Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tree View

One goal of KDE 4 was that Konqueror stays as the army swiss knife for power users (Dolphin never was intended to replace Konqueror). Konqueror uses the Dolphin KPart for the file management and this implies that the Dolphin KPart must provide the same features as Konqueror in the KDE 3 series to keep our promise.

For KDE 4.0 we could not implement all those features. This is mainly because especially the view parts had to be completely rewritten due to Qt 4's interview. But we are working hard to fill at least some gaps until KDE 4.1. One often requested feature was the missing tree view. Well it's back again:


It is turned off per default in Dolphin, but I think it is no problem for Konqueror users to turn it on :-) There are still some minor issues when reloading views (e. g. the folders get collapsed again), but they will be fixed until the KDE 4.1 release.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fantastic - it's great to see you guys making good on your promise to restore Konqueror to its former, uber-powerful glory, and also good to see the technical reasons why some features didn't manage to get ported over (some people don't seem to grasp the difference between "hasn't been ported yet" and "deliberately removed because we hate choice hurrr").

Please keep it up!

I was wondering - one of my favourite features of Konqueror was the "preview on hover" tool tip. Is this going to be re-instated and, if so, where - in Dolphin, or in Konqueror?

Also (this is probably not something you work on, but I suspect you'll have some insight into the issue) - are there any plans to re-implement the awesomely handy thumbnails in file dialogs? I'm talking about being able to see thumbnails for all files at once, here, not the preview pane that shows one preview at a time. I really miss it in KDE4 :(

Anonymous said...

This is excellent. Now, to shamelessly plug my favorite feature of konqueror in 3.5...
the filtering of folder contents by using wildcards. i.e.
/some/folder/*.avi
would show only avi files in the folder.
Keep up the good work!

Peter Penz said...

> I was wondering - one of my
> favourite features of
> Konqueror was the "preview
> on hover" tool tip. Is this
> going to be re-instated and,
> if so, where - in
> Dolphin, or in Konqueror?

It is planned for Dolphin (and hence also available in Konqueror), but I'm not sure whether we can implement it until KDE 4.1 (there are still many bugs to solve first).

> are there any plans to re-implement
> the awesomely handy thumbnails in
> file dialogs

A patch for this has been posted some weeks ago in core-devel, but it has not been committed yet (after discussing some minor issues no update has been posted). If I have time, I'll implement this (as it was available in KDE 3), but my TODO-list is quite long already ;-)

> he filtering of folder contents by
> using wildcards. i.e.
> /some/folder/*.avi
> would show only avi files in the
> folder.

It's planned that this feature is available again for the URL navigator. In the meantime you could also use the filter bar (Ctrl + I), but I admit that this is a slightly different feature.

> Keep up the good work!

Thanks :-)

Anonymous said...

Excellent. Just to plug the features I miss the most:

*Preview on hover
*Thumbnails on more document types (and the ability for the thumbnails to scale according to the size instead of the now "set the size of the thumbnails in the settings and it stays that way").
*Tabs and/or the more flexible split-view
*The excellent filtering (i.e. I want to see only ghostscript, postscript, and jpeg files)

And not to mention the file dialog issue brought up by another poster.

Peter Penz said...

> Preview on hover

Is planned (see my first reply above).

> Thumbnails on more document types
> (and the ability for the thumbnails
> to scale according to the size instead
> of the now "set the size of the
> thumbnails in the settings and it
> stays that way").

Dolphin just uses the thumbnail mechanism from kdelibs and depends on the available thumbnail plugins. I think in KDE 4.1 the number of available plugins will be higher. Regarding the resizing: on trunk the information sidebar has been improved already so that increasing the sidebar increases the thumbnail too.

