Re: An object Oriented File Manager Design

I agree whole-heartedly with this.  Even a technical user can be lost
without knowledge of what options are available.  A technical user has
the advantage of experimentation and previous knowledge - we know what a
context menu is, and have a good chance of thinking "hey, what does the
context menu give me?"  Untrained, unexperienced, or unwilling-to-learn
users aren't going to do this.  It's that last groups that's the biggest
pain in the ass, yet I find myself having to do with them the most doing
support (then, that isn't surprising in after-thought).  These people
need the cues and guidance on how to go about the task they are trying
to accomplish, and not be forced to really on understand of desktop

Heck, even if we did rely totally on desktop paradigms, the context-menu
is one of the worst to rely on.  As it's often invoked by "alternative
click", that being right-click for most users, but it's not consistant
at all.  Lots of widgets in GTK (or just in certain apps) have no
context menu, others react to an alternate click just like a normal
click (most menu bars, for example), other apps have a global context
menu for the whole window, others have a different context menu for each
area/widget, etc.  Desktop paradigms only work when they're consistant,
and the user can rely on the knowledge that the action produces the
intended result, or provides the intended information.  This just isn't
the case for context-menus, and I don't see that changing any time soon.

Even if all apps on a user's desktop was consistant (i.e., Mozilla,
OpenOffice, etc. all started using GNOME's UI guidelines and followed
them perfectly), context menues kinda suck imho anyways - if we need at
least two mouse buttons and at least three key modifiers (super, alt,
ctrl) in order to perform work, that indicates to me the interface is
still too complicated.  It's just like comparing a door that swings open
when pushed, and a trick door that needs pressure applied, two keys
turned, and an ancient mystic phrase chanted on the third full moon of
the year in order to open.  ~,^  (Well, okay, _maybe_ the last bit was a
bit over the top.)

On Tue, 2003-02-18 at 16:40, Joshua Adam Ginsberg wrote:
> Mark -
> It's as beautifully simple and elegant as it is well thought out and
> explained... I would love such a file manager... but I think its
> shortcomings lie in who you and I are... you and I are both extremely
> technically literate people with a natural intuition about working
> within any computing environment be they graphical or CLI... any system
> that gets plopped down in front of us, we'll develop a natural
> comfortability and understanding of the paradigm of interaction with
> that environment...
> Unfortunately, most computer users are not like this... To us such a
> solution is extremely simple and elegant in that there are only a
> handful of fixed rules of interaction (DnD, Context Menus, etc.)... but
> computer users who are not wired like you and me need visual choices of
> what to do... this is why most users are terrified and confused by the
> CLI; there's no visual option of what to do except the blinking cursor
> indicating you should type something... these users need the visual
> presence of back, up, forward, home, location bar, etc. to make it clear
> that these are among the options of what they can do... you and I might
> say it's quite obvious that these choices are in the context menu or
> they are irrelevant within this paradigm, but the context menu is hidden
> until summoned and technically illiterate people don't operate on an
> abstract enough level to adopt paradigms...
> Feel free to differ... maybe I'm just spouting some deeply held
> misconceptions within the school of UI design... but regardless your
> solution is  beautiful, elegant, and simple... we should all be so
> lucky...
> -jag
> On Tue, 2003-02-18 at 14:20, MArk Finlay wrote:
> > I've been trying to work out in my head how to make a truly simple
> > object oriented file manager for a while now. And while I am most likely
> > totally wrong this is what I have come up with:
> > 
> >
> > 
> > Thought some people on desktop-devel and nautilus-list might be
> > interested. If this design is good for nothing else, it might inspire
> > some intesting discussion.

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