Abstract Factory Blog

Super Generic Folder Layout (SGFL)

01 Aug 2013

Had a vision yesterday evening. A vision about how file handling could get more generic and less hard-coded.

Solution

Previously, I’ve been thinking that each type of entity, like an asset or a sequence, could only have one type of child – assets have variants and sequences shots – so that there would be some structure in how the users worked.

This is very constrained however and will not apply to how everyone works and might be rejected by those who don’t.</p>

I’m thinking of generalising file management enough so that it basically acts like other file management app -Explorer on Windows versus Finder on OSX – where you can create any folder under any entity – like a shot under a job directly, skipping the sequence-parent. Or any random folder wherever.

Where’s the structure then?

Presets

Once the user has created a project shell, like 1 sequence and 1 shot, they have essentially specified how they’ve chosen to structure their work.

We could store that in a preset. So that for their next similar job, they could hit “Add by preset” which makes an empty shell identical to the one they saved.

Templates 

To expand on the pre-built types, like shot, asset or sequence, by letting users enter any type as the name, setting properties on their new type, and then saving it as a new type.

Next time, they could enter that type and it would use their previous template.

Bottom Line

Making Dashboard more into the explorer enforces the one benefit of using the Dashboard over the explorer – Name conventions and placing of files and folders. That’s what they get and that’s what the Dashboard is supposed to take care of.

Benefit

More generic means more flexible. Advanced users will like it more and our development would get drastically simplified.

Disadvantage

More generic means less rigidity which may be counter-productive for new users who may need more hand-holding. But, this is where presets and templates would step in.</div>