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KDE 4.10 Brings Better, Smarter Dolphin

Dolphin is one of the most advanced file managers around. While its extremely simply and pleasant at the front-end it has an extremely powerful and customizable back-end which give you full control in a user’s hand. With KDE 4.10 shaping up it’s time to have a look at what’s cooking in this file manager.

And I have some good news for longtime Dolphin users.

Dude I Can Resize The Icons

If you are someone like me who missed the icon resize feature you can rejoice as the feature is “coming back” with Dolphin 2.2. Well, it’s not coming back in sense the way it was but the developers are adding an option to the context menu of Places Panel, similar to the one found in the context menu of tool bar where you can resize the icon. So, while icons in the side panel won’t resize automatically, you can use the context menu to manually resize them.

Android Can Talk To KDE

Another notable improvement coming for Dolphin is the support for Android’s MTP which was introduced with version 3.x. The support for MTP was broken under Linux and companies like Canonical did nothing to cater to user’s needs. KDE developers stepped in with a working solution and now you can get full support for MPT under KDE. With Dolphin 2.2 you will be able to mount your Android 4.x device in Dolphin.

* Read more about how to install MTP support in KDE.

Blast From Past

Dolphin is bringing back a lot of goodies from the good ol’ days. Earlier users were able to rename files in two ways — inline renaming and via a dialog box. This went through some changes and in current state (KDE 4.9) you are able to rename files inline (unless you want to rename multiple files which opens up the dialog box). The good old functionality of choice is coming back. With KDE 4.10 you will be able to chose either inline or dialog for renaming.

Creepy KDE!

A creepy (just joking) feature has been added by Ivan Čukić which can now report the current directory to the activity manager so that it knows which directories you often use. It’s your system and not Facebook so if you don’t want the activity manager to record this you can disable it from ‘Workspace Behavior’.

Faster And Meaner Dolphin

The team is also fixing the issues that can make Dolphin faster than ever before. Dolphin was ‘slow’ mostly because the way it handled previews of the files and folder. As Frank writes most of this slowness came from the “natural sorting” of the items, which makes sure that “image10.jpg” comes after “image9.jpg”, and not between “image1.jpg” and “image2.jpg”.  They are beating up ideas how to improve this which requires a lot of work. So while KDE 4.10 will still use the oder method, it will ensure to your processing power wisely so as to make it faster and better. It will also cache the icons which are shows for files and folder if previews are disabled so that it will reduce CPU and memory consumption.

Good Things Come In Small Packages

Other minor yet notable improvements are:

  • An improved ‘More Options’/’Less Options’ button in the ‘Search’ bar and added some text to make it more obvious what the button is about.
  • If “Open folders during drag operations” is enabled, you can now drag items to an entry in the Places Panel. If you keep the mouse buggot pressed and wait a bit, the URL will be opened in the view.
  • Middle-clicking a directory in one of the panels now loads it in a background tab to be more consistent with other parts of Dolphin where directories can be middle-clicked.
  • Ctrl+L now selects the URL in the location bar, like in web browsers. If you only want to focus the location bar, you can use F6 (the effect of these shortcuts has just been exchanged).
  • Clicking ‘Cancel’ in an authentication dialog now causes an error message to be shown in Dolphin, rather than an endless ‘Loading folder…’ message.

Dolphin became my favorite file manager ever since I switched to openSUSE/KDE from Ubuntu/Unity. I have become a huge fan of its simplicity as well as customizability.

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I must admit that there were some chinks in Dolphin, as compared to Files and I also missed a lot of features from the old Dolphin. But 2.2 seems to be bring the best from the past and making Dolphin even better.

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Swapnil Bhartiya

A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in the paper armours of proprietary companies. Swapnil has been covering Linux and Free Software/Open Source since 2005.

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