[linux-elitists] gnome, trial by fire

Peter Whysall peter@whysall.net
Tue Jan 6 06:21:57 PST 2004

on Tue, Jan 06, 2004, Aaron Lehmann (aaronl@vitelus.com) wrote:
> I'm not sure I grok Nautilus. The "Bookmarks" menu and "Location" bar
> made me suspect that it was also designed to browse the web, but when
> I tried loading web pages I just got their HTML code displayed. I'm
> not saying that I think that loading web pages from a file manager is
> a desired feature (I hate that mixed metaphor). As a file manager it
> seems okay, although clearly influenced by the windows desktop. It's
> faster than I would have expected.

I like Nautilus. The viewer/file associations part of it is very
functional, but needs some serious UI love because the "associate
application" dialogue box is far too complex for J. Random User.

I don't use Nautilus as a web browser; however, it is very handy to be
able to view all sorts of content with a simple double click and have it
right there in the window, rather than having all sorts of external
programs popping up. If what I'm hearing about the next version is
correct, though, you'll see a version of Nautilus that's far more like
the Mac Finder than Windows Explorer.

I experimented a while back with the Rox file manager, which draws a lot
of its UI from the Acorn RISCOS desktop; although it brought a delicious
wave of nostalgia washing over me, I rapidly discovered that using Rox
in GNOME produced a very unhappy clash of metaphors and UI that made the
whole thing rather unpleasant. I switched back to Nautilus and the
consistency makes me much more contented.

There's only a few things I'd change about Nautilus as it stands. The
ability to not draw the desktop is one - I'd be happy for that to be a
GConf key (AWOOGA EVUL ALERT!!!!!1) and the ability to recreate some of
the "special" icons, like Start Here; these icons are lifesavers for
inexperienced users.

And, of course, I'd like it to be much, much faster. This is a wishlist
bug which can never, ever be fixed :-)



The IWETHEY project: http://www.iwethey.org
Collaborative Media Foundation: http://collaborativemedia.org
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