Re: Mega patch to make spatial nautilus rock!

On Fri, 2004-07-09 at 20:36, Jamie McCracken wrote:
> 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
> point. 

But that is where the user choice should be separated, between the
browser and spatial modes not, lets add options to make the spatial more
like browser.

> > 
> > > > 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. 

But we already have folder actions for going into browser mode.  We just
need a folder action for going from browser back to spatial.

> 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
> navigator.

They also complained about the lack of a location bar and back buttons. 
It's been said a hundred times, open up in the same window and you kill
the whole point of spatial.  That is what browser mode is for.

> 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

But did you cover all bases or is just a quick, it works for me hack? 
Are there edge cases?  would the user get confused as to what mode they
are in?

>  - 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. 

I like the path bar for browsing mode.  It would be nice to add it
there.  It makes no sense in spatial because one would expect that
clicking the button would open things up in the same menu, not pop up a
new one.  All of a sudden you would have all these spatial windows with
the same path bar so they would look like the same location if you
missed the highlighted button.  Plus in browsing mode one can get rid of
the toolbar, sidebar and location bar to get the same streamlined look
you are concerned with.  Note, I believe hiding UI elements is more
acceptable than having preferences that dictate behavior.  

> If you haven't tried the patch then I suggest you do
> cuz it really makes browsing and file management really pleasant and
> efficient.
> > > 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?

You don't have to.  You can choose "browse this folder..." in spatial to
switch to browser mode.  You are correct in assessing that there should
be a way to switch from browser mode, back.

> 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. 

Well the interface being different is a good thing.  It is a visual cue
that you are in browser mode.  Plus one can make it look closer to
spatial by hiding UI elements.  I don't get the mouse buttons would be
the other way around deal.  Mouse button does what it does from whatever
mode your in.  Same as if you are in different applications the action
of the mouse click takes on the semantics of that particular

> 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? 

Actually for the most part Gnome apps should be about doing one thing

> (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
> alternative). 

You assume it is slicker.  It feels schizophrenic to me (am I spatial,
am I browser?).  Spatial/Browser feels more consistent because they are
for all intents and purposes separate apps and therefore have separate

> > 
> > > 
> > > >  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
> browsing.
> My Patch makes spatial good for everything!

But it is not spatial once you start opening up in the same window.  

> >   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, 

That needs to be fixed.

> files are opened in the browser not in the
> default app, 

No real opinion about this one. 

> looks too much like a web browser, 

UI can be made to look cleaner by hiding elements.  This is what most
people like about browse mode.

> seriously bloated 

Latest versions are just as fast as spatial.  Some code can be excised. 
Someone needs to do the work.

> - just
> look at all that history stuff in there, poor usability, poor use of
> screen space - mutliple toolbars! 

People seem to like the web browser look.  Screen real estate can be
reclaimed by hiding UI.  

> 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! 

I don't think it will satisfy people the way you think.  The browser
proponents will still want browsing the way it used to be.  Better to
fix it up.  All that really needed is to add the path navigation, and
switch to spatial functionality.  To get the minimalistic window simply
hide the UI elements you wish and you are set.  You would also have to
add the ability to hide navigation tool bar to get it super minimalistic
but I think it helps visually determining the difference between spatial
and browsing.

> > 
> > > > 
> > > > 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! 

Cool.  But I should reiterate it is much better to start with small
patches anyway.  If there are dependencies break them out.

> 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! :))) 

Great attitude.  Its just that your subject sort of implies an over
enthusiasm and I have seen too many of these posts devolve into a I hate
the Gnome devs cause they debate my ideas, though you are the first I
have seen post actual useful code.  I wanted to encourage you but at the
same time temper expectations.

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

I wasn't suggesting that at all.  Only that it is easier to review
patches that change one thing and that they will be integrated faster if
controversial items are separate from the more practical items.  Alex is
very busy and asking him to pick and choose items is a bit more time
consuming than him simply going ya or nay when he is in patch review
mode.  Context switching is a bitch for humans too ;-)

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