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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Sat, 06 Oct 2012

GNOME 3: Renaming Nautilus as Files is a good idea

The more I think about it, GNOME's renaming of applications with a clear word as to what they do is a good thing to do.

The file manager Nautilus is now called Files.

The web browser Epiphany is now called Web.

I believe that Totem will eventually be Movies (or something like that).

Sure it makes it hard to manage these applications when you don't have them installed.

But when you install a Linux distribution (or eventually a BSD system that runs GNOME 3) with a complete GNOME environment, users won't be confused and need to scale a steep learning curve to figure out what they need to click to find ... Files. And the Web. And what they need to click to watch video (like "Movies").

I will ignore the fact that Epiphany (now Web) as a browser is not quite ready for prime time, and almost all users will need and want Firefox or Chromium/Chrome (or Opera for those who love Opera). Maybe Epiphany will get up to speed. By that I mean it will get Flash support.

But overall, simple declarative names for core applications is a good idea. Maybe they'll retain their descriptive package names (Epiphany, Nautilus, Totem, Gedit, etc.). Or maybe they'll have a GNOME-appended package name (gnome-web, gnome-files, gnome-movies, gnome-text-editor). That would make package management more sane.

But for users coming to the GNOME desktop for the first time, clear and simple application names gets them going that much faster.