I've searched the forums, wiki, and Thunar documentation for an answer to my issue. My apologies if I've missed the answer or if the answer is obvious.
When viewing a directory which contains .desktop files within Thunar, the name of the file is not displayed. Instead, the value of the "Name" attribute within the .desktop file is displayed. In my opinion this behavior is a bit odd. I would expect a file manager to display contents of a directory rather than contents of files within that directory.
Is this the expected behavior? Is there a way for me to configure Thunar so that it lists the names of files and directories within a directory?
I took a few screenshots to illustrate what is happening, but I can't attach them to my post.
This is perfectly normal. And AFAIK .desktop files are the only exception to the normal behavior. I don't think there's an easy way to change it.
If you need to see the real filename or rename the file, you can always open the directory with the custom action Terminal and do a ls/mv.
So if this is the expected behavior of Thunar, may I ask why? To me it seems strange that a file manager doesn't actually display the names of files.
Most of the time I navigate my filesystems using the command line. However, there are times when a GUI tool is better suited to the task. Copying/moving a group of files comes to mind. If the tool doesn't actually display the file names then that benefit is lessened. Not only that, it is mis-representing the contents of a directory.
I must agree it's quite weird.
I guess (and I might be wrong) the function that displays filenames is shared among routines for the sake of simplicity/less code, and it checks for the special ".desktop" files first so that it will display "Name" instead of "name.desktop" in the Send Menu and elsewhere, including the main file list.