Re: Translations of folder names - two proposals

On Sun, 2004-12-12 at 11:21 +0900, Ryan McDougall wrote:
> The Unix file system isn't a design implementation that shouldn't be
> exposed, its an inherent and deeply ingrained design choice that cannot
> entirely be eliminated from the UI without a massive amount of pain.
> Even MacOS exposes some of the nature of the file system. 

But OS X also does exactly what I am advocating ;-)

> People have already mentioned some the problems that crop up in practise
> when you try to abstract away something as fundamental as the whole OS
> your running, so I won't repeat them here. 

My claim is pretty simple; all those problems have to do with
shell/motif type of scenarios. (And yeah, I'd put tarball-creation in
that category too.)

So I'm not saying we should ignore those scenarios, but I am saying that
once you start compromising the "office productivity user" sort of
experience to preserve them, it will create fundamental limitations on
our ability to create a usable system.

That's why I'm contributing to this thread all out of proportion to the
importance of this specific issue. Because if our first thought on any
problem is to design for ourselves (ourselves = users like us), that's

> Also, part of the success of GNOME and Linux is the Unix heritage,
> including the command line. People use and need the shell, and simply
> saying we can't afford to give anyone who uses the shell a sane UI
> experience

Here I think you're overstating matters. The number of shell-using
people on this list who are OS X users, and the fact that OS X does
exactly what's being suggested here, seems like an important data point.

I doubt the internal-to-Apple discussion of this topic looked much like
this thread.

> , is likely to alienate everyone who uses it and doesn't speak
> English. Its one thing to learn "/sbin/fsck.ext3", which is *hardly*
> English, and another to force them to also learn Desktop, Templates,
> Public, and WhatEverWeNeedToAddNext.

I don't see why it matters whether a string is UNIX-style must... not...
type... entire... word... gibberish or happens to be a real word. Would
it help if we named it ~/dtop and ~/tmpl and otherwise continued the
UNIX tradition ;-)

> The problem with dangling links is very real, but I believe its simpler
> to provide a "Use this folder as my Desktop..." GUI, than to try to
> constantly maintain an illusion that is in direct conflict with an
> inescapable "implementation detail" (Unix).

Slightly simpler *for people who use the shell* - let's be clear at all
times who we are optimizing for.

Again, if there's no tradeoff between kinds of user then great, I agree
with your points. However if we have benefits for users like us on the
left, and benefits for Abby the office productivity worker on the right,
the two benefits being of approximately the same magnitude, then we
should lose.


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