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spatial, in my case?
7 messages
Jeff Fortin Thu, Jan 13, 2005 at 12:52 PM
Reply-To: Jeff Fortin
To: Christian Paratschek
Hi Chris,

I have read (and I'm now reading again) your article on the spatial nautilus, because <shortened_explanation> I can't stand windows anymore </shortened_explanation> and I'll be using Ubuntu (with gnome of course ^^) soon enough. However, even if I'm amazed at the concept of spatial gnome, I wonder if this can be applied to my system. Note that you are free to answer me or not on this issue (may be a nice add to your article?), but I'd at least expect a reply if you are too busy to handle my question ;) First off, my system has 7 (yes, seven) partitions. (see attached picture no1) Here's a quick view on their content (if you ever want to study them in detail, feel free to ask and I shall provide you deeper views of the file hierarchy).
  • backup serv = dedicated to backuping my server through samba (I'll have to find another way now I guess..)
  • vidéos = video files, mostly short films, a few trailers and tutorials
  • backup 1 = for all backup needs, from any machine, or even the server if I exceed the other partition. Looks like I could merge those two partitions (I'm actually planning to do it)
  • mantis = dedicated to temporarily storing downloaded files, but is also the permanent storage place for my drawings (and other artists')
  • projets = holds my projects, including my (rare) articles/notes, Flash™ files (I don't flash anymore, these could be considered as archives, they were stripped to
  • 800mb), a "junk" folder, my design folder (for all PSP, photoshop, gimp files), a photography folder for my hobby-taken pictures (currently eating 750mb, and constantly growing). It also holds a special folder containing my "toolbox", this is basically a folder where all my program installers are held, and the folder is often burned to recordable media. Previously fitting in 1-2 cd, it now needs a DVD support, since it's 2.65gB heavy.
  • montage = originally dedicated to video editing (it still is), but holds a few distros isos, and is also used as a temporary "huge-file-storage-place", such as downloads (in fact, bittorrent downloads go there directly).

  • backup serv has 6 folders to backup the server, inside of which are about 1500 folders (I don't actually browse so many).
  • vidéos has some video files in its root, and a set of folders to sort all this: anime, funny, trailers, videoclips, short films, games, and a "to sort and burn" folder. This is mostly okay, since there is only 1 level in each folder.
  • backup 1 is quite messy, as shown in picture 2
  • mantis is quite special, as I said before, it contains downloads and drawings. (picture 3)
  • projects is quite diversified too. Its structure is best explained by picture 4 ;)
  • montage ... wow looks like I'm tired now, I'm not really describing anything anymore. Anyways, nothing special here. I realized everything is within a 3levels range.
  • principal: well, that's the windows partition.. can't possibly imagine a clean partition here, can we? =) Hmm, looks like I don't really have anything left to say (or my memory is again making fun out of me). If I find something else to add, maybe I'll send another mail.

This is quite a resumé of my files' organisation, I didn't really want to go in detail, especially if you were not really interested in replying :P. I would like to have some
advice about my partitionning in general, and if you got some better ideas to make it "work within 1-3 levels of folders", without having my desktop filled to death with 400 folders.

Thank you for reading all this !
I really enjoy your articles, hope to see more (and you made me discover a new css trick too!)

Jeff, aka Kiddo
ecchi.ca


Christian Paratschek Thu, Jan 13, 2005 at 11:48 PM
To: Jeff Fortin
hi jeff!

very interesting setup you have here... just one question: why do have so many partitions? i don't see a reason why you have a single partition for videos, one for your projects, one for software, etc. why not just put all these on one partition in different folders? i don't see the advantage in having a "toolbox" partition on your hard drive over having a "toolbox" folder on your single data partition, next to a "video" folder, etc. however, it makes sense to use a different partition (even better, a different hard drive!) for backup. this way, you don't lose files if your partition goes the way of the dodo bird. or, if you back up to a completely different drive, you even "survive" a complete hard drive crash.

a quick count tells me that you have something around 85 gb of data (including backups). that's a lot. nevertheless, you can put all this on one modern hard drive and sort it in less than 10 different folders. you'll need "music", "video", "documents", "software" (or "toolbox"), and some more.

take my music files as an example.

i got 1400 mp3 files. there's a folder called "music" with 350 subfolders for each artist. nothing more. i could easily have 5 times more music files and it would still not be a big problem. same goes for video. my "software"-folder has one level of subfolders, named after the program name. i could even scratch that because almost all the installers i have are single files that could easily live in the "software"-folder next to each other. i found it difficult to do this kind of simplification for my websites.
i do have a "web"-folder, with one level of subfolders for each project. but there's often another 1-3 levels of folders because the actual project was designed this way (i manage some sites that i did not design in the first place). so, here i still do have some problems with spatial.

