Re: [Usability] Alternatives to nautilus for two paned file management

On Mon, 19 Dec 2005, Richard Hebert wrote:

> Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2005 09:54:22 +0000
> From: Richard Hebert <hebertrich earthlink net>
> To: usability gnome org
> Subject: [Usability] Alternatives to nautilus for two paned file
>     management
> I have followed the threads about Gnome with interrest.
> I share a lot of views with the members here.

> For two paned file managers i looked a lot and found
> a few. I dont like to use them , but Nautilus's team is
> insensitive to their users.

Please clarify what you mean by this, I do not want to misinterpret you
and it wasn't entirely clear what you meant.

> I dont know who runs that box but since the beginning i hated it. GMC
> was a way better manager imho.Faster,lighter and did all i needed it to
> do. When they switched to Nautilus i really started to have trouble with
> Gnome.

I'm slightly surprised GMC (Gnome Midnight Commander) was not popular
enough for anyone to keep running and maintaining it.  Perhaps someone is
quietly working away on it and keeping it running if you look hard enough,
who knows?  (I was interested to learn many people still use SawFish.)

Not a two paned file manager but there was a project called Velocity which
was attempting to provide a faster lighter Gtk based File manager but it
seemed to have disappeared ... but with a bit of effort I've found it
again and it seems to be still going:

> Anyways  :
> for a two paned file manager check this one.
>  that's XNorthernCaptain.
> i havent had trouble with it .. works nicely.
> I got trouble with Gnome the way it's gone the past few years.
> The way of " we know better than our users what they want "

I think that is more than a little unfair (but at least you were
reasonable polite about it compared to other recent high profile

Gnome has been making a huge effort to get the defaults right but of
course doesn't always succeed.  Gnome has not always made it easy to
change things if you do not like the defaults which leaves users with the
false impression of "we know better" which is not the intention at all.

Sometimes you must take one step back to take two steps forward.  Gnome 2
is a lot more simplified than Gnome 1.4 (and more maintainable for
developers) but as things move forward there is room to carefully add back
some of the flexibity and the options you might be missing (but without
getting too crazy).

I cannot speak for anyone else but I definately do not think of users as
being any less intelligent because they are not interested in tweaking
their software or learning about how it works.  However I do think most
users would prefer it they didn't have to configure things, just the same
way I'd prefer not to fill out unfamiliar paperwork at the bank or try to
understand medical jargon at the doctor.  People have different interests
and different skills and many people are not interested in spend time
figuring out how their computer works when they should be doing work.
Their interest in computers has nothing to do with their intelligence, and
it is not unreasonable for them to want things to "Just work".

> has given me no choice but to look at the alternatives.
> Not that i like it one bit. Perhaps Linus is right ..
> KDE seems like an alternative.Though it's hard for me
> to wave goodbye to Gnome ..

If you want a faster lighter Gtk applications mixed in with Gnome I think
mixing some XCFE[1] or GPE[2] applications into your desktop could be
something you might enjoy trying.

> If Gnome is to survive a radical change is needed.

Open Source and Free Software don't do radical very well, gradual
evolutinoary change, rather than revolutionary change.  Gnome developers
are improving things a little here and there, trying out new ideas and
seeing if we can make more improvements.  These new ideas do not always
work, and other times they do work but not for everyone.

> Kicking whole teams/projects out of it like nautilus and a radical
> change in philosophy.

There is no central authority with the power to "kick" anyone.  A huge
amount of work has been put into developing existing applications, work
on accessibility, usability, translation, and many other aspects so
developers would be very cautious about throwing anything out.

If a better application came along it would stand a good chance, epiphany
did manage to replace Galeon because people felt it was more in line with
what people wanted Gnome to be.

> Why not start by listening to their users ?

Which ones?  Gnome has many users and some have conflicting ideas of what
Gnome should be.  It is impossible to please everyone but I believe Gnome
is doing a good job of pleasing "most of the people most of the time".
Unfortunately we cannot please all of the people all of the time and power
users who quite liked Gnome 1 happen to be among those were quite unhappy
but long term users are more likely to be using the command line and are
more familiar with computers most able to adapt and most likely to give us
loud feedback when you think things are being done wrong and even
contribute patches to improve things.  I hope you dont think Gnome 2 is a
total loss, there must be some improvements over Gnme 1.4 you do like even
if nautilus is not for you.

> I have lost hope to see Gnome evolve in a direction that will allow me
> to enjoy it. Looks like a few hours of KDE debug ( wont start atm )
> might be paying off ..

KDE is not a bad choice, and I quite like it too only I prefer Gnome.
KDE has a lot of flexibility and more configuration options than I am ever
going to need and it is a little overwhelming at times but I am hapy to
mix and match and use a bit of both KDE and Gnome at different times. (I'm
happy I was even able to make my own small contributions to KDE and some
of the developers have been very friendly.)

> Happy trails.

Hope you like Gnome but if you dont that is okay too.  Dont give up, help
us find ways to make Gnome you like too.  There are plenty of bits of
Gnome I dont like either but thing get better all the time.


Alan Horkan

Open Clip Art

Alan's Diary


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