MAR
1
2007

The Road to KDE 4: Dolphin and Konqueror

As some of you who monitor the KDE news sphere may have noticed, there has been a recent addition to the kdebase module. The Dolphin File Manager has been added to complement Konqueror's browsing capabilities. Read on for more information about this new File Manager and its relationship to Konqueror and the rest of KDE.

A brief history lesson so you can get an overview of how file management has evolved with KDE: In KDE 1.x, KFM (the KDE File Manager) was born. It was a very rudimentary, very basic file manager with limited web browsing capabilities. Below is a shot of KFM browsing files (from the kde.org screenshot archive) so you get an idea of how it operated.

While it's obvious that KDE has come a long way since KDE 1.x, it is still easy to see which parts of KFM have inspired Konqueror's contemporary design, which was introduced as part of KDE 2.0. KParts technology revolutionized the way we used our File Manager application, turning Konqueror into a full fledged web-browser, and more. Here's a shot of Konqueror from KDE 3.5.6, and you can see that while the user interface is much improved, the same basic concepts remain visible from the KFM days.

Konqueror really shines as a beacon of KDE technologies in the KDE 2.x and 3.x series, showcasing the best parts of KDE technologies. Konqueror showcased the power of KDE's IO slaves, allowing true network transparency when managing your files over FTP, fish (SSH), HTTP, and much more. Konqueror is so advanced that you can enter an FTP URL into a HTML upload form and it just works as you would logically expect it to (as far as I know, it is the only browser which allows this). It also featured KParts, which allowed it to embed just about any sort of viewer required, directly into the interface, embedding things like KPDF, KWord, image viewers, and most importantly, the ever-improving KHTML page renderer. This is important, since even Konqueror's icon views were implemented as pluggable parts, making just about any kind of icon view possible.

So, Konqueror is a really powerful tool that can do just about everything you and your system can possibly want, and with this power comes unlimited configurability and extensibility through control modules and plugins. However, what often happens in Konqueror when you are browsing the internet is that Konqueror still wants to behave as a file manager and not a web browser. This split behavior is easily noticed through elements such as toolbar buttons. For example: the "Up" arrow is still available on the toolbar even when browsing Google Maps, but it is totally irrelevant in this context; another is having a web bookmarks toolbar visible while sorting icons in your /home folder.

Introducing Dolphin: Dolphin is a new File Manager for KDE 4 which is dedicated 100% to file management, and is not intended to be a one-size-fits-all tool as Konqueror currently attempts. It is intended to optimize your file management related tasks, and present an easy to use file manager for casual KDE use. That doesn't mean it won't be powerful or configurable, only that Dolphin is being built for a single purpose.

Dolphin isn't a total rewrite however, and is not intended to compete with Konqueror, rather the two applications will be complimentary. Dolphin uses the already existing IO slave facilities of the KDE platform to perform remote or local file management, meaning that it will be capable of doing all of the 'remote management' type activities that Konqueror has already matured. Dolphin just won't show web pages or PDF files embedded as Konqueror does.

And Konqueror will benefit from Dolphin as well. Konqueror is not going to disappear for KDE 4, although its user interface may yet see some adjustments as its primary utility will not as the default file manager. Of course, Konqueror will still be available for file management tasks as it has been in the past - there will be no changes in this regard. Changes made to KDE's icon view parts through the development of Dolphin will also help to improve Konqueror's icon views, as they both share these libraries. As stated before, Konqueror loads all of these icon views as pluggable libraries called KParts - improvements to the underlying KParts automatically benefit all users.

So lets take a look at Dolphin and Konqueror as they currently exist in KDE's Subversion repository. Please keep in mind that these snapshots represent developer work-in-progress builds and, while publicly available, are not representative of the final appearance or intended functionality of either applications, nor are they recommended for everyday use.

Konqueror currently looks something like this, and the icon views only half work. The problem is that these file views are simply direct ports of the KDE 3 codebase. Konqueror will eventually receive the same fileviews that Dolphin is currently using.

You can tell from Konqueror's default configuration of using tabs, and various other related interface choices that Konqueror is now mostly a web browser that also happens to do file management. While Konqueror's roots are truly derive from file management, it is more frequently operated as a browser these days by many KDE users. Konqueror does a great job as a web browser, underpinned by the fact it now implements CSS 3, including the highly-anticipated 'opacity' tags.

So while Konqueror continues to improve as a browser, it will continue to maintain KDE 3.x file management standards, providing a baseline functionality, and will be improved as code is shared between itself and Dolphin.

Dolphin is a whole different animal. It is a 'real' file manager - it's interface has a lot of elements which are specific to a file manager and cannot really be justified in a browser. This is best demonstrated with a screenshot.

