Why Nautilus and GNOME applications use URIs?

Christopher Lees christopher_lees at iprimus.com.au
Thu Jun 3 04:57:34 UTC 2010

On Wed, 2010-06-02 at 11:07 +0100,
ubuntu-devel-discuss-request at lists.ubuntu.com wrote:
> Message: 1
> Date: Tue, 01 Jun 2010 23:39:40 -0300
> From: Dami?n Nohales <damiannohales at gmail.com>
> Subject: Why Nautilus and GNOME applications use URIs?
> To: ubuntu-devel-discuss at lists.ubuntu.com
> Message-ID: <4C05C46C.1040608 at gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> The issue is that when I use Ubuntu, I use a lot of SSH, FTP and Samba 
> connections through GVFS. These connections, if I don't mistake, are 
> mounted on the folder "/home/<user>/.gvfs" via FUSE, but in most GNOME 
> desktop applications gain access to these through URIs 
> (sftp://user@server/path) instead of through your local address 
> (/home/user/.gvfs/sftp to user at server/path), the truth is that using 
> URIs instead of the local address is really annoying when working with 
> the system, especially with Nautilus.
> You see, not all applications support the GVFS URIs, which makes 
> difficult its integration with the GNOME desktop for the user, and 
> difficults to much in the use of the system (at least to me).
> For instance, the Meld diff viewer, a program is fairly common, but I 
> see that does not support GVFS URIs, this makes me a lot of bad things: 
> I can not drag and drop remote files from Nautilus to Meld, it will not 
> recognize (I don't know because it contradicts the use of "Open With 
> ..." in which local address is sending to Meld); In Open / Save dialogs 
> do not appear Nautilus Bookmarks to remote folders, so I have to look 
> hand (why use Bookmarks so :(?); on the other hand, the Nautilus scripts 
> and extensions do not work on remote folders; I can not copy from the 
> address bar in Nautilus the direction as I would in other programs ...

Fully agreed. It's a leaky abstraction - you're mounting the remote
drive as though it was a local disk, but then you can't actually use it
like a local disk. Dragging and dropping files from Nautilus onto
Open/Save dialogs brings up the message that you can't do that with
remote filesystems.

Ironically, you can drag and drop from Nautilus onto KDE programs with
no problems.

I can't think why it has been implemented in this way, because it
doesn't make sense and the leakiness of the abstraction causes you to
NOT use it!

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