Re: The desktop in Gnome 3


Thank you Alexander for your thoughts. As I already mentioned in another
thread, I would like to use the desktop as "the memory" of my thoughts
and actions. For this, I personally would like to use the innovative
knowledge management tool called Deepamehta ( But
since this is a tool for knowledge workers, I wouldn't see it as a
default. Neither I think the desktop should be replaced by any other
tool, because it never can be the right one for everybody. Therefore, I
would warmly welcome if there would be an API for what is considered the
"new" desktop (or, which might be a better word, screentop). Since I am
no Gnome developer, I wonder if such an API is possible or even already


Am Donnerstag, den 16.09.2010, 20:31 +0200 schrieb Alexander Larsson:
> Gnome has for a very long time been using the "traditional" model of
> using the desktop as a location to store transient files and launchers.
> Using the desktop in this way has several known problems. A good
> description of some of them are this blog entry:
> I could list some more issues, but I think everyone gets the idea. The
> desktop as a transitional storage is not working well.
> Furthermore, and imho most importantly, having the traditional desktop
> metaphor in Gnome 3 to a large degree blocks work on new interesting
> ways to solve the problems the desktop tries to solve. Gnome 3 will be a
> big break in the desktop user experience. Now is our chance to go wild
> and try new solutions.
> So, my plan for Nautilus is to drop the desktop handling by default.
> Instead the solution for transient files and such is the "Finding and
> Reminding" stuff being worked on in gnome shell:
> (I'm told the mockups are a bit out of date)
> >From a Nautilus perspective this just implies disabling the desktop
> rendering and not showing links to the desktop anywhere (in e.g.
> sidebars or menus). Technically this is trivial as the code already
> exists for the show_desktop + desktop_is_home_dir config options.
> Additionally we need some global option so that e.g. the file selector
> could avoid showing the desktop icon, etc.
> However, there is a problem. The gnome-shell replacement stuff is all
> mockups and ideas, and we're a few months from Gnome 3.0. There are
> plans to start implementing this soon, but its unlikely that what we get
> by Gnome 3.0 time is super-polished.
> So, we have two options:
> 1) Remove the desktop in 3.0 and have the not-quiet-polished gnome-shell
> feature as the only way to handle transient files.
> 2) Keep the desktop in 3.0, in addition to the gnome-shell feature, and
> then drop it in 3.2 when the shell is more polished.
> Neither of these are ideal. Really, the time to change the user
> experience is in 3.0, but not having a feature complete replacement is
> kinda sucky for users.
> I'm not sure what is the best way forward here. But my current plan is
> to leave the desktop enabled while work on the gnome-shell feature
> starts. Then we can delay the decision until a date closer to the Gnome
> 3.0 release when we know better what the status of the shell work is. 
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