From: Sven Neumann <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
   Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 00:18:34 +0200

   >> (3) Don't try to advertise the old GtkFileSelection dialog as being
   >>     the solution that we should revert too.
   > I didn't. I did advertise the way the old file selection dialog used
   > it's text entry as the solution for me (and others with similar
   > complaints).

   So far noone has made a proposal on how such an entry should be
   integrated with the current dialog. So I don't have much chance but
   to assume that what you have in mind is basically the behaviour of
   the old dialog. Perhaps you aren't suggesting to revert to it
   code-wise, but I haven't yet seen a detailed proposal on how an
   entry with Tab completion is supposed to work without bringing back
   the problems we had with the old dialog. I certainly wouldn't want
   to miss the current key-navigation behaviour. But perhaps you can
   offer a viable alternative? Such an alternative would have to be a
   concept for the whole dialog. Just adding an entry with Tab
   completion is going to ruin the whole thing.

Sven, you've been offered a solution -- just add an entry with tab
completion.  You may not agree with it, but it's not accurate to say
that "noone has made a proposal on how such an entry should be
integrated with the current dialog".  Just stick it on the bottom of
the dialog, just above the OK/cancel boxes, and Marc and I will be
happy to shut up.

In what way is "just adding an entry with Tab completion going to ruin
the whole thing"?  If it's there, but isn't used, it isn't going to
interfere with anything else, is it?  And why is it so important that
there be a concept for the entire dialog beyond "what works best for
people"?  The problem (to me, and I daresay to Marc) is very simple --
there's no obvious way to simply enter a pathname with a simple form
of completion that's only activated on demand.  A file dialog without
this is just plain fatally flawed.

Make it a configuration option, if you like.  Just stick the text
entry box with tab completion anywhere on the dialog -- I really don't
care where, as long as it's part of the dialog, not some silly pop-up
box, and I don't have to do something each time that I want to
activate it (since I'm personally going to use the text entry box
every time I want to open a file, even one extra keystroke or mouse
gesture adds up over time, while if it's a configuration option I only
have to do it once).

My first experience with the new configuration dialog was absolutely
brutal.  I couldn't believe that I was being presented with a file
dialog that had no text entry box (I spent a while exploring it to try
to find the button that would give me the entry box), and given the
way I jumble everything together, searching around in a list entry is
hopeless (I have about 1000 files in one directory; I know a lot of
the filenames by memory, but being forced to do a linear search
through that many files is simply absurd).  I more or less stopped
using the GIMP altogether for a while; I used Cinepaint or xv (!)
despite it being obsolete in many ways where I could, and otherwise
started a new instance of the GIMP each time I had to use it, because
dealing with the file dialog was so hopeless.  Eventually after poking
around Google I found the ctrl-L hack, but it's still very clumsy
compared to the simplicity of a text entry box.

Bookmarks are of no use to me because I have a lot of files that I
work with whose names I generally know by memory.  They don't scale;
after you have more than maybe 10-20 of them it runs into the same
problem of searching, whereas my memory for my own images is
associative (reasonably close to constant time lookup).  I'm also
absolutely hopeless at maintaining any kind of organization of this
kind.  Anyone who tells me that I should organize my files differently
will be told (politely or otherwise) to fsck off.  I've used emacs for
over 20 years (hence the preference for a simple filename entry with
tab completion), and this form of organization for much longer than
that (long before I knew what a computer was), and this way of working
is by now completely ingrained into me.  I'm a slob who simply dumps
things wherever it's convenient.  In addition to having to remember
where files were, if I were to reorganize everything I'd have to mess
around with kimdaba for a while to get everything back to how I have

I've read some of the stuff on the GNOME mailing lists, and quite
frankly I can't believe what I see there (e. g. file dialogs should go
away, and everything should be done through the file manager or some
such).  This is design for its own sake rather than design for what's
actually usable.

I have half a mind to do a fork of GTK+ just to fix the file dialog.
This would really be an insane thing for me to do.  I really need to
put my very limited free software time into Gutenprint, or at least
dcraw, not this.  If I'm so exasperated by the file dialog that I
would even *think* of doing anything like this, that should say
something about just how bad this really is.

Robert Krawitz                                     <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

Tall Clubs International  -- or 1-888-IM-TALL-2
Member of the League for Programming Freedom -- mail [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Project lead for Gimp Print   --

"Linux doesn't dictate how I work, I dictate how Linux works."
--Eric Crampton
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