Areas and Working Sets: why?

Ian Miller ian_o_miller at
Tue Dec 22 23:11:41 GMT 2009

For what it's worth, I like the working sets idea. The problem, though, is how the program decides a new working set should be created. I don't think a file should be added to a working set just because it's opened while that working set is active. It should require a positive action on the part of the user. You also shouldn't be able to change user sets without making an explicit request to do so.

By changing these behaviors, people who don't want them will essentially never know they are there (they will have a single working set, it will always be empty when they start, they will always leave it empty, and they will never create a new one).  It also prevents the people who *do* use them from getting giant working sets that lose their meaning.

The problem reminds me of the way "Views" work in MS Outlook <shudder> (at least OL2002 that we use at work). They let you define different views, but if I am in the view that I call "appointments this week" (that has all my filters, sort order, display rules, etc) and then choose to change the filter criteria using the standard filtering buttons, it **changes the definition of my view**. It is unbelievably counter-intuitive to me, because it renders the time I put into making my views meaningless. In order to have the views mean anything, I am forced to use *only* pre-defined views, so that no on-the-fly definitions are written to my profile.

summary: working sets are great, but make their definition an explicit act.

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