Notice the implemention of a 'breadcrumb'-style directory selector, which works well for file management in a lot of cases, but is totally useless if you need to enter a URL when using a browser, and so becomes the sort of widget which is only useful when dealing with file hierarchies. Breadcrumb widgets may be familiar to anyone who has used OS X's Finder or GNOME's Nautilus. Another comment about the above screenshot: clicking and holding a breadcrumb item displays a list of directories that are at the same level as the one clicked, allowing for more efficient navigation.

However, using the breadcrumb widget is not essential, and if you are more comfortable with a Konqueror-style location bar, this mode of operation is easily configurable, as seen above. In fact, much of Dolphin is configurable, illustrated below.

This screenshot evidences the amount of effort KDE is spending trying to make configuration layouts sane while still providing as many options as reason allows. Also note the improved appearance of the configuration dialogs in KDE 4. Of course, this is going to be revisited somewhat as the dialog is too tall for some screens at the moment. After the Oxygen visual components go live, this dialog will be even easier on the eyes.

So, Dolphin's functionality is not entirely new, other than it presents itself in a new way. It can be seen as a hybrid between the power of Konqueror and the structure of Nautilus. Dolphin still builds on a strong KDE base, reusing existing technologies like KIO slaves and so forth. Right-click actions that were available in Konqueror will still be mostly present (except that Dolphin will necessarily load files externally instead of using embedding viewers). And Konqueror can now improve its web browsing experience even more, doing so without losing the file browsing support that has been there since KDE 2.0.

When KDE 4 is released, Dolphin will be configured as the default application for the local file:/ protocol, as well as the default file manager listed in the applications menu. Konqueror will ship as the default web browser, and will still be usable as a file manager to those that prefer the historical lifestyle. Users of KDE will have the ability to set the default file browser, much like how KDE 3.x can use third-party applications such as Krusader as the default file manager. Stay tuned for more information as Dolphin and KDE evolve towards 4.0.

Comments

They did get noticed ;)


By ben at Sat, 2007/03/03 - 6:00am

Now please go and re-read this whole thread. Konqi is a thin shell, just like dolphin - and they are sharing almost every filebrowsing function they have, if not just plain all of it. So this scenarion you describe is pretty much impossible...

Aaron didn't just say 'It's for everone' but he meant it. KDE is for you, and Dolpin is just there for those who aren't like you and do prefer something simpler. But it's for everyone, so it's still for you - and nobody will even start thinking about dropping konqueror. OK?


By superstoned at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

> the typical 'users are idiots' canard.

uhm. no. try: different people work in different ways, and there are certain ways greater numbers of people work than others. we're trying to cater to as many of those ways as is reasonable, and that includes the power user konqueror fan.

> Linus unleashed a crapstorm by expressing his opinion of that design
> philosophy in Gnome, but I happen to agree.

you evidently didn't understand what Linus was saying then, because what he said isn't applicable to what we're doing here.

> why Dolphin is set up to prevent people from doing so if they please.

a) there's always konqueror.
b) a tree can be added to dolphin and looks like it will be an option

> Sure I can use Konqueror, but once there is a "usable" filebrowser at some
> point the the simplification brigade will be pushing for filebrowsing
> functions to be removed from konqueror to make it a better webbrowser,

yes, we've all been lieing to you this entire time! we're not keeping konqueror as the tool it is, we've just been telling you that! mwuashahahaahaha! you've seen right through us!

i'm glad you think were idiots though. because that's what it would take to do what you're suggesting.

> and given your own comments on the unworkability of improving konqueror's
> handling of different profiles things will have to move in that direction,
> leaving me with a non dirtree filebrowser.

i'm sorry for confusing you with technical details that reflect the facts. but please don't try to build conclusions you are incapable of erecting given your inability to grasp those technical details. because your little quip here makes no sense.

no, you know what, i'm going to try to explain it a bit better for you: profile handling in konqueror is just great for what it is meant for. trying to twist that into creating completely separate and efficient interface styles to different use cases and modes of operation is not what it was meant for nor can it be made into such a thing without huge collateral damage in the form of insanely complex code paths internally and rediculous configuration interfaces.

in other words, keeping the profiles as they is good. trying to make them do what dolphin is bringing us would not be. i'm not sure why you'd prefer us to screw over konqueror, but that's essentially what you're whinging for.

> do you really expect me to believe that work on filebrowsing won't be
> concentrated in the default filebrowser?

i don't expect you to believe anything. i expect reality to remove the need for belief and replace it with fact. you've shown yourself to be resistant to rational persuasion, and that's ok. believe whatever you want.

what you'll find is that between the code sharing and the number of people who love and use konqueror, it's not going to slip through the cracks.

though i must say, to quote darth vader, i find your lack of faith disturbing.

> I'm sure you're sick of hearing this from me,

no, i'm just tired of you not listening and comprehending.