simple solution: i added a shortcut to nautilus into my menubar that opens nautilus in --browser mode. i use it whenever i need to do a
"voyage" deep into a file hierarchy, i use nautilus explorer-like. but i only do this like... once a month or so... i put all my folders directly on my desktop, so they are right there under my mousepointer when i need them (remember: treat your files like real objects. opening a document from your desktop should not be any different than picking up a sheet of paper that sits on your -real-life- desk). you could also just use nautilus in browser mode, there's nothing wrong with this. the gnome-team just defaulted to spatial because they thought it's easier for computer novices.

so, to sum up: i'd clear up some of the mess and put everything on one partition (except when you have a real reason to seperate files, for example your backup should live on a different drive). i use a usb 2.0 hard drive for backup nowadays. super cool. plug in, synchronize, unmount, plug off. makes my data portable and safe.

experiment a little with your file hierarchy, maybe you can make it simpler and more efficient.
but if you feel comfortable the way you handle your stuff, who am i to tell you to change it? *g*

best regards,
christian

Jeff Fortin Fri, Jan 14, 2005 at 12:40 AM
Reply-To: Jeff Fortin
To: Christian Paratschek
Well, I thought partitionning as such would help me be better. It did help I think, and I also wanted to make some kind of "quota" concept by using the partitions. Having 15gb allocated to videos, I would know when I have too much and need to burn some to clear space, for example. All this partitionning was on a 120gb internal hard drive (so you can have an idea)

Okay, for the next few mins I'll open a new OOo text file and write down what I could do with these folders :)

/home/jeff/Desktop
  • music {soundtracks, albums, misc} there was a jpop folder, whose contents should be merged with normal albums. I prefer to make a distinction between soundtracks, and pop music, since I soundtracks are often instrumental, and anyways, it's easier to dig for a good track for a homemade video then ;)
  • videos {short films, films, trailers, funny, anime, etc} there was a « to sort » folder, it should be merged as part of a new global sorting folder
  • video editing
  • backup (a mount of an external 200gb if I can trip on one in the street ;) by the way, how do you synchronise? Does it do like the windows « briefcase »?
  • downloads and isos
  • sorting (throw urls, throw pictures, throw ANYTHING! Like the gnome 2.10 trash can ;) this should be the new and only global sorting folder.
  • software {kiddo's toolbox, RPMs, tarballs, to-be-run-with-wine?}
  • projects (this is for « complete » projects, needing large amounts of miscellaneous data, including text, html, photoshop files, music, anything. Already as is)
  • design. This was already organized as follows: 1level folders for important projects, such as my server, grouping every design file related to it, AND a folder named « demandes » (requests) which contains a 2nd level of folders, named after the name of the client, and files are then stored inside these folders.
  • Text: this should replace what was in my documents, as shown in my picture #5 this time. This place is a REAL mess, I need to think it out again. JDLM and Maisonneuve are school works. I should also merge « ecrit par kiddo » from the projects drive into this folder.

So here are my first ideas written down, if you see a way to make it even more simple, I'm all ears ;) hey... that is already a bit better than before! *counts* 10 folders on my desktop! If I throw everything in my sorting folder (and actually sort it someday!) there wouldn't even be any desktop cluttering at all !

Having a browser-nautilus shortcut is a good idea, but how do you do it? « nautilus --browser » ? I prefer to at least ''try'' the spatial mode for some time (anyways, it's making me organise my files a bit cleaner), and I really like the absolute-cleanness look that it gives. Hmm, this looks better in OOo, I'll attach it to the message if you prefer it to text formatting ;)

Thanks for your quick reply!
Jeff

Christian Paratschek Fri, Jan 14, 2005 at 3:17 AM
To: Jeff Fortin
hi jeff!

well, as i said before, go with whatever you are comfortable. i wrote my article on this topic, so you already know most of what i did. it's probably good that you clean up your directories (most of the people i know should do this far more often!). my structure at the moment looks like this:

i have my data partition mounted as
/home/christian/Desktop

there i got 9 folders:
  • documents
  • photos
  • music
  • video
  • tools
  • web
  • mail
  • software
  • aktuell

  • software has 34 folders, mostly windows binaries
  • mail is the place where thunderbird stores my mail
  • photos (you guessed it, no?) for digital photos, 1 sublevel folders
  • music (as described before, 1 folder per band). not much searching for me here because i added the id3tag information to all these files (i love my music library, it's one of my favourite hobbies *g*)
  • video (1 level of subfolders)
  • tools (ugh, random stuff like fonts. don't know if i keep this one)
  • web for my web projects, as described before, a little problematic...
  • documents for all my bookkeeping, my scientific work, etc.
  • "aktuell" (german for "current"), for new and unsorted stuff. i try to keep this as small as possible and move files out of it and into their respective folders as soon as possible. i also use it for current projects.