> Tabs and/or the more
> flexible split-view

I'll need to write a dedicated blog entry for this topic in near future. For the current state, please have a look at https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=143995

> * The excellent filtering

Is planned (see my first reply above).

jospoortvliet said...

first off, great to see you blogging. Second, a feature request (but I suspect it already is on bugs.kde.org): please bring back the 'copy to' and 'move to' options in the right mouse click menu of the files - it was and is amazing.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

a also like Dolphin a lot. But I like to have one improvement (which isn't crucial, but only a minor wishlist-item):

In the Detail-view I can select the columns which are displayed (Name, Size, Owner, Date, etc. pp.). It would be very nice to be able to move / reorder the columns (just enable all columns: The Type-col is now on the very right side. I would like to have it near the Date).

Thank you for such a nice programm!

benjamin

Emil Sedgh said...

Hi
congrats for the new blog.happy blogging!
Well, i really miss the media:/ from kde3.in kde4, we just have Dolphin to mount/unmount discs.so, it would be good if konqueror gets some media detection (but not media:/, which just works is kapps)

Peter Penz said...

@Jos:
> please bring back the 'copy to'
> and 'move to' options in the right
> mouse click menu of the files - it
> was and is amazing.

Is on the TODO-list from David and me quite some time already, I hope we can get it in into 4.1.

@Benjamin
> It would be very nice to be able to
> move / reorder the columns

Good input, added to my TODO-list :-)

@Emil
> Wit would be good if konqueror
> gets some media detection

Yes, the sidebar plugins from Konqueror are still based on a lot of old KDE3 code AFAIK. The widgets for the Places sidebar from Dolphin are in kdelibs already, so it should be not very difficult adding this to Konqueror. David Faure is currently very busy with critical fixes, so I'm not sure if this can be done until KDE 4.1

Anonymous said...

Hi,

The tree view is great!

What I really miss is a "link to the parent directory" e.g. the "." directory.

When I browse directories, it is mostly uncomfortable to go up a directory:
To go up I must click on the right part in the "Location Bar".

In all three views it would be so much easier (and intuitive) when the "." directory would bring me to the parent directory...

thanks for all the work.

Caesar Tjalbo said...

The power and versatility of Konqueror leave plenty of work I'm sure and Konqueror provides easy imagination how things can be even more powerful. There's no other application I use so often and for such a wide range of activities as Konqueror.
Thank you for all the work!

Parker said...

Excellent! Tree view was my favourite and the only feature I really missed after switching to Dolphin.

I'd really like to congratulate you on all you've accomplished with Dolphin. You created a small, alternative file manager on the fringes of the KDE project. Eventually enough people came to appreciate your work that the decision was made to move Dolphin into KDE as the default file manager.

But the entire time you've been force to fend off attacks by some very vocal and often harsh critics. The part that amazes me most is that I've never seen you be anything but completely polite and helpful with said critics. It must take a lot of quiet meditation to resist the urge to scream "For the 1000th #%$@ing time, Dolphin isn't intended to replace Konqueror." or "If we add everyone's #%$@ing favourite Konqueror feature to Dolphin, they wouldn't be separate applications." or most of all "If Dolphin doesn't have all the power user features you need, for #%$@'s sake, keep using Konqueror!".

You've done some outstanding work, but oddly enough, I think at this point the best thing you could do for the Dolphin project is to add some new features to Konqueror. A few new, really nerdy features, might be enough to convince people that Konqueror isn't going anywhere and to divert some of the negative "power user" energy away from Dolphin.

Peter Penz said...

@Parker:
> The part that amazes me most is
> that I've never seen you be anything
> but completely polite and helpful
> with said critics. It must take a
> lot of quiet meditation to resist
> the urge to scream "For the 1000th
> #%$@ing time, Dolphin isn't intended
> to replace Konqueror."

Comments like yours help me to keep my motivation and to believe that there are some people out there who like what I'm doing :-) It is really not always easy to stay polite, especially when the critics go against me as person instead of the application capabilities. But the KDE developer community is really great. People like Aaron helped me getting through some difficult times I had when e. g. reading http://dot.kde.org/1172721427.

metellius said...

Another feature I've been wondering about (i've many times seriously considered implementing this by myself): in a tree view in any file selector, you have to scroll both horizontally and vertically which is very tiresome. Scrolling horizontally automatically is something that I have seen implemented on vista, allowing the user to only focus on vertical scrolling. I would very much like to see something like this in KDE treeviews as well!

