But, what if Tinderbox could surrender all of those functions up to TextEdit and MS Word and other desktop apps? What if all of the â€˜notesâ€™ in a Tinderbox document were just documents and files, and all of the relationships managed by Tinderbox (ie. spatial, links, aliased) were just encoded as extended attributes?
In this scenario, the file system is the Tinderbox document. Donâ€™t want to use your whole hard drive? Make a new disk image and compartmentalize things. Tinderbox could become the worldâ€™s most revolutionary Finder rethink ever invented. And the thing is, I can see all of this being enabled by Spotlight and extended attributes.
Spotlight is close, but not quite. Spotlight doesn’t treat hits as objects. One can’t right click and manipulate the files through spotlight. For example, try renaming the file. Also, it’s an annoyance that one can’t “go to this file’s location” instead of having to open finder and go there manually or open the file.
It’s getting close, but it’s not there yet. When the file system is more like a real database and the metadata magic reaches the kind of level imagined in Siracusa’s articles, then that will sure be something. Spotlight, iTunes are glimspes of the future … and system-level, pervasive access to the kind of services provided by Tinderbox, DevonThink and the rest are there. It’s ready to burst out and change everything … but it’s being held back.
Mac OS X would be to other operating systems as wiki is to the web, perhaps?