Re: Spatial Mode Window Cluttering and Possible Solutions

Kalle Vahlman wrote:
On 4/20/05, Matthew Thomas <mpt myrealbox com> wrote:
On 4/19/05, Matthew Thomas <mpt myrealbox com> wrote:
4.  Once I've opened foo, let me choose "View" > "as Browser" to turn it
   into a browser window, and to let Nautilus know that I'll want that
   folder as a browser window whenever I open it in the future.
Navigating subfolders within a browser would show them all in the same
browser. Opening a subfolder in a separate window would present it in
the remembered view (Icons/List/Browser) for that folder.

So the folder will have two states, depending on the actions you take
to reach it.  Sounds like that would in effect break the spatial model
(which is really something that should be avoided).

Such breakage would only occur if a browser window looked the same as a
normal folder window, so that people didn't know what was going to
happen when they double-clicked. If browser windows were made to look
unmistakably different from folder windows, that problem would be solved.

For starters, a browser window would have a different size and position
from a normal folder window. When you chose "View" > "as Browser", the
window would assume the size and position of the last browser window
used (unless that browser window was currently open, in which case the
new one would be appropriately offset).

Other visual differences could include an omnipresent toolbar (browser
windows have toolbars with Back and Forward buttons, folder windows
don't), an omnipresent hierarchy listing, and maybe even a different default background color (e.g. pale grey instead of white).

One advantage of making "as Browser" a view mode would be that it could
be the default for appropriate folders. For example, when Nautilus detects that a folder it has never opened before contains only a subfolder (and that subfolder contains only a subfolder (and that subfolder contains only a subfolder (...))), it could open the folder as a browser with the hierarchy automatically drilled down to the deepest subfolder that doesn't contain only a subfolder. So when you plugged in a digital camera that had all its photos inside dcim/foo/01/, for example, double-clicking on the camera icon would open a browser window automatically drilled down to 01/, showing you your photos without further effort.

Matthew Thomas

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