What the hell is wrong with Nautilus

This is the laundry list I have been compiling for awhile. I have been
using Nautilus ever since it came out with Ximian Gnome and I used it
first on Redhat 6.4.2.  Its been nearly two years now.

I understand the some of the following features are dependant on other
packages.  However, it brings up a good point which is that too many of
the missing features listed here are dependant on some other project
that may or may not ever get their stuff together enough to build a true
user end project to the real world.  The only problem is that with being
extensible in your programming model is that if no one can build proper
extensions then you are stuck waiting on other people for functionality
you need.   

Some of these things are being worked and others are things I have
thought but never saw anyone else mention.  In any case, it makes a good
roadmap of missing features everyone wants, but they always get asked
about one by one.  This has been written in almost a software review
style and I hope it sparks a bit of healthy debate if anyone is
interested enough to read this whole monster mail message.      

1. Network browsing is too limited.  There is no way to set options for
samba browsing.  This should be set up through the network properties
applet under the desktop properties.  That in a sense makes it a
gnome-vfs issue but it impacts nautilus directly.  

What sort of options are missing?  The ability to specify whether or not
to browse as a user and a default place to keep the default user and
password information.  There is also no way to set a Default Browser and
to import a LMHOSTS file.  At the very least, one should be able to
right click on a share and choose to browse and user and be prompted for
a username and password.  Does this sound a bit like LinNeighborhood? 
It should and Nautilus needs these kinds of options.

It would also be nice for some sort of autmounter browsing tool to
automatically browse through nfs shares that are publicly available to
the host.  However, I am not holding my breadth looking at the network
support built into Gnome2 so far.

2. The ability to browse into and out of archives is important missing
feature.  This is not that big a deal for me.  However, this is a major
complaint for many other people.  I know why Nautilus currently does not
have this feature.  I understand that there are issues with using
gnome-vfs for this function.  However,  it is also apparent that this
needs to be fixed.  Every single review of nautilus mentions this

If there is no way to fix this in time for a Gnome 2.0 Nautilus release
then a file-roller view should be put in place to take the place of this
missing feature.  Seriously, the file-roller application even uses icon
hints from nautilus.  I understand the right way is important but a
quickly hacked view that works well is better than a proper solution
that never materializes.  

3. Missing a search utility.  Once again, the proper way is to build a
medusa front-end and use it as the engine of a proper search tool.  This
is the proper way.  The problem is that medusa has issues.  Some of them
are security related and should not be taken lightly.  However, I cannot
even possibly imagine using a file manager with no search tool at all. 
However, the gnome-search-tool has begun to improve and honestly if
there is no  way to build a proper utility for this it is time to bite
the bullet and slip a nautilus script to launch the gnome-search-tool in
the current nautilus directory.  I made a very dead simple script that
does this simply called search-here.  

4. There are very limited create-new features.  As long as the user has
the proper rights to the directory, they should have the ability to
create a new blank file, a new folder, or a new launcher.  

Also if a user can start a new terminal by right clicking on the desktop
then they should be able to do this in any directory.  The first
nautilus script everyone gets is the gnome-terminal here scripts.  As
long as the ability to start a new terminal is available on the desktop
then it should be available in any directory and the gnome-terminal
should be started in the current nautilus directory.

5. Better copy and cut features that allow users to copy or move files
directly to the desktop and home directories.  These are the second most
common style scripts downloaded and should be implemented directly and
included beside the other cut and copy options.

6. The ability right click on a text, postscript and pdf file and send
it directly to the printer.  No, I do not even want to talk about the
Gnome print model and all that jazz.  Just send the thing to printer and
if you want to be fancy send the text file through enscript or something

7. The ability to right click on a file and send it out as an attachment
to a message sent through whatever application is set as the Gnome
Default mailer.  This is not the kind of feature that can be handled
correctly through a nautilus script and should be implemented directly. 

8. Missing rpm view.  There use to be one I think.  I saw a couple of
links and mailing list replies on this.  However, there should be a way
to browse into and out of and manipulate (after giving root password
confirmation even install) rpm files.

9. Missing cvs view.  This view is too darn useful and if compiled from
a CVS HEAD too damn nice to ignore.  For the sake of your favorite
diety, someone please integrate this or package to go along side
nautilus like yesterday.  If I hear another word about Cervisia from my
KDE liking friend I will go all single click on their ass.  

10. Mime filtering for Nautilus scripts is reallly needed.  However,
this would not be too difficult if Gnome2 had a proper freaking way to
handle file associations and add file actions as well as open actions to
file types.  

The only issue with scripts is that many times you want to use the
category organization of the new file type and properties for Gnome 2.0
to add a new action based on a Nautilus for the entire group.  Sure, you
want to only want to run your ps2pdf script on postscript files only. 
However, you want to run your DOS2Unix script on text files of all types
including .txt files, .c files .sh files and .pl files for example. 
Otherwise going through and manually adding all these types makes the
feature more annoying than helpful.     
This is needed badly.  Nautilus scripting is one of the most Unix-like
and powerful of all the Nautilus features however it still feels clunky
and unelegant due to the lack of this type of feature.

11. A core set of Nautilus scripts should ship with Nautilus.  Listen,
this is not as good if you don't have the above mentioned mime
filtering.  However, many of the things I mentioned above have at least
been partially addressed through Nautilus scripts and the best in any
case should be packaged as part of Nautilus itself.  Nautilus scripting
is the one feature of Nautilus that universally gets the gee-whiz from
the programming, Unix crowd right away.  It is one of the file manager's
best features so show it off.  

12. There should be a way to set Nautilus preferences or at least change
the Nautilus theme directly from the Gnome Control Center.  The Nautilus
preferences impact the way the desktop itself looks since Nautilus is
used to draw the thing and it affects the way the icons and folders
feel.  At the very least there should be a tab under the themes applet
for setting the Nautilus theme.  It would be nice to have a way to get
directly to the Nautilus preferences without opening a new Nautilus
Window if I am already in the desktop preferences or Gnome Control

More Stuff dependant on other projects that I understand are not part of
core Nautilus functionality -- 

Gstreamer view.  This really is not the problem of Nautilus per se. 
Someone has to understand that Gstreamer should be the central part of
the multi-media infrastructure for Gnome.  I use rhythmbox every single
day and it rocks and gst-player works for me on avi files though it only
plays certain mpeg files really well.  Anyway, Nautilus can do without
it but it should not.

Missing Galeon2 view.  Once again, this is not really an issue with
Nautilus.  I have used Galeon2 and the Galeon view and oh my gosh for
casual browsing where serious plugin support is not needed it is sooo
wonderful.  Nautilus needs this.

Johnathan Bailes	BAE Systems ESI

 "UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because
 that would also stop you from doing clever things." - Doug Gwyn 

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