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 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.


Well, the way it will be is that Dolphin is the default. Konqueror and Krusader are alternates which you can use, and set as default. I know that there are a lot of people out there that really love Konqueror (I'm one of them) who will love Konqueror all throughout the KDE 4 series. The fact that Dolphin will be listed in the K Menu will not harm your user experience in any way.

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

"I know that there are a lot of people out there that really love Konqueror.(I'm one of them)"

LoL! What is puzzling is I still cannot find a real user who would say "I need my file manager crippled, and thus I prefer Dolphin." People moan when Kubuntu hides some folders, imagine what moaning you will get when suddenly smb:// ftp:// or other non-local paths stop working in the default file/resource browser.

Is there ANYONE out there who can truly say "By default, I (focus is on I) need a browser that puts tight limits on what is possible to do with files."?

For a lot of web-enabled people, there is NO separation between remote and local resources. Once we get to metadata / tag / DB enabled filesystems, there will no longer be a need for "file manager" I just hope I get my search-enabled interface to my data: files, contact info, messages etc. This way Dolphin will hopefully be the last thing I would have to use on my system.

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

Dolphin will do smb and ftp, worry not :)

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

Seeing as KIO is integral to KDE's file handling there's no way it would just stop working.

> By default, I (focus is on I) need a browser that puts tight
> limits on what is possible to do with files.

But that's not what Dolphin is supposed to do - in fact, by not having to worry about also being a web browser, it can offer an interface better suited to file management.

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

>But that's not what Dolphin is supposed to do - in fact, by not having to worry about also being a web browser, it can offer an interface better suited to file management.

Please explain how Dolphin is better suited to file management? What about it makes it better? Be Specific.

By Steve at Tue, 2008/03/18 - 5:00am

1. Dolphin already does ftp:/ and sftp:/ (I don't have smb:/ to test). It also does everything in remote:/, which includes Bluetooth stuff and Samba shares.

2. Dolphin doesn't put tight limits on what you can do with files. It only sort of limits what it, the application, presents to the user, that is, limiting the UI to file management functions. Whatever file *management* (emphasis on the management) functions you need, they are there. Management doesn't directly involve embedded viewing. It's just an added bonus in Konqueror, thanks to KParts.

3. "Web-enabled people" is a bit vague. Does this term refer to people who can surf the Web? Some of these people don't even know remote vs. local. In fact, they don't even know about remote files. Now, if you're talking about people who knows about servers, remote locations, FTP's, etc., then you're talking about advanced users, people who can configure their system, who can change the default file manager from Dolphin to Konqueror.

People don't really say "I want a crippled file manager." Some do say that they want a file manager that is separate from the web browser, but still shares in the benefits of KDE (KParts and KIO). Dolphin is for these people. Dolphin answers almost all the basic file managing needs. If you want more, Konqueror will always be there.

(And I do want more!!)

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

Well 95% of people using a computer are used to a a file manager that does web browsing and have no issue with that, are used to have an explorer-like windows on the left side and are OK with that, are used to have no crumbread thing or whatever but a path field and are OK with that.
Whether Gnome and OSX have switched to a different way of doing file management does not mean it's a good thing, I know a good deal of people, computer-saavy or not, who find it irritating at best. I don't think there has been any serious study showing that's actually better way of doing it and the fact is that most people actually do not use such stuff.
So making it the default seems a strange idea to me if it's supposed to bring new users, it doesn't seem to have really brought any new user to either Gnome or OSX. It actually make things a bit more different for people coming from Windows, and that's usually enough to have them back.
And if the answer is "well you can personnalize Dolphin to look like Konqueror/Explorer", what's the point making Dolphin the default then?
People will probably tell me that Konqueror will not go away, that I'll still be able to do whatever I've done with it in the past just the same, etc.
OK, fine.
But I don't think than setting the file manager that looks like something about 5% of computer users are used to is such a well thought-out decision, and the arguments have been provided by proponents of this idea("simpler is better", some people want a separate app") look more like gut feeling than based on any solid poll, statistics or study.
Why not a wizard at first start of KDE asking if you prefer a OSX-like file manager or a Windows-like as default? This way everybody can have what he's used to.

