Expose the hierarchical file system to the user.

Say it again: Expose the hierarchical file system to the user.

Or, in 2016-speak:
Expose (clapemoji) The (clapemoji) Hierarchical (clapemoji) File (clapemoji) System (clapemoji) To (clapemoji) The (clapemoji) User (clapemoji).

This one goes out to the makers of iTunes, Photos (Mac app), iPhoto, Google Photos, Mendeley, OSX, Windows, and every other piece of software that deals with your important files.

Software comes and goes. Picasa? Came and is phasing out. iPhoto’s gone. iTunes is still around but useless. Flickr’s still around I guess. Nook came and went. Kindle’s still around, for now. What can we count on to last in the digital world?

Files. Files and folders. In a Unix (or mayyybe Windows) hierarchical file system. Picasa’s dying? Fine: we can get our photos out, in the same organizational scheme they went in. You migrate your iTunes music to a new computer? Well, at least all your mp3s are still sorted by artist and album.

But if you were using iPhoto… good luck. Your photos might arrive on the new software, but they might not, because they were all stored in one giant blob called “iPhoto Library.” Maybe your “albums” or whatever nonsense organizational scheme will arrive too. But if you had them in files and folders, you’d be set.

The one thing* that’s lasted since the start of the modern age** of computers is the Unix file system. That’s also the one thing I’d count on to still be around in some form in 50 years. And I will still want my photos and music files in 50 years.

* ok there are more
** I just made this term up, call it like 1970+?

(another dumb thing: new iphones store all photos as a photo + a video, so they move a little bit, like harry potter. guess if anything will still reliably read a photo + a video as one single file in 50 years.)

Anyway, apologies for writing a long rant; if I had more time I’d have written a shorter one. But in the meantime, Expose The Hierarchical File System To The User.

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