> but soon you won't have to.

ah, because you're going to try it out and realize how thankfully misguided your concerns were? great!


By Aaron J. Seigo at Sat, 2007/03/03 - 6:00am

> it's to take good ideas where they exist and bring them together with our own and produce something even better.

What makes you think it's a good idea at all? Is your feeling based of facts? studies?
95% of peaople on earth are using explorer that acts just like konqueror without troubles. But trust me, in my company, most users leave konq because of its ppor support of javascript. They also leave kmail because of its lack of exchange support. Finaly they leave kopete because of its bad MSN support and lack of features in jabber.
Strangly, they keep KDE desktop because of its full featured file browser: konqueror. Even windows users are using konqueror+filelight on Linux to cleanup their account on filers.

As I wrote a few tread above, there are tons of lack in KDE that are IMHO more important to fix that this sort of rewrite. (javascript in konqueror, exchange support, msn support, ...)

Olivier.


By olahaye74 at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

Why don't you try to convince your company to give you a few hours a week to work on these elements then, or sponsor a developer to work on them. KDE is programmed mostly by volunteers... if there is a feature missing or lacking, it's usually because no one finds it interesting enough to work on. This is most evident when it comes to things like Documentation, which are required for a good environment, but a PITA to write.


By Troy Unrau at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

> What makes you think it's a good idea at all?
> Is your feeling based of facts? studies?

facts, studies, research and a better personal track record with these things than most of the people in this discussion combined.

> 95% of peaople on earth are using explorer that acts just
> like konqueror without troubles.

heh... wasn't it just you who was going on about feelings vs facts? explorer is not an easy tool, and konqueror even less so. before explorer, 95% of computer users got along just fine with split pane managers. in the days of mac-is-the-only-commercial-ui it was spatial. according to your thoughts, just because people manager to limp along we shouldn't bother fixing it.

and for the record (you, know, similar to "facts") many people have a horrendous time with konqueror. i hear it on bugzilla, on irc and i've seen it many, many times in person.

i have done usability testing with real live people on konqueror, including those who manage just fine with windows explorer. and for a significant % of people it presents challenges and problems.

but konqueror also works really, really well for a bunch of other people too. so we are keeping both. they compliment each other and serve different parts of our user base.

not sure why that bothers you. perhaps you'd be more satisfied if we just ignored people who weren't you.

> But trust me, in my company, most users leave konq because of its ppor
> support of javascript.

c.f. the webkit/qt possibilities.

> They also leave kmail because of its lack of exchange support.

this is an issue with exchange itself: it's a proprietary undocumented shifting set of protocols.

> Finaly they leave kopete because of its bad MSN support and lack of features
> in jabber

i'd love to see more features in kopete. and you know what, the kopete team is working on providing just that. kde does more than one thing at once.

of course, none of this has anything to do with file management.

> there are tons of lack in KDE that are IMHO more important to
> fix that this sort of rewrite

a) this is not a rewrite.
b) it is benefiting other parts of kde, too; see dfaure's work on the model/view split for listings, frederikh's work on the view delegates, etc.
c) the people working on dolphin were already working on it prior to us adopting the project
d) those same people don't work on javascript, exchange support or msn support. we are an open source project, we don't get to dictate what people work on.


By Aaron J. Seigo at Sat, 2007/03/03 - 6:00am

"facts, studies, research and a better personal track record with these things than most of the people in this discussion combined."

Good,good. Now please tell me exactly what those facts are.
Please show me the studies.
Please direct me to the research.

I demand to scrutinize your data. (I'm seriously curious.)

I am sure all of us thinks that Dolphin is an excellent addition, it's the
default replacement we are so scared of. We suspect that Konqueror is going to
suffer, but if you say thats not's going to happen we will believe you. Ok?


By reihal at Sun, 2007/03/04 - 6:00am

"may not actually work for everyone"

EXACTLY who are those people? Where and how did you find them?
In a coffe shop full of gnomesters?

Ok, you can play with the dolphin, but if you mess with Konqueror......


By reihal at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

>> Konqueror was just perfect as it was in KDE3.

>i'm very happy you feel this way. konqueror will still be there in kde4 as it was >in kde3; hopefully even better actually. but your assessment of it as the "right >tool for the job" is not universal.

Konqueror IS a mess actually, it's powerful, but actually it's not for everyone, and need some usability love.
For kde 4 I hope to see a better dolphin, maybe a standalone web browser, and other apps that can be embedded as kpart ONLY when needed, and I hope to see a jack-of-all-trades konqueror that can be tweaked and filled with kparts at the user need, this make kde good for "dumb" and power users


By ra1n at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

>because kde is for more than you and me. it's for everyone. we're trying to cater >to a broader audience. sort of like what we've done with every release of kde >every made compared to the one before it.

