The old behaviour was one of the power features of Nautilus for a person
that uses keyboard navigation. The new behaviour is dramatically
different and frankly doesn't work as well for many use cases.

Lets say I want to quickly navigate to
~/code/myproject/module/__init__.py.

1. I switch to Nautilus which shows my home folder
   A. With the old behaviour: c ENTER m ENTER m ENTER __i ENTER
   B. With the new behaviour: __init__.py, and it shows me tons of __init__.py 
located in my home folder and all subdirectories
2. Trying to use the new behaviour and still achieve my goal I try this:
   i) module/__init__.py, no hit
   ii) module __init__.py, no hit

So, currently I see no way of navigating to the intended file without
alot of hassle or reaching for the mouse. A big regression for me.

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https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1666681

Title:
  Restore interactive_search.patch (type-ahead search)

Status in nautilus package in Ubuntu:
  Won't Fix

Bug description:
  Nautilus dropped the popular type-ahead search feature years ago.
  Ubuntu has been carrying a patch to revert that change. See bug
  1164016 for the original LP bug and patch proposal.

  Nautilus is now under very active development. During the 3.22 cycle,
  that patch needed to be rebased. I tried to do it and what I came up
  with caused a crash (it didn't really crash for me, but ricotz and
  some others experienced it) and the first letter typed activated type-
  ahead search but the first letter was dropped. In other words, you
  would need to type "ddow" to activate the Downloads folder instead of
  just "dow" like in previous releases. (LP: #1635988)

  I did that rebase in October 2016 and no one has stepped up then to
  improve the patch.

  The Nautilus maintainer csoriano has said that the slots and views
  changed significantly during 3.22 and will likely be refactored more
  in the future.

  If there's no one available to maintain the patch, unfortunately,
  we'll eventually have to drop the patch to not be stuck on an ancient
  version of Nautilus.

  I am proposing that we do this at the start of the 17.10 development
  cycle. This gives 6 months for a developer to step up and try to fix
  the patch and 12 months before 18.04 LTS.

  Other Items
  ===========
  - For better performance with the built-in search, we need to reconsider 
avoiding tracker in Unity (LP: #1666676)

  - There is an option in Preferences for users to disable searching in
  subfolders. I don't think we want to do that by default but maybe it
  can help some people.

  The current Nautilus 3.24 packaging is in the GNOME3 Staging PPA with
  this patch now disabled.

  
https://launchpad.net/~gnome3-team/+archive/ubuntu/gnome3-staging/+packages?field.series_filter=zesty

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