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An alternative suggestion...

An alternative suggestion...

Posted Nov 6, 2008 15:38 UTC (Thu) by MortFurd (guest, #9389)
In reply to: An alternative suggestion... by epa
Parent article: Directions for GNOME 3.0

'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.)


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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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