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Gnome Switches Nautilus Back To Browser Mode 311

An anonymous reader writes "In one of the do-the-developers-actually-use-their-own-software decisions in the Linux Desktop World, back in 2004 Gnome switched to the 'Spatial' view by default with their Nautilus file manager opening a new window with each new folder viewed. Many derided the decision as poor design or as being different for the sake of being different. Well, after five long years the Gnome powers that be have decided to switch back to browser mode."
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Gnome Switches Nautilus Back To Browser Mode

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  • by GreatBunzinni ( 642500 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @06:22AM (#30550100)

    It does appear that Nautilus' people are taking many many lessons from (let's not say ripping off) KDE's Dolphin. I mean, if you compare Nautilus' demo screenshot [] and you use KDE's Dolphin [] (please ignore the command line at the bottom and info dock widget at the right) on a daily basis you will be hard pressed to find any differences.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 25, 2009 @06:47AM (#30550158)

      (please ignore the command line at the bottom and info dock widget at the right)

      you will be hard pressed to find any differences.

      You're absolutely right! If you ignore the differences then you will be hard pressed to find any differences!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        The only differences between that pair of screenshots consists on a couple of dock window widgets which are pretty much never used on KDE's Dolphin and are turned off by default. I use KDE exclusively on a daily basis and I had to look at the screenshot to learn that KDE's Dolphin had an Info dock window and if you happen to use Dolphin then the window config you will get will be exactly the same config as the one Nautilus is sporting on it's screenshot.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BrokenHalo ( 565198 )
        Well, the difference really is minimal given that the "fix" for the much-hated and derided "spatial" view has been built into gconf ever since spatial was introduced, and was only somewhat more recently incorporated directly into Nautilus preferences. The whole idea of introducing that Win95 "feature" was one of the more craniorectal decisions on the part of the Gnome developers, and I suspect they knew it.

        Slipping a more sensible default in by stealth after everybody had been accustomed to toggling the p
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Have not noticed this thing as Debian and Ubuntu sensibly switched it back to browser mode by default for its releases. That is part of the reason why distributions exist - provide sensible defaults for their users.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 25, 2009 @07:02AM (#30550202)

      Yes, they have copied the "split view" (one of the killer features of dolphin/konqueror).

      Now Gnome needs to fix the file chooser dialog so that it can 1) have views other than "list view", 2) view generate thumbnails of all kind of files that nautilus can (PDFs, videos, etc) 3) a list view that can order the files by something that is not modification date or size (for example, the type of archive) 4) a list view with BIG icons, not miniatures that are so tiny that you can't tell what picture is in the thumbnail and need a ugly extra panel on the right side of the dialog to show the preview

      The main reason why Gnome can't do all those things is why the file chooser dialog is not a "gnome file chooser dialog", but a "GTK file chooser dialog". The KDE guys don't use the QT file chooser dialog (which exists), they use a KDE file chooser dialog that can use any part of KDE (including parts of konqueror/dolphin) while the gtk dialog can't use nautilus or anything besides the basic GTK building blocks. They have been adding some hacks to avoid the need of writing a decent file chooser, but it still sucks and misses a lot of functionality.

      • by ciroknight ( 601098 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @07:24AM (#30550244)

        view generate thumbnails of all kind of files that nautilus can (PDFs, videos, etc)

        With GIO, the file chooser can load any thumbnails that are available, but Gtk+ doesn't actually have the architectural pieces for doing thumbnailing itself (since it's quite a lot of specialized code that's not widely needed). But in most cases, Nautilus has already generated the thumbnails you require anyways.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by vegiVamp ( 518171 )
        "split view" ? You mean, the thing that Windows 3.1's file manager had ? Yes, it's always been very useful.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by osu-neko ( 2604 )
          Yes, it was very useful on the file manager I used under ProDOS on my Apple //c. Alas, I'm afraid I've since forgotten the name of it, but I was happy when I found a program called Norton Commander for the PC that could mimic it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Maybe because there are only so many ways to design a file manager? They've only been around for, what, 40 years?

