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MacBidouille Rumors about new Panther Filesystem - Page 3

post #81 of 95
Quote:
Using Finder view and toolbar plug-ins, and recalling the presupposed OS-level support for powerful, high-performance, arbitrarily extensible metadata, it's only a small stretch to create a saved Finder Browser window that is, essentially, iPhoto....It's a win-win situation: iTunes and iPhoto get slimmer, and the Finder becomes much more powerful.

This is where Siracusa gets into trouble. Spatial vs. Browser issue aside, since we're talking about non-power users here, I think the big question is how much should these users be using the Finder anyway? It's natural for most experienced/savvy users to gravitate towards column mode, but for new users, the iApps stand a chance of making using the Finder a rare event.

What I mean is that, if you want to browse your photos, use iPhoto. Finding pictures based on their thumbnail is far more intuitive than remembering that the photo you took a few days ago was auto-named by your camera "00020394488.jpg". Similarly with iTunes - if I want to listen to music, I'll launch that and browse through Artist: "Massive Attack", Album: "100th Window", Song: "A Prayer for England"...that's a whole lot easier than going into the Finder and clicking through "Macintosh HD:Usersowellr:Music:Massive Attack:100th Window:A Prayer For England.mp3".

The kicker is that these "Live Queries" already exist in iTunes, and to some extent ("Last Imported Photos") in iPhoto. And since they exist in their appropriate media-browsers, the information/meta-data they can act upon is very specific to the types of files that you need. To create these in the Finder would involve too many criteria for the average user to have to deal with...If I'm creating a "Live Query" folder in the Finder for all the photos that I shot at "f 2.8", I don't want to have to wade through options like "Composer" and "Genre".

These "custom Finders" exist already for photos, music, and email (the three I use most often... I'm sure there are others...), but what's really missing is a nice organizational app for office documents. Perhaps "iWorks" could remedy this (although I doubt it). But clearly there are different criteria for quickly finding office files. In the same way that I remember an email by who sent it to me, I might remember a doc file by the title (inside the document, not the filename) or by the subject (which could be dynamically created by summarizing the document). I might remember a Powerpoint/Keynote presentation I was working on by the look of the first slide (similar to iPhoto).

iApps for different types of documents should include intelligent organizational interfaces specific to those types of documents. The Finder is not going to go away, but it would only be needed occasionally by power-users, novice users would just launch the appropriate iApp and start working.

rr.
post #82 of 95
Quote:
Originally posted by ricRocket
This is where Siracusa gets into trouble. Spatial vs. Browser issue aside, since we're talking about non-power users here, I think the big question is how much should these users be using the Finder anyway? It's natural for most experienced/savvy users to gravitate towards column mode, but for new users, the iApps stand a chance of making using the Finder a rare event.

Yes, and the real reason to go for a full-bore metadata implementation in the filesystem is not to turn Finder into a Microsoftian do-everything app, but to make the implementations of purpose-built browsers like iTunes and iPhoto easier, and also to make it easier to write applications that work with them. Then you have the more OS X (and UNIX) like ideal of lots of small, dedicated applications that can work together.

And, of course, if you really wanted to find every MP3 file in Finder, you could do that too...
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post #83 of 95
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
Yes, and the real reason to go for a full-bore metadata implementation in the filesystem is not to turn Finder into a Microsoftian do-everything app, but to make the implementations of purpose-built browsers like iTunes and iPhoto easier, and also to make it easier to write applications that work with them. Then you have the more OS X (and UNIX) like ideal of lots of small, dedicated applications that can work together.

And, of course, if you really wanted to find every MP3 file in Finder, you could do that too...

