so I've been doing a lot of personal research on operating systems lately, partially inspired by my personal projects with Linux.
Prior to getting into Linux I didn't really understand the differences between an OS and it's desktop environment. Part of learning that, I've also been delving a lot into the alternative approaches to desktop and CLI environments, like Plan9, Xiki, MSN (a pre www internet network system that MS tried to foist on people) launchers versus start menus versus docks versus taskbars in addition to delving into some of the "widget" and OS UI hacking communities (stuff like Conky, Rainmeter, etc)
One thing I was thinking about recently was the desktop itself. As in the screen, the background where people have little icons etc. I recently started using a mac for work and I find it very annoying how it auto saves all screenshots to the desktop. It occurred to me though that the desktop is a view into a particular folder, much like a file manager.... so why can't the desktop ALSO be the file manager?
What I mean is that the default view of the computer GUI when no other windows are open looks like the normal desktop except for some very basic minimal file manager type UI built into the topbar/dock/taskbar/system-tray/sidemenu/whatever.
Has this been done before? It seems sort of obvious as a thing to try and I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of that, but it's basically impossible to search "file manager desktop" online and get any meaningful results related to my query.
And no, I'm not just some amateur "idea guy" who has posted to UX-SE because I think I've come up with some genius UI pattern idea. I don't even know if this ui pattern is worth pursuing or how functional it is but I'm curious if it's been done before.