[Usability] Re: [Desktop_architects] Printing dialog and GNOME

On Tue, 13 Dec 2005 18:26:46 +1100, Jeff Waugh wrote:
> Jump into a GNOME file dialogue some time and just type a filename. :-) We
> didn't get this 100% right when it first shipped, which was disappointing,
> but it's top stuff now.

Sadly, it's not there yet. I really wish I could just type a
filename, but a magic keypress (Ctrl-L) must be used for anything
close to reliable filename typing is possible:

	Bug 136541: poor discoverability of text entry box in
	filechooser open dialog impairs accessibility

Yes, more recently, it works to "just type" an absolute filename as an
initial press of / pops up the magic missing filename entry. But what
persona is this designed for where any immediate child of / is a common
thing to want to type? I most often want to find stuff in my home
directory, but I can't "just type" ~ to find things there:

	Bug 153213: "~" should bring up the location dialog

Even if that worked, it still wouldn't work for typing a relative
filename based on the current directory, (which must be a typical
desire in the designed-for case else why bring up that current
directory in the dialog).

In this case, typing brings up an an entirely separate, and more
mystic text entry. I'm told it's the "treeview typeahead" feature, and
I had always assumed it was available in the file open dialog by
accident. But apparently it's known as "interactive search" here. It
doesn't support "just type a filename" since it doesn't allow / as a
directory separator:

	Bug 305385: Interactive search should use "/" to go into

Additionally that entry doesn't support tab-completion at all.

Personally, when I say I wish I could "just type a filename" I really
mean that I want good tab-completion too. But it's effectually turned
off for the "file save" dialog anyway:

	Bug 314873: Auto-completion should work when the cursor is in
	the middle of a path

I don't know if the file open/save dialogs were intentionally designed
to exclude someone like me, but I'm certainly happier when I can avoid
using them. (And I am also happy that Federico seems willing to try to
fix all of this, but it is hard to understand how it got to this

The fear of exposing / as a separator is the most bewildering design
aspect to me personally. I'm certainly glad that the designers of
firefox didn't see fit to replace each /-separated component of every
URL with individual buttons.


PS. These side threads are entertaining, but I do hope we also get
back to Till's original list and we can all work together on designing
a good print dialog.

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