Spatial nautilus - fantastic - but what about the rest?

Thanks for breaking the mold and doing something because it's worthwhile, and
not just the same as everyone else. The new spatial nautilus is much better
for managing files and is a significant step forward. Gnome just seems to
keep on getting better.

However, the spatial nautilus leaves a gaping hole: file management is now
more intuitive up until the point you want to start editing files. Then it's
'File open', 'File save', and straight back into the old browser
model. I can understand why so many people are complaining about the spatial
nautilus - we've now got two different file management concepts on the
desktop, and they don't mix well at all.

I don't know if Gnome already has something funky planned to improve this for
a future release, but I've not come across any such discussion. If not then
I'd be interested in getting involved.

There are three main areas where the user still ends up in a browser window
browsing the filesystem to find what they want. Loading files, inserting
files (eg. in a word processor), and saving files. Loading files is not a
big issue - you can already double-click in a nautilus window (or
right-click and edit) to load and edit the file, so using the browser to
open files is essentially optional. Inserting files can be solved but isn't
a common operation, so I think the first thing to address is saving files.

Currently the only way to save a file to a new location is through the 'Save
as' browser. The good thing about going spatial with this is that it not
only fits in with nautilus better but also dramatically simplifies the user
interface. All we need to do is replace all of the browser furniture with a
single icon; to save the file the user just drags the icon to where they want
it. This completely models nautilus where when you drag a file from one
window to another it moves/copies it.

I've mocked up a couple of save windows for an imaginary text editor, just as
an example. This one is the most basic save - the application only saves
files of one type. All you need to enter is the leaf name of the file, and
then drag the icon to where you want to place the file.

This one has an extra option whereby you can control the type of the file

For a given task people tend to work in a particular directory and it is so
much easier and faster to drag the file to the probably already open
nautilus window than keep browsing to the same directory in each application
you want to save in.

Comments on this would be appreciated, and if people like it then I guess
discussing implementation is next. And just for the record, this concept
has been implemented before with a spatial browser and it really does work.



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