What Do You Think of the Win7 "Libraries" Concept?

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Software' started by sorgum, May 15, 2014.

  1. sorgum

    sorgum Well-Known Member

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    I find it an extreme annoyance. I would like to find a file manager that "virtually" strips out the entire roster of about 30+ redundant and unnecessary folders, and simply leaves a minimalist file tree. I can create three or four sub-directories for my particular tasks without the insane Libraries virtual folder explosion. I do not want WinOS to decide on any file sorting or placement. What a mess. Is there a file manager that images the Win7 "libraries" file pile and at least hides it from view? Better still, is there a developer who has found a way to strip it off the HDD and leave an XP file system replacement? XP was bad enough with My this and My that, labels I have never had the slightest need to use - then this.....


    Yes of all things, I'm a newbie to Win7, a forced migration with the death of XP. I didn't expect it to be a shock to the system. Yes I know, a good Win sheeple citizen I'm just supposed to submit to any irrational nonsense because its cool and trendy.
     
  2. Fixer1234

    Fixer1234 Senior Member

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    You can make you directory structure look however you want (although I wouldn't mess with the dedicated Windows directories, just hide them if you don't want to see them). What comes pre-loaded is just a serving suggestion. You may find that you will minimize the amount of customization needed if you keep My Documents as a "home base" and build your user directory tree inside it; a lot of software just assumes that it exists and is where you keep your own files. There is no requirement to do this, though.

    The libraries are supposed to be a convenience but you don't have to use them. They are just views of your directories, they don't actually contain anything. They are a way to group and display related content that is stored in various directories.

    It's a good thing you didn't switch to Win 8.0. The amount of change to the user interface would have left you shell-shocked.
     
  3. badrobot

    badrobot Senior Member

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    Actually the library system on Win 8 is better. You can re-direct the folder contents to any location you want even to your NAS. In Win 7, you cannot index files to the default library folders unless you copied all the files locally to the hard drive.
     
  4. sorgum

    sorgum Well-Known Member

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    The alacrity with which Win8 was given a retro "classic" UI by small subsets of 3rd party coders establishes one important idea. The UI is superficial imposition and easily modified or dispensed with. It tells us what MS could have offered its customer base choices, just as most other product vendors tend to do. A choice of UI models based on the same underlying file logic. Sports car, SUV or a kiddie swing shaped like a space shuttle (the hilarious fingerfone).


    The Apple limited choice, proprietary-lock-down, Bauhaus / Braun desk kitsch forced conformity forced obsolescence model is actually the exceptional opposite to the Americanized mkt place. A Eurasian rigid social conformity concept much closer to Orwell's 1984 Winston World than Microsoft's almost limitless customization potential, prior to the Win8 fingerfone stupefaction. As with all fanaticisms big and small, the accusers tend to practice the transgressions they pretend to attribute to others.


    The success of early DT clones and the once available variety of user interfaces is what would be normal marketing in USA. Starting in the mid 80s we had a half dozen UI front ends (example - DRDOS & GEM, DesqView, plain MSDOS, DOS+Norton Commander, etc. as well as additional variations in file managers, all of them representing a traditional "reality based" hierarchical file system refined over 5000 years of commerce clerking, archiving and literature. Then came a more-or-less standardized PARC/Apple skeuomorphic OS2, Win3- Win95 thru Vista to the present ending with Win7. Win7 shocks me because the skeuomorphic UI remains traditional, but the background structure is anti-educational and anti-rational and unteaches standard practice. You're absolved from maintenance of your workplace, and logical alpha-numeric filing rules are now passe. Just another stone removed from civilizations foundation.


    The skeuomorphic model of icons representing tools, storage cabinets and work spaces, the universal language of organization and productivity, is subsequently removed in Win8. Its the "progressive" graphical march toward non-representational ephemera. Progress at full speed into a vacuum, leaving behind rational symbolism for...what? What do we call fingerfone tiles - fill in the conceptual blank? How is life and work made better? I resent being manipulated and forced into an alien mileu which may or may not have any decipherable rationale, outside of a systematic intention to revel in chaotic obstinacy or trite faddish adolescence. So I want to understand the underlying philosophy.
     
  5. Fixer1234

    Fixer1234 Senior Member

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    What he said.
     
  6. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    you had me at "alacrity"
     
  7. badrobot

    badrobot Senior Member

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    Good thing I have multi monitor. Merriam-webster online on the other screen.
     
  8. Fixer1234

    Fixer1234 Senior Member

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    Didn't help. I looked up skeuomorphic on dictionary.com and still have no idea what it means.
     
