Nautilus 3.20 – Last change, Zooms

Hello,

We did a last push and hold the release a week to get another of the items that were requested.

We added a new zoom level to nautilus, now you will have available 48px, 64px, 96px and 128px.

This was hard to do because of how the canvas of nautilus behaves, which multiplies the padding according to the zoom level. So we cannot control the padding, making the view unusable on zoom levels farther than the range 64px – 128px.

With a big effort of the previous main maintainer Cosimo Cecchi who we asked for help, and the design review of Allan, we managed to make the change preserving the padding for  zoom levels but improving the sizing of the label and thumbnails. So we effectively didn’t introduce any change that could affect previous users.

This was important since we tried different approaches during this last week and those made different types of users complain about the changes. Surprisingly to me, now lot of people are attached to the 96px zoom level that was made default for 3.16.

We will rethink the use cases of those views and we will work further on it.

However, the canvas of nautilus needs to be completely rewritten and we cannot do anything more with the current code without spending valuable time in that tricky and old code. I hope the week we spent on it worth it.

This is how the default zoom level padding thumbnails improved:

3.18

3.18

3.20

3.20

You can see the difference of thumbnails showing more content.

And this is the smallest zoom level added:

small-zoom-level

Have a nice day

 

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29 thoughts on “Nautilus 3.20 – Last change, Zooms

  1. In 3.18: The default zoom level is ridiculously large. It’s either made for old people who cannot see correctly or a joke, I’m not sure what. The smallest is somewhat OK, but it could still be a bit smaller.

    1. 96px is the one that fits best for thumbnails, and most of the time thumbnails are useful for documents, images and videos.
      And as said in the post, surprisingly for me because I tried to change the default to 64px, lot of people got attached to the 96px default zoom, so seems your idea have a few detractors 🙂
      Also, about the smallest zoom to be smaller, why do you want icon view if you are not going to use much the icons? Shouldn’t work better the list view in that case?

      1. Carlos, first let me say that Nautilus is really gorgeous, theres no doubt about this and you guys are doing a great work but could be better to listen “normal users”. I have lot of Linux users here and I can’t found any people attached to 96px for default zoom. To be honest, most people here use listview in smaller size.

        I can’t be rude, really. But maybe you don’t have access to normal/common users. When you are a developer (I am a dev too), most of time you are accompanied by other devs. I am pretty sure that current GNOME developers spend most of time with other GNOME developers and designers than to the users, that is why I see so many users leaving GNOME (at least here).

        Also, please try to not criticize old code base, I know that old Nautilus source code was a little “tricky” but it was from the days where people love Nautilus and GNOME, where developers listen to users and most important, features don’t get removed just because it was hard to maintain de code (yes, I know real reason to remove so many features).

        Again, I cant be rude, also, as a developer, I can’t tell open source developers how spend their free time (well, if I am not wrong, you are a Red Hat employee so we are not talking about free time) but I am 100% sure that if there something that could make Nautilus users really happy is the dual panel, I don’t use it my self but I understand how important it is for a lot of people.

        What do you think about a poll for new features? So users can help to define Nautilus future. Could you agree to prioritize features most asked by users? I would like to see an answer at least to this last question.

      2. Everaldo,

        First of all, you are being respectful and clear, not rude, so no worries at all.

        “but could be better to listen “normal users”.

        Sadly, “normal users” are not usually here, or in G+ or in reddit reading a Linux blog. What are normal users to you? If you agree with me that they are not usually those, how would you approach them?
        I completely agree that’s necessary, that’s why we conduct user testings, with users that never used linux and so on, and we fix the problems we find with them every release. IMHO That’s the only way to do it, and we do it, but not in a big enough scale. People already are doing it formally, read http://opensource-usability.blogspot.cz/ Jim Hall blog post who usually conducts those. Luckily your or anyone can help doing these usability using the method written by Jim Hall.

        “I can’t be rude, really. But maybe you don’t have access to normal/common users. When you are a developer (I am a dev too), most of time you are accompanied by other devs. I am pretty sure that current GNOME developers spend most of time with other GNOME developers and designers than to the users, that is why I see so many users leaving GNOME (at least here).”

        Indeed, that’s a problem. That’s why we have designers, and we don’t do code only based on developers (me or anyone). True that designers or anyone involved in GNOME for that matter usually hang around with other GNOME people with the same vision, and that can make the broadness lesser. Basically we need more designers with different ideas, integrating and following slowly on our developer community.

        “Also, please try to not criticize old code base, I know that old Nautilus source code was a little “tricky” but it was from the days where people love Nautilus and GNOME, where developers listen to users and most important, features don’t get removed just because it was hard to maintain de code (yes, I know real reason to remove so many features).”

