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

AFAIK there are still a lot of things to do to finish KDE 4.

Replacing an established, good working filemanager with a "gnome style" one is not what I want to see on that list. Seems to me like KDE development lost a bit of it's focus and now repairs planless things that aren't broken.

It's a pity, my high hopes get more and more curbed: I expected new concepts and visions to become slowly more clear, but beside a lot of buzzwords about plasma & co, this is the first real visible change, and I don't like it.

Sorry, but IMHO this is a step in the wrong direction at the wrong time. And yes, I regulary check out svn versions and try them.


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

Sorry for replying top myself:

After reading more comments, it looks like some KDE users have problems seeing dolphin become the default browser.

So, how about voting?

Even if Dolphin would lose maybe because some users simply don't know it, this would be IMHO the best solution, and if KDE 4.0 is out and Dolphin shows that it's really the better alternative one could still change the default settings later, as this would just affect new installed 4.x versions and all other users would keep their used environment. But please let Dolphin show how good it works in real installations, before making it the default, if it looks like a lot of users have objections.

Wouldn't that be the better way, instead of deciding for all users and simply ignoring those who don't like that decision? Please leave that way of development to the "other" desktop environment...


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

wouldn't it be the better way to let the ones who do the work, decide what they do!? how does it come that most of the dot readers seem to think the kde developers are working for THEM??

if you want to see a better konqueror with more users in the future, go ahead and work on it.

despite from that: voting doesn't work for such things. people don't like new stuff. people complain more often then praise. and last - people can't decide on something they don't know anything about - you can't vote on an application you never tried.


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

"how does it come that most of the dot readers seem to think the kde developers are working for THEM??"

I guess they work to build the best desktop environment they can do. For themselves, and for me and you.

"if you want to see a better konqueror with more users in the future, go ahead and work on it."

With that argument you can kill every discussion about everything. Do you really think that a fruitfull discussion about the concepts or asking the users what the want aren't usefull contributions to KDE's development? Wouldn't you think that KDE developers were disappointed if users complain about KDE 4?


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

i don't see the question for a poll to remove a new application many kde developers have agreed upon as the new standard as fruitfull discussion, no...

do you want to know what i think this is? its rude. nothing more.

don't you think the kde developers thought about that allready? do you really think they changed something just because it was monday and they needed to break the svn version again?

i don't see a fruitfull discusion at all. just some people whining because their beloved application will not be the default anymore. they are not even questioning if there are people that don't like konqueror like it is now. they just want their default back...


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

Who asks to remove dolphin? It's just about making dolphin the new standard. And you should read the reply of Thiago Macieiras, who is a developer: "Users are fully entitled to complain about developer decisions." Beside that I just see one person here who is rude, and that's you.

END OF THREAD.


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

Many kde developers agreed upon this? When?


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

Make a Poll.


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

"Replacing an established, good working filemanager with a "gnome style" one is not what I want to see on that list."

Why "gnome style"?!? Only because the file manager can't browse the web and cook coffe?
Dolphin is progessing quite nicely. And I doubt it will be less powerfull than konqueror as file manager.

"Seems to me like KDE development lost a bit of it's focus and now repairs planless things that aren't broken."

No, the opposite! KDE is focusing on proviving one tool for one task. While it may be nice to have a knife, one can use as hammer too. Tim Taylor would prefer to have a separate knife and hammer ;-)


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

Dolphin is just going to the old GEM times.

- My directories have index.html to represent important directories and virtual views, this will vanish with Dolphin.
- I'm happy to click on a PDF file and have it in my browser (I avoids clicking the alternative html link in google).
- Provided I'm in a PDF file in the current view, I'm happy to click on a hypertext link to continue my surf.

This was a realy seamless surf that will vanish with Dolphin.

I realy though that KDE4 would though about future and be the 3rd millenium way of accessing data in a flawlesly and seamlessly manner. This move proves the contrary were there will be a specific app for a specific datatype.

too bad...


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

Continue using Konqueror then.

And please accept that some people are not you.


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

This is not the point.

the point is that konqueror could have been enhanced to have a profile that behave like the current dolphin project in IMHO far less work (no need to rewrite the shell from scratch).

BTW, the konqueror current behavior is the behavior that 95% of users around the world are used to (windows explorer represents 95% of desktop users) why putting default on 5% of users?


