Re: spatial mode, world map

On 4/26/05, Daniel Borgmann <spark-mailinglists web de> wrote:
> On Tue, 2005-04-26 at 11:32 +0200, Magnus Damm wrote:
> > To me the most logical solution for that specific problem would be to
> > have some kind of zoomable "world map" showing all reachable folders
> > in a gigantic tree structure. This is to provide the user with a way
> > to find their way to a specific folder quickly by just looking at the
> > world map and clicking the folder - bypassing a long path of spatial
> > clicking.
> [..]
> This sounds like a good project for an experimental third party app. I
> think more important than the actual implementation method is the
> concept of providing additional means to directly jump to your target
> location. Complaints about spatial folders usually center around
> navigation, while the strength of said folders obviously isn't
> navigation, but file management. By providing different means to jump to
> your target, this drawback gets mostly mitigated.

Exactly. I fully agree.

> One such method is the Open Location dialog, which I use quite a lot.
> When I'm working on themes for example, opening the obscure system
> folders /usr/share/themes and ~./themes becomes trivial and fast, even
> without desktop links or bookmarks.

I do the same under win32 using the "run" dialog. 

But I find it somewhat kludgy, because I have to move my hands from
the mouse to the keyboard and type in the path - I tend to prefer to
work keyboard-only or mouse-only. And I think the win32 "run" dialog
remembers recent commands or paths too.

Also, I think it would be good if the system was efficient to use for
people that only knows about folders and have no idea about things
like an absolute path or slash-chars and how they work. So I would
like to be able to jump to a target without typing in a path.

> There is also the idea of providing a tree-based listview[1], which
> would allow to unfold a deep tree in the same window and then directly
> jump to the target.
> One approach which would already come close to your "world map" idea,
> would be to create an application like the browser, but without the
> folder view. So it would only be used for navigation (mainly a tree or
> even a column view), while selected folders would open in their own
> window.

Yeah, that would be pretty much the same as the world map. But I'm
really against the fold/unfold thing. I think a file browser with and
without a tree view is useful for some things (I like mc/vc/nc), but I
dislike what happens when a large tree of folders are folded or
unfolded and all folders below the fold-operation are moved. It's
totaly non-spatial (the way I see it anyway) because the posistion is
not fixed. And I thought one of the benefits of the spatial mode was
that it was easy to remember the position. If a world map or tree or
whatever is used to open up a spatial folder view, then the world map
should be fully spatial too.

> What intrigues me so much about the whole spatial concept is to a large
> extend, that it makes cooperation between different desktop objects not
> just possible, but also natural and efficient.

I agree. But I think some pieces of the spatial puzzle are still
missing to make it as efficient as it could be.
> [1] Like this:

Thanks for your input!

/ magnus

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