Re: nautilus's browser mode future

On Thu, 2004-04-01 at 06:58 -0500, Brad Barnich wrote:

> Im sorry but I have to faithfully disagree. With most people just now 
> feeling comfortable in the web era; How would the general public that we 
> are trying to sway to linux react to a toolbar-less file manager. Even 
> mac os X has a toolbar still.  Change is good, too much change is 
> ultimate disaster.  For power users, spacial is great. If i used fluxbox 
> still and needed a file manager, spacial takes it.  

For some reason gnome-panel is borked on my work system. I haven't had
time to fix it, so I've been using KDE for a while. I missed using the
new nautilus so much, I've switched to WindowMaker so I could use it.
The lack of a toolbar is really only noticeable in cd-burning mode, and
a button in the status bar would probably be sufficient in that context.
I do have an ergonomic issue, as my mouse's middle button is a scroll
button, and it's not easy to double-click.

> Using the keyboard 
> is great for minimalist desktops. The general population isn't 
> minimalist. The like the arrows on their toolbar. I have been trying to 
> switch people from windows to linux for many years, people don't like 
> blackbox clones and terminals. They like pretty things that just make 
> sense to them, unfortunately spacial navigation doesn't fit this. 
> Spacial navigation is just the brain child of a disgruntled power user.  
> If gnome chooses to take this route, I'm sorry but I see KDE taking the 
> market. I personally hate KDE, but it just makes sense to people, they 
> don't have to post to a mailing list to figure out how to navigate their 
> hard drive without creating a million windows or clicking "close parent" 
> after they open each one.

I don't entirely agree that spatial is strictly for power users, but I
do agree that getting rid of browser mode would be a bad idea for the
foreseeable future. My wife complained quite vociferously when I
upgraded to the dev version of nautilus, so I switched her gconf setting
to always use browser mode. I think if she gave herself, say, half an
hour to learn and practice, she wouldn't have any problems switching.

> Take Mac OS X for example, it is different than the Windows/KDE scheme 
> with the normal file browsing methods but it it very intuitive. It is 
> slightly confusing at first but the average joe can just click around 
> and go "Oh!, that makes sense." 

I got my first exposure to MacOS X's file browser last weekend when my
mother-in-law needed help getting her new printer working. My only real
complaint from my brief usage is that the aqua interface made it nearly
impossible to "see" the toolbar buttons. 

As a former/occasionally present BeOS user, it's my opinion that spatial
nautilus really only needs some minor touches:
        * Cleaning up windows - Aside from losing the tree view, I think
        this is what requires the most "retraining" for the user. Make
        sure the key combos/mouse actions are optimal,available and
        easily discoverable for any desired action relating to opening,
        closing and navigating between windows
        * Going back up - the parent folder button needs to be more
        easily identifiable as an interactive widget
        * Drilling down - I'd like to see something like BeOS Tracker's
        right-click menu access to drill down the filesystem to directly
        open a deep sub-folder (or copy/move/link a file there)

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