      • Features such as implementing the separate directory levels in a path as buttons, splitting the directory view pane in the same window, implementing both a "places" and a directory tree view and adding a toolbar to let the user select how to display the files are features which are not around for 40 years. If that wasn't enough, implementing them in the exact same way to the point of even mimicking the layout which was premièred by Dolphin a hand full of years ago cannot be explained as a 40 year old t

        • by Curtman ( 556920 ) *
          A dolphin clone? By reverting to a behavior that Nautilus had before Dolphin even existed? How's that work exactly?

          They're all clones of Midnight Commander if you want to play that game.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Narishma ( 822073 )

            I think you don't get his point. He's not talking about the change from spatial to browser mode, he's talking about the overall new UI, which you have to admit looks like nearly a perfect copy of Dolphin.

            • by Curtman ( 556920 ) *
              It also looks a lot like the way Nautilus looked 6 years ago.. And how Windows Explorer looks, and looked then.
              • 6 years ago, Nautilus didn't have the split view, the tabs, the bread crumb buttons or the Places panel. Windows Explorer still doesn't have some of those features to this day.

                • by Curtman ( 556920 ) *
                  Maybe some day Dolphin will have inline expandable folders.. I've never seen or used Dolphin until I saw this thread. That's the first thing I notice is missing. I don't know why the places panel is even there, I've always switched it to "Tree" so it becomes useful.

                  It seems very silly to play the who copied who game in the open source world though don't you think? Isn't that the point of the thing?
                  • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                    That's what the columns view does. Dolphin is the best file manager I've ever used, now that it's stable, used to crash frequently.

        • by grumbel ( 592662 )

          Features such as implementing the separate directory levels in a path as buttons, splitting the directory view pane in the same window, ...

          NextSTEP [] had that kind of stuff ages ago.

      • by ta bu shi da yu ( 687699 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @08:43AM (#30550470) Homepage

        Well, the rationale for changing from spatial to browser mode in Nautilus is because much of the functionality is now being implemented in Gnome-Shell.

        From the following post [] by Alexander Larsson:

        The current ideas behind the design of nautilus is that its the main way to access files. By this I mean everyday stuff like finding and opening your files, rather than "file management" (reorganizing files, copying files, etc). This together with the desktop having links to important places (as well as being a repository for currently worked on files) makes this a sort of "desktop shell" in the sense that its how apps are launched to a large degree. This is also why spatial mode is the default for the desktop icons (and why browser mode is availibile in the menus as "File Browser" for those times you want to
        do intense file management).

        However, in the gnome-shell design a lot of the things nautilus is currently used for (locating and opening files) is integrated into the
        shell and mixed together with the ui for locating and starting applications. This makes a lot of sense to me as launching applications and opening files with an application are closely related actions, and a merged UI could do a lot better than the current sort of double UI with the panel launching apps and the desktop launching files. The shell also wants to de-emphatize the desktop as a place for storing files in use and launching links, for good reasons (read the design paper[1] for details).

        This leads to two initial conclusions from my side. First of all we should disable the drawing of the desktop by default. Second we should default to browser mode. This might seem a bit suprising (sic) since I've generally been on the spatial side. But, this has mainly been because I've seen nautilus as much more used as a kind of file activation shell rather than a hardcore file manager, and when that changes the rationale for spatial mode change too.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      "please ignore the command line at the bottom and info dock widget at the right"

      You really couldn't bring yourself to simply toggle the terminal and info windows off with View --> Panels --> Terminal and View --> Panels --> Information or using the F11 and F4 hotkeys to make your point sans caveat?

      Are you sure you are not a Gnome user? (sorry Linus; I couldn't resist, and lighten up mods. It's a playful / tongue in cheek chide, not a troll or flamebait)

      Oh yeah. emacs sux and vi rulezz!!!

