On 9/27/07, chitgoks <chitgoks at gmail.com> wrote: > john yeah. a few images per directory (for now, maybe in the future more > images). the directory name would point to the username. The traditional way to deal with this would be to split up the usernames alphabetically, e.g., make subdirectories of the top directory for each of the 26 letters of the alphabet and then put the directories matching the usernames in the subdirectory corresponding to their first letter. a/alice b/bob b/bill c/charlie e/etc If you have more than 32000 users starting with any particular letter, such as "s", then you do the same but with the first two letters: s/m/smith s/t/stevens Of course all of this is just a trivial case of a hashing algorithm where the extra layers of directories correspond to hash buckets, so you can switch to a more complex hash if you prefer.