March 18, 2006
Originally published on theploneblog.org
Do not try to bend the folder — that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth. Then you will see that it is not the folder that bends–it is only yourself.
A recent paper by Clay Shirky, entitled Ontology is Overrated: Categories, Links, and Tags directly challenges the desktop metaphor which currently underlies much of Plone’s UI. To be sure, it is certainly possible to model the connections that Shirky describes using topics, smart folders, and a disciplined use of keywords, but the metaphor is critical for designing and intuitive system, all the way down to the icon.
I have recently been working a bit with Drupal, and their handling of this problem is worth checking out. The core taxonomy module, combined with its corresponding menuing systems (menu, sitemenu, taxonomy menu) provide a great deal of flexibility in this regard.
Organization is going organic.