Re: Should Desktop = Home?

On Sat, 2004-10-02 at 14:57 -0400, Curtis Hovey wrote:
> I think is very difficult introducing the concept of Home when a
> directory/folder doesn't resemble a home in any way.  It is a bad
> metaphor.  The desktop metaphor works to some degree--its use with
> networked objects is weaker than the local objects.  I suspect that as
> much as 75% of users have difficulty distinguishing local from remote,
> Home from Desktop.

Well, the "desktop" is a just as bad metaphor too, anyway.
However, both are more appeasing and integrated with the system when
they're the same thing. You can call it Desktop or foo or whatever, but
it should simply be ~/

> > I see this as an opportunity to take two similar but slightly different 
> > metaphors (the Desktop and Home dirs) and merge them into one - making 
> > for one less concept the we have to grasp when we deal with our files.
> I do use desktop=home and have done for 3 years.  It just works.  It is
> one less place to look for data.  I needn't concern myself about where
> some app will save something because it is or is not desktop savvy.

And it fits with the WYSIWYG philosophy, since most of the time you only
care about your home directory and removeable devices anyhow.

It reduces the things you need to know. xterm and other terminal
emulators usually open with your shell pwd on ~/  IT JUST MAKES SENSE to
make the graphical view coherent with the text view. :)

All (albeit non-scientifically acceptable) installations I did
got /etc/skell filled with files matching a certain "default"
configuration which has "desktop" == ~/

The least that can be said is that it doesn't affect the test subjects.
Since it makes the desktop more coherent with the system, which is
definitely a good move, there's less things to memorize. There isn't a
weird phantom directory called $HOME which you only access with certain
magic moves (even if it's just clicking on an icon), which increases the
required level of abstraction.

The "no" camp usually claims clutter.

What's the difference of clutter on ~/ and clutter on ~/Desktop/ ?

I see none. A program (like old netscape) that creates a config folder
or file that's not hidden should be considered as having a bug.

Even evolution evoluted to this model.

This is a very good move to do, sticking to ~/Desktop should not happen
because nautilus creates a ~/Templates (bug imho), because KDE does it
that way, or because Windows does it that way, or because some apps have
visual clutter bugs. They're visual clutter bugs EVEN on text view! :)

Regards, Rui

+ No matter how much you do, you never do enough -- unknown
+ Whatever you do will be insignificant,
| but it is very important that you do it -- Gandhi
+ So let's do it...?

Please AVOID sending me WORD, EXCEL or POWERPOINT attachments.

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