tried working with tags or at least not very extensively.

so you end up with a pile of badly named and badly located files.

With tagging location is no longer of importance so they CANT be badly located. A poorly named file can still be rather easily located with a good set of tags and an icon preview of the file. If I was tagging biolenn.docx I would use the tags: biography, Beatles, Plastic Ono Band, Yoko Ono, musician, music, rock, pop, 60s music, 70s music, 80s music, Sean Lennon, Julian Lennon, (authors name). If someone else was tagging it they might go with a different set.

When I go to search for it I would type in a few of those tags. Supposing I had a lot on Lennon or the Beatles files I would then apply a text filter to get rid of any music files, movies, TV appearances, magazine articles, whatever other format that would not be a text file. This should get right to the file even though the name was just about worthless.
post #59 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by pik80 View Post

“most average users don't want to deal with filing whether it's tagging....”

I don’t think that that is a far assessment because I don’t believe that the average user has tried working with tags or at least not very extensively.

I think that this is the main issue, and I strongly agree with Marvin's point that average users just are not motivated to spend their precious time and energy on keeping their computer files tagged or organized. I know several extremely smart people who get by with saving everything in one humongous documents folder and find what they're working on by sorting everything by date and looking through the top fifty files...

In this respect, computers should get smarter and do the work for the user. Things like spotlight, the itunes automatic meta-data system, smart folders and iphoto's faces/places features all point to a future where you can just ask you're computer to "print the fish recipe grandma emailed some time ago" and have an OS that is smart enough to have auto-tagged and indexed the correct file.

So yes, I agree, tagging is the future, but I think this will only work for/be used by the average consumer if tagging happens very well and automatically and allows files to be found without effort.

Computers need to do this for us, after all, isn't that why they were invented in the first place?
post #60 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by dutch pear View Post

I think that this is the main issue, and I strongly agree with Marvin's point that average users just are not motivated to spend their precious time and energy on keeping their computer files tagged or organized. I know several extremely smart people who get by with saving everything in one humongous documents folder and find what they're working on by sorting everything by date and looking through the top fifty files...

In this respect, computers should get smarter and do the work for the user. Things like spotlight, the itunes automatic meta-data system, smart folders and iphoto's faces/places features all point to a future where you can just ask you're computer to "print the fish recipe grandma emailed some time ago" and have an OS that is smart enough to have auto-tagged and indexed the correct file.

So yes, I agree, tagging is the future, but I think this will only work for/be used by the average consumer if tagging happens very well and automatically and allows files to be found without effort.

Computers need to do this for us, after all, isn't that why they were invented in the first place?

My thoughts exactly. If anyone can figure out a method for this, it's Apple. But it's probably going to piss off a whole lot of people, especially geeks.
Please don't be insane.
Reply
Please don't be insane.
Reply
post #61 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dutch pear View Post

In this respect, computers should get smarter and do the work for the user. Things like spotlight, the itunes automatic meta-data system, smart folders and iphoto's faces/places features all point to a future where you can just ask you're computer to "print the fish recipe grandma emailed some time ago" and have an OS that is smart enough to have auto-tagged and indexed the correct file.

Having things just work automatically sounds nice but it just doesnt work in most cases. iTunes doesnt really automatically come up with all the data in a music file, someone still has to enter in that information (even though its not you.) When you are dealing with work that you created you still have to enter that information in. iPhotos auto places feature seems to work great (I havent used it because I dont have the right kind of camera.)

However faces doesnt work. As a thirty year old man faces will detect me as a 90 years old woman or an animal. There are some things a computer just cant do well. I believe that really good auto tagging is one of those things it just cant do. Einstein said "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." I am afraid that using a computer to do these things is over simplifying the problem.

I will admit that tagging does require a bit of planning in how organize your files. For an example I have a tag for the name of my company and I have a tag inside of the tag that says employees that has employee pictures for that company. It occurred to me that I might likely shoot pictures of employees from another company therefore I should title the tag in my companies tag cascade employees and have another tag outside the companies tag that just says employees. This way I can search all employees and ones for a specific company. For people that dont organize very well this might be a bit of a struggle but I just dont see an alternative way of doing it that makes it easy for the person searching for the item. The organizing cant be super simple and expect to get great search results. Fortunately tagging isnt that much work you might only spend 20-30 seconds tagging a file.

I think that this is the main issue, and I strongly agree with Marvin's point that average users just are not motivated to spend their precious time and energy on keeping their computer files tagged or organized.

Just a couple of days ago I was searching for a document that I created two years ago. It was a design that had text that wrapped around the shape of one of products that my company makes. I made this file before I started tagging InDesign documents. The document honestly took a good 15 minutes to find. Had I spent 20-30 seconds tagging the file well it would have popped up in a matter of seconds. Therefore I would have saved over 14 minutes just searching for that one file if it was tagged correctly to begin with. I think the problem is that people are not looking at the total time savings that can occur with good tagging. They just look at the up front time (which really isnt that bad.)

I know several extremely smart people who get by with saving everything in one humongous documents folder and find what they're working on by sorting everything by date and looking through the top fifty files...

Well I suppose that idea might work for some people but it assumes that the you are mainly opening files that are very recent. For myself and others this isnt the case.

Computers need to do this for us, after all, isn't that why they were invented in the first place?

Yes I dont think they were invented to simply clone traditional filing in a filing cabinet.
post #62 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

My thoughts exactly. If anyone can figure out a method for this, it's Apple. But it's probably going to piss off a whole lot of people, especially geeks.

