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Of Assholes Gadflies Graybeards & Trolls 2

Use big words.


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When you don't have a lot to say - when you don't know what you're talking about - it's highly advisable to couch your declarations in BIG (POLYSYLLABIC) WORDS. This can serve to throw fans and pursuers both off the track.

It's no secret that some of John Siracusa's biggest fans admit they don't understand the half of what he writes but claim they admire him anyway. And this is not solely due to their sad limitations in the cerebral franchise department. For they do try their best to understand his VISION. Don't they? Wouldn't you?

'The linked article is incorrect when it insists my vision for the Finder is limited to one, and only one set of spatial state for items', states the webmeister coyly.

Whatever that means. Normally 'sets' are collections. Here we have a set of a single item - a 'spatial state'. Interesting.

'As for implementation, my ideal is to use file system metadata with scoping', he goes on. And so far he doesn't lose a single fanboy for all fanboys are familiar with 'scoping'. Aren't they?

'Each piece of arbitrarily extensible metadata would be addressed using three pieces of information', the diatribe goes on.


Translucency: arbitrarily extensible metadata, scoping, and simulated invisible namespacing within a set of spatial state.
'Arbitrarily extensible'? Granted, the term is (ab)used quite a lot by the gadflies hovering over the industry, but 'extensible' means having a capacity to extend and 'arbitrarily' means basically the same thing in this context. But heck - put them together and you can get Maccie fanboy heads spinning!

'The APIs that support these attributes should implement translucency', it continues. 'Translucency'? OK, Wikipedia cover this - more or less - on the disambiguation page for 'transparency' but how many fanboys are going to get that far? Another great one.

'The API described above could be simulated using 'invisible' namespacing', it insists on continuing. 'Invisible namespacing'? Some fanboys might have heard of namespaces, but will they have any clue what an invisible namespace is? They can't even deal with invisible .DS_Store files - is this really reasonable? No? Good - we're still not in trouble.

'Write the equivalent of the .DS_Store contents into a single 'big' xattr value on each local directory that user owns.' Now we're in trouble again. BIG trouble. Why? This part: 'that user owns'. That's why.

For we're back to single user again. Not single user you say? Ownership only? So owners of directories get to decide how everyone else looks at their files?

How about root? Root owns a whole lot of shit on an OS X box. So root's going to decide how people view root's folders? So what do you need metadata for, John?

OK, let's venture out into the network. You know, those funny things with cables that lead to OTHER COMPUTERS and SERVERS and the occasional PRINTER. And which might even lead to the - hush - INTERNET.

Who owns those directories, John? Whoever they are, they get to decide HOW you LOOK at their CONTENTS? And YOU CAN'T CHANGE IT?

That's very important arbitrarily extensible metadata with scoping all right! With an invisible simulated namespace to boot! What a vision!

Cor. It's just words. Big polysyllabic words. That's all John Siracusa's got.

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