RFC: Managing remote folders, KNetAttach sequel

Kévin Ottens ervin at ipsquad.net
Mon Nov 29 22:51:15 GMT 2004

Hello list,

Two weeks ago, Georges Staikos mailed about KNetAttach. This nice wizard 
allows to add links to remote folders on your desktop. It's very convenient 
to help users "find" ioslaves easily without typing unfriendly URLs.

Then, I worked on a remote:/ ioslave and patched knetattach to be aware of 
remote:/. This way the new entires are available on remote:/ instead of the 
desktop itself (which could populate rapidly for example). Currently remote:/ 
displays all the knetattach entry saved by the user and a special entry to 
launch the knetattach wizard.

The solution is still a bit rough, and we need to be sure of the path to 
follow before going further...

The goal of KNetAttach+remote:/ is to allow to browse remote folder easily for 
the user. It should be easily reachable.


Other desktops have their own solutions for this problem.

1) Gnome
They use a dialog like this one:
And (afaik) it adds the resulting links on the desktop.

2) Mac OS X
Use a dialog like this one:
And it adds links on the desktop.

3) MS Windows
Use a wizard (afaik)
And it adds link in a "My Network Places" folder.
I'm really windows illiterate... so if someone has better informations on 


Our typical use cases are:

1) A user wants to access a remote share for the first time. He will use 
knetattach for this.

2) A user wants to go back to a previously saved location. He will use the 
resulting link for this.

Then, it should be easy to find the wizard or the desktop files when you have 
in mind to browse remote share.


We have currently four solution to reach our goals (having knetattach and its 
links easy to reach):

1) Modify nothing
remote:/ is reachable in system:/ and we have a link to system:/ on the 

2) Add a link to remote:/ on the desktop
This way the links and the wizard are one click away from the desktop.
Maybe as a bonus we can remove the remote:/ entry from system:/ (system would 
be only about local locations then).
There's an issue there, how do we ensure that this link is created for people 
upgrading? Recently links to system:/ and to trash:/ have been added to the 
desktop. Do user upgrading their install will have those new links? I'd like 
some more information on this.

3) Add links created from knetattach to the desktop itself
Does it means that remote:/ is useless then? :-/

4) Make a kicker menuext
It's of course compatible with 1, 2 and 3... It's just another way to access 
the links and the wizard.


I personally prefer 1) or 2) because I'd really dislike seeing more and more 
links added to the desktop.
Both solutions 1) and 2) allow a quick access to remote, with a plus for 2).
I see another advantage to 2) with its bonus, it's that it gives a better 
separation between accessing something locally or on the network (system:/ 
becoming dedicated to local things).

I surely miss a lot of things... and since I need some sleep, I let you 
comment and add more thoughts on this. ;-)

Kévin 'ervin' Ottens, http://ervin.ipsquad.net
"Ni le maître sans disciple, Ni le disciple sans maître,
Ne font reculer l'ignorance."

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