Friday, October 21, 2005

Stack and Piles

After all the press about Aperture and how it's not (or maybe is or will be) a Photoshop killer, the one thing that I noticed is that one of it's features is "stacking". As I understand, this is not a novel idea in the physical world - we all do this when organizing materials, but is this really the first time that it's been put into an application as a means to manage workflow? It may very well be and it may also be something interesting for an idea that was floating around for a while on the Mac Web - Piles. While Exposé and Dashboard are moving in that direction for the Main GUI - having something inside a pro level app that is focused on workflow could be a sign that something more is being developed. It could also be that stacks/piles are something that will grow as tagging has. There are many programs out there that have some manner of project management element to them (Entourage, Microsoft Project et al) but the folksonomy that is used in those applications is limited to the application (as the stack inside Aperture are). Maybe it's only time before something like Google Desktop starts being able to create custom groupings of documents, and after that it is likely that it will end up in the OS. Multiple desktops in various Linux distro are one way to get around this issue, but having multiple environments will like take a long time for people to get used to. Spotlight can be used as a cludge for this as well if the user is willing to provide the appropriate metadata for the files that are involved. What would this mean for computer users? Just like all the ideas that Web2.0 is about "pulling" information, having pile/stacks will help people take control of their computers as they have been able to start taking control of the information out there on the web. Having just helped a number of people try to organize their files (and some of those included masses of photos), something like this will certainly be welcome for many people, though I think the Millennials will already be using other tricks to do the same thing. Office 12 may be the app that helps this cause more than any other with it's WYGIWYS "What You Get Is What You See" interface (take a look at this article). Technorati Tags: , ,