In the Future, There Will Be No Files

That's right. In the future, there will be no files. Why? Because files are an arbitrary construction that is an artifact of computers. Here's a small list of the problems with files:

  1. You have to keep track of where they are.
  2. You have to worry about backing them up and storing them.
  3. You have to make sure they are in the right place.

All of these reasons serve to create a great barrier to people when they are dealing with computers. Only people who understand files can be any good at using a computer. This is a shame because it creates an arbitrary barrier to entry for computers that doesn't need to be there are at all.

So far people have been focusing on number 2. There are lots of home backup products on the market, and even more websites are starting to get into the business of backing up your files. When a website backups of your files they are also starting to take care of 1. implicitly.

Eventually someone is going to take care of all of these things on one platform, and people will never care about files again. Here is my list of use cases that will tell me that files are dead.

published 2007-05-02

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