[Nautilus-list] Folder icon overlays?

I've really been enjoying using Nautilus as a filemanager, and one of
the main reasons that I like it so much is the whole notion of previews.
Thumbnails, text file icons showing some of their contents, and the
music previews are really great ideas.  I hope that more previews in
this vein are added in time, as they are infinitely useful.  However,
the point of this mail is to address the potential extension of previews
to directories.

Right now, folder icons are just folder icons.  You can change their
icons to something potentially more descriptive (like making the
Evolution directory an envelope icon), but then at a quick eye scan, you
can't tell if it is a folder or file anymore.  If anything, this is
worse.  What I would like to suggest is allowing icons/images to be
overlaid on directory icons.  In this way, you are able to get an idea
of the contents of a directory, while still knowing that it is a

Emblems don't really seem to be a good solution here, because they don't
seem to be meant for something like this.  It seems like most of the
emblems can potentially (and hopefully will) be associated with actions.
Like "secret" encrypts the item, or "important" backs it up, etc.  

Overlays would be more along the lines of previews - so my "music"
folder full of mp3s should have a music icon overlaid on the folder
icon.  My documents folder, similarly, should have a document icon
overlaid.  My artwork folder should have a portrait icon overlaid or
something.  Things like this.  I see it potentially working in one of
two ways:
1. (the easier way, I think) - letting the user choose an overlay icon
manually, in the same way that custom icons can be chosen now.
2. (the harder, cooler way) - in cases where directories are fairly
homogenous in MIME type (or supertype), Nautilus should automatically
overlay an appropriate icon for the user, unless a custom one is already

Anyway, I have been thinking about this for a little while, and thought
that I would mention it on the list to see if it was a worthwhile idea
for some future version of Nautilus.


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