Spatial or Browser: What do you prefer?

What do you prefer: Spatial or Browser navigation?

Spatial: Each folder is represented by a single window, meaning a new window is opened for each folder. This is the default mode in Haiku.

Browser: Each folder is opened in the same window. This can be activated in Tracker preferences using Single window navigation.

[quote=Earl Colby Pottinger]Browser style would be a horror to develop code in.

Personally, handling the different directories while writing code works a lot better in spatial mode.[/quote]
While I think ‘horror’ is an exaggeration, I can see that it might be less practical for certain situations.

However, it’s not like browser mode can’t be improved, I’m using Thunar on linux for my day-to-day work and it’s in browser mode, however I can simply right click on any directory and use the context menu to ‘Open in new window’ which solves this downside to browsing style very elegantly.

Haiku could add something like this, or perhaps a key-press which together with a left-mouse click on a directory would open it in a new window.

I like browser mode. I always switch to browser mode. This is one of the first things I change in Haiku. Spatial opens too many windows for me. For some reason the developers really like spatial mode but I cannot understand why. Seems harder to use and keep track of a bunch of open windows all over the place.

Browser mode for me too. Spatial is cool too, but I am too much used to browser mode, less windows.

IMO Tracker is the best file manager ever created. It puts in shame every other file manager out there.

tonestone57 wrote:
I like browser mode. I always switch to browser mode. This is one of the first things I change in Haiku.

Full ack!
It’s the very first thing i do right after a fresh HAIKU installation (and since using BeOS back in the days in 2000/2001…) :slight_smile:
I also like the addressbar where you can navigate through typing in the wanted target-location. Combined with the (godlike) Right-Mouse-Click-Navigation™, Tracker provides IMHO the best navigation feeling i ever used on graphical user environments. It’s just flexible in all directions.
Using HAIKU and Linux at work i’m always frustrated when switching to gnome desktop and hitting the right mouse button…
Hell i love this Tracker!

A little bit OT:
AFAR there has been a HOME-button on OpenTracker (or Navi-Tracker?) in BeOS for jumping back to /home folder and a Terminal-button on Zeta which provided to open current location in Terminal. Neat features…

Have a nice day,

When I open a file manager, I want that window to show the folder I intent to browse. Therefor I prefer the browser style. I am also a keyboard guy, meaning I use the keyboard as much as possible. Therefor, I use type-ahead filtering.

I recorded a video showing how I use Tracker (plays in VLC):

I prefer browser style myself.

Browser mode for me too… actually spatial is one of the most irritating things I have come across. Its mostly that I have to close a bazillion windows when I was only doing one task that I find rather insane.

Browser seems safer. Running 2 or 3 instances of spatial for file transfers between several drives or partitions can get dangerous with that huge forest of windows. Then you have to shut them all!

But spatial seems traditional default even going back to BeOS R4. Wonder why? - must be a PPC thing? I try to think MacOS when puzzled by stuff like that since that was the target back then. …an easy transition from MacOS to BeOS.

You know, right click open in new window would be better for times when you are working in a root directory and need to get into multiple folders.

This is the second setting I ususlly change on a new Haiku install. Right after changing the video screen mode. I need the navigator and Single window navigation. How does one deal with spacial mode anyway? In my opinion it is completely useless.


Browser mode is far better for me - i’m using BeOS since many years and Haiku from Alpha 1 - and for some friends of mine* with Haiku installed.

*They are beginners, the first time they didn’t know how to change this setting.

Yes, the default settings for the filebrowser are really bad. When I used Haiku the first time, it was very annoying to have so many windows, and as a newbie you dont know the settings and the shortcuts that are available.
The first thing i do after installing haiku, is of course changing all that settings. I can not understsand why “browser mode” is not the default mode. Just because of nostalgic sentiments?

This ticket:
Ticket #7837 shows how the devs feel. I think they are wrong, but I am not a developer.

Yep, like others here I set browser mode directly after install, I also move the deskbar down and change copy/paste to windows/linux style (I know it’s kinda less practical in terminal but my brain is just hard-wired to those keys).

It’s great that Haiku is flexible and easily adjusted in these ways.

Browser style would be a horror to develop code in.

To me it looks like a common theme that people who like to do one thing at a time, like the browser mode.

Personally, handling the different directories while writing code works a lot better in spatial mode.

I prefer Browser mode, the developers should look at this thread.

I prefer spatial mode. One reason is Haiku’s attributes that other platforms don’t have to account for. They traditionally only show name, size, date. I want my windows’ size to remain how I left it, showing all attributes I need, e.g. with emails. The position isn’t that important to me most of the time, but sometimes that is as well.
I mostly use keyboard navigation, in part because I always feel the touchpad being too imprecise. So, navigating with type-ahead-filtering and moving up and down with (OPT+)ALT+Cursor is very natural to me. Sometimes, I do change to an emtpy workspace, navigate to my hearts content, never minding many open windows. After I did what I came to do, a quick ALT+Q closes any mess I may have left behind on that workspace.

I do wonder, however, if the auto-closing with the OPT key shouldn’t be reversed, i.e. have windows auto-close by default and only keep it open when holding OPT. Considering that most of the time you don’t want a window left open when drilling down. That would also cut down the newbie-issue of leaving a buttload of windows open.

Personally, I’d even go with the right-click-drill-down-navigation more often, if it had the type-ahead(-filtering) feature…


I also have written more than 10.000 lines of code related to haiku, and always in browser mode.
You can open the filebrowser in browser mode as often as you like, then you can stack&tile them how you like and you can code.

In any case the spatial mode is a very bad idea, becasue if you dont know the short-cuts you end up with a screen full of windows.
New users dont know that shortcuts, and they get a bad impression. Even more, i think the whole haiku gui should take away the focus from keyboard and concentrate more on the mouse/pointer, because I guess that touch screens will become more and more important. I want to have haiku on an ARM with touch screen. That still may take some time, but who knows what the next year can bring :stuck_out_tongue: