Browser Mode by Default [Was: Nautilus]

<quote who="Shane O'Connor">

> I recently started looking at gnome2.12 builds (moving on to 2.13 now) and
> I just can't get my head around the default view for Nautilus - the
> spatial view (a new window for each folder opened) is sooooo annoying ;)

Thanks for raising this, I've been procrastinating, because I know it's a
controversial issue.

I strongly agree that we should ship browser mode by default, especially now
that it has been so wonderfully refreshed (as of 2.12). I raised this during
my talk at GUADEC. I'm very glad that in this instance we've been willing to
take a risk, but we should also be willing to admit mistakes. The theory and
implementation of Nautilus' spatial mode is excellent, but in practice, it
is *not* a benefit to our users.

 * A massive, massive majority of users in my relatively unscientific broad
   based testing have responded with, "Why are all these windows all over my
   screen?" The muscle memory familiarity doesn't help them when their main
   reaction is intellectual fear.

 * A misdirected attempt to fix that issue by making preceding windows
   'close behind' failed, converting the "Why are all these windows all over
   my screen?" catchcry to "Why is this window dancing all over the screen?"

 * We manage too much data, everything is moving toward search, it's hard to
   manage the naturally abstract nature of search and the tactile nature of
   a pure spatial file manager.

 * Ubuntu has switched to browse mode by default. That change has been very
   successful, with lots of positive user feedback. Spatial was just jarring
   and unhelpful. Hard to sell on first experience when it's decidedly odd.

It's a rad feature, particularly for the geeky users who dig it, and because
it is implemented so purely. I fully support keeping it in Nautilus. But let
us admit that it was useful to try as the default, but ultimately admit to a
mistake and move on.

Our users, people who choose to love or hate GNOME, don't understand why we
have done this and don't want to. They just want a file manager that doesn't
punch them in the face.


- Jeff

-- 2006: Dunedin, New Zealand     
     "Linux is not like Novell, it isn't going to run out of money - it
              started off bankrupt, in a way." - Steve Ballmer

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