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Nine Things You Should Know About Nautilus 257

Posted by Hemos
from the use-your-system-better dept.
lessthan0 writes "The Nautilus program in GNOME is not only the default file manager, it creates and manages the desktop. While it looks simple on the surface, there is a lot of hidden power under the shell. The latest version of Nautilus is 2.14.0, which is included in Fedora Core 5. article covers a few non-obvious things about how Nautilus works."
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Nine Things You Should Know About Nautilus

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  • by gimpimp (218741) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @11:32AM (#15301275) Homepage
    if you like nautilus, but you'd like something faster, smaller etc, take a look at thunar [xfce.org]. It's the file manager for the xfce project. works well in gnome as a nautilus replacement, and where nautilus has extensions(scripts), thunar has plugins. have a look.
  • One good tip. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by reed (19777) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @11:32AM (#15301278) Homepage
    OK, that was a completely useless article.

    The nautilus-scripts thing is useful however. There is a script to upload photos to flickr at http://nozell.com/blog/archives/2004/09/04/flickr- upload-for-gnomes-nautilus/ [nozell.com] though the progress bar doesn't update right. I also made some shell scripts that resize images using 'convert' from ImageMagick to thumbnail size and webpage size (e.g. max 700 px wide).

    One thing it shows though is that there is still a lot of confusing inconsistency on where Gnome-related applications store preferences and other data. IMO it should *All* be in ~/.nautilus, not scattered between there, ~/.gnome2, ~/.gtk, etc. You probably also have a ~/.gnome too for non-Gnome2 apps.

    The global settings for Gnome are also scattered everywhere.

    I wish they'd fix that.
  • by eno2001 (527078) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @11:33AM (#15301284) Homepage Journal
    Just a few weeks ago I posted a JE asking people what is so special about the spatial file management metaphor. Not so much because I'm bitching about it, but because I was genuinely curious about how my Slashdot friends feel. I got some good responses as well as some really good conversation going about Nautilus and GNOME. I'd been on a KDE journey (I prefer GNOME and no I don't want a flame fest both environment have their good and bad points) since November to really kick the tires and just switched back to GNOME. I decided to take the suggestions from my friends and post them in another more cohesive JE [slashdot.org] in the hopes that it would be helpful. I have to say with my new found knowledge about Nautilus plus what the article posted on the front page today reveals, I'm really enjoying Nautilus a lot these days.
  • by njcajun (588891) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @11:42AM (#15301364) Homepage
    Nautilus is one of the most annoying interfaces ever. I generally like a lot of the other gnome apps I use, and find gnome in general to be pretty usable, but I don't rely (knowingly) on nautilus for anything, and I don't go to it as a tool to do anything.

    My apologies if this is incorrect, but I believe nautilus is responsible for the disgustingly *bad* interface that pops up when you run firefox under gnome and want to choose an application to open something with. I can't just type in a command and hit enter... that would be too easy. Instead, you have to wait for nautilus to load the entire freakin' /usr/bin directory and then click on the thing you want and click "open" or something. C'mon. That's horrid.

    I guess it doesn't fit my brain (what little matter there is of it). But OTOH, doesn't an article showing you the hidden features of nautilus kind of speak to its usability? By the way, aren't these features documented in the Nautilus manual?

  • by reed (19777) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @12:13PM (#15301630) Homepage

    Does anyone actually use these?

    Four things would make them actually useful:

    1. The fact that it only displays one emblem in list view mode is unfortunate -- if in list view there was a column for each emblem (or a "subcolumn" for an "emblems" main column), which you could use as a sort criteria, then you could very easily find files with certain emblems.

    2. Automatic and dynamic emblems based on combinations of things like current age, original directory of creation, current directory, file type, size, patterns in the filename or grepped from the contents, etc.

    3. Ability to create new emblems on the fly, even without an icon (just text), right from a particular files "properties" window or the sidebar. Really they are the same idea as "tags" and you should be able to invent new ones as needed without going through the "miscellaneous file properties" catchall bin that is "Backgrounds and Emblems" in the edit menu.

    4. Using emblems when doing a full filesystem search; a seperate catalogue for emblemized items could be kept to make it very fast. If the actual filesystem supports "tags" or "keywords" as metadata for files, then add emblem tags to the files, so non-nautilus aware tools could use these.
  • by caseih (160668) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @12:15PM (#15301644)
    Definitely KDE's io-slaves are very good. Gnome does have the gnome-vfs subsystem, which in theory provides a similar function, but just seems to be lacking any real, useful functionality. I have yet to see gnome-vfs used the way most KDE users depend on io-slaves. There's not even a working fish:/// protocol. There is sftp:/// but I would find fish more useful as it works with servers that may not have sftp working; all it needs is shell access. However, both io-slaves and gnome-vfs have a fatal flaw in that they only are available to apps who know about them (IE linked to the KDE or Gnome libraries). There are a myriad of usability issues to overcome to make this kind of io layer work at the lower levels where all apps could benefit, however. So it is a tough issue. I have used a hack that used fuse to mount a kde io-slave url to a folder that anyone could access. It worked most of the time, but required an X11 connection to display the password dialog boxes.

    Since spacial browsing is optional, I don't think that this alone is a valid reason to disparage Nautilus. The tired old argument against Gnome for having reasonable, simple defaults doesn't really fly either. It's all a matter of personal preference. Your need to micromanage the UI doesn't mean that all users want to micromange the UI anymore than my preference of sane defaults that I never have to tweak means everyone should also have the same preference. I don't find either Konqueror or Nautilus to be that useful to me period. My favorite file managers are the bash shell and the venerable Midnight Commander.
  • by nutshell42 (557890) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @12:35PM (#15301825) Journal
    1. Konsole was THE killer terminal app. Not quite where I think terminal apps should be, but nonetheless leaps and bounds over all others.

    Yakuake [kde-apps.org] is even better. Konsole in a Quake-like terminal that pops open when you hit F12. I always used one of my desktop for Konsole-only and was constantly switching between the different desktops. Yakuake is much better =)

    The thing Gnome should learn from KDE is more flexibility. When using Gnome I constantly run into walls when I try to do something in a way Gnome doesn't want me to do it because someone decided doing it his way was "better". Gnome feels like Windows in this regard and I don't think that's a good thing.

    The thing KDE should learn from Gnome is better discoverability. Having many features and lots flexibility is overwhelming for many users when you offer them five almost identically named options at once. The configuration of the kicker clock applet is imho the worst case scenario, some parts of kcontrol are almost as bad. In xine there's a dropdown where you can choose how many options you want from "Beginner" to "Master of the Known Universe". I think KDE desperatly needs something similar.

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