Nautilus Sidebar

A speculative idea for improving the Nautilus sidebar.


  • Make the items in the sidebar as interesting as possible
  • Have a consistent model for local and remote "places"


Issues with the existing sidebar:

  • Looks rather noisy
  • Doesn't look very "GNOME 3"
  • Often includes uninteresting or useless items:
    • Recovery partitions
    • Boot partitions
    • Partitions that are never used
    • Browse Network, when there is nothing on the network to browse
  • Inconsistent behaviour when adding local and remote drives
  • If you bookmark a drive or network mount, it appears in two places

A Proposal

  • Remove the headings
  • Remove the resizing handle
  • Increase the height of each row
  • Don't automatically show internal partitions and disks in the sidebar. Instead, have an option in Disks to make them visible [1].
  • Automatically add removable drives when they attached. Hide them when removed. (As we do now.)
  • Create an "Add Network Drive" dialog, which would combine "Browse Network" and "Connect to Server".
  • If a disk or server is added to the sidebar, it stays there until it is explicitly removed (the item would remain in the sidebar even if "ejected").


[1] This is currently a "Show in user interface" checkbox, within "Mount Options". This needs to be changed to a "Show in Files" option that is in the top level of the partition menu.


I like this idea overall, it makes everything cleaner. I think we should also add a sidebar tab in preferences to be able to enable/disable different disks and partitions. We could also allow changing of the directories in the sidebar as well. --UnsolvedCypher

I would add "Consistency with GtkFileChooser dialog" to the goals. An issue with the current (3.9) implementation is that nautilus has Connect to Server while file chooser doesn't and GtkPlacesSidebar has API for that. This design allows to overcome this unconsistency and the need for this API, if we show the Add Network Drives interface in the main view, instead of a dialog, and show a search entry in that view by default that will understand IP addresses and try to probe them, as suggested by mccann on IRC.

As preparation for this redesign, it may be a good idea to drop the show_connect_to_server API before it reaches the stable version (and maybe add an info bar to Browse Network in nautilus with a Connect to Server button as a replacement).


Design/Whiteboards/NautilusSidebar (last edited 2013-08-03 13:16:55 by AntónioFernandes)