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Old 08-12-2013, 06:57 AM   #1
Recusant
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Windows 7 style "Libraries" - anything like it planned for Linux?


Hiya, Linux is a pretty foreign beast for me. I quite like Mint but there is something that Windows does that Linux doesn't seem to: Allow me to put several paths into a single 'shortcut' that is viewable and enterable via Windows Explorer.

It's become almost a must-have for me with my data stored in multiple paths, all accessible from the one place/link. When i've mentioned this kind of thing to Linuxers in the past, they either tell me to change my work habits or use symbolic links. Symbolic links simply don't cut it and why change what works better? Once i realised how useful Libraries in Win7 were i don't want to go back to what i think is an outdated way of viewing how data is stored (all in the same place). When you're in a network, it's very useful being able to find 'videos' in 5 different paths with one click listing all of them.

The crux of the question is: I believe there is nothing like it in Linux - is there anything on the horizon in LinuxLand?

Desperately hoping.
 
Old 08-12-2013, 07:33 AM   #2
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I guess Windows made a drag and drop gui to create a group of links in a Windows Explorer window. Believe it or not, that isn't a revolutionary concept. You can easily do the same thing in any linux distro. I usually just put things I want together, together. But Windows has some neat little things about it. My only objection to Windows is that it lacks flexibility and power, most software is not written for Windows, it makes too much noise, using Windows is like dating a slut, because you're always infected by something; the utter lack of privacy, the fact that closed-source software could be doing anything, you just never know; five times the hardware requirement for a tenth of the speed, too much attention-deficit-disorder distractions, too expensive, crashes every day, unfriendly and doesn't get along well with others, gets slower with age, obsoletes hardware devices by failure to supply drivers, requires a separate driver disk for practically every device, destroys user data on reinstallation, requires periodic reinstallation, NTFS is bad and slow, restrictive license agreements, incompatible with open standards, tiny market share; but it does have libraries. Hooray! The world is saved after all.

I don't intend to get down on you, but you must realize that serious computer users don't often use Windows on the machine they themselves rely on. Microsoft doesn't even run itself on Microsoft software. It uses Linux. 70% of all Internet-connected devices run linux. I bet if you put your mind to it you could learn linux!
 
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:34 AM   #3
allend
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Quote:
is there anything on the horizon in LinuxLand?
From 'man mount'
Quote:
The bind mounts.
Since Linux 2.4.0 it is possible to remount part of the file hierarchy somewhere else.
Quote:
When you're in a network, it's very useful being able to find 'videos' in 5 different paths with one click listing all of them.
You could create a directory foo with subdirectories bar1, bar2, bar3, bar4, bar5 and then mount each of your network locations with 'mount -R network/path/1 foo/bar1', 'mount -R network/path/2 foo/bar2' etc.
 
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AwesomeMachine View Post

I don't intend to get down on you, but you must realize that serious computer users don't often use Windows on the machine they themselves rely on. Microsoft doesn't even run itself on Microsoft software. It uses Linux. 70% of all Internet-connected devices run linux. I bet if you put your mind to it you could learn linux!
Hi Mr Machine (or do you prefer Awesome? )

I both understand and don't understand. The very fact i'm investigating Linux, with it's small user base, fragmented development, very different architecture and challenges means i understand the negatives of Microsoft and the positives of Free software. For about a year now, i've always searched for free and open source (non-proprietary) AND cross-platform applications, and preferencing them even if they're a little quirky. I do this in preparation for when Linux meets my 'needs' without me having to invest hundreds of hours adapting. There are some bridges that are just too far and the OS presently comes under that.

I even gave up Dvorak because i could not get Dvorak with QWERTY super keys to work in Linux despite dozens of hours of research and attempts. And QWERTY is shite. I'm considering trying Colemak instead.

This feature in Windows, Libraries, in a networked environment is brilliantly easy and intuitive and i'm just not willing to give that up. I so wish someone in LinuxLand with far more brains a ability than i would actually see it as something useful and program it in. Is it just something that is architecturally very very difficult to do? Or is it that the Linux community either doesn't really know about it or doesn't see a benefit in it? I'm curious about why it, or something better hasn't been done. I see several features in Linux that i'm astounded aren't in Windows (like hot corners workplace switching for one). I barrack really hard for Linux, and my kids will be exposed to it (Edubuntu presently). It's just not /quite/ what i want from my OS - yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by allend
You could create a directory foo with subdirectories bar1, bar2, bar3, bar4, bar5 and then mount each of your network locations with 'mount -R network/path/1 foo/bar1', 'mount -R network/path/2 foo/bar2' etc.
Thanks Allend, do you happen to know of a good beginners guide to these bind mounts? I'm very much a beginner. Cheers.
 
