Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 1st Mar 2010 14:33 UTC, submitted by kragil
Gnome Ah, Nautilus, GNOME's default file manager. It's been with us for a long time now, and it has certainly been at the centre of a number of controversies. Do we go with a spatial or a navigational Nautilus? Should we replace the location bar with a breadcrumb bar? And now, it's time to move on. Recently, it has become apparent to many that Nautilus could use a make-over.
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Delgarde
Member since:
2008-08-19

Change in Nautilus doesn't have to be drastic. Why not allow users to toggle between different styles to suit their interests?


Because the more options you have, the complexity you have in the code, which someone needs to write and maintain. And the greater the complexity of the code, the more bugs you tend to get, with all the little permutations of options that don't get well tested because hardly anyone uses them.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating giving the user zero-choice in their interface. But every time you give the user a choice, there's a cost, the extra effort for a developer to support each of the possible options.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Brandybuck Member since:
2006-08-27

If there is added complexity it is because too much of the functionality is hardcoded into the GUI. Bad design. Only a poor design would introduce complexity when adding an Up button. What you need to is a good layer between the front and the back ends. For example, factor out the commands into command objects. Just the layering itself reduces complexity. Then you can apply different GUIs to the same backend.

p.s. My big gripe with Nautilus though, is that it won't show backup files. This is with the RHEL5 I have to use at work. There's an option to show hidden files, but the backup files remain hidden. Very frustrating.

Edited 2010-03-01 20:46 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

If there is added complexity it is because too much of the functionality is hardcoded into the GUI. Bad design. Only a poor design would introduce complexity when adding an Up button.


The post I was responding to wasn't asking for an Up button, but for a fully customisable toolbar - something I'm sure you'd agree involves a *lot* of complexity, all of it in the UI layer.

For example, factor out the commands into command objects. Just the layering itself reduces complexity. Then you can apply different GUIs to the same backend.


Adding layering doesn't reduce complexity, just hides it in the code supporting those layers. It makes the UI code easier to work with, but adds a big piece of complexity for managing your command objects and widgets, and the connections between them.

Now that's obviously a good thing, in that it makes changing the UI easier. But you've not removed the complexity, just moved it into some new package that will invariably end up labeled "Black magic performed here - do not touch!".

Reply Parent Score: 2