Re: Be respectful and considerate. A complaint.

On Mon, Jul 2, 2012 at 2:12 PM, Andreas Nilsson <lists andreasn se> wrote:
> For reference, here is the extra pane functionality in Nautilus:
> And here is the same feature, but at the window manager level (and for all
> the other apps too):
> Same thing, just on a different level and now desktop-wide.

Thanks for posting that. It's a really interesting comparison :)

There are just a few things we could do with split-view Nautilus that
we cannot (currently) do with the window manager:
1. Resize the two panes.
2. Do this with a movable, unmaximized window. (Eg: do this reasonably
on a large screen).
3. Enable split view with a single keystroke.

For #1, I think that is something the window manager could totally do.
Chrome OS currently does the same and it's been pretty well regarded,
and it can't be _that_ hard to implement. (Is it?).

#2 wouldn't be unheard of from a WM level, either, though it might be
a little tricky to get right. Haiku OS has a really interesting window
manager with this type of functionality:

#3 is arguably not _too_ different here. You can get a split view with
Super+Left, Ctrl+N, and Super+R (for the new window). That isn't
discoverable, though, and it certainly won't be shown as "View extra
pane" in a nice menu somewhere.

So, I think your example shows where there's a good opportunity to
make the GNOME platform amazing to develop on. For a developer, it
would be brilliant to just get all kinds of view management features
for free after doing some basic multi-window stuff. (Android's
Fragments API is perhaps good inspiration here). But, as much as I
love the 'let the window manager take care of it' approach, right now
the user experience is losing out. Applications tend to be completely
subservient to the window manager, and the window manager knows very
little about applications. (Definitely improved in GNOME Shell, but
it's still fairly limited).

>From the WM level, I'm pretty sure we can't do F3 to get split
Nautilus windows in any reasonable way. (We don't know if an app will
support that, and we can't tell an app to open a window just like its
current one). But perhaps that be done with a helpful function in an
API somewhere. For any application where split view would make sense,
it could use that API call and tie it to a menu item with F3 as an
agreed-upon keyboard shortcut. So for the end user split view in
Nautilus could be initiated just like it is now, but for a developer
it would dead easy.

Okay, rambling over.


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