[Nautilus-list] Re: Thumbnail sharing

On Thursday, June 14, 2001, at 12:02  PM, Jens Finke wrote:

1. The global thumbnail directory is ~/.nautils/thumbnails, which is
obviously bad. I would suggest to use ~/.gnome/thumbnails instead. The per
directory .thumbnails can be reused anyway.

That sounds fine to me.

2. The other thing is, that most of the generated thumbnails contain the
Nautilus specific frame around them. This looks quite nice within Nautilus
but it makes them unuseable for other programs. Maybe these add-ons could
be generated on the fly and not stored to disk. [BTW: Since I've read the
sourcecode I finally understand that the frame depends on the image size.
What's the idea behind this?].

I already asked Andy to change the Nautilus code to no longer include the frames in the thumbnails on disk. I think he's planning to do this soon as part of his work on making zoomed-in thumbnails look better (see item 1 below). Storing them on disk was just a design mistake.

Beyond these issues, there are a few others that must be resolved to share thumbnails. The biggest ones I can think of are:

1) Size. What size should a thumbnail be? Nautilus currently has a complex arbitrary rule for when a thumbnail is a certain size. For a future version of Nautilus, we want to create more than one thumbnail so you can generate a larger one for when people view the directory at a larger size. Various programs might need thumbnails of different sizes depending on what the rest of their UI is like. Andy was planning to work on this. 2) Errors. What should be put in the thumbnail directory when a thumbnail can't be computed? Nautilus currently has a way to create an error file to indicate that the thumbnail couldn't be created to avoid trying over and over again each time you visit the directory. It also has a way to indicate "thumbnail generation in progress", and we'd ideally want to have that work even if the other program was making the thumbnail. 3) File dates. Nautilus makes the thumbnails have dates that match the files they were generated from rather than the time they were generated. That way, the code can compare the date on the file with the date on the thumbnail for a (usually correct) check to see if the thumbnail needs to be regenerated due to changes in the file. 4) Locking for thumbnail generation. If multiple programs are trying to create thumbnails at once, we have to make sure they don't overwrite each other or get in each other's way. This could be simple to solve, but I think there could be problems if we don't do anything about it.

What do the Nautilus people think about thumbnail shareing? Is such a
coorporation desired?

Sharing the thumbnails would be great. But I want to get it right and not break some of the subtle points in the thumbnail implementation.

    -- Darin

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