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

Le sam, 14 avr 2001 03:49:46, Evan DiBiase a écrit :
> On Fri, 13 Apr 2001, Pavel Cisler wrote:
> > Hmm..., I wonder why having separate home and desktop
> folders doesn't work on
> > Linux but works great on OS X and BeOS. Guess neither
> are "unixish" enough,
> > whatever that's supposed to mean.
> I think we need to look at what, conceptually, the home
> and desktop
> folders are. Is the goal of the desktop to provide the
> user with easy
> access to commonly used files/features, as well as things
> like news
> (with that nifty RSS component)? Or is it going to be the
> main place
> where user-file interaction is going to take place?

Hopefully, both

> On the other hand, the home directory is pretty much where
> files _must_
> be placed for a user. To set up an analogy, it's like a
> house (hey, the
> name finally makes sense). You keep most of your stuff in
> your house,
> probably, because people aren't going to let you keep it
> in their
> houses. And you also have subsets of the house, because
> keeping
> everything in one space would be inefficient. One subset
> you have is the
> desktop subset. 

Now here I don't agree with you. The Desktop is not and
should not be a subset of the house. The Desktop is the hall
of the house, the place from which *everything* should be
easily accessible, be it configuration files or user

That doesn't mean everything should be placed directly on
the desktop. That means there should be doors leading from
the desktop to every user ressource, i.e all these files
should be on the desktop or in desktop subdirectories.

Now how the user organises these files (by project, date,
etc) should not be a nautilus decision, i.e. we provide the
user with a door and he chooses how he wants to
compartimentize his house. Deciding to ignore its home
directory and let him move everything somewhere else on the
desktop (with symlinks) is a bad idea. Yes, it may means the
desktop is a little cluttered at first, but please realize
that there is no reason a cluttered ~ is better than a
cluttered desktop, and if users want a flat organization (a
one-room house) all this desktop/home separation is just a
band-aid, and users will soon have the same mess on the gui
and cli homes.

The only files users can't decide to reorganize later are
configuration files, and almost all of these are hidden
files (not that a ~/etc wouldn't have been user-friendlier)
so with the simple option of having . files hidden in the ~
directory one can take care of this.

>Your house contains the desktop, but not
> everything in
> the house is on the desktop because that would be stupid.

Well, building a new door to a house leading to an empty
lobby with a door to the real house just to maintain the
fiction that the house is empty as first is not a great
idea. Nautilus job is to provide this new door, not
reorganize the house. If users want an empty lobby they can
easily move every non-hidden document in ~ in a subdirectory
(wich they'll be able to name as it pleases them, btw, which
avoids the uppercase/lowercase and i18n issues of Desktop).
In fact, it's so easy that might be one of the questions
asked by the first-time druid.

> Now, this analogy doesn't translate directly to the
> current dilemma, but
> I think it makes the roles a bit clearer. Where it breaks
> down is that
> you really don't "execute" things on a real desktop like,
> say, a car,
> but you can launch a web browser from your Nautilus
> desktop.

So what ? You can also add a symlink to mozilla in your ~.
(and a real nifty thing would be desktop launchers behaving
as this kind of symlinks in cli). Why insisting in
separating them ? They are but two views of the same thing.

> I vote for separation along the lines that it was done on
> the Mac. As
> far as I understand, your hard drives showed up on the
> desktop (for our
> purposes, hard drive == home directory, at least for
> display on the
> desktop), but the desktop actually was contained within
> the hard drive.

I disagree here also. hard-drive != ~. hard-drive == /, and
if ~ didn't already exist in the / architecture I'd agree
with you some kind of seperation is necessary.

> This argues for a hidden desktop folder, because users who
> need to
> change it outside of Nautilus probably know how to find .
> hidden files
> anyway.

Users who need to change parameters outside of apps would
now it, that's sure, but that doesn't mean they'll like it.
After all, we have an /etc dir not a ~/.etc one.

If you want to hide things at the gui level, fine, add an
option in nautilus to filter the contents of some well-known
files or folders (saddly that won't be ~/etc because
applications writers don't care if their configuration
files/dirs are a mess as long as they are hidden. One of the
better features of Windowmaker is that they decided to move
their user-level configuration files in a non-hidden
directory, so now they are forced to organize them instead
of Gnome's current mess).

Filtering is fine. One can control this via preferences. But
a hierarchy that imposes your idea of what's important and
what's not for the user by hidding stuff and duplicating
user filesystem roots is bad IMHO

KISS. If the user didn't ask you for house reorganization,
just don't do it.


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