I don't think thats the best sort of philosphy. On Linux there is KDE, Gnome, XFCE, IceWM and more. I think that each one should design according to its own philosophy and not chase marketshare, then let users chose the one that fits them.

On the other hand dolphin dosn't seem like an idea, having a dedicated file browser app has its advantages, such as a cleaner interface, more file browser featues (like breadcrumbs), speed and stabiltiy since its got no web browser code.

And if I am honset the concept of a combined file/web browser was offputting to me before I tried KDE. but that didn't last long after I actually used it.


By ben at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

> I think that each one should design according to
> its own philosophy

we are.

> and not chase marketshare

a "broader audience" means a more broadly capable desktop. that was the original intention of kde if you go back to the first announcement of the project by ettrich.

our user base has grown significantly and we are not servicing many of those people as well as we could or should. hell, many kde developers themselves use konq for file management sparingly as it doesn't provide a compelling story over the command line for them. there are so many groups of people who use kde right now that konqueror serves well, and those it doesn't.

i also don't see the inherent conflict with wanting more users and therefore accommodating them while at the same time also keeping true to the philosophy and design we've always held.

i know it's a radical thought, but one can grow and be true to themselves ... at the same time.


By Aaron J. Seigo at Sat, 2007/03/03 - 6:00am

>> I think that each one should design according to
>> its own philosophy

> we are.

Nice to here :)

>our user base has grown significantly and we are not servicing many of those
>people as well as we could or should. hell, many kde developers themselves use
>konq for file management sparingly as it doesn't provide a compelling story over >the command line for them

I too use the command line a lot, in my case its not konquoror but GUI's in general.

>i also don't see the inherent conflict with wanting more users and therefore
>accommodating them while at the same time also keeping true to the philosophy
>and design we've always held.

I don't see any inherent conflict either, and currently I'm pro dolphin, it was more a comment about Linux design philosophies in general, and the benifits of speciliseation, than a comment about anything happening in KDE development today.

>i know it's a radical thought, but one can grow and be true to themselves ...
>at the same time.

nothing radical about that at all :) I was just saying that I think being true to yourself, not growth, makes a better priority.


By ben at Sat, 2007/03/03 - 6:00am

Just curious: what didn't you like about Nautilus? I'm sure the Gnome developers would be interested to hear what you found frustrating. It might help them make some improvements.


By coulamac at Sun, 2007/03/04 - 6:00am

I'm about ready to start working on the Pau Desktop environment. Thanks for the source code.

>because kde is for more than you and me. it's for everyone. we're trying to cater to a broader audience. sort of like what we've done with every release of kde every made compared to the one before it.

In other words, screw the actual users, we're designing KDE for the people who AREN'T using it. That makes sense, doesn't it?

>konqueror will still be there in kde4 as it was in kde3; hopefully even better actually.

Hopefully, but I'm not exactly feeling reassured. You seem to be saying that the idea is that Konqueror is going to be "adjusted" so that the file management won't get in the way of the web browsing. That's like Marlon Brando cutting back on the acting to concentrate on his singing career. Whatever Konqueror might have been intended for, it's the world's greatest file manager, and a mediocre web browser. That's why every kde-based live CD distro comes with firefox. If Dolphin was a web browser, reading this article would not have made me sick to my stomach.

>Konqueror is not going to disappear for KDE 4, although its user interface may yet see some adjustments as its primary utility will not as the default file manager.

Seriously, do you expect people to NOT freak out when they read this?


By blackbelt_jones at Wed, 2007/11/28 - 6:00am

making a konqueror rework indeatd of implementing a new project ?
Konqueror has a few flaws ... but i think if we rework some usability issues there it could be THE KDE App that it was (from KDE 2-3).
Ok the bread... navigation (from mac osX) is a nice thing but couldn't be that a nice extension for konqueror ? Ohh i hope that i wouldnt get too sentimental ... about that things. But the kfm thing would die if dolphin took his (k)part.


By Scherf at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

I don't agree. For me Dolphin is simply useless.
KDE4 with Dolphine as default file-manager will get the applause from Gnome-users, but it is and remain a really nonsense.

Sorry for my english.
I find this decision the worst one KDE peoples have ever token.


By mcz at Sun, 2007/09/02 - 5:00am

Call me weird, but I still use the Midnight Commander... It's just so easy: Everything works with keys, same keys as in the good old times, hm...


By ac at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

Try Krusader. It's like a GUI version of Midnight Commander, for KDE of course. ;-) And there is complete keyboard navigation, along with the familiar function key shortcuts. http://krusader.sourceforge.net/ And no, I'm not involved with Krusader's development, I'm just a happy user of it.


By Kevin Kofler at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

mc forever ;-)


By andrea at Wed, 2007/03/07 - 6:00am

I've already posted that on Arun's blog, but I think this needs to be here as well with few missleading fixes.

