With GTK 4.9.1 , Nautilus' target for "Move To" or "Copy To" operations is unexpected and can be invalid
With GTK 4.9.1, Nautilus' behaviour when using the "Move To" or "Copy To" features has changed in a rather unexpected way.
Let's say we want to copy a file, "test.txt", from our Downloads folder to our Documents folder, which already contains a file, "original.txt". We go to Downloads, right click on "test.txt", and click "Copy To...". We see a screen like this:
(This is already odd, but let's pretend we didn't notice for now, and continue). We click Documents. Now we see a screen like this:
We're where we want to put the file, right? We clicked the folder we want to put it in, and we're there. Great. Now we click the Select button...and nothing at all happens. The dialog does not close. The file is not copied.
The reason is that the directory Documents is not used as the attempted target for the operation. The file Documents/original.txt is used as the attempted target. You can't copy a file "to" another file, so nothing happens (possibly some kind of error should be shown, but presumably this is such an unexpected scenario Nautilus has never thought to guard against it). Note how "original.txt" has a grey highlight in the screenshot. That's new: if you do the exact same steps on GTK 4.8.2, when you click on Documents, the existing "original.txt" does not have a grey highlight.
You can confirm this diagnosis with a few similar steps. Copying or moving a file into an empty directory does work. If you attempt to copy or move a file into a directory whose first element (in the current sort order) is a subdirectory, the operation will "work" but the file will wind up somewhere you didn't expect - inside the subdirectory. For instance, assuming alphabetical sort order, if we create a directory "asubdir" inside our Documents folder and repeat the test, the file will wind up in Documents/asubdir , not in Documents.