        This has nothing to do with usability or users. The canvas of nautilus was technically done like it is because it predates lot of libraries and gtk+ widgets. Nothing more. It’s a technical thing, nothing to do with users or anyone, really.

        “Again, I cant be rude, also, as a developer, I can’t tell open source developers how spend their free time (well, if I am not wrong, you are a Red Hat employee so we are not talking about free time)”

        Then I would work on what my employer needs. Not in anything else that any other person could say.
        Luckily is not like that, and I feel lucky that my employer allows me to write these blog posts to discuss and listen to anyone like we are doing now 🙂 (edit: and to work upstream helping implementing new features or fixing issues).
        But just don’t take it granted.

        “I am 100% sure that if there something that could make Nautilus users really happy is the dual panel, I don’t use it my self but I understand how important it is for a lot of people.”

        I’m clueless about the history of the dual panel. But as a general thing, we decide designs based on multiple things that we take into account, it’s not “just this thing”. In this particular case, I personally don’t like it, because you are taking more chrome and the pathbar doesn’t really communicate to which view is representing, or the sidebar. I think it actually needs to be two windows. What we can improve is the managing of two windows by the windows manager. But I don’t know how.

        “What do you think about a poll for new features? ”

        Actually, why not?
        The problem with this is that is used as an argument to then criticize. Also we have a problem with these polls… the same problem we were talking before. The kind of users hanging around here are probably 2% of the users that use Nautilus. We don’t want to only represent 2% of users, and making a poll in these social medias is the first step for that. Or are you thinking about a different kind of poll or in a different place?
        Maybe what we need is just users stats? But that goes against privacy (I myself don’t like it that much).
        I’m really interested in new ideas in this front. Part of writing these blog posts is precisely this.

        “So users can help to define Nautilus future”

        I really hope what I’m going to say is not wrong interpreted. Nautilus it’s just a project, driven by some people that are happy to listen and what like most is their work to be useful to most of people, that’s why we are doing it, not for ourselves, but for all the users (what would be the point of the opposite?). But that doesn’t mean the ones deciding what is the future of the project are the ones not doing anything for it at all… Not because those not contributing doesn’t “deserve” it, but more because we are the ones that are listening to users and working on it all days, every day, and therefore have more knowledge on what people request, on what are the aspects and features that clash with every other thing, etc.

        “you agree to prioritize features most asked by users? ”

        This is hard to answer clearly. Basically, some of the things requested clash with multiple other things. We indeed want to fix those most requested things, but we have to make sure it doesn’t clash with anything else. Adding a random button is easy; doing a good solution that goes with everything else is not.

        “would like to see an answer at least to this last question.”

        Eh, I finally spent 30 min on this to answer everything 🙂

        Cheers

      3. Thank you Carlos.

        I am really happy to see that you are much more friendly and open to critics than some previous developers. Also, I am really satisfied with your answers even in the points that I don’t agree.

        Now I feel more comfortable in reporting something on Bugzilla or maybe, submit some patches.

        Btw, all of my “can’t” is supposed to “wont” 😉

        Keep good work. Cheers.

      4. @Carlos Soriano

        I appreciate you answering Everaldo’s questions. By seeing your reasoning on the design decision’s, it offers a friendly face to these decisions and makes them much more palatable.

  2. @csoriano

    The small icon view of thunar is great because it is a list with two dimensions. If you need access to many files you have to scroll much less.

    It is not really about icons and preview. Think of it like a more comfortable `ls` without the `-l` option. It shows you usually 2 or 3 times more items than the list view.

    Think of sorting text files for a dev project.

      1. Please bring back compact view! There’s still no efficient way in nautilus to view lots of files.

        If you’re worried about adding another view option, what about compact view being the smallest zoom setting of icon view? Hope it’s clear what I mean 😉

  3. I welcome this new enhancement, the more zoom we can apply in nautilus the better 😀

    Question, what was the reasoning behind placing mounted drives under ‘+ Other locations’? On the prior version of nautilus, mounted drives were easily accessible. I now have to do “more clicks” to get to my other hard drives…

    1. Avoid the clutter in the sidebar. We expect that non plugable drives are not accessed all the time. Anyway, you can add a bookmark for those that you access frequently.

      1. But theres one problem on this approach, when you crate a bookmark and access it (eg. remote drives) you get it two times in sidebar. One for bookmark and other when the remote drive is mounted.

        IMHO you must revert old behavior or (until?) get this duplicate problem fixed otherwise it will looks like a regression in Nautilus and lets be honest, the patience of Nautilus users is not going well last years after lots of features removal.

