Is Application centric file system the way to go?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by VinegarTasters, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. VinegarTasters, Aug 4, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012

    VinegarTasters macrumors 6502


    Nov 20, 2007
    I am sure there are a lot of people just hiding in the background doubting the decision going forward with "Application" centric file system. In other words, hide the data files made by the applications and just use the applications.

    Are they nuts? This is going backwards. What are they going to do when you have tons of documents made from a word processor? The word processor becomes a file system? Every word processor will have their own file system for categorizing the documents being made? So the word processor is going to be an operating system now, allowing you to make folders to group docs?

    A long time ago when people coded in C and you had so many functions there was something called spaghetti code. Then they started organizing the functions into data objects... So you view the data as the object and call methods (functions) inside it. It was a more organized way. In this analogy, the applications would be the functions, and the data objects would be the documents itself. Now they want to go back to functions/applications?

    Suppose you see stuff at the Walmart. They are grouped by type of items (the data). Fruits here, cereals there, tissue here. Do they group it by who made what? If Walmart has 20 companies making cereals do they put the cereals together? Or do they put all the items made by a company in one area? So you have to go to 20 different sections to compare cereals? If the latter, that is the way application centric documents would work.

    If Apple wants iWorks apps to be the files system manager, then what happens when you try to share the documents with another application? You would need to navigate for example a Pages's file system, use Page's functionality to "share" it with the other application. Then the other application would have to "receive" it and then you would have a create your own categorization inside the other application. Two file categorization chores to do. Two file management chores (look up, then store).

    If you just use the operating system's file management, you can let the document BE the object, and invoke the application to use it (similar to object oriented programming). in this case, there is only ONE file management chore. Its also easy to share, simply right click on the data and invoke which application to open it with. If the document object contains multiple files, simply group them together in a directory, or compress (zip) it and treat that directory or zip AS the entire object. You now only deal with one object. Moving it anywhere means that thing goes anywhere, no hassle.

    People think naturally using objects, not their maker. I don't know what apple is going to do when people start having hundreds or thousands of objects made by an App. Each app will need to create folders and be a file manager. Sharing will be a pain because you just want to grab the document and give to someone. In Apple's way, instead of grabbing a document from your own file cabinet and giving it to Bob... You would need to go to Susan, ask her where it is inside her house, and go get it. Then go to Bob, ask him where to store it, then go create the box at Bob's house and store it inside. Why? Because potentially each application (Bob and Susan) can store the files differently in different categorization, multiply it by number of applications and you have hell of a time sharing and storing things.

    I used iPhoto, and let me tell you, I hardly use its feature. Why? Its so complicated and confusing. Imagine I need to memorize how another application categorizes the photos (like an editor). Whenever I import, I just make a regular folder and dump my pics inside and categorize as I like, bypassing the complicated iPhoto's event setup. I am sure there are others in similar shoes.
  2. FSMBP macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2009
    #2 need to summarize your thoughts a bit more! But I agree 100%. I really believe there needs to be a simplified file system (basically like OS X's user's Home folder).
  3. VinegarTasters thread starter macrumors 6502


    Nov 20, 2007
    Too long? Hehe.

    If Apple doesn't wake up now, they will be what Apple was back when the first Mac was released. Microsoft will simply copy the good parts and then improve on them, while Apple lingers and almost go bankrupt. Innovation is good. But you also need to keep innovating and reject bad ideas and not just innovate just for innovation sake, but keep a common sense as well.

    Right now they have performance and gui design and quality control issues with OSX. They have lots of usability issues with hardware as well.
  4. ZZ Bottom macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2010
    Anyone that expects true productive functionality should not disagree. The current system is extremely prone to redundancy. The problem dictating Apple's decisions down the road is people's willingness to bend over backward by adopting a cloud based system (which obviously can be much more streamlined). The current cloud options either fail from widespread support or in the case of iCloud are very limited in scope.

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with finding workarounds for being productive on an iPad, but I just don't understand the people that vehemently defend a system that divides file access and provides no access offline aside from iTunes (another incomplete solution).
  5. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    The common file management system is prone to inflexibility.

