In order to have this possible I developed mainly three ioslaves: - media:/ which allows to deal with your partitions, removable media, cdroms, etc. - remote:/ which allows to have "remote folders" and is possible to use thanks to knetattach. - home:/ which displays home directories of the users being in the same groups than the current user (because it's generally more relevant to share files with them), and the current user home directory.
Currently system:/ points to media:/, trash:/, remote:/, settings:/ and home:/ (which was committed yesterday). home:/ being the last part of my great evil plan: hiding the real file hierarchy!
I'm now almost able to do it, in fact if I could even do it now. Some of you may wonder "why hiding the unixian file hierarchy??? and push use of system:/???". The answer is simply that for a desktop user this unix file hierarchy is an implementation detail.
So, the current status of what I've done is exactly this : if you start browsing using system:/ you can stay in this virtual hierarchy and do all your daily work using it (as a desktop user, not a sysadmin).
So the user could use only this, but some entry point to the unix filesystem still remain, in particular the shortcuts to the home directory...
Where I'd like to go is the following : replace $HOME with home:/$USER everywhere, this way the user will be "on the right track" by default (in the system:/ hierarchy).
Of course this would raise some issues on interoperability mainly because there's no consensus about the available VFS protocols between desktops. I currently see two problems in this area (I'll use media:/ as example since it's older and more known, but everything I'll present is true with home:/ as well):
- Opening a file in the system:/ (media:/) hierarchy. When opening a file with an application, the application is launched thanks to its desktop file, and %u is replaced with the file URL (a media:/ URL for example). It'll work flawlessly with most KDE applications since they support KIO. But, some of them don't really support KIO completely (Kaffeine for example because it uses xine which only support some protocols like http and file). Moreover, non-KDE applications know nothing about media:/ URLs!
Then two things have been introduced: - KIO::NetAccess::mostLocalURL() which allows KDE applications to resolve an URL to a file:/ URL if needed (and if possible). - X-KDE-Protocols key in desktop files, which allows to restrict the set of supported protocols for an applications. Anything not present in this set is automatically resolved to file:/ URLs if possible before launching the application.
This way, we keep the compatibility with most applications, and KDE applications are able to have more control on the process. I then consider this issue as solved, the real solution would be of course to ensure that any non-KDE application could deal with any KDE URL but that's definitely not feasible currently, it would require a common VFS across all desktops, something that we won't have before a long time IMO.
- Drag and Dropping a file from the system:/ (media:/) hierarchy. It's the same kind of issue than opening a file. The main difference being that the application is already running, so the only counter-measure that can apply is KIO::NetAccess::mostLocalURL(), then only KDE applications can resolve the URLs to file:/ URLs... I've find no real way to make it work for non-KDE applications. Suggestions are welcome!
- a) Replacing $HOME with home:/$USER right now?
- b) Replacing $HOME with home:/$USER for KDE 4 only?
- c) Give up the whole idea?
- d) Something else?
Any opinions? advices?