  9. badrobot

    badrobot Senior Member

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    Something about design concept which is the opposite of "flat designs"...hahaha.
     
  10. Marcone

    Marcone New Member

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    Fixer seemed adamant that you can just "ignore" the "libraries" and use the profile directories however you want.

    That's not completely true. The "libraries" keep popping up in that they are constantly offered by the UI as places to go. The various UI windows religiously offer the "libraries" as possible destinations, which would be nice if they actually were places and not just ideas.

    Don't get me started on Win8. While working on a customer's win8 tablet, I was about to the point of throwing the thing across the room out of frustration. You say the file structure is even better. Yeah, if you can FIND THE FILES. Maybe I'm just too used to android.

    I like the win8 OS more on an actual computer, because you can install 3rd party UI and ditch the touchy-touch. Which is ironic, since the whole idea of the OS is to be used on a touch interface.
     
  11. badrobot

    badrobot Senior Member

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    @Marcone, In Win 8, This PC>>>right-click on any Folder (ex. Music)>>> Properties>>>Location Tab>>>click "Move">>> browse to any folder location including network folders/NAS>>> Apply>>> OK>>> Done! Very straightforward.

    My Music folder is located on an external hard drive attached to my NAS.

    Screenshot (40).


    network_drives.





    This is a 10" full Win 8.1.1 tablet with 3rd party apps. You are probably talking about an RT version of Win 8 that does not install legacy x86 programs.




    ......
     
    #12 badrobot, May 17, 2014
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  12. Pauli

    Pauli Extraordinary Member
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    I've very much taken the lazy way with automated Windows functions. I simply build my own "trees and roses", instead of using a given Library. Actually this is not a lazy way, but means more work - still, once you have your own, and everything saved on at least two places, you kind of feel safe. Anyone who wants Microsoft to determine how you have your underpants and socks arranged? Or, referring to George Orwell... guess what. :cool:
     
  13. sorgum

    sorgum Well-Known Member

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  14. sorgum

    sorgum Well-Known Member

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    You put is concisely. Libraries are simply ideas, not a rational fixed file system. We've got two schools of thought. One accepts the "convenience" of not creating a custom file tree and simply submitting to the windows magical capacity to detect the file format and stuff it somewhere. My adamantly independent notion is of creating my own file tree and making WinOS adapt to it, instead of allowing myself to be trained to adapt to the OS. Actually to be untrained in traditional business archiving rules. No wonder modern corporations are instituting remedial education for their arriving new hires.

    My fixed, predictable, stable and REAL file tree can be exported as a chunk of data to several backup locations, all of which will thence forth remain identical in structure, not at the whim of the OS. Some are arguing that the Meta file, the file header that appears in the Libraries list, is a Properties index and thereby a source for the files location. Like reading direction signs in a dark tunnel with no idea where you really are. I want to see the big picture road map or better still, the aerial view of the landscape.

    When was Win7 released? Wow, had I know then what a mess they made of it I would have said something. I installed my first Win7 system a couple of months ago. On the other hand, wasn't Win7 development done in secrecy as a reversal of the previous policy of several periods of alpha/beta testing? Win7 Win8 eat it and like it, cause we need to churn the market for revenue.
     
  15. Fixer1234

    Fixer1234 Senior Member

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    1. Win 7 did not change the concept or structure of directories. They operate the same as they did in all previous versions of Windows, and you can arrange your directory tree to your heart's content. They are still fixed, predictable, stable and REAL, can be exported as a chunk without changing them, stuck in a dark tunnel, or looked at like an aerial view of a landscape. You can create your own directory tree and make WinOS adapt to it. You are free to choose not to allow yourself to be trained.

    2. Libraries were new in Win 7. They are, indeed, simply ideas and were never intended to be a rational, fixed file system. They do not replace a custom file tree, they are not magic, and don't use magic to decide what to include in them. You can eliminate them entirely, create them yourself, or modify them as you wish. Consider this analogy:

      There is a large valley that contains a number of towns. You live in one. You can drive around and become familiar with everything in the town. You can drive down the highway to the next town. You can drive around there and become familiar with everything in that town. You can do the same for each town in the valley. One day you decide that you really want pizza for dinner. There is not a pizza joint in your town, but you remember that in your travels, you noticed one in one of the adjoining towns. But which town was it? You could get in your car and drive through all the towns in the valley to find it again.

      Or, you could avail yourself of a gadget Bill Gates donated for the benefit of everyone in the valley. At the top of the mountain next to the valley, there is a TV camera that can image the entire valley. You can go on your computer and see all of the towns at once, zoom in anywhere, and find the pizza joint you remember without having to drive through every town.

