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It has been said that there is a paradigm shift from files centric to app centric application design. File centric simply means that application saves your work in a file. App centric is to mean all work done is “saved” in the app itself.

The classic example for file centric is Words document. You save your text in a file saved it somewhere in your harddrive. The files is independent of the app itself. You can send it to someone in email, upload it to server. In the age of internet, a file is the basic unit to share information across different computer system. The web page itself is an html file located in the server.

The app centric application can be small. Mac’s Scrapbook or Stickies let you type text without worrying to save your works. Once open, your work will be there. Scrapbook let you flip through pages just like the real object. Instead of put the data in a files, the app saves it in a database (less fancy way to say it), app put the work in location an average user would not find it. iTunes is in fact an app centric piece of work, you import your music to the database like interface in which you manage your music many ways you want. The music file is copied to the new location, it doesn’t matter if you delete the original files. No alias (Unix symbolic link, Windows shortcut) is created. App centric application manages / creates according to its own internal logic.

The app centric is in fact website centric, that is one website is one app. Your emails on the server somewhere. Your game setting is in your login in the game site.

That’s the future? Files centric is disappearing but will be around for a long time. The file centric environment is rooted in our day to day handling of object. A book, a CD, a pair of jeans. The files one of object to be manipulated, work with, play with…

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