[Fwd: Re: File Selector talk notes -- one other suggestion]

Luke H. sent some very cool feedback on the recent file select talk to
me; I'm forwarding it for him.
-----Forwarded Message-----

[This message is kindly being forwarded to the desktop-devel-list for me
by Luis Villa as I don't subscribe to the list.]

I didn't notice any discussion about XDS (the FreeDesktop.org drag-save
protocol for X) in the File Selector talk notes.  Drag-saving is a
feature which I believe will make the GNOME desktop far more intuitive
and easy-to-use for many people.

Please see the XDS (Driect Save Protocol) notes at:


This is the FreeDesktop.org proposed standard for "Saving Files Via
Drag-and-Drop: The Direct Save Protocol for the X Window System".  It is
an extension of XDND.  The concept comes originally from Acorn's RISC
OS.  It is one of those features that you simply don't know how you did
without it once you've used it.  You can be working on a document or
drawing in one application, and then go "Save As..." and *drag* an icon
across to an already-open file manager window, rather than navigating a
(sometimes deep) directory heirarchy in the Save As box to find the same
directory that you're already viewing in your file manager.  It makes
life so much easier, and makes the file manager far more useful, since
most people only currently use their file manager for loading things,
not saving things.  It's nice to have a file manager window open on your
desktop for all the different files in a project that you're working on,
and to be able to both load things from it and save things to it, using
different applications, without having to re-navigate the directory
structure just to get there for each new application.

Another very useful application of this is that you can drag the file
icon from the Save As window *into* another application -- e.g. imagine
editing an image in the Gimp, and then drag-saving it into an Open
Office frame.  It is much more visual than the Cut-Paste mechanism,
which doesn't provide any user feedback as to what has happened to your
data (the clipboard is usually invisible).  The other great reason why
this is a good idea is that you don't have to create a temporary file
anywhere just to get your artwork across from the Gimp to OpenOffice (or
between any other two drag-save-enabled applications).  So there's one
file-management task fewer to worry about.

Because XDS is built on XDND, it shouldn't be too hard to add this
functionality to GTK/GNOME.  The main change is that a file icon
(depicting the file type) would need to be added to a regular
(Windows-like) file-save dialog box, perhaps with a label
("Alternatively: Drag icon to save" or something) above it to let people
discover this functionality.  If it's built into a regular file-save
dialog, then we can still operate the old way, or use drag-saving,
depending on which is better for the situation.

Thomas Leonard of the ROX project ( http://rox.sourceforge.net ) can
fill you in on more of the details I'm sure, since the ROX Filer and
other ROX apps already implement XDS AFAIK.  I believe he subscribes to
this list.

Luke Hutchison.

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