        Let me know if you need some screenshots/bugreport about this duplicate drives on sidebar.

      2. “you get it two times in sidebar”
        Right, I’m not sure how this should be handled, there was a discussion about it since a bookmark can represent also part of the mount etc. Cannot remember the details.
        “IMHO you must revert old behavior or (until?) get this duplicate problem fixed otherwise it will looks like a regression in Nautilus”
        I don’t think having two items for a mount worth reverting all the improvements we did on the sidebar/other places view.
        “the patience of Nautilus users is not going well last years after lots of features removal.”
        I don’t think you can request a free software project to fulfill your patience. If you have an itch on something you got for free, you need to find the time to fix it or achieve someone to fix it for you. Or if you paid for it (red hat or open suse for example) they will take care to fix it in a reasonable time (they really do!).
        For all other cases, every person contributing to Nautilus has its own priorities, and me personally, try to do the most important tasks given all the tasks we have. Also of course trade offs are inevitable, then you might think if the trade off worth it or not. In this case, I’m convinced it worth it, although I agree that needs to be fixed.

      3. ““the patience of Nautilus users is not going well last years after lots of features removal.”
        I don’t think you can request a free software project to fulfill your patience. If you have an itch on something you got for free, you need to find the time to fix it or achieve someone to fix it for you. Or if you paid for it (red hat or open suse for example) they will take care to fix it in a reasonable time (they really do!).”

        I am not really talking about my own patience, most of time I use GNOME Terminal and it looks good and can’t remember any features removed from it since GNOME 2.28. Btw, the best terminal app for Linux, and looses only if we expand to Mac world because, well, iTerm2 is really fantastic.

        Well, maybe I don’t understand Free Software. Here, most Free Software evangelists try to convince people about advantages of free software over proprietary. I am pretty sure that with your sentence I can’t convince anyone about advantages of Free Software.

        Theres another big problem. Suppose that I got it fixed or I pay another developer to fix it, theres no guarantee that it will be incorporated to main branch unless maintainers agree with me or my paid developers. Lets then expand it to other Linux distros (maybe Ubuntu to be more realistic), they have two options, depend on the will and humor of the maintainers or fork/patch it and get lots of critics from main developers (Canonical!?). Who chooses maintainers when a project is used by lots of distros and companies?

        I use Fedora my self (rethinking now my position about RedHat) but, GNOME is not going to be a RedHat project without any space for decisions from other companies, communities, users or distros? I am not talking about myself only, every time I see a discussion about Nautilus I got impression that developers don’t hear users, maybe critics just get more attention but here I see people really sad with every new versions of Nautilus and GNOME Shell, the same is not true with Gedit, Evince, Evolution and Firefox (not GNOME project I know).

        For me, users are very important on Free Software world, even if they can’t code or pay for changes, projects can just die if they loose all users.

      4. “I am pretty sure that with your sentence I can’t convince anyone about advantages of Free Software.”
        I don’t really want to go that off topic, but I’m pretty sure free software doesn’t mean “features” or “doing it in the way I want”.
        “Theres another big problem. Suppose that I got it fixed or I pay another developer to fix it, theres no guarantee that it will be incorporated to main branch unless maintainers agree with me or my paid developers”
        That’s true. But the maintainer is maintainer for a reason, and most probably the maintainer follows the project mindshare with other from GNOME. Don’t think maintainers do as they want, actually that’s far from that 🙂 . Either way, you can ask the maintainer if that needs to be fixed, and as we said before, this issue needs to be fixed!
        “depend on the will and humor”
        If you are suggesting (hope I understood it wrong) that we do or not based on how we woke up that day, we can finish the discussion. We discuss everything with designers and other developers multiple times and we take care of use cases and multiple more things like distros. But I don’t think this need to be stated, and to be honest I’m getting annoyed with this.
        “Who chooses maintainers when a project is used by lots of distros and companies?”
        The ones doing the work, this is something that is just how most of free software projects work. I should not explain this…
        “I got impression that developers don’t hear users”
        I’m tired of this discussion. I think I invested enough free time here, and that I pushed enough for what users care. I think you are complaining about things that were done when I was not even using Linux, 3 years ago. So either we look at the present and future, or there is no point discussing here.

  4. Any chance to get the “status bar” back one day or another ?

    It may be hidden by default, and an option added in the View options, such as:
    [ ] Display Status bar

    The goal would be to get a quick overview of the space available on a volume. I (as many users) use that features very often…

    It is a basic feature expected from a files manager, provided for example by Thunar, Pcmanfm, Caja, Nemo, MacOSX Finder. Only Windows file manager and Gnome files are missing that essential feature.

    Cheers,
    Fred

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