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What is a file?

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What is a file? / Harper, R.; Thereska, E.; Lindley, S.; Banks, R.; Gosset, P.; Odom, W.; Smyth, G.; Whitworth, E.

CSCW '13 Proceedings of the 2013 conference on Computer supported cooperative work. New York : ACM, 2013. p. 1125-1136.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNConference contribution/Paperpeer-review

Harvard

Harper, R, Thereska, E, Lindley, S, Banks, R, Gosset, P, Odom, W, Smyth, G & Whitworth, E 2013, What is a file? in CSCW '13 Proceedings of the 2013 conference on Computer supported cooperative work. ACM, New York, pp. 1125-1136. https://doi.org/10.1145/2441776.2441903

APA

Harper, R., Thereska, E., Lindley, S., Banks, R., Gosset, P., Odom, W., Smyth, G., & Whitworth, E. (2013). What is a file? In CSCW '13 Proceedings of the 2013 conference on Computer supported cooperative work (pp. 1125-1136). ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/2441776.2441903

Vancouver

Harper R, Thereska E, Lindley S, Banks R, Gosset P, Odom W et al. What is a file? In CSCW '13 Proceedings of the 2013 conference on Computer supported cooperative work. New York: ACM. 2013. p. 1125-1136 https://doi.org/10.1145/2441776.2441903

Author

Harper, R. ; Thereska, E. ; Lindley, S. ; Banks, R. ; Gosset, P. ; Odom, W. ; Smyth, G. ; Whitworth, E. / What is a file?. CSCW '13 Proceedings of the 2013 conference on Computer supported cooperative work. New York : ACM, 2013. pp. 1125-1136

Bibtex

@inproceedings{fee86a4549d942d2b737789a11c6852f,
title = "What is a file?",
abstract = "For over 40 years the notion of the file, as devised by pioneers in the field of computing, has been the subject of much contention. Some have wanted to abandon the term altogether on the grounds that metaphors about files can confuse users and designers alike. More recently, the emergence of the 'cloud' has led some to suggest that the term is simply obsolescent. In this paper we want to suggest that, despite all these conceptual debates and changes in technology, the term file still remains central to systems architectures and to the concerns of users. Notwithstanding profound changes in what users do and technologies afford, we suggest that files continue to act as a cohering concept, something like a 'boundary object' between computer engineers and users. However, the effectiveness of this boundary object is now waning. There are increasing signs of slippage and muddle. Instead of throwing away the notion altogether, we propose that the definition of and use of files as a boundary object be reconstituted. New abstractions are needed, ones which reflect what users seek to do with their digital data, and which allow engineers to solve the networking, storage and data management problems that ensue when files move from the PC on to the networked world of today. ",
keywords = "Cloud computing, Command, Consumer devices, Databases, File, File systems, Generic object, Grammar of action, Metadata, Ownership, Possession, Social networking, Database systems, Digital storage, Information management, Interactive computer systems, Social networking (online), Computer supported cooperative work",
author = "R. Harper and E. Thereska and S. Lindley and R. Banks and P. Gosset and W. Odom and G. Smyth and E. Whitworth",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.1145/2441776.2441903",
language = "English",
isbn = "9781450313315",
pages = "1125--1136",
booktitle = "CSCW '13 Proceedings of the 2013 conference on Computer supported cooperative work",
publisher = "ACM",

}

RIS

TY - GEN

T1 - What is a file?

AU - Harper, R.

AU - Thereska, E.

AU - Lindley, S.

AU - Banks, R.

AU - Gosset, P.

AU - Odom, W.

AU - Smyth, G.

AU - Whitworth, E.

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - For over 40 years the notion of the file, as devised by pioneers in the field of computing, has been the subject of much contention. Some have wanted to abandon the term altogether on the grounds that metaphors about files can confuse users and designers alike. More recently, the emergence of the 'cloud' has led some to suggest that the term is simply obsolescent. In this paper we want to suggest that, despite all these conceptual debates and changes in technology, the term file still remains central to systems architectures and to the concerns of users. Notwithstanding profound changes in what users do and technologies afford, we suggest that files continue to act as a cohering concept, something like a 'boundary object' between computer engineers and users. However, the effectiveness of this boundary object is now waning. There are increasing signs of slippage and muddle. Instead of throwing away the notion altogether, we propose that the definition of and use of files as a boundary object be reconstituted. New abstractions are needed, ones which reflect what users seek to do with their digital data, and which allow engineers to solve the networking, storage and data management problems that ensue when files move from the PC on to the networked world of today.

AB - For over 40 years the notion of the file, as devised by pioneers in the field of computing, has been the subject of much contention. Some have wanted to abandon the term altogether on the grounds that metaphors about files can confuse users and designers alike. More recently, the emergence of the 'cloud' has led some to suggest that the term is simply obsolescent. In this paper we want to suggest that, despite all these conceptual debates and changes in technology, the term file still remains central to systems architectures and to the concerns of users. Notwithstanding profound changes in what users do and technologies afford, we suggest that files continue to act as a cohering concept, something like a 'boundary object' between computer engineers and users. However, the effectiveness of this boundary object is now waning. There are increasing signs of slippage and muddle. Instead of throwing away the notion altogether, we propose that the definition of and use of files as a boundary object be reconstituted. New abstractions are needed, ones which reflect what users seek to do with their digital data, and which allow engineers to solve the networking, storage and data management problems that ensue when files move from the PC on to the networked world of today.

KW - Cloud computing

KW - Command

KW - Consumer devices

KW - Databases

KW - File

KW - File systems

KW - Generic object

KW - Grammar of action

KW - Metadata

KW - Ownership

KW - Possession

KW - Social networking

KW - Database systems

KW - Digital storage

KW - Information management

KW - Interactive computer systems

KW - Social networking (online)

KW - Computer supported cooperative work

U2 - 10.1145/2441776.2441903

DO - 10.1145/2441776.2441903

M3 - Conference contribution/Paper

SN - 9781450313315

SP - 1125

EP - 1136

BT - CSCW '13 Proceedings of the 2013 conference on Computer supported cooperative work

PB - ACM

CY - New York

ER -