Direct action buttons for entries

Registered by Jan on 2010-10-07

In order to circumvent right-clicking, the most likely option for each entry should be displayed to the right of each entry as an icon (mockup missing – should basically look like the eject icon in the Nautilus sidebar).

Examples:
Storage devices – mount (appears on hover) / eject
Application (running) – open already running instance (serves also as an indicator)
Local results – open parent folder (appears on hover)
Software Center – install (w/o opening Software Center)
Many other things – open in background (appears on hover)

Blueprint information

Status:
Not started
Approver:
None
Priority:
Undefined
Drafter:
None
Direction:
Needs approval
Assignee:
None
Definition:
Discussion
Series goal:
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Implementation:
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[jancborchardt 2010-10-07]
Just a rough draft to get the idea out. I‘m currently on another computer and can‘t use Cardapio, that‘s why it is not complete at all. Let me know what you think and what I missed.

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[keiran 2010-10-07]
Won't it pollute the search results visually meaning that they will get really crowded?

Also I'm not a big fan of Nautilus' unmounting icon to the right of the storage device because the difference between clicking this icon and the background near it (two completely different actions) is too subtle.

I don't like this idea. If we want to provide a secondary action without resorting to RMB, maybe we should think of something like double click (LMB + RMB at the same time) or the middle button (scroller) click as the trigger? Yes - I know that the scroller is currently being used as a "open in background" trigger.

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[tvst 2010-10-08]

I think the general idea of this blueprint is good, but like keiran I disagree with a few details.

1) "Show on hover" - in general I see this as a bad design choice. Maybe worse than a context menu, since people who move too fast may end up clicking on the action (instead of the app) without noticing it was there.

1b) BUT if all of the actions are shown at once, the UI will get very cluttered. Which brings us to #2 below.

2) "Eject" and "Install" are in my view very useful. I vote for implementing this. The others, though, seem more like they'll clutter up the UI and barely be used.

3) I still don't see much of a point for a running application indicator. But this may be one of those ideas that after they are implemented you go "a-ha!", and can't live without it. So we may have to do a "live mockup" :)

4) Unlike Nautilus's "eject" icon, ours should be implemented as a button, so that it is *very* clear where the user is clicking. This, I think, should resolve some of the issues brought up by keiran.

5) I'm not very fond of the double-click idea, which lacks discoverability.

    ~

So, in sum: I would like to see "eject" and "install" implemented as little "side-buttons" next to the app buttons. For everything else, I think we need more discussion.

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[keiran 2010-10-08]
Yep, that's more like it.

In general, I think that we should allow plugins to add the "special right side button action" to any position in the search results. If it's there - we show the button.

This would mean a lot of flexibility for plugin writers but we, on the other hand, would still be able to limit the count of plugins "cluttering" the UI. If the new API would be used by most important actions like 'install' or 'eject' only then the idea could really work.

I could implement this extension to plugin's API if you like it but it could take a moment because I still have Docky and AWN helpers on the agenda.

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[jancborchardt 2010-11-04]
Yes, rereading this I went a little overboard. ;)

As Thiago notes, currently the unmounting / eject icon is the main thing that should be there. All the others were just a braindump.

Such as the following, which I forgot to add and was reminded of by https://answers.launchpad.net/cardapio/+question/129712
For quick file access, you can currently use the search box to go to subfolders and directly display their contents. The mouse-way is to right-click and »peek inside folder«. A side button for this would be great – or even better – the default action on clicking a folder should be peeking inside it and there should be a side button for opening the folder.

What do you think? I know I find peeking inside folders much too useful to have it stuffed besides the other right-click options.

(?)

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