Bug 414670 - Make connecting to arbitrary servers more obvious and user-friendly, like in Nautilus
Summary: Make connecting to arbitrary servers more obvious and user-friendly, like in ...
Alias: None
Product: dolphin
Classification: Applications
Component: general (show other bugs)
Version: unspecified
Platform: Other Linux
: NOR wishlist (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Nate Graham
Depends on:
Reported: 2019-11-29 23:01 UTC by Nate Graham
Modified: 2020-12-27 19:38 UTC (History)
1 user (show)

See Also:
Latest Commit:
Version Fixed In: 21.04

How nautilus does it (129.29 KB, image/png)
2019-11-29 23:02 UTC, Nate Graham

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Description Nate Graham 2019-11-29 23:01:40 UTC
I found myself using Nautilus today and quite liked a feature of theirs: Nautilus makes it really easy to figure out how to connect to a network location. On the "Other locations" page, there's a big, obvious "Connect to server" label with a text field that prompts you to enter a network location URL, and it remembers recently-connected servers. See attached screenshot.

Of course Dolphin has a URL bar that you can just paste arbitrary URLs into, but this is an inferior UI for several reasons:
- It starts out in breadcrumb mode; many users may not ever discover that it has a URL entry mode
- Even in URL entry mode, it's not obvious that it accepts arbitrary URLs to network locations we well. You might think that it only shows local paths.
- It doesn't remember recent network locations (Bug 174810).

In addition to this UI, Dolphin has an "Add network folder" wizard accessible from the remote:/ ioslave. It is also sub-optimal because it's in the form of a wizard that asks you lots of questions you might not know the answer to. Also, the whole point of it is to create a semi-permanent link to some network place, not a transient connection to a server that you might not necessarily connect to again.

Overall I found Nautilus's approach to be quite user-friendly and I think we could learn something from it. Perhaps we could add a toolbar visible in the remote:/ ioslave that displays this feature in it, like we do for the trash:/ ioslave that displays a custom UI to help you empty the trash: https://cgit.kde.org/dolphin.git/commit/?id=eb68fae15cdbf15e894d1a9d555c88d306261cc2
Comment 1 Nate Graham 2019-11-29 23:02:00 UTC
Created attachment 124193 [details]
How nautilus does it

Oops, forgot the attachment
Comment 2 Nate Graham 2020-12-10 23:31:33 UTC
Figured out a simpler approach: simply make the URL navigator editable and display placeholder text in it indicating that this is possible. MR incoming.

The idea of moving the knetattach icon into the toolbar is tracked with Bug 430211.
Comment 3 Bug Janitor Service 2020-12-10 23:39:07 UTC
A possibly relevant merge request was started @ https://invent.kde.org/system/dolphin/-/merge_requests/137
Comment 4 Elvis Angelaccio 2020-12-27 19:38:08 UTC
Git commit b14f98de19b97bcf8ca967f635c6df39963df2b0 by Elvis Angelaccio, on behalf of Nate Graham.
Committed on 27/12/2020 at 17:38.
Pushed by elvisangelaccio into branch 'master'.

Make it more obvious that you can connect to servers on remote:/ page

Right now it is not super obvious how you connect to a remote server
in Dolphin when you already know the URL. Users will go to the
"Network" item in the Places panel, but from there it is not totally
clear. The "Add Network Folder" icon in the view opens a complicated
wizard and it's also a bit of an odd UX to have it living in the view as
opposed to being a toolbar button.

Old hands and developers know that the URL navigator is, well, a URL
navigator, and as such, it accepts arbitrary URLs from any view.
However this may not be obvious to other more casual users, for
two reasons:
1. The URL navigator is in breadcrumbs view nearly all of the time and
   by default, so may users may not know that it can accept text at all
2. Even when it's displaying URLs, they are almost always local paths,
   so users may not make the connection that it can accept remote URLs
   rather that just local paths

To improve the discoverability of this feature, this commit makes the
following change:

When the view is displaying the remote:/ ioslave (i.e. the "Networks"
place), the URL navigator is put into URL entry mode and given some
placeholder text that hints at what it can do. It reverts to breadcrumbs
mode when you leave.
FIXED-IN: 21.04

M  +15   -2    src/dolphinnavigatorswidgetaction.cpp
M  +10   -0    src/dolphinurlnavigator.cpp
M  +10   -0    src/dolphinurlnavigator.h