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

On 14 Apr 2001, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:


> Tuomas Kuosmanen <tigert ximian com> writes:
> > 
> > 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?
> File selectors should not default to saving to the desktop. That would
> make your desktop messy pretty fast.

 As for file selectors: we can do a smart and very useful trick in gnome-2.0:
with gtk-2.0 (that allows to load values for GObject's properties from .gtkrc
file) it's VERY EASY to allow users to configure default directory (or recall
recently used directory) for the FileOpen or FileSave dialog on
per-application basis (and even more - per OpenDialog's type for each
application - e.g. one directory for selecting Styles, other directory for
opening documents, another - for importing documents for the given application
- programmer just has to specify distinc widget names for various file
dialogs). So there is no big deal of selecting default directory for file
selectors - we have technology that allows user to configure everything

> > 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!" :)
> MacOS X, BeOS and NeXT are unix-like systems designed by people with
> real user interface experience. In each case, the desktop is distinct
> from the user's home directory. So I think the people with real user
> interface experience have kind of spoken on this issue.
> Of course, there is a great way to prove lots of people with user
> interface wrong - do some user testing. If you'd like to do some user
> tests on this issue, I bet you can find lots of people to help you
> design some appropriate test cases. User testing is a much better way
> to resolve disagreements about UI issues than armchair debate on
> mailing lists. 
> In fact, I remember suggesting user testing to you on #nautilus, and I
> don't recall anyone calling your idea "evil" or "wrong". So seriously,
> do some formal user testing, it's a really educational experience.

 As for where to put desktop files - I think it would be nice to make the
choice of a directory used as a desktop configurable. That would solve all
troubles of deciding what to choose. "Configuration" can be in the form of
set of symlinks, file manager should use first symlink that exists, with set
of symlinks looking like the following:

 For example, for Nautilus, the set of symlinks to inspect should be the

 The Konqueror from KDE2 should inspect the following list of symlinks:

 If no symlinks with any of the names from this list exists, some hardcoded
directory name should be used. It would be nice to have a commandline option
for each filemanager that allows to select the name of a directory used as

 This way a flexibility of traditional unix applications can be reached.

 Best regards,

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