[Usability]Nautilus and GNOME 2 feedback

After using GNOME 2 as my desktop for some time, I must say it really shows the efforts of the developers. IMHO, though, there are lots of little fixes that could improve it. In particular, I'm sticking a little longer with my good old Gentoo filemanager because Nautilus is not fulfilling all of my needs. Here's my take on it.

Note n. 1: constructive criticism ahead :)

Note n. 2: desktop box is an Athlon 1.2, 512 Mb RAM, 40 Gb hd, running Mandrake Linux 9.0.

### Nautilus ###

Nautilus 2.0 was a pleasant surprise: much faster then previous
incarnations, and as gorgeous as ever. It still lacks some
functionality, though:

- when opening a folder with lots of files, especially if opened in
List view, it would be nice navigate using the keyboard to track files:
e.g. if I press the d key the first files beginning with d would
show, and so on;

- it is not possible to split a window in two different panes,  la

- file information is limited: is there a way to show owner and group?
or is it preferable not to show these informations to the newbie?

- the Nautilus desktop still lacks the ability to order icons in a
grid, which was possible in GMC, and the related Align icons right
click menu item;

- you can't rename icons on the desktop (unless your Home dir is the
desktop; of course you can if you edit the .gnome-desktop files, but that's a different story), or in a window with Icon view;

- when there's no default viewer, Nautilus simply informs the user
that, well, he/she can't view that file: this is frustrating, it
should at least offer an "Open with..." option; note that this
happens with .zip files too, I can't imagine an (ex-)Windows user
reaction discovering that he/she can't open his zip files...

There are still lots of little quirks and inconsistencies to work out:

- I changed from Two clicks to open files to One click and then to
Two clicks again: now every time I double click on a file the same
viewer is launched twice;

- clicking once on a file name while in List view you can directly
rename it, but this doesn't happen in Icon view, and of course it
isn't possible with the One click to open files option;

- when using the Tree view in the sidebar, Nautilus will tell you
that a folder with files is empty if you chose to only show folders;

- Alt + Arrow up isn't a very convenient shortcut to move to the
upper directory: why not use Backspace?

  [As a little aside about this last point, I tried to use
  gconf-editor to see if it was possible to modify shortcuts as in
  GNOME 1.4, a feature I really miss: after playing a little with a
  promising-looking key (to no avail, unfortunately), I decided to go
  back to the previous configuration and chose the "Azzera chiave"
  right click option: I wonder what the original english menu item
  says, because it simply deleted the key, while I expected a sort
  of Revert action!!!]

- MIME types/Default viewers handling would deserve a separate
analysis: in short, while I consider myself a fairly advanced user, I
found it to be difficult and not very intuitive;

- renamed files aren't automatically moved to their proper place if
the initial letter has changed;

- drag'n'drop works perfectly with some applications (e.g. I can drop
and mp3 file in XMMS playlist window), but doesn't with other ones
(e.g. I can't drop a text file in gedit window);

- I don't know if this is specific of my Mandrake 9.0 setup, but often
removable media cause problems with Nautilus: icons disappear from the
desktop, the application freezes trying to open an already ejected
media, the cd is ejected and then put back in in half a second, etc.;
possibly a supermount problem?


Roberto Rosselli Del Turco      e-mail:	rosselli cisi unito it
Dipartimento di Scienze			rosselli ling unipi it
del Linguaggio			Then spoke the thunder	DA
Universita' di Torino		Datta: what have we given?  (TSE)

  Hige sceal the heardra,     heorte the cenre,
  mod sceal the mare,       the ure maegen litlath.  (Maldon 312-3)

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