  • Didn't even notice. Haven't used a distro that didn't have "browsermode" set as default.
  • by hubert.lepicki ( 1119397 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @06:24AM (#30550110)

    I don't know any modern distribution that is using spatial mode for Nautilus windows. Ubuntu tried that and it was only 1 or 2 releases they kept this default setting. Can you help me out with listing distributions that this change will affect somehow?

  • Does it matter? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by delirium of disorder ( 701392 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @06:29AM (#30550118) Homepage Journal

    I only saw the weird "open a new window" mode once, I think it was on Solaris 10. Ubuntu, Opensolaris, etc all seam to have configured gnome to use the normal "browser" mode. If the distros set the gnome configuration, does it really matter what the default is?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 25, 2009 @06:35AM (#30550126)

    Should be forced to use a browser that opens a new window every time a hyperlink is clicked

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Englabenny ( 625607 )

      Should be forced to use a browser that opens a new window every time a hyperlink is clicked

      I'm pretty sure you misunderstand **spatial** mode. I don't want a spatial idea of all the pages on the internet, my head is not quite big enough for that, but I do like my spatial nautilus.

    • by mspohr ( 589790 )
      Actually, that's how I have my FireFox set up... opens each hyperlink in a new tab (not window). I do this so I can keep reading then go on to check out the links. Also, many times I want to view more than one link from a page and this lets me keep the page open to find the other links.
      • I use the middle button (wheel) for that, but it's no my default setting. Navigating through a site with that would be exasperating.

      • by jon3k ( 691256 )
        you know you can just hold control and click the link with the left mouse button?
    • They should use Amaya.

    • Not sure why this is moderated as interesting. The point of a spacial file browser is to use your spacial memory (which is big, and is the reason why you can find things all around the house or on a messy desk easily) to manage your files. Every time you open a folder, it opens in the same place on your screen. This lets you mentally associate screen locations with files.

      The problem with spacial browsers is that they don't scale beyond a certain point. They were great on older machines where you'd only

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Every time you open a folder, it opens in the same place on your screen.

        The 1024x600px screen built into my laptop, or the 1360x768px screen I use when I take it home?

      • by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @03:19PM (#30552124) Journal

        > The point of a spacial file browser is to use your spacial memory

        I thought spacial file browsers were for "spacial people" e.g. retards ;).

        Seriously though, I agree. Lots of these "fancy UIs" that these jokers come up with only work fine for users who just need to manage a handful of objects (windows, tasks, files, folders) at a time.

        I find this silly since there is evidence that people are already able to manage a handful of objects at a time (,_Plus_or_Minus_Two [] ), but can't manage far more.

        We don't really need help when there are a few objects and need help when there are lots. But that's when all those stupid GUIs start getting in the way.

        For example: thumbnailed windows don't really help when you have > 10 of them (especially if they are similar looking documents - using the same standardized template), same goes for those graphical selectors where they show the windows from a 3d or fancy perspective. Useless if you have 20+ windows, cool looking when you have three or four windows, but why'd you need them when you only have a few windows?

        When you have a few objects to track you should be able to remember which ones are which. When you have way more, you need some help. That's where computers and software should help. But they don't!

        The exceptions are some game UIs. Some of which are proof that you can build UIs that work for "noobs" and still help skilled users.

        Games are also proof that people, when sufficiently motivated to, can actually do far more than what these Desktop GUI makers assume. Very many actions per second. Keeping track of stuff. Learning of difficult combos. So where's the Desktop GUI that actually helps you to sustain a high "actions per second" average?

        I've personally suggested this: []

        And something like it in 2006: []

        I think this sort of thing will help skilled users more, while not getting in the way of "naive" users (you can still leave the flashy stuff for them).

        Car analogy: current OS GUI designers seem to be making cars that look really cool (and are theme-able) but have top speed of 30kph (play a beautiful animation while doing so), have a range of 3km, and have only space for one person at a time.

        Not really helpful when we need to do some serious traveling.

