Re: volumes mark 2

It seems to me that you would want to put *something* like Computer (which btw should be a user editable name) on the desktop, because otherwise it won't be at all obvious to a new user where the root of the filesystem (in a semiotic way, not in a literal unix way) is.

Also, the idea of having default folders on the desktop seems like an alright one to me as long as they are just regular folders, and not some sort of non-removable icon like Windows has. That way you suggest possible sorting to new users but allow them to disregard them with ease if they choose.


On Friday, September 19, 2003, at 09:41  am, Alexander Larsson wrote:

It seems like my initial proposal was in general accepted. The parts
that were discussed were mainly the role of the desktop, the relation
between the desktop and home and the desktop <-> home loop.

This is another proposal, which apart from the desktop is much like
the initial proposal. Except we decided that there will be no
printers, scanners or other hardware in the filesystem. The place for
such things are in the control center.

In the original email the model of the desktop was basically "place to
store some files and icons for commonly used places". A lot of people
want a stronger concept of the desktop than that.

When discussing this someone always brings up the desktop-is-home
setting now available as a hidden setting. In some ways this is a very
nice setup. However, in practice there are various issues that make
this not really possible to use by default. (Some people disagree with
me, but lets not have that old discussion again.)

I'd like to propose we use a model that Dave calls desktop-as-home. In
this model all the files the user normally handles (written documents,
downloaded files, etc) are stored inside the desktop (typically in
subdirectories reachable directly from the desktop), much as if the
desktop were the actual homedir.

There would be no home icon on the desktop, and the file selector and
other things should default to the Desktop for loading and saving
files. (Technically this is easily accomplished by starting apps with
~/Desktop as the current working directory.)

Also on the desktop, as before, is trash, mounted removable media,
plugged in hardware (mp3 players, cameras etc) and links to connected
servers. I'm not sure whether we want a "Computer" link on the
desktop, but I think not. Its not a commonly used thing, since all the
mounted volumes are already reachable from the desktop.

Places like home, computer and network are easily reached from menus
in the nautilus window and the panels. I'd also like to re-introduce
the favorites system as a way to quickly reach commonly used
places. Favorites is more important in a spatial system, since deep
navigation is more work.

This setup completely avoids the desktop <-> home loop, and avoids the
problem of desktop-is-home, while still giving you most of the benefits.

Note: If you're an old grey-beard like me you can easily drag a
home-link to the desktop, or drag a navigation-window launcher to the
panel. What we're trying to set up here is a default way for causal
users to handle the system in a productive and non-confusing way.

Since the desktop is the default place for user files now people are
gonna have to structure it a bit better, using directories. New users
might not immediately figure this out, so it would be nice if we could
create a few directories by default. Say "Documents", "Photos" and
"Music". These could then be used as default start locations for
specific apps, allowing users to structure their files

The hard part about such directories like this is that they need to be
translated, and the apps using them need to find them, but the apps
may be running in different locales etc. Furthermore, it would be nice
if the directories could be renamed and things would still work. One
way this could be done is to place a ".docdir" file in
~/Desktop/Documents, and look for that when locating the
directory. This is pretty fast to locate the few times you need it,
and the result is easy to cache (you just need one stat to validate
the cache). This even allows you to rename the directory if you
want. (And if the ~/Desktop/*/.docdir is not found we'll use ~/Desktop
as the default instead.)

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- =-=-= Alexander Larsson Red Hat, Inc
                   alexl redhat com    alla lysator liu se
He's an impetuous overambitious farmboy haunted by an iconic dead American confidante She's a high-kicking winged schoolgirl with a flame-thrower. They
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