Browser mode for nautilus

David Zeuthen davidz at
Mon Oct 27 14:25:24 UTC 2008

On Mon, 2008-10-27 at 07:44 -0400, Paul W. Frields wrote:
> If I recall correctly this was discussed to death in the GNOME upstream
> back when it was changed many, many moons ago.  You can feel free to
> take this request to the upstream rather than here in Fedora.

FWIW, it was also recently discussed at the GNOME UI hackfest in Boston

with some real data (e.g. City of Largo of presentation) suggesting that
spatial might not be the best default. 

You are of course correct that we should normally follow what upstream
do; however occasionally we do change some defaults (for better or
worse). In this case, I don't think it's clear, a lot of data (the Largo
presentation, other distros, just observing users) might suggest the
current default is not the best one. I don't know.

Also, this begs the question about how we make decisions what our
product looks like. There are many possible answers to that and it
always depend on the circumstances; some people suggest voting (!),
other suggests following upstream, sometimes a group of people in some
committee makes a decision (packaging guidelines; FESCO overrides) and
then there's the package-maintainer-gets-to-decide fiefdom (like our
firewall maintainer deciding to break .local name resolution (in F9 at
least) because of "security" "concerns").

It seems the latter one is how Fedora works; with most maintainers
opting to follow upstream. For most packages this is probably fine but
for things like the desktop (and user experience in general) it's a
little different.

FWIW, I personally don't think any of these are good answers. Often I
think it would be useful if we had a good dictator to tell us what to do
(in the Linus is the dictator of the kernel way). I don't know. But I
think it's a bit broken (not totally though) how things currently work,
I think if we changed things a bit we might be creating a better product
and we might avoid a lot of the harsh flame wars and exchanges we see on
the lists these days. These happens primarily because of some inability
to make decisions.

Anyway, no real answers here, only more questions; hopefully food for

> If I were you, though, I wouldn't hold my breath about it.  Many people,
> including myself, have become very accustomed to the spatial browser and
> its benefits, and would complain just as much if it were reverted.

Take it easy, someone just proposed changing the default; I think it's
not too much work for you to toggle a single checkbox on a new install.
That's what people not using spatial mode (a significant amount
including myself) does anyway.


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