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There when you need it UI Speculation
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AsLan^
Not a tame lion...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Narnia
 
2007-02-05, 02:11

I was just thinking about the iPhone and how Steve seemed fairly impressed with the fact that rather than using a standard UI across applications, each application's UI was tailored to what you needed.

We also have other examples like Front Row, Dashboard, Expose, Time Machine, and Aperture, that follow the same kind of philosophy.

I was wondering how this concept might be applied to the humble Finder in Leopard.

For example take moving files from one location to another but having to navigate through multiple folders. Not especially hard but even using the space bar to quick open folders it can be pretty tedious. What if when you selected some items to be moved and started dragging them the screen dimmed a la Dashboard and you were presented with graphical (but flat) representation of your home folder and all its sub folders arranged in a tree diagram. Of course it wouldn't have to all fit on the screen at once but as you move the mouse it should scroll with in the direction you wanted to go. When you reach the destination folder you simply drop the files like you normally would in and they are moved. When repeatedly moving files to particular folder that folder would become weighted so that when you started moving files in the same direction again, the scrolling would speed up and be guided to that folder, perhaps using some those neat swarm algorithms to correct course or move the folder towards you if you overshoot or something like that.

There could be multiple special Finder interfaces that detected what you were trying to do and presented you with the best interface for that particular task.

Anybody else think we might begin to see more customized interfaces or perhaps have any ideas for what could be improved with a custom interface?

EDIT: Regarding that tree idea above, just a slight modification. I think it would be even cooler if instead of automatically popping up when you dragged the selected files (which might get irritating say if folders are close to each other) you first had to drag the files to an edge of the screen. Then the tree would shoot in from the opposite edge and you would browse back i.e. if you move them to the top edge, the tree comes in from the bottom and you navigate down, if you move them to the left edge, the tree comes in from the right and navigate to the right.

Last edited by AsLan^ : 2007-02-05 at 02:28. Reason: Refined tree idea
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xlostlove777
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
 
2007-02-05, 09:33

Instead of automatically the side something like a hotkey or you can set it as a mouse button(mighty mouse) or the sides, just like Dashboard. I think it would be a good addition. If you don't like it in no way would you be forced to do it, and surely some will live by it.
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dfiler
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pittsburgh
 
2007-02-05, 09:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by xlostlove777 View Post
If you don't like it in no way would you be forced to do it, and surely some will live by it.
While various interfaces may or may not be justified, simply being optional should have no bearing on the issue. "Optional features" can easily be the death of an intuitive interfaces.

Windows, at one extreme, suffers from this. Sure, everything is optional but now microsoft has to support more code as developers and users come to rely on those features. Legacy support is primarily responsible for Vista's multi-year delay. Invariably, at some point users are forced to use said optional features. Trouble viewing a website? Try enabling option 7 in tab 4 of window 11.

Added feature complexity can never be solely justified with the word "optional".
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Gizzer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Hampshire (the original one)
 
2007-02-05, 10:08

I like where you are coming from Aslan, and I can "see" it quite clearly in my head and how it should work. The idea of the entire screen turning into a finder window seems like a neat solution to a traditional style Finder/Explorer

The only downside I could see is that it may not be to everybody's taste.
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AsLan^
Not a tame lion...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Narnia
 
2007-02-05, 19:59

Quote:
Originally Posted by xlostlove777 View Post
Instead of automatically the side something like a hotkey or you can set it as a mouse button(mighty mouse) or the sides, just like Dashboard. I think it would be a good addition. If you don't like it in no way would you be forced to do it, and surely some will live by it.
What I was trying to get at (and admittedly my example might not illustrate this correctly) was the idea of the Finder figuring out what you wanted to do and presenting you with the best interface for the job. It wouldn't be optional, it would just be the way you do it. I was hoping to speculate on which functions could benefit from a custom interface and what those interfaces could be. Even if we don't see this sort of thing in Leopard, I'm sure that this will become more popular as smaller devices like smart phones and tablet UMPCs eventually become useful for productivity and start to replace computers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzer View Post
I like where you are coming from Aslan, and I can "see" it quite clearly in my head and how it should work. The idea of the entire screen turning into a finder window seems like a neat solution to a traditional style Finder/Explorer
Cheers I thought it was neat too! Not that it's entirely original though, I can't remember where but there is a demo of a similar concept somewhere else on the web. That demo basically has all your files on one big desktop that you can pan and zoom around on.

I think Apple is going to try and find some way to seriously differentiate OS X from Vista and desktop Linux so we might start to see radical changes such as more full screen interfaces. Which really isn't a bad thing... even if you are multi tasking, you can still only do one thing at a time and thus having specialized and intuitive interfaces for each task that swapped around on the fly should enhance your flow.
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Doxxic
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Amsterdam
 
2007-02-06, 07:55

Aha, I love this kind of speculation!
I don't think we should look for folder tree travelling enhancements, though.

Apple has built Spotlight and it doesn't look like it's just a search engine; it's an OS layer which enables developers to approach files in many different ways.
It enables Apple to live up to their standards when it comes to hiding the technical side of things (archiving, in this case).

