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Nautilus is causing a lot of controversy lately: Linux Mint is forking it, SolusOS has added some patches to make it more usable, and the Ubuntu developers don't agree with its direction either and are thinking on going back to Nautilus 3.4.x for Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal.

nautilus 3.4
Nautilus 3.4.x

Update: Nautilus 3.5.x has been removed from Ubuntu 12.10 and Nautilus 3.4.2 is now used as default in the latest Ubuntu 12.10 Beta 1.

In a comment on a Launchpad bug posted yesterday, Sebastien Bacher, software engineer at Canonical, has said that Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal might go back to Nautilus 3.4, even though Nautilus 3.5.x is already in the Quantal repositories:

[...] we are looking at going back to nautilus 3.4 for quantal but it's good to have a good view of the issues with the new version

Pantheon Files, used by default in elementary OS Luna, a Marlin fork

In a later comment, he also adds his personal opinion, saying that he's leaning toward shipping Nautilus 3.4.x on the CD for Quantal, but shipping 3.6.x in the archive too. And that's not all, Sebastien also says that Ubuntu might decide to either follow GNOME or join efforts with the Marlin or Nemo teams and use one of these by default in Ubuntu, instead of Nautilus:

Looking around us "elementary os" has its own filemanager (marlin, written in vala), "mint" just started their own project "nemo" which is a fork of nautilus 3.4 ... we might decide to follow GNOME, try joining efforts with the marlin or nemo team to maintain a full featured file manager or maintain our own filemanager (less likely at this point, that's not a topic which was raised before)

Further more, in a message posted on the Nautilus mailing list, Sebastien Bacher says that Ubuntu might even follow GNOME with one cycle delay, for instance, using GNOME 3.4 on Ubuntu 12.10 (this won't happen with Ubuntu 12.10, it's just an example):

[...] The way GNOME is currently working though is making difficult for us (Ubuntu) to take decisions on what to do. We traditionally have the Ubuntu Developer Summit at the start of our cycle (which is start of the GNOME cycle as well) and we plan work for the next release. At the time of UDS none of the nautilus changes that happened this cycle were announced so we didn't discuss that topic, but we got quite surprised by the new direction nautilus is taking (while we were already on the 3.5 serie) and we are trying to ponder what to do next.

The lesson that we learned this cycle is that GNOME is not planning their work enough in advance or communicating enough for us to keep basing our distribution on the current unstable GNOME versions. If that situation doesn't change we might well start following GNOME with one cycle delay (i.e building our next version on the current stable rather than following the current unstable), we can't really build a solid product on shifting code where the direction is not communicated in advance. The issue is not specific to nautilus though and this list might not be the best place to discuss that...

What do you think?