There is nothing bad to GNOME’s philosophy “Less is More” as long as is combined with the “Do Less, but Do it Better“.
A File Manager is just a File Manager and nothing more. File Manager duties and responsibilities are well defined and almost unchanged (with the exception of Online Storage) through the last 30 years. Therefore when you are trying a File Manager, you don’t really examine what it does, but how good does it.
That means that people don’t care if GNOME Files has 1 or 30 different views (List, Grid, Tree, Compact, More Compact, Even More Compact etc) but they care to discover and organize their files in the best way possible. Having many options for doing the same task it pretty much means that “We can’t think of a good way, so we are giving you all the choices“. Even the choice to do things “wrong”.
A major work in Nautilus 3.8 went towards to the DnD (Drag n Drop) support. While Devs did some cool things there (like previewing folders), there are some clearly bugs in key features.
For example, you can de-attach a Nautilus Tab, but you can’t attach it back? That shows incompleteness and inconsistency.
Example two, drag a text file to gEdit. If you move it over a Tab in Nautilus, it will switch to that tab because isn’t clever enough to understand what you want to do. Amazing annoying bug, that reveals the whole issue with GNOME. GNOME is the perfect Desktop with strong in-perfections.
GNOME Files Search
I have criticized Nautilus search in the past, and this is the (one of many) why..
Search made by GNOME for people with extra-sensory perception abilities or just ..damn luckers ;)
There is a very good reason why every single search service in the world has a different view to output search results. When you are searching something you will probably want to know some more info, like last edit, location, frequency of use, ownership etc.
There are bug reports for all these and you can check more when 3.9.4 Nautilus is out -which hasn’t yet been released. Bellow 3 patches are following that make things better.
1. Open Item Location Menu
In Search and Recent Modes, there is a special menu item that opens the Item Location.
2. Default Location Column
While in Search if you go to List View, you will get the Location Column by Default. That implies that you need switch from Grid to List (and back) just to see the search results.
It is also worth to mention that in Recent View an Access Date Column has been added and is displayed by default, similar to the above figure.
3. Add Header Menu
In List View Header Menu with Right Click, you can fast access the column menu and add/remove columns. Nice one but.. ..how many columns you can add?
GTK seems to suffer from a bug that can’t handle properly long filenames. A bug that sometimes creates “funny” full screen modal dialogs.
All these changes are greatly greatly make our life easier, but don’t really solve the problem. GNOME has a powerful search and indexing engine (Tracker) and doesn’t take full advantage of it (Full text search inside files metadata?).
Also it seems that all the enchantments are towards the List View which isn’t even the default, and to be honest I discovered all these only after I saw the bug reports.. -even if I was using the development branch of Nautilus for quite a while.
Keep on mind this is still an early preview of Nautilus 3.10 and some more improvements -in this area- may come.