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An alternative suggestion...

An alternative suggestion...

Posted Oct 30, 2008 9:48 UTC (Thu) by dan_a (subscriber, #5325)
Parent article: Directions for GNOME 3.0

Perhaps the solution to the workflow problem would not be the journal file view, but programs more oriented to workflow.

Instead of doing "Save Image As" and then opening GIMP, what the user really wants to do is "save the image on my computer and open it with GIMP." Might it not be better to have this as an option in the web browser? And then of course GIMP could have "save the image on my computer and email it to..."

I do like the idea of increased task orientation, though.


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An alternative suggestion...

Posted Oct 30, 2008 11:45 UTC (Thu) by epa (subscriber, #39769) [Link]

When you 'save image as', instead of disappearing to some random location it should open the directory where it's being saved in the file manager. Then you can see your file appear, and double-click or right-click to open it in the app you want.

Better still would be for the user to choose a directory with the file manager, then *drag* the saved file from the web browser to that directory. This gives the user a physical sense of where the file is going and makes sure you can never lose track of where something was saved to. But I don't have much hope that mainstream desktop environments will adopt this, because it's too different to what Windows does, and this style of UI normally requires you to have overlapping windows on the screen, which is very awkward with window managers like Metacity that force a window to the front on any mouse click.

An alternative suggestion...

Posted Oct 30, 2008 13:52 UTC (Thu) by kh (subscriber, #19413) [Link]

> When you 'save image as', instead of disappearing to some random location

I can not help but think that at least part of the problem is that gnome (and every other gui) does not have a persistent current directory, unlike any tui (e.g. bash). When I am working in a shell, much of the commands I can give the computer are dependent upon my current working directory, but somehow that never was translated to any of the gui environments. Maybe each workspace needs a current working directory that can be changed from the panel or any of the programs in that workspace, and that is enforced for all programs in that workspace.

An alternative suggestion...

Posted Oct 30, 2008 14:54 UTC (Thu) by niner (subscriber, #26151) [Link]

"Better still would be for the user to choose a directory with the file manager, then *drag*
the saved file from the web browser to that directory. [...] But I don't have much hope
that mainstream desktop environments will adopt this"

Just tried that on my KDE desktop and it worked exactly like you described. I'd not be
surprised if the same were already possible on Gnome, too.

An alternative suggestion...

Posted Oct 30, 2008 18:13 UTC (Thu) by epa (subscriber, #39769) [Link]

I mean that dragging the file to a directory window would be the default and most common way of saving, used most of the time by most users. At the moment you can do it, but far more common is for the app to silently dump the file in some random place (web browsers) or use its own crappy filepicker to navigate to the location you want.

An alternative suggestion...

Posted Oct 30, 2008 20:06 UTC (Thu) by massimiliano (subscriber, #3048) [Link]

Just tried that on my KDE desktop and it worked exactly like you described. I'd not be surprised if the same were already possible on Gnome, too.

IIRC in Gnome it has worked that way with Epiphany for ages.
With Firefox, on the other hand, it creates a link on the destination folder, which IMHO is not as useful as downloading the file or image.

An alternative suggestion...

Posted Oct 30, 2008 21:57 UTC (Thu) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

Epiphany works a lot better for a lot of things in Gnome. Stuff like that. And besides that it's a bit faster to start up and uses less RAM then firefox.

And for older systems you have the option to use Webkit.

Oh, and it doesn't abuse "Fsync" like Firefox does.

OF course, Firefox has lots more capabilities. But all I want is a browser.

An alternative suggestion...

Posted Nov 4, 2008 3:20 UTC (Tue) by Ze (guest, #54182) [Link]

Just out of interest how does firefox abuse fsync?

An alternative suggestion...

Posted Nov 6, 2008 10:00 UTC (Thu) by MortFurd (guest, #9389) [Link]

Better still would be for the user to choose a directory with the file manager, then *drag* the saved file from the web browser to that directory.

