Re: GtkFileChooser extensions

On Thu, 2004-09-23 at 18:55 -0500, Federico Mena Quintero wrote:
> On Wed, 2004-09-22 at 17:19 -0400, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> > I would be curious about those options. The worst of all worlds it seems
> > to me is that you do an extension interface that turns out to be only
> > useful for these three features, then you have a set of ABI/UI
> > limitations that are hardcoded, without real gain. Of course, it's tough
> > to answer the question "are there future extensions we'll want, and if
> > so what are they, and what extension points will they require"
> Yeah, it's hard to know what we'll need in the future.

Agreed, so this doesn't convince me either way ;-)

> I could only think of one other interesting extension:  Recent Files.
> You could implement it in a similar fashion to the searching stuff; you
> put in a "Recent Files" shortcut, which displays the recent-files list
> when activated.

This might make sense, however it does seem like functionality that we
would want to just in add into the file chooser and doesn't need to be
an extension at all.

> > I think Bryan and Seth have given some thought to search UI for the
> > filesel, so pestering them until they fork it over might also be smart.
> Bryan, Seth, did you read this? ;)

I don't have much of an opinion of the extensions system as a
technology.  I've read it and find the extension system interesting,
however I don't yet see the use for this beyond search and recent files,
two things that might do well to just be added.

I'm not going to sign off on the UI of this of course. ;-)  I think it's
going in the wrong direction for a search interface.  I'll explain a
little bit about the UI stuff so you can take that into account on how I
feel about these specific features. 

Recent academic studies on search are finding that search systems are
best handled in a Search, then Browse method more than just a search or
just a browse.  You see this in Ebay where you start with a search and
then it returns category matches and exact matches.  You can then filter
your results by category and continue to either search more or browse
more or select the exact match.

Also search systems need to show users why they returned certain objects
as found results (which I can't see this interface doing very well).
Google does this well by showing you the context of the page with the
found words highlighted.  You can easily see about what the found
results are and have an educated guess if the page will work or not.

I have other stuff, but this isn't the right time for going through my
compilations of search interface research.

The save dialog extension is a nice idea from an idealistic point of
view, but the reality of it is that next to no one is going to use this
to add extra information.  Google proves this point very quickly by not
using meta-data in their search indexing system.  They found that page
rank was a much better way of tying "good" links together and that many
"good" pages don't use meta data correctly.  Anyway, I'm sure you all
know how Google works in this aspect.  People are about as likely to add
decent meta-data to their files as they are their web pages.

Basically there is plenty of meta-data that exists and we are currently
not making use of.  Indexing the document, relating what the last (and
next) document written was, all the contextual information about the
persons computer usage at the time could be used.  So much more
information exists that I would never want to ask people to actually add
extra information, especially since I'm certain that most won't bother.
I could go on and on about cool meta information that should be grabbed
but again, it's not the right time or place now.

Executive summary:
Search interface will be kludgey at best.
Recent files would be nice added into the interface as an extension or
Save interface will be mostly useless.

I'd love to work on search interfaces some time, I'd much rather be
constructive with this stuff.

Sorry for the (really) late reply,
~ Bryan

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