Re: new file selector dialog?

On Thu, 2002-03-07 at 20:57, Sean Middleditch wrote:
> On Fri, 2002-03-08 at 17:30, David Moles wrote:
> > 
> > There, now that's much better. :) Sorry -- I have my head down in
> > the details of the usability, gnome-devel, and nautilus mailing list
> > discussions and don't tend to see the big picture.
> Ah.  Being much much much more of a user of GNOME than a developer (heh,
> I don't think I count as developer at all - I've never finished even one
> of my GNOME projects... I'm just not a GUI person), I see the big
> picture a lot more and very little of the individuals or internals.  ^,^

I'm more of a user than a developer, too -- but I'm also the only GNOME
user in my immediate neighborhood, so while I have a good idea what *I*
don't like about various aspects of GNOME, I don't have a good idea of
what the larger community of users has or hasn't agreed on. I track the
development lists to get a heads-up on where things are going, so I have
some idea of those details, but not of "public opinion".

> > > The file selector is terrible.  The only thing nice about it is tab
> > > completion.  From an average idiot point of view, it's unusable.
> > 
> > I wouldn't call it completely unusable, though I will admit it makes me
> > cringe. Is there any agreement on just what's broken and just what needs
> > to be fixed, though?
> I dunno.  Honestly, the one thing that is obviously hated the most is
> loss of file name when selecting a directory.  Everything else to "fix"
> is just convenience/eye candy.

Doesn't happen on mine. *shrug* Is that one of the Ximian enhancements
you were talking about?

I guess "unusable" depends on what you compare it to. Compared to the
MacOS 7 through 9 file selector, I find it pretty unusable. Compared
to the Windows file selector... well, I find the Windows file selector
more annoying, but that's probably because I don't do much work in
Windows any more. Compared to the Motif file selector, it's beautiful.

> For example, seeing MIME-type icons for files would be eye candy. 
> Improving the icons (heh, there *aren't* icons in GTK 1.x file selector)
> for the various buttons is eye candy.

That would be nice.

> Stuff like adding shortcuts to devices/home dir/documents dir/etc. is
> convenience.
> So far as that goes, if we're talking GNOME, I would think it'd be
> really easy to add some GConf entries for that.  THen, the sys admin can
> set some defaults (floppy, CD, global shared file mount, etc.) and the
> user can set their own (MP3 dir, Documents dir, etc.).

Yeah, but you have to be careful -- "make it an option" is how we got
into the current control-panel mess. :)
> > I think the GNOME 2.0 control center is significantly improved,
> > particularly with the trend toward getting rid of as many capplets
> > as possible. Not to say it still doesn't need work.
> I've played with older versions of the GNOME 1.x beta of the new control
> center, and it looks a lot nicer.  Some things are just in need of
> integration, tho.  Especially the look/feel things.  Themes for
> GNOME/Sawfish, fonts, colors, and all of that need to be in a single
> area, with related settings in the same tab/windows (themes for Sawfish
> and GNOME should be something like app themes and desktop themes, or
> something an idiot can almost understand).
> But meta-theme should help with that.  ^,^


> > Part of the problem is that the so-called GNOME Office isn't really a
> > project, it's a grab bag of applications. I assume KOffice is better
> > in that respect. (I've never been able to get it to run on my RedHat
> > system even after setting up a second user with KDE instead of GNOME
> > as their desktop.)
> Ya, but KOffice is unstable.  Most of KDE is unstable.  Which is why *I*
> don't use it.  (This isn't just "opinion" - it honestly crashes a lot,
> on every system I've used it)

Like I said, I've never been able to get it to run. :/

> Nautilus and Gnumeric are OK.  I've played with better (no offense, but
> in my opinion, those betters would be the standard Windows
> counterparts).  But the GNOME versions *are* getting better and better. 
> ^,^

I don't do enough Excel to make a fair comparison. I personally loathe
both incarnations of the Windows file manager (the one you get when you
double-click on desktop icons and the one you get when you say "explore
this") but that's because I'm an ex-Mac person and I think spatially.
(Don't get me started on the NextStep / MacOS X Finder.)
> Evolution needs a lot of work.  It's basic functionality works, but
> you'll notice it stopped being Groupware and became PIM.  PIM is nice
> and all, but Groupware is a lot more useful.  What *I'd* need are
> Groupwise plugins.  What a Linux shop would need is a nice Linux server
> (Ximian Group-Monkey or something... ;-) with solid Evo. plugins.  What
> would also be nice is a general IMAP plugin (store/retrive
> calender/tasks/contacts/etc. from shared IMAP folders), for
> mixed-environment/personal settings (There are modules for OUtlook to
> use IMAP, thus my parents, girlfriend and I could share a calendar. 
> That, and Evo. has some annoying bugs left (all in bug database, just
> waiting for the good hackers to get the time to fix them all).

Part of the problem is that nobody I've ever met seems to have a clear
idea of what groupware really is. There are some people who have a clear
idea of what Groupwise is, or what Notes is, but not what "groupware" as
a category is or what the requirements for good groupware are. (Bruce
Sterling's "Heavy Weather", set in the 2020s or 2030s, had one character
talking about this piece of groupware they were using that was the only
groupware they'd ever found that actually helped a group get work done
instead of getting in the way. That's how I feel about groupware.) It
doesn't help that most people just use, e.g., Notes as an email system,
and that Microsoft has used Outlook/Exchange to redefine the category.

My guess is that before too awfully long after Ximian ships the 
(commercial) Connector for Exchange product somebody will come up with
a free Exchange replacement that uses the same or a similar API. That'd
be a start.

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