Re: Nautilus 2.6 - We're going all spatial

On Tuesday, September 16, 2003, at 04:49  pm, Ettore Perazzoli wrote:
IIRC (and my memory might be failing me, I guess) Windows 95's initial
model was mostly spatial.  If you double clicked on an object, it would
open a window for it.  If you double clicked on the same object again,
it would give you the same window.

Of course it had flaws and there were other ways you could things and
have multiple windows for the same object, but that was still the basic
model and how people used it most of the time. The non-spatialness-ness
aspects of it weren't even visible to the naive user.  (And we are
focusing on the naive user, right?)

It is worth pointing out here that the spacial model entirely *fails* if it is ever broken in the mind of the average user. That's why it is so important to make sure that any Navigation window is made completely clear to be a different viewer with different rules. Some sort of different icon or name or something is crucial to make this differentiation, as is making it non-obvious to the average user that this viewer even exists.

It is also why comparing Windows 95 with what is being attempted here is not all that relevant I would think. The model in Windows 95 was flawed in a lot of important ways (as you have pointed out) and as such the illusion of file-is-folder was broken from the start.

You also raise a very important point, the issue of hiding the complexity of the file system from the user, something that Mac OS has historically done very very well, and Windows/Linux has done very very poorly. Users who understand the file system and where things go, probably aren't using Nautilus, and if they are they probably understand how to make it do whatever they need anyway. The task is to hide the parts of the filesystem that average users don't need to (and shouldn't in fact) mess about in. It is amazing to me to note that in the original Mac OS almost no one even knew what the file system separation character was. The complexity of the file system was that hidden from the user. This is something that, in the spatial model at least, Nautilus needs improvement on.


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