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Rikard Linde

Feel the same way as you Steven, cool indeed. My guess is that a universal undo command would be a better user interface than this fly-thru-space-thing though.
The Time Machine interface is based on the new Core Animation engine:

http://www.apple.com/macosx/leopard/coreanimation.html

which should get some developers active and happy.

Alan Jacobs

My first thought when I looked at that video: David Gelernter is either really pleased or really pissed right now.

I wonder if (a) Apple is going to be watching how people respond to Time Machine to discover whether it could provide a new metaphor for file management -- after all, the Finder still sucks -- and (b) whether developers might use these technologies in order to provide file-management alternatives of their own.

EthanZ

If I'm remembering a Gelernter demo from about a decade ago, Lifestreams was significantly more pervasive than what Jobs showed today. It kept track of every single page you visited on the web, as well as every file you'd altered. You couldn't delete files, because that broke the paradigm. It was a fascinating model for a filesystem, if extremely expensive in terms of disk space.

I guess I'm in the camp of folks largely unimpressed by the Leopard demo. From what I'm able to learn about it, it sounds much more like a slightly cooler backup system than a desktop replacement, which was what Lifestreams was...

carton

Time Machine Computing from 1999:
http://www.csl.sony.co.jp/person/rekimoto/tmc/

Although the interface looks different, the basic concept is almost identical to Apple's Time Machine. A simplified version was shipped on a VAIO laptop!

Karim

I think Google's Picasa has a similar feature for digital images. In one view you can have pictures sorted by time and then shift up and down your own history.

Too bad its Windows only.

Chinarut

woo hoo! nice to see like-minded peeps who thought of Gelernter as well!

Given they demoed "versioning" of non-file based objects like an Address Book card, this is a good step in the right direction.

I'm wondering if there are any conversations with the ClearCase folks as they've been king of dealing the with version-file system for quite some time with their implementations of VOBs and views.

I've always wanted to snatch ClearCase for research purposes to implement something like Time Machine so I'm glad it's in someone else's court :)

nice to explore the roots of what I believe is an impressive feature - a file is such a basic primitive to play with!

someone with a developer preview want to comment how changes in directory structure and/or symlinks are dealt with?

Jay Gordon

I think the general approach is brilliant, if not totally original (as others have pointed out). It applies the elegance and ass-saving potention of Windows' "System Restore" function to your entire computing experience over time. As with many of Apple's software innovations, it has extra fluff I would abolish immediately if I could (I've been "abolishing" this stuff since System 6 or so). But the dynamic, almost "logarithmic" timeline slider, the quick views of prior versions of folders-- that's good stuff.

The chief benefit I can see is when you can't remember enough about a file name to search for it (and, btw, I use EasyFind, not Spotlight)-- cognitively, the visual information about "where" the things was and roughly what it looked like is often more salient than specific alphanumeric information such as files names. Plus, you need only rough visual cues, not precise recall, to "hit" the thing you're seeking.

I would only ask for the ability to simplify this (akin to killing the Dock's stupid animation effects).

- Jat

Jay Gordon

Er, I gotta use "Preview" more seriously... I actually do understand English pluralization, and the name is "Jay."

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