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

I know the Konqueror source code. And I am not convinced it would have been easier.

More to the point: NO ONE was taking care of the file manager part of Konqueror. I repeat: NO ONE. It has been left to bit rot for quite some time now. Aside from bug fixes here and there, there hasn't been any major development in it.

Then there's this guy who comes along and proposes to do the work. In a new shell as well as the KonqParts. Who are we to refuse that? We'd be hypocrites for saying "No, we don't accept your contributions. Go work on Konqueror instead, something we haven't been doing." The way I see it, that's what Linus was complaining about in the GNOME development model: they don't accept contributions and they don't fix the problem themselves either.

One more argument: split file manager and web browser has been one of the most requested features of Konqueror. We know we can't please Greeks and Trojans, so we didn't split Konqueror. We added this new tool.

Finally, while Aaron and the others have been saying that Dolphin will be the default file manager, KDE 4 hasn't been released. Between now and then, a lot can still change. I don't think it's likely that the Dolphin decision will be reverted, but it's not set on stone either.

And I don't accept your Windows Explorer/Internet Explorer argument.


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

Disclaimer: I am not saying I agree with Linus. I know nothing about the GNOME development model to agree or disagree.

That above was just my interpretation of the recent facts.


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

"Finally, while Aaron and the others have been saying that Dolphin will be the default file manager, KDE 4 hasn't been released. Between now and then, a lot can still change. I don't think it's likely that the Dolphin decision will be reverted, but it's not set on stone either."

Why have a default at all? Let the users chose. And isn't this set by the distributions? Slackware will have Konqueror and Novell will have Dolpin as default?
Postpone the decision to set a default.


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

"BTW, the konqueror current behavior is the behavior that 95% of users around the world are used to (windows explorer represents 95% of desktop users) why putting default on 5% of users?"

And to 99% of those 95% of users Windows Explorer and IE are two different applications that just both have 'explorer' in their name. In fact they ARE. I've never actually seen a person open up windows explorer and type a URL into the location bar, or open up IE and type a file path into the location bar. I've done it a couple times, and you end up with an app that looks like an ugly hybrid of the two explorers (everything is sized wrong and you have odd menu entries and toolbar buttons). Also explorer is a different app than iexplorer (you can see by looking in task manager even, they have different executables!), in the olden days Microsoft tried to merge them together to but never were able to create one app that did both.

BTW, Konqueror currently behaves the same in KDE SVN, and will continue to behave the same.


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

At least by the huge amount of replies to this posting on the dot (over hundert by now) you should see that there seem to be more discussion neccessary then just "please accept that".

Of course the dev's can do what they want, and with the same right the users can think that a decision is wrong or right. If that's the end of the dialog for you ... I'm not sure if that's the right way to make KDE the best desktop environment.


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

No, of course not. Users are fully entitled to complain about developer decisions. And developers making very bad decisions should get a nice smack on the head and learn from their mistakes.

The message I am trying to get through is that "users" isn't "you". Your preferences do not necessarily reflect the majority of the users -- or even of a minority. Mine don't either, obviously. Nor do Aaron's or Peter's.

I am not saying that we'll "dumb down" things so that the smallest majority can use. I hope we don't forget about all of the minorities either. What I am saying is that people coming here saying "this is the best; you developers are wrong" are wrong.

Also, this discussion is not a good sample. That's also the reason why we don't take polls in dot.kde.org about such design decisions. Dot readers are nowhere near representative of the user base (we have no idea what the user base really is...). And, of course, complainers always make a louder noise than praisers.


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

Of course you're right, this discussion is not about my preferences.

But the large amount of replies shows that this topic causes a lot of reactions, and that not all are happy with dolphin becoming the default file manager, the dot is representative enough to state that, wouldn't you agree? Did you expect such a strong reaction?

As far as I see, the integration of dolphin itself into KDE isn't a problem for most of the authors here, it's just making it the default, that some interpret as a (major?) shift in concept of KDE. Not even distributors like the kubuntu people, who care a lot about usabilty for newbies, changed konqueror as default file browser, so I just don't understand the necessity of making dolphin the default.

