Filesystem path ordering overrated.

Albert Cahalan acahalan at
Wed Oct 1 11:39:05 EDT 2008

C. Scott Ananian writes:

> The response usually is that additional context is sufficient to
> disambiguate tag sets, you don't actually need ordering.  That is,
> it's okay if a/b is indistinguishable from b/a -- in practice one
> will really be c/a/b and the other will be b/a/d or whatever, and
> you can use the extra tag 'c' or 'd' to disambiguate.

Two big problems with this:

1. "usually" means "on rare occasions we overwrite your files"

2. Getting excess files is a problem. Imagine trying to use this
   (perhaps with a FUSE filesystem) with a Makefile $(wildcard *)
   or shell *. Extra files show up and get processed in some way.
   Maybe it's "rm -rf foo/bar/*" even.

There is also the matter of assuming that tags are easier to handle
than directories. The fact that some people struggle with directories
does not automatically imply that any alternative will be easier.
I tend to find tags more difficult in fact; they are disordered by
nature and that's a disorganized mess.

More information about the Devel mailing list