[Thunar-dev] Sidebar of Thunar

Erik Harrison erikharrison at gmail.com
Sun Jul 8 07:41:19 CEST 2007

On 7/7/07, Benjamin Weber <benny at builtin.de> wrote:
> Hi devs!
> Thunar is very small but very fast and has a lot of features.
> A nice feature would be that the sidebar shows the user a changable
> number of locations which the user often uses. You can understand this
> like a Top 10 but the user can adjust the number of the shown locations.
> This feature would be additional to the current shown locations. The
> user can activate it if he need it.
> A feature like the last used locations wouldn't be useful because if you
> visit one location for one time you would see it in the list but won't
> need it in the future.

I really think this is a bad feature, though I can understand why, in
the abstract, it seems handy.

In general I think "smart" UIs like this are useless. If they are slow
to update their list of favorites, then they're not really handy, it's
more efficient for the user to manually tell the system it cares about
a piece of data than waiting for the system to learn on it's own.
However, if they're fast to update, then the become unpredictable, and
prevent the user from being able to perform certain routine tasks with
muscle memory - or worse, they do use muscle memory, and then one day
the favorites list changes, and they perform a potentially damaging
action by accident.

Beyond that, the algorithm is just so tricky as to be useless. Thunar
can't monitor "use" of a directory except through it's VFS. Since most
accesses in that case will be through the file manager itself the most
popular directories will be either home, or whatever directories the
user has manually bookmarked. Or, perhaps, whatever the user has to
drill down -through- the most often, leading to Thunar bookmarking not
the most used directories, but the unused directory that's common
between two points of interest, actually INCREASING the amount of work
the user has to do to get where they wanna go.

End rant.

> Many thanks that you think about my suggestion.
> Greetings
> --
> Benjamin Weber
> E-Mail: benny1990 at gmail.com - benny at builtin.de
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