Friday, April 18, 2008

Dolphin Features for KDE 4.1

The deadline for adding features to KDE 4.1 is April the 20th. This means that the feature set for Dolphin is fixed now:
  • Tooltips (Konstantin Heil and Fredrik Höglund)
  • "Copy To"/"Move To" entries in context menu (David Faure)
  • Improved information panel: dynamic resizing of previews, better Nepomuk integration (Sebastian Trüg)
  • Better drag and drop support for the places panel
  • Inline renaming (Fredrik Höglund)
  • Tabs

Beside those features 97 bugs and wishes have been fixed until now. Some important fixes are:
  • Improved performance for previews
  • Optimized selection size and textwrapping fixes for the icon view
  • Consistent copy/paste behavior as Konqueror in KDE 3

Still there is a lot of work left for KDE 4.1 and I'd appreciate it if people would check the latest trunk version and give feedback on bugs.kde.org :-) Thanks!

40 comments:

Hans said...

"Tabs"

What!? Did I hear you right? Seriously, tabs?

Wow.

It's always nice to give feedback on Dolphin - you often get a very fast reply, the answer is written in a friendly way and everything is just awesome. :)
Makes you really feel that you can affect the outcome as a simple user.

A new feature I don't like is the dashed "selection". However, I need to give some more thought to it before complaining - after all, I think the only thing I actually don't like is its look.

Unfortunately I'm not in the right mood right now, guess I'm still a little shocked... Tabs?

Peter Penz said...

@Hans:
> A new feature I don't like is
> the dashed "selection".

The dashed selection indicates the keyboard focus. The look is quite ugly now and only temporary. Either we'll fix the look or will turn this off completely :-)

> Unfortunately I'm not in the
> right mood right now, guess I'm
> still a little shocked... Tabs?

After long discussions the outcome is like this:
- only one additional menu item "New Tab" is offered
- the rest is done by providing a close button on tabs, tab context menu and drag and drop (like in Firefox)

This means that users that don't use this feature don't get disturbed by a huge number of menu items (e. g. Konqueror in KDE 3 has 7 tab related menu items). My main concern for tabs was that a lot of menu items are required, but after long discussions it turned out this is not really needed.

gskbyte said...

Nice! Dolphin is actually a very good file manager, and with these improvements, it will ve even better.

I'm specially interested in a feature that would be very interesting:

http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=156395

Do you think it would be useful enough, and it shouldn't be too difficult to implement?

Thank you very very much!

metellius said...

I have another feature that I would like to be included in 4.1, a custom treeview widget for the dolphin folder view that automatically scrolls horizontally so that the user only has to scroll vertically.

I have a prototype version of the widget in the playground, available here:

http://websvn.kde.org/trunk/playground/libs/ui/ktreeview/

Is it too late for the 4.1 release?

Peter Penz said...

@gskbyte: > http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=156395
> Do you think it would be useful
> enough, and it shouldn't be too
> difficult to implement?

I think it's useful as option and not very difficult to implement, but it requires some efforts as Dolphin handles the previews a little bit different than Gwenview. But for 4.1 it's too late... :-(

@metellius:
> I have a prototype version of
> the widget in the playground,
> available here:
> http://websvn.kde.org/trunk/playground/libs/ui/ktreeview/
> Is it too late for the 4.1
> release?

It's not too late for 4.1 for this, as I personally see this as a necessary bugfix (the current behavior of the tree-view is really nasty). I did not have the time for looking into the class, but I definitely want to fix the current behavior.

Anonymous said...

All features sound nice! And very needed for me tabs :-)

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

dolphin rocks really hard! And it is still getting better, awesome!

metellius said...

OK, so thats my personal goal so far then, to get this feature included into dolphin for the 4.1 release. The next step for me is naturally to actually start coding on dolphin, but first I need the compile environment. Dolphin wouldnt compile with the 4.0.3 libs that I used uptil now, so looks like I have to do the whole svn compile *sigh*.
If i want to compile only dolphin - is it enough with just kdelibs and qt4.4?

