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File selector should remember last selected folder
Closed, InvalidPublic

Description

first: This is not a bug but more something of the kind "unexpected interface behaviour" . Please advise if there is a better location for this kind of report.

Whenever i open a file selector for exporting/importing something from/to Blender the file selection box starts at a fixed location (c:\\ for me on windows).
I think that the default folder given now is in almost every case NOT what the user wants. On the other hand i have the very strong impression that in almost every case a revisit of the previous selected folder is much more convenient.

Of course i can quickly select a previous location from the "Recent" section. But setting the default to the most recent used folder would be "less wrong" IMHO :)

Event Timeline

File selector is using current .blend file folder by default and stores last folder during single blender session. If you'll quit and run blender again, folder of current .blend file would be used again. For unsaved files it'll be / on linux and c:\ on windows.
Don't actually think changing it to use previous location by default would be nice idea. In you case it'll help, but in other cases it might be more annoying than using / or c:\.
Thanks for the report, but this is that kind of things which can not fit all audience and using recent location seems to be better compromise.

Sergey Sharybin (sergey) changed the task status from Unknown Status to Invalid.May 8 2012, 11:36 AM

Sergey, IMHO "remember last folder" is better. You can always find another folders b'coz there are quick links to all drives and recent locations. But when you're working on the same project again and again and also need to distract your attention on some other blends - it's really better to have this behavior of remembering the last place. Time saver IMHO.

Project you're working on might consist of several .blend files in different locations and every location will have textures/bake data just near .blend files which are using it. When you'll be switching working on such files you'll probably want faster access to that textures/bake/etc data which is relevant for current file. Current behavior of file browser deals with this in a best way. But if you'll be switching between different files and file browser will continue remembering location from previous location it'll be more annoying than it is currently.

After some more thoughts i think that the current setting is 99.99% wrong.
I mean... whoever would want to store production data on the system folder ?

So in 99.99 percent of all possible cases a user is highly recommended
to change the folder every time when the he/she starts a new blend file
or reopens an existing blend file.

I guess the following proposal could be a good way to solve this problem
and make it 80% correct which would be a vast improvement IMHO :)

1.) Store the last used folder in the current blend file.

So when i reopen the blend file then i get back to my previous
used settings in the current blend file context instead of the
default settings.

2.) Use a more adequate location for the default folder,

/tmp or %TMP% comes to mind ...

3.) Add user preference for the default folder

So i can define my personal default export folder for
fresh projects (surely weak, but better than using "/" )

It's system folder only if current file is not saved. If it's saved folder with current .blend file would be used, which is not so wrong.
I'm not actually sure if suggested ways would be much more helpful than using recent locations/bookmarks. Storing folder in blend file might make sense but it's still tricky. You might want to store audio/video/bakes in different locations, so at least to be more expected this default paths better be separated somehow? user preference is not good either, it's still kind of silly.
But well, it's not actually a bug and it's in our TODO page http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:2.5/Source/Development/Todo/Editors#File_Selector

Couldn't it be made an option in User preferences?

UserPreferencesFilePaths
.use_last_used_path --> checkbox
.default_directory --> string property

use_last_used_path would open the file dialog with the remembered directory

default_directory would be used instead of C: by default (just in case it doesn't exists, e.g. removable drive, fallback to C: on windows)

@Sebastian,
It's still far away from ideal situation. Which directory should i set? What if i'm working on several projects at the same time? And what should be there by default? Don't think that options would be so much useful. And still can not see why configurable single default folder is better than a bit smarter bookmarks (like allow custom names for them)?