Re: Mega patch to make spatial nautilus rock!
- From: Jamie McCracken <jamiemcc blueyonder co uk>
- To: "John (J5) Palmieri" <johnp redhat com>
- Cc: Nautilus <nautilus-list gnome org>, Seth Nickell <seth gnome org>
- Subject: Re: Mega patch to make spatial nautilus rock!
- Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2004 13:08:07 +0100
On Sat, 2004-07-10 at 07:47, John (J5) Palmieri wrote:
> > 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.
We have ctrl+L for location and the pathbar negates the need for back
buttons. The browsing ability provided by my patch is good enough for
virtually all circumstances whilst the option to open the file browser
is still there for the more extreme cases.
> 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.
As I have said before my patch makes spatial optionally more hybrid so
the user can flick between both modes whenever its more advantageous to
do so. It does not kill spatial but merely allows spatial and browser
functionality to coexist in harmony.
> > 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?
Im sure Alex can answer that - it is as far as Im concerned a trivial
addition coding wise.
> > - 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.
But you could say the same for the location button. The pathbar is a
superior UI element to the location button (you only have to consider
the old file dialog which contained a dropdown for selecting the path
versus the new one). The fact you have to have at least two mouse clicks
to navigate the hierarchy with the location button makes it all too
bureaucratic whilst the slick pathbar is a joy to use in contrast.
> 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,
No I cant get rid of the toolbar - I have tried in GConf but it always
> 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
Thats awfully inconsistent!
I have to disagree - it currently only makes it worthwhile to browse
that way in more extreme situations. The right click and select from
drop down is all too bureaucratic like the location button too.
> > 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?
But it aint! How is having an incomplete file manager that requires two
separate apps with different look and feel to make it function as a
whole more consistent?
> > - 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
I consider file management/file browsing one thing and with my patch it
does do that one thing extremely well
> > (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.
Of course it is. Going to a separate app with different look and feel
for some occasional browsing is really clumsy and reflects bad design.
Theres simply no excuse for not having such basic functionality in
whatever app you use for the file manager.
> It feels schizophrenic to me (am I spatial,
> am I browser?).
Does that matter? I mean when I do file management stuff I simply use
whats best or most efficient - I see no reason to stop and think am I
spatial or browser!
> Spatial/Browser feels more consistent because they are
> for all intents and purposes separate apps and therefore have separate
But why do we need both? It really sux having to learn two separate apps
in order to have a complete file manager! Its so unneccesary.
Having a single file manager app that can handle whatever you throw at
it is what I consider to be a good well designed app.
> > >
> > > >
> > > > > 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.
As above, its spatial and browse coexisting in harmony
> > > 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.
perhaps but they probably wont. The future has already been decided and
that future is things like Storage and other filesystems without
hierarchies ( which as far as Im concerned is all well and good).
The problem is that most users aren;t going to have such facillities in
the near term so they have to make do with whatever they can in the
meantime. Its just unfortunate that without my patch they will be stuck
with a sub standard file management experience (either the crummy old
browser or the hierarchy-hostile spatial mode with poor synergy between
> > 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.
Again I see no need for separate spatial and browser apps. My patch
proves that they can coexist in harmony in one app. It also proves that
adding browse functionality to spatial is easy and makes sense. It also
shows that hybrid mode better fits all desktops be they ones that are
more spatially orientated or ones that are more browser orientated. For
extreme browsing cases users still have the right click - open in new
browser option however the quality of browsing provided by my patch is
more than good enough for most browse situations.
I see it as a waste of time trying to improve the navigator as after all
the hard work that it would require I will still end up with something
thats almost the same as what my patch does to spatial - theres simply
no point reinventing the wheel when all it takes is a simple little
option to spatial mode. Surely everyone can see that?
The browser is best left as a separate app for heavyweight browsing like
ms explorer is. Spatial is the future it just needs a tweak to handle
browsing so everyone can get by until we are able to do away with
At the end of the day, the spatial mode is perfect for everything except
for browsing. So why not have a patch which optionally fixes this
weakness? I cant understand the resistance to this because if my patch
is accepted it would surely encourage everyone to use it and enjoy the
many benefits of spatial mode rather than alienating a significant
population into always using the browser mode instead - I really dont
see how that serves the Gnome community. We should try to unite under
one file manager app.
> > >
> > > > >
> > > > > 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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