I'll post the autoscrollpatch up for review once I have things up and running. Where to do it? Mailing list?

Peter Penz said...

@metellius:
> If i want to compile only dolphin -
> is it enough with just kdelibs
> and qt4.4?

You need kdesupport, kdelibs, kdepimlibs. For fast compiling of kdebase (where Dolphin is located) just disable the rest from CMakeFiles.txt.

> I'll post the autoscrollpatch up
> for review once I have things up
> and running. Where to do it?
> Mailing list?

Please just mail me directly (BTW: the official mailing list is kfm-devel@kde.org). Before you do larger changes I'd kindly ask to contact me before investigating too much time :-) Ideally I think deriving Dolphins SidebarTreeView (dolphin/src/sidebartreeview.*) from KTreeView instead of QTreeView should be enough. For KDE 4.1 it's too late already getting KTreeView into kdelibs, so until KDE 4.2 a copy of it has to stay inside the Dolphin sources. Thanks in advance for your support!

Raul said...

One feature that I really like of Dolphin in KDE3 in kubuntu is that in the information panel you have the option of doing some simple tasks with your files, for example if you select a jpg file it gives you the option of converting it to png, gif,...

Is there any chance dolphin in 4.1 is going to have something similar, maybe an "action panel"?

Peter Penz said...

@raul:
> Is there any chance dolphin in 4.1
> is going to have something similar,
> maybe an "action panel"?

For 4.1 there is no chance (feature freeze...) and honestly speaking I have not planned to add this feature again. But it depends how many users will request it. If I get the impression that a lot of users miss this feature for sure I'll think about adding it.

Leo S said...

Well a couple of your posts ago I listed a few of my issues with Dolphin in 4.0.x, and I'm very happy to say all of them have been fixed in svn (now that Debian is packaging svn snapshots I can actually test this stuff).

Performance: Both loading folders and scrolling them on the EeePC is drastically faster. Qt 4.4 is probably part of the cause for the painting speed boost, but excellent work on the Dolphin end of things.

The new file selection. What can I say but awesome! For years I never used single click mode because selecting files was stupidly hard. That problem is completely solved as far as I'm concerned.

The tabs and tooltips aren't in the build I'm on, but they will be cool additions as well.

The only question I have is about the preview in the file open dialogs. Is that using the dolphin part, and if so, will we see an icon view with inline previews for 4.1? The current preview on the side isn't nearly as useful when browsing for pictures.

Oh yeah, and perhaps an "Empty trash" option in the context menu for the trash places icon would be nice :)

Fantastic work on Dolphin. Thank you.

Jonathan Thomas said...

Extracting to a subfolder with one click from a context menu was sooo convenient! I really hope that this feature returns.

Currently the user to open up Ark, which has a very less-than-optimal UI for file extraction, and navigate to the location they want to extract--slowly--create the folder they want to extract the archive to by hand, and then hit extract. Much more complicated and time consuming than Right-click -> Extract to subdirectory.

Granted, someone could use a archive manager with a better/smarter interface such as xarchiver, but even that is somewhat less convenient. Also, on Ubuntu at least, xarchiver segfaults trying to extract tar.gzs. :(

So you have a +1 strong advocacy for "Extract here" and "Extract to subdirectory" options present in D3lphin from me.

P.S. I love the new features for 4.1. Then bring a high level of polish to an app that I already thought was pretty nifty. ;)

Anonymous said...

Tabs, eh? Why, this could be the start of a beautiful relationship.

Peter Penz said...

@leo s:
> The only question I have is about the
> preview in the file open dialogs. Is
> that using the dolphin part, and if so,
> will we see an icon view with inline
> previews for 4.1?

It is not using the dolphin part. Regarding inline previews: it would technically be no big problem implementing this, but I did not have the time yet -> I think it's too late for KDE 4.1 (until someone maybe comes up with a patch and calls it "bugfix" ;-)).

