Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

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Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby Mozenrath on Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:11 am

It had some potential, I'll give it that. But like most of GNOME's projects, it pretty much got chucked in the trash.

I remember using it years ago on Ubuntu and it hasn't changed in any way since. Actually, I'm wrong about that. It has changed, but for the worse!

What happened to customizing the toolbar? Was that really so hard to port to GTK3? I shouldn't have to edit xml files, dconf, etc., just so I can get a new tab button(which should really be there by default)! Now with Mint 13 Cinnamon, an otherwise awesome desktop, I'm stuck with an old file manager remeniscent of the one on Windows XP, minus the ability to have tabs at all.

Then there's the fact that there's NO ZOOM SLIDER! Nautilus 2.3 had this, so why not Nautilus 3.4? I can still zoom using hotkeys, but would it really be so hard to stick on a slider to take care of that job?

Where's the gstreamer preview? I loved being able to hover over a sound file and hear it preview without any clicking or button-pushing. I guess that was too convenient.

Why the heck are the forward/backward buttons on the right? They should be on the left, where the cursor is more likely to be. I can't recall another program with those buttons on the right rather than the left.

And why do we still not have column view? This is ESSENTIAL. It's superior to most of the other views and really comes in handy. I, along with many others, have asked for this feature for ages and we still don't have it. In fact, I remembered reading a response explaining why it was technically "impossible" for Nautilus to have column view(or miller columns). I never really bought that explanation, but guess what happened in the meantime? Within a relatively short amount of time, Elementary OS came out with Marlin, a GTK3 file manager with column view! And it works well! Why can't Nautilus have this feature?

The layout of Nautilus is also insanely outdated and stupid. Why do the navigation buttons need to take up so much room and contain icons? Why is there a search button instead of an already-present search box?


Anyway, I think you get the point.


So on this topic, I can see us go in a few directions.

#1 - We ditch Nautilus and go with Marlin.

Marlin is very new, and while it currently only has a few advantages over Nautilus, it has made greater strides in just a year than Nautilus has in 6 years.

I'm going to list the pros/cons of both file managers

Nautilus Pros
Scripting
A large selection of plugins
Folder sharing
Bookmarks

Nautilus Cons
Outdated/bulky interface
No column view
Lack of toolbar customization
No longer previews files on hover
No slick animations


Marlin Pros
Column view
Fast and light-weight
Customizable Toolbar
Good use of screen real-estate
Nice ease-in animated path bar
Informative context pane
Assign highlight colors to file names

Marlin Cons
No scripting yet.
No file searching, yet.
No folder sharing
Simplistic preferences menu
Lack of extensions, currently.
No new tab button, yet.


So the way I see it, Marlin is far enough along that it shouldn't be too difficult to implement some of the missing features. If we could help develop Marlin, or use its code for our own file manager perhaps, that could help us further get away from depending on GNOME.

I know that it may sound whiny that someone like me comes here and tells other people what they should do, but if Marlin were to become the new de facto file manager for Mint, I would definitely devote some of my free time to help improve it. Better that than dealing with the garbage from GNOME.


And there's an alternative:

#2 - We take Nautilus and start adding our own code.

I think I've made it clear why I think it's insane that we stick with Nautilus, but if we do, we should at least make some improvements. Elementary did this until they realized how dumb that was, so they wrote Marlin.


Personally, I think Marlin would be a better choice, whether we contribute code to it or branch it off into our own minty file manager.


Oh, but what about all those other file managers out there?

Yeah, what about them?

Well, they kinda stink. Probably the second best to Nautilus would be Dolphin, except it's an ugly QT application that requires components of KDE, so that's pretty much out of the question. For a GTK3 file manager, there's PCManFM, which isn't bad, but not very good either. It's just a good alternative for Nautilus, and that's assuming one is satisfied with Nautilus.
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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby MALsPa on Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:42 am

Personally, whether it's GNOME or Xfce or anything else, I just add Dolphin. I guess it's "ugly" if you say it is, and yes it brings in a lot of KDE stuff, but for me it's the best file manager out there, so that's what I use.
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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby altair4 on Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:40 am

If you dislike the current Nautilus you ain't seen nothin' yet:

Nautilus 3.6 article: http://www.muktware.com/3821/nautilus-g ... r-gnome-36

And if that isn't enough take a gander at the 3.8 proposal: http://worldofgnome.org/nautilus-extreme-makeover/

One in particular confuses me and it has to do with setting permissions. For 40+ years UNIX has had user - group - others. The new permissions are now:

You - Eveyone Else ( other? ) - and "Some Other Dude" ( no doubt the final version will read "Some other Dude / Dudette" )

