Re: RFC: On-line Content Filtering of directories

On Wed, 2005-04-20 at 00:04 +0200, Diego Gonzalez wrote:
> Hi
> I have implemented a new feature for Nautilus, it is a way to filter
> the contents of a directory, right now it only works when Nautilus is
> in spatial mode. If there is interest in it, it can easily be extended
> to work on navigational windows.
> I have created this feature to overcome a problem that i'm having as a
> consequence of using the spatial mode: when i started to use the
> spatial mode, i found it incredible anoying to have deep hierarchies
> of directories, as a consecuence i reduced them, this meant in many
> cases that i got directories with a lot of files, and altough i have
> long meaningful names for many of them it is quite hard to find a file
> in there. This patch allows me to quickly search the contents of a
> directory for files that match the string entered.
> A more complete description with the patch proposed and screenshots
> can be found at:
> Cheers,
> Diego
> PD: An extension of this feature could be used to rework the regular
> expresion selection (Ctrl+S), as i think that this feature is more
> visible and also easier to used by common desktop users that do not
> understand how regular expressions work.

I'm not sure about this. We've had people request something like this
before, and we've always said no. 

First of all I think its slightly confusing (especially in spatial mode)
that you're displaying a folder, and some normal files are not showing.
Of course, you can try to handle this by somehow making it very obvious
in the UI that you're displaying a subset, and make it very easy to get
back to showing all files. 

Both glob select (although this is something of a poweruser feature) and
typeahead solves some of the same issues as filtering, without
introducing this increased complexity.

Also, its a bit limiting to only be able to filter by name. But its hard
to make more generic filtering possible and still make the feature small
and quick like the find bar.

This last issue brings us to idea of the full-featured search filtering,
where you can specify your search in a more expressive way and it'll
search the whole disk, giving you the result is some sort of virtual
search folder. I think its clear that we want something like this
eventually, and that it is useful for some of the things filtering can
be used for too.

So, given that we have glob selection, typeahead and a vfolder-based
full-search system, does filtering and the complexities it adds really
have a place? It would be nice if you (or someone) could come up with
some real-life usecases for filtering, comparing it to other approaches.
It would be interesting to see which situation filtering would be better
than these other alternatives.

 Alexander Larsson                                            Red Hat, Inc 
                   alexl redhat com    alla lysator liu se 
He's a lounge-singing drug-addicted househusband with no name. She's a 
hard-bitten gold-digging doctor with an incredible destiny. They fight crime! 

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