Heatmapped Filesystem

Use case or problem

It will help me navigate the files and folders more intuitively. This is especially useful when there’s a complex mess of files/folders that I almost drown in the sheer quantity of filenames and folder names. Heatmapping it will help me more easily find what I’m looking for. I might be looking for the item I was working on yesterday, and heatmap would let me quickly see that “oh this file is brighter than the rest because it’s the most recent, so this must be the one I’m looking for”. Or I might think and realize I want to revisit an old file I worked a year ago. Heatmap would let me quickly and intuitively find it by just looking at the “darkest” colored files/filenames

Proposed solution

Look at the most recent read/write date for each file/directory. Create a vector where each element contains filename and last read date and last write date. Sort the vector by last access (whether the access is read or write) date. I’m assuming you’re using Unix timestamps for representing the last access date. Map the range of all Unix timestamps into corresponding range of brightness values (or hue, or some other color dimension). Store the brightness value (or whatever color dimension value) in each element of the above vector (each element should be a struct). Then when you render the filename or directory name in the GUI, take the color coding from the same struct that contains the filenames, and apply that color encoding on the filename before displaying it on the screen.