It's realy sad to see duplicate effort. How many hours of coding lost in developping Dolphin that could have been used to fix konqueror (CSS3 is fine in konqueror, but javascript is far behind and needs lots of improvement IMHO)
Eventhough there is code re-use, this is time loss in writing Doplphin that could be better used.

konqueror has profiles for file browsing, wonderfull filelight interface for cleaning directories, and much much more. Why not improve profiles then?

Please stop Dolphin and leave dupplicate effort challenges to Gnome project.
And please, one for all, don't suppose users are Dumb! Tree view is in Windows explorer since ages, nobody complains about that and it represents 95% of the users around the glob! Your direction is toward 5% of users.
More over, the danger is that it's a new, not widely tested app set as default. You'd better make sure it's rock stable or many users will run away!

KDE is a wonderfull clear, concise desktop environment, please don't cripple it with dupplicate applications. This is the most confusing thing a new user could experience: what app to chose?
Right now, we have single app for each tasks
- one media browser
- one media burner
- one desktop suite
- one photo management whichg could be enhanced by a video library management and DVD authoring side (why? because when you author a DVD, each software has a library which is a duplicate effort as well)
...
I see dolphin as the beginning of several apps for each tasks.
- Several file browsers
- Several images viewers
- Several duplicate apps.
Don't you aim at a k3b simplified concurent, a simplified koffice and such?

IMHO, the oposite direction should be taken instead:
I think that one day, amarok and kaffeine should merge. My music library is half mp3/ogg and half mp2-video (tv recording), thus I cannot have common playlist...You see the point of merging?

IMHO, there are big lacks in KDE that are incredibely more important than recreating something that already exists. These are:
- Decent javascript support in konqueror
- Native Exchange support in kmail
- Kmail mail subjects automatic styles (color, ...)
- Better multimedia integration (ManDVD is fine but lack many features; could be integrated to digikam to create a media management system IMHO; digital camera already merge video and photos...)
- Better kopete components (mainly webcam supports, msn wizz and such, upnp support in msn and others, unified proxy, white board in jabber, voice in jabber, ....)
- More logic in TV apps (analog is done with kdetv and digital is thru kaffeine).
- Improving kdewallet by having password groups (when you use the same password on many places (single sign on for example in a company), you have to update your new password in kdewallet in all login forms.

If you want to call KDE4 a "revolution", that's not in rewriting already existing apps. It's in writing things that lack in KDE right now.

/me: not happy with new directions....

Olivier.


By olahaye74 at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

Just some quickies:

1. KHTML (the HTML rendering engine) development is a bit separate from Konqueror (the app) development. The KHTML devs aren't losing time due to Dolphin.

2. Dolphin is not a duplicate. The efforts that are put into Dolphin will not be wasted. The changes made to underlying technologies and libraries that have come about due to work on Dolphin will affect Konqueror as well (as the article and comments have already stated).

3. Presuming users are dumb is probably wrong. But presuming that everybody loves Konqueror the way it is also probably wrong. The thing is we now actually have *a choice*. People who want a separate file manager can use Dolphin. People who want to keep on using Konqueror will still continue using Konqueror. It's a win-win situation.

4. Dolphin will be the default file manager. Konqueror is still the default Web Browser. Single app for a single purpose. Besides, realistically speaking, we already have multiple apps for single puproses anyway. There's Amarok, K3b, Digikam, Kaffeine, etc.

5. You presume that everyone is working on Dolphin and just Dolphin alone. JS and CSS are for KHTML. KMail is for KDE PIM. So on and so forth.


By Juan Carlos Torres at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

1) Dolphin developpers are loosing their time on Dolphin instead of helping other far more important areas in KDE.

2) Change in underlying technology would/could have occured in konqueror file browsing enhancement.

3) The wildcard argument *choice*.... It's bulshit (sorry for the word).
Do you call choice when:
- Without study, the default file browser is changed (thus more used by users that always use default, thus konqueror file browser will die as said by someone else above)
- you have to use evolution to connect ot exchange server natively?
- you have to use firefox to browse websites that make extensive javascript use?
- you have to use gaim for IM stability and features?
- you have to use vlc for video straming/recording (triple play access)

Choice as you mean (filebrowsing) was already available: krusader, Nautilus and many others. Better spend taskforce on areas were nothing exists at all.

4) Replacing one default app by 2 default app is just plain stupid as menu will differ, and users will have to learn 2 behaviours, configure new gestures (if at least dolphin can handle gestures (hopefully as it is integrated to kde))
More over it's very dangerous as this is a new and not widely tested app. If there is a bug/problem is the "main" desktop app, it will give the whole image of the desktop.... Realy dangerous

5) People working on Dolphin would be far more usefull at helping the projects you mention. JS, PIM and OFFICE teams needs more resources and are incredibely more important that a file browser in the day2day use of a Desktop!

