mnot’s blog

Design depends largely on constraints.” — Charles Eames

Sunday, 18 July 2004

Web-izing The Finder

Filed under: Mac Web

Timbl has talked about Web-izing databasesand languages; what about operating systems? Despite Microsoft’s legal troubles brought about trying to integrate the browser into Windows, it’s a good idea.

Here’s one for the LazyWeb: create a Mac OS X Contextual Menu plug-in with a very simple function — “Copy URL.” When used on a file or folder that’s served by the built-in Web server (e.g., in /Library/WebServer/Documents/ or ~/Sites), it should place the appropriate HTTP URL on the clipboard.

For bonus points, it could give the option (in a sub-menu?) to copy SMB, FTP and AFP URLs as appropriate, sort of like CopyPath does, except for the Web.

This should be easy, but I’m not enough of a Mac programmer (yet). A good place to start might be Abracode’s CMWorkshop.


Karl Dubost said:

Lazy lazy… :) agreed.

My dreams for the Desktop on the mac. Any file type, and I have said any file type, included directory should be easily commentable by a contextual menu.

What does that mean?

I have digital pictures in a folder for example. I decide to click on the folder, the menu could propose:

  • do you want to add metadata to the folder?
  • do you want to add metadata to all files in this directory?

For example, you could say: Title: Joe’s Party Location: Shibuya, Tokyo

If you go in the directory, you could complete the individual information. You select one of the pictures, and you add metadata, like for example:

Title: Joe and Anna dancing in the green room.

You don’t need to add Location because it’s already inherited, though you have the possibility to redefine it locally. The program will also associate all kind of metadata included in the picture already, like EXIF, IPTC, RDFPic, etc if any.

Let’s continue a bit…

You have an html file in a directory, which is information about Shibuya, some notes you have taken, the day before the party. The file has a date, if it doesn’t have in the header, you can again say add metadata. And it will propose again to add data.

Author, Title, date, whatever. It will be added to the database and you can have an option which says, add this metadata to the html file.

The menu cand also proposes you to… “Publish this HTML file in this directory or on this Web site” (Here you add the possibility to configure before).

All these data can be RDF and you don’t have to know they are, like XMP in Adobe Products which are RDF, but nobody knows.

After with SpotLight, you could research on your desktop:

Shibuya Tokyo July 2004

and it will give you the pictures and the html files and maybe it will see also that Joe has an Addressbook entry and it will proposes also the data about it.

So much could be done on the desktop with an easy to use interface. I have on my computer 14000 digital pictures and no effective way to add metadata. The same for HTML files, texts, programs, etc.

Sunday, July 18 2004 at 6:07 AM

karl said:

Related to our discussion

Tuesday, July 27 2004 at 9:16 AM

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