Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Structure vs Metadata

When Spotlight was unveiled there was a lot of buzz about how it would change the way we store files forever. But like the other much hyped feature of Mac OS X Tiger, Dashboard, it really hasn't lived up to the pre-release hype. The way I store files hasn't changed, and I can't see it changing soon.

Spotlight just isn't as powerful as my own carefully crafted directory structure built up over the last fifteen years, which has symbolic links pointing here, there, and everywhere and I'm not brave enough to try the experiment Nick Santilli is proposing on my files, but I will be looking on with interest.

To be honest the thing that's putting me off is how hard it is to add metadata to files. Why doesn't the default OS X popup or drop down windows you get when you try to save a file include some where to add arbitrary additional metadata tags? Why does the operating systems make it so hard to do this, it's almost as if they didn't want us to?

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