In your other post you said that it's also about having a new developer who cares abut the filemanager code. OK, that makes thing sound much more reasonable to me. But would this guy immediately stop the development if dolphin wouldn't become the default file manager? I still think that letting dolphin first prove that it's the better manager and then making it the default would be the better way.


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

> the dot is representative enough to state that

the readership of theDot is about as representative of our global user base as i am of nba stars.

there are some canadians in the nba. and spud webb was pretty short too. but if you have ever seen me, you'd have to admit that even if i do hit the court once in a while i'm not representative of people in the nba.

or perhaps a more apt anology is that the people here are like people who play in the nba: they are not representative of all basketball players. most people who play basketball are shorter, have less talent and certainly less experience.

it is astounding to me how many people fail to grasp the idea that we are not our users. we are some of our users. and a small "some" at that.

> Did you expect such a strong reaction?

yes, actually. i'm very aware of how loud people in this community can be. sometimes to the point of being obnoxious, particularly when anyone dares to do something progressive that disturbs the status quo.

but being loud does not make you right (or smart, or reasonable). it just makes you loud.

> But would this guy immediately stop the development if dolphin wouldn't
> become the default file manager?

no, because it had already existed for quite some time prior to this.

> I still think that letting dolphin first prove that it's the better manager
> and then making it the default would be the better way.

good idea. maybe that's why we picked an existing application with an active maintainer who was interested in kicking it up a notch. see, we do agree on some things!


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

> see, we do agree on some things!

Oh, I think we'ld agree on a lot of other things, too, but unfortunatly not on which default file manager KDE 4 should ship with, which is by an almost malicious draw of fate the topic of this discussion ;)

Well, you're the developer, I'm the user, so I trust in your experience that dolphin as a default file manager is the right decision, although I'm not convinced.

> but being loud does not make you right (or smart, or reasonable). it just
> makes you loud.

But even loud minorities are not obviously wrong and just afraid of changes of the status quo. Where, if not here, should KDE users state their objections? So, thanks for listening!

Maybe the whole problem is that for some users the reason haven't become clear: I'm sure that I could reconfigure my desktop to have konqueror as default file manager, so why all that worry? I can't speak for others, but it looks like switching to dolphin as default takes away some of the power and elegance of KDE.

Maybe these people are afraid of a change in paradigms and a regression in KDE's flexibility.

Maybe you shouldn't think of these users not as a "loud, conservative" minority, but as enthusiastic KDE 3 users. Not everything new is automatically better, and are these people who call konqueror as a file browser "bloated", embedded viewing inconvenient a "better" loud minority? ;)


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

"Only because the file manager can't browse the web and cook coffe?"

Come on, that's not the way to discuss that (although I must admit that my first posting was also a bit pathetic ;) ) The point is that konqueror is the heart of KDE, and was intentionally developed as file *and* web browser. AFAIK users were happy with that and konqueror was never a source of steady discussion, as Nautilus or the Gnomes "The-user-don't-need-to-know" oversimplifications.

Maybe I messed something, but I never heard complaints about konquerors file browsing abilities, or that it would be to complicated to use. The opposite is true: Other DEs envied KDE for this level of integration. So if it's not broken, don't fix it.

When Dolphin will evolve you surely will see more and more sophistcated previews for different file formats, and when html preview will become integrated ... well, we already have that application: It's called konqueror.

"KDE is focusing on proviving one tool for one task"

The good old unix philosophy ... Do just one thing and do that right ;)

Yes, but you forgot one thing: These "little" tools are meant to construct powerful commandlines by *combining* them. So in this terms that means Konqueror needs a good file manager part, a good html rendering part, a good image preview part, ... and combining it under one konqueror shell gives you a mighty tool. And that is the concept behind konqueror and it's IMHO still superior to the one separate application with different GUIs, strength and weaknesses per task.

Konqueror has a level of abstraction that is the logical continuation of another philosophy that Unix like operating systems made that good: Everything is a file. In Konqueror everything is a url. And that's an elegant and easy to understand concept, that you shouldn't give up for some questionable GUI improvements, at least nor without asking the users. I think the parallels to the gnome development and it's problems are obvious, and I really wonder why KDE wants to make the same mistakes, especially at such a central point and where KDE has long time proven to have the better concept. Ask gnome users which KDE application they'ld most like to see in gnome, and I'll guarantee you it will be k3b, amarok and *konqueror*.


