[Nautilus-list] Chained URIs and archive viewers.

[oops - I sent this to the wrong address]
On Fri, Jun 29, 2001 at 11:48:17AM -0700, Darin Adler wrote:
> On Saturday, June 23, 2001, at 12:20  AM, Thomas Raschbacher wrote:
> > i wondered if someone is working on a viewer for archives(tgz, ..) and if 
> > i can help cause this is one of the features i`m missing when browsing my 
> > filesystem with nautilus ;)
> There's some stuff already in gnome-vfs and Nautilus that is the start of 
> this feature. You use a special URL like 
> "file:///home/darin/archive.gz#gzip:///" and the normal icon and list 
> views rather than a special viewer. The part of the puzzle that's not 
> solved yet is how to turn this rather arcane hidden feature into something 
> easy to use.
> I don't think anyone else is working on it, and it would be nice to have 
> someone figure it out.

I had all this pretty much working late last year from a technical 
standpoint. The real issue was how to integrate this sensibly with the
Nautilus UI. For example, theres the RPM view in Nautilus, and gnome-vfs
knows how to browse the files that are in an RPM. Presenting a user interface
that exposes this in a clear way is really tricky, and I never worked it out.

I also feel that the way that the chained URIs work in GnomeVFS is broken.
We use the # (hash/pound/octothorpe/whatever) symbol to separate the parent
and child URI, but the # character is used to denote a fragment identifier.
It is to be used by the application that is to display the content at that
location, not the code that retrieves the data. Consider the case when we
have a valid HTML file foo.html:
<A NAME="gzip:///">some anchor
There could conceivably be a link to http://www.example.com/foo.html#gzip:///
and as far as I know that would be a valid to the anchor above. GnomeVFS is
likely to misinterpret that, and try to ungzip the html file.

So in my opinion we need to work out some new mechanism for specifying
chained URI schemes and some new UI for nautilus (and for the common file
dialogs too).

I've been thinking about this problem for about a year now, and I can't think
of any solution that I'm happy with. I would welcome some input and some
fresh ideas.


As an aside, I believe KDE's KIO doesn't chain URIs, they just define new
top-level uris, for example tar://path/to/file.tar.gz. As much as I think
thats kind of lame (it doesn't solve the non-local case at all), it does
work :-)

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