so, you see, really not much magic. altogether i have 6300 files amlunting to around 12 gb (plus some cds of stuff that i archived long ago and that i really don't need everyday). i usually delete everything that i do not want to keep permanently so i'm in no real danger to get overwhelmed by my data (contrary to a lot of "collectors" i know who just can't delete any file from their hard drive... very bad habit if you ask me, hehe)

"nautilus --browser" is correct. use it. navigational file browsing can be very helpful sometimes :-)
my backup method is very cool, inspired by an article that i read a few months ago... ...searching... here: http://www.linux.com/article.pl?sid=04/09/15/1931240

#!/bin/bash
rsync --archive --delete --delete-excluded --progress
/home/christian/Desktop/ /media/USB_ext3/

to answer your question regarding waiting for new software versions: well, i did that too. when i used windows, i was a real update junkie. but you know, it got boring someday. who cares if you run firefox 0.93 or 1.0pre or 1.0. or openoffice 1.1.3 or 1.1.4. nowadays i just use the stuff, most of it works very reliably. distribution makers can't really solve this issue. people want software on the day it gets released and they want it tested too. that simply can't work.

in ubuntu it should be possible (and officially supported) to update from one to the next version via apt-get, yes. let's just wait and see how good it really works, but it should be not a problem. there is a partitioning utility in the debian installer (the one ubuntu uses). you really can't miss normally. should be at the beginning of the
install just ofter hardware detection. be sure that you know what you are doing, ok? *g* so, go ahead and dive into your linux adventure. but be sure to backup
your data before :-)
[Quoted text hidden]

Jeff Fortin Fri, Jan 14, 2005 at 5:49 AM
Reply-To: Jeff Fortin
To: Christian Paratschek
Whew, thanks again for being so patient, you're pretty good at explaining ;) Again, I'll reply inline, so here goes. why do you keep your mails on your desktop, may I ask? You are viewing them "out of the bird" ?... Oh maybe that's just for backup reasons I guess. Oh, and I had guessed about aktuell, since this is the same as the word "actuel" in French... in fact, it exists in English as actual too ^^

> (contrary to a lot of "collectors" i know who just can't delete any file from their hard drive... very bad habit if you ask me, hehe)
Heheh, a friend of mine was wondering WTH did his free space go... Then he opened his recycle bin to discover a few gigabytes of data waiting to be erased... XD.

> "nautilus --browser" is correct. use it. navigational file browsing can be very helpful sometimes :-)
Thanks for the quick hint, I'll be mapping this to windowskey+e ;) rsync is really making me think of the windows briefcase, that's exactly what I wanted, a synchronizing script ;) thanks to you, I'll be able to backup my server waay easier now that I understand rsync a little. I'll be definitely reading this article too.

> to answer your question regarding waiting for new software versions: well, i did that too. when i used windows, i was a real update junkie. But you know, it got boring someday. who cares if you run firefox 0.93 or 1.0pre or 1.0. or openoffice 1.1.3 or 1.1.4. nowadays i just use the stuff, most of it works very reliably. distribution makers can't really solve this issue. people want software on the day it gets released and they want it tested too. that simply can't work. Well, I am not really addicted to upgrading (as my "recycle bin" friend is), I still have photoshop 7 and an old emule version, but when I need something important, I'll go and fetch it. That's what's happening for OOo. I'm running the open office 2 beta, I just can't stand ugly programs :P But I absolutely agree, and I'm somewhat annoyed by the fact Ubuntu features a 6 months release cycle. That's VERY quick! Well, it gives me a better feeling than Fedora, but still... All this distribution thingy (and things move faster and faster nowadays!) is giving me headaches, always waiting the next gnome, the next openoffice, the next whatever ;) there's always some "annoying bugs" that "will be fixed in the next major release".

> in ubuntu it should be possible (and officially supported) to update from one to the next version via apt-get, yes. let's just wait and see how good it really works, but it should be not a problem.
I hope, too ! ;) it's a bit frustrating to have to do all the extensive tweaking again if we do fresh installs all the time.
> there is a partitioning utility in the debian installer (the one ubuntu uses). you really can't miss normally. should be at the beginning of the install just ofter hardware detection. be sure that you know what you are doing, ok? *g*
Okay, just wanted to make sure, so I'll be checking out in my install (if I ever install it someday, there always seem to "spawn" new tasks
to do before I switch... :), anyways I didn't plan to install carelessly with so much data ;) maybe I should get that hard drive before...

Thanks again, I'll be looking from time to time if you have some new writings too :)