Nautilus Script Download Statistics


With Gnome2 out and Nautilus stabilizing (great job!), it may be time to
think again about how it is used and how it could be made better. I
maintain the nautilus scripts repository at
<>. Before I moved it to sourceforge,
between the months of September and around April, I was able to
accumulate some detailed statistics about which scripts were the most
popular, and I thought I might share them here to provide more insight
into the ways people are extending the functionality of Nautilus, and
thus how Nautilus might be improved.  Keep in mind a few things about
these numbers:

 * This was all pre-gnome2
 * Some scripts evolved from simple to complex, so they may appear
various times as they were renamed
 * Similarly, there are several scripts that duplicate other scripts'
 * The number of downloads for a script is a function of many things
that are not really indicators of popularity, such as: where it appeared
on the page, when it appeared on the website, and whether it was linked
to from an outside email list/discussion website.
 * These numbers do not indicate which ones actually get USED, only
which ones people looked at or downloaded.
 * Even the less popular scripts can be interesting to take notice of,
because someone sat down a wrote it, most likely to solve a problem
he/she was having.
These scripts also say a little about the entire Gnome environment,
which may be of interest to some other gnome-related email lists.  If
you are a member of an email list that might find these numbers
interesting, please forward it on (and cc: me).

I'll make a few comments about them, which you should feel free to skip
if you don't want to listen to a windbag. Clearly, many of the most
popular scripts deal with archiving/compression. I don't think anyone
needs to be told that it would be a boon if nautilus/gnomevfs could
handle compressed files more transparently.  Also, the 'terminal-here'
is a big seller, which is not surprising and has been partially
incorporated into Nautilus2 (but only on the desktop, which makes it no
different from a launcher on your panel). 

A number of scripts appear to be popular because nautilus/gnome does not
provide a good way to access their functionality from the 'Open' menu. 
For instance the 'gedit' script just opens up the selected files in
gedit. It is easy to open text files in gedit by double-clicking, but
when you want to open an arbitrary config file or a .desktop file, or
multiple files simultaneously, it can be tricky. An easy workaround is
to use a script (otherwise, you have to open gedit from a menu, then
drag the files into the app window or navigate with the file dialog).
Plus, some of these types of scripts offer benefits over the standard
'Open' menu, because they work with multiple files, or they may send
files to a running process (e.g., Queue to XMMS), or can be used on a
directory (e.g., XMMS), or they may allow the program to be invoked with
special arguments.   One incredibly useful example is the 'run' script,
which allows you to type in the name of any arbitrary command-line into
a dialog box, and then executes that line on all selected files. Some of
these application-opening scripts appear to be popular simply because
people can't figure out a way to associate the right file-types with the
appropriate application (e.g., the xine script). In my opinion, the
popularity of the scripts in this paragraph may point out some of the
weaknesses in the current the UI of the "Open" and the filetype
association database application. I don't have any good suggestions
about how this can be improved, but it might be nice to make it simple
to add a script from the scripts directory to the 'Open' menu.

There are a number of scripts I would call 'command-line automation'
scripts--people have automated often-repeated but complicated
command-line processes by making a script out of it. Things like
create-vcd, scp_to_host, and numerous picture/document conversion
scripts are examples. People have even experimented with things like
all-in-one LaTeX and make/build scripts. Although some of these are
general purpose enough to be useful across the file system, many of
their functionalities could be performed by making a launcher in the
appropriate directory that runs the script, so that it is only in the
place that you need it.  Needless to say, this is not at all obvious,
and is difficult to perform unless you have the 'make-launcher' script
from ).  It has been addressed on the desktop (the context menu include a 'New launcher' option), but not for arbitrary directories.

There are a handful of popular scripts that do different filesystem
things (like chmod) or system configuration things (e.g., install_rpm),
often replacing functionality that exists on other desktop systems
(e.g., new-text-document). The creation and popularity of such scripts
may point out other places where nautilus/Gnome's configuration
capabilities are weak. For example, many of them allow changes to be
made to an entire group of files, unlike Nautilus's current properties

Anyway, it's just a little food for thought for anyone who wants to do
some Gnome/Nautilus hacking. Here are the numbers, organized into groups
of scripts that perform essentially identical operations.

Number  Percent Script Name
Archive Creation: 4208
1842	0.0751	archiver-unarchiver(also found in decompression)
783	0.0319	ultimate-archiver
361	0.0147	gnome-archive
343	0.0140	gzip
312	0.0127	create_targz
299	0.0122	bzip2
188	0.0077	create-zip
29	0.0012	compress+option
24	0.0010	Compress__.bz2_
17	0.0007	Compress__.gz_
10	0.0004	create-targz
Archive Decompression: 3877
1842	0.0751	archiver-unarchiver (also found in creation)
1207	0.0492	super-extractor
316	0.0129	unrar
266	0.0108	gb-unzip
211	0.0086	uncompress_all
35	0.0014	Decompress
Terminal launching: 2326
1763	0.0719	terminal-here
387	0.0158	root-terminal-here
176	0.0072	xsu-terminal-here
CD-ROM creation: 1130
751	0.0306	create-vcd
209	0.0085	burn_iso
135	0.0055	burn_dir
35	0.0014	QuickBurn
RPM installation: 1122
1038	0.0423	install_rpm
84	0.0034	RPM-install-update
SCP automation: 710
400	0.0163	scp_to_host
310	0.0126	scp2host
File emailing: 599
222	0.0091	mailinbalsa
156	0.0064	mail_file
119	0.0049	mail_file2
102	0.0042	mail_image
516	0.0210	gedit
507	0.0207	Queue to XMMS
486	0.0198	make-nautilus-script
463	0.0189	XMMS
396	0.0161	gtk-du
357	0.0146	dos2unix
354	0.0144	wordcount
353	0.0144	root-nautilus-here
348	0.0142	ggrep
324	0.0132	pprint
322	0.0131	run
319	0.0130	lowercase
312	0.0127	mimetype
309	0.0126	chmod
307	0.0125	filetype
304	0.0124	chmog
301	0.0123	ps2pdf
296	0.0121	xemacs
270	0.0110	xine
260	0.0106	uppercase
247	0.0101	dv_to_mpg
246	0.0100	convert_to_jpeg
246	0.0100	Show Digital Photo EXIF data
236	0.0096	new-text-document
236	0.0096	set_exec
225	0.0092	glimmer
220	0.0090	convert_to_png
219	0.0089	copyhome
210	0.0086	ghex
198	0.0081	rotate_jpg_left
193	0.0079	maker
188	0.0077	Get Photos
185	0.0075	print
184	0.0075	archiver-config
162	0.0066	moveup
148	0.0060	set_read_only
140	0.0057	rotate_jpg_right
135	0.0055	mirror_jpg
133	0.0054	rotate_image
119	0.0049	create_file
119	0.0049	linker
105	0.0043	scale_image_to_sizes
101	0.0041	concatenate
101	0.0041	Set_as_Wallpaper
100	0.0041	scale_image
99	0.0040	mp3_to_ogg
98	0.0040	search_n_replace
96	0.0039	doublespace
96	0.0039	Naudilus
88	0.0036	latex2ps
73	0.0030	Create_Thumbnail
60	0.0024	latex
49	0.0020	Install_Galeon_Theme
41	0.0017	junksorter
40	0.0016	pseudo-nautilus
29	0.0012	to_upper
26	0.0011	create web gallery
8	0.0003	converter

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