From: Surfer! on 2 Feb 2006 17:23
In message <Xns975ECA07A7DACiamback(a)18.104.22.168>, Marjolein Katsma
>Surfer! (surfer(a)127.0.0.1) wrote in news:TzQbpRIYmH4DFwHh(a)nevis-
>>>Now that "My Documents" *is* a prime example of MS stupidity! They're
>>>not the files of the computer. And whose files are they anyway? Even
>>>if you accept that "my" really means "yours" - how does that handle
>>>multiple users (again)?
>> If you check C:\Documents and Settings, it contains a sub-directory
>> for each user (login name).
>Of course - each user their own branch (no matter what it's under,
>really): their data goes in *separate* locations.
>I said before:
>Me > No proof at all since for many programs different users can have
>Me > their *own* settings; they need to be kept separate, of course.
>Me > Which is proof settings *are* user data. ;-)
>To which Don replied:
>Don > No, that's a proof of undisciplined and incompetent so-called
>Don > "programmers".
>I fail to see how keeping different user's data separate is
>"undiciplined" or "incompetent" - NOT keeping them separate would be!
Me too. It seems fine to me, despite the arguments of the semantics of
'My' that we seem to be able to have.
>> Win2K/XP does have all the stuff to control who can see what of other
>> people's work though again I've never really investigated it as I
>> don't have that need.
>Exactly. Quite competent, in fact. ;-)
>>>I always rename everything "my whatever" to "whatever". :D
>> Apparently this is happening in the next windows, Vista... :)
>Gosh - that's promising! ;)
I'm not sure that two letters and a space are really worth that much...
>> However think how powerful it was as a brand - for example, we have
>> 'My Travel' in the UK, and probably quite a few other businesses who
>> thought it cute/smart to follow the MS branding style.
>All such firms have no chance with me - I consider them equally
>childish. http://yourdictionary.com now, that's a clever site! (It
>really is, too)
Now surely 'your' is just as stupid as 'my'? It's the computer talking
to me? I prefer a person-oriented view of things. It's *my* computer,
I am not *it's* user, it's *my* stuff on it, *my* phone line it uses,
*my* money that buys bits & pieces for it, and *me* that gets aggravated
if they play up. And, of course, it's *me* that spends ages cleaning
slides before scanning, *me* that has to unjam the slide feeder and
(wild and desperate attempt to get back on-topic here!) *me* that was
struggling without the Nikon FDUtility.
BTW *my* spell checker wants to turn that to Nikon Futility, and it's
*me* that has stopped it doing that. :)
Email to: ramwater at uk2 dot net
From: Don on 3 Feb 2006 12:29
On 02 Feb 2006 18:52:39 GMT, Marjolein Katsma <nobody(a)example.net>
>> But, you're absolutely right, it has a certain ring to it and has
>> spread like wild fire.
>The ring of "dumbed down to stupidity". Maybe appeals to people who like
>to be pampered. :D
You get no argument from me, there! And I sympathize fully!
But, regrettably, that's how things work in the free marketplace. You
aim for the lowest common denominator in order to appeal to the
largest possible audience. If in the process you annoy a few
sophisticates, so be it! Once you have monopoly they'll be forced to
grudgingly use it.
I think it was Ford who said: "Never overestimate the American
public". Take out "American" and it becomes a generic rule.
BTW, it was definitely Ford who said (referring to Model-T):
"You can have it in any color, as long as it's black!"
From: Don on 3 Feb 2006 12:29
On 02 Feb 2006 18:59:53 GMT, Marjolein Katsma <nobody(a)example.net>
>> Yes, each user has a separate directory for their system settings
>> (e.g. desktop, etc) usually called the same as their login name.
>You just called that "undisciplined and incompetent"! Which is why I asked
>you to give me a conctete example of using the *same* location for
>*different* user's data. What you come up with now is the exact opposite.
That's not what "undisciplined and incompetent" referred to. It
referred to lumping system settings and user data in the same
NOTE: Read the parallel message on two meanings of "user data". From
the system point of view "user data" refers to the data *about* a
user, from the user point of view "user data" refers to data *created
by* the user themselves (not system settings).
Conceptually, those two are poles apart and lumping them together is
undisciplined and incompetent.
I mean, just look at the name "Documents and Settings". It's totally
meaningless and pointless. They may have just as well called it "All
and Sundry" or "Everything"!
From: Surfer! on 3 Feb 2006 15:54
In message <os17u11e0buegi0cutagph9odoc4rusdc8(a)4ax.com>, Don
>I mean, just look at the name "Documents and Settings". It's totally
>meaningless and pointless. They may have just as well called it "All
>and Sundry" or "Everything"!
So given that there can be different system settings for different
users, how do you suggest it should have been done? It seems quite
logical to me to put everything to do with a given user in one place.
Now if all those things were dropped in a single big mess in a single
directory you would be right - but it isn't. There is quite a
complicated directory structure and (for example) desktop icons are held
in a different place to the contents of the 'Send To' drop-down menu.
Email to: ramwater at uk2 dot net
From: Don on 4 Feb 2006 10:07
On Fri, 3 Feb 2006 20:54:29 +0000, Surfer! <surfer(a)127.0.0.1> wrote:
>>I mean, just look at the name "Documents and Settings". It's totally
>>meaningless and pointless. They may have just as well called it "All
>>and Sundry" or "Everything"!
>So given that there can be different system settings for different
>users, how do you suggest it should have been done? It seems quite
>logical to me to put everything to do with a given user in one place.
Which exposes another reason why "Documents and Settings" is a totally
ridiculous name. In addition to what I wrote before, if you look
inside you'll see that it contains a number of *user* directories.
Therefore (within this context) it should really be called "Users" or
But at its most basic (literal!) level this is really a question about
data base design. The same principles apply especially if we're
talking about hierarchical databases.
At the most absolute extreme (relational databases) each data item
will be defined separately and then combined using logical
relationships. That's the theory. Even though that's the cleanest and
most flexible design, in practice, almost nobody does that because of
the overhead. So each design is compromised to satisfy immediate
requirements and maintain a balance between consistency and
performance. So much for generalities to establish the context...
Specifically - one answer to your question - a (!) possible option is
to have two top level directories e.g. User Data and System Settings,
or whatever. Within each define another level for each user. In other
words, turn the current design on its head. Why is that "better"?
Because we have cleanly separated system and user data. This means we
can back them up separately, for example. Now, you may be bothered
that you have two user sub-directories in different parent directories
but that can be reconciled with judicious use of symbolic links, etc.
What those contortions clearly illustrate is that we are talking about
the wrong question because it assumes a certain paradigm as a given
and then tries to fit a concept within this (flawed) paradigm. My
answer to that would be to go a level up (meta context) and fix the
paradigm instead of trying to fix its consequences. Why is the
paradigm wrong? For one, because Windows is a hodge-podge of ad hoc
band-aids instead of a clean design from the ground up.
Do note that all of the above is very simplistic and superficial
because this subject is quite complex going to the core of OS design.
Anyway, we're now miles away from scanning... ;o)