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

"The point is that konqueror is the heart of KDE"

Not for me. For me the heart of KDE is kdelibs. So it's KIO-slaves, kpart, DCOP, ...
Konqueror is only the application that uses most of these at once.

"AFAIK users were happy with that and konqueror was never a source of steady discussion"

There where a lot of discussions. Main criticism: konqueror is bloatet and messed up. And it still is a valid argument imho (profiles would need much more improvement).
While it may not be that konqueror is "broken", it definitely can be improved a lot.

"When Dolphin will evolve you surely will see more and more sophistcated previews for different file formats, and when html preview will become integrated ... well, we already have that application: It's called konqueror."

Previews are different to full views! For example for a HTML preview no bookmarks (and all it's GUI) is needed. KHTML is more or less enough. No need for a full browser...

"and combining it under one konqueror shell gives you a mighty tool"

Yes, konqueror is mighty. But it is bloated/messy too :-(
"My" killer-feature of konqueror are the KIO-slaves. But they can be used with dolphin, krusader and every filedialog too. I don't need a full browser for that in addition...
But that's only my preferences.

"In Konqueror everything is a url"

Hmmmm - I don't get what you mean here. can you expailn this a bit further please?

"Ask gnome users which KDE application they'ld most like to see in gnome, and I'll guarantee you it will be k3b, amarok and *konqueror*."

K3b: One tool for one task. Burning CDs in konqueror could be done quite nicely. But users prever the specialiced application?

Amarok: One tool for one task. Ask the Amarok developers, why they don't support video.

konqueror: Are you sure? (won't it be kdevelop?) I doubt...


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

"Not for me. For me the heart of KDE is kdelibs. So it's KIO-slaves, kpart, DCOP, ... Konqueror is only the application that uses most of these at once."

Well, it's the shell for all the nice things you mentioned. That where a user sees kdelibs in action.

"konqueror is bloatet and messed up"

You may see it that way, but I don't see so much bloat. Just if you criticize the concept of a shell for different parts, it's bloated. But that's like accusing wikipedia that users can edit the articles. You may like it or not, but it's the concept.

"it definitely can be improved a lot"

Sure, and IMHO that's the way to go, that's what this whole discussion is about ;)

"For example for a HTML preview no bookmarks (and all it's GUI) is needed"

But isn't it an advantage to have konqueror's bookmarks transparent and uniform, wether it's a local pdf or a remote html file? Why should I want to use two different bookmark systems?

"I don't get what you mean here. can you expailn this a bit further please?"

With the integration of the kparts, I can type any url into konquerors address bar, with the nice kio-slaves even things like fish://, imap://, ... and of course also http:// I still can decide with a left or middle click if I want to see it embedded or in en externel viewer. Dolphin is mainly just for one type of urls: file://, or did I miss anything about the concept of dolphin?

Of course, CD writing and music collection managment are highly specific tasks which are better done in separate applications (well, before Amarok, konqueror wasn't that bad to nurse my mp3 collection). Writing documents, programming, ... are also such tasks, where you need a special "IDE". But file-management is a task where konqueror was designed to be the "natural" IDE, and I don't see where it does it that bad that we need something different as default.


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

"Well, it's the shell for all the nice things you mentioned."

Putting it all together in one place does not necessarily make it a good thing.

"Just if you criticize the concept of a shell for different parts"

That's what I'm doing...

""it definitely can be improved a lot"
Sure, and IMHO that's the way to go, that's what this whole discussion is about ;)"

I think it's much easier to start it from a ned point, than to fix it over and over again (last attempts all didn't work out too good).

"Why should I want to use two different bookmark systems?"

Because bookmarks can be used in different ways:
* for file management (bookmark "~/work/papers")
* for information management (bookmark "dot.kde.org")

"Dolphin is mainly just for one type of urls: file://, or did I miss anything about the concept of dolphin?"

Dolphin handles KIO-slaves just as nice as konqueror, krusader oder any KDE file dialog. Dolphin is not able to embed other views, but is only intended to manage files (locally or remote). I'm don't able to see the benefit of embeding other views, but see some downsides.

Konqueror surely is doing nice in managing files. But every time I use konqueror as file browser, I can see the bloat of "konqueror the browser". And as soon as I use konqueror as file manager, I can see some glimpses of the file manager bloating the browser UI.


