Desktops: a post-2.4 suggestion.

When an argument has gone on this long it means one of two things:

a) Both sides are right and it doesn't really matter which choice you
b) Both sides are wrong.

Conventional wisdom is that a) is correct which is why there's been a lot
of argument about detail. I would like to suggest that b) is in fact what
we have.

Two facts:
a) We want to use the desktop as the primary working area: i.e. we want
   the user to have access to the programs and files they commonly use.
   They don't want it cluttered.

b) $HOME is where all the users files go. Thats the way the system is
   designed. We can't change it. 

So the conflict comes when we want to show the user his files on the
desktop. The current arguments revolve around whether we show all of them
(the $HOME option, which leaves clutter) or just a select few (the Desktop
option, which then leaves them inconvenient to access from non-GNOME

So I have a suggestion: virtualise everything on the desktop. If a user
drags a file onto the desktop actually place it in the $HOME directory (or
wherever the power user says using GConf) and place a link on the
desktop. The user sees it on the desktop, the GNOME file selector will
show it on the desktop, the other-app file selector will show it in $HOME
and everything is easy to get to for everyone.

You will of course still want a Home icon on the desktop (think of it as
the "my files" box). But now the "real" filesystem is presented entirely
through the nautilus window so there is no need to worry about "desktop
in home in desktop in ..." style loops.

Where exactly the desktop metadata is hidden is now irrelevant. The
desktop is provided as a vfs interface.

This is of course not 2.4 material, for now the maintainer can just flip a
coin (possibly a heavily biased coin) and pick one of the current options.

 - Callum

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]