Summary

Make Media put on the desktop behave more like other things there and more useful. This includes making them appear there in the (e.g.) file selector, and providing the user with a way to selectively hide objects from there.

Rationale

Ubuntu by default automatically puts all removable media (CD/DVDs, USB memory sticks and cameras etc.) and all partitions mounted in /media, where the installer puts them by default, on the Desktop. This is - in most cases - very useful behavior. But it could be confusing that they don't really behave like other objects in the desktop - for example, they are not visible in the desktop folder in open or save dialogs, or if Nautilus shows the desktop folder. (They are listed in the sidebar though, which is quite useful.)

There also should be a way to hide media that is put on the desktop. Now that ubuntu during the installation automatically recognizes other partitions and mounts them in /media, this may lead to people with several partitions to start with a quite cluttered desktop. It's possible to disable showing mounted volumes on the desktop, but this will also mean that CDs and USB storage won't show up anymore. Users could also mount partitions not wanted on the Desktop in /mnt, but changing that from the default involves some stuff that's complicated for inexperienced users, mostly editing /etc/fstab.

Being able to rename the icons would also be useful. Ubuntu by default names partitions according to how they're named in /dev/, which is a good default, but users may want to give them names that are easier to remember like "data" or "music", and this should be easy. (This is probably not needed for removable media)

Use cases

Simon has a hard drive containing a Windows partition, some data partitions and another linux. He decides to try ubuntu and installs it. When he first takes a look at his new desktop, he sees a lot of icons on his desktop. "It looked much more cleaned up on the screenshots", he thinks amd searches for a way to hide some pertitions he doesn't plan to access often. The only one he finds is unmounting them, but he wants to keep them mounted.

Jeanette has some mp3's in a folder on her desktop, and some on her usb drive. Both icons are directly next to each other. She uses the open dialog of xmms to add some music from the folder, then goes up and wants to add some from the usb, but doesn't find it. "If both are right next to each other, why can xmms only see one? Linux is so hard..." she thinks.

Scope

Design

One way of hiding unwanted drives would be to have the .hidden file extended so it will also hide mounted media if they are specified there. Then a gui option cold be included that adds or removes a specified drive there, or this could be left to a nautilus script users can add if they want this functionality.

Implementation

Code

Data preservation and migration

Outstanding issues

Might be hard for applications that don't use current file dialogs?

BoF agenda and discussion


CategorySpec

MediaOnDesktop (last edited 2008-08-06 16:15:06 by localhost)