WinFS discussion

I followed the trail from Simon Fell’s post questioning WinFS then followed it to Robert Scoble’s response and then Dare Obasanjo’s response to that as well as a bunch of discussion in his comments. And I wanted to add my 2 cents.

I agree with Dare that Microsoft keeps using the “organizing my pictures“ example and that is not satisfying. And I smile at his reference to Hailstorm. Hailstorm terrified me. It was the reason I spent 3 months playing with JBuilder before I came crawling back to .NET. I saw Hailstorm as some kind of James Bond movie plot to take over the world. But I digress. Back to WinFS.

From a very narrow view, here is an example of what I am hoping for:

In Outlook I have appointments, emails and notes. I would like to be able to see all notes emails and appointments that are related. Naturally, in a folder oriented world, I wanted to be able to drag my notes into the same folders where my emails are organized. I can’t. When Outlook 2003 came out it was the first thing I looked for. (Maybe it’s there and I haven’t found it yet… Kase??) Of course there are CATEGORIES that I could use – but as everyone is pointing out as a big issue with WinFS – I don’t want to use them! It’s too much work. I can’t categorize a folder so I would have to categorize every email that is of interested. No thanks. I just want to drag my note into the darned email folder and be finished.

Somehow, I have this idea (is this a fantasy?) that WinFS will make this easier (or enable programmers to make this easier for end-users), i can “categorize/meta tag“ my stuff with the ease of dragging and dropping into a folder and stuff can be emails, outlook notes, some documents, blog posts, etc.

That’s what I got excited about when I saw WinFS at PDC. Of course, I didn’t stop and think about how I was going to get lazy (well, busy) me to do whatever is necessary (creating the meta tags) to make all of this work.

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