Dolphin becomes new file manager? [2. Update]

In the transition from KDE 3 to KDE 4 a new file manager, dolphin, was often discussed and now officially moved to the base part of KDE.

I just stumbled over this message saying that the file manager Dolphin is now part of kdebase (of KDE 4):

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); or 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.

The question remains what now happens with konqueror – keep in mind that one of the goals of KDE 4 was to only keep one app for each task inside the base packages. But with dolphin as the potentially new file manager and Webkit as the new potentially browser we may see alternatives to konqueror vanish. More or less at least since quite some code in Webkit and Dolphin is related to konqueror (respectively parts of it).

For me it looks like Dolphin can do all I expect from a file manager (most important maybe the split view you do not have in the Windows explorer, for example). Also the interface seems to be pretty slick and smooth after all I know from Dolphin 0.8.1 (which is included in Fedora). It has some interesting improvements over the current konqueror and is worth a look.

I’m really looking forward to the improvements Dolphin will get in KDE 4 – I hope that the Oxygen guys will go over the interface to provide a cool default theme and that some small bits missing will be added as well. Nevertheless, if we get the Webkit/Dolphin couple it will take some time to get used to a new working style… but it could be worth it!

About the WebKit-might-replace-konqueror thing: superstoned is right in the comment section that WebKit is a rendering engine in the first place. I had the Unity attempts and screenshots in my mind when I was writing this article. But when you exchange khtml by WebKit in konqueror using kparts you might even not feel it.

2. Update
Aseigo commented (thanks for that) that konqueror will not vanish, but will become a default option in some cases – a configurable default option of course. Read more about in this blog post of aseigo. So don’t start whining or blaming that konqueror might disappear, its just not true. As for this post, I changed the bit which can be misunderstood. And, as always: keep in mind that I am a huge KDE fan – but not an involved developer.

41 thoughts on “Dolphin becomes new file manager? [2. Update]”

  1. dear friend, Webkit might replace KHTML which is currently used in konqueror, it won’t replace konqueror itself. Konqi will stay, but it’ll use dolphin-kpart in the future for filebrowsing (and dolphin can be the default filebrowser).

  2. Damn, konqueror is the reason I was using KDE ! I like it’s UI – dolphin seems highly minimalistic (like GNOME’s nautilus). And not having an address bar is it’s biggest shortcoming. No sir, I’d want konqueror to still be the default 😦

  3. What the hell?

    I love konqueror! It’s one of the main reason myself and my sister are using KDE! All the embedded viewers (I very often use the ability to open PDF files, webpages etc. in tabs in konqueror-filebrowser), KIO-Slaves (does dolphin use them?), the embedded shell! The configurable sidebar, the addressbar which supports things like /path/*.jpg !!!! THE UP BUTTON (where is the up-button in dolphin? at least I can’t see one in the screenshots), the fact I really see the path like it’s on the harddisk (so I can copy-paste to a shell)! Multiple splitviews and tabs!!! What I can tell from the screenshots, dolphin is like a subset of konqueror (take konqueror, remove features and you get dolphin). Is that right? It looks like that.

    If konqueror goes, I go! Or I might start maintaining konqueror.

  4. I took a deeper look onto it. You can use the old style adsressbar, kioslaves and you can add a up button to the icons.

    Still you can’t do that/don’t have that:
    * multiple horizontal/vertical spitviews
    * tabs (!!!)
    * embedded viewers for images, PDF, …
    * globbing in address bar (you have to use a filterbar that’s at the bottom; to far away; to unintuitive for guys with a shell backround like the most linux users are)
    * embedded shell (no, not “open konsole”, opens a new konsole window which doesn’t follow the dirview and uses an new entry in the taskbar)
    * treeview of filesystem hierarchy (even finder has some kind of display of filesystem hierarchy and the last version of nautilus I saw (a long time ago) did also have a treeview!)

    All this are points why I use konqueror. I use all of this features heavily on an day to day basis. If I don’t have them, I can’t work with KDE any longer and I think then KDE will loose some advantages it has against GNOME, Windows and OS X.

  5. @Rohan: Have a closer look at Dolphin: there is indeed an address bar, just click on the small white thing. You can switch between the graphical bar and the usual address bar. If you make the usual address bar default than you will never be faced with that graphical address bar.

    @panzi: Go easy on my comment section! Also, keep in mind not everyone would agree with you: I prefer having a filter bar at the end like the search bar in firefox, which is also on the end.
    On the other hand, keep in mind that nothing is written in stone yet – and that Dolphin 0.8.1 is Dolphin 0.8.1 while the version integrated into KDE 4 will be developed much further – feel free to write comments to the developers to show what you would love to see as improvements.
    And, in case konqueror is just perfect: no problem there, the KDE 4 team will not remove konqueror.

  6. As long as this dolphin thing is just a replacement for the existing file view _within_ Konqueror, and not for Konqueror itself.

