A new list view for Nautilus


Modern file managers features some different views as icon view, "big" preview, list view, detail view and maybe more. Nautilus only feature two possibilities: icon and detail. While the first can substitute (with zoom) a true preview mode, is completely absent a list view which can show (fast) a large number of files in a window, and detail view seems more to aim navigational purpose than merely show files. We have to admit that, when approaching hundreds of files, nautilus in pretty useless. Just try to open your /usr/share or, worst, /usr/lib: as icons you have to scroll kilometers, with too big and too distant icons (zooming out is useless, icons are always too distant), as list it takes minutes just to appear, if not crashing... And using the real time search feature doesn't help if you are looking for something you don't exactly know the first letters.


To provide a true list view, without details, with small icons and very small padding, but readable names. This is not sci-fi purpose, just a useful improve to the feature of nautilus. Yes, you can put label aside the icon, but it's a "system-wide" option and it looks very bad using small icons! Furthermore, detailed view is too slow if you open a directory containing many files, and doesn't admit to "box-select" the icons. This is what I mean:


To achieve good result filename should break if longer than the column, never split in two or more lines! Splitting would ruin all the work. To be able to change column width on the fly would be very useful, if you have many file which begin with the same charachters. For a comparison, this is what you can see now:


This is quite horrible and I think nobody would like to see something like this on his/her desktop.

It would be wonderful something like in Rox, where icon dimension changes with regard to the number of entries in the directory (with a superior and an inferior limit, of course). And it would be also great to be able to change the default icon grid dimension with ease, maybe from gconf or something else.

I think this would be great for usability. And the magnifier feature would also gain from these. IMHO the great zoom feature is quite useless as it is: if you magnify then icons place a thousand kilometer far from each other, if you zoom out then even not-so-long names split in two or more lines. I can only use it for directory containing only images, and long names always annoy.

Please, join the debate ;)


Christian Neumair wrote a patch to add List Views to Nautilus. Here is the mailing list message and Christian's blog entry.

LeonardoGaudino/NautilusListView (last edited 2008-02-17 14:25:02 by LucaCavalli)