Quick brainstorming (long)

Eric Dunbar eric.dunbar at gmail.com
Wed Dec 8 14:58:01 CST 2004

On Wed, 8 Dec 2004 03:20:53 -0500, poptones <dlist at ubuntuforums.org> wrote:
>> -A switch between "spatial" mode (where opening a folder opens a new
>> window)/non-spatial mode where opening folders opens up a new window
>> in place. How switched? A little widget on the title bar.-
> This is also silly. You can already add such a button on the panel, it
> would be an extremely simple script. And even without it the setting is
> still as close as (nautilus) edit>preferences>open in browser windows.

Silly, only until you try it! If I have to delve into preferences I
ain't happy with the solution (as a general rule of thumb... though, I
do so occasionally when the default behaviour isn't to my
liking/illogical... or, in the case of Linux, the default behaviour
bounces around so much from distro to distro and release to release
that it's not worth setting anything but the most annoying of

> Why would you want to be constantly toggling back and forth? This is
> what mouse buttons are for. Nautilus desperately needs to use those
> buttons in a proper fashion and ditch the inane "open and close all the
> other folders." Make the middle and left clicks selectable. All it takes
> is two preferences, although I don't know enough about the guts of
> nautilus to know how hard that would be.

Mouse buttons are a power user feature and not a good solution for a
design problem! Normal computer users _don't_ know what to do with a
right click, let alone a middle click or extra clicks. The best
solution is a graphical one, immediately accessible with a single
click (left-click). This is why Apple Mac computers are sold with only
one-button mice. The vast majority of users don't use right-click and
they are constrained by having that second mouse button (that said, I
have thrown away (figuratively) every single-button mouse since the
Mac OS started supporting right-click out of the box... I have a 5+6
button "mouse" (I'm really wishing I had more than 5 real buttons).

> left click: open spatial/open in browser
> middle click: open spatial/open in browser/inane "open and close the
> parent"

Only you, me and a handfull of others would know how to do that (and I
wouldn't use it... my third click is usually reserved for other

PS I think we're using the terms "spatial" to mean opposing things. To
me opening up a new window when you open a directory is what I called
"spatial" (I though I defined it).

> I find spatial really useful and, as I've said before, use it most of
> the time. But having to right click to "explore" is irritating,
> especially when the perfectly good middle mouse button is locked into
> an utterly useless bit of non-functionality. By adding this one tiny
> feature it could drastically narrow the gap between these two camps,
> allowing either "side" to make use of the other with a single click.

Being able to set your default open would be useful in that situation.
Adding a function to the middle click would be good but it should be
least useful (to as many people) option as possible, or, if it is
useful, also accessible through the GUI (Apple's little widget is the
best solution I've seen to this problem, but, the problem with GNOME
and KDE windows is that they copied the (dumb) menu at top-left of the
windows so window bars are already cluttered).

PS the default behaviour of the top left of a window ought to be that
you can double-click on the silly thing to close (like in Windows)...
is it even possible to make double-click close a window... or,
_ideally_ disable the menu entirely and have a little close button
there (or nothing) (I've _never_ seen a Windows user actually use that
menu so I don't see why MS insists on keeping that bad GUI design item
in there)).


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