Olivier.


By olahaye74 at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

> 5) People working on Dolphin would be far more usefull at helping the
> projects you mention. JS, PIM and OFFICE teams needs more resources and
> are incredibely more important that a file browser in the day2day use
> of a Desktop!

It would be stupid to believe that developer resources can be allocated like that. Someone who works on file management is very likely not to have interest in working on other (even similar or more important) things instead. In software companies, people can be commanded what to work on, but this is open source, so we better accept help where it's offered.

Also, there _are_ people working on JS, KDE-PIM and KOffice. Just because you find those more important doesn't mean that file management does not need man power just as badly.


By Jakob Petsovits at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

1. This is Free and Open Source Software. Developers cannot be told to do what they don't want to do or work on something they don't like. Everyone is a volunteer. Unless you are being paid by a company to do work on it, of course.

2. True. But they have decided to use something that was built on cleaner code. From what I remember, the current Konqueror code is messy. It was much easier to start clean and build on clean code than to take apart Konqueror.

3. Let's focus only on the issue at hand. Let's not drag kdepim, koffice, khtml, kdenetwork, etc. into this.
- You presume the decision was made on a whim.
- Krusader is a twin-panel file manager. Not everybody will want to have that. Nautilus, Thunar, ROX-Filer, etc.? We are talking about a KDE file manager, right?

4. There will only be 1 default app for file management: Dolphin. There will only be one default app for web browsing: Konqueror. Those who want to use Konqueror as the default file manager as well can change to that. User will not *have* to learn. If they switch to Konqueror, then that means they already know about Konqueror in the first place. Besides, aside from some new UI enhancements, the basic functions of file managing are the same.

A "not widely tested app"? Why not help test it? An app can only be "widely tested" if there are users concerned enough to test it. There's a KDE 3.x version of Dolphin.

5. See reply #1, and the other reply to you.


By Juan Carlos Torres at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

First lets tell you that I am a KDEONLY USER and a "kind of" developer ;)

>> Developers cannot be told to do what they don't want to do or work on something they don't like. Everyone is a volunteer.

According to me that is the main problem of the Open Source Society and Software .... :(
Everybody thinks he makes (can make etc.) a great software, a great job etc. - a fact that maybe is true, if it was not the reality that there are "hundreds" of file managers, "hundreds" of IM clients etc. and they all look alike and do the same things... - that is called VANITY... :)

My opinion is that developers should concentrate on improving existent software instead of branching and changing default applications drastically.

I really don't see why someone loses efforts in developing Dolphin.... and more important question is WHY and WHO decides that this Dolphin should replace Konqueror in file browsing....That is called autocracy

Well... we all know who and we all know why....

And such behaviour is the main reason for Microsoft's announcements of increasing profits year after year....
At least they do users' surveys .... ;)

>> 4......
You don't sound too convinced yourself. I have a question....
Will the file browsing features of Konqueror evolve and improve when it will not be the default file manager....
I am sure that the answer is NO.

So my voice is against the Dolphin thing... sorry....


By PhobosK at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

"My opinion is that developers should concentrate on improving existent software instead of branching and changing default applications drastically."

If developers only worked on improving things that already exist KDE would have never even been started. Developers work on what they are interested, developers working on things they AREN'T interested in won't be close to as productive (and they may not have any experience in where they 'should' be working.

"Will the file browsing features of Konqueror evolve and improve when it will not be the default file manager....
I am sure that the answer is NO."

The answer is Yes. Since Dolphin and Konqueror will be sharing pretty much all of the file management code Konqueror will be getting all of Dolphin's improvements for free, plus more likely than not many developers will still prefer Konqueror over Dolphin so there will be interest in maintaining the non-shared code (plus Konqueror WILL still be a default app, just not default for file management).


By Sutoka at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

> You don't sound too convinced yourself.

I am convinced. My #4 paragraph doesn't state otherwise.

> Will the file browsing features of Konqueror evolve and improve when it will not be the default file manager....
> I am sure that the answer is NO.

The answer is YES. It has already been said, over and over again to the point of being redundant, by people *who are involved in developing for KDE*. Now if you don't believe them, I don't know who you will believe (besides yourself).


By Juan Carlos Torres at Sat, 2007/03/03 - 6:00am

> I think that one day, amarok and kaffeine should merge. My music library is
> half mp3/ogg and half mp2-video (tv recording), thus I cannot have common
> playlist...You see the point of merging?

Last time I tried, Amarok played video files like Ogg Theora or some DivX/MP3 .avi flawlessly. The only thing it doesn't do is showing the video, but if you're just in for the music there's no need to keep the playlists seperate. (And of course, Kaffeine also plays both types, just that it's not as good an audio player as Amarok is.)

In rather unrelated news, I would LOVE to see Kaffeine's current playlist widget replaced with Amarok's. Maybe there's a way to shove this _very_ advanced playlist widget into a separate library so that Amarok isn't the only app able to use it?


By Jakob Petsovits at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

Then it could be combined with VLC after it finishes moveing to QT 4...

A guy can dream


By ben at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

Please re-read the thread. All your concerns aren't valid (anymore). And work on a new SHELL just for filebrowsing kparts won't influence the KHTML kpart in any way - not positively, not negatively.

Konqi won't loose any features, it uses the same kparts.

And on a more personal note: please don't ask for merging video and audio?!? I don't even see how they relate. You don't want kword to be able to view websites, now do you? Well, it can, but that's not what I meant ;-)

Use an audioplayer for your audio, and a video player for your video and a picture viewer for your pictures etcetera. Merging all those will just create a monstrous application which can't handle any of them well.


By superstoned at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

you leave in the past...

All video / photo and audio app are converging.

- Look all those media centers
- Look those ipods
- Look thoses archos
- Look to your digital camera
- Look at your multimedia phone.

Testcase 1:
You whant to download your digital camera content to your computer:
there are videos, photos and audio contents (comments)
Do you realy mean that you'll use a video app to download video then use another app to download your photos and then use an audio tool to download and manage you photo comments? how will you keep sync?
Sorry to disapoint you, but, aside peer to peer divx collections and peer to peer music collections, there are real life use of a computer...

Testcase 2:
You want to create a presentation on a DVD of a wedding: you want to make a morph between a video1, a photo or 2 a video2 and an audio comment in a photo. do you realy have benefit of having:
- a separate photo database (digikam or whatever)
- a separate video processing software
- a separate authoring software that has its own media database
- a separate audio processing software that has its own media database
and swap between apps with temporary results, directory structures, 3 media databases and such?


By olahaye74 at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

your view of reality is completely broken.

what the hell should an vidio, audio, graphics hybrid app look like!? shouldn't it do pdf too? i mean, pdfs are allmost like graphics... and than we allready have a text engine, so it should also be my word processor. but wait! i still would need to open my email application, press a button und search my stuff on the filesystem when i want to mail something! his has to be changed - this thing needs to mail stuff by it self!

what you want is a total usability nightmare.

do you know with how many "testcase" users could come up with? combining stuff into one application just because you do one after the other is a total horrible idea...

you want to organize audio, video and image files? what about text? use your filesystem! thats what its for. sticking everything together in one database brings you exactly NOTHING.

so, sorry to disapoint you... but there are many people who just want to listen to music, watch videos or manage their filesystem. those people want be happy with your videoauthoring-musicplaying-dvdburning-database-monster...


By ac at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

No. The future is to have separate and specialized applications but have those working together.

"Look all those media centers"
What about them? They use separate applications for each media type.

"Look those ipods"
What about them? They are great for listening to music. I don't know anyone using photo or video features of these.

"Look at your multimedia phone"
Best example. The UI of these is disgusting.
Only iPhone does not seem to do too bad. You know why? Because it morphs it's UI radically according to it's use (something konqueror is pretty bad doing it).


By birdy at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

Please, note that Konqueror is a pain as file manager for common users. This is just a truth that I've realized looking at many newbies using Konqueror.

Managing files is a big part of the heart of a desktop enviroment, and Konqueror makes it really annoying because it's not optimized for that and contains too much options not related to file managing.

I agree with you when say that there are areas that need a lot of help and improvements in KDE (PIM, web browsing, IM, video...) but I really think that a good and intuitive file manager is a need for KDE4. It's not a duplicate effort, it's in fact something that didn't exist.


By Iñaki Baz at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

my name is Aaron, not Arun. and the rest of your message just goes downhill from there in accuracy.


By Aaron J. Seigo at Sat, 2007/03/03 - 6:00am

Hahaha! I think it's awesome that you care enough to respond to so much of the crap that being thrown around here. You and Peter have shown a lot of class in your responses. You guys keep up the good work. I'll reserve my judgement for when I actually have KDE 4.0 running on my computer. I'm sure I won't be disappointed.


By Louis at Sat, 2007/03/03 - 6:00am

Yeah. I agree.
Don't let the loud crowd dampen your visions.
I'm quite sure most of them will cheer you, when they see dolphin in action.


By infopipe at Sat, 2007/03/03 - 6:00am

lol. nice.


By illogic-al at Mon, 2007/03/05 - 6:00am

There's no better filemanager on any OS than Krusader!

Anyway, Dolphin should use the F-Keys and make it obvious. When there's a split-window-view, at the bottom a bar should appear with the obvious tasks...

