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Cross-referencing files in a GUI


I would like to be able to browse a set of files according to variable 
criteria without being restricted to particular directories. 

A simple model to demonstrate: say I have three folders named "work", "rest" 
and "play", each containing sub-folders called "pictures", "music", 
and "text".

What if I want to also view the same files as three folders 
named "pictures", "music", and "text" each containing three sub-folders 
named "work", "rest" and "play"?

Or what if I want to browse my photos in folders according to date ranges, 
then switch to a view where they are categorised in folders according to 
whether they are portraits, landscapes, or buildings; or by location, or the 
name of the subject, etc.? 

In either case it would be desirable to be able to apply the views over an 
arbitrary number of directory levels, so that, for example a file does not 
necessarily appear on the same level (or even the same number of times) in 
every view.

One way of conceptualising this could be as a number of co-existing virtual 
directory trees, each corresponding to a particular view of the same (or 
overlapping) sets of files. Perhaps using hard links? Or is there a simpler 

Apart from the greater flexibility, this would eliminate the need for 
duplicated subdirectories, i.e., each view would only be as complex as 
necessary for a particular purpose, replacing one complex tree with several 
simple ones.

Is there anything like this available in Debian, or is there a neat way to set 
it up?



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