    Do I create a PDF folder and quarantine all PDF to this folder or do I create more specific Project folder which contains various types of documents?

    When do I need to create a sub folder? Why would I need to create a sub folder?

    How do I deal with folders containing data I no longer need?

    I think the problem with the current way of dealing with folders is that it requires a lot of manual effort and analysis. Once you setup a folder schema its hard to change.

    Application centric document management is easier to understand but the difficulty comes in sharing files efficiently.

    If Apple can close the loop and find a nextgen way of sharing files then i've got no problem with app centric document management.
  6. dontwalkhand macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I hear you on this one! I also would like the ability to manage my files like a computer. I am hoping to totally replace my laptop with just my phone.

    What I'm hoping to do is also have the ability to download files with Safari.

    iOS 6 is bringing a much needed feature, the ability to upload photos from within Safari.
  7. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    OP: There was another thread on this awhile ago, but I searched and can't find it now (perhaps in the iOS forum). I mention this because it had some thoughtful posts in it. Sorry I couldn't provide a link.
  8. thewitt macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2011
    If applications could explicitly permit other applications to share their file space, I suspect we would not be having threads like this one.
  9. The Phazer macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2007
    London, UK
    No, indeed there wouldn't, because then there would be proper file managers as the most popular app in the store would be a Finder replacement.

    If they weren't forcing it on people, Apple's model would die on the vine, because it's rubbish.
  10. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    If the modern day filesytem is so great then answer me why the average consumers desktop is littered with crap?

    The ideal file system would replace the need to save everything to the desktop for quick access.

    Folder proliferation simply doesn't scale well at all.
  11. ahdickter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2011
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Because the average person doesn't care to keep it clean, as long as they can find files. I don't care to keep my toolbox clean and orderly as long as I can find my screwdrivers. The Application-centric filesystem is great for people who don't want to be bothered with setting up folders in a scheme that they find practical. It's inefficient for people who actually have a need to handle large amounts of documents and need to have multiple programs access those files.
  12. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Guess who there are more of in the world?

    I agree with the OP that the current iOS/iCloud scheme is very limiting and needs to be expanded.

    But I strongly disagree with the idea that it needs to be made more like what Mac/Windows machines have. That system had 3 decades and it continued to be fundamentally flawed for most people. I think by now we have to admit they aren't going to catch on.

    Yes, there are a ton of changes that iOS needs, but I'd rather see Apple work on improving the new system rather than just going back to an old system that was proved to be unworkable for the average person.
  13. SteppingStone macrumors member


    Aug 6, 2012
    I think the web actually is a decent model. 2 basic mechanisms:

    1. There needs to be a Google-type interface to your documents. I.e. have a good, generic search mechanism for all your documents. This way you can easily find stuff you haven't bothered to organize. This is how I find 99% of everything in my email, for example.

    2. Some way to organize and categorize, when you actually care enough to do so. Think of Yelp, et al: a specialized interface for specific types of sites. Every now and then I'm working on a project and actually take the time to make a folder in my email for those documents, so I can find them super-fast without search.

    What I definitely don't want is to be forced to put documents into folders at creation time.
  14. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State

    I completely agree. What you have on these forums is a very vocal minority of iUsers, so yes, many in here might want to have a more visible and customizable file system, but I don't think that would benefit the average iPhone owner.

    Case-in-point: I bought my parents an iMac earlier this year, and it's so much easier for them to use because they don't have to worry about files and folders as much. They just go where they want to go (Word, Preview, iTunes), and their stuff is there. Not to mention, if they do need to look for a file, there are clearly defined/marked folders and a great search tool (Spotlight).
  15. Eso macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2008
    How is it any different with an app-centric file system? You still have to organize files within each app, primarily by using folders. Even then, each folder is specific to each app, so you may even have to make multiple folders of the same name in different apps.
  16. VinegarTasters thread starter macrumors 6502


    Nov 20, 2007
    Why are my posts being deleted?

    Well, I don't think I can be responding to these threads. Critical posts don't seem to be allowed on these forums. I am being censored heavily.
    Two of my threads got locked, and one got put into wastland...

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