File drop popup menu removal

David Faure faure at
Tue Sep 7 10:21:12 BST 2004

On Monday 06 September 2004 20:19, Ishai Asa wrote:
> 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".
Tried DnD with the RMB on windows?

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

That's not true. Shift-Drag is for moving, Ctrl-Shift-Drag is for linking.

> 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.
Windows has pretty much the same shortcuts (at least for copy & move),
and has the popup on RMB too.

> 3. At least for me 95-99% of the cases I just want to move the file. 
And others want to often copy files...
> 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.
Shift drag is acceptable though.

> 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.
It sounds like it to me, though. I say KDE has a superior solution, which means
we'd better keep it than just go to the worse solutions of other windowing systems.
Note that most of the answers in this thread agree with this.

> 5. Psychologically, when a person drags an object from one place to the 
> other, it expects it to MOVE.
Move to floppy, give floppy to someone else - whoops, you lost the document.

> 6. I disagree with the "the author disagree and it wont be changed" 
> philosophy. 
It's not only "the author", it's "most KDE developers as well as the usability team".

> 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.
I can't see how pressing Shift slows down your work.

> 7. If KDE usability guide conflicts with user usability, KDE's guide 
> should change, as we always strive to reach maximum usability.
Right, except that it's not the case here.

> 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.
Which is a good point for the fact that we're using the modifiers....

> 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.
I beg to differ, it's a very common case for the people I watch (my family).
And this isn't only about floppies.

> 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.
Yes, this could be improved, but it doesn't remove the need for the popup,
as noted previously.

> As previously noted, Unix do hide mountpoint well. If we still want to 
> perform copy when we transcend mountpoint boundaries, that's open to 
> discussion.
Everyone seems to agree that it's a bad idea to do that.

Please count the number of posts against removing the popup on drop:
IMHO there is no point in continuing this thread. OTOH you can always report
a wish on and we'll see in some time how many votes it gets.
(Hmm, we need negative votes, for people against a change :-)

David Faure, faure at, sponsored by Trolltech to work on KDE,
Konqueror (, and KOffice (

More information about the kde-core-devel mailing list