[Usability]Re: Nautilus Preference Proposal (screenshots too!!!!)

On Tue, 15 Oct 2002 bordoley msu edu wrote:

> Hi All,
> Jan Petersen and I have worked on a proposal for consolodating and reducing 
> the existing nautilus preferences. We would like to know the opinions of 
> the the maintainers and the usability team. Jan has offered to do the 
> implementation work (coding etc.) and we'd very much like to see this 
> happen for 2.2 if possible. 
> In addition, we'd like to consider moving the nautilus preferences out of 
> nautilus and into the control center. This change would make nautilus more 
> of a desktop component, similar to the panel, rather than a standalone 
> application. Also in the star trek future, some of these preferences could 
> in theory apply to a nautilus based file selector, so this is something to 
> at least consider.
Actually moving the preferences may be a fair amount of work, as they 
depend on eel code. Installing a prefs app from nautilus as a control 
center "capplet" sounds like a good idea though. I still want to be able 
to launch it from edit->preferences in nautilus though. No need to make it 
harder to get to.
> proposal:
> ========================
> 1. Views Category
> ------------------
> In our design, we consolidated the "arrange items" and "sort in reverse" 
> preferences for the icon and list views under the "default view" 
> subcategory. Its our opinion that the user should only have one default and 
> that these preferences should be shared between the list and icon views. In 
> addition the "sort folders before files" and "show hidden and backup files" 
> preferences have also been moved to the "default view" subcategory, as 
> these preferences affect how a user views a folder. 

Sounds good. We need "show hidden and backup files" to only affect the 
default for newly opened windows though. Then we need to add a menu item 
to toggle hidden files "view->hidden files".
> Both views retain their own default zoom preferences as users tend to 
> prefer larger icons in the icon view than in the list view. 
> As a result of consolodating the arrange items preferences, a "use manual 
> layout" preferences was added to the "Icon View Defaults" subcategory. 
> Finally, the tree view preference, "show only folders", has been moved into 
> the new "Tree View Defaults" subcategory. It seemed to fit in well here 
> along side the other folder views.
> 2. Appearance Category
> ----------------------
> Most likely nautilus will no longer have themes in 2.2, so we did not 
> consider this preference category in our design.
> 3. Windows Category
> -------------------
> We removed the "windows" category in our design. The new window behavior 
> preference is moved into the new "files and folders" category (icon and 
> list views in the current design). 
> We recommend that the "new window display" preferences be removed in
> favor of honoring the most recently selected setup from the view menu of 
> the main window (ie. if a user selects to show the toolbar in the current 
> window, all subsequent windows will show the toolbar as well). Galeon2 uses 
> this method to select which window elements to display and it seems to work 
> well. As always, we welcome comments. 

This might work. It seems to also be the way mozilla works.
> 4. Desktop and Trash category
> -----------------------------
> We removed this category.
> The "desktop" preferences are removed. These preferences seem to fall under 
> the crack options category in our opinion. While I personally am a huge fan 
> of "use home folder as desktop," from a pure usability standpoint I think 
> nautilus should only have one desktop dir (at least in the user visible 
> ui). In addition the "Use nautilus to draw the desktop" preference is really 
> a power user tweak preference that shouldn't be included in the ui (i'm not 
> aware of any other desktop shell/filemanager that includes such a 
> preference). We recommend removing these preferences from the user visible 
> ui, but retaining them as hidden gconf preferences for the power user in all 
> of us. :)

I'm not sure about these. Maybe we should put them in an advanced 
("crack") tab. I don't recommend using either, but they were put there 
beacause lots of people whined about it.

> The trash behavior prefs are moved to the "files and folders" category. 
> 5. Files and Folders category (currently Icon and List Views)
> ------------------------------------------------------------- 
> First we generalized the title to "Files and Folders." This title is more 
> descriptive of the affect these preferences have on user interactions.
> The "Click Behavior" subcategory is generalized to "Behavior." This 
> subcategory now includes both the "click" preferences and "open each file 
> and folder in a new window" preference.
> The "Executable Text Files" category is renamed "Scripts." This change was 
> prompted by an existing nautilus bug report. I do not feel strong about the 
> title either way, however the word script does appear in other parts of the 
> nautilus ui. These prefs remain unchanged.

I'd rather have "executable text files". It seems more clear to me, and 
cannot be confused with nautilus scripts as referenced elsewhere in the 
> As mentioned before the "Hidden files" and "Backup files" preferences are 
> moved into the views menu and are combined into a single preference. 
> The "special flags in Properties dialog" preference is removed in our 
> design. This should just be enabled as the permission tab of 
> the properties window already requires the user to understand unix 
> permissions. We see no reason for a preference.
> 6. Sidepanes category
> --------------------------------
> This category is removed. With the new sidebar design the tabs preferences 
> seem out of place. We may want to include them as hidden preferences for 
> those tweakers who may gain from minor speed improvements, but this doesn't 
> really warrant inclusion in the ui. The tree view preference was moved to 
> the "views" category.

One (slight) problem with this is that newly installed sidebars seem to be 
disabled by default when installed, and without this you can't turn them 
> 7. Icon Captions Category
> -------------------------
> Same...
> 8. Previews Category (currently Performance)
> --------------------------------------------
> We renamed the category to "Previews" as these preferences more directly 
> affect how nautilus previews files. The effect on performance is a side 
> effect. This dialog remains unchanged with the exception that option menus 
> are used in place of the radio buttons (looked cleaner to us).
The thumbnailing parts of this is currently nonfunctional due to the icon 
theme and thumbnailing moving to libgnomeui. These settings will also be 
system-wide once someone implements them. I don't think it matters that 
the settings require nautilus to change though, because it *is* possible 
to change using gconftool, and we don't really support gnome installations 
without Nautilus much.
> Here are some mockups of our proposal. Its not quite complete (it missing 
> mneumonics for example). 
> http://www.msu.edu/~bordoley/nautilus_prefs/Screenshot-Prefs-1.png
> http://www.msu.edu/~bordoley/nautilus_prefs/Screenshot-Prefs-2.png
> http://www.msu.edu/~bordoley/nautilus_prefs/Screenshot-Prefs-3.png
> http://www.msu.edu/~bordoley/nautilus_prefs/Screenshot-Prefs-4.png
> Anyway what does everyone think. Lets stay positive and avoid a flamewar :)

Dude. That window titlebar font sux.

 Alexander Larsson                                            Red Hat, Inc 
                   alexl redhat com    alla lysator liu se 
He's a deeply religious guitar-strumming matador on a mission from God. She's 
a cosmopolitan snooty angel on the trail of a serial killer. They fight crime! 

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