Old 08-12-2013, 10:58 PM   #5
frankbell
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I guess I'm just a grumpy old man, but, in my usage of Windows 7, I found "Libraries" to be an irritating extra layer of puffery obscuring the actual architecture of the system.

Also, as regards keyboard layouts, remember that the primary proponent of the Dvorak keyboard was Dvorak. It hasn't caught on for a reason.

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/desi...werty-keyboard
 
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:47 AM   #6
akakingess
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I am actually asking this question seriously, so please hold with the laughter til the end :-) Isn't something like "libraries" going to have to be done more on the "front end" or GUI that is installed. In other words, wouldn't it be something that might become available on KDE, but not on Unity, or vice versa? I am just curious where something like this would be done, or if it could be "faked" by Dolphin or whatever other "file managers" are out there? Sorry for all of the quotes, but I know some of my terminology may be out-dated. Thanks for any responses, and I do not intend to start a Windows vs. Linux war, but rather just figure out where would be the best place to begin looking into developing that feature (which I don't even use personally).

Last edited by akakingess; 08-13-2013 at 01:48 AM. Reason: grammar, still probably lacking
 
Old 08-13-2013, 02:06 AM   #7
descendant_command
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Yes it's a file manager function (well it is the way windows uses it).
I recall Krusader has that feature, and some others may too. (virtual folders or such).

Another (lower level) way may be unionfs, but I've never really looked into it so could be way off the mark on how I think it works.

Edit: also, requesting such a feature be added to "Linux" is fundamentally misunderstanding the way the linux ecosystem works.
You can either find a file manager where it is already implemented, filie a wishlist bug in your file manager of choice, or implement the functionality yourself using the existing file system tools.
Choice

Last edited by descendant_command; 08-13-2013 at 02:16 AM.
 
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
I guess I'm just a grumpy old man, but, in my usage of Windows 7, I found "Libraries" to be an irritating extra layer of puffery obscuring the actual architecture of the system.

Also, as regards keyboard layouts, remember that the primary proponent of the Dvorak keyboard was Dvorak. It hasn't caught on for a reason.

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/desi...werty-keyboard
I don't mean to be rude, but this seems to happen a lot. Instead of telling me you don't like something that i do, i'd rather you tell me how to do something i've asked for help with. If you can't or won't offer a solution or alternative, why comment at all? Others are trying to help (convert) me, not put me off with comments akin to "you're doing it wrong".

Regarding Dvorak, there's many reasons it hasn't caught on. There's also many reasons Linux as a desktop OS hasn't caught on. I don't know, but i suspect i've done a lot more research into Dvorak than you have. I'd like your assistance with Linux, which presumably you have done a lot more in than i have.

Last edited by Recusant; 08-13-2013 at 02:42 AM.
 
Old 08-13-2013, 02:34 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by akakingess View Post
I am actually asking this question seriously, so please hold with the laughter til the end :-) Isn't something like "libraries" going to have to be done more on the "front end" or GUI that is installed. In other words, wouldn't it be something that might become available on KDE, but not on Unity, or vice versa? I am just curious where something like this would be done, or if it could be "faked" by Dolphin or whatever other "file managers" are out there? Sorry for all of the quotes, but I know some of my terminology may be out-dated. Thanks for any responses, and I do not intend to start a Windows vs. Linux war, but rather just figure out where would be the best place to begin looking into developing that feature (which I don't even use personally).
That makes sense.

I don't want a Linux vs Windows war either. There is a feature in Windows i really like, and i would love for that feature to be available in Linux. I.E. It is one less thing to stop me from making the switch to Linux.
 
Old 08-13-2013, 02:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by descendant_command View Post
Yes it's a file manager function (well it is the way windows uses it).
I recall Krusader has that feature, and some others may too. (virtual folders or such).

Another (lower level) way may be unionfs, but I've never really looked into it so could be way off the mark on how I think it works.

Edit: also, requesting such a feature be added to "Linux" is fundamentally misunderstanding the way the linux ecosystem works.
You can either find a file manager where it is already implemented, filie a wishlist bug in your file manager of choice, or implement the functionality yourself using the existing file system tools.
Choice
I'm not so much asking for it to be implemented. I'm saying i don't think it is and asking for direction. If it is implemented - great! Where/how? If it's not, perhaps that's another "where/how?" do i ask.

So far it seems it's not that simple to find out. I can have a look at Krusader, i have played with it in the past but didn't notice that kind of functionality. The problem with that kind of approach though is that it doesn't embed into the OS (as far as i know), so we wouldn't be able to open a 'library' from within another program's (eg 'open') dialogue box and such.

