well-known user folders, a proposal

Alexander Larsson alexl at redhat.com
Fri Feb 23 05:25:44 PST 2007

On Fri, 2007-02-23 at 12:13 +0100, Stanislav Brabec wrote:
> Alexander Larsson píše v Pá 23. 02. 2007 v 08:52 +0100:
> > You might want to change it yourself, even if its not done
> > automatically. i.e. I can imagine a "make this the default location for
> > photos" menu item in a file manager.
> I have been thinking more about it. I am not against localized names,
> but I am against automatic creation of any visible directories.

And I can understand such a viewpoint. Actually I'm pretty sure a lot of
people will dislike these directories being created. However, the people
who get irritated about things like that are generally in a category of
users who can handle changing settings to what they like. In this case,
all they have to do is to delete the directories once (or disable the
whole thing in one config file). Or if they like the approach but have a
different folder setup they can easily set that up (even easier if the
desktop has a gui for this, but thats not strictly necessary).

The reason you want to do this by default even if some people get pissed
is that for a lot of people this is a really nice feature, and many
wouldn't ever notice or use it unless it was on by default. They won't
to look for it, or how to set it up. So, if we get things working for
these people with zero manual work, and make it very easy for others to
disable or configure it I think we have a net win.

> It would be nice to be able to control these directories from GUI, and
> even initial creation should show GUI (and rationale) for it and a way
> for disabling some or all of them (and re-enabling later). But it's an
> implementation note above the scope of your proposal.

Of course, above and beyond the lowest level of standardization each
desktop will integrate this in the GUI in whatever way they think is
good. I don't want to specify how that should work though, its up to
each desktop and is likely to change in the future as we have new ideas
and get feedback.

I mostly agree with what you write, although I think its a bit overly
focused on the "default file selector" directory. That is one use for
these directories. However, in almost all cases the best default
directory for a fileselector is "what you used last time", so the
default directory things is more of a default default directory and
shouldn't be over-ephasized. Another useful thing is for applications to
add places to the file selector, so even if rhythmbox starts the
fileselector in the last opened location there is an easy-to-find
shortcut to the music dir. They could also be used to add places to
things like file manager and panel menus. 

Also, changing cwd automatically like that isn't really a good idea.
That affects all sorts of things like where coredumps are saved, how
relative pathnames are resolved, etc.

 Alexander Larsson                                            Red Hat, Inc 
                   alexl at redhat.com    alla at lysator.liu.se 
He's a fast talking one-eyed photographer with a mysterious suitcase 
handcuffed to his arm. She's a mentally unstable kleptomaniac angel in the 
witness protection program. They fight crime! 

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