Re: [Usability] New way of accessing software (WAS: Re: Big Panel menus (32x32))

From: Daniel Borgmann <spark-mailinglists web de>

On Fri, 2003-06-13 at 11:55, Mark Finlay wrote:
> 3. Load and process files. (files should have the same window launcher as
> the apps above, but with options regarding files instead of apps, depending
> on the MIME type)
I'm from the $HOME as desktop camp, and so I think that the desktop
should we the starting place for file manangment. Why re-invent the
wheel on the panel when we already have a file manager and the ability
to manage files from the desktop ( see: )

Which is a good example why it is crack. ;) Unless you assume that we
will always use folders (live in stone age) for file management.
The desktop is NOT the best place to access files IMO, because you can
do nothing but look into folders. Insisting on doing it this way
certainly is the best way to make sure that we'll never catch up with
the competition (which is already thinking of better methods involving
metadata and less folder hierarchies).

Since I have an opinion and its the usability list :) I don't quite agree. The desktop is an excellent "Start point" imo. The problem is that folders aren't rich enough yet. Yes micromanaging your files in complex hierarchies is a pain and archaic, but something akin to search folders on the desktop would be really useful. An example, would be a folder that based on the query "All music files." This folder would provide a rb like view of all your music files. Similarly you could have another search folder based on the results of the query "All songs by fugazi," or "all songs with a five star rating." I guess my point is that the desktop metaphor is not completely obsolete, but that it needs to be updated. The biggest issue is providing quick (and obvious) access to the desktop. The show desktop button is useful here, but I'm still not quite happy with it :/ The alternative is something akin to the apple dock for folders. The biggest issue with this is that it takes up lots of screen realestate (sic?). Anyway I'm rambling now.

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