Ok. So if we get a new FS and a new multitreaded (cocoa) version of the new finder, what additional features do we want it to have?
Some ideas:[list=1][*]smart folders[*]some sort of plug-in functionality (also for third parties)[*]+++ ?[/list=1]

In the current OS we have already two (rather good) purpose-bulit browsers called iPhoto and iTunes.
What other possible browsers could be cool to build into the os?
Some ideas:[list=1][*]document browser (with preview funcionality ++ - plug-in-enabled) [*]iVideo - like iTunes - maybe an advanced version of QuickTime[*]program browser[*]+++ ?[/list=1]

Feel free to discuss the items in my lists and add other possible components.
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post #84 of 95
Quote:
Originally posted by NETROMac
[list=1][*]smart folders[*]some sort of plug-in functionality (also for third parties)[*]document browser (with preview funcionality ++ - plug-in-enabled) [*]iVideo - like iTunes - maybe an advanced version of QuickTime[*]program browser[*]+++ ?[/list=1]

[list=1][*]Smart folders are cool, of course. The thing is to protect novice users from excessive artificial intelligence.[*]Plug-ins are even better, but Apple doesn't seem to like plug-ins for their own software because they are paranoid about stability/security issues.[*]Document browsers are, I dare say, a sort of utopia since there are too many closed-source proprietary file formats.[*]QuickTime needs to be improved anyway. At least with more and better codecs.[*]Program browser: what is it? Is it the Finder?[*]I want total CVS across the whole system to be able to monitor changes to my documents and the ability to revert to a year-old version of anything. Except, of course, A1 posters made in Photoshop.[/list=1]
Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand. Putts Law
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Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand. Putts Law
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post #85 of 95
Quote:
Originally posted by costique

Document browsers are, I dare say, a sort of utopia since there are too many closed-source proprietary file formats.

Depends how much flexibility you need.

All I'd need is something to find all my MP3s, or all my SNES roms, or all my or all my PDFs and allow for filtering ala iTunes. If the Finder could do this, it would save many developers the trouble of creating their own solution. Right now, iTunes and iPhoto are seperate apps that handle what the Finder should be able to do via either a uniform and consistent method or via plugins.

Then imagine being able to save these 'queries' as a folder. You'd be able to shove MP3s anywhere on your HD (spatial) but also, no matter where they are on your HD, group them all into a folder presenting them in a iTunes-esque manner.

You'd be able to choose what metadata you want to put on files. So it wouldn't matter if the format is closed. You could save all your Word documents and assign keywords to them "school work", "stories"...and again, these could be placed anywhere on the HD...but a simple query would group them all in a folder and present them all with iTunes-like filtering based on the keywords.

You get the picture. Right?
post #86 of 95
Quote:
You'd be able to shove MP3s anywhere on your HD (spatial) but also, no matter where they are on your HD, group them all into a folder presenting them in a iTunes-esque manner.

Yes, but iTunes ALREADY does this. And even more than that, it actually plays the mp3s as well!

Why should the Finder be this God-like app? I'm certainly not opposed to giving it added, useful functionality, but it shouldn't have to take on the burden of tasks that other software already accomplishes much much better.

You wouldn't store your books in a filing cabinet - it's meant for documents. You wouldn't store your photos in a cd rack. You wouldn't keep your dvds in a photo album. Right app for the right use.

rr.
post #87 of 95
Quote:
Originally posted by ricRocket
Yes, but iTunes ALREADY does this. And even more than that, it actually plays the mp3s as well!

Why should the Finder be this God-like app? I'm certainly not opposed to giving it added, useful functionality, but it shouldn't have to take on the burden of tasks that other software already accomplishes much much better.


God-like app? What are you talking about? Why do you think it's called 'Finder'. It's supposed to make it easy for you to 'find' things. Taking the iTunes browsing capabilities and adding it to the Finder + a Be-like database to support it + metadata does not make the Finder God-like. That's the way the Finder is supposed to progress.

I'm sorry but if the Finder remains as shitty as it is now, it'll eventually be become so useless that all apps will have to create their own browsing methods to compensate for the Finder's shittiness...like iTunes and iPhoto are doing.

Either the Finder becomes better at finding files, or it disappears completely and letting developers figure the way to browse your HD and present the info (like iTunes).

