AINTscience - Online User Guide
Previous pageNext page

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 "User guide" and "Reference manual"

This ain't the Reference manual. This is the User guide.

This User guide is for learning what AINTscience is, how it works and how to use it without having to get all technical. The Reference manual contains all the gory details that one might get into later, or maybe not.

This User guide ain't written for dummies, idiots or slow learners, but for the normal user who is not an IT specialist, and who wants to get going quickly and read no more than necessary. Therefore the chapters are arranged in order of importance, starting with the bare necessities and going on through the main ideas to the most needed details at the end. Everything in this User guide is useful to anyone using or planning to use AINTscience regularly.

1.2 Short description of AINTscience

What AINTscience is

AINTscience is a well defined set of concepts, rules and guidelines that are easy to learn and understand, and a set of mnemonics (memory aids) to help you remember and use the rules.

The Scream
"The scream", by Edward Munch. File system administrators should try to avoid this feeling..

What AINTscience is for

AINTscience is for organizing your files and file directories (catalogs) on the company file server, on your laptop, and any place where a personal business or small company keeps files.

Who AINTscience is for

AINTscience is designed for small businesses. Larger companies and organizations will usually have more complex needs and can probably gain from specially designed information architectures, and possibly corporate taxonomies.

Why the business world needs AINTscience

Systems of files and file directories easily become unstructured and messy, making it hard to find files when needed, and time-consuming to figure out where to place new files. This is detrimental to cooperation between employees, it is confounding, common and costly. Happily, with AINTscience it is now cost-effectively correctable and avoidable.

What AINTscience ain't

AINTscience ain't a system for every file on your computer. Examples of stuff that should not be put into an AINTscience file system are: Computer programs, software source files, databases, large amounts of data handled by software applications and anything out of the ordinary that cannot be considered business documents, e.g your photo collection, mp3 collection etc.

AINTscience is designed for business documents, and probably ain't useful for other things.

AINTscience ain't too simple either. It is made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

1.3 Why AINTscience is better

"AINTscience ain't no small step". Image mainly by NASA.


An alternative to looking for a file on a computer by browsing in a file system is to do an automated search for keywords, like everybody does on the Internet. One may search either in the file names or in the text of the files. This is useful for some purposes, especially when the keywords are known, the search is fast, and the results ain't too many.

On the Internet, however, most use of websites is done by lookup in known websites either directly, or through references from known sites. The same is the case when looking for files on local computers. Search is very useful, but it can't beat being organized.

In a well organized file system, browsing is usually a better choice than searching because

Search can be a useful supplement to a well organized file system, but it can't replace it.

1.4 The company information library

To build an archive of general information about various subjects, a thematic classification system is best suited. One may look at what libraries use, such as the Dewey decimal index, but since most companies' information library is quite specialized, it is probably better to make one from scratch.

Don't put such information into an AINTscience file system, but keep it separate, e.g. in a directory tree under a top-level directory such as General_themes/, or Subjects_library/, Info_bank/.

Don't try to order such a library using AINTscience, it won't be useful.

This document ain't about how to order such files.

1.5 What a small business should expect

Having unreasonable expectations of AINTscience will inevitably lead to disappointment when it is realized that AINTscience can't deliver the hopes and dreams. The only AINTscience guarantee is this: There ain't no AINTscience guarantees. Read the disclaimer further below first if guarantees are what you want.

However, here is what is required from a company to make AINTscience useful, and what the potential rewards are.

Work needed to apply AINTscience:

Space shuttle Atlantis
The power of AINTscience illustrated by NASA: The space shuttle Atlantis taking off.

All this may sound like a lot of work, but can any company really afford not to have a systematic main file system? Is there any simpler solution than AINTscience? Of course not! (Then these wouldn't be rhetorical questions, would they?) The main thing to keep in mind when the chores above seem costly, is that without efficient information systems in this day and age, any company may find it difficult to compete, and for most businesses that is an understatement.

Probable rewards:

It is our experience and our opinion that any small company will probably gain from applying the ideas and concepts of AINTscience to the file system by:


Below is a disclaimer that is meant to explain that there ain't no promises, just possibilities. Whether a company will gain any reward from using AINTscience or not is impossible to say for sure (according to the lawyers, that is).