By Richard Van Den Boom at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

> Well 95% of people using a computer are used to a a file manager that does web browsing and have no issue with that

Granted you are referring to Windows, how many times does windows open a link from an external application inside Windows Explorer? While Internet/Windows Explorer are much like Konqueror, in that they both do file management and web browsing, the distinction between the two is clear and persistent. Things don't get mixed together. Konqueror's Profiles are not as strong.

> And if the answer is "well you can personnalize Dolphin to look like Konqueror/Explorer", what's the point making Dolphin the default then?

I think no one said this (might be wrong, though). It was just said that Dolphin will be equally configurable as an KDE app is. Of course, within the limits of it being a file manager.

Dolphin was never meant to be a clone of some other file manager. Its aim is to be a "file manager for KDE focusing on usability". If it incorporated some features that are similar to other file managers, it doesn't do so for the sake of imitation, but because of their usability.

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

OK, I agree that Konqueror's profiles would need work, and I also know that it may not be as easy as it sounds, depending on how the app was coded in the first place. I understand pretty well that sometimes, starting again from scratch is often the best way to improve a software, so I will never complain about people trying to do something different, especially in open source.
On top of that, I'm perfectly able to change the default file manager if the option exists, so I don't expect to be lost.
The thing is : the little "usability" I can sort out from screenshots (I don't have the possibility to test Dolphin right now) seems to imply a heavy influence from Gnome/MacOS. It may not be the only source of inspiration, I don't know, but the general look does. It may seem more usable to some, but there's probably as many people, if not more, that will prefer a standard Explorer-like window and Konqueror is a better match for them.

To answer your question, every FTP request is actually opening an Explorer-like window, in which you can drag and drop from local explorer windows, just like Konqueror.

What I mean about all this is : for all the examples of people I know who would prefer a Konqueror-like file manager, you will probably find as many who will prefer Dolphin. I'm perfectly OK with that, Open Source is about choice after all. But I think imposing Dolphin as default leaves as many people "in the dust" and not just power-users. Providing the choice between the two styles of file management at first start would be the option I would choose personnally.

By Richard Van Den Boom at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

Okay, compromise time. Dolphin is the default file manager. It was also clearly stated (and even shown in a picture) that it can be switched to resemble the current status quo (toolbar, path bar, file pane, sidebar). I think there's significant weight to the point that you want to cater to the majority while still expanding their horizons- they can switch when they're ready, if ever. To wit, make the "classic view" the Dolphin default, and allow people to customize from there. That way, everyone is happy.

It should be noted, however, that I like tabs. I like a path. I like embedded document viewers. They all help my workflow. And really, why would you spend all that time making Okular if you can't use it with Kparts to show a pdf in a file manager tab? While I appreciate the Unix philosophy of "one application per task," it only works when a user can create a positive environment to work in with it. This, I find, is accomplised through developments like Kparts, Phonon, and Solid. That's a damn good question, actually- how will Kparts be extended and improved in KDE4?

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

I think I am in a mid place here. I somewhat like the integration between the file manager and the web browser, while at the same time I feel in the case of Konquieror this integration is not completely well done.
I agree with the fact that Konqueror's profiles are not extensive (they don't affect application behaviour as much as they should).

I like the fact that when I'm browsing the internet I could see a PDF just in the browser window, but I really dislike the fact that when I'm looking for an image in the file manager and double click over an image name, the image opens in my file manager window. The problem in this respect with Konqueror is that you can't define distinct behaviours for file types for file management and web browsing modes.

The other complaints I have with Konqueror is with it's tree view sidebar when in file management mode, because it lacks some basic functionality.
There are really two things that I don't like:
1) not beaing able to rename a directory in the tree view
2) the tree view don't always follow the directory showing on the right side (hidden ones, etc.)

I think Dolphin could be a welcome addition to KDE if done right (make it simple and coherent with what has been file management inside KDE until now), but at the same time I tend to think that there were so little things that separated Konqueror from being the perfect file manager/web browser that it's a pitty hackers hasn't been able/willing to correct or add them for KDE 4.

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

>>> I like the fact that when I'm browsing the internet I could see a PDF just in the browser window, but I really dislike the fact that when I'm looking for an image in the file manager and double click over an image name, the image opens in my file manager window. The problem in this respect with Konqueror is that you can't define distinct behaviours for file types for file management and web browsing modes.

1. I guess most people want to view a image file really fast and quick instead of open it for editing in GIMP.

2. If you really prefer defaulting to open an image file in an seperate application, just configure it in Konq:
Right-Click on the file name to open the context menu, select 'Property' and press the 'troque' icon to open the MIME configuration dialogue. Here, select the 'Embeding view' tab and change the default behaviour to 'open in seperate app.'.
You can even have different setting for different type of image file, is it sweet?

By konqueror lover at Fri, 2008/06/20 - 5:00am

>>> The other complaints I have with Konqueror is with it's tree view sidebar when in file management mode, because it lacks some basic functionality.
There are really two things that I don't like:
1) not beaing able to rename a directory in the tree view
2) the tree view don't always follow the directory showing on the right side (hidden ones, etc.)

For your 1) complaint. It actually support 'renaming' but you must bring up the context menu and select 'rename' to do it. Pressing 'F2' or Press&Hold left button don't work as they should. A minor bug.

By konqueror lover at Fri, 2008/06/20 - 5:00am

thats actually not true at all. most windows users don't even know that the explorer is the same thing as the internet explorer. and when you look at it as a user, it really isn't.

internet explorer and explorer look completely diffrent. they don't share toolbars, the don't share options. they don't share anything besides the same executable.

the only way to notice that these are the same is when entering a web url in your normal explorer view. though what you get is en explorer suddenly shifting into internet explorer - not an explorer displaying a webpage. also the explorer doesn't show files, even if you click on a local html side it starts a new internet explorer instance.

also, when you click on "my computer", and thats what most new users use, because its more or less the only filesystem related thing by default on the desktop windows starts a explorer without the treeview. you only get the treeview when you search for the "real" Explorer in your start menu or use a special shortkey/rightclick on the startmenu - something normal windows users wont do.

though actually i don't care what windows users expect. there should be reasoning to do something like you do. not just because everyone else does it this way.

i don't think viewing documents(including webpages...) has anything to do with managing your filesystem. i never created new "things", or move "things" around, while reading the dot. my webpages don't resemble a graph or tree. so i don't think i should use the same program for both... it just doesn't make any sense.....

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

Well I have both of them opened right now on my Windows desktop here at work :

You have exactly the same menus names, exactly the same position of tool bar, path, and OK button, the same previous and next icon at the same place.
You basically have several icons added to the browser version but that's about it.
There is a Favorites menu in the file manager window, with all the links to websites I recorded.
I don't know for you but most people I know actually switch to treeview once they know about it. I perfectly agree that my experience is just one data point but nobody seems to actually be able to provide anything else here anyway.
Moreover, when they get to FTP sites, seemlessly from their browser, people get a file manager view and usually like it, that one of the complains I hear most often against Firefox.

The argument of taking into account Windows users is an argument against the "simple is better" one : people not always prefer what is simple but what they are used to, especially non-power users. I've seen many Windows users being baffled by OSX file manager and finding it not practical at all. So if you plan to make things easier for people, their vision should be taken into account too.

Going on the web is not just watching web pages but also sending and receiving files nowadays. Having the possibility to do file management through the web thus makes perfect sense. And in that view, having two different apps doesn't.

It just come down to what you're doing and how you want to do it. Having both solutions is OK to me, but I think you consider that many people, and not just power users, are used to browse their files in a certain way and that KDE should provide a way to do it in a straightforward manner, not through hidden options.

By Richard Van Den Boom at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

Don't worry. Vista acts exactly as OSX and Gnome (and as KDE will do). So 99% of user in 3-4 years will be experiencing separate file/web browsing

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

Let Vista acts as it wants. But WHY should KDE copy Vista (or OSX, or GNOME, or whatsoever else)? Why? Many people like KDE as it is. Don't turn it to another bad copy of Mac, like gnome already is. Let there be at least one _normal_ DE, please.

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

_I_ would like a separate file manager. I like konqueror very much but still. I certainly prefer external file viewers (pdf _really_ annoys me when opened in konqueror- when I mistakenly use the left mouse click).
I also do not like having my Web bookmarks in my file browser.

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

You would like a separate file manager just for a configurable setting you don't like?

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

When I heard the news about a simplified file manager instead of Konqueror the first thing I thought was : "Oh no ! I moved out from Gnome and they gonna do me the same stalinian treatment, soon, it will be our way or no way, hidden editable paths, reversed buttons, configurability to what *we* think it is best for you.."

But I tried Dolphin and I understood immediately the benefits !

I consider Konqueror the best web browser ever, but it is really confusing for me, for example :
- you grab a window you never know in which "profile" it is so trying to fit a profile to a purpose is useless
- what is home ? I have 2 homes, my google home page and my /home/user
- what is the default page, should I put one in the profile ?
- you have the focus on a specific file in the file browsing mode, shift+down arrow then you have a "really selected one" video reversed and a "current one" just with a border.. you do a ctrl-C, which ones are copied ?

With dolphin, everything is clear and that's what I need when I move around important files !

For whose who are sceptical like me, just try it ! associate it as your default file handler for directories and try it a bit, in no way it is a gnome like regression.


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

I've never seen the point of having a "home" webpage. Just enable the bookmark toolbar and put your frequently used webpages in the root directory.

It is true that the profile system in Konqueror is a bit messed up but this could be fixed, I hope the Dolphin project doesn't stop this from happening.

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

Well, I for one work for an Internet website and I find it useful in having a default webpage opened whenever I launch my browser, instead of having to type it in or click on a bookmark...

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

Konqueror already does this. Open the page or directory you want to be the default page and then save that profile. Everytime you launch that Konqueror profile, you get that page.

The problem starts when you try to return to that page when you try to press the Home button. Unless you set it to a different location in Konqueror's settings, it goes to the user's home directory. While this is ideal in the file management profile, it's a bit unnatural in a web browsing profile.

By Juan Carlos Torres at Sun, 2007/03/04 - 6:00am

You brought me to an idea that could be a killer feature for Konqueror of KDE 4:

How about modifying the target of the home button that way that it displays a nice HTML page with your bookmarks/favourite places? This could be easily done with a (local) KIO-Slave called "bookmarks" that delivers a HTML page.

If you look around in the internet many web sites want to be your "home". They are portals that you can personalize in order to make them your "base camp". The downside is: You are locked in, reveal a lot of your personal data (habits, interests, whatever) for data mining and you have to accept that these sites want to promote their stuff which is not necessarily the stuff you want.

Now imagine a "home" which is feed by you own browser history and browser bookmarks. For example boxes representing your bookmark folders, screen space weighted by a tag cloud mechanism (taking the number of your views of these bookmarks as calculation basis) and of course if you like, tweaking this "home" page to your own needs by yourself...

This thing would provide *much* more than Windows Live and friends would ever be able to provide to you while being at the same time:
* Much more intuitive and usable, cause the page is directly feed by your browsing habits and without needing to create yet another strange account somewhere on the web.
* Best possible privacy. Your personal browsing data never leave your computer in aggregated form. You don't need to trust anybody but you that they don't do data mining on these data... And of course this local home page is not restricted by privacy laws. ;-) You can do personal data mining on your own as much as you like in order to dynamically customize your home to your needs.
* No customization - site provider tradeoffs. You don't need to accept ads, preselected search engines, pre selected whatever pages the site provider wants to promote in your customized home.

How about that idea?

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

ooooh, shiny.

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

"The fact that Dolphin will be listed in the K Menu will not harm your user experience in any way."

It's not the fact that it is listed in the file manager that bothers me. It's that (for most users) they will believe that the "file manager" for KDE is just as broken as it is in Gnome. When did we start to confuse a lack of functionality as a feature?

I have heard almost NO ONE (at least no one who is not already totally convinced to use Gnome regardless of what we do) who thinks that Konqueror web integration was a bad thing. Why are we changing this? Why?

0h, and just as an FYI.. someone type /home into your firefox browser... or open an html page in Nautilus... OMG web and file integration!


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

I have to agree. Dolphin seems like a solution in search of a problem. Every single Konqueror complaint I've read in this thread seems more easily addressable by changing the respective KParts than by creating a separate file manager.

Maybe I'll change my mind once I try it, but from what I've read so far, Dolphin seems to be quite a big step in the wrong direction. Konqueror is a fairly capable web browser (though it has at least two severe rendering problems: bad CSS and major slowness), but it seriously rocks as a file manager. I'll try to keep an open mind, but my gut instinct is that Dolphin is going to cause more problems than it solves.

By Tony O'Bryan at Sun, 2007/03/04 - 6:00am

Actually, I can't say that the CSS problems I have are due to Konqueror (KHTML). It's entirely possible that the problem is with web sites that have bad CSS. However, Firefox renders those sites correctly.

By Tony O'Bryan at Sun, 2007/03/04 - 6:00am

I agree with all the positives that have been said for Konqueror and love the integration and file viewing flexibility. When I am doing this and need to include viewing web documents it is perfect. When I just want to do some web browsing I use Firefox.

Please don't hide this easy to use and wonderfully flexible piece of software from new users. If anything, it should be treated as a flagship.


By neal at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am

> that their file managers are not as capable as Konqueror

what capabilities are you concerned will be left behind?

you see, the goal is not to create a crappy file manager. it's to create a file manager that has just that one purpose in life. that means it needs to be capable and include the best features kde makes available to it.

> only users I hear complain about Konqueror

this isn't in response to complaints. it's in response to the usability of konqueror as tested with real people.

> then why not simply use Krusader

krusader is an interesting tool with a very dedicated following. however, to make it usable for the general user base and make it feel modern would require some massive changes. i don't think that's fair to the project's users or developers. they know what they want.

By Aaron J. Seigo at Fri, 2007/03/02 - 6:00am

> what capabilities are you concerned will be left behind?

directory tree.

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

It seems that the missing directory tree is one of the most requested features of Dolphin. I'll start implementing a prototype during the next days, so that Dolphin offers a dock for such a tree. It's also planned to integrate Qt4.3'
s ColumnView into Dolphin (see Icefox' blog for details).

Best regards,

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

> It's also planned to integrate Qt4.3's ColumnView into Dolphin (see Icefox' blog
> for details).

Nice. I'm eager to see this in dolphin!

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

nice! I must say I did expect you to do this, as it's a pretty basic filemanager feature. And I have all the confidence in you and the other dolphin hackers to expect dolphin to be very cool. I might even use it, though that's not very likely as i often deliberately mix webbrowsing and filemanagement (drag'n'drop a local or ftp or fish file into a html input field like gmail's using split-window for example).

Anyway, I think this will benefit KDE enormously.

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

I suppose some people will love QColumnView, but you really really must include the traditional tree view as well.

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

"It seems that the missing directory tree is one of the most requested features of Dolphin. I'll start implementing a prototype during the next days, so that Dolphin offers a dock for such a tree."

Everybody claiming that the incorporation of Dolphin is a sign of the "GNOME-ificiation" of KDE would do well to read this post. There's no reason - none at all - why Dolphin shouldn't be a very powerful file manager, perhaps surpassing Konqueror itself, which must sometimes make concessions due to its dual-nature and resulting large code-base.

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

Posting one year later:

The dirtree in Dolphin sucks. No horizontal scrolling (bad when you start to get far down a tree), no way to choose the root of the tree (it changes it for you depending on where you go in the filesystem.. brilliant?), and the root of the tree *isn't even shown*. No copy and paste on the directories shows in the dirtree. It is inferior in every way. *Nautilus*' dirtree is better.

It's clear the dirtree was added just to get those of us who complained about it's absence to shut up, and was promptly left to rot. It was added by people who obviously don't care about it or use things like it (since they initially left it out) and it shows.

By AS at Thu, 2008/01/31 - 6:00am

embedded console part

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

It is planned that this will be supported in the final version for Dolphin for KDE 4.0.

Best regards,

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

I personally am surprised that so many people fear that Dolphin will be worse file browser in any way than Konqueror.

My fear is that once Dolphin gets so good like it already looks, that my beloved Konqueror gets neglected in the file management domain.

To me it makes sense to e.g. have a file manager in one tab and certain web sites that relate to these files there. I like "Copy to location" menu from the context, etc.

What I think people don't want to miss is what Kontact is to Kmail and Knode, with regards to Konqueror and Dolphin. The one thing that allows them to be tightly bundled. What surprises me is that instead of Dolphin, there wasn't a web browser spin off done, or both at the same time, with a unification plan.

Yours, Kay

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

> what capabilities are you concerned will be left behind?


See my post below:

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

I second that. Tabs should not get lost.

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

"If it really bothered people so much that Konqueror also did file management; then why not the wholesale conversion to Krusader?"

Yeah, I was wondering that as well...Krusader is way underrated!

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

Ok hold on guys, if we really want this thing called dolphine, why should i use kde??? there is one already called nautilus which we all think SUCKS! so why copy it to KDE. KONQI is now the B E S T file manager ever... do not waste time on this fishy thing...


