Re: Mega patch to make spatial nautilus rock!

On Fri, 2004-07-09 at 23:00, John (J5) Palmieri wrote:

> We got away from this when we switched to gnome-2.0.  The thing is too
> much configuration causes multiple unmaintainable code paths and it
> really is a guise for flaking on making hard decisions.  You can't
> please everybody all the time.  

I agree with the philosphy and sure we dont want a million and one
options like the control freaks over at KDE. But some options we really
must have especially when they concern highly contentious issues and the
fact that we now have a choice between browser and spatial proves that

> > > It avoids cluttering the screen with windows and still behaves spatial.
> > > If you open a new window with the same dimensions like the current you 
> > > loose the only real advantage of spatial mode: The possibility to 
> > > remember folders based on their position and their size. 
> > 
> > Yes but if you want to drill down quickly you dont care about size and
> > pos. 
> This is what browser mode is for.  I would suggest you take some of your
> hybrid ideas and see if they integrate well within the browser.  I don't
> know if this is an option but perhaps making it easier to morph a window
> between browser and spacial mode would kill the need for a hybrid mode
> and therefor eliminate the need for a third hybrid codepath.    

I dont see the point to be honest. The navigator does require lots of
TLC admittedly (and to be honest if it removed all the corba crap from
the sidepanels it would be more maintainable  - I think I read somewhere
there was a plan to migrate this to GObjects) but it is currently old
Gnome stuff and I note from GUADEC that GNOMES current vision is towards
minimalistic interfaces which kinda leaves the navigator on the fence so
to speak. Therefore I would propose removing the always use browser
check button from the global prefs and use my folder actions to define
behaviour instead. Why? Cause I note that most people that complained
about spatial moaned about it not being able to open stuff in the same
window rather than not having any other specific feature of the

The other reason for doing it the way I did is that it took less than a
dozen lines of code to implement browse in the spatial interface - in no
way have I messed up the spatial code or made it significantly more
unmaintainable as a result. (BTW 99% of the patch is glade stuff or 
bookmarks code)

Its also not really a third way as you put it cause we dont need the
heavyweight navigator for it as an option - even ms explorer is separate
from the lightweight browser it uses on the desktop. The navigator is
fine as a separate and more complex app for more experienced users (a la
explorer) but I actually find my patch with pathbar much much better for
general browsing. If you haven't tried the patch then I suggest you do
cuz it really makes browsing and file management really pleasant and

> > On my desktop I have 6 links which all open spatially and I
> > remember their positions and thats great (spatial in this instance
> > really works for me). I can then choose whether to open sub folders in
> > them in new windows or the same - its my choice at the end of the day
> > and therefore I can get the benefits of both worlds.
> Well you have just described why we have browser/spatial and have not
> just eliminated browser all together.

But if I had chosen alway use browser I wouldn't be able to benefit from
that, right?

Also it would be really horrible to use the navigator here in
conjunction with spatial - the mouse buttons would be the other way
round, its interface different and more complex etc. It aint slick that
way and slickness counts a lot if you want a polished desktop. Why use
two radically different apps when one can do the job of both? - more
than anything that goes against the grain of what GNOME is about,
surely? (IMHO juggling between left click mode in browser and different
left click mode in spatial is frankly ridiculous usablity/consistency
and makes it all rather noddy and geeky compared to my slicker

> > 
> > >  In spatial 
> > > mode you even know where a certain file inside a small folder is before 
> > > the folder opens.
> > 
> > I agree thats good and thats why i want a hybrid system! Some of my
> > links do benefit from that but others with deeper hierarchies dont and
> > lets face it any user is only ever going to remember a handful of
> > folders properties so a hybrid system is very useful for that.
> Whats wrong with browser mode for the deep hierarchies?

Navigator is okay for deep hierarchies but bad at everything else (file
management, opening in new windows, loading/saving properties etc)

Spatial is good for everything except deep hierarchies or quick

My Patch makes spatial good for everything!

>   If its broken
> then perhaps it can be fixed.

I also have a list of things that bug me about the navigator (I cant
open spatial windows from it, files are opened in the browser not in the
default app, looks too much like a web browser, seriously bloated - just
look at all that history stuff in there, poor usability, poor use of
screen space - mutliple toolbars! And cause of all that its much harder
for me to make patches for Navigator - just extracting the bookmarks
code from it took me ages to sort out). IMHO A fair part of it would
need a rewrite to sort it all out. And what would you end up with if you
did rewrite it? Probably something very close to what my patch on
spatial does! 

To sum up my patch provides a much better way thats consistent with
GNOME's vision of minmilastic interfaces, removes the need for separate
browser/spatial interfaces on the desktop altogether, allows the user to
get the best of both worlds if he/she wants and its certainly better
than trying to sort out that old navigator dinosaur! 

> > > 
> > > The only thing needed is the same behaviour when moving upwards.
> > > 
> > > Besides this I really like your enhancements. Especially the bookmark 
> > > integration and the location path at the bottom are nice.
> > 
> I agree bookmark enhancements were a good thing.  Thats why you should
> break it out into its own patch.

relax, the reason its a big patch is because the bookmarks are currently
dependent on the folder actions (likewise with the pathbar). I have
emailed Alex and told him if he wants me to remove anything then I will
do so. I will respect Alex's decision and if bookmarks is all he wants -
no problem I will deliver it! 

Also a negative decision wont affect future patches by me either - Im
not gonna sulk cause I will still have a spatial nautilus that rocks on
my desktop! :))) 


p.s. I'm rather disturbed with the impression you were suggesting,
namely that the big patch was an all or nothing blackmail thing! 

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