Why do you need the alternative?
The right click menu in nautilus is growing. For example, right click menu of a typical folder in Nautilus have almost 20 entries. This can be quite annoying from a newbie user point of view. Someone who is not so familiar with shortcuts may find it really hard to do basic stuff like say, delete/copy a file/folder etc.
How it works?
According to the designer, this is how it works. "First, when an element (folder or file) is selected, small icons appear all around it. These icons will help to execute very quickly some actions like copy/cut/paste, delete, sync, send to, etc (these actions are examples and could be personalized). Available actions could be different between a folder and a file and even change with MIME type of files (e.g. Open with...). Right click should not disappear but it should be use for advanced uses only.
These icons could be considered as graphical shortcuts. Actions will be execute very quickly because it do not need a long right click menu and main moves could be easily memorized."
This is not the kind of stuff you see everyday. And I think, it is an interesting idea indeed. When you consider the original idea closely, it is more like an extension of the music preview functionality of Nautilus, at least in terms of its workflow.
And as the author puts it, this feature could be very useful for touch-screen because it is possible to interact with icons without using right click which is not available with multitouch. So what do you guys think?