Re: Re(2): Database storage approach
- From: Michael ROGERS <M Rogers cs ucl ac uk>
- To: gnome-list gnome org
- Subject: Re: Re(2): Database storage approach
- Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 18:16:46 +0100
>oops, it seam that I started a very radikal discussion here.
That can only be a good thing.
>But for me it's very important to make GNOME usable for people not
>familiar with computers.( This would bring GNOME way ahead of M$ W?????S!)
>I hope I don't need to explain here how often I have to provide some
>knowledge on copying floppies or finding files. And that's because the
>storage approach of W?????S isn't easy to understand for
I think the problem for many computer outsiders is that they are afraid to
try to understand computers (or to ask questions) because they assume that
what's going on is very complicated and they will feel stupid. I don't think
there's anything counterintuitive about a heirarchical filesystem - you have
files, which are analogous to paper documents, contained in directories, which
are analogous to folders or file drawers, which can themselves be contained in
other directories. Deleting, moving or copying files is analogous to
throwing away, moving or photocopying documents. Symlinks are analogous to
wormholes in space. OK, that one's a bit weird. :)
I don't believe that a database approach is more intuitive than a filesystem,
because it bears less relation to operations in the real world.
>So, here is another try:
>still store things the normal way, but put a database atop of it. Also
>allow to use the fileselector in two different ways. First normal
>filesystem view, second virtual database view!
>The database indexes all stored files and keeps track of changes from not
I think you'd have to create a new filesystem which recorded all changes to
documents in the database way, but presented itself to non-Gnome applications
in the filesystem way. Great idea if you can get it to work, but it's really a
bigger problem than just rewriting the file selectors or even rewriting Gnome
apps. It needs to be addressed at the OS level, not the UI level. Of course,
if someone wants to write an OS with X support in the kernel and a
database-oriented filesystem, I'm not going to stop them...
- Michael Rogers
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