You don't need to convince me of the virtues of Linux, that is why i am here. But i am a regular user, not a programmer and there's not a lot i can do to make any vision i have a reality short of a modest donation to the right project (which i've done a few times for apps, but not yet for an OS unless Microsoft counts ).

Last edited by Recusant; 08-13-2013 at 02:44 AM.
 
Old 08-13-2013, 02:41 AM   #11
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Thank you descendant_command, that is what I thought, and to your edit comments, that is exactly why I asked the question as I didn't think it was a linux thing at all, although to the OP, this is probably as good a place as any to discuss it. Just for my own curiosity, I am going to look into the features of the file managers since I don't know them all that well (tend not to use 'em) and I will also investigate the unionfs since that is new to me also. Thanks for all of the information, sorry if I hijacked this thread, but @Rescuant, you may want to look into a few of the different file managers and such as they may have exactly what you are looking for. Good luck and have a great night!
 
Old 08-13-2013, 05:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
So far it seems it's not that simple to find out. I can have a look at Krusader, i have played with it in the past but didn't notice that kind of functionality. The problem with that kind of approach though is that it doesn't embed into the OS (as far as i know), so we wouldn't be able to open a 'library' from within another program's (eg 'open') dialogue box and such.
Your GUI is not the OS. (by the way, what DE are you using?)

Gnome uses gvfs (gnome virtual file system) and KDE uses KIO slaves to provide virtual file systems to the rest of the (respectively) gvfs and KIO enabled apps, for things like network file systems etc that don't really exist on your mounted filesystems.
IIRC the krusader vfs worked with kio, which would be exactly what you are asking for (if you use KDE). Maybe Dolphin does too (but I've never really used it much).
I also found comments implying nautilus does the same in gnome, but as I don't use either, I can't verify that easily.

Last edited by descendant_command; 08-13-2013 at 05:16 AM.
 
Old 08-13-2013, 07:22 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by akakingess View Post
Thank you descendant_command, that is what I thought, and to your edit comments, that is exactly why I asked the question as I didn't think it was a linux thing at all, although to the OP, this is probably as good a place as any to discuss it. Just for my own curiosity, I am going to look into the features of the file managers since I don't know them all that well (tend not to use 'em) and I will also investigate the unionfs since that is new to me also. Thanks for all of the information, sorry if I hijacked this thread, but @Rescuant, you may want to look into a few of the different file managers and such as they may have exactly what you are looking for. Good luck and have a great night!
I'll have to Google unionfs as i have no idea what you're talking about, did someone mention it?! :S

I don't think the file manager is quite what i'm looking for. As i mentioned, that won't (i presume) alter dialogue boxes from within other programs if i were to, for example, go file > open - would my 'library' show up there? I can play and see myself and i will install Krusader to check it out. And i'll google some others too, to see what i can find.

Hey, no probs hijacking the thread. Because it sometimes feels like i'm enjoying a conversation with people whose language i can only partially understand anything you said probably sounded perfectly applicable to me

Last edited by Recusant; 08-13-2013 at 07:30 AM.
 
Old 08-13-2013, 07:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by descendant_command View Post
Your GUI is not the OS. (by the way, what DE are you using?)

Gnome uses gvfs (gnome virtual file system) and KDE uses KIO slaves to provide virtual file systems to the rest of the (respectively) gvfs and KIO enabled apps, for things like network file systems etc that don't really exist on your mounted filesystems.
IIRC the krusader vfs worked with kio, which would be exactly what you are asking for (if you use KDE). Maybe Dolphin does too (but I've never really used it much).
I also found comments implying nautilus does the same in gnome, but as I don't use either, I can't verify that easily.
Yes, the GUI isn't the OS. I know, but didn't express myself correctly. I'm pretty new to Linux and the terminology sometimes eludes me or i forget the distinction. Thanks for pointing it out (i'm not being sarcastic). I'm presently playing with Mint XFCE. I don't think the P4 will handle KDE very well (?). Thanks for those initialisms (gvfs/kio) - i'll do some Googling to see what the hell you're talking about

Thanks everyone. I've got some stuff to research. Feel free to add some more suggestions/comments/ideas or as and when you make a perfect copy of the Windows Libraries
 
Old 08-13-2013, 07:38 AM   #15
Firerat
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the way see it the "libraries" are symlink like,

but I think it has already been mentioned, it is probably closer to some filesystem index with tagging in order to 'present' "virtual" folders.

Very little to do with the OS, more a GUI feature.

I'm sure it could be done, but who knows .. maybe it is patented
 
  


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