What good are libraries?


S

Stan Brown

Can someone explain briefly why I would want to use them> I never
used My Documents in Windows XP, but had my own hierarchy of folders
on drives E and F. Am I missing anything by not using libraries in
Windows 7?

Windows 7's own help doesn't seem to explain anything useful about
the purpose of this feature, or if it does I wasn't using the proper
search terms.
 
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D

Dave \Crash\ Dummy

Stan said:
Can someone explain briefly why I would want to use them
I never > used My Documents in Windows XP, but had my
own hierarchy of folders on drives E and F. Am I missing
anything by not using libraries in Windows 7?

Windows 7's own help doesn't seem to explain anything useful about
the purpose of this feature, or if it does I wasn't using the proper
search terms.
I never liked My Documents, and now those other library folders, but that
is because I am the only user of my computer. I suspect the "Libraries"
are to accommodate multiple users, with the contents of the library folders
depending on who is logged on.
 
Z

Zombie Elvis

Can someone explain briefly why I would want to use them> I never
used My Documents in Windows XP, but had my own hierarchy of folders
on drives E and F. Am I missing anything by not using libraries in
Windows 7?

Windows 7's own help doesn't seem to explain anything useful about
the purpose of this feature, or if it does I wasn't using the proper
search terms.
It's just a way to put all of your files in one place. Or rather it's
a way to leave them right where they are but to create pointers to
them so you can for example have separate heirarchies on separate
drives but still have one place where you can access all of them. This
is especially useful if you have a file server at home or a big
external hard drive with a lot of different files.
--
Obama: Hey Ballmer, you mind if we borrow 90% of the world's computers for a quick cyber war?

Ballmer: Finally, the moment I've been waiting for! *Throws ceremonial war chair at wall*

- Seen on Slashdot

Roberto Castillo
(e-mail address removed)
http://mind-grapes.blogspot.com/
http://zombie-gulch.myminicity.com/
 
V

VanguardLH

Zombie said:
It's just a way to put all of your files in one place. Or rather it's
a way to leave them right where they are but to create pointers to
them so you can for example have separate heirarchies on separate
drives but still have one place where you can access all of them. This
is especially useful if you have a file server at home or a big
external hard drive with a lot of different files.
Hmm, almost sounding like this might be Microsoft's dumbed down usage of
junction points: the physical file is in one place but you can have
*pointers* to them in multiple other places. Well, I can't remember the
term right now, but junction points are pointers to folders. There was,
I think, a different name for pointers to files. In *NIX, they're
called soft/symbolic links (you can delete them but the physical file
remains) or hard links (if you delete the link then the file also gets
deleted).

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd861346.aspx

Well, I suppose that tells you what are libraries - if you can
understand it. Starting to wonder if WinFS is creeping into Windows 7
with a databasing of files.
 
J

Jeff Layman

Zombie Elvis said:
It's just a way to put all of your files in one place. Or rather it's
a way to leave them right where they are but to create pointers to
them so you can for example have separate heirarchies on separate
drives but still have one place where you can access all of them. This
is especially useful if you have a file server at home or a big
external hard drive with a lot of different files.
I don't have any use for Libraries either.

I thought they contained just harmless links to files - sort of like
shortcuts, where you can delete a shortcut without deleting the original
file. But those files in the Libraries folders are real - I just tried
deleting a picture file and it got deleted from a "My Pictures" folder. Had
to restore it from the recycle bin.

So I've now removed all folders from the Libraries folder (pity I can't
delete it, too).
 
D

Dave-UK

Jeff Layman said:
I don't have any use for Libraries either.

I thought they contained just harmless links to files - sort of like
shortcuts, where you can delete a shortcut without deleting the original
file. But those files in the Libraries folders are real - I just tried
deleting a picture file and it got deleted from a "My Pictures" folder. Had
to restore it from the recycle bin.

So I've now removed all folders from the Libraries folder (pity I can't
delete it, too).
You can remove the Libraries if you want to:
http://www.askvg.com/how-to-disable-libraries-feature-in-windows-7/
 
G

Gordon

I don't have any use for Libraries either.