AINTscience ain't a product, but a set of ideas. These ideas ain't guaranteed to do anything whatsoever. AINTscience will not necessarily help anyone gain anything by applying the concepts and ideas as described here, and anyone choosing to use these ideas for any purpose, do so at their own risk, and no one else can be held responsible for any consequences of the application of any concept, idea or anything related to AINTscience, to anything. May the Force be with you, as we say in geek-land.

1.6 About the examples

Some of the examples used to illustrate how AINTscience works are based on a partly fictional world of nonsense, murder and mayhem in which e.g. the example company "ACME Ltd" exists. These examples are, at least to the author, more colorful and less boring than plainer examples from the real world. The artistic liberties of the examples may just be ignored if they are not appreciated. The principles that the examples demonstrate are in no way less precise or less useful in real life than if the examples had been entirely real.

1.7 Explanations of important concepts

Here are explanations of some words. These explanations define what the words mean in this user guide.


The word "class" (plural form "classes") means the same as the special term "meta-criterion", and is used instead because it is less cryptic. The words "classifying" and "classification" are used in the normal sense, as described below.

Carl von Linné
Carl Linnaeus (Carl von Linné), the father of modern taxonomy.

"Classification of information"

Classifying information can be done for purposes of secrecy, but that is not the purpose here. The purpose of classification in AINTscience is to divide and sub-divide pieces of information into manageable groups in a manner that is systematic and produces a structure of the relationships between the groups that is easy to use and understand.


The problem with classifying information is that information is made from concepts, and concepts are hard to classify. Therefore this explanation is sort of fuzzy.

A 'criterion' is some quality, property or aspect of a file in a file system that can be used to group it together with some files and separate it from other files.

"Directory hierarchy"

A 'directory hierarchy' is a hierarchical ordering consisting of logical containers called directories that form a tree-structure similar to a family tree of parents and children, except that each child normally has only a single parent, but may have any number of siblings.

"Directory path"

A 'directory path' is a sequential list of labels, separated by "/" or "\", of all the directories that a file or directory is placed in, starting at the top of the directory tree (hierarchy), and ending with the smallest enclosing directory (sometimes referred to as the "current directory").

"File system" or "file structure"

A 'file system', or equally a 'file structure', is a collection of documents in electronic form, stored on a computer-operated device. The documents are ordered in a directory hierarchy in which each directory may contain any number of files.

"Information architecture"

The information architecture of a file system is how the information in each file is used to decide how the collection of files is divided into groups, and how the groups relate to each other. That is really what AINTscience is about.


A 'label' is a name chosen for a directory or a file in a file-system. Labeling is the act of creating labels.


AINTscience defines four specific main meta-criteria, see chapter 2. Meta-criteria may be considered to be types of criteria, which means that they are types of types of properties of files. Note that "types of types of" in the last sentence is not a typo (-graphical error).


"The classification in a hierarchical system" - Wiktionary

1.8 The name "AINTscience"

AINTscience Introduces New Thinking, And It's No Trouble. Actually It's Next To Automatic, Intuitively Natural To Acquire Its No-nonsense Taxonomy.

"Ain't" is a contraction of "are not" or "am not", which is and has been common in English for centuries. "Ain't" ain't poor English, it just ain't posh English.

"AINTscience" is partly an acronym for "Arisland's INformation Taxonomy". It's just a name.


1.9 The AINTscience flag

The AINTscience flag is an identifying icon showing the four colors used for color coding the four classes of AINTscience. The four classes form a sequence of layers in any AINTscience file hierarchy, and when stacked in the correct sequence, the result looked so much like a flag that only the flagpole was missing. As icons go, a flag is better than most, since it is one of the best entrenched symbol forms in modern civilization.

The AINTscience flag is only meant to symbolize the color-coded sequence stack of AINTscience classes, and not to have any other symbolic meaning, neither national, religious, racial, sexual, political, environmental, galactical or anything politically correct or incorrect, and is not intended to promote the sale of toy blocks for children, neither plastic nor wooden.

It's just an icon.


Previous pageNext page

Copyright Computers and Learning AS, Oslo, Norway. Contact: