Using the Desktop as a Place to Store Files in KDE4 [Was: Re: Concluding the discussion about splitting kdebase]

Sébastien Laoût slaout at
Fri May 19 19:50:09 BST 2006

Le Vendredi 19 Mai 2006 18:18, Aaron J. Seigo a écrit :
> this is something i've been see-sawing back and forth on for some time. i'm
> really tempted to say that this is a very broken way of working that should
> be actively discouraged.

Discouraged, perhapse. But "actively"... hum...
I have faith in you, so I won't oppose blindly to the idea.
In theory it is good.

And it will remove the novice user question : "On the desktop I clicked 
Personnal Folder, and then I see the Desktop in the personnal folder, and 
then I see the Personnal Folder in the Desktop...".
That concept is very broken.

Today I encountered a new use case of "using the desktop as a temporary place 
to store things".

I should create an document to send by email.
Naturaly, I save it on the desktop : Ctrl+S -> Desktop -> Choose name -> OK.
Once it is sent to the destinataire, I deleted the document.
How should I do in KDE 4?
Tag the file? Mouais... In Let's forget!

The "tag for important data" concept is a very nice idea.
But if it is temporary data, where should it be saved before appearing on the 
I mean, a file have to exists somewhere to be tagged "Important" and appear on 
the desktop.
If I'm saving the file I should save it somewhere (let's go to ~/tmp or 
~/Unordered Stuff) and then tag it as important.
That's two actions to do instead of one.

> i really do have faith that if we drop what is a poor hack-of-a-solution
> we'll come up with clever means to truly address the real use cases. =)

Yes, what about this one, then? ;-)

> oh god no. windows' desktop absolutely offends my sensibilities while ours
> simply annoys me ;)

And what do you think about the Mac OS X Finder methaphor? ;-)
It basically show several "root" for exploration:
- Desktop
- Home Folder
- USB Pen
- External Hard Drive
- Saved Searches
- Trashbin
- FTP Sites
- File System

The finder have two columns: one with the "virtual roots" / "virtual start of 
navigation" and clicking one of those roots only allow to browse in the 
sub-directories of that virtual root.

This is much better than Windows, and it makes sense.
It also solve the "recursive Desktop <-> Home self-contained".
When I'm plugging a USB Pen it's to find a file on that pen, so in my mind, 
the USB pen is one starting point to find something else. I don't even want 
to worry about where the USB Pen is.
The user have the / filesystem hidden, he can choose to browse only things 
that are relevant for him.

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