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

Nautilus sucks? Why? I never really used. So can you tell me?

Is Konqueror the only thing you like of KDE? What about KIO-slaves, k3b, Amarok, Kontact, KDevelop, digiKam, krusader, KOffice, ...
KDE is much much more than the "simple" kpart shell called Konqueror.

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

I think that the reason why nautilus isn't a good file manager is more than the lack of options. gnome-vfs isn't really implemented in all GNOME apps, which makes opening remote files a hit-and-miss, and it isn't snappy enough to really justify using it all of the time.

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

I use Firefox, so I'm happy to see Dolphin. It means I don't need to separately install Krusader (which is great, but a little slow at times).

I hate it when distros get too far away from "The Unix Way". I don't want one massive utility shoved at me that does 500 things. My file manager should be a file manager. My web browser should be a web browser. They can interoperate, but I should be able to decide what tool I want for which purpose. I mean, why have Kaffeine or Amarok? Why not just play and view everything directly in Konqueror? Why not use it as my programming IDE, too?

If I used Konquror as my browser, I might feel different. I don't really know. Konqueror as a web browser seems to be weak in a lot of areas that I rely on

As far as file management, I'm not sure what Konqueror ever offered that Krusader/Dolphin do not.

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

If you don't use Konq., then you will never understand why every of us call it the most powerfull file manager in all plateforms. If fact, I think Konq. is actually being used as an plateform itself, somewhat like emacs.

Note this. I'm now in Koqn running in Gnome running in Ubuntu Linux running in VMWare Fusion running in OS-X 10.5. I tried to love Mac Finder and Nautilus but eventually retreated to my loved Konq.

But I do envy the Nautilus way of serching/locate file by just pressing the first few characters of the file name. Nautilus also has better decoding for CJK file name than Konq (It just works in Nautilus but needs some installation and configuration of proper font in Konq).

By konqueror lover at Fri, 2008/06/20 - 5:00am

Bobby, I just moved to OpenSuSE 11.1 and it has been a nightmare. The main reason, I do not like at all the Dolphin file manager. I removed it and guess what!? Konqueror is broken! well, as you said, it is not broken but that is how it feels when all the good things that made it the best file manager, are gone. Until finding this forum, I thought Konqueror was broken, but now I know that somebody got the idea of dismantling it.
A web browser? not that much. On KDE3+, Konqueror had so many problems to present websites properly... My main web browser? not at all. Firefox solved all the problems. But for FTP managing, konqueror was great, for file-managing, the best ever.
So I see as a total mistake to push konqueror to become just a webbrowser instead of using it for the best it has been for; a file manager.

Dolphin is so limited!!! Very often, I use more than 5 tabs in konqueror as a filemanager. Dolphins cannot. Konqueror's previews helped so much. Dolphin just wastes space on the screen, where Konqueror provided tools and valuable information. The integration with Digikam, so use to it. Fast and reliable. Specially for those that use tons of photo files to manage. But Dolphin cannot do it. So, I tried to manage Konqueror4 to look like in KDE3+ but no way... not even the view modes are available to be set back... Then do not even try to install the package for file size view mode.. and the device notifier widget still pushes for Dolphin, despite I removed, to open the devices and I see no section where to select the file manager. A nightmare...
All the problems that were presented in this introduction, I never had them as "problems" and I am also one of those loving the up button's behavior. And everything else like "unwanted buttons" on the bars, was able to be managed through the profiles instead of removing the power to the best file manager ever. Now I have an endless list of problems...

In my opinion, the KDE guys are moving Konqueror to the wrong direction. They are pushing it to its weaker side as a web browser instead of celebrating its best side as a file manager. Konqueror as file manager and extended capabilities was the reason why I kept KDE instead of GNOME.

Sorry guys I am very upset. I should never had moved to KDE4.

By polo at Fri, 2008/12/26 - 6:00am

IMHO Dolphin is a great file manager that has just enough power for most users.
Konqueror on the other hand is the ultimate tool the power-user can dream of; and a good browser too...

But, I see one problem with this setting. There isn't an easy to use browser for KDE. One that takes away many of the less used functions but offers a better usability.

This is (more or less) similar to Mozilla/Seamonkey vs. Firefox for that matter.

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