[Thunar-dev] UI proposal: actions folders

Agostino Russo agostino.russo at gmail.com
Mon Feb 21 03:43:23 CET 2005

It would be nice to have an interface where one could use the 
directional buttons both for navigating AND for choosing an action for 
the selected item.

It would only imply a minor modification on a usual directory tree: the 
addition of an "actions folders" as the first child of each item of the 
tree. Such actions folder would contain the same items that would 
normally go in the context menu of its parent.

So, to access the available actions of any item in the tree you only 
need to press the right directional button twice, and you cancel such 
menu by pressing left. Very very quick to use. The mouse interace works 
as usual, with the advantage that now you do not need  rightclicks.

A typical tree could be:

Filesystem (/)
----------Open With
SMB Network

Such interface would be perfectly usable with a single tree (containing 
folders, actions and files as the one above) but you could also have a 
directory tree pane + file list pane (using tab to swap pane), or 2 
panes containg 2 separate trees a la mc.

The keys have the following functionality:

Left = up + collapse,
Right = expand + select first child (i.e. ACTIONS)/select action
Up = previous item (previous sibling descendant if expanded, previous 
sibling, parent),
Down = next item (first child if expanded, next sibling, next parent 
Enter = Right
Esc = Left

CTRL+right = add item to multiple selection
CTRL+Left = remove item from multiple selection
CTRL+up = select all
CTRL+down / Esc = cancel multiple selection *
Shift+down = extend multiple selection down
Shift+up = extend multiple selection up
Shift+leftmouseclick = extend multiple selection
CTRL+leftmouseclick = add/remove item from multiple selection

* When there is a multiple selection up/down/left/right do not cancel 
the selection. Any ACTIONS menu whose parent is in the multiple 
selection will apply to all items in the selection. Selecting an action 
for an item which is not in the multiple selection removes previous 

In a sense it is very mc-like, except that also the actions are 
contained within the tree and navigation is a bit different.

Navigation is a bit like xffm, main differences from xffm are:

* there is no "up" entry when you expand a folder (I do not think that 
hiding the parent folders when you hit enter is a feature worth keeping, 
you can have bookmarks for that, possibly with a shortcut that adds a 
bookmark and jumps to it)

* there is an ACTIONS entry under each folder,

* when navigating, after the last sibling, select the next parent 
sibling (xffm would stop to the last sibling)

Other features:

* It should be as fast as mc when displaying directory content, maybe 
loading the icons in a second stage, after showing the directory content.

* Like mc, it would be nice to have a small shell (or at least command 
line) under each tree pane, operating in the selected folder.

* find as you type (not limited to last char typed). In this case 
up/down select next/previous item matching the typed string. esc clears 

* simple automounter when displaying folder content (= if automounter is 
on and folder is empty and folder is in fstab and device not mounted and 
user does have appropriate permissions then try to mount. Try to umount 
automounted folders once collapsed/on exit.)

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