[Usability] file selector - dropping to it, and bugs
- From: Maurizio Colucci <maurizio colucci gmail com>
- To: usability gnome org
- Subject: [Usability] file selector - dropping to it, and bugs
- Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 18:19:36 +0100
I believe the file-selector dialog, in "open" mode, should be reduced
to a single widget: a "drag file(s) here" label.
Or, if that is inacceptable (why?), at least such a widget should be
added to the file-selector.
Let me elaborate.
1. In my experience, I have noticed each time I need to feed a file
to a program, I am already looking at that file in Nautilus. So
having to reach it with the navigational facilities of the
file-selector is per-se unnerving;
2. and this is made worse by 3 bugs in the file-selector:
a. the file-selector is always very small when it appears (1st
bug), so I can only see a tiny part of file names (they are
truncated), which is not enough to discriminate among the files;
also I cannot change the sorting mode (because some columns are
Of course I can resize the selector window, but this is
difficult (see point b);
b. the file-selector has no maximize button (2nd bug), so I can
only resize it by dragging (This is almost incredible for me,
given point (a) );
c. when the file selector opens, it does not remembers its previous
size (the one I had set by resizing it). (3rd bug)
It is easy to see that these 3 bugs, together, form a tragic
combination. Try to send 20 files to a friend with GMail and
Firefox. GMail forces you to select one attachment at a time. With
the current fileselector, fortunately you will have to navigate the
filesystem only once (since the selector remembers the last
directory); but, unfortunately, for each file you will have to
resize the window by dragging (since otherwise you can't see enough
file name to discriminate). And, for each file, you have to scan
the folder from the beginning. The folder can contain _many_
3. Recently I have noticed the file-selector understands drops from
nautilus to the listbox, and automatically selects the dropped file
in the file-selector. This solves all the above problems, except
that of discoverability. I only discovered the feature after I had
wasted a lot of time resizing the file selector, as described in
That's why I am asking to add a visible label "drop file here to
(And then I realized the whole dialog box could be reduced to just
Finally, I should mention that dropping does not always work, for no
apparent reason. I am using Gnome 2.12 from Breezy.
4. I believe if you supplied such a "drop file here" label, people
would stop complaining that Gnome "removed the possibility to paste
URIs with the mouse". I suspect the file selector is the place
where they use cut&paste the most (since they already see the file
in their file-manager, they want to locate it with cut&paste).
Looking forward to your remarks. Especially about whether the file
selector (in open mode) should be reduced to a single "drop here"
widget, and, if not, whether such a widget should be at least _added_
to the dialog.
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