Re: [Usability] File Permission User Interface: Feedback Requested

On 06/03/06, Christian Neumair <chris gnome-de org> wrote:
> Dear usability list,
> I'd appreciate if some of you could comment on the permissions user
> interface proposed under [1].
> Thanks in advance!
> [1]

Good work, is nice having people trying to simplify the complex parts of Gnome.

Looking at your design, I'm afraid that the overall design of the
permissions interface still doesn't meet my needs, though. Everytime I
try to use Nautilus for file management tasks that involve
permissions, I find myself returning to the command line.

What I'm missing is a way to perform privilege escalation, i.e. have
access to the Unix 'sudo' command from inside Nautilus. Right now, you
can't sudo any of the Nautilus commands from the menus or from drag
and drop. For example:

In your example interface, user case 2:

"Jimmy doesn't want to share a whole directory with the other users,
like he did before."

What happens if Jimmy doesn't have permissions to that directory, but
has access to sudoers? (so that he would be able to change them from
the command line, but impossible from within Nautilus)? How do you
solve that case, or any other case involving a file operation that
would involve sudo in the command line?

Maybe my case isn't relevant for an average user, but an average user
wouldn't go changing file permissions anyway. This feature (as I see
it) is mostly for your "random *NIX admin", and for him it's barely
usable without privilege escalation (because he would be limited to
change permissions to files for which he already has permission).

This is true for any other operation, not only permissions changes
(for example copying files to a directory which is closed to your
current user, it's a nightmare to do using Nautilus - I always go back
to console for that even if I would LOVE to do it with a GUI). Think
of this workflow, which is what I would like to happen:

1) User selects a bunch of files for which he/she has permissions.
2) User drags files into a folder for which he/she doesn't have
permissions. (Before dropping the icons, cursor changes into a
"forbidden" sign).
3) User finish dragging into the forbidden folder, and a
(non-obstrusive) message appears (just a yellow bar at the top, like
the popup blocker in Firefox).
4) This message informs the user that the files weren't copied because
of forbidden permissions. It would include a password field to unlock
the folder:
    a) just for that blocked operation to finish (allowing the dragged
files to be copied/moved), or
    b) forever (i.e. change folder permissions to include current user).

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