Marlin draw icons on desktop

Bug #898201 reported by Owais Lone
This bug affects 16 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
In Progress

Bug Description

Is there any chance you can make marlin draw the icons on the desktop? It is one of the very important features to replace Nautilus on Ubuntu

xapantu (xapantu)
Changed in marlin:
status: New → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Medium
Revision history for this message
Lee Hyde (anubeon) wrote :

What would be nice is if Marlin could draw icons on a per workspace basis. Any desktop files could be stored in '~/Desktop/' (to insure compatibility with other file managers and dual-boot set-ups) with symlinks stored in the appropriate '~/Desktop/.workspace#'. Failing that however, simply drawing desktop icons would be a boon to some (although I've gotten used to my uncluttered desktop to be honest).

I think it's important though to draw the line at drawing the desktop background, that isn't within the remit of a file manager like Marlin in my view (the incompatibility between nautilus and compiz's wallpaper plug-in being a case in point).

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Owais Lone (loneowais) wrote :

Hmm, that is indeed an interesting idea

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Cassidy James Blaede (cassidyjames) wrote :

If desktop drawing is added, I think it's very important to keep it as an option and off by default. There are lighter weight solutions to drawing a desktop than a file manager, and that's one of the reasons Marlin is able to be as lightweight as it is. I'd hate to see unnecessary weight added to the file manager.

Revision history for this message
Lee Hyde (anubeon) wrote :

A plug-in perhaps?

@Cassidy James

What other solutions are there for drawing icons (only) on the desktop. I absolutely agree that a file manager shouldn't be handling the drawing for the desktop background/wallpaper, but I am unfamiliar with any lightweight alternatives for those who want icons on their desktop. I'm completely on the fence vis. whether, if such a feature were implemented, it should be set on/off by default. Downstream packagers can always make that decision I suppose.

ammonkey (am-monkeyd)
Changed in marlin:
importance: Medium → Wishlist
Revision history for this message
Timo Reimerdes (timorei) wrote :

I have by now almost completely switched to marlin as my everyday filemanager.

I have tried hacking nautilus to draw the desktop but open marlin, if a folder is clicked - but all I managed to do is to turn nautilus into a horrible buggy and crashing mess. Also I managed to add a horrible memory leak...

Would it make sense to not-have-marlin-do-it, but to think of a desktop as something else entirely (kindof the plasma-desktop approach)? Maybe something that is a marlin-plugin? Honestly, I can't see how there could be a really clean way to have a filemanager draw icons on a desktop. It's not what filemanagers are supposed to do.

I think the only reason why anyone is even bugging you with this is, because nautilus does the desktop-icons right now (and pcmanfm does so, as well) - when all that is really wanted is a "non window, always in the background, transparent, no window-decoration, fullscreen canvas with icons on it that use default applications/operations when clicked and providing the same rightlick menu as the filemanager plus maybe background settings link".

Ok, some additional features might be interesting: sorting (rtl, ltr,...) grid, spacing, icon-sizes, icon-orientation, show volumes, ...

It really does sound like something very-not-marlin, doesn't it?

Any news on this feature? Have you started on anything? Is there maybe something standalone around already?

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ammonkey (am-monkeyd) wrote :

"kindof the plasma-desktop approach"
That's what i got in mind too. I don't know if marlin drawing the destkop really make sense, i like the kde plasma approach, i don't think a desktop is resumed to icons only. But while in the past the desktop was the only overlay, today with gnome-shell or unity with respectively the activities overlay and the lenses, the desktop is less and less interesting. Still thoses new overlays are very limited and we're far from what our old desktop have to offer. So it's a dilema :) (to draw or not to draw the desktop)

From the existing, we already got applications similar to the folder widget plasma like screenlet and recently i discovered another project called DesktopFolders, which is a light weight clone of the screenlet FolderView widget coded in vala.

Althought i could just embed a marlin icon view in a transparent windows with some tailored arrangement like what u just said ltr rtl etc.

