[Nautilus-list] Nautilus suggestions


I have been a silent observer of the Nautilus mailing list for some
time. I have seen quite a few interesting suggestions for the
development of Nautilus pop up now and then, and I really hope as many
of them as possible will be implemented some time. I have a few
suggestions myself, so I decided to post them to see if they could prove
useful. I have no Nautilus hacking experience, actually no Gnome hacking
experience at all, so I haven't made any concerns about implementation
issues. The suggestions are basically the result of my private
brainstorming so I don't know how realistic they may be. Some are
certainly already being implemented. Anyway here they are...

* Trash icon visible in nautilus view/window

For those who like drag-n-drop it can be quite frustrating to always
have to dig among the desktop windows to find the trash bin located on
the desktop - whenever one would like to delete some files. To solve
this problem one could have a trash bin icon always visible in the
nautilus windows when browsing your files. It would then be possible
to simply drag files to the trash located either in the sidebar or
somewhere else in the nautilus window. Clicking on the icon would
bring up the trash folder, just like on the desktop. 

Also when dragging files over the trash bin the files to be deleted
often have large icons (especially picture thumbnails) so that it is
hard to see when the icons/pointer are really over the trash. This
makes it hard to "hit" the trash when deleting files via
drag-n-drop. Alpha-blending on the desktop would be nice, so that one
can see the trash blended with the files hovering over it. 
* Printer sidebar tab / component view

It would be nice to have easy printjob administration available in
Nautilus, possibly through a printer sidebar tab or a component view
displaying the printer queues...  A printer icon would work in a
similar way as the trash bin mentioned above, but instead of deleting
files they are printed... 

* Tree view improvements

The current tree view really sucks...  My main complaint is that the
sidebar space is not very efficiently used by the treeview. This makes
it hard to get a good overview of the file tree.  I guess most people
have the sidebar occcupying as little space as possible since the file
view is the important one, therefore effecient space usage is
crucial. It would be nice to have an option that makes the treeview
occupy the entire sidebar panel. 

Device access (like floppy's and cdrom's) would also be nice to have
in the tree view, and also "network neighborhood" type access with SMB
and NFS support like in Konqueror... 

* Emblems

The emblems are in its current state pretty useless, and worse they
are accessible in a really awkward way (Either via right-click on file
-> Properties -> Emblems, or via the Edit-menu).  It's to complicated
to add an emblem to a file for it to be useful.  They should be
accessible directly by the right-click menu (preferably as a submenu
with checkboxes) and also possibly via a new sidebar tab which
essentially is the Edit-> Backgrounds and Emblems dialog where you can
drag an emblem onto a file from the sidebar tab.  I have also seen a
brilliant posting that suggested that emblems have built-in actions,
like the "Important" emblem makes a backup, and the "Personal" emblem
encrypts the file.  This is a must have feature!  Other suggestions
would be that the "Urgent" emblem lets one set a reminder-alarm on the
file, "Draft" adds the file to a virtual drafts folder accessible from
the Documents folder, files saved from evolution (or other mail
clients) would automatically get the "Danger" emblem attached to it,
thus making the user aware of the security issues with these kinds of
files. The "Favorites" emblem could automatically be attached the the
10 most opened documents and the "Oh No" emblem could be used on
auto-save files (*~ ?) from application crashes... 

* News tab and desktop embedded views

It would be nice to be able to embed the "News" sidebar tab on the
desktop, like the active desktop channels in Windows. Another idea is
to be able to open folders on the desktop (or folder links) as
destop-background embedded file views, via a right click context
menu. So instead of dragging files into a folder on the desktop one
can drag it into a mini file-browser view, which is "permanently"
embedded and located on the desktop, allowing for easier arrangement
of files into favorite folders (i.e. "Documents"). 

* Active icons

I think active icons in Nautilus ā la OS X has been mentioned/discussed
before.  It is a nice and also a useful feature I believe. Examples
would be that the evolution icon shows when new mail arrives (and how
many), text-editor/word-processor and similar have icons that show when
files are unsaved, printer icon shows when the printer is active and how
many jobs are in queue, red-carpet icon show if there are any updates
available and so forth... 

A problem is that Nautilus and the rest of gnome (i.e. panel, menus)
doesn't seem to have the same idea of what an icon is. The icons right
click context menus in the panel and in Nautilus are different - which
is very confusing. Better integretion between Nautilus and rest of Gnome
is needed. I would like to be able to have special icons like the trash
or mounted devices on the panel, but this doesn't seem to be possible
at the moment. 

Hopefully my suggestions will give some inspiration to improvements of

/Erik Nordström

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