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

Once again, please read before you comment. I've said this like 6 times already in the comments...

Dolphin can do ftp, fish, etc.


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

Please also read again ;)

"With the integration of the kparts, I can type any url into konquerors address bar, with the nice kio-slaves even things like fish://, imap://, ... and of course also http:// I still can decide with a left or middle click if I want to see it embedded or in en externel viewer. Dolphin is mainly just for one type of urls: file://, or did I miss anything about the concept of dolphin?"

"mainly" and "type of" are the keywords. All kio-slaves that dolphin can handle are treated in a way that a file manager can do. That's the idea, isn't it?


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

"All kio-slaves that dolphin can handle are treated in a way that a file manager can do. That's the idea, isn't it?"

Yes. And that's what KIO-slaves are about. I think you mess up KIO-slaves and kparts.
So to sum it up:
Dolphin is able to browse (remote) via ftp://, imaps://, sftp://, ipod://, ...
Dolphin isn't/won't be able to show pdf/jpg/... files embeded.

But it is possible to browse "sftp://some.host/home/hamster/data/" click on "file.pdf" there, and okular pops up, showing the document.


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

From your post:
"Amarok: One tool for one task. Ask the Amarok developers, why they don't support video."

From the KDE Commit-Digest for 4th March 2007, http://dot.kde.org/1173081506/
"Initial video support in Amarok, with heavy interface redevelopment underway for version 2.0."

Sorry, couldn't resist, but this surely won't help us in this discussion. I'm a bit disappointed, that most of the criticism was shout down as "those who criticise don't understand" by a "loud, obnoxious minority" that is "just afraid of changes". This certainly also didn't in this discussion.

He, who codes, decides: That are the rules. And if a selfmade usabilty-test in a coffee shop is representative, but none of the 400+ postings here ... it looks like the decision has been done, and the discussion here was just wasted time.

I just feel sorry for Peter Penz: None of my critics was meant to discourage him. Even if I have objections seeing his file manager as default, I do respect his work.


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

> In Konqueror everything is a url

as it is in dolphin.

the only difference is when it comes to embedding files. and if you look at it, you'll discover that embedding in konqueror has been completely screwed up because people were trying to make it into a file manager rather than let it be a web and file *browser*.

i actually hope konqueror will return to sanity in its default settings when it comes to embedding, e.g. text documents.

> Ask gnome users which KDE application they'ld most like to see in gnome,

good thing we're still providing all of those apps you mention then! =)


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

Now I'm a bit confused ;)

Of course, embedding files is one thing dolphin does not, as it's a file browser "by design". So you say the only views that konqueror should embed by default are files and web pages? OK, that should be no problem. So the difference to dolphin would be konqueror could open an embedded view and dolphin can't.

I can't see why a problem that could be solved by "sane" (for who?) default settings of an existing application should be solved by hard-coding them into a new application.

What's wrong with people who want to view their pdfs embedded? So konqueror as a web browser shows them embedded (as a lot of users like it, and with a simple middle click also in an external viewer), and after the download of the pdf dolphin as a filebrowser shows it in an external viewer and click with the middle mouse button does something completely different? What about the pdf laying on an ftp server, which is linked by a web site? konqueror opening dolphin opening kpdf? Let's hope that that pdf doesn't have any links to web sites ... ;) Three different menu structures, GUIs, ... at the same time on the screen.

I'm not sure if that's more "sane", at least it's confusing for newbies. I helped a lot of people (and some are old) with their first steps with Linux/KDE: Believe me, that is calling for troubles! If konqueror has usabilty issues, they are certainly not solved by another application ;). One of Ubuntu's first steps to make Linux systems more newbie friendly was: One application per task.

Well, I wouldn't care, if that would be the only problem. By making it the new default I see another problem: This is weakening KDEs concept of kparts: modularity and integration. Maybe this is wanted by the developers, but then you should announce it that way.

That's just my $0.02, but looking at the immense amount of replies to this posting, I hope you rethink the decision to make dolphin the default. Seems like this is a very controversial topic.


