from the over-to-you dept.
What free software is there in the way of organizing lots of documents?
To be more precise, the ones I *need* to organize are the files on hard drives, though if I could include documents I have elsewhere (bookshelves and photocopy files) I wouldn't mind. They are text documents in a variety of file formats and languages, source code for current and obsolete systems, jpeg images, film clips, drawings, SVG files, files, object code, shared libraries, fragments of drafts of books, ragged software documentation, works in progress ...
Of course the files are already semi-organized in directories, but I haven't yet managed to find a suitable collection of directory names. Hierarchical classification isn't ideal -- there are files that fit in several categories, and there are a lot files that have to be in a particular location because of the way they are used (executables in a bin directory, for example) or the way they are updated or maintained. Taxonomists would advise setting up a controlled vocabulary of tags and attaching tags to the various files. I'd end up with a triples store or some other database describing files.
More down the page...
But how to identify the files being tagged? A file-system pathname isn't enough. Files get moved, and sometimes entire directory trees full of files get moved from one place to another for various pragmatic reasons. And a hashcode isn't enough. Files get edited, upgraded, recompiled, reformatted, converted from JIS code to UTF-8, and so forth. Images get cropped and colour-corrected. And under these changes they should keep their assigned classification tags.
Now a number of file formats can accommodate metadata. And some software that manipulates files can preserve metadata and even allow user editing of the metadata. But more doesn't.
Much of it could perhaps be done by automatic content analysis. Other material may require labour-intensive manual classification. Now I don't expect to see any off-the-shelf solution for all of this, but does anyone have ideas as to how to accomplish even some of this? Even poorly? Does anyone know of relevant practical tools? Or have ideas towards tools that *should* exist but currently don't? I'm ready to experiment.