I thought they contained just harmless links to files - sort of like
shortcuts, where you can delete a shortcut without deleting the original
file. But those files in the Libraries folders are real - I just tried
deleting a picture file and it got deleted from a "My Pictures" folder.
Had to restore it from the recycle bin.

So I've now removed all folders from the Libraries folder (pity I can't
delete it, too).
How To Disable and Remove Libraries from Windows 7

Download and apply the following registry registration entries file to
remove Libraries in Windows 7. See the code below to know which registry
keys and values that is going to be removed, and if necessary, backup
the affected registries.

http://depositfiles.com/files/799mwaxwd


Alternatively, copy and paste the following code into a text editor such
as Notepad, and save as a file name with .reg extension, then double
click to run the .reg file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{2112AB0A-C86A-4ffe-A368-0DE96E47012E}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{491E922F-5643-4af4-A7EB-4E7A138D8174}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{7b0db17d-9cd2-4a93-9733-46cc89022e7c}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{A302545D-DEFF-464b-ABE8-61C8648D939B}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{A990AE9F-A03B-4e80-94BC-9912D7504104}]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel]
“{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}”=-
 
J

Jeff Layman

Dave-UK said:
Yes, I am aware of various reg editing methods to remove it, but it always
seems a "sledgehammer to crack a nut" method to edit the registry for such
things. Still, if MS didn't build things unnecessarily in reinforced
concrete it would be necessary!

Looks like an interesting site. I'll have a look through it to see if there
is anything else I can make use of. Thanks for the link.
 
J

Jeff Layman

Gordon said:
I don't have any use for Libraries either.

I thought they contained just harmless links to files - sort of like
shortcuts, where you can delete a shortcut without deleting the original
file. But those files in the Libraries folders are real - I just tried
deleting a picture file and it got deleted from a "My Pictures" folder.
Had to restore it from the recycle bin.

So I've now removed all folders from the Libraries folder (pity I can't
delete it, too).
How To Disable and Remove Libraries from Windows 7

Download and apply the following registry registration entries file to
remove Libraries in Windows 7. See the code below to know which registry
keys and values that is going to be removed, and if necessary, backup the
affected registries.

http://depositfiles.com/files/799mwaxwd


Alternatively, copy and paste the following code into a text editor such
as Notepad, and save as a file name with .reg extension, then double click
to run the .reg file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{2112AB0A-C86A-4ffe-A368-0DE96E47012E}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{491E922F-5643-4af4-A7EB-4E7A138D8174}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{7b0db17d-9cd2-4a93-9733-46cc89022e7c}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{A302545D-DEFF-464b-ABE8-61C8648D939B}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{A990AE9F-A03B-4e80-94BC-9912D7504104}]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel]
“{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}”=-
A bit of an OT reply. As I pointed out to Dave-UK, I am aware of various
reg tweaks to deal with Libraries. However, I was interested to see the
code above. Do you know of a list anywhere which contains an explanation of
what all those hex numbers in curly brackets do? Code lines 4 - 8 are
effectively identical except for the hex, so it is not at all obvious what
the lines do. I already use a modified shortcut (C:\Windows\explorer.exe
/e,::{20d04fe0-3aea-1069-a2d8-08002b30309d}) so that Explorer opens at
Computer rather than Libraries (there's a surprise!), but wondered if there
are any other useful modifications that could be made to shortcuts by adding
{hex} at the end.
 
J

Jeff Layman

Dave-UK said:
Yes, I am aware of various reg editing methods to remove it, but it always
seems a "sledgehammer to crack a nut" method to edit the registry for such
things. Still, if MS didn't build things unnecessarily in reinforced
concrete it would be necessary!

Looks like an interesting site. I'll have a look through it to see if there
is anything else I can make use of. Thanks for the link.
 
