venerdì 9 ottobre 2009

Extending the Tabbles desktop to contain files

While finishing a major redesign of Tabbles' button layout, I had an idea which sounds important and which I would like to implement within two months.

The problem

Currently, when you see Tabbles' desktop (aka "ground floor"), you are immediately reminded of the Windows desktop. Soon, however, you discover that it is more limited than the Windows desktop, because it cannot store files, but only tabbles. In a sense, it is as if you had a Windows desktop which can only store folders. (Because, after all, tabbles are virtual folders.)

The solution

So the idea is: extend the Tabbles desktop to also contain files (in addition to tabbles).

What would this be useful for? The short answer is: you tell me. Why, in the Windows desktop, do you find it useful to have both files and folders? Why wouldn't folders be enough?

The long answer is: it happens that, when they download a new file, many users like to put it on the desktop. (Maybe because of the analogy with a real desktop table.) Later, they may (or may not) decide to drag the file onto a subfolder on the desktop (to make the file disappear from the desktop, thus making the desktop less cluttered).

I think the same should be possible within Tabbles' desktop: you should be able to drag a file onto a tabble entirely within the desktop. I.e., you should be able to drag a file which is on the desktop onto a tabble which is also on the desktop.

The benefit

The major advantage would be that you would be able to categorize a file just by dragging it across the desktop.

(Of course, you will be able to drag a file onto more than one tabble, because Tabbles does not have the limitation of Windows' folders, where a file can only be in one folder.)

This way, drag & drop would be more discoverable and it would take a much more central role than it has now.


If you are still confused, here's a detailed example of how it would work:

1. you download a file with Firefox.

2. The "file save dialog" opens, which has been extended to contain a new item called "Tabbles desktop" in addition to Windows' desktop. So you choose to save the file in Tabbles' desktop.

3. After the download is finished, you bring the Tabbles' desktop on top.

4. In Tabbles' desktop, you see the newly downloaded file. (together with the tabbles that you have chosen to put on the desktop).

5. You can categorize the file by dragging it onto one or more tabbles.

6. After you have finished categorizing the file (i.e. after you have dragged it onto all the tabbles you need), you can optionally make the file disappear from the desktop. (In the Windows desktop, this happens automatically as soon as you drag the flie onto a folder; but here we can't make it disappear immediately because you may want to drag it onto another tabble. So you will have to explicitely tell Tabbles that you want to hide the file from the desktop. Of course a one-click way to hide the file from the desktop is needed, but this is not a problem.)

It is very important for us to understand how much would you value such a feature. Comments are very welcome. :)

1 commento:

  1. OK, my opinion :D

    I think this is a good idea as a step in the direction of a portable tabble.
    But to store everything on one level is something I'm trying to avoid. I'm using FF and I hope, actually, for an extension which is showing me a tabble-function-button in the download window of my fox.
    There is also an explorer integration in work right? And I think this is to avoid to switch and move to much times. If I had my dl-files all in my tabbles desk, I had the same work like downloading them to my desktop.
    ATM I'm using 2 or 3 FF extensions which allow me to save my DLs in different folder immediately.
    Pics to [i]D:\documents\my\files\Pictures\GFX\...[/i]
    Vids to [i]D:\documents\my\files\Downloads\...[/i]

    Another problem is, I'm using a download manager. When I'm back home there are 10 - 30 DL's already in in the right direction. If they were everything at one place again, it would be a step back for me.
    At this time I'm using an tabbles folder (downloads) and in this folder I had put in links of the of the different DL folders, this folder exists real in XP :(
    This isn't very practically. But I'm not sure if your idea will be a solution for this :S


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