File drop popup menu removal

Ishai Asa ishaiasa at
Mon Sep 6 19:19:11 BST 2004

Thank you all for your comments. I will try to answer all in this message.

At the end of the day the previous method in which the popup showed is 
just plain wrong, because:

1. It IS a violation of any drag-and-drop application. Read the name: it 
is "drag and drop" not "drap, drop and popup".

2. There is no key combination + drag to move a file. E.g.:
    Drag - show popup
    Ctrl-Drag - copy
    Shift-Drag - link

And no way to move. Inventing a key combination is really not the 
solution. It is not intuitive. I know of no OS that does it.

3. At least for me 95-99% of the cases I just want to move the file. For 
an operation performed at the vast majority of the times, it MUST be 
simple to operate and remember. E.g. Ctrl-Shift-Alt-Drag is unacceptable.

4. This is something most users are costumed to. We have to respect 
that. Getting this menu pop up, is really a surprise to any user. I do 
not say, however, that KDE should implement any Windose behavior.

5. Psychologically, when a person drags an object from one place to the 
other, it expects it to MOVE.

6. I disagree with the "the author disagree and it wont be changed" 
philosophy. We should examine every case by the usability inputs from 
the user. I created this patched because Konqueror's behavior was really 
annoying, and it slowed down my work.

7. If KDE usability guide conflicts with user usability, KDE's guide 
should change, as we always strive to reach maximum usability.

   KDE usability => user maximum usability

8. Users do know what they are going to do with the file, else they 
wouldn't have dragged and dropped that file. This is analogous to 
pressing the "Burn" button in a CD-Burning application and only then 
selection what is to be burnt.
In addition, the icon changes according to the key combination, which 
gives the user immediate feedback on what's going to happen.

9. Regarding floppy - (a) If there are a lot (or some) cases in which 
people moved files instead of copied, we can implement a mountpoint 
watcher (see below). (b) 99.999% of the files people do not copy files 
to/from flopppy disks. This is not the common case, therefore it should 
not get as much attention as you suggest.

10. Technically speaking, I personally against the notion of testing 
whether the source is an FTP site, or a floppy disk. Instead, the source 
should (e.g. by setting some "application user" data in the drag 
operation) say whether the user
   a. can write (includes: can delete, can move)
   b. can read

According to that, KonqOperations::doFileCopy() can decide whether move 
is possible, or none of the operations is.

As previously noted, Unix do hide mountpoint well. If we still want to 
perform copy when we transcend mountpoint boundaries, that's open to 


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