    • Do people drag things between browser windows? Yes, that is targeted at all the morons who have no idea what drag and drop is...granted nautilus's spacial implementation never impressed me. It would be lovely if the people who hate spacial could learn how to use more than one hand at a time and learn to use metaphor to their advantage. There is so much more you can when using two hands that it is ridiculous.

  • by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @06:36AM (#30550128)
    Nautilus and most other file browsers also default to Icon view, which is fine if you have only about 5 files on your computer, which was probably true for Windows for Workgroups 3.1, but these days List view should be the default.
    • by RichiH ( 749257 )

      Nautilus and most other file browsers also default to Icon view, which is fine if you have only about 5 files on your computer, which was probably true for Windows for Workgroups 3.1, but these days List view should be the default.

      Unless you prefer to keep a proper and useful layout of your data in which case icon view is a lot better.
      And as soon as there are more than 20 files/directories in a directory, I am on the shell, anyway.

      I.e.: It all depends on the particular use case.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheLink ( 130905 )
        > And as soon as there are more than 20 files/directories in a directory, I am on the shell, anyway.

        That's more an indication of how crap the Desktop GUI or file manager is. Seriously.

        Using a CLI may be better over high latency low bandwidth links, or when you are scripting stuff.

        But it is a really terrible GUI if it's better to use the shell just because you need to deal with more than 20 files.

        I bet gamers will still find it easier to manage hundreds of "RTS game" units with a GUI than a CLI.

        Perhaps ga
    • Nautilus and most other file browsers also default to Icon view, which is fine if you have only about 5 files on your computer, which was probably true for Windows for Workgroups 3.1, but these days List view should be the default.

      If you have so many nits to pick, why don't you just pay someone to do it right for you? OSS projects aren't in a position to give you a usable system, they can only provide you with raw code. Someone has to take this code and turn it into something useful and usable. This can be you or somebody working for you.

    • Learn to organize your files better. I use list view on long folders, but you do realize that most filesystems are hierarchical, yes? You shouldn't be poking around in system directories with the GUI as a rule, anyway. The GUI is for managing data files, not the whole system. Of course, you won't manipulate many files (save config files) when you administer a modern system; that is done through APIs, e.g. dpkg.

      • Its hard to keep your folder organized. I used to be really big on keeping my folders organized, but in my own personal experience the hierarchical thing doesn't always work nicely in my data. There are overlaps, or adding new files changes my conception about what the hierarchy should be. That is why the the advent of spotlight, windows search that actually works, and the various linux indexing services have been a godsend. I can keep things semi-organized and the indexers still let me find stuff if I'm no
        • That's pretty much how I've gotten to be. Semi-organized for things and let the damn search index keep track of the specifics. The only real organization I do now is website centric as I have several that I visit frequently that are structured around the creator/author/artist, which is how I've setup their folders. Much easier for me but for all the general downloading that I do, it simply goes into the damn Downloads folder by default and I sort later based on what it is.

    • by Fred_A ( 10934 )

      Nautilus and most other file browsers also default to Icon view, which is fine if you have only about 5 files on your computer, which was probably true for Windows for Workgroups 3.1, but these days List view should be the default.

      That's fine for generic fine but not for media files. If you dabble a bit in photography, you absolutely want preview view, not a list. 300 files named _IGP* aren't very helpful when you're quickly looking for something and you don't want to be bothered with a dedicated app.

    • by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <<deleted> <at> <>> on Friday December 25, 2009 @11:52AM (#30551068)

      Hmm... Maybe you are too young to know, but the list view was the default since forever, in all software. It’s why “ls“ is named “ls”.
      Microsoft also had the list view in its file manager of Windows 3.1 and before.

      Only with Windows 95 did the resolution even become high enough to allow it for file management. And only then did they merge the program groups (windows with icons inside) with the file manager (a tree of folders and a list of files) to create the Explorer (then they naturally added the web browser in there, as it’s just another space to browse).