There's some other nice project/idea about a temporary place to organize stuff for the desktop i found interesting like The Board(but i think it's kinda dead), grape for macos is somewhat, a really interesting idea too

As u see for the moment i didn't even started anything about the desktop, i am still questioning myself and it's not even sure i'll do something about it. If u have some interesting ideas please step up :)

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Timo Reimerdes (timorei) wrote :
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I think there are some pretty strong arguments for having the desktop act just like an almost default file-manager window:

a) Consistency:
- You set your filemanger to "open on single click" - your desktop takes the same setting and behaves just like that
- You have your default applications and actions and scripts for filetypes and folders and you get the same on files that are presented on your desktop
- You get the - mostly - same right-click menu, no matter where you click on "something" (file, folder, link,...)

b) Convenience:
- Drag and Drop: A folder draged to the desktop remains a folder and does not turn into "something else" like a folderview.
- A file on the desktop is simply(!) easier accessible and less obfuscated by structures (simple being good!)

c) Realtion to Real-Life-Desks:
- Put the stuff you are working with "on your desktop" and open what you are working on
- Maybe even the trashcan on the desktop - it's a not-so-far abstraction of the real thing in your office beside your desk

d) It's obvious:
There is a folder. On the desktop.
There is an icon, that looks like the firefox icon. On the desktop.
There is an icon, that looks like a harddrive-icon. On the desktop.
There is a trashcan. Looks like something's in it. On the desktop.
... I doubt that there is any point where any user would wonder "oh, I wonder what and where that could be or do?"

On the other hand, I have absolutely no doubt that this really is not a filemanager's job. And if marlin is supposed to keep this professional "do one thing and do it well" focus, then implementing a "desktop-item-system" into the filemanger itself is like adding paint-tools to a documentviewer.

About Grape:
While being a neat idea, it fails in some of the strong arguments: It's not as accessible as a simple-folders/files on the desktop.
It does not "keep things as simple as they could be".

About DesktopFolders:
A nice idea. As a widget. But it is a bit weird to create a view, that would be the easiest and most understanable if used fullscreen, witout decoration and show the contents of a specific folder: i.e. $HOME or $DESKTOP ... it's the same thing, just a bit more spiffy.
There is the benefit of having the ability to display several folders at the same time, while maintaining structure. At the tradeoff of making things more complicated and "cluttering" the desktop pane.

Excuse me if I am getting carried away now. I'm just taking a break from work and this is great food for the brain-bug!

I honestly believe that the best and cleanest way to do this, is to create an application for the desktop that collaborates with marlin. Call it "ocean" or whatever.

Now I'm fairly shure I remember marlin's main funktionality not being a ;) Too bad, because this application could actually use something like that very well - to avoid non-beneficial redundancy and profit from common optimizations and bugfixes.

This application would basically be the icon-view-area of marlin, wi...


ammonkey (am-monkeyd)
Changed in marlin:
status: Triaged → In Progress
assignee: nobody → ammonkey (am-monkeyd)
Revision history for this message
ammonkey (am-monkeyd) wrote :

U'd be happy to know that it's currently under development

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Aleve Sicofante (sicofante) wrote :

You made my day. Bring on the alphas!!!

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David Raid (davidraid) wrote :

Fantastic! Is this being developed as a plugin or a core feature?

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ammonkey (am-monkeyd) wrote :

It is a core feature, just like compact and icon view are in fact the same view with different layouting, desktop view is an icon view with some "floating" elements. It has little impact on the rest of the application. Marlin would stay a fast & light application with or without desktop integration.

Revision history for this message
probono (probono) wrote :

This is great news. Please bring back $HOME/Desktop and have the icons render correctly on the desktop. Finally elementary OS will be a proper "desktop" OS again.


ammonkey (am-monkeyd)
Changed in marlin:
milestone: none → 0.9
Revision history for this message
udit mahajan (mahajanudit) wrote :

@probono. Please don't connect Marlin with elementary OS.. It is bad and incomplete.

We already have real "Desktop" os in linux: Debian, Fedora, Arch, Ubuntu so on and so forth.

We just need a better version of Nautilus out there..

Revision history for this message
udit mahajan (mahajanudit) wrote :

I meant ElementaryOS is bad and incomplete, not marlin. I just read my comment and it seems like i am bashing marlin...

Keep up the good work.

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otyugh (otyugh-8) wrote :

I totaly need this ! :(

Revision history for this message
Davim (davim) wrote :

Any news on this 0.9 version? Is there any way I can test it?


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