Ah, I see you’re a neat & tidy organizer too. I use folder # prefixes for sorting in some of my other data areas too, but haven’t for the genealogy stuff.
As for future-proofing, I don’t worry too much about the electronic media. Being in IT, I know that current operating systems, file formats, hardware, etc all get more difficult to use / maintain / support over time. By the time 2 generations have past, nobody will likely be able to access those media files anyway. So the good ol printed word is the best bet for long term storage.
Side note: I don’t rely on the metadata for long-term efforts. It’s just a technique for helping me locate and inspect without having to open up files.
One of the more fascinating long-term storage projects I’ve read about is The Rosetta Project, part of The Long Now Foundation’s efforts. They’re using microprinting to create a multi-lingual reference. Their first prototype stores over 14,000 pages on a 3-inch nickle disk. The project’s intent is to make a language cross reference, similar to the original Rosetta Stone, that will last for thousands of years. https://longnow.org/ ; Concept - The Rosetta Project
I’ve given thought to how that could be adapted to a long-term storage strategy for a printed genealogy. Imagine having tree diagrams, reports, media like census page, etc all microprinted on a single small plate. No computer obsolescence to worry about. You could even make many duplicates and send them all to your family in frames to display like a picture.
I see your arguments and to an extent I agree, the box I have has printed documents which are more life stories of each branch of the family, and specific individuals.
I do not have concern regarding electronic media, Word has been around since the mid Eighties, PDF’s shortly after, Txt since the days of DOS and files that I created 35 years ago are still able to be opened.
The various MPEG committees that have been around since the fiasco days of Betamax and VHS and their activities have set standards with the key element being “backward compatibility” and JPG images has been around reliably for over 30 years.
I am more concerned about the Software we use for our family tree still being available in 40 or 50 years time hence JPG files of the family tree, Gedcom’s etc.
Keeping options open is imo the way to go to try to cover all bases and not to rely just on software like RM,
It’s essentially the same technical challenge that the National Archives is facing too. Chasing Technology | National Archives
This comment is just for topical discussion.
The folder structure is the file name for the computer. A folder structure can be applied as a filename replacing the slash or back-slash with a hyphen or other legal punctuation, eliminating the need for folders. Or the folder structure could be attached as tags with everything in the root. File names are permitted to be very long.
If the folder structure is:
the same could be sorted by searching with a filename:
The folder construct makes it easier to read in File Explorer (Win) like it was a presorted long filename.
I won’t use giant filenames, and I won’t use sub-folders out to the smallest detail. I like about 50 well-named files in a folder to keep down the number of folder hoops I have to jump through. I may have hundreds of well-named images in a folder: “Lname, fname-ISODate-Location-Event-Notes.Type”. They can be computer sorted or visually read quickly.
What a complicated discussion string for such a simple topic! A clear set of nested folders organized by how you think (Family or Data type) is fast to enter and review. Using media metadata fields, SQL programs or Get Info fields is pretty arcane and would not survive transfer to others.