Quote:

You wouldn't store your books in a filing cabinet - it's meant for documents. You wouldn't store your photos in a cd rack. You wouldn't keep your dvds in a photo album. Right app for the right use.

Your analogy is very flawed.
post #88 of 95
Quote:
Originally posted by ricRocket

"...These "custom Finders" exist already for photos, music, and email (the three I use most often... I'm sure there are others...), but what's really missing is a nice organizational app for office documents. Perhaps "iWorks" could remedy this (although I doubt it). But clearly there are different criteria for quickly finding office files. In the same way that I remember an email by who sent it to me, I might remember a doc file by the title (inside the document, not the filename) or by the subject (which could be dynamically created by summarizing the document). I might remember a Powerpoint/Keynote presentation I was working on by the look of the first slide (similar to iPhoto).

iApps for different types of documents should include intelligent organizational interfaces specific to those types of documents. The Finder is not going to go away, but it would only be needed occasionally by power-users, novice users would just launch the appropriate iApp and start working."

rr.

You are not getting it!
Your beloved iTunes would still work just like before (and also have a smaller memory footprint). Aditionally, that kind of functionality would also be avaliable to all sorts of apps/browsers and the code to do it wouldn't even have to be duplicated for every app that has it. To top it all off, it would be there in the finder too!



"...What I mean is that, if you want to browse your photos, use iPhoto. Finding pictures based on their thumbnail is far more intuitive than remembering that the photo you took a few days ago was auto-named by your camera "00020394488.jpg". Similarly with iTunes - if I want to listen to music, I'll launch that and browse through Artist: "Massive Attack", Album: "100th Window", Song: "A Prayer for England"...that's a whole lot easier than going into the Finder and clicking through "Macintosh HD:Usersowellr:Music:Massive Attack:100th Window:A Prayer For England.mp3"..."



This is exactly what you WOULD NOT have to do if the Finder made good use of metadata. In fact, It could work just like iTunes.



"...To create these in the Finder would involve too many criteria for the average user to have to deal with...If I'm creating a "Live Query" folder in the Finder for all the photos that I shot at "f 2.8", I don't want to have to wade through options like "Composer" and "Genre"..."



The beauty of it is, you certainly wouldn't have to do that! You only have to deal with attributes that are relevant to your search, of course. And thumbnails could easily be available system wide too. In fact, iTunes/iPhoto/iWhatever could autogenerate (or let you generate) all kinds of helpful metadata like artist or 'name of the person you got it from' (not just for email), and it would be available to (but NOT required by) other apps as well.

EDIT: Added some spaces for readability.
post #89 of 95
Quote:
You are not getting it!

Perhaps I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here...it appears that the discussions are aimed sideways at each other...

Essentially there are two aspects to the "Finder" the underlying file system (which is of course the initial subject of this thread), and the interface.

Amorph pointed out, putting "full-bore metadata implementation" into the filesystem would make it easier to write iTunes/iPhoto-like apps. This is something I fully support. The more powerful the guts of the OS are, the more useful it will be to everything built on top of it.

What sparked my first post, however, was the reference to John Siracusa's article on Ars Technica with which I have several opposing opinions about his interface ideas. Another thread about that article had been abandoned so that discussion of this article could be consolidated into this thread.

From a purely interface point of view, with advanced metadata capabilities built into the file system, while the Finder could offer a lot of the functionality that iTunes and iPhoto currently have, I don't necessarily believe that it should. Aw hell, just throw 'em in anyways for power-users. However, for non-powerusers, apps like iTunes and iPhoto offer a much cleaner, more customized method of "finding" files than figuring out how to create a "live query" in the Finder.

I find it a whole lot easier explaining to someone that if they want to listen to something by "Wishbone Ash", they simply launch the music app (since they want to listen to music), and then click on the artist: Wishbone Ash in order to see all their songs, rather than saying "go into the Finder, since you want to 'find' something" then create a live query customized by files ending in ".mp3" and containing the Artist "Wishbone Ash"...this'll then show you where it is on your hard drive...etc., etc. (please understand that this example does not refer to a power-user)

Quote:
Your analogy is very flawed.