      It was hated by virtually everybody back then. As was the “new window for every folder‘ mode that became default.
      I still have a script that fixes up all windows failures after installation. It’s called AntiDAU (DAU = dümmster anzunehmender user = dumbest assumable user), similar to (XP)AntiSpy nowadays.

      I fear that I have to port that script to Gnome and KDE too. Which should tell you a lot about the sad state that they both are headed for (or actually, always were in a bit).

  • by hebertrich ( 472331 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @06:56AM (#30550180)

    Look 5 years ago indeed , in a gnome devel mailing list , we were a bunch to comment on that
    and a few others .. like the dual mode in other file browsers at the time where we have two panes to
    work with. Well .. lo and behold . a devel asked me why one would use a dual pane file manager.
    I gave up on it at that point. I suspect the corporates running the Gnome Foundation have a lot to do
    with most the bad design decisions and the stubbornness at making Gnome bad in general.
    As far as im concerned .. if it takes 5 years to change a bad default .. by 2020 we should perhaps have
    a delete command by default too :) Im cynical yes. But i loved gnome till 1.4 at 2.0 they hosed everything
    that was truly good about it and made it into the lesser desktop. A shame.


    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 25, 2009 @08:00AM (#30550352)

      IMHO it's not 'corporates', it's developer group-think coupled with wilfully ignoring what damn near *everybody* is telling them.

      When this was rolled out, the forums were *filled* with people complaining, people explaining exactly why it was a poor design choice, etc. But this was simply ignored because someone had a nice academic theory about why "spacial was more intuitive". Never mind that it wasn't, and that everyone hated it, and that it wasn't how people were used to computers working. They had a theory! All the users must be wrong!

    • I'm not defending Gnome in any way. Personally I've always found their defaults and UI design non-intuitive. However, one of the things I've always believed is that "ease of use" is more subjective than we imagine. People new to the Linux desktop may find it counter-intuitive compared to the Windows desktop they've used for years.

      But imagine if we were blank slates with no pre-conceived notions of how a desktop should behave?

      For example, when I sort things in a desk drawer, I don't put my pens near my print

  • by rduke15 ( 721841 ) <> on Friday December 25, 2009 @07:08AM (#30550218)

    I switched to Linux 4 months ago, and what I still miss is a file manager as good as Total Commander. Krusader seems to be the closest and most feature rich, but it just isn't as complete and as polished as Total Commander. And it crashes about once every few days. So sometimes, I have to start a WinXP VM, just to have the power and reliability of Total Commander.

    In other words, I don't care so much for little details in Nautilus. It doesn't seem any worse than Windows Explorer, and seems better than the Mac Finder (which is the file manager that Nautilus resembles most). I just wish there would be more resources to improve Krusader.

    (Midnight Commander is excellent in a console, and should be part of the base install of every distro)

    • by eqisow ( 877574 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @07:53AM (#30550330) Homepage
      What you want is an orthodox file manager []. There are plenty of other options on Linux besides the ones you mentioned, such as emelFM2 [], Gnome Commander [], or Beesoft Commander []. Perhaps one of those will be more to your liking, though I personally find Krusader more than adequate.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No need to switch to Windows VM. Total Commander works nicely under Wine (

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TeXMaster ( 593524 )
      I too miss Total Commander on Linux. I've heard reports of it working pretty decently under WINE, but I haven't tried it myself.

      Krusader is indeed the best candidate to try and get something to the level of TC, but it really needs a lot of work. I really wish I had the time to grab the codebase and start hammering on those rough edges ...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Actually I personally in my long kde time always found Konqueror superior to total commander in everything except that much of the goodyness was hidden behind kio::slaves (sftp://blabla for instance)
      and in shortcuts, you could reach various notworked filesystem you could split and tab as youd like and etc... but it took time to learn it, most of the functionality was not obvious.
      I never missed total commander in Linux, on OSX however... sure there is pathfinder, but it is not the same!