G

Gordon

Do you know of a list anywhere which contains an explanation
of what all those hex numbers in curly brackets do? Code lines 4 - 8 are
effectively identical except for the hex, so it is not at all obvious
what the lines do. I already use a modified shortcut
(C:\Windows\explorer.exe /e,::{20d04fe0-3aea-1069-a2d8-08002b30309d}) so
that Explorer opens at Computer rather than Libraries (there's a
surprise!), but wondered if there are any other useful modifications
that could be made to shortcuts by adding {hex} at the end.
I don't I'm afraid.
Here's the site I got it from:
http://www.mydigitallife.info/2009/08/05/how-to-disable-and-remove-libraries-from-windows-7-explorer/

and here's another one I found immediately after I'd posted that allows
you to just "hide" them:
http://www.mydigitallife.info/2009/01/05/how-to-hide-or-show-libraries-in-the-navigation-pane-of-windows-7-explorer/
 
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D

Dave-UK

Jeff Layman said:
Gordon said:
Alternatively, copy and paste the following code into a text editor such as Notepad, and save as
a file name with .reg extension, then double click to run the .reg file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{2112AB0A-C86A-4ffe-A368-0DE96E47012E}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{491E922F-5643-4af4-A7EB-4E7A138D8174}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{7b0db17d-9cd2-4a93-9733-46cc89022e7c}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{A302545D-DEFF-464b-ABE8-61C8648D939B}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{A990AE9F-A03B-4e80-94BC-9912D7504104}]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel]
“{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}”=-
A bit of an OT reply. As I pointed out to Dave-UK, I am aware of various reg tweaks to deal with
Libraries. However, I was interested to see the code above. Do you know of a list anywhere which
contains an explanation of what all those hex numbers in curly brackets do? Code lines 4 - 8 are
effectively identical except for the hex, so it is not at all obvious what the lines do. I
already use a modified shortcut (C:\Windows\explorer.exe
/e,::{20d04fe0-3aea-1069-a2d8-08002b30309d}) so that Explorer opens at Computer rather than
Libraries (there's a surprise!), but wondered if there are any other useful modifications that
could be made to shortcuts by adding {hex} at the end.
For a list of folders go to the key mentioned in the reg file:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions
If you look at 0AC0837C-BBF8-452A-850D-79D08E667CA7 on the left pane you'll see
that on the right pane it's described as MyComputerFolder.
And it's ParsingName turns out to be the number you have set Explorer to open at.

The numbers inside the curly brackets (braces) are CLSID keys.
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms886195.aspx
http://www.thewindowsclub.com/the-secret-behind-the-windows-7-godmode

If you look carefully at the lines of the regfile they all have a minus sign , [-HKEY_LOCAL,
at the beginning of the key name, except the last line.
That means delete that key, the keys being on the left pane of Regedit.
So the reg file would delete all those keys (and all the data held in them).
The last line has a value in quotes on one side of an equals sign and a minus
sign on the other side:
“{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}”=-
That means delete that value, the values being on the right pane of Regedit.
The key is left untouched but one of the values it holds will be deleted.
(Keys contain values and values contain data.)
 
J

Jeff Layman

Gordon said:
I think this is more what I was looking for:
http://www.mydigitallife.info/2009/02/07/command-line-switches-to-display-special-objects-or-folders-when-opening-windows-explorer/
(also see Dave's godmode link for a similar listing)

I wonder how the authors of these webpages found this information. A
Microsoft search of "CLSID" turned up nearly 55000 hits!
 
J

johnbee

Stan Brown said:
Can someone explain briefly why I would want to use them> I never
used My Documents in Windows XP, but had my own hierarchy of folders
on drives E and F. Am I missing anything by not using libraries in
Windows 7?

Windows 7's own help doesn't seem to explain anything useful about
the purpose of this feature, or if it does I wasn't using the proper
search terms.
I am afraid that Windows 7 is deliberately designed to accommodate many
users on the one machine, together with various software applications each
of which saved by default all over the place in previous Windows versions.
The library concept is designed to try to get over the need for users to
design their own storage directory system. Obviously you can see that each
user doing their own thing would result in a bit of a mish mash. It is a
pain in the nuts for single users, and I don't think they have got it right
for a few users.

