Re: [Nautilus-list] Integration of gmc and nautilus desktop directories.

On 12 Apr 2001 12:41:59 -0700, Darin Adler wrote:

> > I heard about Tuomas' ~ idea for the desktop.  It is definetly an
> > interesting concept, but one that might not fly given the current Unix
> > user base.   That is just my feeling right now about Tuomas' idea
> My feeling too.

Yep. It's unfortunate I think. I think there is no real reason why it
couldnt work, but in practice the discussion attempts on IRC were
something like this:

<tigert> Can $HOME be the desktop?
<hacker> NO! That is WRONG! It is just plain evil!
<tigert> Why not? Nautilus doesnt show your dotfiles on the 
         desktop in any case.. It works very well for me with a
temporary symlink to test it. And it makes a lot of sense that
if you save a file to your homedir you can see it with Nautilus
right there on the desktop!
<hacker> But my homedir is a huge mess and it would be embarassing if
everyone could see it! <- "hacker" misses the point here.

Now at this point I tried to say something like "Well. it takes 10
minutes to clean it up with nautilus.. and you make subdirs on your
homedir anyway to organize your stuff, right?" but usually the emotional
charge for even mentioning the "$HOME should be the desktop" is too
strong for most people to overcome and actually listen to me.. Sigh.

I just think it is not good to require new users to learn that the files
they save are in two different places. I talked with Garrett Le Sage
(the artist guy) and he said he had a lot of trouble
explaining to his family (he installed Linux with GNOME for them) that
the files they saved did not go to the desktop, but they had to find
them in this special directory. And those people were not
never-used-a-pc-before -level, they had some computing experience
beforehand. They learned how it worked and have no problem now. But
should they need to learn such at thing at all?

I know this is not a perfect solution. Bad Things happen if you rename
the ~/evolution or ~/Nautilus or ~/nsmail dirs for example. But all
these things could be solved somehow. A list of "common things to hide
on the desktop" for example. Maybe automatically hide those for Novice
user level? Whatever. 

The reason I am talking about this: On windows / mac there exists the
File Selector. The File Selector knows about the desktop and defaults
your saves there. But on Un*x there is no "The File Selector". There are
"Legacy NON-GNOME Applications" like our dear web browser Mozilla. Or
The Gimp. I dont think it is reasonable to assume that users will not
use any non-gnome applications. Why should they learn to know where
their desktop directory is?

I also understand this can be a frightening experience for existing
users - they are likely to freak out if their pr0n collection suddenly
ends up as thumbnails on the desktop along with all the other crap they
have on their $HOME. 

The above is what my desktop looked like after I symlinked it. So I know
it gets messy. But the other thing is after 10 minutes it wasnt like
that anymore. And I had planned to clean it up for 3 years now...
Watch a hardcore shell-user love a graphical shell for a change :)

Anyway, maybe I am fighting against windmills here.. It might not be a
right time for this. Although I have used this for a while now and it
just feels right. It works as I expect. And looks like I am not the only
one. I encourage you to try it out for a while before you judge it. Feel
free to flame me if you like, but try to give some reasons. I intended
this as a serious discussion. I know the people dealing with user
mailing lists say "I saved this file but now I cannot find it!" is a
common problem.

Can someone with real user interface experience give some real input on
this so I know if I am on crack or not? :-) Or are we just trying to
"Make UNIX not suck, as long as it does not involve my $HOME!" :)

Yes, I am frustrated a bit, try to bear with me.


Tuomas Kuosmanen - Art Director -
Ximian - tigert ximian com -

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