> Oh yeah, and perhaps an
> "Empty trash" option in the context
> menu for the trash places icon
> would be nice :)

I agree, added to my TODO list.

> Fantastic work on Dolphin. Thank you.

Thanks :-)

@Jonathan Thomas
> Extracting to a subfolder with
> one click from a context menu
> was sooo convenient! I really
> hope that this feature returns.

This is possible already in Dolphin for KDE 4.0.0 in theory, whats missing is "just" a corresponding service menu (see http://techbase.kde.org/index.php?title=Development/Tutorials/Creating_Konqueror_Service_Menus)
I think the distributions might provide such a service menu soon...

Jonathan Thomas said...

@peter penz
>This is possible already in Dolphin for
>KDE 4.0.0 in theory, whats missing
>is"just" a corresponding service menu
>(see http://techbase.kde.org
>/index.php?title=Development/Tutorials
>/Creating_Konqueror_Service_Menus)
>I think the distributions might provide
>such a service menu soon...

Wow, prompt response. ;)

Oh hey, you are right. (sort of...) All that would be needed would be the service menu entry, and Ubuntu has even made some. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/kdeutils-kde4/+bug/206139

There seems to be a slight problem, though, that Ark in 4.0.x is missing the functionality for the features. Oh well, it can't be helped I suppose.

It's cool to see that features such as these could be so easily implemented, anyhow. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter,

Just wanted to know that you are one of my most-admired KDE devs :) You've put up with a lot of (largely mis-informed) flak without snapping at people; listened to and obviously very seriously considered most feedback; and implemented tons of cool stuff, giving us a very featureful and generally excellent file manager in less than 15kloc :)

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Though I haven't been able to check out a current version of Dolphin myself (besides the one in 4.0.3), what you are doing is amazing.

Seriously, Tabs is one of the two things that I really really miss in Dolphin, and have been using in Konqueror a lot (for file management). Glad it fits in with the simplified interface design goals.

The second change from KDE3 that irrates me is the way file-selection works; in KDE3 you select/open a file by clicking on the file name.
In 4 you already select a file/folder by clicking anywhere near the name, as long as it's below the name column (which changes in size) - that's been fixed in KDE3 some years ago, so if 'Optimized selection size' referrs to a fix for that, then again: wow.

And even if it doesn't, you're doing an amazing job with Dolphin. Please keep up the good work!

Peter Penz said...

@anonymous:
> The second change from KDE3 that
> irrates me is the way
> file-selection works;

I assume you mean the details view? This has not been fixed yet, as it is not trivial with Qt4... Generally Qt4 is really a big improvement to Qt3, but there are some very minor things which also got more difficult and this is one of those :-) Strangely after working a while with this kind of selection it feels quite comfortable for me. I think the important thing is the hover indication which tells the user that clicking on the file will launch it. But I think this is really a matter of taste and habits too...

Marcel said...

PLEASE (!!!) someone look into this...

http://krusader.org/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=1247&highlight=

Someone plz do sth about this! It's freaking me out!!! :(

Jucato said...

I think I have to curse you for turning this Konqueror loyalist into a Dolphin follower. ;)

Seriously though, you have made Dolphin totally awesome and enjoyable to use. I'm having mixed reactions with the features. For one, tooltips would have made Konqueror (which didn't have an information panel) usable again as a file manager. But on the other hand, tabs have totally robbed Konqueror of one of the last 2 reasons I have for preferring Konqueror. My only solace in the midst of confusion is the though that when I'm using Konqueror as a file manager, I am actually using dolphinpart. ;)

No feature requests from me. Only kudos and utmost praise for your work!

Jonas said...

Great! Unfortunately, I'm completely in the dark on how to compile what's needed from source but I just wanted to voice my appreciation on the features that are scheduled to be included. Most of my most-missed features are included after all (especially the tabs! Yay!) and can't wait for 4.1! Well, okay. I can but only because I have to...

Thanks a lot for the great work you and the other Dolphin contributors are putting into it!

josepfebrer said...

