[linux-elitists] Re: GNOME > you

Adam Sampson azz@us-lot.org
Sat Jan 3 02:32:48 PST 2004

Jeff Waugh <jdub@perkypants.org> writes:

> ... so what behaviours actually get in your way when you use GNOME
> 2.x?

Well, since you asked...

I've also been very impressed with GNOME 2.4; it does largely seem to
make the right choices. Most of these are cases where I think it's
made the wrong choice, rather than things that ought to be
more configurable.

- Nautilus drag-and-drop. I've actually opened a bug[1] on this one
  since it's inconsistent with the Nautilus manual; the manual says
  that dragging a file from one directory to another without any keys
  held down will always move it, whereas actually it'll copy it if the
  two directories are on different filesystems. This is annoying
  because most of the time I do want to move files, and there's no
  modifier I can hold down to mean "always move" (shift is "always
  copy"; alt is "ask what to do"). I'd prefer it if dragging with no
  modifiers always moved and dragging with shift always copied (which
  is what the Nautilus manual says) or vica versa (which is what the
  HIG says); that would make it much easier to predict what it's going
  to do. (And while I'm dreaming, I'd like middle-button drag to be
  globally equivalent to shift-drag.)

- File renaming in Nautilus. The rename box pops up over the old name;
  if I'm editing a long name, then I'd like to be able to see the old
  name while I'm typing the new one. (I've seen this done in other
  file managers by showing the old name above the new one in a rename
  dialog, which seems like a pretty reasonable solution -- the
  rename-in-place thing is sort of cute, but it doesn't really offer
  me much.)

- Selection in text boxes. I hate double-clicking, but I hate
  triple-clicking even more. The particular case that I'm thinking of
  is selecting URLs from Epiphany to paste into mail messages or IRC
  windows; in Mozilla, I can double-click to select the entire URL,
  whereas in Epiphany I have to triple-click. My preferred solution
  would be to make it so that GTK's idea of a "word" matched most
  URLs, rather than splitting on slashes; this is how I used to
  configure rxvt ("Rxvt.cutchars: \\ `"'()<>[]{}"), and since most of
  the cut-and-paste I do is of URLs, this saved me quite a bit of
  effort. I don't know if this would be an appropriate default for
  everybody, though.

- Window snapping in metacity. Is there some usability-related reason
  why metacity doesn't snap window borders to each other and to screen
  borders when windows are being moved around? I'm aware of the
  shift-drag thing, but it's hardly convenient, and it still doesn't
  let me line up several similarly-sized windows. (Fortunately, GNOME
  makes it fairly easy to use a different window manager -- it just
  seems a pity to junk metacity when that's the only thing that I miss
  from it!)

- Background context menus. If I right-click on the background, I'm
  offered the choice of opening a new Nautilus window or a new
  terminal window, which suggests that other people also think this is
  a good place to put commonly-used applications. It seems rather odd
  to hard-code the terminal application in there, though; I would have
  thought the "average" user wouldn't want to use the terminal that
  often, whereas they might find it useful to have "open new web
  browser" there, or something like that. I'd prefer it if this menu
  were customisable.

With apologies for complaining,

- Adam

[1] http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=128227

Adam Sampson <azz@us-lot.org>                        <http://offog.org/>

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