      The pizza joint isn't contained in the camera and the camera doesn't create, alter, or replace the infrastructure of the towns. It is just a convenient way to view all of the towns without wasting gas--your aerial view of the landscape. If you don't like the view through the camera, you can choose not to look at it. You can even delete the camera app from your computer so you never, ever get cooties from it. Or, I suppose, it is your right to curse Bill Gates for sticking the camera on the mountain and forcing you to learn a new way of looking at your environment.
     
  16. badrobot

    badrobot Senior Member

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    There is no need to go ballistic with the English language. Library folders are just suggestions. Ignore them and make your own. Piece of cake (not pizza).
     
    #17 badrobot, May 20, 2014
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
    Pauli likes this.
  17. sorgum

    sorgum Well-Known Member

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  18. sorgum

    sorgum Well-Known Member

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    I think I get the virtual meta-file concept - I understand it was contrived through good intentions as are many disasters. I look at it simply from the aspect of the graphical view of my file system. The Win7 explorer file view is an atrocity. The last thing I want or need is a virtual pass through to NAS, back-ups and storage, which is the perfect construct for crawler worms, malware of all kinds to instantly infect or install root kits or encrypted re-animation cells throughout a live network of back-ups and archives. Not to mention the absolute avoidance of live cloud back-ups which can also be instantly invaded.


    I decided long ago not to collect anything digital outside of CDs (which I rip for music) and my photos. In early days with 20meg HDDs supplemental storage was a real need. I created an indexing code for locating time, place, event, make, model, builder, angle for photographs of automotive events, AACA CCCA Concours, shows, races, etc. Very easy. I was trained on DOS 8.3 file name protocol. I understand that a person who has decided to create an extensive archive of movies and music might find "Libraries" useful today. All the best wishes if that is what you do with it. I simply want the choice to simplify my file view.


    I think it is wrong headed to "virtualize" storage. If you can't remember where you put something, "LieBerrys" encourages and almost guarantees the condition will worsen. When I want to search an archive I have it on a live system. Hard drives are so huge a NAS box for archives has never been necessary for my purposes. I keep triplicate backups off line. In my view LieBerrys is the worst possible inadvisable solution to an non-existent problem. The lack of foresight at MS in not allowing this "feature" to be simply switched off is mind boggling. Tells of a kind of arrogance and presumption imbedded in corporate culture and coming out of comp science, IT sys analysis classes. After all, the WinOS DT is a small fraction of Win corporate revenue and their enterprise systems complexity makes these DT clients seem small potatoes by comparison.


    I thank you for the leads in finding ways to eliminate what I consider to be a problem. Dangerous reg-edit it bombs they may be, but I'll give it a shot. I won't use this system for anything critical until its fixed, or ill simply quit WinOS altogether and convert everything to Linux. Or maybe a classic UI conversion of Win8 is possibly better. Don't get me started on the infernal "registry". Egads!
     
  19. Fixer1234

    Fixer1234 Senior Member

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    Each person has a different idea of what the ideal operating environment would be. As you suggest, the operating system could be designed so that each person selects exactly the features they want. That would not simplify things. You wouldn’t find a customization-friendly operating system where the only choices were the ones you wanted to make. It would be like building your own house. After you select the style, layout, façade, and major options, you would have to select every lighting and plumbing fixture, every cabinet, every knob and handle, every flooring surface, every style and color.

    The alternative is to buy an existing house where all of the choices have already been made based on typical preferences. It’s the same approach used for operating systems. Almost anything in an existing house can be changed, some things more easily than others. If you want to move a doorway, a house doesn’t come with a plug-and-play doorway that anyone can pull out of one location and stick in another. But, you can do it yourself if you have the skills and know the structural requirements.

    You don’t like the concept of libraries and would prefer that they not exist on your computer. There is a way to accomplish this customization. Like many other Windows choices it is via some registry changes. If you want a current computer with current features, the choice is to either use the default features and settings, or learn what is needed to customize it in the way you want. Just minimize your risks while you learn and experiment by creating a restore point before you start.

    Your first car didn’t have cruise control. Cruise control is a convenience but it has some associated risks. Some people consider it unsafe, don’t want to use it, and don’t want it in the car where their kids might be tempted to use it. However, it is hard to find a car these days that doesn’t come with it. You can choose to not use it yourself but that doesn’t eliminate the risks. You can rail against the inclusion of cruise control on cars, but that doesn’t accomplish anything because most car owners either like it or don’t care.
     

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