However, the directory structure is a crucial aspect of designing a system
and at least in Windows 7 it looks as though they have had a try at
realising this instead of just creating a new sub-directory whenever the
thought arises. Also, even now it is still the case that most stuff is not
made specifically for Windows 7 - it is rare to be asked on installation
whether it is for all users for example.

So if you like storing things your own way I don't think that the library
idea will offer anything. However, if doing things for other people on
their machines, it is actually important to take into account what Windows 7
does by default because users are likely to fairly quickly get used to how
Win 7 works and you don't want your applications to be out of kilter.
 
J

johnbee

I already use a modified shortcut (C:\Windows\explorer.exe
/e,::{20d04fe0-3aea-1069-a2d8-08002b30309d}) so that Explorer opens at
Computer rather than Libraries >

I would be grateful if you would expand that comment a little. When I
choose Computer (I have a desktop icon for it), it immediately shows
diagrams of the drives so I can navigate to where I want to go by a double
click on the main hard disk. In the left window (I think I am supposed to
call it pane) is a long list of various places (starting with desktop) which
is supposed to give a quicker browse I suppose but I rarely click on
anything other than desktop.

However, that is how it worked on installation - and is how I like it.

In short, then, are you saying that when you choose Computer it only showed
you a library?
 
J

Jeff Layman

johnbee said:
I already use a modified shortcut (C:\Windows\explorer.exe
/e,::{20d04fe0-3aea-1069-a2d8-08002b30309d}) so that Explorer opens at
Computer rather than Libraries >

I would be grateful if you would expand that comment a little. When I
choose Computer (I have a desktop icon for it), it immediately shows
diagrams of the drives so I can navigate to where I want to go by a double
click on the main hard disk. In the left window (I think I am supposed to
call it pane) is a long list of various places (starting with desktop)
which is supposed to give a quicker browse I suppose but I rarely click on
anything other than desktop.

However, that is how it worked on installation - and is how I like it.

In short, then, are you saying that when you choose Computer it only
showed you a library?
No. If I clicked on a (Microsoft) default shortcut to Windows Explorer, it
opened WE at "Libraries", with that folder highlighted. As I never use
Libraries, it was a waste of time, so I just substituted the "Target" field
in the shortcut with the one I posted.
 
S

Stan Brown

Thanks, Dave (and others who responded). That article also links to
this one:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee449406(WS.10).aspx
which is an understandable rundown on libraries.

As far as I can see, a library of music is good if you have music
files scattered around and want to access them all together. But who
*does* have music files scattered around? Mine are all in iTunes.

Ditto for pictures -- I have folders set up for my own shots and
various topics, and I have no trouble finding a particular picture.

I may still be missing the point, but at this point it looks to me
like libraries are for people who don't have their own scheme for
organizing their files.
 
S

Stan Brown

So if you like storing things your own way I don't think that the library
idea will offer anything.
Thanks, John. I've been coming to that conclusion based on what I
read in this thread and in the referenced articles. As the only user
on my PC, I think my traditional directory structure will continue to
serve me well.
 
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Y

Yousuf Khan

Can someone explain briefly why I would want to use them> I never
used My Documents in Windows XP, but had my own hierarchy of folders
on drives E and F. Am I missing anything by not using libraries in
Windows 7?

Windows 7's own help doesn't seem to explain anything useful about
the purpose of this feature, or if it does I wasn't using the proper
search terms.
Oh, I love them, I'm already making use of my own created libraries.

The reason you might want to use them is for precisely the reason you
just stated. You got your documents on E & F, but Windows assume you put
them on your "My Documents" folder. Well with libraries you can add the
locations of E & F into your "documents" library, and so during a search
it can search not only your "My Documents" folder, but it'll also search
the Public "documents" folder, as well your E & F drives. Basically it
lets you incorporate your own folders into the Windows' assumed hierarchy.

Yousuf Khan
 

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