taking features away (compact view removed from Nautilus)

I realized recently to my surprise and dismay that the compact view has been removed from Nautilus:


When I switched to GNOME back in 2006, Nautilus had only the icon and list views.  At that time I felt that was a serious limitation of the GNOME desktop, since neither of these views made it easy to browse directories with lots of files in a readable way.  I really wanted a view where I could reasonably see lots of files at once, with filenames stacked vertically (so I wouldn't have to scan my eyes in two dimensions in order to find a filename I wanted) and where the filenames wouldn't wrap.

I spent a couple of weekends back then hacking on a compact view for Nautilus, but never found the time to quite make it work, so I rejoiced when Christian Neumair implemented a compact view in March 2008:


Compare two views of the same folder zoomed to the same level of visual file density, one with text beside icons, the other in compact view.  Which would you rather scan when looking for a file?

text beside icons: http://yorba.org/download/scratch/nautilus_icon_view.png
compact view: http://yorba.org/download/scratch/nautilus_compact_view.png

For the last 6 years, every time I've set up a GNOME machine (certainly many dozens of times) I've set it to use compact view by default.  I've often thought this should be the default for everyone.

So now all I can say is this: Where was this change discussed, other than the above Bugzilla ticket which a tiny number of people saw?  When were we given the opportunity to comment on this change?  Why, why, why?

I'd like to end on a constructive note.  I propose that GNOME adopt the following policy.  No major feature will be removed from a core GNOME application before a discussion has occurred on a public mailing list such as this one (or on a Bugzilla bug, with a prominent mailing list announcement pointing to the bug in question).  I also propose that all such feature removals that have occurred in the 3.6 development cycle be reverted until such discussion has occured .

The features in core GNOME apps are the result of years of hard work and consensus building by our community.  All I ask is to be informed before these features vanish and to be given the chance to say why I like them so much.


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