Dolphin vs Konqueror discussion continues

After my post about Dolphin’s move to kdebase several discussions and even flame wars were started. After some time it calmed down again, but now Troy Unrau featured Dolphin and Konqueror in his great series – and the discussions came up again.

I never had so many clicks on one single article in one day as with my Dolphin article. Also, my blog was never before mentioned at an important KDE place like

On everything is even worse:
With over 410 comments already the article is one of the most often commented ever (only outreached by KDE 3.1: Well Worth the Wait and Poll: What KDE Feature Do You Most Want? – at the moment).

As usually you have more people complaining than people accepting that. People who like the situation have less likely a motivation to write a comment. The complains you read are similar to the ones I already heard, and you could also read at Aaron’s post (which was a response to mine). Here are some complains in no specific order.

We will be forced to use Dolphin.

This is all wrong. Dolphin will be the default file manager, but you can – of course – change the configuration.

Dolphin is unnecessary, all people use Konqueror anyway.

Afaik there was user testing, and – suprise, surprise – people had problems using Konqueror. Repeat it with me: Konqueror is a power user application. Therefore Dolphin indeed makes sense for beginners or simply for not-power-users.

When there is Dolphin, Konqueror will be dropped because the developers will only concentrate on Dolphin/because only the default apps are developed.

This is dump because it is bare all facts: first, Konqueror is a power user app – and all KDE developers are power users. So most of them will keep an eye on Konqueror and will develop it further. The developers have also needs, you know.
Second, the default status doesn’t say too much about the amount of developers and application gets. Most developers in KDE are interest driven, and in that regard Dolphin and Konqueror attract different developers – because they are doing different things.
And in that area where Konqueror and Dolphin overlap the code base overlaps as well – therefore developers attracted by both applications will most likely work on the code base which is shared, and therefore improve both applications.

This is duplicate effort.

No. This is KDE! So we use kparts, and the file browser base will be shared between Konqueror and Dolphin. The interface of Dolphin will be a different one: dedicated to pure file management, while Konqueror can do everything. They both have different aims and provide a different service, therefore there will hardly be Duplicated effort.

Dolphin is a dead end – it doesn’t even support tree view!

Wrong. The Dolphin currently in svn already has a tree view. But even more important: Dolphin is as the rest of KDE 4, in huge development! There will be much work, fine tuning and development going into Dolphin to make it a real nice polished application dedicated to one single task!
Of course, at the same time Konqueror will be further developed to be the polished power user tool we all expect in KDE 4 🙂

This breaks with the “one task – one applicaition” rule.

This one was rather funny – because there never was such a rule in KDE. Actually, my currently installed KDE comes along with three editors. Not to mention other “double” apps.
But, and there that argument might have its roots, this rule was discussed for KDE 4. And yes, the developers try to reach that aim in several areas. But that doesn’t mean that this is written in stone for the entire KDE or that you have to kill people if someone violates that rule.

Most people should not see this as a thread – they should see it as an advantage. Dolphin will bring new people and new ideas about the idea of file management into KDE.
So, stop whining and think about it again. There is not really much to cry about, because nothing really changed or happened.

17 thoughts on “Dolphin vs Konqueror discussion continues”

  1. The Dolphin vs Konqueror discussion somehow reflects the GNOME vs KDE, see it this way and you would understand where the arguments are 🙂

  2. Sure, it’s a very nice change to see in KDE. Simplicity is really a big matter right now, it definitely will bring more people to the community, and growth of population is going to have positive influence to the entire Linux world.

  3. We will be able to continue using konqueror as a file manager in KDE 4 if we like it so…

    You can even use mc as a file manager if you like right?

    That’s the beauty of open source,CHOICE & FREEDOM.

  4. I’m a big Konqueror fan and had a negative reaction at first, but now I’m more optimistic. Getting the tree view added to Dolphin is a definite plus and some of the breadcrumb navigation should be useful.

    I’m also still hoping that search will be better integrated into either Konqueror or Dolphin.


  5. You were the first one to mention this change, thanks for the scoop 😉 I’ll make my opinion when I’ll see dolphin 1.0 (I bet most of the people complaining about this change have not even tried dolphin)

  6. Great summing up.

    If only this would stop the whiners and let the developers get on with their fantastic work…Oh, and while I am at it, I also want a horse and a million dollars

  7. When I first read about Dolphin “replacing” Konqueror in KDE4, I was in some ways perplexed.

    I then installed Dolphin (0.6) for Ubuntu Edgy. I think, even this *old* version is very good: the breadcrumbs are neat, makes navigating fast. Love the thumbnails (please: Even Bigger!). It’s easy and fast.

    When I have to *really* manage files, I use Krusader…

    Don’t get me wrong, Konqueror is a great application.

  8. Actually there is a “one task – one applicaition” rule. For example kwrite is not a own editor. It is a simple mode for kate. I’s kedit that breaks the rule for unknown reasons. But because of that reason (and sometimes beacause of the realease cycle) apps like okular, gwenview, konversation, amarok, yakuake, kuickshow,… are not part of the official KDE.

  9. Is the Konq file manager / file browser? Sure.
    Is it the Web browser too? Sure one of the best around here.
    It is a lot more.
    I could split the view, open the lilypond source file in one tab with kate , open output pdf in other tab with kpdf, open konsole beneath to run compiler – it is fullblown Note Editor GUI.
    But I don’t want this splendour to be default app to open links to dirs on my desktop, for the same reason I don’t want it for Open/Save dialog.

  10. Actually there is a “one task – one applicaition” rule.

    Do you have a source? I’ve never seen that in any guidelines of KDE…

    And about the splitting of other applications: afaik the release cycle is the much bigger reasons. At least for apps like k3b and amarok this is *the* reason to stay outside of the usual KDE set.

  11. > Actually there is a “one task – one applicaition” rule. For example kwrite is not a own editor. It is a simple mode for kate. I’s kedit that breaks the rule for unknown reasons.

    This isn’t really a rule, but then KDE doesn’t really have a lot of written rules so much as strong community recommendations (like, only break the libs on Mondays…) which can be broken for good reasons…

    Anyway the reason kedit was still included is because it could to right-to-left languages, while kate/kwite could not. That said, kedit lived in the small and mostly otherwise useless module ‘kdeutils’ which is steadily shrinking. Since kwrite/kate can now do RTL languages, kedit has been nuked.

    Additionally, Kate is now part of kdesdk (since it’s more developer oriented) rather than kdebase. KWrite is now our default text editor.

    Note the parallel between KWrite and Kate vs. Dolphin and Konq though. If we had a Dolphin-like program that was a dedicated browser, I think we’d see Konq be moved out of kdebase as well. Keep an eye out for this possibility later in the KDE 4.x series, because I bet this will happen one day. (Okay, quit freakin’ out now…)

  12. khtml will be dropped…svg and css 3 support too….and i don’t care about stupid newbies >_< in kde4 konqueror is castrate and konqueror it’s a GOOD browser it really is, sometime better than mozilla, i don’t want it to be dropped 😦

  13. I just found your blog by a bad accident. Any writer who refers to readers as “whining” and “cry”ing needs to take a sharp look at his own thinking skills. This doesn’t close out debate. It simply inflames the discussion and convinces the casual reader that you can’t handle disagreement.

  14. Anonymous, either that – or you as the reader totally failed to understand the subtle message and the irony in the words together with the relaxed atmosphere at the end of the post and in the software community in general. It’s up to you to decide for yourself 🙂

  15. konqueror is there from 1.0 of KDE. For me it is the first love :-).

    I still remember the help message where the developer was thanking his girlfriend for countless nights spend on the tool. :-D… good old times….

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