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GUI file managers

Dan Ritter wrote:
>> Any recommendations for alternate file managers?
> Yes -- the command line. I've never met a graphical file manager
> which was as quick, precise, and flexible as the cli shell of
> your choice. Learning just a few tricks -- for loops, find and
> xargs -- will pay off immensely.

I do all of the above frequently, but there are some tasks where a GUI 
file manager comes in handy.

One example is finding some random file in a big directory when you 
don't know quite what the file name is. Or sometimes it's convenient to 
move stuff around via drag-and-drop. The GUI excels at handling the 
tasks that are more random and less suitable for automation.

Another example is when you are performing some long, time consuming 
manual operation on a sequence of files, and you what to use the 
highlighted file in the file manager window as a reminder of where you 
are at.

> ...there is at least one fast graphical file manager.
> rox-filer is  quite speedy.

Thanks. Screen shots look decent. One notable absence from the feature 
list is mention of supporting sessions. For that last example I list 
above, being able to save a file listing window and the specific 
highlighted file as part of a session is desirable.

ref wrote:
> I have recently started using dolphin as my file manager after 
> Nautilus started bugging me with the way it presents things. 

So that would be:

I gather from your mention of Nautilus that you're using GNOME, and that 
Dolphin must work fine under it. Is there any magic to telling GNOME 
that Dolphin is your preferred file manager? Obviously you can just 
launch Dolphin at any time, but there are cases where an application 
will launch a file manager window, so presumably there is some setting 
somewhere saying which file manager to use.

I like that they have a well defined target audience and philosophy for 
the project. That should keep them focused.

According to this article:

Dolphin is supposedly the default file manager in KDE 4. The articles 
mentioning that date back to over a year ago and the Dolphin site 
doesn't mention that...oh wait, burred on the news page from around the 
same time as the articles:

   SVN commit 633622 by dfaure: Moving Dolphin to kdebase, as discussed
   with Peter and others. The big plan is: dolphin will become the
   default file manager (kicker buttons and file:/ links bring it up);
   for a more file-manager-oriented GUI than in kde3. File management
   in konqueror will remain available, e.g. for people who like to have
   profiles where it's combined with other things. For code sharing
   even more, we are considering making a dolphinpart and using that as
   konqueror's directory view.

   This means that all people who love Konqueror because of its power
   and being an universal an viewer: File management in Konqueror will
   stay and nothing will be taken away. Dolphin for KDE4 has been
   adapted in a way that Konqueror and Dolphin share as much code as
   possible. Having now two frontends means that the shared code gets
   tested in a better way, which will increase the stability and points
   out possible shortcomings. So just see Dolphin as an additional
   application for file management, which can be used but nobody is
   forced doing so.

So now is it Dolphin or Konqueror or both that produce the pop-up dialog 
asking you whether to move/copy/link a file after a drag-drop operation?

> Features I like ...
> keeps a folder/file tree on the left at all times, and an 'info about
> the item you click on" on the right .

The default view looks a little busy for my tastes. I usually dispense 
with the folder tree, except in certain circumstances. But I presume the 
UI can be customized.

The feature list says:

   The view properties are automatically remembered for folders...

which makes me curious as to where it stores those settings.

Again, tucked away on the news page I ran across:

   The KDE3 version of Dolphin stored a hidden .dolphinview file in
   each directory where the view mode has been changed. Aaron J. Seigo
   has fixed this, so like in Konqueror the standard .directory file is
   used instead. Additionally it is configurable whether Dolphin should
   remember the view properties at all; this means no .directory files
   if this feature is turned off.

Similarly it shows a side bar showing file metadata like ratings, 
comments, tags, etc. Where does that get stored? Also in the .directory 

I see it has an integrated command-line, as depicted in this screen shot:

If that tracks the current working directory selected in the file pane, 
that could be quite handy.

Also from the news page:

   Dolphin uses the KIO slaves like Konqueror and hence can access all
   common protocols like ftp:/, home:/, file:/, system:/, media:/,
   remote:/, applications:/, sftp:/, fish:/ and smb:/.

I wonder if that carries over to Dolphin running under GNOME. (KIO seems 
to be one of the big selling points of KDE.)

If it just proves to be more memory efficient than Nautilus, it could be 
a good pick.

Both Dolphin and ROX-Filer (rox-filer) are in the Ubuntu repositories, 
so easy enough to try them out.


Tom Metro
Venture Logic, Newton, MA, USA
"Enterprise solutions through open source."
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