F1 Copy
F2 Move
F3 Delete
F4 Make Dir

and so on...

*THIS* would be ease-of-use and good visible integration of functions/keys into a filemanager...


By fish at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

F2 is "rename" in almost all if not all app on earth from cells in excel on windows to CD volume name in k3b!

Olivier.


By olahaye74 at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

Yeah, I know those keys are "wrong" - it's just an example...

Anyway, my point is that this should be VISIBLE just like it is in Krusader, at the bottom, or, whereever it makes sense. Also, it should NOT be visible when you don't operate in a split-view.

F-Keybindings just make sense for filemanagement and shouldn't be hidden...


By fish at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

I really must try Krusader one day. Dose it work with KIO?


By ben at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

Yes, it supports all common KIO slaves. And adds its own, like the archive handling through krarc.


By dek at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

of course it does ;-)


By Jonas at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

Sounds like:
Norton Commander
Midnight Commander
Windows Commander.

You sound like:
noob
zealot


By Anonymous at Sat, 2007/03/03 - 6:00am

Sounds like:

Never bothered to look at Krusader.

Krusader is a little like the above mentioned applications, but those are console based. Krusader is an actual kde application. And it is fantastic. Dolphin is clearly heading toward duplicating much of its functionality and presentation.

Konqueror is a terrible way of handling things. Individually, parts might be great. But this is Unix. You're supposed to have a tool that does something. If you need four things done, you pick the four best tools. You don't get one giant tool crammed down your throat and then told "if you want to do the first thing a certain way, we're going to force you to do everything else our way, too!".


By no at Mon, 2007/11/12 - 6:00am

I guess this would an opportune time and place to ask about this and throw out some ideas. We've all heard about progress in Dolphin. But since Konqueror will still be in KDE 4.x, although not the default file manager, I guess it's only natural to wonder, "How is Konqueror?" While work being done on Dolphin is amazing, I am wondering what work is being done on Konqueror. What are the plans, aside from the usual porting to Qt4? When will they begin? I'm not asking about the KHTML part, but more on Konqueror as an app.

I think it is also time for people who love Konqueror, who think Konqueror is the best, to divert their attention from complaining about Dolphin vs. Konqueror, and to focus on helping improve Konqueror. Konqueror is far from perfect, otherwise we wouldn't even be having this problem at all. If Konqueror needed some changes/improvement, I think the time is now.

I have a few ideas, based on my own experience, and those of others I've come in contact (IRC, forums, mailing lists, etc.). Since I'm not a programmer, I leave it up to those who can code to see if these are feasible

1. Profile management. There probably wouldn't be a need for a separate file manager app, if Konqueror had a better profile system. The UI should be able to adjust depending on the profile, not just the content/current view. Currently, only the Navigation Panel seems to have a per-profile setting.

2. UI Revamp. We have a KDE HIG working group now. Perhaps it's time to see which stuff should go, which stuff should be put where, and which stuff should be added. I think Dolphin got some UI stuff right: a location bar/breadcrumb bar per split view, a single button to split/un-split views, clear indication of active/inactive views, no side tabs (navigation panels/side bars are nice, but side tabs are probably a waste of space). The UI for the settings also needs some changes (but perhaps more under KControl's area of responsibility).

3. Changing Konqueror's description. This is probably the only non-technical change. You might ask why. Simple. Konqueror simply can't be defined in a simple way. It's a file manager plus web browser plus plus plus. After a while, they all add up, and we tend to lose sight of what something really is. This change maybe artificial and sort of bikeshedding in some ways, probably. But I think now is a perfect oppurtunity to redifine what Konqueror really is, what it is not, and what it will become.


By Juan Carlos Torres at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

Seeing where this goes, a test of sort :)

1. Now that KDE has a "user friendly" file manager, what will happen to Konqueror?

a) Nearly 100% of people will just switch to Konqueror as default and life will go on normal again.

b) Some dude will properly port BreadCrumbs part to Konqueror and for that 100% of people the life will go on normal again.

c) With an excuse "Since Dolphin now supports file-management for idiots", Konqueror devs will overload Konqueror with buttons and features and will make it an unusable monster, resulting in a situation where users will not use either and switch to some other desktop.

d) The person who wrote the "usability study" as part of their university degree and strongly suggested that "monkeys prefer file manager and browser be split," will get the accolades and go on working as a rubber-stamper for post office.


By Daniel at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

As I am wont to do whenever the correct answer to a multiple choice test wasn't available; The correct answer is:
e) None of the above


By illogic-al at Mon, 2007/03/05 - 6:00am

Actually:

e) Konqueror will just be a web browser and Dolphin just a file manager, since Dolphin will implement all of the feature requests (read, "complaints") running around here.

f) None of the above


By riddle at Sun, 2007/07/01 - 5:00am

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