Steve Eirium <[hidden email]>
Browse for a file in nautilus (or whatever), you are seeing a staggering lack of form that shrouds what's there amongst itself. You feel clinking fatigue as you struggle to apply your natural capacities for visual recognition to this stark landscape of despairing monotony. What about all the chaos that went into the creation of this mess? It's in the order of the dates, you feebly suppose.
I hope this damning criticism strikes a revolting chord. Computer interfaces are nowhere near good enough, improvement is generally held to be a sprawling meta-problem for the coming generations to grind upon.
All I endeavor to build is a more impressionistic file browser, both more and less structured. There are two sides:
Knowning how to handle what's there in the face of the user is key. To know that we must learn - dynamicism is key. Just as nice software collaboration tools allow me to build upon the great pyramid scheme, we must allow users to build on the pyramid too. In a tiny little language, almost one per paradigm.
Most users only care about their artifacts - Music for example has a fervently upward meta-thrust, with my the Net::LastFMAPI manpage for example we can learn a lot to help the user organise their artifacts without organising them. Chiefly we must keep a generic face and not shy away from replication of art.
If, for example, a zip file hits Downloads/ which seems to contain a particular identifiable album, one or less swift movements should take it into the fold, making irrelevant its filesystemic realities, for it is now in the monolith, available for enjoyment.
It seems like you could divide a filesystem between art and not-art. Sure. Whatever. What's important is to know what's not important.
Knowing things means knowing how to take care of them in menial ways. It will be able to "put Robbie Basho on my ipod", and in patterns more elegant than a human user would bother to achieve.
Without becoming too much of a system for consuming other systems.
Spatially liberal display of complex data, only a corner of which represents the current "File Browser" paradigm.
You probably want an island of Music, Pictures and Video, like Ubuntu seems to suggest but with no further geographical detail. Non-art will be floating grey and textey in the sea between, but still with some respect to historicity and user interest. Smaller the non-art will be. A staircasing array of little names snakes down between the alive things, just incase you wanted everything in order, it's there, usefully interactive. Draw a line between Downloads and Music and explore the things that have travelled thus recently. Music that's been around for longer is arranged more amongst the other music. Music sporadically streams in from the various portals, you see.
All of this is mere organicism, a game quite abstract to the librarianism of identification. The rules can be brushed around by the user. It informs rendering and behaviour of this archipelago-like interface I'm describing. This is what I am proposing to build, I can provide concept art. I have no experience with graphics programming so it'll be more like a really slick game of chess than civilisation. But it's about making the technology behind this bit work.
With lessons learned from raidlax, a meta-filesystem.
A rule engine to create forms from chaos with.
A basic Music paradigm.
GUI for graphing out our forms.
More GUI for reorganising the organic cruft.
More GUI for organising the art.
3 months of involved hacking.
http://github.com/st3vil was writing perl professionally for three years, but now only wants to do it for good cause. I have another robotical project and I think they will share some intellect, if not actual code.
I'm an unemployed musician, mostly by mental necessity. I feel this is my job as a human, I just need a way to get off social welfare (I have one in the pipes). It would be great to get some bucks for staying alive. I live in a garage fairly cheaply right now but I'll probably live in my car again in a few weeks what with it being summer.