  • NEWSFLASH (Score:5, Insightful)

    by anonieuweling ( 536832 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @07:39AM (#30550294)
    Will we get another Slashdot newsflash when they fix the copy/cut situation?
    Please see [] for this age old 'unimportant' bug.
    Even the basics take ages for them.
  • Most of the time when I want to browse through my file system or copy files I'll use konsole.
  • I'm still hoping for a GUI version of FList from my VM/CMS days. *sigh*

  • How the hell do I change the default window size?! As it is, unless I provide a "--geometry" command line option, any time I open up a nautilus window, it is too small to view whatever I am looking at and needs to be expanded. Does anyone know how to change the default window size or how to tell it to remember the size or something?

    • In spatial mode it automatically remembers the position, size, and viewing options for every folder when you open them. That's what makes it great. I can use different viewing options for various folders depending on the content and what viewing option and size is best for the contents, and I can position it on screen in the most appropriate place for said content. Then, I can close it. Next time I open that same folder, it will be in the same position, same size, with the same viewing options as I left it.
  • I didn't like the switch to spatial at first, but after using it it became clear that the reasoning for it was sound - it's much better to use than browser mode. Annoyed it's going away, hope they retain the option to have nautilus use spatial mode.

  • by Budenny ( 888916 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @09:14AM (#30550550)

    Back in the 80s there was some point in HIGs, and Apple back then was generally felt to lead the way. The reason was that there were, among your users, a very high proportion of new users. So we conflated ease of use with ease of learning, and it was not completely stupid, for much of the market using and learning were the same thing.

    Now however HIGs have become part of the problem rather than part of the solution, because they make the implicit assumption that everyone works in the same way, and has the same basic skills. We just do not. And anyone who experiments a bit with end users will find this out in a flash. I have had people who loved spatial browsing because it might be cluttered, but they always knew where they were. Then there are people who love Gnome and the desktop and love to put all their files all over it where they can see them. And then you have the odd case of some totally non-technical person, who you try out with Fluxbox, and you get the reaction that this is great, this is how I always thought Linux was supposed to be, no clutter and very minimalist and above all fast. It turns out that hand edited menus and the explicit startup of the file manager are actually something some non-technical people welcome and find refreshing. Others of course will run a mile. One size does not fit all.

    The Gnome ideal, that there is such a thing as the right way to set up a desktop, an application, is the problem. There simply is not, and when you take that approach, the penalty is that you inconvenience and impair working for at least one third of the people using it. Far beter to have a few broad choices, and then let people refine within it, and offer some guidelines. If you are not very computer familiar, start out with this, then see if, a while later, you want to move to this, and here is a very minimalist alternative.

    HIGs are a snare and a delusion, very apt that they are sometimes rudely referred to as 'interface fascism'.

    • The Gnome ideal, that there is such a thing as the right way to set up a desktop, an application, is the problem.

      If you ever want to let guests use your machine without the UI utterly confusing them, or if you yourself are a guest (e.g. on a computer at a public library), there has to be a "right way" so that the guests have a frame of reference.

  • I've been using Linux at home for 10 years. Ubuntu is the first distro to get the choice of defaults right, something close to what is useful and what end users actually want.

    • Ubuntu is the first distro to get the choice of defaults right, something close to what is useful and what end users actually want.

      You mean the update notifier popping over what you're doing rather with an icon notification? Or with (as of Karmic) IPV6 settings that break a lot of commonly used routers? Or (starting with 10.04) using a program that destroys image exif data as their default image-viewer? Ubuntu has done a lot for Linux and lately seems to be doing a lot against it too :-(

  • The plot thickens ... it always starts like that.

    I've always knew these little Gnomes were going to take over the world. First they'll start 20,000 miles under the sea by putting the Nautilus back to browser mode.

    bottom line: Don't trust Gnomes ... Don't trust Dwarves either, since Santa isn't a real Elf anyways!

  • Well for web browsers, when I click Browse, you have to click all the way to the file you want. Has
    there been an add-on for FF that lets you paste/click-paste the path to a file directly? Otherwise it's
    like dig, dig, dig towards the destination folder, or do you guys use these file managers (Nautilus.
    Dolphin et al) to surf the web as well because of this feature?

