[IAEP] [Sugar-devel] Article on "Why files need to die"

Alexandro Colorado jza at openoffice.org
Fri Jul 15 06:31:36 EDT 2011

On Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 4:54 AM, Christoph Derndorfer <
christoph.derndorfer at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 11:50 AM, Christoph Derndorfer <
> christoph.derndorfer at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 11:13 AM, Alexandro Colorado <jza at openoffice.org>wrote:
>>> On Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 4:03 AM, Christoph Derndorfer <
>>> christoph.derndorfer at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Hi all,
>>>> I just saw this article over on O'Reilly Radar and a lot of what the
>>>> author says also applies to the Journal: "Why files need to die: Files are
>>>> an anachronism in the digital age. It's time for something better." (
>>>> http://radar.oreilly.com/2011/07/why-files-need-to-die.html).
>>>> So while it's still early days I definitely feel that the Journal is
>>>> generally moving into the right direction, especially with all the new
>>>> features and whatnot discussed during the eduJAM! summit:-)
>>> I am not purely convinced on eliminating the files paradigm, maybe the
>>> folders would be a different conversation. But files are well... pretty
>>> obiquos. Since you seem very interesting in having this paradigm of a
>>> journal. I wonder if you got inspired out of Zeitgeist project in gnome (I
>>> think they rename it now to something more normal like gnome-journal or
>>> something).
>> Not sure that there's necessarily a direct connection between Sugar's
>> Journal and Gnome's Zeitgeist but if there were then I'd probably argue that
>> it went from Sugar to Gnome rather than the other way 'round;-)
>>> I would like to hear your validation of the journal and why is it a good
>>> idea, and how deep will this change goes beyond the UI and apps to a
>>> commandline environment.
>> See the aforementioned article, it really contains most of the reasons why
>> I personally think that something like the Journal is a good idea. It seems
>> to be that a stream-like interface combined with a database based backend is
>> a good combination for today's computing context.
>> On an even a broader scale back in Uruguay in early May Bert Freudenberg
>> pointed out that mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS and now
>> increasingly even desktop operating systems (e.g. OS X Lion) are moving into
>> a direction where you're not really interacting with files anymore.
> Please also see this article (
> http://blogs.gnome.org/mccann/2011/06/08/new-pony/) which Tomeu Vizoso
> (one of the early Sugar developers) just shared on Google+, well worth a
> read!
> Christoph
> --
> Christoph Derndorfer
> co-editor, olpcnews
> url: www.olpcnews.com
> e-mail: christoph at olpcnews.com

Well is interesting, nevertheless I think that we are sugarcoating the real
OS. GUI is a represntation of the CLI which arguably is the "Real"
interface. Changing a DE will just make the perception change, but the
actual files will still be there. It can't be an eternal stream of
information. However I remember in college I watched David Gelernter
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Gd6jX40Kn4 talked about the same issue, and
even did a DE with the paradigm of the eternal stream of information related
to date as opposed to Folders, Cabinets and Files.

The issue with the stream is that it doesnt really works either. If you see
twitter, is impossilbe to look without search at your tweets from last month
or last years. While folders present you with a cognotive map that holds
more information. Dates are well... rigid. Even technology such as Beagle or
Kat hasn't really taken off. Extended filesystems in the commandline also
hasn't taken off either, even with things like pyaxttr

There are two paradigms, making people think like computers, and making
computers think like people. A failure of example is what you are seen with
the ipad and even newest OSX that spend too much time on 'page turning'
because we want to emulate the analog world. And we want to see pages turn
like in books.

This is a waste of time and productivity. I always thought that the menu was
a bit of a failure, because is grouped list which are useful in the
beginning but how many times you need to think "Edit" to think "cut" versus
simply call "cut" command as an action. I loved linux because I never really
touch the menu. I just type ctrl-f2 and type whatever program I want to
launch.  The same can be said about dates, I dont need to think an exact
month to remember my trip to new york. I usually think rather.. new york and
then I just have 3 times I have been there. So forcing me to go through 2009
2008 2007 to find the right time I went to new york, seems like a waste of
time as well. I guess the invention of tagging, hashtagging and keywords
really improved things. But I still think is hard to use even for things
like bookmarks, adding all these keywords and remembering on time usually is
not practical.

*Alexandro Colorado*
*OpenOffice.org* Español
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