Nautilus – Communicating changes


It has been long time without a blog post from my side.

So we know Nautilus has a fame of being a little controversial, and is one of the most used Gnome applications given that is used in Ubuntu and in most of the distros as the default file manager even if they don’t use much Gnome apps.

We, as always, made some changes trying to make Nautilus modern and a more enjoyable experience to use, between the design team and the Nautilus developers. That requires lot of changes, and of course the path to achieve that is not easy, and some changes doesn’t make much sense without the others, but we need to do it step by step. So sometimes changes feel a little out of place, even if at the end of what we plan for nautilus, they will make it much better.

Sometimes, we do changes without being sure about if  it or not, but we need to try them so we make them and we wait for users/developers/designers using the development version to provide feedback. The problem is that not a lot of users are testing the development version, and therefore we get the feedback then the release is already out and we cannot make UI changes.

Recently, some colleagues told me that some changes will make people angry if we don’t explain them, and my answer was that I didn’t saw those users at all, and that for me or for my close people they think the changes are fine. Which obviously is a problem =)

On the other hand, I heard some users that complain that we (as Gnome) don’t listen. So better facts than words:

But seems we don’t communicate well enough when we do good or bad, and people is loud when something is bad, not when something is good, so we only heard the bad things about it =)

So colleagues ask me to do a better job communicating changes in nautilus, so here we are, let’s bring some light to the development of Nautilus:

Here is what we plan for the next two releases (nothings is settled, and is mostly my ideal TODO list to keep control of nautilus ideas):

Here is the mockups for Nautilus, this is the final result all we want to achieve (as before, nothing is settled and things change radically):

Here are the specific bugs/anoyements/complains I want to take care for 3.18 (that means, either solve them or take a decision if it is not a bug or what):

I’m adding new ones and fixing them every few days, so keep it as a bookmark in your browser =P

You can change the milestone to 3.16 to see what bugs I want to fix or take a decision for the stable version as well.

Enhancement which I think are cool to have usually go to milestone=future, but seems there were already a few there, so I’m not following all of them, just a few I added.

In the 3.18 list you can see one that I’m trying to fix now because of latest users feedback, the default zoom in the icon view, which some users found them too big.

So what changes we did lately on the development version that you would be interested on?

We added a dialog for creating new folders as presented in: by the awesome Allan.


We think is a good change since it provides feedback, like the file already exists, the file name is invalid, etc.,instead of what was happening before that is: you create a folder, put a name,and if the name is invalid or already in use a big warning dialog opens and cancels all the operation! That was….pretty bad. Also, the New Folder dialog is usable on touch. Here is the commit .

So thinking in the same way we did the same for renaming files , and now you will get a dialog when renaming files and you will get feedback if the name is not adequate. This change doesn’t involve any more clicks or keyboard changes, so everything works as before, but instead inline, it opens a dialog for feedback and to be touch capable.

Hope now it’s clearer how we work with Nautilus and where are we looking to go.

Hope you enjoy our work! 🙂

PD: English corrections please, very welcome, sometimes I don’t know how to say a sentence better, and I’m looking forward to learn.

And since this is my personal blog, a personal thing. But I recommend to read it if you want to convince me personally to make a change that you think is important for you (but you could convince a different maintainer anyway):

For Bugzilla, please: if you don’t have anything very valuable and logical and calm to add, don’t do it! It will just make us to lose our willing to fix it and we will just ignore it if the discussion goes too far, and I really want to fix them, so please, let me fix them. But feedback with use cases, pictures, comparatives, etc. are very welcome, and are the kind of thing that will turn a discussion from “not going to change” to a “oh, you are right… we will change it” as happened with the changes I listed previously.

Lately I had to warn two users because of insults in Bugzilla. I want to make it clear, and only talking personally (since most of the people are more flexible in that topic than me), any insult to a colleague, etc. or bad behavior and I will stop reading at that precise moment and ignore you for further interaction, warning the admin to take care about it. I can’t stand if a person that I don’t know on the street approaches and insult me or my colleague, so I don’t think I have to stand it on Bugzilla neither. I want everyone to feel welcome in our community and not afraid because of those people behaviors. We are not in a bar with 4 beers with our close friends where we insult each other every 3 words (who doesn’t? 😉 ), we are working in a community with different cultures, thoughts, and ways of life; so we have to find the common factor between all the people. And that involves no insults and good behavior.