I'm a father, manager, programmer, scrum master, geek, & movie lover.

The OS X Filesystem Is Disappears

  1. User (average person, iAccount?)
  2. Power User (nerd, developer, administrator, Pro Account?)

All accounts will be created as normal “User” accounts by default, and you will be able to change them to Power User accounts in system preferences. - If you have a User account, you will interact with OS X exclusively through Lion’s Launchpad app and iCloud. You won’t have a dock, and you won’t have a Finder. - If you have a Power User account, you will interact with OS X through the dock (with stacks), iCloud, the Finder, and the filesystem. You’ll be able to use Launchpad if you want to, but you certainly won’t have to.

There are still lots of unanswered questions about when this will happen (Lion? OS 11?), and how we’ll deal with groups of related files of different types (i.e. my project uses pages documents, powerpoints, images, and video — can i still zip them up together? can i tag them with the same project name?). The future is very different, but I think it’s bright.

Comments from my old blog:

Ian said: Agreed on the app versus the filesystem. Arguably, iTunes is pretty much like this as well, since you need to manage it using the app and not files. I agree, they are tending more towards ‘databases for an app’. iTunes is more natural to browse using albums and songs than folders and files. The whole appliance thing is exactly right. Anyone who disagrees should switch to a thermostat where you have a folder full of various configuration files to select your temperature. And then give it to grandma. It’s absurd. Sure, files can be there behind the scenes, but regular people shouldn’t need to deal with them. The UI needs to be tailored to the appliance.

It is true that sometimes it makes sense for two different apps to interact with the same data. But it is instructive to look at how iOS partially deals with this problem. They make most of the function in the music app accessible via an API to other apps. So, other apps can just see the albums and songs as if they were part of that app. How would that work in the old PC days? You’d go through your folder hierarchy until you found your music folder, than drilled down and ‘opened’ the appropriate files with the different app. That stinks even for power users. Look for this notion to be extended as time goes on. App specific databases that other apps could access if you make something like an API.

The whole ‘power user’ idea may come to be. It seems possible that only a power user could install stuff not from the app store, etc.. As a power user type, I’m ok with all of this (in fact, I think it’s better) as long as there is a way to see the files in some fashion if you’re an expert. I’m fine with most of my documents being in the cloud too, as long as I feel like I own the data. And for me, owning the data means, it is stored somewhere (probably sync’ed with the cloud) on my machine, and I can get at it, with Finder or Terminal. But I suspect, and I’d totally be ok with, those two apps being hidden away somewhere and not on the dock by default. The ‘power user’ idea would be one way of taking care of that. Or at least, stuff Finder and Terminal in the Utilities subfolder. at 2011-06-16 21:00:31

(Zaid Rasid)[] said: Wow, great post. You nailed this head on.

I actually think that Power User will have there own OS totally separate from the dumb down machines. They’ll work with more powerful machines for the niche audience. I don’t think it will be combined in one. at 2011-06-24 19:29:56