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

*************Birdy:
No, the opposite! KDE is focusing on proviving one tool for one task. While it may be nice to have a knife, one can use as hammer too. Tim Taylor would prefer to have a separate knife and hammer ;-)
*********************

You are wrong about konqueror, kde and unix.
Konqueror is for kde as the *console terminal* is for
unix. In unix you
have one tool for one task integrated by redirections
and pipes. Kde without a powerfull Konqueror is not
a kde anymore. Konqueror is not *one* tool, is the bench
where the tools are. If you cannot put the Dolphin into
konqueror then Dolphin is not a good kde tool.

I want to see a movie, manage files, play a music and *more*
without to get out of the *bench* (konqueror), wheres all
tools for these tasks are available.
Dolphin does not follow this gold unix rule.
Kde tools are *graphical* tools that need a super taskbar.
That powerfull taskbar is Konqueror. Without a more powerfull
konqueror, kde4 is not going further in
direction of the good gold unix standard.

Oda


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

Your "bench" may be konqueror. I use "the desktop" (kwin/kicker/...) as "bench".
Your taskbar is konqueror. My taskbar is inside of kicker.

I have a powerful desktop which acts superb in handling several applications. So I favor to use this one, than to squeeze several applications into one other.

And as I stated once before: KDE is much much more than only konqueror!


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

Maybe this is the core of this whole conflict: There are ethusiastic "kdelibs users" and ethusiastic "konqueror users". Who is right? kdelibs show (partially?) up everywhere, but konqueror is the place where all these concepts come together and form a mighty application.

So this huge outcry is probably a sign that the switch to dolphin was badly communicated to the "konqueror users". Nobody wanted to discourage Peter (at least not me), but if there are any problems with konqueror I'ld like to hear about them first before I'ld welcome changes in a part of KDE which could affect in the long term my everyday work.

This step seems more and more like a PR debacle: Thiago implied a bit that konqueror's code basis as a file manager has some problems as a reason for the change, Aaron disqualified partially criticism as a "loud, unprogressive minority". This gave understandably the "konqueror users" the feeling of being victims of politics or lack of manpower, but not a reasonable, comprehensible decision. (Well, lack of manpower is very reasonable ... but then tell it, if that's the reason)

Maybe next time the dev's make such a predictable controversial decision they could inform the users a bit more about the reasons and earlier about rising problems with established applications. Just reading in a blog that your favourite application gets "degraded" and you should be happy with that seems to cause at least some heated discussions.


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

amen


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

Birdy,

konqueror is for kde as bash, cshell
are for unix. Without the shell
the unix kernel became useless.

Konqueror is the heart of kde
as a *productive* desktop, it is the shell
where all the good specific tools
may be available by context
and by the flow of the mind of the user,
unlike ktaskbar, kwin, kicker
and karamba.

Dolphin is good for kde if its advances can
be embedded in Konqueror. If you ignite a
Dolphin x Konqueror war, Kde4 and its users
will lose.
Dolphin *must must* not try to kill
the file capabilities of konqueror.
Dolphin could be seen as a training camp
to improve konqueror capabilities
but this is not what I understood.
I get the wrong message?

My opinion as a long time kde *user*.

Oda


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

"Dolphin is not intended to be a competitor to Konqueror, the default KDE file manager: Konqueror acts as universal viewer being able to show HTML pages, text documents, directories and a lot more, whereas Dolphin focuses on being only a file manager. This approach allows to optimize the user interface for the task of file management." (Dolphin Web Site)

i dont know who made this decision, but did they ever asked himself "Why people dont like this decision?? maybe we are wrong??"


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

Yes. We haven't concluded that we are wrong (yet).


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

"Why people dont like this decision??"

I like this decision a looooooot.


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

but many others doooooooont, about 180 comments (until now), most of them fighting on this!


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

so how many users do you think kde has? i hope its more than 180 just in my town...


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

To be true. Most people didn't understand the basic things and jump to conclusions.

