Directory Trees and File Taxonomy

date: 2018-01-01
revised: 2018-08-10
status: notes

I aim to use a directory tree that is legible, recoverable, and easily secured.

questions for now

chronological vs taxonomic organization

I think CV style personal organization is fine. In order to get on with life, it seems natural to associate old projects with specific age ranges (high school, undergrad, etc).

At the same time, anything I intend to be public should be located and labelled in a taxonomy of knowledge.

Update: I made a pretty decent TODO taxonomy summer 2018. It regulates and prioritizes the level one headers of org-mode file.1

I think it’s wise to initially establish2 whether the output is public or private. One can then concentrate organizational efforts on public matters (since I have little reason to pretty up private information for other folks, and I’m fine using arcane categories for myself).

Useful private categories include health, finance, and residency. All things noisey, quotidian, and grinding. :)


Right now I’m not using a tag cloud (doing so would be premature optimization). Analogously, from Knuth,

Programmers waste enormous amounts of time thinking about, or worrying about, the speed of noncritical parts of their programs, and these attempts at efficiency actually have a strong negative impact when debugging and maintenance are considered.

But, just to sketch an idea of what themes I would like to write on, here some exemplar tag clouds (all of which, I think, did converge well after the initial seed to write for a general audience had germinated).

Matt Might’s tag cloud

Functional Programming; Graduate School; Productivity; iPhone, iPad, iPod; HOWTOs; Undergraduate Computer Science; Parsing; Compilation; Mathematics; Writing; Giving Presentations; Lambda Calculus; C; C++; Scheme; Racket; JavaScript; Swift; Python; Perl; Java; Scala; LaTeX; ML; SQL; Haskell; Scripting; Lambda; Apple; Unix; Web servers; Security; Hacks; Travel; Academia; Teaching; Science; Health; Gadgets; Gaming; Home Improvement; Rants

Jean Yang’s tag cloud

gender (48), life (47), women in science (37), academic advice (31), programming languages (29), programming (19), food (16), research (15), academic culture (14), travel (13), advice (9)

A subset of the “math” prefixed arXiv categories

AG Algebraic Geometry, AT Algebraic Topology, CT Category Theory, CA Classical Analysis and ODEs, CV Complex Variables, DG Differential Geometry, DS Dynamical Systems, FA Functional Analysis, GN General Topology, GT Geometric Topology, HO History and Overview, KT K-Theory and Homology, LO Logic, MP Mathematical Physics, NT number theory, NA numerical Analysis, OC Optimization and Control, PR Probability, ST Statistics Theory, SG Symplectic Geometry

  1. The broader question, how to group signs and other utterances is still open, and it seems, the answer is only getting further away.

    From Simon Joyner’s 2005 Train to Crazy Horse:

    Like Saint Augustine in reverse…\ I was born as a blessing, but I’ll go out as a curse…\ I believe everything is an incantation…\ the cat call, the white lie, and the grunt.

  2. Taking an exhaustive personal inventory is a good place to start.