[tahoe-dev] barriers to using tahoe

James A. Donald jamesd at echeque.com
Thu Feb 4 23:27:41 UTC 2010

Jody Harris wrote:
> You use bookmarks because you understand that the system does not offer you
> another way of keeping track of files created through the WUI. As a new
> initiate to Tahoe, I am viewing Tahoe as a file repository. I put something
> in. I come back later to get something out. When I make a deposit in a bank,
> I don't have to keep the transaction number in order to withdraw that money
> later. When I put milk in a glass, I don't have to use a unique, randomly
> generated key to get it back out. When I put a file on my hard drive, I go
> back to where I stored it to get it back.
> For most users, bookmarks are a work-around (for something they will see as
> badly broken), not an interface.

When people put a file into Tahoe, they should perceive it, it should be 
presented to them, as putting a file into a petname (such as a bookmark 
or bookmarked web page), not into a globally unique identifier.

> "You mean I have to TYPE stuff in the DOS window? Oooooo! Yuck!"

> Users expect a / directory in a filesystem. Tahoe isn't a filesystem, but it
> does things a filesystem does (store and retrieve files). They expect to
> interact with it like a filesystem because they see it as a filesystem.

Tahoe is an arbitrary graph.  A filesystem is a graph that is *almost* a 

To deviate from user expectations is a bug.  To meet user expectations, 
Tahoe has to recognize and treat specially a subset of links that form a 
tree for that user, and ordinarily, the great majority, the great 
majority of links that the user has, and the great majority of links the 
user deals with, should be links in this subset.

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