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CNET.com: Nautilus Preview Release 1

Nov 05, 2000, 21:00 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Todd Volz)

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"While firmly established as a server solution, Linux still faces an uphill climb to unseat Windows on the desktop. Two core issues have hindered Linux: A paucity of business applications and the lack of a user-friendly interface. The former issue is likely to be addressed over time, but with Eazel's Nautilus, the latter seems all but solved. Although the X Window System GUI has served capably as the basis for a number of useful Linux interfaces such as GNOME and KDE, none has proved to be the much-anticipated "Windows killer." Nautilus, a file manager for the GNOME desktop, mixes familiar components from other graphical interfaces with some leading-edge features that not only match Windows but also go one-up on the incumbent desktop dominator."

"Nautilus offers essentially the same functionality as Windows Explorer, Macintosh Finder, and GNU Midnight Commander (GMC) for Linux by providing access to hard disk files. Intended as a replacement for GMC, Nautilus offers a host of improvements over GMC and other Linux file managers."

"Like Explorer, Nautilus has a two-paned display, with the usual suspects among the menu choices, File, Edit, Layout, and so on. But closer inspection reveals how Nautilus makes file identification easier. Instead of associating a file type with a generic icon,Nautilus displays the contents of a file when possible, saving you the trouble of launching an app just to identify a file. For instance, an image file's icon is simply a thumbnail preview of the image itself, while a text file's icon displays several lines of text from the document. In addition, Nautilus features a configurable zoom level that lets you adjust the amount of detail displayed by these icons. It also allows you to view files as icons, as a file list, or, in the case of MP3 audio files, as a playlist with an embedded miniature MP3 player below it. Nautilus even lets you preview MP3 files by playing a bit of the file when you hover the cursor over the icon."

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