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lokakuu 24, 2007 / Jussi

The annoying GTK+ file dialog

All who have used GIMP know that the GTK+ default UI is quite horrendous. But in my opinion, the most horrible part of GTK+ is the file selection dialog. With it, it is very very difficult to achieve any tasks that one usually needs to perform in order to e.g. save a file to a location.

For you who have not seen it, in its basic form (in which the dialog always opens, no matter what mode you used last time) it only shows a Name box, Save in folder box (with Home, Desktop and File system) and a Browse for other folders widget which opens the ”advanced” mode.

In the advanced mode, you will be provided with true power user features such as the possibility to select the location where you want to save your file. There is also the possibility to add a directory to quick selections.

This approach might work in case the user ever only saves to one or two possible directories (which would probably be Home and Desktop since you still have to add quick selections in each application individually). Usually, the box also forgets your last location, so to save the file, you will have to navigate all the way back.

The approach is extremely unsuitable for users who like to have a structure in their file organization. I for example keep my schoolwork in subdirectories, with the course first, then possibly the excercise name, and then the kind of files I store in that directory. That means that I will reuse directories very rarely, and if I want to add a quick selection to a usable directory, it will be very close to the root and it will not help much.

So as an example, if I wish to save ”service-classes.dia” to /pub/main/webservices/diagrams in Dia, I will have to:

  1. Type in the name
  2. Click Browse for other folders
  3. Resize the dialog so that the directory list fits in view
  4. Double-click File system
  5. Double click through the path (or type in the directory to a magically appearing and disappearing floating text box)
  6. Click save

And please, if there is a way to force the GTK+ file dilaog to always open in the advanced mode, or, even better, force applications to use the KDE dialog instead, please tell me how!

4 kommenttia

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  1. Hisham / Dec 1 2007 12:31 am

    Try kgtk: it allows you to use kde dialogs in gtk apps. Really good.

    http://www.kde-look.org/content/show.php/KGtk+(Use+KDE+Dialogs+in+Gtk+Apps)?content=36077

  2. Jussi Bergström / Dec 1 2007 1:46 am

    Sounds great! I’ll try it out as soon as I can.

  3. Eric Blade / Sep 10 2009 12:47 am

    The GTK file dialog is the worst thing ever created in the entire history of UIs.

  4. Costantino / Oct 26 2009 1:08 am

    I don’t agree! I find the GtkFileChooser very good, expecially for the bookmark management.

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