A long time ago computers started to be able to store “things” in memory. Even though there’s no doubt that today we mostly store “files” in computers, that doesn’t mean that’s the only thing we can store. There’s a real world analogy from some terms we use to store data in our computers. Quoting from wiktionary.org:
- A collection of papers collated and archived together.
- An organizer that papers are kept in, usually with an index tab, to be stored as a single unit in a filing cabinet.
- A collection of books or other forms of stored information. An individual may refer to his collection of books and other items as his library.
- An equiavlent collection of analogous information in a non-printed form, e.g. record library
- An alphabetical listing of items and their location; for example, the index of a book lists words or expressions and the pages of the book upon which they are to be found.
Some time in the past century the file system was created. Since then a thousand file systems had come to existence. Most of them can store basically two things: folders and files. Well, most of them also store information about these two items like dates and sizes, and permissions, and extended attributes. But are they indexable? Can anybody do a fast search on those attributes? From the btrfs changelog:
Btrfs indexes directories in two ways. The first index allows fast name lookups, and the second is optimized to return inodes in something close to disk order for readdir. The second index is an important part of good performance for full filesystem backups.
But is there any filesystem that creates indexes on anything else? Well many desktop searching applications create their own indexes. You have Spotlight on the mac, beagle, tracker, etc on Linux, google desktop search on windows. They can really get out of sync. If you take your external hard drive from a mac to a Linux machine copy some files and then back again you need to wait to Spotlight to catch up. Sometimes I just want to search for a file and I only remember it was an image I copied yesterday. Browsing through a whole messy external hard drive to find that can take forever.
That’s why I started working on dejumble. I don’t want to organize my files on folders anymore. I just want to find them!