Anonymous said...

"(i've many times seriously considered implementing this by myself)"

It sounds to me like Peter and co have a TODO list a mile long, so I'm sure he and everyone else would really appreciate it if you did this. Please do so - hopefully, you'll get addicted and implement more of his TODO items - working on KDE is quite intoxicating, I hear ;)

Peter Penz said...

@Metellius:
> Scrolling horizontally
> automatically is something that
> I have seen implemented on vista,
> allowing the user to only focus
> on vertical scrolling. I would
> very much like to see something
> like this in KDE treeviews as well!

I agree. Added to my (too long) TODO-list now ;-) If you want to help ("i've many times seriously considered implementing this by myself"), please just let me know.

Anonymous said...

"Dolphin just uses the thumbnail mechanism from kdelibs and depends on the available thumbnail plugins. I think in KDE 4.1 the number of available plugins will be higher."

I rather thought that might be the case...still, no biggie. I just miss the movie previews which were real handy when you work with a lot of video-files.

"Regarding the resizing: on trunk the information sidebar has been improved already so that increasing the sidebar increases the thumbnail too."

That's good, but I wasn't thinking about the sidebar. For now I don't use that one at all since it takes up too much screen estate while providing too little extra information.

No, I was thinking about the thumbnails in the main view.

"I'll need to write a dedicated blog entry for this topic in near future. For the current state, please have a look at https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=143995"

I've read it, and I still say at least tabs should be implemented eventually. When you or someone else has the time and/or good ideas of how to do it the best way.

I guess I could use Konqueror in the meantime but that would unfortunately mean:

1. External programs may try to open urls in the filemanager window instead of the browser (my main pet peeve of KDE 3.x).
2. I would loose the lovely breadcrumb, and that would be REALLY annoying.

"Is planned (see my first reply above)."

Not the filtering I had in mind. I didn't mean filter on the basis of extensions alone. I don't know how konqueror in 3.x did it, but I assume it looked up what mime-types were registered and presented those in the menu to let you choose as many or as few as you needed.

I hope you didn't take this the wrong way, because I think you're doing a stellar job. And I'm one of those that thought it was a bad idea to introduce a new filemanager, but now I really can not see myself going back to konqueror. It's been delegated into being "only" a webbrowser, and an outstanding one at that (firefox, what's that?).

Oh, and a question while I'm at it. If someone would think of a new view mode that would be useful, does it have to be patched into the current dolphin sources or can it be implemented outside of dolphin-proper? For example, could a image handling program provide a plugin to dolphin to give it a timeline/exif viewing mode? Okay, maybe a stupid example but I hope you get the idea.

Peter Penz said...

> Not the filtering I had in mind.
> I didn't mean filter on the
> basis of extensions alone.
> I don't know how konqueror in
> 3.x did it, but I assume it
> looked up what mime-types were
> registered and presented those
> in the menu to let you choose
> as many or as few as you needed.

Ah, now I know what you mean. Yes, might make sense but as my TODO list is already too huge for 4.1 I'd like to postpone this. I'm not sure whether this feature is really a must-have, but let's see.

> I've read it, and I still say at
> least tabs should be implemented
> eventually.

As already mentioned in the thread: I'm not against tabs in general, but _if_ we implement this in Dolphin, then we must do it really right without adding 10 menu items... But this is definitely something for > KDE 4.1 :-)

> I hope you didn't take this
> the wrong way, because I
> think you're doing a stellar job.
> And I'm one of those that thought
> it was a bad idea to introduce a
> new filemanager, but now I really
> can not see myself going back to
> konqueror.

Cool, that's nice to hear :-)

> Oh, and a question while I'm at
> it. If someone would think of a
> new view mode that would be
> useful, does it have to be
> patched into the current dolphin
> sources or can it be implemented
> outside of dolphin-proper?

