Feature request: Automatic scroll upwards in case of new file. Feedback needed

Years ago I used a mac with OSX and it had one feature which I really miss on Gnome. Let’s say I have my file manager open, showing the Downloads folder. When I then switch to the browser, download a file, and then switch back to the file manager, the new file is out of scope because it appeared above the last file on top. The file manager in OSX then automatically scrolls up to show the new file. Currently in Nautilus however, I have to manually scroll up before seeing the file.

I’ve been using Gnome for years and I love it, but I really really miss this tiny feature because it happens many times per day for me (and I guess for many other people too). I asked about this feature on AskUbuntu but that only resulted in a suggestion to do a feature request. On the Gnome gitlab it says feature requests are best discussed here first, which is why I’m posting here.

I’m a developer myself, but only in Python/php/Java/Go and not in C. Unfortunately I cannot commit the time needed to program this myself (and learn C in the process… :slight_smile: ). It would be great if we can at least discuss the technical implementation of this feature.

For this to work I guess you need the following:

  • Store the last time the nautilus window was selected/in focus. I’m not sure if this is done already.
  • When selecting the nautilus window again (in some kind of OnSelectEvent() it should check whether files are sorted on created_datetime, and whether there are one or more files higher in the list than the current shown files and whether all these out of scope files are created after the last time the nautilus window was selected.
  • If the above is true, then nautilus should visibly scroll up to the newest created files and maybe also highlight those new files for a second or so.

Could people more knowledgeable than me chip in with their thoughts about this?

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Thanks for sharing your idea here!

I think we need to be careful with automatic scrolling like this. If the user has previously scrolled further down, scrolling up automatically might be undesired and disruptive. So, I’d add the following condition:

  • If scrolling position was not the top of the view before, don’t scroll up.

And this is how the new list view in 43 is going to work. You can test the Nightly build here: Apps/Nightly - GNOME Wiki!

Hi @antoniof - Thanks for your reply. Are you saying that this feature is already implemented in the nighly build?

Because in that case I might run the nightly version of nautilus

At least in part, yes. If you get the opportunity to test the nightly flatpak, I’d very much like to know your feedback.

Just installed it and it’s awesome! Works like a charm. Not exactly like I described; it automatically scrolls up when the file is downloaded, not when nautilus is focused again, but this also works great.

I do feel it is slightly more polished in the way I described/how it is now on MacOS. However, this totally solves my problem and I’ll run this nightly version from now on.

One more question; when will this be released in a production release? I’m still running Ubuntu 20.04 but will probably update to 22.04 within a couple months from now. I know you guys build Gnome and not Ubuntu, but do you know whether we can expect it to land in 22.04 at some point? Or will this be added to 22.10 or even 23.04?

I added the suggestion to use the nightly version to the AskUbuntu question, including the commands to install and run it. Hopefully that gets you guys some more feedback.

Thanks a million, not only for suggesting this, but also for building Gnome. It’s awesome and I use it every day!

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Thanks a lot for your kind words!

The 43 release is due in September, but it may reach different system distributions at different times. I have no idea which version is going to be included in ubuntu 22.10.

It’s awesome that you are willing to keep testing the Nightly. Please report any bugs you find and don’t appear to have been reported yet.

However, I’d like to warn you that, due to running in a flatpak sandbox, the Nightly build has known limitations not present in the production builds. E.g. the “Open With…” dialog doesn’t actually list all installed apps.

Thanks for the info. That is indeed something I occasionally need. Plus, I see that sushi is now also not installed.

Is there a way that I can install the nightly version natively? I suppose I need to build it manually then? Or are there other ways?

Sounds like a bug. I’ll take a look.

You’d need to build it manually yes. But it’s really not advisable to natively install unfinished software.

Fix proposed https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/nautilus/-/merge_requests/948

Awesome. I’m looking forward to it being merged. After that I’ll update my flatpak install and test it again.

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