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Vista's replacement for My Documents

 
 
Adam Albright
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      03-19-2007
On Sun, 18 Mar 2007 22:33:50 -0500, Austin Ehlers
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>On Sun, 18 Mar 2007 21:04:20 -0400, "Richard Urban"
><(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>>If you do not want the default Windows folders in My Documents, design
>>another operating system and do as you wish with it. An O/S has to start
>>somewhere and that is where Microsoft has chosen to have these things. They
>>also "strongly" encourage the software manufacturers to go along with this
>>scheme. The majority have.

>
>No, these are bad programs. Only things *directly* created by the
>user belong in the Documents folder. Everything else belongs in
>either User\AppData\Local\, User\AppData\Roaming, or c:\programdata.
>
>Austin


Really? Why would you say that? I got over 1 TB worth of data files
and NONE of them are on my root drive in any default 'Documents
folder' for one very simple reason. There's not enough room. So I have
all my appliations put my data elsewhere on my drives E, F, G, H, and
X, Y, Z.


 
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Homer J. Simpson
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      03-19-2007
> If you do not want the default Windows folders in My Documents, design
> another operating system and do as you wish with it.

[...]
> Richard Urban MVP
> Microsoft Windows Shell/User


Y'know, I always make a concerted effort not to further the common belief
that all MVPs have a bit of an attitude, but you guys are doing such a fine
job doing it yourselves. Best we ignore that and move on to the matter at
hand.

It all boils down to this:

My problem: Unwanted application files in the user's personal folders.
My solution: Don't design an OS so it invites third-party applications to
mess with the user's personal folders to begin with.

With statements like "the OS has to start somewhere", it sounds to me like
you're under the impression that it's always been that way. I can't help
but believe that you haven't been involved in this industry for very long.
If you were, you'd remember that none of the pre-9x Windows versions tried
to force any particular personal file management scheme on the users, and we
all somehow managed to keep ourselves organized. It all started going
downhill when the shell tried to be smarter than the user, and introduced
these "conveniences" that were ripe for abuse. It's self-defeating, really.


 
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Richard Urban
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      03-19-2007
I have NEVER EVER found application files in the My Documents folder. They
should NEVER go there. It some application is, in fact placing it's program
files there, it is a real crappy program. Since Windows 95 My Documents has
been for documents that a program "creates". Any program that you install
should place user created documents in this folder by default.

If a program does otherwise, and places user created documents elsewhere,
the program is not following accepted protocol!

A user may be able to change where these user created documents are stored,
on a program by program basis - IF the program has that option in it's
preferences section. If it does not, the default should be My Documents.

Many programs will create a sub directory within My Documents for user
created files. It makes it easier for the user to find specific files by
program.

Other than the fact that YOU can't do what YOU want, I see nothing wrong -
or incorrect - with the way Microsoft has set up their methodology since
Windows 95.

Sorry if you are not happy. If you can't live with the situation, change the
situation. I sure can't.

--


Regards,

Richard Urban MVP
Microsoft Windows Shell/User


"Homer J. Simpson" <root@127.0.0.1> wrote in message
news:%(E-Mail Removed)...
>> If you do not want the default Windows folders in My Documents, design
>> another operating system and do as you wish with it.

> [...]
>> Richard Urban MVP
>> Microsoft Windows Shell/User

>
> Y'know, I always make a concerted effort not to further the common belief
> that all MVPs have a bit of an attitude, but you guys are doing such a
> fine job doing it yourselves. Best we ignore that and move on to the
> matter at hand.
>
> It all boils down to this:
>
> My problem: Unwanted application files in the user's personal folders.
> My solution: Don't design an OS so it invites third-party applications to
> mess with the user's personal folders to begin with.
>
> With statements like "the OS has to start somewhere", it sounds to me like
> you're under the impression that it's always been that way. I can't help
> but believe that you haven't been involved in this industry for very long.
> If you were, you'd remember that none of the pre-9x Windows versions tried
> to force any particular personal file management scheme on the users, and
> we all somehow managed to keep ourselves organized. It all started going
> downhill when the shell tried to be smarter than the user, and introduced
> these "conveniences" that were ripe for abuse. It's self-defeating,
> really.
>
>


 
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Richard Urban
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-19-2007
I have 72 directories/folders within My Documents. For the most part, these
directories are created by various programs I have installed, and are
initially empty.

An example of the above is: Paint Shop Pro 9 creates about 15 empty folders
where various custom effects that "you" create are stored for later use.