    The fact that I can just open up another tab in Konqueror and view anything (web, pdf, image, files, etc.) is perhaps THE main reason I use KDE. I can’t stand Windows or Mac (I assume Gnome is probably the same) anymore, the idea of having to open up some other program just to look at a pdf or website just feels like the stone ages now.

  7. “where is the up-button in dolphin?”

    Dolphin hasn’t got it and Dolphin doesn’t need it. Dolphin has the navigation bar. Just click on the folder.

  8. Dolphin as default manager is a great step forward in usability and design. Everybody should try dolphin i think is the best and most functional manager at the moment, “pure” kongueror is too big and overloaded to be a default manager. Konqueror is great, but this a time for changes.

    Simply,Dolphin is a manager for people,
    And it’s definitely a right direction.

  9. @aseigo: Sorry for making so much trouble – I didn’t even meant “vanish” like most people understood it (as it looks like).
    And I had no idea that some people would be interested in this post – I almost dropped it but wrote it because I had some spare minutes and nothing else to do.

    I added the link to your blog post and even updated the text in-line (I normally don’t do this), hopefully that will clear some things.

  10. I want to say something to this, but I have not the knowledge… Thus, I say only that I miss you very much… But I`m looking forward to your visit in Berne and our Ghana-Trip 🙂

  11. Really nice to know that KDE 4.0 will have a default file manager which is more light weight than the all-in-one Konquorer. I do like Konquorer but KDE did lack a light weight file manager before dolphin came along.

  12. I would just like to say that Konqueror’s hybrid file manager/web browser/file viewer capabilities is one of KDE’s greatest selling points. I still don’t get what all this fuss is about this “Dolphin”. Konqueror rocks.

  13. If Dolphin doesn’t embed viewers like Konqueror, then I will use Konqueror (no ??). If it does, then I’ll use Dolphin as my FM (no ???).

  14. Dolphin is more clean, more efficient, more simple (in the use). Konqueror is more powerfull.

    I preffer the split in the system of applications (File manager / Web browser).

    Konqueror WebBrowser is more fast, but is a medium browser. Firefox is more better as browser.

    The KDE usability in the configuration and use must be change. It’s complicate because more information in the screen sature a newbie user.

    I think that Gnome is more perfect for a new user in the use of a computer, but the perfect enviroment for a medium/expert user is KDE!

  15. I really do love konqueror…i just downloaded dolphin for kde 3.5.5 and it sucks a lot!!! i could make it in a week! konqueror it’s a lot lot lot lot better, there is no story, KONQUEROR is better…

  16. Dolphin is terrible!!! Who’s brilliant idea was it to replace the BEST part of KDE with a Nautilus/Finder Clone? If your going to copy anything from OSX/GNOME why pick the very worst part of both environments!

  17. Dan, please read the facts first: the only thing replaced is the default setting. Konqueror is still part of KDE. In that case, btw., the future Konqueror file kpart will come from Dolphin which means that you will have an active developed file manager kpart which will offer more features.

  18. OK, I updated my Kubuntu to Gutsy and saw Dolphin installed as the default. Hey, nice !

    Then I tried to use it, and 5 minutes later I uninstalled it, because :

    – it doesn’t display the folder tree so I never know where I am
    – it doesn’t display the current absolute path so that I can easily copypaste it somewhere

    – it defaults on previews, not details
    – it’s slow and blinks and refreshes 5 times before displaying anything

    So, instead of offering a powerful interface, it is just a dumbed down interface. It is the kind of misguided tool that tells newbies “you are not smart enough to handle it”.

  19. Nope, it does not replace Konqueror. It is just a new filemanager for normal users, while Konqueror will still be the swiss army knife for everything.

    However, technically both share the file manager kpart.

  20. WTF??? Konqueror is the reason I was using KDE ! Why changing things which work perfectly …

  21. Dolphin is a duplicated effort of some of the Konqueror’s functionality. It might have a pretty interface, so what? Is it faster? My computer is so fast that I cannot tell the difference. It looks to me like a waste of time and resources that could have been used to improve the buggy KDE 4.

    I am looking for functionality and Konqueror offers more than what I need in just one application. Why to change? KDE should use the time and resources to create something different and useful, something like a more intuitive Desktop. And, who cares if the desktop looks like Windows or Mac? All the work done to embellish an application is trivial and useless.

    The most annoying part is that KDE made Dolphin the default file manager and it took me a while to figure out how to change it. But anyway, I already set my file manager default settings to Konqueror.

  22. konqueror_user, sorry to say that, but your comment contradicts itself. In Dolphin’s development there was hardly any duplication of effort. It’s the other way around, through Dolphin’s development the development of the file management of Konqueror was accelerated.

    The reason is that Dolphin and Konqueror use the same core technology (kpart) – only the GUI to it like the menus are different. Since the core is shared both projects work together at improving the file management part of the programs.
    So Dolphin only created additional value, and did not duplicate anything. There are enough people who would like to see a more simple file manager.

    Btw., duplicating effort isn’t always bad. There are enough positive examples where in the end it was good that there was a duplication of effort.

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