Friday, March 12, 2010

Rob Foster on the Elimination of File Systems as a User-Accessible Part

I saw this:

Rob Foster on the Elimination of File Systems as a User-Accessible Part: “

Rob Foster, observing how family and friends use their Macs:

Because they can now actually use their computers instead of simply restarting them, I’m able to better see how they use them. And the one commonality I’ve seen is that no one knows how to use the file system.

Unfortunately for the average person, the file system is so complex that everything outside of the desktop and the documents folder appears to be a vast labyrinth which most likely hides booby traps and minotaurs.

(Via Daring Fireball.)

The same experience seems to apply in ever wider circles too:

  • Beyond the Desktop, there’s everything outside the Home folder.
  • Beyond that there’s all the UNIXy bits that OS X nicely hides from us (dot-files, /etc, /usr, /bin etc.)
  • Leaving the Mac there’s Linux’s whole /proc file system.
  • And so on.

Each time there’s the same, “What’s going on here?” — which, if you are ever to get past the Desktop, is quickly followed by a deep breath and a rummage.

Of course there’s the whole Windows thing, which is a different kettle of fish but, does the ultimate answer lie in building your own Linux From Scratch, or is it “Turtles all the way down”?

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