I have only two folders that I feel shouldn't be there. They are:

Windows Media Player 9 - Fun Packs - store executive files in My
Documents/Creativity Fun Packs. This is a major violation of the accepted
protocols and the violator is Microsoft themselves.

I installed a contractor estimating program a few years ago. This placed all
the program template files (over 1000) in My Documents. These should have
been in the programs folder. It was a crappy program to begin with.

Other than that, everything is as it should be in my estimation. I have
hundreds of folders and subfolders that are empty - until I create and save
a file using a particular program. Then the file is saved to the particular
folder within My Documents that has been hard coded into the program.

Anything that I create, using any program on my computer, is included in a
backup of My Documents. I like it. I exclude folders that I don't want
backed up. Any decent backup program will allow you to do such.

The backup program that comes with Vista is sub optimal, in my opinion.



--


Regards,

Richard Urban MVP
Microsoft Windows Shell/User


"Homer J. Simpson" <root@127.0.0.1> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>> I have NEVER EVER found application files in the My Documents folder.They
>> should NEVER go there. It some application is, in fact placing it's
>> program files there, it is a real crappy program.

>
> YES! That's the problem I have with the whole system. It's being abused,
> even by MS's own tools: Visual Studio 2005 puts a bunch of files and
> folders there without asking me during installation. These files are
> static and will get recreated anyway if your system gets hosed and you
> have to reinstall the OS and the program. So why lump these static files
> in my personal data file folder?
>
> SQL Server 2005 does that too. I've already mentioned Acrobat Reader's
> 'updater5' folder, and some game folders. I currently also have another
> "My Web Sites" folder (not too sure which application created it, probably
> VS2005 again).
>
> If I wanted to use My Documents as my sole repository for regular backups
> (and I'd love to), I would have to rifle through it every single time to
> get rid of files/folder I haven't created (or want) and are just wasting
> additional space needed for my backup set. Actually, given that some of
> these are program settings, if I do delete some of these files, some
> programs might stop working entirely (makes sense, it's not terribly wise
> to delete program setting files--in the best case scenario the program
> will revert to defaults/recreate the files). So instead I have to build
> an exclusion list.
>
>> Since Windows 95 My Documents has been for documents that a program
>> "creates". Any program that you install should place user created
>> documents in this folder by default.

>
> Yes. But things like application settings aren't "user-created
> documents". Static template files that are created automatically when you
> install a program aren't "user-created documents".
>
>> If a program does otherwise, and places user created documents elsewhere,
>> the program is not following accepted protocol!

>
> That, I don't have a problem with--nowadays most programs do stick with
> putting documents under My Documents. The problem is that they put a lot
> more in there than really belongs. I suspect %APPDATA% was created for
> that reason, and I *really* wish more programs would use it instead of My
> Documents.
>
>> A user may be able to change where these user created documents are
>> stored, on a program by program basis - IF the program has that option in
>> it's preferences section. If it does not, the default should be My
>> Documents.

>
> Again, I have no problem with that. It's the other "non-user created
> document" files that I don't want to see there.
>
>> Many programs will create a sub directory within My Documents for user
>> created files. It makes it easier for the user to find specific files by
>> program.

>
> I have no problem with that either.
>
>> Other than the fact that YOU can't do what YOU want, I see nothing
>> wrong - or incorrect - with the way Microsoft has set up their
>> methodology since Windows 95.
>>
>> Sorry if you are not happy. If you can't live with the situation, change
>> the situation. I sure can't.

>
> Look, ultimately I don't have a problem with the concept of having a My
> Documents folder. All I have a problem with is that there are way too
> many programs out there that abuse it, and there are already other folders
> that have been introduced for that purpose--which a lot of application
> developers choose to ignore.
>
>


 
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Homer J. Simpson
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-19-2007
> I have NEVER EVER found application files in the My Documents folder.They
> should NEVER go there. It some application is, in fact placing it's
> program files there, it is a real crappy program.


YES! That's the problem I have with the whole system. It's being abused,
even by MS's own tools: Visual Studio 2005 puts a bunch of files and
folders there without asking me during installation. These files are static
and will get recreated anyway if your system gets hosed and you have to
reinstall the OS and the program. So why lump these static files in my
personal data file folder?

SQL Server 2005 does that too. I've already mentioned Acrobat Reader's
'updater5' folder, and some game folders. I currently also have another "My
Web Sites" folder (not too sure which application created it, probably
VS2005 again).

