I don't like Ubuntu Nautilus Spatial mode, then one that makes close the window when you open a subfolder. It is anti-ergonomic, because there are a lot of case when you still want the upper folder (just to open another one). I hate even more the fact that I got that option silently when upgrading the package but not only the first time I run Nautilus. I think that if the option was not there, then it shoudln't be enabled, and if the option is not there, unless you are initializing the whold Nautilus gconf tree. That is the route I'd have taken. Thanks to Gconf, I disabled it, because they forgot to put a UI together for that... that reminds me another GNOME feature where the UI has been forgotten and the expense of user's pain.

For those who don't know, the Nautilus Spatial Mode is that opening a folder opens a new window. This is how the Finder on MacOS was designed back in 1984. On MacOS, pressing the option key (also labelled Alt) close the previous window while opening a new one. In Nautilus, this is with Shift, but the idea is the same.

Ubuntu decided to put that option to close the previous window automatically by default, reverting the effect of the Shift key. There is even a bug 8516 about that, because it is not popular.

I think that what should be written in Nautilus is a "browser" view. By "browser" I mean what Nextstep now MacOS X call browser. Hierchical browsing with adjacent columns... This coupled with a spatial mode and you have a powerful file management. Perhaps should I file a bug if it doesn't exist yet... (or do it, but that is another story)