The thing that I miss most from KDE3 are metafile information. I think that kfile plugin where rewriten using strigi, but I haven't found a way to show it in the file manager.

Also it could be possible if one enters into trash, that in the information panel appears a button to clean the trash, so no right click is needed to do it.

One minor thing that I noticed is that in Dolphin the window tittlebar shows the name of the folder that is active, but that is not true when I enter into the trash, in that case the windows tittlebar just says Dolphin.

Thanks for your great work.

Vide said...

Hi Peter. First of all thanks for Dolphin, which is really wonderful! Now a request... it's just a visual detil.Can you remove the space between the white background of the file view and the scrollbar, on the right side? It makes Dolphin looks like a little more "cluttered" and it doesn't have any practical use. More over, it makes less obvious that the scrollbar is related to the file view. Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

thanks thanks thanks for the tabs !! :)

and one comment above gives hope to me, that qt4.4 will improve scrolling performance on my old graphics card, because in current state kde4 is not usable for me

Anonymous said...

Wow, tabs. That's amazing. I didn't build kdebase for a while now, but I guess I never svn upped that fast before. :)

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter. Thanks for the great work with Dolphin. Can't wait for the 4.1 release. I'm curious, which font are you using on the screenshots? It looks really professional.

Anonymous said...

I have problems dragging files through tabs in dolphin.
While I can do that using Konqueror, it`s impossible with Dolphin.
Is ia a bug?

Using KDE4 svn.

Peter Penz said...

> While I can do that using Konqueror,
> it`s impossible with Dolphin.
> Is ia a bug?

This feature has not been implemented yet, but will be available in KDE 4.2.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if there is a Dolphin Widget or KPart that I can use for my own KDE project. IF not do you plan to add this.

I think such a feature would be cool, as it would give other programs that need a Dolphin like file manager a real consistent interface.

Dolphin is one of the best KDE4 apps. Thanks for providing it.

Peter Penz said...

@Anonymous:
> I was wondering if there is a Dolphin
< Widget or KPart that I can use for my
> own KDE project.

A Dolphin KPart is already available and used e. g. by Konqueror :-)

Anonymous said...

Will dolphin have the same background change selection as konqueror and nautilus currently have? It is missing and really needed for personality.

Peter Penz said...

@anonymous:
> Will dolphin have the same background
> change selection as konqueror and
> nautilus currently have?

This feature has not been implemented yet, maybe it will be available in KDE 4.2 but honestly speaking it's not an often requested feature.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Pete yes to me it is very important. Sadly i'm one voice for it. That is what drives me back to kde 3 konqueror for file management. It is boring having white background. ("although") People even in ubuntu forums asked about it. Can't even pass on my feelings towards the feature. It seem like a trival small thing. But it is important actually esp for some people easier to see with own background.


I'm glad at least you have opened a blog. Cause I could not even ask you directly. As you did not provide any contact info.

Jorden Mauro said...

Hi Peter,

I can't remember what name I posted under on the bugtracker, but I wanted to tell you I'm sorry my first posts were aggressive and not constructive, and thanks very much for including tabs. I use 4.1 and it is so nice to have them back.

Thanks again!

Peter Penz said...

@Jorden: you're welcome :-)

Anonymous said...

Does the tree view work like Explorer or Konqueror 3.5's navigation panel? I mean, is the treeview a pane that only shows folders and you see the files on the right? That's the only way I can survive in file managers...

Anonymous said...

After installing KDE 4.1, I am failing to get Dolphin to run. There is an icon that just flashes on the screen like Dolphin is going to load, but nothing happens after that. Does anyone know how I can solve this mystry. I quite grown to like Dolphin

Diego Rondini said...

I vote for the come back of the "Action Panel". I liked it very much in D3lphin and I must admit that I have always used also (K)Metabar with Konqueror...

Is it fine for you if I open a bug report and see how many people vote?

Diego Rondini said...

Update:
The bug report for the "Action Panel" is here for those who want to vote it:
https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=171335