If I wanted to use My Documents as my sole repository for regular backups
(and I'd love to), I would have to rifle through it every single time to get
rid of files/folder I haven't created (or want) and are just wasting
additional space needed for my backup set. Actually, given that some of
these are program settings, if I do delete some of these files, some
programs might stop working entirely (makes sense, it's not terribly wise to
delete program setting files--in the best case scenario the program will
revert to defaults/recreate the files). So instead I have to build an
exclusion list.

> Since Windows 95 My Documents has been for documents that a program
> "creates". Any program that you install should place user created
> documents in this folder by default.


Yes. But things like application settings aren't "user-created documents".
Static template files that are created automatically when you install a
program aren't "user-created documents".

> If a program does otherwise, and places user created documents elsewhere,
> the program is not following accepted protocol!


That, I don't have a problem with--nowadays most programs do stick with
putting documents under My Documents. The problem is that they put a lot
more in there than really belongs. I suspect %APPDATA% was created for that
reason, and I *really* wish more programs would use it instead of My
Documents.

> A user may be able to change where these user created documents are
> stored, on a program by program basis - IF the program has that option in
> it's preferences section. If it does not, the default should be My
> Documents.


Again, I have no problem with that. It's the other "non-user created
document" files that I don't want to see there.

> Many programs will create a sub directory within My Documents for user
> created files. It makes it easier for the user to find specific files by
> program.


I have no problem with that either.

> Other than the fact that YOU can't do what YOU want, I see nothing wrong -
> or incorrect - with the way Microsoft has set up their methodology since
> Windows 95.
>
> Sorry if you are not happy. If you can't live with the situation, change
> the situation. I sure can't.


Look, ultimately I don't have a problem with the concept of having a My
Documents folder. All I have a problem with is that there are way too many
programs out there that abuse it, and there are already other folders that
have been introduced for that purpose--which a lot of application developers
choose to ignore.


 
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Homer J. Simpson
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-19-2007
> Anything that I create, using any program on my computer, is included in a
> backup of My Documents. I like it. I exclude folders that I don't want
> backed up. Any decent backup program will allow you to do such.


Ideally, I would drag and drop anything and everything under My Documents on
a blank DVD, without having to deselect files/folders individually. Right
now I can't do that because the stuff I didn't put there makes the whole My
Documents folder exceed 4.35GB.

> The backup program that comes with Vista is sub optimal, in my opinion.


Not an issue--MS will have dropped support for XP before I move to
Vista. Hopefully by then, the next OS will be out, correcting the usability
mistakes introduced in Vista.


 
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littlerufe
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-26-2007

I don't know if it's already been discussed, but one purpose of "My
Documents" is that it resides in a folder that's inaccessible to other
non-administrator users of the machine. This allows you to put items
in your folder and have them safe from prying eyes of others.

One thing that I think is cool about Vista is that when I was restoring
backed-up folders from an XP machine to a different machine running
Vista, it automatically detected that some files being migrated were in
the "My Documents\My Pictures" folder and asked me if I would like to
have these files moved to the "Users\MyName\Pictures" folder. Pretty
cool!!

I also have a question (if anyone is still following this thread). If
you choose to show hidden files in Vista, you will notice that there
are shortcut links to "My Documents", "My Pictures", etc. in the
"Users\YourName" folder. Is it safe to delete these shortcuts (which
give you an error if you click on them)? Are they used for some
purpose by the OS or other programs?

Thanks,
Rufus


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Jane C
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      03-27-2007

"littlerufe" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>


> I also have a question (if anyone is still following this thread). If
> you choose to show hidden files in Vista, you will notice that there
> are shortcut links to "My Documents", "My Pictures", etc. in the
> "Users\YourName" folder. Is it safe to delete these shortcuts (which
> give you an error if you click on them)? Are they used for some
> purpose by the OS or other programs?


Those 'shortcuts' are actually junctions, that are there to provide
backwards compatibility for older programs. They are system files and must
not be deleted.

>
> Thanks,
> Rufus
>
>
> --
> littlerufe
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> littlerufe's Profile: http://forums.techarena.in/member.php?userid=23889
> View this thread: http://forums.techarena.in/showthread.php?t=699777
>
> http://forums.techarena.in
>



--
Jane, not plain 64 bit enabled
Batteries not included. Braincell on vacation

 
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littlerufe
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      03-28-2007

Thanks! I've heard about junctions but will have to revist them again

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Homer J. Simpson
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      03-28-2007
> I don't know if it's already been discussed, but one purpose of "My
> Documents" is that it resides in a folder that's inaccessible to other
> non-administrator users of the machine. This allows you to put items
> in your folder and have them safe from prying eyes of others.


Moot point--you can set access permissions on any folder.


 
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