Re: Major change in desktop handling
- From: MArk Finlay <sisob eircom net>
- To: Havoc Pennington <hp redhat com>
- Cc: Alexander Larsson <alexl redhat com>, Nautilus <nautilus-list gnome org>, "desktop-devel-list gnome org" <desktop-devel-list gnome org>, "gnome-hackers gnome org" <gnome-hackers gnome org>
- Subject: Re: Major change in desktop handling
- Date: 16 May 2003 00:11:09 +0100
Firstly, sorry for my rather unhelpful last mail,
not to address this seriously.
> So Alex - yesterday you complain about list traffic, today you
> triple-crosspost a thread about ~/Desktop vs. ~/.gnome-desktop
> vs. "desktop is your homedir" ;-)
> <aol/> vote for ~/Desktop !
If were going to have this argument then I think that now is as
good a time as any. One thing we don't want to do is to migrate to
~/Desktop and then to ~/
There are a lot of arguments for $HOME as desktop on bugzilla(94612 i
think) and there are a lot of people on these lists who are, like me,
convinced of it's benefits.
I really don't see how anyone can concider the current situation ideal:
You have a desktop that is stored in ~/Desktop, on which you have a
launcher to get to $HOME (in essence the equivelent of pressing up in
nautilus). Now you are looking at $HOME in which there is a Desktop
folder. You click on this and are now looking at your desktop, but in a
nautilus window. You are in essence going around in circles. To me this
is confusing and bad usability: visually the home folder is on the
desktop, ie. it is contained by the desktop, it does not contain the
One thing that gnome really lacks atm is a good heirarchy. We have the
desktop, the home dir, start-here:, network:, / etc... and none of them
are linked in any sane way. Having the desktop in ~/Desktop really
The alternative : $HOME as desktop. People who don't like change (ie.
"put those damn buttons back the way they should be" ;) ) tend to say
"but my home folder is so full of stuff, i don't want that stuff all
over my desktop". But that is trash, these people would be very easily
migrated: All you do is create a ~/Files directory and move ~/* into it.
Now you have the functional equivlent of a "Home Folder" on the desktop
except when you go to your files you are moving down the heirarchy
instead of around it in circles. You've also managed to remove the need
for the user to learn how the desktop and home folder interact, and
instead let them get on with their work.
For those of us who aren't afraid to change we can embrace this and use
the default folders provided by gnome(in the future), and ones we create
ourselves, to organise our files;
I think it was Seth, and probably others, who talked about the benefits
of software that encourages users to keep themselves organised. The home
folder does the opposite of this. Everything gets thrown in there. Every
file created, every file download, every e-mail attachment saved. It is
perpetually a mess for 99.99% of linux users. But when all these files
are coming on to your desktop you have to do something with them. This
encourages users to organise consistenly. I can tell you - i really
don't miss the days of the monthly sorting of the home folder. Now I
have Music, Video, Documents, Projects, Patches, Photos, Images folders
on my desktop and as things land on the desktop i sort them to the
So yeah, I really don't see how we can loose. Users who like to horde
everything in one massive folder can do that if they like, but I don't
think that many will choose to work that way once they've been
introduced to $home as desktop. Why keep a users files one click away
from them when they can be immediately on hand?
Also, to me interpolability with kde isn't a huge issue as it takes
about 10 seconds to configure kde to use ~/ as desktop.
It's late, so I'm not going to waffle further - that can wait till
tomorrow :) I will bid you adeu with the slogan for the Campaign for
$HOME as desktop: "Unbreak the Desktop and Free your mind!"
Hope some of this made sense.. Maybe someone more elequent will back me
.--= [ MArk Finlay - sisob ] =--.
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