Improvements in KDE’s Folderview

One of the most interesting new features in KDE 4.1 is the new Folderview plasmoid. With the release of KDE 4.1 Beta 2 several small improvements.

Folderview is an awesome plasmoid which makes it possible to show the content of a folder on a screen. It also is the first step to say good bye to the traditional way of storing links and folder on the desktop itself. The idea is that files inside the folder “Desktop” are not shown right on the desktop but that in general files from any folder or place can be shown in “containers” on the desktop.
Everyone who ever had to manage – and especially backup – larger computer setups will recognize the abilities of folderview with relieve!

With the first introduction of Folderview the basic functions where there, but several smaller aspects were missing. These have now been fixed in a recent KDE 4 version: it is now possible to simply drag&drop elements between two Folderview plasmoids and the plasmoid itself shows which folder content is displayed.

Moving a foilder from one Folderview plasmoid to another

This screenshot shows the dialog shown when I dragged a folder from the Desktop Folderview plasmoid to the Home Folderview plasmoid. Note the white lines saying “Desktop” and “Home” in the left upper corner of the Folderview plasmoids.

Of course there are still some small bugs – it would help for example to still see which folder I’m dragging while the dialog comes up. Additionally, the configuration dialog to have a Folderview Plasmoid as a full background to simulate the classical desktop experience will have to wait for KDE 4.2 due to feature freezes. But that is a question of time and bug fixing, not a fundamental flaw.

Speaking about KDE 4, as it looks like some of the bugs I run into when testing KDE 4.1 Beta are now fixed in my KDE4Daily virtual image. Ctrl is working now properly, but as it looks like ti was a bug in Qt anyway. The resolution problem is still strange – Aaron mentioned that the effects look more like a bug in kwin and not in Plasma since the windows also behave strange. Ah, the joys of bug hunting.

But anyway, KDE 4.1 is really coming into shape, and I can’t wait to have it working properly here!

19 thoughts on “Improvements in KDE’s Folderview”

  1. Does the folderview update it’s contents automatically? I’m visualising a system where I have a folderview that points to a network-share. Let’s call that view “outbox”. I drag stuff to that folderview and they get copied to the share. Now, my co-worker also has a folderview pointing to that same share. Lets call his view “Inbox”. As I drag stuff to my outbox, they appear in his inbox, from where he can move them to his own system (when doing that, they disappear from my folderview), and work on the files.

    I can see some interesting workflows being created with folderviews :).

  2. How can i install Folderview plasmoid? i’m using kde4.1 beta 2 on kubuntu and i don’t have Folderview plasmoid.. :(. some of the other plasmoids don’t work to… 😦

  3. @ Luis
    There has been a packaging reshuffle with the inclusion of the kdeplasmoids module. Base plasmoids can be found in kdebase-plasma-kde4 and extragear plasmoids can be found in the kdeplasmoids package.

  4. Steve, of course!

    And Janne, Folderview does update the local files, but I’m not sure how it works with remote (kio) files. You might want to ask at the IRC channel. If I find the time the next days I will check how it works with fish(ssh)-shares.

    Jonathan, thx for the info 🙂

  5. One cool use I’ve found for the Folderview is to point it to my home dir and set the filter so it won’t display any files at all. Instant drop target for convenient drag-n-drop downloading! 😀

  6. @luis, strange folderview is on by default, no need to install kdeplasmoid to have it, something wrong in your installation

    btw visit #kubuntu-kde4, and many people will be happy to help you 😉

  7. Thanks for another great Article, Roland. Getting you on the planet is great for KDE 🙂 Makes our jobs easier 🙂

  8. Hi Troy, thx for the kind words. I just have been quite the last week because my personal life is changing a lot – moving to a new place, getting a new job (or, better: the first job!), etc.
    But since that job is at a Linux related company (I might be allowed to tell more after I’ve started there) I hope to get a bit more time to blog about stuff again 🙂

  9. Lousy question I know but can’t find the wallpaper (SVG) @ nuno’s page. Could someone point me to it?

    ps. Liquidat, Tnx for at your articles. You are one of those writers I always hope to see a article from 😛

  10. I just love the folderview plasmid. IMHO it is the greatest improvement/new thinking that the plasmoids offer at the moment. I see myself having a “File Away” fodler, a “Temp” folder and a “Current Project” folder and drag and drop freely between. Greta job evryone (and Aaron, we all love you).
    One suggestion.
    I want to have access to multiple (let’s say max of 3) folders in the same plasmoid. This would mean 3 lines one below the other at the top of the plasmoid with the names of the 3 chosen folders. The current white line with text is great. Hovering or cklicking on one of the lines would switch to that folder in the bottom part of the plasmoid. Dragging an item over one of the lines would automatically switch and I could easily drop it in one of the chosen folders. I hope you get the meaning here. The size of the plasmoid should stay constant but scroll bars should appear.

    Just an idea.

    To everyone involved in KDE4> You all do a great job. I replace my ubuntu gnome completely with 4.1 beta1 already and everything feels so well thought out. Who needs icons on the desktop when you have the same with folderview. Even much improved.

    Rock on…


  11. The way that files were visible on the desktop did not need any fixing. Can I still show files on the desktop just like before or is that not an option?

  12. Raul:
    Having used folderview a bit I can honestly say: It’s an improvement over the tradional desktop. But yes, a traditional way will be reintroduced in kde 4.2.

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