File chooser button [was Re: Gnome-utils branched to gnome-2-14]

I'm going to answer this out of order which may make it difficult to
follow, apologies in advance.

On Wed, 8 Feb 2006, Federico Mena Quintero wrote:

> Date: Wed, 08 Feb 2006 20:36:22 -0600
> From: Federico Mena Quintero <federico ximian com>
> To: Alan Horkan <horkana maths tcd ie>
> Cc: desktop-devel-list gnome org
> Subject: Re: Gnome-utils branched to gnome-2-14


> The screenshot applet should definitely not use a file chooser button
> because it is going to use the file you picked immediately, and only
> once.

Okay that makes things a lot clearer

> but it can be summarized as "the widget you would use in a configuration
> dialog to pick a file or directory that the program will use
> continually" [1].

And you description of when a File Chooser Button should be used make
things crystal clear.  There will be cases where File Chooser Button
should not be used and thanks to your description I have the information
needed to encourage developers to use the File Chooser Button in
appropriate situations.

> [1] Yes, this description should go in the documentation:
> Care to polish it up a bit and submit a patch?

I'll certianly consider it and try and make the time to try putting
together a suitable patch.

[It being the Screenshot dialog]

> It should take a GtkFileChooserWidget in SAVE mode, and embed it
> in a dialog with a scaled-down version of the screenshot.  See
> eggiconchooser to see how a GtkFileChooserWidget can be embedded nicely
> in another dialog.
> +--------------+  Name:           [screenshot.png_____________]
> |              |
> |  screenshot  |  Save in folder: [ @ Documents             \/]
> |     here     |
> |              |
> +--------------+                           [ Cancel ]  [ Save ]
>   Federico

> On Wed, 2006-02-08 at 17:06 +0000, Alan Horkan wrote:
> > I remain baffled how the file chooser button was designed.

I believe it was designed by Sun Microsystems so perhaps they can
elaborate on their design process and goals.

> > Everywhere we have text entries followed by a Browse button but the File
> > Chooser button looks nothing like this.

Your explanation suggests the File Chooser Button was only ever designed
as a direct replacement for a small subset of the problems this is used
for and so long as developers use it appropriately we should be okay.

> > Instead of a widget to encapsulate this established idea there is a
> > "button" which looks confusingly like a drop down menu.

Changing the visual appearance would help a lot I hope.

> Your task is to design a better one, while keeping the API.

I've no intention of breaking the API.  I'll do what I can to clarify what
I see as the problem and try to contact those who designed it, and see
what they think.  (I've student loans to pay off and very little time or
resources to do detailed designs and implementations but I'll try and see
what I can do.)

> The usage case for GtkFileChooserButton is rather vague,

Your description (Federico) helps a lot, hopefully the people at Sun who
developed it can elaborate, and I've CC'ed Calum Benson in the hope he can
point me in the right direction of who to ask.


Alan Horkan

Open Clip Art

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