It must be implemented as new view mode in Dolphin. In opposite to Konqueror Dolphin does not support external plugins. This has for sure the drawback of not being extandable that easy, but on the other hand shows its benefit regarding performance and a tighter integration (e. g. each view mode can be adjusted in the settings etc.).

Martin said...

I don't know if this is the place to ask, but could you please fix the item selection problem? In kde3 I can click on the column for a file to select it. I can't click on the filename itself, because that will open the file. In kde4 apparently I'm forced to click on the file (and open it) unless I hold down Ctrl or something.

Peter Penz said...

@Martin:
> I don't know if this is the place
> to ask, but could you please fix
> the item selection problem? In
> kde3 I can click on the column
> for a file to select it. I can't
> click on the filename itself,
> because that will open the file.
> In kde4 apparently I'm forced to
> click on the file (and open it)
> unless I hold down Ctrl
> or something.

This has been fixed already in trunk, but in a different way as in KDE 3. One approach is now used which allows selecting of files in the icons view, details view and column view in the same way: a selection button is faded in above the upper left of the hover selection. By clicking the button a selection is done. I'll create a custom blog entry about this feature, it is difficult to describe without screenshots.

Anonymous said...

"As already mentioned in the thread: I'm not against tabs in general, but _if_ we implement this in Dolphin, then we must do it really right without adding 10 menu items... But this is definitely something for > KDE 4.1 :-)"

Totally understandable. Both the timeframe and that it needs to be done properly or not at all. While useful, the options for dealing with tabs did end up all over the interface of Konqueror of old.

troy-at-kde said...

Just to remind you Peter, you're a hero for soliciting feedback this way after all the negative responses you've gotten over the last year. I love Dolphin, and I love your code.

Cheers

Peter Penz said...

@Troy:
> Just to remind you Peter, you're a
> hero for soliciting feedback this
> way after all the negative responses
> you've gotten over the last year. I
> love Dolphin, and I love your code.

Thanks Troy, it's good to hear positive comments beside some rants on the dot during the last year ;-) But I got also a lot of positive feedback per e-mail last year, which gave me the motivation to continue. I still have the impression that a lot of negative comments on dot, OS News etc. don't reflect the typical target user base of Dolphin, but I always try to be open for constructive comments. I hope this will pay off in KDE 4.2 where Dolphin should be in a stage like I always wanted to have it ;-)

James D said...

Good news that one feature will be back. Any plans for the return of info list and file size views? I also seem to recall (I'm using 3.5 at the moment precisely because of the file management issues with 4, but let's not start that one again...) that configure background has also vanished in KDE4 -- this was very useful with multiple panes.

Leher said...

It has been a while since somebody commented here, but i had a question on Konqueror. I have heard that the writing extensions for Konqueror is going to get easy in 4. Is it really true ?

Is there any documentation on how to write extensions to konqueror ?

Peter Penz said...

@leher:
> I have heard that the writing
> extensions for Konqueror is going
> to get easy in 4. Is it really true ?

I don't know honestly speaking. I think writing "extensions" for Konqueror is as easy/difficult (?) as it was before in KDE 3. I'm also not sure what you mean with "extensions": service menus or KPart plugins.

Leher said...

Thanks for the info. I suppose it will be a combination of both service menus and kpart plugins !? I was planning to write something which will mimick some of the extensions that I was/am used to when using firefox. (Linky, CustomizeGoogle, NoSquint to name a few, if you are curious).

I was hoping it will be easier when 4.x comes out. Is there any one/place i can find out for sure as to if there are any changes.

Peter Penz said...

@leher:
> Is there any one/place i can find
> out for sure as to if there are
> any changes.

Yes, just check http://api.kde.org/index.php. kdebase/apps/dolphin/src/dolphinpart.* shows a sample implementation of a KPart.

james said...

I am sure many people love the automatic horizontal scrolling of the tree view but due to the layout of my filesystem and network, it causes me quite a bit of confusion, is there any way to turn this feature off?

Like the program, you are doing an awesome job. Thanks!

-j