Information Architecture Interaction Interface Meta-data Misc.


(For example,) we wanted a flat filesystem, where you wouldn’t put your files in directories, but you would tag them with keywords, and instead of saying “Open this directory,” you’d say “Open all my email and send it to this person.” In the end we realized that directories are nice and the industry has been using directories for a long time, so it’s almost intuitive. We do have database features in the filesystem, but they’re not as extreme as we first thought.

Cyril Meurillon, Senior Kernel Engineer for the BeOS circa 1998

You can learn more about the BeOS Bible at the publisher’s page.

NetPositive, the default browser for the BeOS, allowed users to attach keywords to bookmarks and create dynamic groupings (Smart Bookmark Folders, essentially) based on these and other metadata such as the title and URL.

By Daniel J. Wilson

I am a designer, drummer, and photographer in Brooklyn, NY.

1 reply on “BeTagged”

As someone who used (and loved!) BeOS, I can fairly state this:

It crapped all over MacOS X in terms of performance, and ease of use.

I’m talking specifically about live queries. They make Spotlight look like Windows File Search. Instant, or very close (even with 1000 results) display. Powerful, yet simple access to the query engine.

Some other great things about BeOS were: individual email messages, meaning the filesystem could index them; mime types as file type indicators (very cool); amazingly fast bootup time; fast graphics.

I used to use BeOS on an old 8600/250 PowerPC, and it was faster in every sense than my iMac G4 1.25. I also had it installed on my Dell machine (before it crapped itself, and I installed Windows XP Pro, and haven’t installed a replacement bootloader, so I can’t get to the BeOS partition!).

MacOS X is coming closer to BeOS, but it still ain’t there yet!

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