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I've noticed some overlap between Unity's dash and Nautilus, due to folders being able to be opened and browsed straight from the dash. However if you want to perform any kind of operation on the files (except for opening them) you have to open Nautilus. I fear having two different tools for the same (basic) task may bring some confusion to the user. Has this been considered? What will be the desired interaction between the dash and the file browser, and what is each of them supposed to be used for in the long run?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

For 11.04, the best way to think of it would be that the Dash (specifically Files and Folders Place) is for simple browsing of recently used/interesting files and searching of files. On the other hand, Nautilus will be for all types of file management.

Nautilus will be prominent via a default icon in the Launcher as well as re-enabling it on the desktop (so you can see the contents of your Desktop folder on the wallpaper). There will probably be a more obvious way to "Reveal in Folder" (or some similar wording) for items in the Dash, which will open the folder the file belongs to in Nautilus.

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I do hope you will do something more like cardapio for the menu in the desktop version, so dash isn't fullscreen O.o – RolandiXor Nov 1 '10 at 7:32
Njpatel, I agree with using the dash for those (seeing recently used files, interesting files, favourite folders, search results) but not for the actual browsing. If I open the dash and then click on a favourite folder I would expect it to open in Nautilus instead of in the dash, since I always have to end up clicking the "open in Nautilus" button anyway. I understand that the dash is in an early state though, and hope that in the end it will remove the need to launch nautilus for everyday browsing. – Bou Nov 1 '10 at 9:01

I think the dash will be used to replace Nautilus for most of its tasks. Mark Shuttleworth recently said that we should move away from thinking about files and folders. It seems that the dash will transform into a new paradigm for file management:

a more search-centric model and Zeitgeist enabled tools that rely on context. (ars technia)

It is likely that it will gain some of the features that Nautilus has. Nautilus will still exist but it will be seen as more of a power users' tool than a vital part of the desktop.

This is all speculation though. We will just have to wait and see what happens.

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I don't think the dash overtaking "most of" nautilus' features is a good idea. Either take all of them, or at least make them moot so that opening Nautilus is NEVER necessary, or let it do its job without getting in the way. But of course we will have to wait. – Bou Oct 28 '10 at 10:59
Losing nautilus would be a bad idea, especially for users like myself who NEED to manage large amounts of files in a deep hierarchy. – RolandiXor Oct 28 '10 at 18:24
Yes, I would prefer the other option too. But I think either of them would be better than having two different file browsers (if we consider that Unity's dash does browse folders now) and having to jump from one to the other. – Bou Oct 29 '10 at 9:56

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