You will notice that "Some Other Dude" has a user icon to the left of it but to the right of it is not a combo box. Who the heck is Some Other Dude and what happened to groups?. Nautilus has outlived it's usefulness.
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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby remoulder on Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:06 am

altair4 wrote:take a gander at the 3.8 proposal

Not a great surprise. It appears the Gnome devs like some other desktop devs are adopting the principle of designing for the computer illiterate, which in itself is no bad thing, but unfortunately has the side effect of alienating those who are more technical. Perhaps those who fall into the latter category should try to be a little more pragmatic and understand that without change and an attempt to encompass those who fall into the former category, the entire project risks being consigned to the dustbin of history as it gets surpassed by other desktops in ease of use, functionality and ultimately, popularity? I guess we'll have to wait and see if there's still interface flexibility enough for the technical!
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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby eanfrid on Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:11 am

These "new" user permissions look like a dumbed-down combination of UGO with ACL. I wonder how the eiciel package will work with this.

Anyway I will keep using either Midnight Commander or Gnome Commander :) Not very appealing ones though.
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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby rhodry on Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:25 am

Change may come and change may go but me and Midnight Commander have been together for more years than I care to remember!!

Takes a bit of learning to use productively at an advanced level, which I know all the quick fix junkies can't be bothered with nowadays, but it beats the pants off these "Johnny come lately s" from the GUI world. Change for change sake IS NOT always a good thing.

I'm just a dinosaur that the asteroid missed, I know, but with probably only one more machine change left in me before they put me out to pasture, I can live with that! :)

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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby Habitual on Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:14 am

Mozenrath wrote:blah blah blah...NO ZOOM SLIDER...blah blah blah ESSENTIAL...blah blah blah Anyway, I think you get the point....blah blah blah


Sure do, It's a poor workman who blames his tools.
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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby viking777 on Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:57 am

I absolutely agree with you Nautilus is a joke and has been for a long time.

Just use Spacefm instead ( http://ignorantguru.github.com/spacefm/ )- it represents everything that Linux projects should be about - power and control in the hands of the user - unmissable. (but even though it is only a file manager you need to read the manual to make the best of it, and it isn't newb friendly).
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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby bimsebasse on Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:21 pm

Fast becoming the most useless stock Gnome app even though the file manager should be one of any DE's main priorities. They're deprecating the dual pane mode (F3) as well, that will be the day when I have to find another file manager. For now it has some aesthetic advantages over e.g. dolphin and spacefm. I hope elementary's Files (the continuation of Marlin) will be ready when Nautilus goes haywire.

[pointless rant]The Gnome devs really, really, REALLY need to realize that one UI across all devices is a pipe dream. What you need from a tablet is never gonna be the same as what you need from a desktop computer. Until touch becomes as convenient as sitting with your hand on the mouse, barely moving a muscle, not straining anything, it won't replace the traditional mousey-clickey desktop, it'll be a supplement to it, an alternative, and the sooner they stop aiming for the floor between the two chairs the better. Create a tablet edition like Ubuntu used to have a netbook edition, go mental on that. And why not wait with the touch interface implementations until there actually is a Gnome for touch devices?[/pointless rant]
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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby Mozenrath on Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:32 pm

Habitual wrote:
Mozenrath wrote:blah blah blah...NO ZOOM SLIDER...blah blah blah ESSENTIAL...blah blah blah Anyway, I think you get the point....blah blah blah


Sure do, It's a poor workman who blames his tools.


Sorry, but I find that statement highly moronic.

Not all tools are equal. If there are superior tools out there, then why should we use the inferior ones?

And I'm not necessarily blaming the tool itself. I actually used to like Nautilus. I'm blaming GNOME for making such incredibly bad decisions and not spending time on the little things that make a DE work well. They seem to focus all their time on big projects while leaving behind things like Nautilus which are important and used on a regular basis. But my biggest complaint is not that it isn't getting developed enough, but that the developers are removing features. That actually makes me angry. And that basically means that their file manager isn't ready for serious use.

Dolphin really isn't a bad file manager, in fact it's actually pretty decent. What's kept me away from it is not only the fact that it looks out of place(not a big deal tho), but it doesn't have the ability to execute scripts on right-click. Nautilus scripts are great, and they help me get stuff done all the time.

So let me get this straight: GNOME doesn't want to make any real useability improvements to Nautilus, but they think that renaming the permissions convention is somehow going to improve things? The average user will likely never touch permissions, and if they do, the current terminology is not difficult to understand. "Some other dude"? Are you kidding me?:roll: I get the feeling that GNOME sees computers/tablets more as toys than tools.

EDIT: By the way, does anyone else have a problem with Nautilus in LM13 where if you right-click and select Open As Administrator, and basically nothing happens and then a white screen of death comes up?
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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby abnvolk on Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:08 am

I dislike Nautilus too. Why can't we have a toolbar? Why can't we have an Up button?
Why did they remove these features? Don't they think that most users need it?
Never mind, I'll go with Marlin, because I don't need the scripts, just like many normal users.
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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby MALsPa on Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:40 am

Mozenrath wrote:If there are superior tools out there, then why should we use the inferior ones?


