newdocms (03 Jan 2003)

Opps. Looks like I missed actually uploading the tarball for bttrackd. I wonder how long that's been broken - months I guess.

This came up on slashdot today. It's an attempt to replace standard filesystems with a string-string metadata based system and categorisation. The metadata is pretty standard and the categorisation is hierarchical. Read the page, it's pretty neat and, above all, it's real code.

Now, this kind of thing is one of my pet subjects so I have a couple of criticisms. Firstly, string-string metadata looses some useful functionality of string-object systems. If the author of a document is "John Smith" then I cannot simply ask for the author's email address because the string "John Smith" is only loosely coupled to the object (if it exists) that describes that person. Also, this system doesn't try to extend this system very far. He see it as a way of filing documents (which is all well and good), but this is far short of what vaporware like IronDoc and landscape try to do. Then again, worse is sometimes better and he has code behind him.