Oliver Reichenstein over at the iA has a strange post/article positing that nested directories are hard to understand. Reichenstein celebrates the iOS/Mountain Lion approach to file systems in which directories can be at most one level deep (and even that is too much, he believes). Leaving aside his misrepresentation of the actual situation in Mountain Lion, I’m really nonplussed by the idea that traditional file system architecture is somehow unnatural or hard to understand.
Reichenstein claims that multilevel directories are a geek invention that can only be understood by geeks and that even they don’t really understand them. I’m confused because I’ve never had the slightest problem understanding the idea and neither have any of the non-technical people I know. To me, it seems like a natural way to organize data and really isn’t any different, in principle, from an outline, something that we all learned to deal with in elementary school.
So my question, dear readers, is do you find nested directories hard to understand or unnatural? If you do, please leave a comment and let me know what the problem is.
Afterword: After writing this post I came across this post by Thom Holwerda over at OS News that expresses the same confusion over Reichenstein’s article. Like me, he finds the traditional directory architecture natural and useful.