Hierarchies scale, they're just not fun So what about the file system? Practically all of them are organized hierarchically. Chris is hardly the first to notice that a file system organized hierarchically can be inconvenient. Microsoft has been experimenting with different file system ideas since the early days of Cairo, and are still talking about giving some version of SQL Server a whirl. Search engines have come a long way since Yahoo, so maybe it's an idea whose time has come. Like Chris I'd love to have Google-like indexing capabilities, even it it were in an application that rode one layer above the file system (isn't this more or less what the Mac Finder used to do?).
Sigh...one of these days I'll just write something to do a Full-Text-Searchable index of my hard drive...Hierarchies are a neccessary evil, and the only way I can think to get me quick relief is to put an abstraction over it. WHY DOES THE SEARCH CAPABILITY IN WINDOWS SUCK SO EGREGIOUSLY? I swear I've searched for files that are literally sitting RIGHT THERE. I can SEE the file, and Windows didn't think that *.cs was enough information. Don't get me wrong, all the IFilter stuff is cool, especially with PDFs and Tagged TIFFs, but come on, do we REALLY need to do a full directory search every time I want to find a file? I feel like I've been watching a status bar with C:\, C:\WINDOWS, C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32, my whole life. The Indexing Services is crap, all it does is chew up CPU time when I least expect it. I tell myself that it's for a good cause...."sure, it's working...it's busy indexing my files...you know, I may need to search later, and this upfront work will get me into search heaven in the future." WRONG. So it's "net stop 'Indexing Service'" for you my friend.
Whew...I didn't realize I had that much bile today! :) (I have been looking at some promising alternatives lately after the Enfish fiasco of 3 years ago...my best friend du jour is Document Locator which uses SQL Server 2000 or MSDE and actually STORES your files....hmm....it's not the magical SQL Server File system of yore, but it's close!)