In an ideal world, we’d have a “Google File System” right now which would have journaling and even versioning built in, no need for folders and we’d just label files. I believe this is still far to happen.
My question here is: how to get as close to that world as possible, today?
Also, can we do it on a mac and keep dropbox ok with it?
Let me give an example… I was applying to many universities and had many files in common between them, including my own document IDs, most of which are files I already save in a dropbox folder. I wanted to group them within a folder for each application, since they all have different files as well.
The common way to do this today is copying the files. This is quite bad, because it will generate many duplicated files. Let’s say I want to update one of them, I have to replicate everything, supposing I remember where is each copy. Copying files make sense when you do want differences among them, you want to make a new version. Not just to organize in folders.
For that there exists hardlinks and related stuff such as alias. Both are problematic. hardlinks break too easily, alias are too big. 2mb for a file that is actually 100kb. Also, when copying either into a pen drive, for instance, it copies the “link” instead of the actual file data and then it will break.
Alias also doesn’t work with dropbox, which is my common way to backup most important files (I also have crashplan and time machine). While hardlinks will remove space quota from my account.
I actually think there’s just no answer to this. But whatever happens, collectively, will be a good enough answer to me!