Support tag-based file management and make it an integral part

Posted on 2009-10-18 18:36 UTC by Stefanos Harhalakis. Status: Under consideration, Categories: Desktop, Location & Navigation, Office, User Experience, System.

Do the following regarding files:

  • Add global tag support: Same tags everywhere (i.e. not per-application tags)
  • Add namespaces to tags. For example: "SMS", "Camera", etc. This way the apps that take photos could use the "Camera" namespace for their tags. They should also allow for tagging outside of their main namespace.
  • Include a "System" namespace for tagging that would be used for core functionality.
  • Implement file indexing by tag.
  • Incorporate tag-based lookups in core libraries.
  • Add support for tag editing (metadata editing?) in file manager.

After that:

  • Extend the file-open dialog to lookup files by tag. For example, when opening the image viewer, we could search for all files with tags under the "Camera" namespace. A good solution would be to have a two-face "open file" dialog with a "folder view" and a "tag view".
  • Make core applications/windows perform file lookups using tags. For example, when changing the background, the open file dialog could lookup for files with the System:Wallpaper tag.

Sample usage:

  • Wallpapers (as explained above)
  • Include all files under the "Music" namespace in music players, under the "Video" namespace in video players, etc.
  • All programs with common-interests will be cooperating. The user just tags music and all music players automatically find them.


Solutions for this brainstorm


Solution #1: Changing the file system

Posted on 2010-04-09 23:22 UTC by asset burned.

Maybe not the best option but using a file system that supports tags would be a good idea. FAT32 wasn't build to support tags and the legacy of several previous FAT versions doesn't make FAT32 the ideal file system for these kind of device anyway. What is the point of having a 16GB storage card, if your file system only support files with up to 4GB?

And finally FAT32 was optimised for floppy (later hard) discs, not for SSD.


Solution #3: Adding meta files

Posted on 2010-04-09 23:24 UTC by asset burned.

Some file systems have meta files with additional information about a file. The Maemo 5 platform does already make use of a similar technology. Just look at the .video directory for example. All of these directories are renamed according to the used language. This and even tags could be done with the help of meta files.

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