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paul moore
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This is an interesting subject as I've spent the last 13 years in the content management field and this is exactly what we do. Filesystems do what you describe anyways, they have an object and they map it down to the actual physical storage layer and then give a user interface to that information. The old BeOS in the early 90's had alot of these ideas within in it, the ability to add metadata to a file and then be able to search on that metadata. The key to all of this which I believe somebody stated, is how do you automate the gathering and applying of the metadata to the "file". This is what we are doing in the content management field, and it's the highest cost of storing information. A file is nothing more than the encapsulation of information irregardless of what form it is in. It does no good until something either a process or a human takes that information and renders against it. The current filesystem is the fastest way for somebody to "organize" information. I'm not saying it's the best, or doesn't have it's limitations. And organization and searching are two different things. I agree that you can't take legacy code, except for one paradigm that I've seen and that is taking the metadata and creating file structures, that present via file system such as WebDav. This can allow a single object to show up in multiple places in the filesystem hierarchy.