Nautilus 3.2.1 – File Notes Tab Missing Issue


It seems that the "Notes" tab in the "File Properties" dialog is gone in Nautilus 3.2.1/Ubuntu 11.10. How can you use the notes feature now? What do you do about notes that you have already made? Is there a patch or an extension for this, or is it planning to be fixed in the future? (Why was it removed?) (Related question about portability of notes.)

Best Answer

A similar question to this was asked from "Emblems and Backgrounds" and I'm afraid its a similar answer.

The Gnome Devs thought these capabilities were rarely used and in-order to streamline the codebase they removed this as core GUI functionality.

Fortunately, the same terminal based commands can be used since the metadata capabilities have been retained:

for example, here is a v11.10 nautilus screen-shot with notes added via the command line.

enter image description here

As to "is it planning to be fixed" - again a similar answer - like "emblems" - this is regarded as third-party supported - i.e. not core nautilus capabilities.

I'm not aware of anybody deciding to take on this challenge - so here is my poor substitute:

enter image description here

Choosing the right-click menu option Notes displays the notes for a file which you can amend.

enter image description here

To do this I used my answer to this Q&A to execute the following file:


# basic - and I mean basic bash script to display & set notes
# feel free to enhance!
# fossfreedom (askubuntu)  27/12/11

notestext=`gvfs-info $1 | grep annotation | sed s/' metadata::annotation: '/''/g`

newnotes=`zenity --entry --width=500 --title=$1 --text="current notes:" --entry-text="$notestext"`

# handle the case where the user has pressed cancel

if [ $? = 1 ]; then 

# ok - got this far - lets change the notes for the file selected

gvfs-set-attribute -t string $1 metadata::annotation "$newnotes"

Zenity doesn't support multiple line entry - a more robust pythondialog type implementation will be required... my python skills aren't up-to this job though!

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