Exactly.

Anyone complaining about Nautilus, why bother continuing to use it? Indeed, "Why the heck are 'we' still using it?" There are so many other file managers out there, just install one you like and use that instead. Problem solved.
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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby GeneC on Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:08 am

The NEW nautilus :( is pretty dumbed down, but Nautilus toolbar can be patched by distro developers, if they choose.

http://solusos.com/blog/2012/07/fixing- ... s-patched/

Perhaps Clem will assist if the community makes its dissatisfaction apparant.

Heck, lightweight Thunar is now more usuable than the new Nautilus. :roll:
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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby baptiste on Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:09 am

I"m using Caja 1.2.1, i.e. renamed nautilus 2.x, and I quite like it. there's an up button. and even one for refresh. and even, guess it, a menu bar!
so if I get into the common file manager idiocy : no available white space where I can right-click and paste, I can go into the Edit menu and histe "paste".

that's enough features for now. what I miss : a bookmark toolbar, just as the one in firefox. I've disabled the side pane, it's ugly and wastes space. now I can more easily have a windows of my fake nautilus on the left, and Audacious with gtk ui on the right. (not everyone has a 1600 pixel wide monitor, or more. I've just upgraded to 1280x960)

best file manager I used was Cubic Explorer, on Windows.
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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby Mozenrath on Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:24 pm

MALsPa wrote:
Mozenrath wrote:If there are superior tools out there, then why should we use the inferior ones?


Exactly.

Anyone complaining about Nautilus, why bother continuing to use it? Indeed, "Why the heck are 'we' still using it?" There are so many other file managers out there, just install one you like and use that instead. Problem solved.


I'm not going to be using it much longer if I can find a way to execute scripts in the same way that Nautilus can. The extra variables that Nautilus provides are highly convenient.

But the problem isn't solved. Yes, the "just install another one" can work for people. On the other hand, having an operating system that is literally deteriorating is a bad thing for Linux Mint. If features become less consistent and we end up with software that doesn't compete, that damages the Linux Mint's usership. If we followed the mentality of "just install a better one" for everything, we'd still be using Ubuntu. In fact, we wouldn't be using Ubuntu. If we don't like not having a DE or any programs, we should install Linux from scratch each time.

If we're going to have programs installed by default, they should at least be comparable with commercial competitors. If Linux Mint doesn't even come with a decent file manager(or browser, or office suite, or media player, etc.), then why not just stick with Windows?

I don't think most of my criticism about Nautilus was too subjective. The fact that common file manager features are now missing from Nautilus was a pretty objective argument.
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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby MALsPa on Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:41 pm

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that if Mint is going to use GNOME, then Nautilus has to be the default file manager. Or, at least, Nautilus has to be present. I don't think you can have GNOME without Nautilus, right? Maybe Clem can tweak Nautilus, or maybe he could add another file manager for people to use for most tasks, but can Nautilus actually be dumped from any GNOME system?
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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby altair4 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:59 pm

That brings up a much larger question. People have heated arguments over which Gnome related DE is better: Unity, straight Gnome3, Cinnamon, whatever SolousOS is doing, etc.. But underneath them all is a new Nautilus, gedit, a printer configuration utility that can't configure printers , a User Accounts utility that doesn't know what a group is then what do we expect a distro maker to do? Modify all of them? Copy their counterparts from XFCE or whatever and use those? I don't know.
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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby DrHu on Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:04 pm

I don't think either nautilus or Thunar is that great, but I can always pick another, and actually prefer something like Gnome commander or midnight commander (MCI)
http://www.nongnu.org/gcmd/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midnight_Commander

The main item I prefer to see in a file manager is an option to open terminal here
--I know I could do an alt F7 to a console screen, and I sometimes like a fuller screen view of the data directory, but just as often, a windows is enough for what i need at that moment..
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compariso ... e_managers
--I like to check a summary instead of trying to find all the options/feature sets myself..
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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby shawnhcorey on Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:23 pm

I've install the MATE 64-bit Maya and it uses caja, which is nautilus with some of its rough edges filed off. Perhaps you will find it more tolerable than nautilus. :)
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Re: Nautilus stinks! Why in the heck are we still using it?

Postby veggen on Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:46 pm

Hmm, I seem to be the only one who still likes Nautilus... I got hooked on it's List View. Hated it at first, but I now don't understand why no other file manager has that view, it's really useful. Ok, well, Marlin has it, but it's a Nautilus fork so it doesn't count.
But still, I agree with bimsebasse. When they ax the extra pane (F3), Nautilus gets the boot.
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