++ for a great post.
Without their invention, file systems that allowed useful designation of, and selection by, meta-data would do away with much of the nonsense that hierarchical directory structures cause.
I think what you're asking for here is a database. BeOS actually does what you ask for; a pity that OS died at such a young age. Let's hope the open source thrust that is attempting to breath new life into it will succeed.
Makeshifts last the longest.
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