Use folders with images instead of CD covers and albums

Registered by Jan on 2010-05-03

Cover Thumbnailer is a great solution for the folder thumbnailing problem: https://blueprints.edge.launchpad.net/hundredpapercuts/+spec/nautilus-folders-thumbnails

But as the name suggests, it is made specifically for music folders. Using it for picture folders is great but if you enable »Keep the default folder icon if no pictures was found«, it looks ugly with both plain folder icons and albums with pictures on it mixed together.

What could be done to extend Cover Thumbnailer for general folder thumbnailing functionality?

To preserve consistency, the standard folder icon could be used as a base on which the pictures are added.
The problem with this approach is that Nautilus adds borders around thumbnails so it looks like a bug.

Blueprint information

Status:
Not started
Approver:
None
Priority:
Undefined
Drafter:
None
Direction:
Needs approval
Assignee:
Fabien LOISON
Definition:
Discussion
Series goal:
None
Implementation:
Unknown
Milestone target:
None

Whiteboard

[FLOZz, 2010-05-03]
Did you mean something like that ?
http://tmp.fgsp.org/launchpad/cover-thumbnailer/kde4_dolphin_folder_thumbnail.png
(screenshot from dolphin, kde 4)

[inquata, 2010-05-03]
Ah right, could have just looked at KDE. ;)
And yes, I think that would be perfect. It would make Cover Thumbnailer even more handy and universally usable. I already install Cover Thumbnailer on the machines of everyone I convert from Windows. ;)
To avoid name confusion, you could also consider renaming the project https://launchpad.net/folder-thumbnailer

Further requests: http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/16240/

And if it is possible, just change that for pictures folders etc – keep the cover view for music folders, it looks great. :)

[FLOZz, 2010-05-03]
That's what I wanted to do first for pictures folder... but the problem is that it's nautilus wich add the frame around all thumbnails... so we can't have the folder picture without the frame...
But I think we can do something like that :
http://tmp.fgsp.org/launchpad/cover-thumbnailer/ct_folder_mockup_1.png
It looks better with the lucid frame, but... the pictures are too small :(

[inquata, 2010-05-03]
The frame is too bad but I guess still the best compromise between usefulness and consistency. Even though the pictures are small, you get the gist of what is inside.
Is it possible to check the scale (percentage) at which the folders are displayed? That way you could control if, say, one, two, three or four pictures are previewed on the folder. The smaller the size, the fewer the pictures.
Second possibility question: You said that removing or renaming »/usr/share/pixmaps/nautilus/thumbnail_frame.png« takes care of the problem; is it possible to have that renamed on installation and renamed back during uninstallation? Or have a function in the preferences for removing it.

[FLOZz, 2010-05-05]
> Is it possible to check the scale (percentage) at which the folders are displayed?
No it's not possible :(

> Second possibility question: You said that removing or renaming [...]
No, it's not a good idea :
  * It will affect other thumbnailers
  * If nautilus was updated/remove, it can break the nautilus and cover-thumbnailer package :s

I'll try to implement this functionality for the version 0.9, because it's a bit complicated : PIL (Python Imaging Library) can't read svg pictures... but we need a 128x128px folder pictures...

[inquata, 2010-05-06]
Ok, scaling would be nifty but is not of major importance. I guess most people will just leave the zoom factor default value.
And right, removing the frame will cause problems. It is probably not going to go away because this has been reported as a bug already: https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=524392
Aren’t there any parameters that can be set to say: »No, for this icon please show no frame.«? We’ll have to wait on that.

> I'll try to implement this functionality for the version 0.9, because
> it's a bit complicated : PIL (Python Imaging Library) can't read svg
> pictures... but we need a 128x128px folder pictures...

That is great – as soon as I dive into Python I’ll definitely help you not only with translations and specs. ;)

So we can not read system icons but have to bring in our own graphics, like the PNGs in /share?
Either way, I looked for the standard folder icons we can save as 128x128 for use as backgrounds:

Ubuntu:
– /usr/share/icons/Humanity/places/64/folder.svg
– /usr/share/icons/Humanity/places/64/gnome-fs-directory-accept.svg if we want the pictures to peek out (complicated with size adjustment and the preview would be small)
– /usr/share/icons/Humanity/places/64/user-images.svg if we want to adhere to the standard (placing the previews inside the two polaroids would look incredibly nice and consistent but may be complicated (?) and the preview would be small. Additionally, it would only work on Ubuntu respectively with the themes that use this icon. Maybe as a bonus / only if you use the specific theme? It is the default after all.)

Tango:
– /usr/share/icons/Tango/scalable/places/folder.svg
– /usr/share/icons/Tango/scalable/status/folder-open.svg

GNOME:
– /usr/share/icons/gnome/scalable/places/folder.svg
– /usr/share/icons/Tango/scalable/status/folder-open.svg

[FLOZz, 2010-05-12]
> Ok, scaling would be nifty but is not of major importance. I guess most people
> will just leave the zoom factor default value.
The problem is not with the zoom, but with the thumbnails size (96x96 pix by default)

> Aren’t there any parameters that can be set to say: »No, for this icon please show
> no frame.«? We’ll have to wait on that.
It can be long :)

> That is great – as soon as I dive into Python I’ll definitely help you not only with
> translations and specs. ;)
cool :)

> So we can not read system icons but have to bring in our own graphics,
> like the PNGs in /share?
We can read system icon... The user's theme is set in gconf :)

(?)

Work Items

This blueprint contains Public information 
Everyone can see this information.