multirooted tree view


I have some remarks about the multi-rooted tree view. Having explained the
concept of a file system tree to my girlfriend (using her as a prototype
rather ignorant computer user), it was easy for her to understand that
when she'd go one level up from her home to /home, she could enter
/home/wouter into my home to pick up a file she needed. The tree concept
is pretty easy to understand when shown.

With this new multi-rooted thing, it's getting very hard again to show the
concept behind it all. Wouldn't it be more handy if there only was one
tree per computer (aka "unix filesystem"), but having 'shortcuts' above it
that allow jumping in this tree where you need to go, blurring out
"uninteresting" area's?

When the user clicks on the shortcut, the tree visually scrolls up to the
"target area" (a bit like that MacOSX thingy with the icons), so the user
gets the whole concept of a tree.

"Showing: Your Home"

[Your Home]         --> shortcuts that jump to locations in the tree

I understand this has to be easy for novice users, but I think it's easier
to educate them than to hide the concept of the file system tree too
much. Op top of that, the jumping from one tree to another when choosing
"up" in the "Home Folder" tree is confusing. I fear multiple visual trees
in what is just one fysical tree is more confusing than helping.

When nautilus evolves and for instance sftp-vfs servers show up in the
multi tree too, they could have seperate trees, or show up in the same
tree view with a root of "network". Either way, multiple filesystem trees
for one machine seem to confuse many new users, and don't appear logical
to me either. One actual tree zooming in intelligently on the "interesting
area" seems to be a better idea IMHO. And the visualization of the "jump
to a shortcut" will help in showing the user the tree concept of the unix
filesystem, instead of actually making it harder to understand a simple
concept (like Microsoft did, with their confusing multitree My Documents
and My Computer and whatnot). Users don't have to walk or know the whole
tree, if the shortcuts jump to the correct directory, zoom in and
everything below that level is blurred out.

Anyway, I realize the multi-tree functionality is rather new, but in its
current implementation, I think it's rather confusing, much more confusing
than with one huge tree. Shortcuts into one tree would save the time of
relocating without the confusion of multiple trees.

I'm also interested in adding new trees to the tree view, such as sftp/ssh
servers (it would make more sense to have different trees for different
machines than having multiple overlapping trees on the same filesystem).
Is such functionality planned? What are the future plans with the current

Thanks for your attention,


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