Re: [Usability] Re: Suggestion for the actual UI of GTK+'s New FileSelector

On Fri, 2004-01-09 at 17:33 +0000, Julien Olivier wrote:
> > I still believe Gnome should do this.
> > If it's too slow or uses too much memory, that should be fixed.  The
> > original file list dlog in the early UI systems was because there was
> > not enough performance to run a file manager and an application at the
> > same time, not enough screen size to drag between two windows, and
> > for the Mac, because of the decision to have only one active window.
> > 
> > The Sun/AT&T open look experiments with drag & drop were successful at
> > the time - UI studies they did seemed to show that users liked being
> > able to drag files from the desktop into applications without having
> > to bother with File->Open.  However, an "affordance" was needed to
> > give them a clue that this could be done.  Programs had a "drop target"
> > where you could drop documents to have them be opened.  This seemed
> > to work well.  When active, the drop target could also be used as
> > a drag target to save, print, view,compile (or whatever) the current
> > document by dragging from the target.
> > 
> > We're in danger of falling into the trap of following Microsoft when
> > Microsoft itself is moving... in a couple of years, Gnome will need
> > to compete effectively with Longhorn, and it won't do that by copying
> > Windows 95/98/NT for "familiarity".  The OSF made the same mistake by
> > copying the OS2 ver. 1.5 presentation manager for Motif, thinking it
> > would reduce training as pretty much everyone in the industry would
> > be using OS/2.  The moral is, don't be afraid to lead ;-)
> There is, at least, one technical problem: the open/save file dialog
> should work with GTK-only app, with or without GNOME, and, thus, with or
> without Nautilus (AFAIK).

My opinion (though certainly questionable) is, that we don't even need
File->Open. Besides other problems, it also breaks every try to make
documents spatial, unless a newly opened file will always open in a new
window. But then you have to ask yourself, why you use the application
to open the document in the first place and not the file manager.
A user friendly mime system will allow you to open each document from
the file manager in every application that can be used for it. And if
you can figure it out, you can also use drag and drop.
While I understand that it won't be possible today to get rid of open
file dialogs completely, I wonder if we shouldn't rather push
alternative methods and work on making the dialogs more or less obsolete
for general file operations.
Because of this, I'd suggest to make the new file dialogs as simple and
straight forward as possible, _without_ turning them into mini file


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