  • I happened to like and prefer Spatial Mode (for most things). It is easy enough to switch to browswer mode when/if needed. As long as they make this an option (that is properly tested) then I don't mind, but, I'm starting to get disconcerted with changes for changes sake.
  • by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <<deleted> <at> <>> on Friday December 25, 2009 @11:41AM (#30551036)

    back in 2004 Gnome switched to the 'Spatial' view by default

    Of course. They always copy the worst of all ideas Microsoft, and on top of it, do it way too late too. To make sure that really everybody already knows and hates that from MS, and disables it as the first action of installing a Gnome... uuum I mean Windows desktop. ;)

    Don’t mod me troll here, as I am a big friend of Linux. I’ve just got a huge problem with the fact, that pretty much all “mainstream“ Linux desktop environments are always imitating, and never innovating. Always with the (invalid) excuse of wanting to make it easier to switch.
    Exceptions prove the rule: The only glimpse of innovation came from KDE with their “semantic desktop” idea. But it came in one atomic package with a huge load of other “improvements” for the worse.

    The thing is, that that point of view is not ever going to get them anywhere. They are their own worst enemies. It’s simple psychology: If you wanna lead, you gotta lead. Simple as that.
    Only when both Gnome and KDE teams (and even the XFCE team) stop reacting... to the stupid part of their users, and especially to Microsoft or even Apple... only then will it ever become the year of Linux on the desktop.

    I’ll explain: If you got something, that perfectly imitates something else... then what’s the point of switching in the first place? See... it’s not getting you anywhere, to imitate.

    If you, on the other hand, got features, that nobody else has, or has even thought about...
    I mean, from what I see, the Linux community got an insane amount of genius that is simply thrown away for the fear of not being loved by Windows users.
    It’s like with women: If you want a girl, you don’t come to her all needy, trying everything just to be loved. That’s just gonna drive her away. You make yourself stand out. You draw her in, by being something special that she wants to be a part of. I mean, who wants someone who tries to suck up to himself? Nobody.

    Guys, let’s make the best fuckin’ desktop environment on the planet!!
    Of course we listen to the actual needs of the users. But not from that needy standpoint. Not to show them. We don’t need anyone’s approval.
    Allow yourselves to revolutionize the way people think about desktop environments! If you got something that you think is really great, draw us in! Be the leading figure. Whoever told you that you can’t be the one that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates look up to for inspiration: Tell them to go fuck themselves for limiting you! It’s bullshit! You decide what you can do.

    And then you just do.
    Because in the end, that’s what really will make users love you!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cptnapalm ( 120276 )

      I have to agree with your assessment to a large degree. The "make it like Windows" argument really needs to have its ass kicked definitively. Are we supposed to introduce a C: drive? ("Where is my C: drive?" was my first puzzlement, way back when).

      Gnome has done some good things.

      I remember when Gnome and KDE were first around and they pretty much looked alike: double wide panel at the bottom of the screen. The first time I saw the Gnome dual panel set up, it was actually from a screenshot of someone doi

  • by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @12:51PM (#30551404)
    I find the Gnome default with two task bars particularly annoying, since the modern trend is to have laptops with short and wide displays, putting vertical pixels at a premium. It seems that in another few years a typical laptop will have a display that is one pixel high and 10,000,000 pixels wide. Yes, the damn taskbar can be changed, but it is somewhat tricky.
  • by GRW ( 63655 ) on Friday December 25, 2009 @01:00PM (#30551468) Homepage Journal
    Having switched to KDE4.x from Gnome, spatial view is the one thing I miss. I never liked using Konqueror for file management in KDE3.x, which is why I mostly used Gnome. I wish someone would write a spatial view file manager for KDE. I came to Linux from OS/2 back in the last century, so spatial view seems like the normal way to do things for me. Although I confess that I still use Midnight Commander for a lot of stuff, especially when I am moving a lot of files from place to place.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker