First impressions of dolphin

Peter Lewis prlewis at
Wed Oct 3 11:58:25 BST 2007

Hi all,

I've just upgraded my gutsy install and noticed that it's now defaulting to 
dolphin rather than konqueror when I click on the home icon.

So, at the risk of baiting... I thought I'd share a few initial thoughts. 
Hopefully they might spark a bit of discussion.

1. BIG icons. It defaults to "preview" mode, which means big icons for folders 
and previews for other stuff. I like previews, but usually run file managers 
in a non-maximised window, so this was really unusable (I could see about 6 
icons before having to scroll). Of course, this is configurable, but even by 
making the icon size in preview mode smaller, the icons are still massively 
spaced unless I make the preview size smaller, which kind of defeats the 
point. Looking for an alternative, I switched to icon mode, which spaces 
things more reasonably. But, as it says on the tin, this doesn't preview 
files! It seems that konqueror had this sorted out quite nicely with the 
mouse-over expanding preview function, but I can't see that in dolphin. :-/ 
Not a great first impression.

2. There's no refresh button. How do I know if it's showing the latest 
contents if I update the folder from somewhere else (i.e. konsole)? Or is 
this just a trust issue? It would be nice to *know*.

3. I have to click somewhere before I can type in the address where I want to 
go to, and where to click is not obvious (or indeed that that functionality 
even exists).

4. The breadcrumbs things seems broken by design IMO. When I'm in MY home 
directory, /home/pete, it says "home", then, if I go to /home/pete/work, it 
says "home->work". Conversely, if I navigate to another user's home folder 
(say a KDE4 dev user), it says I'm in "root->home->kdedev". This is 

Anyway, these are just a few initial thoughts, and I don't mean them to be 
moaning at all... just in the spirit of feedback and friendly criticism. I've 
been using KDE since version 1, and dolphin seems to be the most confusing 
KDE app I've seen. But yes, it is quite fast (not that konqueror is slow 

If this is to be the default file manager in gutsy (or KDE generally), and one 
of the reasons for this is "usability" (whatever that means), then these IMO 
need addressing.



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