File System

Probably the simplest definition of a filesystem is a data structure or a collection of files. In Unix, filesystem can refer to two very distinct things; the directory tree or the arrangement of files on disk partitions. The latter can be thought of as the physical filesystem as it has a tangible physical location.

Back to Write Room. My favorite feature of 1.0 was actually not this 'distraction free writing environment' nonsense. That was a useful feature, to be sure. But the feature I liked most was that it was a file management free writing environment. Writeroom 1.0 managed its own files. There was no saving, no filename choosing (the document name was taken from the first line of the document). This made it a perfect place for just jotting things down, working small ideas out, and maybe taking them into bigger things. That file management free writing environment was bliss, at least for my uses. Every time you opened the app, there were all your documents. You could close them to hide them, but they were easily accessible from a menu and a keyboard shortcut.

Steve Jobs was not a fan, at least not of exposing it to the normal user. Now, EMail, there’s always been a better way to find stuff. You don’t keep your e-mail on your file system, right? The app manages it. And that was the breakthrough, as an example, in ITunes.

  • Dave Winer counters (and I agree) that it would have been more sense to provide a better OS-level UI model that could be applied to both the File System and other apps. (Like was ReiserFS was aiming for...) And iTunes is a user interface disaster, not an example to hold up. This may not have been so apparent seven years ago, but it is today.

Esp. important as PipeLine in UNIX. Esp. when working with PlainText.

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