I do see this 'darkened-screen' interface happening, but I think that it would rather be used for editing tags and other properties belonging to (multiple) files/folders, like editing mp3 tags in iTunes.

I think in general, Finder should become much like iTunes and iPhoto.
Remains the question how in that case Finder's "Library" will be organized...
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noleli2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chicago
 
2007-02-06, 09:01

Quote:
What if when you selected some items to be moved and started dragging them the screen dimmed a la Dashboard and you were presented with graphical (but flat) representation of your home folder and all its sub folders arranged in a tree diagram. Of course it wouldn't have to all fit on the screen at once but as you move the mouse it should scroll with in the direction you wanted to go. When you reach the destination folder you simply drop the files like you normally would in and they are moved.
Sounds like Jurassic Park.

Personally, I think we're at the end of the age of hierarchical file systems, and we should move to a metadata/search-based system (see: Gmail's labels) which would draw far more heavily on the Spotlight, and essentially take the Finder out of the picture.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2007-02-06, 09:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by noleli2 View Post
Personally, I think we're at the end of the age of hierarchical file systems, and we should move to a metadata/search-based system (see: Gmail's labels) which would draw far more heavily on the Spotlight, and essentially take the Finder out of the picture.
Until local search becomes intelligent and can take into account context, synonyms, and alternate spellings (among many more issues), the traditional file hierarchy will remain deeply entrenched in everyday life for many folks for a long time to come. Then remember that these features must also be extend to work in many languages (not just English) and must also account for non-spoken languages (ie. technical jargon, programming languages, etc.).

I certainly wouldn't trust a search-only method of retrieving my files any time soon. Even Google's improved searching is far from perfect and fails me at times.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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MBHockey
skates=grafs
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: New York
 
2007-02-06, 09:43

You nailed one of my major gripes with Spotlight -- synonyms and alternate spelling. Maybe it'll get those in Leopard?
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rasmits
rams it
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle
 
2007-02-06, 18:39

Sometimes I go to my documents folder to open a keynote file and think, "Why didn't I Spotlight it?"

Getting rid of files and folders would be hard for me to get used to, and I'm pretty technical.

You had me at asl
.......
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Ryan
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2007-02-06, 19:35

Quote:
Originally Posted by rasmits View Post
Sometimes I go to my documents folder to open a keynote file and think, "Why didn't I Spotlight it?"

Getting rid of files and folders would be hard for me to get used to, and I'm pretty technical.
My experience with Spotlight has been quite different. I've found that it has almost completely replaced the Finder for me. Even for opening applications, I just hit -Space and type in the name. I tend to keep my hands on the keyboard rather than the mouse, so perhaps that has something to do with it.
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doublem9876
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
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2007-02-06, 22:01

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
My experience with Spotlight has been quite different. I've found that it has almost completely replaced the Finder for me. Even for opening applications, I just hit -Space and type in the name. I tend to keep my hands on the keyboard rather than the mouse, so perhaps that has something to do with it.
Since my hard drive's loaded with stuff, I use the Application "Namely" as my application launcher. I find it to be even faster than spotlight.
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oxygen
 
 
2007-02-09, 11:30

Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post
I was just thinking about the iPhone and how Steve seemed fairly impressed with the fact that rather than using a standard UI across applications, each application's UI was tailored to what you needed.
To be honest, after all, I am not that impressed with the iPhones interface.
What really makes sense and is way cooler than anything I've seen before is the interface that is present when you actually make a call.
Most of the other screens we saw during the presentation were not what I had hoped for.
You may as well take a box of colorfull candy and shake it.
The "home" menu looks horrible, there really is not much difference to my SE K500i.
videoplayback: OK, onscreen controlls: nice
But why change between the dark and bright scheme all the time?
I am really missing some consistency here.

Tailoring to what people need is great, but please have it look alike!
I think Apple is headed in the right direction and hopefully we did not see the final interface and there will be some changes, once Leopard is out in all its glory.

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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2007-02-10, 11:17

This is why I stay out of this forum. You guys, with your intelligent discussion of Future Finderisms, are leading my mind astray from the cold, hard reality that we haven't seen a single screen shot that would indicate anything has changed about teH Leopard's Finder.

Now I'll start seeing all these possibilities and will come crashing down to reality when the final product is announced and the evil thing we have come to know as Finder rears its same old, ugly head once more.

...into the light of a dark black night.

Last edited by Moogs : 2007-02-10 at 11:38.
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Doxxic
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Amsterdam
 
2007-02-11, 15:22

I think Finder is ok. Since the sidebar came, the Finder is very easy to shape to my needs.

My worst gripe with Finder (if it's really a Finder thing) is that the Open and Save dialogs are so extremely limited. Precisely when you need to move files around and change names, you can't do it. Why don't they have all Finder's features?
The Open and Save dialogs are a pretty crucial part of an OS, and here the Windows interface is better than Mac OS's.

I'm also looking forward to easily see file previews in Finder's list view. I hope it works with audio, too.
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chucker
 
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2007-02-11, 15:26

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doxxic View Post
Precisely when you need to move files around and change names, you can't do it. Why don't they have all Finder's features?
Why not just use the Finder when you need those features?
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