Windwos 7 - Virtual Folders 101

Early in the several-year development life cycle of Windows Vista, Microsoft began talking up a new file management system that would be based on a new user interface construct called a virtual folder. As the name suggests, virtual folders are a special kind of folder, one that does not actually represent a physical container in the file system like a “real” folder. You may recall that the constructs we call folders and special shell folders do, in fact, correspond to discrete locations in the shell namespace. That is, they are what we might call real or physical folders. Virtual folders are not the same as real folders. They’re not even really folders at all, though they do appear to contain files and folders. Actually, virtual folders are files that describe (or appear to contain) symbolic links, or shortcuts, to real files and folders. And the way that virtual folders are created might surprise you: they’re really just the physical embodiment of a file search. That’s right: virtual folders contain search query results, presented in a way that is virtually (ahem) indistinguishable from the display of a real folder. We know. It sounds confusing. But in day-to-day usage, virtual folders work almost exactly like regular folders. We’ll describe the differences—and the very real advantages of Libraries—in just a moment.

Source of Information : Wiley Windows 7 Secrets (2009)

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