This is all only in-fighting with 3 kinds of people.

a) Kind A: "Don't waist your time doing something I wouldn't want." These people have no say in the Free Software world. My reply #1 to those: Without good competition, and fresh ideas, Konqueror is going to stagnate too much. Without competition there is no progress. My reply #2 to those: You have no right to demand or wish that people shouldn't do what they find to be fun. They are Free to do this.
b) Kind B: "A tool from Gnome was mentioned, Nautilus. Not even a good one, PANIC!". These people do not trust KDE developers, and they do not respect Gnome maybe. And they didn't understand. The new nav is optional and may be great. My resonse to those: Didn't you
c) Kind C: "KDE should decide everything democratic, developer deciding it, oh no!". Those people trust democrazy, which is good. But actually KDE is a meritocrazy. You got to earn your voice, or you have none. My cycnic response to those: Make a fork of KDE, where you decide everything in a poll and then find people to abide those polls. Maybe you will find that you have to pay them to do that. And then you will end up with people having to contribute money, which is not bad. But some will give more and want to say more. And then it will be like it is now, those who invest the most, the developers, get the final say. It doesn't mean, they don't care what people say, actually they want to be popular after all. But it doesn't mean, they will abide majority, esp. not when the majority doesn't even know what they vote about. My nice response: Look, KDE is really good at making no decisions. Everything is already configurable. That's how KDE achieves to please the majority. This time will be no exception.

Saying that many concerned posts indicate that something is wrong, is not true. And all you are going to achieve is letting developers think, well, why do we tell them before it's ready and they can understand by using it? Your at best only going to close the minds of those that were open to you. And your going to spoil their expectations about how good they can explain things to you.

No KDE developer seems willing to let anybody's concern here become a reality. So why do you assume so, people?

Yours, Kay


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

Is there a list of featues that arn't in KDE3Dolphin but planed for the KDE4 version? Currently Dolphin is missing some pritty good file browsing featues found in Konquorer.

I know embedded konsole and Tree view are in the works (http://dot.kde.org/1172721427/1172794484/1172821938/1172826380/ and http://dot.kde.org/1172721427/1172796957/1172827469/)

but what about file-size view, spliting the screen multiple times or fine grained control over what you display preivews for? And can you enter into the url bar /home/me/*.jpg?


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

> Is there a list of featues that arn't in KDE3Dolphin but planed
> for the KDE4 version? Currently Dolphin is missing some pritty
> good file browsing featues found in Konquorer.

There is no official list yet, as we don't want to promise too much. But the capabilities of Dolphin in KDE 4.0 will be > than the KDE 3 version of Dolphin. Also Dolphin will be improved after KDE 4.0 :-)

> but what about file-size view,

Is not planned yet, but is worth to consider IMHO.

> spliting the screen multiple times

Not planned yet, depends on the input from the users. Technically it would no be a big problem to offer this.

> or fine grained control over what you display preivews for?

is planned

> And can you enter into the url bar /home/me/*.jpg?

... also planned

Best regards,
Peter


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

Thanks for the quick response full of good news :)

>> spliting the screen multiple times

>Not planned yet, depends on the input from the users. Technically it would no be >a big problem to offer this.

Well my personal user imput would be to do it, its very usefull for quickly cleaning a mess, say splitting one unorganised folder into a bunch of folders. And it will be one less missing feature people could use to say KDE is turning into Gnome.


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

IMHO, splitting in multiple views is a geeky feature. You can always open 3 instances of Dolphin, position the windows on your screen and drag&drop.

More important is that we will have at some point in KDE4 an infrastructure (Nepomuk, Strigi) to tag and search quickly files. It will certainly have an influence on the evolution of Dolphin.


By Charles de Miramon at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

IMHO, since Open Source is developed mostly by geeks, as volenteers, its important for an Open Source project to attract the geek market to maintain a supply of developers. So geeky features are good.


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

And let's be honest, not only the developers are mostly geeks, also most of the users are. But I agree with geek-only functionality this won't change. (Well I wouldn't care.) As long I don't loose my loved geek functions I will be satisfied.


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

Having to resize four different windows and then navigate them from my home directory to where I'm organizing things is time consuming and tedious. With split panes, it's also a thing of the past. Beside that, I don't like having twelve Konqueror windows open- I like twelve tabs at different locations. Why would I suddenly want to spawn extra windows?

I'm curious, what happens if you enter a web address in Dolphin? Does it shift that tab to konqueror via Kparts and go about its merry way? That right there would dispell a lot of resistance I have to it.


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

> it will be one less missing feature people could use to say
> KDE is turning into Gnome.

yeah, because that'll make us change our mind! seriously, how old do you think we are?


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

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