On one of my computers I use Linux Mint with Cinnamon which is based on Nemo File Manager and on another computer I use Ubuntu 22.04 which is based on Nautilus File Manager.
What I find very useful on Linux Mint with Cinnamon is the possibility of sorting the order of folders by Drag & Drop, i.e. the order I want (possible in List View / Compact View mode). Also Pin Folders To Top is very useful, a point I have already made here on the Nautilus forum.
Case Study - (View files and folders with Show List, not grid)
Suppose you have the folders:
With Drag & Drop sorting you can quickly arrange folders in the desired order something like this:
At the moment this is not possible in Nautilus, the only messy solution would be to add numbers in front of the folders, something like 01.B, 02.A, 03.E and so on. But this solution is total madness. Think of having 50 folders where the order of the folders can be dynamic (i.e. they change frequently in the workflow process). If 01.B changes to another position, then the numbering of the folders becomes chaotic, all numbers become irrelevant and they all have to be changed. So this is not a solution!
Why and where does Drag & Drop file sorting in Nautilus become important?
When you work and do Multi Tasking.
Think of your Project Manager assigning tasks to you every day in a CRM like Jira. But the project changes on the fly and the new tasks in the next 2 weeks assume that the priority order is to work in folders 21, 7, 16, 19, 3 (folders have names, not numbers) and then to centralize everything in folders 7, 29 and 10. Doesn’t it seem chaotic that Nautilus doesn’t let you sort your folders by Drag & Drop, which would help you in your daily work?
I wonder if Nautilus developers use Nautilus in their daily work? How is it possible that in the year 2023 none of the developers will have encountered this problem?
The solution is to allow Nautilus sorting folders manually by Drag & Drop (user desired order).
Pin to Top is really very useful. But combined with Drag & Drop folder sorting, it would be a masterpiece in terms of workflow speed.
I think the solution is relatively simple, exactly the same solution now present in Sidebar. On the Sidebar you can now bring up items that you can later drag & drop up or down as you wish. As long as the separator line doesn’t appear if you drop the mouse click too early the folder returns to its original position. And if you drag & drop the folder over another folder and the “green - OK” appears then that folder moves to that location (in that folder).
Even in Windows (I’m not a fan) it is possible to arrange folders by Drag & Drop. Not to mention SaaS apps like Confluence (by Jira), GitBook, OneNote where Drag & Drop sorting has been around for years. It makes sense, because it’s in the human DNA to arrange things the way you want, the way you like, not through some artificial filter designed by someone else.
As far as I can see the ingenious solution that Confluence applies to make drag & drop folder sorting work in List View mode is “separate storage” of user action in a new filter “My sorting”. Like storing the sorting action in a new filter e.g. “My sorting (user sorting)”. Just as there are already present filters like A-Z, Z-A, Type, etc so it can be created a new filter like “My sorting”, and this filter to remember what user sorting by Drag & Drop. This way all other filters remain active and can all work in List View mode if user want to use other filters in List View mode. So the user can go back to the “My sorting” filter which actually stored his actions by “Drag & Drop”.
So my conclusion is that there should be present a new filter “My sorting”. This filter displays the folders sorted by the “Drag & Drop” user actions. This way the other filters remain active and can be used in List View mode without problems.
Except that Confluence and the other players have made this " My Sorting" the default filter.
Personally, given that there is A-Z sorting and even search (these are counter-arguments), I wouldn’t bet on custom sorting.
But, it’s not me who decides. To make what you want more interesting, you could say why other sorting options and search aren’t enough, how custom ordering would benefit most users, and how it would be useful if it was combined with sorting by color (imagining we have this feature).