[linux-elitists] Re: GNOME > you

Adam Sampson azz@us-lot.org
Sat Jan 3 10:27:01 PST 2004

Jeff Waugh <jdub@perkypants.org> writes:

> (Worth bringing up on nautilus-list, I'm not sure anyone's fully written
> down a good reasoning for how it should work.)

OK, will do.

> Not sure this one would fly; renaming on the label shows the full
> name selected before you start changing it, avoids having a
> dialogue, and gives the impression of direct manipulation.

The specific use case that I've got in mind is canonicalising
filenames. The majority of the renaming operations I do are turning
things like "some_s._title_42_[abc]" into "Some Series Title - Part 42
[ABC]"; it's a lot quicker for me in this case to type the whole new
name than edit the old version into the new version, but I still want
to see the old name while I'm typing the new one.

I'm not (yet) convinced about the benefits of making it look like
direct manipulation; it's different from, say, changing permissions
using checkboxes, because the rename isn't performed until you've
finished typing the name (and it's not immediately obvious without an
"Apply" button or something like that when precisely Nautilus will
think that is). It's a difficult problem, though -- it'd certainly be
nice to keep the interface at least looking like instant-apply...

Another approach would be to have some sort of tooltip-like thing
showing the old filename, but I can't think of a way to do so that
wouldn't cover up other useful information.

>>   My preferred solution would be to make it so that GTK's idea of a "word"
>>   matched most URLs, rather than splitting on slashes
> Sounds sensible to me, though I think it could be a local Epiphany
> change.

Ooh, I hadn't thought of doing it specifically for Epiphany; I was
thinking of changing things at the GTK level so that it's consistent
across apps. I could imagine that a specific "URL entry" class of
widgets which supported behaviours like autocompletion would be a
useful UI feature anyway, though.

> (I can't see any immediate reasons why this wouldn't be a good
> default - why did you think it might not be?)

Because I've never seen a UI (that I haven't configured myself) which
does this by default, so users are used to the existing behaviour
already; I certainly find it disorienting having my double-click
selection behaviour changed, so I'd imagine other people would
too. Then again, GNOME got away with changing major things like the
OK/Cancel button ordering for the better without too many people
complaining, so maybe I'm worrying for no reason.

(I can't imagine a non-specialised use for which people would prefer
to have things like / considered as word separators; I'd be interested
to hear what other people think.)

> I think it would be pretty unkind to have window-snapping on by
> default,

Why's that? It seems to me like a usability plus -- having things
lined up is good, and things like Nautilus automatically line up icons
by default, so what's wrong with having the window manager line up
windows by default?

It'd clearly be unpleasant to make metacity just behave as if you were
holding down shift all the time, but it doesn't seem too contentious
to have "gentle" snapping built into the normal window movement
behaviour -- like most other window managers implement -- instead of
two movement modes.

> Hmmm... It ought to open the preferred terminal (see Preferred
> Applications under DP/Advanced).

It does indeed (I'm using rxvt as my terminal -- it's really nice
being able to configure this in one place).

> Personally, I don't think those entries should be there at all, and
> the menu shouldn't be customisable.

What I'd forgotten was that Nautilus scripts appear on the desktop
menu too, so yes, entirely agreed -- the terminal option should go
from there, since if expert users want that (or the more-useful
"new terminal in this directory" functionality) then they can just
drop a script into the Nautilus scripts directory.

Perhaps it might be nicer if scripts got merged into the top-level
menu rather than being in a submenu, though? Of course, there are a
million features you *could* offer with scripts but probably don't
need -- icons, keyboard shortcuts, only showing for certain filetypes,
etc. etc.

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

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