Dragging is the WORST concept ever. I work at a help desk. Do you know how often users lose files by dropping them somewhere accidentally? Do you know how much a of a pain it is to try to locate a dropped file? Worst part of it is that the users don't generally notice that they dropped it in the wrong place until MUCH later - then you get vague requests for help "Well, I was using it last week or maybe the week before. And I think it was called Budget2009 or may be ProposalforNextFY. Or something else. I don't know. Can you help me find it?"

Whoever thought drag and drop into the file system was a good idea had absolutely zip to do with real world users.

An alternative suggestion...

Posted Nov 6, 2008 13:42 UTC (Thu) by epa (subscriber, #39769) [Link]

Dragging is the WORST concept ever. I work at a help desk. Do you know how often users lose files by dropping them somewhere accidentally?
Hmm, I imagined (based partly on my own experience) that dragging to save a file would reduce the occurrence of lost files. First you must explicitly navigate to where you want to save the file - no more mysterious default locations; if you don't know how to locate a directory then you cannot save a file there. Secondly, once you've dragged the file into the window then it is still open and you can see your file there.

Of these help desk requests, how do you know that they are caused by drag-and-drop saving rather than other causes, such as the unintuitive behaviour of filepickers? In my experience helping technically naive users, the filepicker interface with its arbitrary choice of directories and unclear navigation is responsible for many more lost files than explicit dragging between one directory window and another. 'Uh, I don't know what directory - I just pressed Save... and now I come back to the same program and I don't see it in the list.'

(Part of the problem is that by default in Windows Explorer dragging a file within the same drive moves it rather than copying it. IMHO copying, being the safer operation, should be the default.)

An alternative suggestion...

Posted Nov 6, 2008 15:38 UTC (Thu) by MortFurd (guest, #9389) [Link]

'Cause users (who have just loast files) tell me they were dragging files from one place to another when they lost them.

I've also dropped files myself. A twitch of the finger at the wrong moment, and the file (or, god help you, the pile of 3 gazillion files that you selected) gets dropped in the wrong folder. I try to avoid drag and drop - I tend to select items and ctrl X them then got to the new location and ctrl V them.

Did you ever have to try and locate a pile of lost email messages that a user lost? Same problem. Drag and drop within the mail program, and dropped into the wrong place - bzzzp! Gone! Now try to collect those messages from wherever they got to, and sort them out of whatever was in that folder to begin with.

Drag and drop as a file management tool is a Bad Idea (tm.)

An alternative suggestion...

Posted Nov 7, 2008 13:56 UTC (Fri) by epa (subscriber, #39769) [Link]

Did you ever have to try and locate a pile of lost email messages that a user lost? Same problem. Drag and drop within the mail program, and dropped into the wrong place - bzzzp! Gone!
I might have experienced something like that. But I think I blame the tree interface down the left hand side. There, it is much too easy to get the wrong thing. But if you have one window open for one directory and another window on a different part of the screen for another directory, and drag from one to the other, it seems fairly idiot-proof to me. Windows are big things and it's hard to get the wrong one. (And again, if you do not know how to navigate to a directory and display its contents in a window then you have no ability to put files there. This is not really true of the tree view.)

So I think I would say two things: dragging a file, by default, should *copy* it not move it so you can't lose stuff, and the fiddly tree view down the left of the window is handy for experts but too easy for novices to mess up, so it should be hidden or essentially read-only by default.

Ctrl-X Ctrl-V is essentially equivalent to drag and drop, IMHO, because the same principle applies: you see one place on the screen for the old location, a different place for the new one, and you can feel you are copying *from* here *to* there. I'd be happy enough if that were the default way to manage files and load and save them. What I don't like is the proliferation of fiddly, half-broken file managers instead of one good file manager across the whole desktop. I also don't really like the way directory structure gets hidden from the user, so you can save a file to a directory without any idea of how to get back there. Fix both of those and I'd be happy; it doesn't particularly have to involve holding down a mouse button while moving.


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