Re: FileChooser's path bar and re-rooting

On Mon, 2004-03-15 at 19:49 -0500, Ross McFarland wrote:
> On Mon, 2004-03-15 at 18:38, Seth Nickell wrote:
> > 
> > Here are two broad use categories guiding the design of the file
> > chooser:
> > 
> > 1) Corporate desktop users working with documents
> > 2) Traditional *nix developers
> > 
> > (1) is the primary use case. It involves relatively shallow use of
> > heirarchy, almost always constrained to the home directory.
> personally i think hiding the location of the home directory on a unix
> system is a bad idea. the home directory is a central enough
> location/concept that on unix a user needs to know where it is. if they
> want something from a co-worker's home directory and they know where
> their home directory is located they'll have a pretty good shot at
> guessing where to find the other.


> -rm

I think the point is that we should not necessarily halt our progress
wrt UI simply because it breaks some things that were done in the past.
Rather we should ask ourselves whether the way that it was done in the
past is the right way to do it, or if we can do it better in the future.

If you forget a little Unix heritage for a second, and imagine a
possible Unix-based desktop of the near future, what _should_ that use
case you mention be like:

Alice has a file Bob needs, and she wished to make it available to him.
Alice says "the file is at location X", Bob "goes" to X retrieves the
document. Why should X be a Unix path? Could it not be a URI, or perhaps
just a folder in "networks://Folder"? In those two cases, there is no
concept of $HOME. There are some pretty complicated questions that have
to be answered, and not all of the answers are problematic with re-
rooting. In fact, as data becomes ever more spread out among email, web
servers, databases, home directories at work or school, etc. The more
complicated any utterly archaic Unix paths become.

The second point, is that people who know enough about Unix paths
probably fall into group 1.5 or 2, and probably won't be overly confused
by re-rooting, especially if Seth takes his UI ideas and further refines
them as he has said he will.


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