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Directions for GNOME 3.0

Directions for GNOME 3.0

Posted Oct 30, 2008 1:37 UTC (Thu) by paulmfoster (guest, #17313)
Parent article: Directions for GNOME 3.0

Regarding the journal view of files, I hope no one ever forces me into this. Would you file things in an office strictly by time? Users who can't remember where they put things are simply lacking the discipline of using a filesystem. You always put things where they go, and if there isn't a place for that type of thing, you make one logically. I would agree that programs should agree with each other on where to put files. In fact, one thing sorely missing in almost all configuration dialogs is "Where do you want me to look for your files?" and "Where shall I put files you create?" Seems simple but almost no program has a setting for this.

There's a similar silly argument about task-oriented workflow. It appears users simply want the computer to be a "wizard" and follow them around, anticipating their needs and not forcing them to actually consider how to do what they want to do. Instead, the computer and its programs are one and all *tools*. You don't hammer nails with a screwdriver. You don't build a house by pushing a button and having all the tools magically read the plans and build it. You use the exact tool for the exact job (and you put that tool back in an exact place where you can find it again).

Rather than attempt to coddle users who aren't really knowledgeable enough to be using a computer, perhaps our time would be better spent coming up with ways to educate users in how computers work and how to actually work properly with the tools.

I know. That'll never fly. We'll continue to get legions of people who can't find the power button but expect the computer to keep their finances straight. And software architects who cater to them. Led by Microsoft and Apple. I'll stick to mc for my file management, mutt for my mail and vi for my coding, thanks.


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Journals

Posted Oct 30, 2008 7:38 UTC (Thu) by eru (subscriber, #2753) [Link]

Regarding the journal view of files, I hope no one ever forces me into this.

Yes, it should just be an alternative, but I can see why it would be very useful. I find myself using my email box like this.

Would you file things in an office strictly by time? Users who can't remember where they put things are simply lacking the discipline of using a filesystem.

By-time is a very useful default ordering, when you don't have the time or inclination to explicitly classify (again as a personal example, in a large directory I find my myself hitting "ls -ltr" frequently). It is also the case that most things (of course not all) become less relevant over time. So looking back in the journal you can more easily see items you want to classify somewhere else, and others that you can just as well delete.

So yes, I think the idea is great.

Directions for GNOME 3.0

Posted Oct 30, 2008 8:52 UTC (Thu) by NAR (subscriber, #1313) [Link]

Users who can't remember where they put things are simply lacking the discipline of using a filesystem.

I'm afraid that covers about 99% of casual users. Most of them can't use the "find" function as well. I think most of the improvements mentioned in the article are not useful for the poweruser (e.g. it's slow to startup an application from an application menu - I have a shortcut for often-used applications and use a shell to start not so often used applications), but could be useful for that other 99%. Of course, it all depends on how good the implementation will be, but it should be configurable, in order to not get into the way of powerusers.

Directions for GNOME 3.0

Posted Oct 30, 2008 15:05 UTC (Thu) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

It should end up benefiting the power users..

I know I lose were I place files all the time.

I use 'find' a lot to look for files I've made. The most often used command on my system is going to be 'ls'. I don't think that I am unusual for this.

So that's a big reduction in usability for me. I frequently drop to shell for all sorts of trivial things like that. Slows me down somewhat.

Having the ability to see files grouped by dates would actually be very useful since at work I typically see my time fractured. Over a week's time I may be working on 4 or 5 different things, some tasks taking short amount of time, other tasks taking several months. Often they are not directly related. I try to organize stuff by folders and whatnot, but I forget the names of folders and end up with a lot of clutter in my home directory.

I maybe working on something for few days time and end up getting side tracked for quite a while with a different emergency or new, more important task. Often I will simply lose my place and forget exactly were I left off. Being able to go back and see what files and programs I was using a while ago would help a lot.

Maybe programmers are used to having very focused, long-term tasks, were you are using the same stuff day in and day out, but that's not true for lots of people.

Directions for GNOME 3.0

Posted Nov 4, 2008 9:20 UTC (Tue) by stevem (subscriber, #1512) [Link]

The only time I tend to lose files is when GUI programs bend over backwards to hide where they've saved them to. Firefox is a real pain for this type of behaviour - I tell it to save a download and then I have to go looking for it. Openoffice always drops me back into my home directory when I ask it to save a new file, even if I've started it in the right directory. Painful.


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