Re: new file selector dialog?

On Mon, 2002-03-11 at 19:19, David Moles wrote:
> 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".

I think more of what I meant is how I look at GNOME as a whole, not at
*just* Nautilus or *just* GCOnf, or some other "arcane", internal
component that a user doesn't care about (granted, if said components
didn't exist, the user might very well notice... ;-)

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

On stock GNOME installs, open a file selector to save a file.  Then,
select on a directory (to enter the directory to save the file).  The
file name is replaced with the directory name.  This is annoying
because, A) files can't be saved as directories, and B) the file name is
lost which can be annoying when, say, downloading a file in Galeon.

In Ximian GNOME, they fixed that "bug," and made the whole dialog a
little nicer looking.

> 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.

Well, personal preferences will always be different.  The ideas
mentioned of pluggable file selectors is pretty cool.  Although,
pluggable *everything* would also be cool.  ~,^

The file selector from most mainsteam OS's are, in general, more usable
for the average computer person than GNOME's, tho.  My only real problem
with GNOME's is the file-name-replacing thing.

Reasons I've heard from others is more a problem with Linux/UNIX (having
to traverse directories to get to removable media), which is why some
"links" to such media on a system would be great for your average
Windows-user, who is used to selecting "CD-ROM drive" from a drop-down
box in their file selector.

> > 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. :)

One thing the control panel might do, similar to how Nautilus/Sawfish
works, is to make there be multiple instances of a configuration dialog
- basic and advanced.

But, so far as links in the file selector go, it should be fairly
simple.  I mean, in any directory the user is in, they could drop and
drop subdirectories (or hit a "Make shortcut to working directory"
button), and the entry would appear in the shortcuts.  They could right
click on any short cut, to remove it, or change its icon, or change its
name, or whatever.

Of course, that would all probably be GNOME-only stuff.  GTK+ only apps
would probably have to use a "reduced" file selector.  But then,
hopefully in the future, GNOME will prove to be inticing enough for
programmers not to want to settle with "just" GTK+.  ~,^

> > 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. :/

Heh.  I still find it funny people claim that KDE is more stable than
GNOME (people seem to base that opinion on "October GNOME", even
today).  But then, I guess there are, "amazingly," people that think
GNOME is more user-friendly than KDE or Windows in its current (1.4)

I think I'd have to define Utopia as the place where everyone can agree
on the usability, stability, and efficiency of at least one piece of

> 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.

Well, we make extensive use of Groupware at my work.  The calendaring,
shared tasks, appointments, group messages, etc.  Really, I know
organizations (small ones, mind you) that just use shared IMAP folders
to do it all.  But, their users tend to be of a more intelligent caliber
than most work places.  Then manage to seem to avoid the usual employees
that place help requests like "This program says it needs 128MB of RAM. 
My computer only has 384MB.  Do you think that is enough?"  (Yes, just
got *another* one of those in today... damn stupid bastards... this from
the accounting department, no less)

> 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.

Ya.  I'd like to see a total open source solution (actually, a few do
exist, but the clients that are compatible aren't all that user
friendly, pretty, or even stable - an Evolution plugins for any of those
servers would be *really* useful... if only I had the skill ;-)

I still think a generic IMAP implementation would be great, tho.  There
are tons of great IMAP servers out there, almost any mail client could
work with it (with varying levels of ease), it would be easier than
developing a whole new server.  But I suppose this conversation belongs
on the Evolution list.  ~,^

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