Shuttleworth: Unity shell will be default desktop in Ubuntu 11.04 (ars technica)
Posted Oct 26, 2010 18:26 UTC (Tue) by rgmoore
In reply to: Shuttleworth: Unity shell will be default desktop in Ubuntu 11.04 (ars technica)
Parent article: Shuttleworth: Unity shell will be default desktop in Ubuntu 11.04 (ars technica)
That's not a very practical solution. Pre-sorting into a whole set of directories according to my different criteria is theoretically possible, but has some severe limitations. Directory structures work best when the metadata in question takes on a relatively limited set of values. So it will work fine if I want to sort based on traditional photographic criteria, like lens, aperture, shutter speed, focal length, etc. But that type of sorting breaks down for values like latitude, longitude, or time, where there are literally millions or billions of possible discrete values.
There's also the a matter of practicality. Yes, I can theoretically create a whole set of parallel directory structures each of which serves as a a way of sorting according to different criteria. But the more different criteria I use, the more cumbersome that solution gets. Just adding and deleting files gets to be a pain, since it involves creating or deleting numerous links. You'll wind up needing to create a whole set of new tools to create and maintain your fancy link structure.
And all you're really doing is duplicating the functionality of a database- probably badly. At some point, it gets easier just to have the computer maintain a proper database rather than trying to do it with links. Once you've built the tools to maintain the database, a whole world of other possibilities opens up. You'll be able to use standard database queries to look for your files. Adding new file types only involves figuring out what kind of metadata they might want to use. There's a lot more upfront effort, but the potential payoff is huge.
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