Re: spatial mode, world map (Or maybe tree menu ;)

Daniel Borgmann 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

I've been thinking along the same lines as Magnus, and was about to post.

I find myself using spatial all the time.
90% of the time truly spatial, but 10% of the time I'm just browsing.
After a while, I find that 90% of the windows are opened due to browsing, and 10% are truly spatial.
So, I need a way to switch between the browse and the spatial mentality.


This sounds like a good project for an experimental third party app. I

Indeed, but it would need tight integration with nautilus for good
usability. The question is are the current Nautilus extension APIs up to
the job?

think more important than the actual implementation method is the
concept of providing additional means to directly jump to your target

Which I think suggests that the many ways to implement this should be
prototyped as separate apps, and distributed as extensions.

Note that having a tree menu doesn't mean that a spatial map is
redundant or vice versa.

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.

My inclination would be towards a tree menu of the whole file system.
The whole system, rooted on the panel, or from a particular path
from a nautilus window.

The problem with tree menus comes with large directories which
are a pain to scroll to in large menus, or with deeply nested
directories, which grow the menu to the right of the screen.

Both these problems with menus could (hypothetically) be solved by
by some kind of zooming (and hence come close to the world map concept):

  For instance a large directory may replace sets of entries with
  names like "Alp..Ata" the mouse could then zoom in hyperbolic
  fashion to reveal the target directory.

  For deeply nested paths, once you reach the right hand of the screen
  the menus to the left could be compacted horizontally in some way.

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

In that case, why not just allow the user to switch a spatial window to
browser view, and vice versa?

It would be really nice to see some on these ideas implemented, to
turbo-charge the spatial concept.

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