Despite the many and controversial removals, Files 3.6 comes with exciting new features that will make you forgot its predecessor in no time! While Files is “just a file manager”, Gnome Team has huge plans for it in the short future.
If you’re running Ubuntu or Mint there is no reason to stick with the old Files. Ubuntu Gnome 3 Team offers Files 3.6 in a PPA!
Mistakes Mistakes Mistakes
Ubuntu’s and Mint’s choice to drop Files 3.6 from their latest releases was -in my opinion- a very bad decision that will greatly reduce the user experience in their UI environments. Of course Gnome Team also carries a part of responsibility because the removal of all these features from Files 3.6 wasn’t really necessary. They could still had them somewhere on the options.
The most “not welcome” change in Files 3.6 was the removal of Compact View.
- Remove Show/hide Toolbar 676839
- Remove Show/hide statusbar 676840
- Remove Computer place 676841
- Remove Compact view 676842
- Remove Extra Pane 676858
Another important removed feature was
- Don’t save zoom per-folder 682017
If we want to be realistic and no-negative, the above features do not affect many users and certainly do not affect the “mainstream” users. Ubuntu and Mint are two perfect Distros for new users -and not only- and the drop of new Files made me a bad impression. They could just fork 3.6 -and maybe fork will happen-, and add the old features on Files 3.6.
Some people claim that they learned too late about these decisions, but for the size of a company like Canonical -which their main product Ubuntu is based on Gnome- this is not a valid excuse. They should had a more closely communication with Gnome Team, and as far as I know, Gnome Developers are very talkative and helpful.
Best Features in Files 3.6
Files 3.6 comes with a bunch of impressive new features and with dozens of bugfixes. Out of record, this release is a bit experimental and Files 3.8 will get another major re-design which is expected to be awesome. Forking Files efforts (like Nemo) are always welcome, but there is a question if they can follow the plans of the very talented software engineers of Red Hat.
Files is going (in future) to gain integration with GOA and become a “strictly” part of Gnome, so it makes perfect sense for Canonical to fork it, but I am not sure if Mint should follow Canonical on this. Anyway, time will show who’s right and who’s wrong.
5. More Beautiful
I am fan of aesthetics and who ever says he doesn’t care, he is a liar. Computers turn out to become gadgets and gadgets turn out to become powerful tools ..and gadgets should be beautiful. I am not saying that Files is the prettiest file manager out there, but it looks much better than the previous version.
Gnome Sushi (the file previewer of Gnome) has also got improved.
4. Improved Selection
This feature is far for completed and I guess we will get a real implementation of it in Files 3.8. It will probably going to work similar to Gnome Documents which you select the files you want to apply an action through check boxes. For the moment..
..you just can move items in a new created folder. Handy.
Recent View and the quick button to switch to List or Icon view are very nice implemented. Compact and a Zoom Slider are missing from here :(
Set Wallpaper directly from Files, is also a new welcome feature for Wallpaper Junkies (that I am not). By the way, Files and in general Gnome 3.6, runs faster.
2. Detached-able Tabs
This is my favorite new feature and I was waiting to long for it! You can drag and drop a tab outside of Files and open a new Files window. I use lot of tabs and windows and it works perfectly for me.
The weakness here is that there is no attach functionality. This is huge drawback and besides it is the expected behavior. You can detach something but you can’t attach it back?
Another bug fixing on Tabs is that if you now drag a file over them, they don’t switch immediately, but they have about 1sec delay. That bug in 3.4 had driven me crazy.
1. Re-designed and Improved Search
Search in all previous versions of Files was just a bad joke. In one night (6months) things changed, and Files is proud to gain one of the most advanced searches in a file manager. It now displays the results in live mode as you type (similar to Gnome Shell), it searches hidden files and folders and it has an recursive case-insensitive search and is amazing fast.
It also now works in no indexed directories, it can search for metadata and it ranks the results based on a weight algorithm.
Unfortunately it doesn’t support Regular Expressions, which is weird because most of modern Applications have it. It is kinda a standard and a super useful feature. Oh well, we have the Gnome Terminal after all :)
Files 3.6 is a huge improvement over 3.4 and there are so more cool new features than the above I described, like the improved remote-browsing. It is very unfair to blame this release, because everyone seems to ignore the new features and people focus more on the weaknesses -which exist.
Files Git is also excessive active right now, because the development has missed the deadlines and Gnome Team wants to include as many new features as possible and closed the bugs (many bugs in 3.5.91). Sometimes I am wondering why Gnome Release Team doesn’t postpone the release for some weeks in order to deliver a better product. Most distros have delays anyway.