My point is that those directories should not be created in the first place. If you insist on setting the Save Dialog on my Documents folder by default, fine. Why put folders that are by default empty in there to clutter things up? If I have some sort of project I am working on, I'll usually use multiple programs. Should I be coaxed to save every program-specific file in a folder specific to that program followed by the project? No! Let me find my project and make a directory suitable for this new aspect, such as 'help', 'manual', 'icons', 'graphics', 'sounds', etc nd I'll dump this new programs files in there. Giving such default directories only wrongly potty-trains users to dump everything in their Documents\ProgramX directory.
Half the other folders will contain 'program information' that the user can do nothing with. They can't doubleclick it or anything. It's just junk to them. Saved games are a fair number of them.
Also, Windows 7 has a Saved Games directory. I'm not sure about Vista, but either way that's an improvement.
Someone should set up a Hall of Shame website that lists software that appropriates the Documents folder for its own uses. Or maybe a more general one with sub-sections for common UI annoyances. There are some Hall of Shame websites out there that are about computer programs, but many of them are from the W95 era. The web could do with a new one.
Btw, Raymond Chen hates these programs too.
That's not really an answer to the problem. That answer seems to be, "Let's let users clutter the 'My Documents' folder with a trillion files."
Not all software works on a file basis. Some software works on a folder/project basis, and that really needs to be cleaned up in a project folder.
I can understand what you're driving at as I have the same problem, but I just don't see a solution, and you're not offering one.
What you SEEM to be saying (if I'm reading you right) is that there are 2 basic folder philosophies:
1) File in program folders
2) File in semantic folders
But that really means nothing as you can't read the user's mind. How is any programmer supposed to know that? It's unknowable. (A framework could solve that though.)
I think were' stuck with meaningful folder names until such a time as semantics becomes a bigger part of computing. That will be a while...
I just can't see any alternative. Right now the only logical solution seems to be to roll with what we have.