Yeah, you're right... But I'm still not convinced of your point that the Finder is so shitty right now. What's so wrong with the Finder handling the base-line file access functionality (a friendly command-line), while special browsing apps are created to handle specific file types in a more customized/detailed manner?

rr.
post #90 of 95
Quote:
But I'm still not convinced of your point that the Finder is so shitty right now. What's so wrong with the Finder handling the base-line file access functionality (a friendly command-line), while special browsing apps are created to handle specific file types in a more customized/detailed manner?

Because baseline file handling is so bad you get kludges like Photoshop's file browser. A good extensible underlying metadata implementation would allow mac users to not have to deal with that POS. Remember that somewhere in the universe people who use the Mac to make a living also have to live with the Finder--graphics pros have literally hundreds of iterations of files to deal with and right now it sucks. Even the rudimentary OS9 metadata and other visual file org tricks like pop-up folders and the "put-away" command allowed people to deal with hundreds of files and their revisions rather well.

Just allowing a "sort by" in column view would make life so much better.
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post #91 of 95
Quote:
Originally posted by cowerd
Because baseline file handling is so bad you get kludges like Photoshop's file browser. A good extensible underlying metadata implementation would allow mac users to not have to deal with that POS.

I'm all for Finder being able to do things like live queries, and to sort by whatever criteria you please. But this should be done with the understanding that it will do this all in an interface designed to treat the contents primarily as files, with some generic provision made for the contents (e.g. previews, for common file types). No matter how much you throw at Finder, it's not going to be as good at managing and playing music as iTunes is (for example, how would you get Finder to sync one playlist with an iPod?). That's the advantage of a purpose-built interface, and the reason Apple will stick with the iApps. But if you wanted to find all MP3s in your home directory, sorted by date, Finder could do that too. It could even preview the currently selected one. But the result would not be mistaken for iTunes.

If Apple does a truly robust metadata implementation, it'll mean that apps can set metadata that Finder can't understand. That's fine. It only needs to grok a certain set of data (considerably more than it does now) and present it in a more flexible way than it odes now, and perhaps it could provide an "advanced" way to deal with open-ended metadata in some generic fashion (e.g. iTunes song ratings). Maybe the filesystem could tag metadata with the application that set it (metametadata?) and define an application interface that would allow Finder (or any other application) to ask the application in question how to represent or interpret the data. That would be pretty cool, and perhaps it would be more generic, and less trouble than a specific plug-in architecture, although of course applications would have to implement the interface. (Ooo: Finder could then locate files that have metadata set by Photoshop, for example, regardless of the file type. Nifty.)

But anyway, I'm thinking aloud. The point is that you can have a metadata-savvy Finder without obviating iTunes and iPhoto and iWhatHaveYou. Each would present a purpose-built interface to the underlying filesystem, designed for whatever the application was intended for: Finder for managing files, iTunes for managing music, etc.
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

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"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
post #92 of 95
Quote:
Originally posted by ricRocket
... But I'm still not convinced of your point that the Finder is so shitty right now. What's so wrong with the Finder handling the base-line file access functionality (a friendly command-line), while special browsing apps are created to handle specific file types in a more customized/detailed manner?

rr.

Leaving the FS (We seem to agree on that, after all) and moving on to the interface.

John Syracusa's idea of the finder wold just handle that base-line functionality ten timmes better than the current one. And for everyone, newbie to poweruser. It is also inconvinient to force the use of a separate app for every context (Viewing files is the same task, after all, regardless of filetype. Just in different contexts), 'cause you end upp with a gazzillion apps pretty quick. Enabling dedicated apps is great. Forcing it 'cause the finder is bad, is not. Itunes is not that great for managing soundfiles in a production environment for example. Perhaps that's why The newest version of Logic has a dedicated soundfilemanager (are we seeing a pattern yet?)

We seemed to agree that a database-driven filesystem is A Good Thing. Don' you think it would be a waste of resources not to take full advantage of it in the finder.
post #93 of 95
Quote:
Originally posted by LowB-ing
Enabling dedicated apps is great. Forcing it 'cause the finder is bad, is not. Itunes is not that great for managing soundfiles in a production environment for example. Perhaps that's why The newest version of Logic has a dedicated soundfilemanager (are we seeing a pattern yet?)

We seemed to agree that a database-driven filesystem is A Good Thing. Don' you think it would be a waste of resources not to take full advantage of it in the finder.

The question is, is it even possible to take full advantage of it in the Finder? If you're going to have a consistent interface, it's hard to make it well-suited for everything. If you don't have a consistent interface, or you have a plug-in architecture, why not take the one extra step and just have dedicated apps with purpose-built interfaces? They'll be able to offer better user experience, and as discrete codebases they'll be much easier to maintain.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with applications offering their own browsers. After all, they presumably know what sort of view they need better than Apple does.

The idea of getting Finder to understand some metadata, and to support live queries and liberal sort criteria and such is all good. The idea to turn it into some sort of everybrowser is Microsoftian bloat (even assuming a plug-in architecture — those are just OS 9 extensions waiting to happen). Let Finder deal with files as files, and other apps deal with files they're interested in as they see fit.
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
post #94 of 95
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
The question is, is it even possible to take full advantage of it in the Finder? If you're going to have a consistent interface, it's hard to make it well-suited for everything. If you don't have a consistent interface, or you have a plug-in architecture, why not take the one extra step and just have dedicated apps with purpose-built interfaces? They'll be able to offer better user experience, and as discrete codebases they'll be much easier to maintain.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with applications offering their own browsers. After all, they presumably know what sort of view they need better than Apple does.

The idea of getting Finder to understand some metadata, and to support live queries and liberal sort criteria and such is all good. The idea to turn it into some sort of everybrowser is Microsoftian bloat (even assuming a plug-in architecture — those are just OS 9 extensions waiting to happen). Let Finder deal with files as files, and other apps deal with files they're interested in as they see fit.

I didn't say there was anything wrong with applications offering browsers. In fact I stated the opposite. I did mean exectly wat I said there. Logic was just an example to point to what is happening, btw. Maybe it was a bad example since audio production is a very specialized activity. In some cases dedicated browsers will allways be supeior. I didn't say (I hope) that the finder has to be the best at every specialized thing. It just has to be damn good at all the common things. And let me tell you that I am in NO WAY an advocate of webbrowser-filebrowsrer "integration". I do like the idea of a spatial finder and a filebrowser to compliment it. Thats two apps instead of one right there, But its a very versatile combo with lots of across-the-board usefullness.

I also do believe that Apple has a brand new metadata-enabled finder in the works, to be released whenever a suitable filesystem is ready. I suspect that's why they have put a minimum of efforts into the current finder. It's on borrowed time anyway, so to speak.
post #95 of 95
What I'd like to stress is that the Finder doesn't need to be as powerful as built-in app browsers. But a Finder that allows live searches would be beneficial to everyone. It's not even a power-user tool that some people in this thread seem to make us believe.

With a database filesystem, you'd be able to scatter your files anywhere you want on your HD, and with the click of a button have the Finder bring up all your files of the same type.

You'd be able to save these queries...I'm confident Apple could make it super easy for novices to make queries without even typing anything. It would be easy for Apple to create a little interface that allows you to make queries by clicking buttons. Apple could even ship some pre-created live-search 'smart' folders. Heck...get rid of the Music folder, Movie folder and Picture folder and replace it with a 'smart' folder...no matter where you put your MP3s on the HD, they'll also show up in the Music folder along with every other MP3s, ACC, Ogg files.

This is not a power-user feature. This is a frickin' novice feature and a natural evolution of the Finder. If Apple doesn't add this type of stuff in the next few years, I'll start to really wonder what the hell they're expecting us to do with the Finder in it's current state.
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