I think they would keep folder search around in a seperate application. If people haven't tagged all their files people would still need a way to search for them.
post #63 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by pik80 View Post

Fortunately tagging isnt that much work you might only spend 20-30 seconds tagging a file.

Uhm, while I understand and respect your drive to tag all your files, 20-30 seconds per file is a HUGE amount of work for most people!

I just looked and have 2938 items in my documents folder. Suppose I would want/need to tag one thousand of those. That means 17.36 days of NON_STOP, 24/7 tagging! Note that this does not include my (several thousand) pictures collection or my 80 GB of music........

Yes, spotlight/faces/itunes are far from perfect, but come on, while I applaud you for your perseverence, you are part of an extremely tiny minority that thinks it is worth their time to spend 20-30 seconds of tagging per file.
post #64 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dutch pear View Post

Yes, spotlight/faces/itunes are far from perfect

Yes, spotlight/faces/itunes are far from perfect,
Spotlight only searches names of files and contents. The names of the files are too narrow of a search. The contents of the files is too broad not usually giving you enough of a way to filter the number of files down to a manageable level to sort through. Tagging is the perfect balance between those two extremes. Its broader then file names and the ten or so tags is far less then the contents of the document. The 10-15 tags I applied to the John Lennon Biography a few posts back are far less then the 100 or 200 pages the biography would have been.

I didnt say that I tagged all the files one tag at a time. Many times I would tag 50 or 100 at once. The great thing about having the files in folders currently is that files in the same folder often will all share the same tags. You might have a few files in a folder that have slightly different tags but they are almost all mostly the same. Going forward putting files in folders isnt so important because you have already tagged them and you dont need the folder organization.

Several months ago I tagged about 1,000 files in about 2 days or so (by doing group tagging) That wasnt such an enormous task and my productivity sky rocketed. In addition to those 1,000 files in two days I have added keywords to all the pictures I have shot from with in Lightroom which has been about 1347 files. These photos all had their keywords added upon import. I dont know how long it look to do that but I know it wasnt too long because I did that by group tagging on import.

Some of the files you have mentioned dont need to be tagged. For instance music and movies of course wouldnt need to be tagged because someone from the record label or recording studio already added the right file information.
post #65 of 67
Oh I'm sure tagging can be done faster than in my calculation. And great to hear that it is boosting your productivity!

My only point here is that IMHO, tagging by hand is not the future for replacing the aging current filesystem metaphores. I don't know what is the future, and tagging will definately be a usefull part of it, but most of the heavy lifting will have to be done by the OS.

I think visual organisation is also important. Humans like to visually group their stuff.

Here is my -back-of-napkin-sketch of one possible future filemanagement-UI to replace the finder I've been pondering about for some time:

A timeline view of your computer data: Think of it conceptually as a journal for your files, with some sort apple-style beautifull and fluid scrollable time view. Select a date (range), select the kind of data you want to see, give it a nice UI with quicklook goodness. Integrate with spotlight, get everything into one flexible document workspace.

Think minority report meets the time machine timeline, meets the iPad calendar UI, meets spotlight. Filelinks are organised spatially on your screen, maybe emails in the top right, calendar appointments below that, pictures top left, documents middle top. Change the daterange and have all those items refreshed to match. Enter a tag/spotlight term, all none-matching items fade away. You could have multiple custom time views, showing only relevant data items to one specific project, with a completely flexible layout.

Some kind of desktop can be used to store and organize links to these time-views.

Couple this with automatic backup and cloud-sync and have it accessible through any iOS/osX device and I could see something like this going places.
post #66 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dutch pear View Post

most of the heavy lifting will have to be done by the OS.

It would sure be nice if the OS could do this like with faces but you pay the price by not having anywhere near the accuracy that tags provides. With faces you might get 75%-85% accuracy. This may be ok for some people that are opposed to having to do extra work but others really need 100% accuracy. This is especially true if you are doing this as your job. I think my clients would expect for me to show them all the shots I took from a photo shoot. Not just the ones that the software detected. Now I am not saying that Apple will not include Faces like features I am just saying that these features will be provided along with hand tagging as some people need that extra accuracy while others may get by without it.

I think visual organization is also important. Humans like to visually group their stuff.

Yes, I agree but you dont need folder hierarchies to do that. As was mentioned previously in this thread you can also use collections, smart folders, and tag hierarchies to group your things. Three different ways to group files should be plenty.

I agree that there should be ways to incorporate different programs into one file searching program. The unified interface used across Apples software would make it easy to blend them into one. I could even see a solution as simple as when you filter the kind of file like you can in the finder now it would turn into the the program that corresponds to that file type. For instances if I said file type is photos I could get an iphoto like interface. If I said that the file type was fonts I could get a font book like interface. When you click on a camera in the finder the interface would turn into Image Capture. I think this is an incredibly exciting idea.
post #67 of 67
Thread Starter 
There is an article that was just posted on Macworld by John Siracusa that says many of the same things that we have been talking about here regarding the Finder and iOS. You might want to check it out:

http://www.macworld.com/article/1559...tml?lsrc=top_1

The most interesting line to me by far was the following line:
"With Mac applications increasingly using a library metaphor, as pioneered by iTunes and iPhoto, the need to interact directly with files by accessing the file system is slowly disappearing."

I don't agree with everything he has to say but still it's an interesting read.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Mac OS X
AppleInsider › Forums › Software › Mac OS X › Does incorporating iOS features into Mac OS mean Mac OS won't have a Finder?