Questions about Longhorn, part 2: WinFS and semantics

Questions about Longhorn, part 2: WinFS and semantics. In the first installment of this series of questions about Longhorn, I concluded that the compelling benefit of WinFS must lie in the realm of “organizing stuff” rather than just “finding stuff” — else why not just leverage existing and well-understood relational, free-text, and XML search methods? And I posited that the signature feature of WinFS — “relationships” — must be powerful enough to justify the creation of a proprietary new storage model that will enable (but also require) new applications and developer skills. Admittedly my “finding versus organizing” distinction was a bit of a cheat, since finding depends sensitively on prior organization. Except when it doesn't: brute-force free-text search routinely trumps navigation and structured search. But OK, we've all got to hope that better organization, someday, will level the playing field. [Jon's Radio]

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