FolderView is the awesome?! [updated]

So there has been a lot of confusion about the KDE 4 desktop and FolderView lately and some nasty stuff I don’t want to go into right now. In the comments to Aaron’s blog someone said they don’t see how exactly it will be better and help them be more productive. So let me show you it πŸ˜‰

For those who don’t know about FolderView: It is a Plasmoid you can add to your desktop in KDE 4 to show files. It can also be used to emulate the “normal” desktop (for those who really really want it) but let me show you a few more very nifty things you can do with it.

FolderView showing my todos

This screenshot shows my self made todo plasmoid. I have a ~/tmp folder where I throw in all the stuff that is, well, temporary. This stuff needs to be moved somewhere else and I was just too lazy to do it right away or is stuff I need to look at and that can be deleted afterwards. And there are also a few TODO files in there that need my attention. So Plasma to the rescue! I created a FolderView that shows the content of my tmp folder and (here comes the nifty) filters it to only show me the stuff I really care about. Which is files with TODO in the filename.

But what about this cool thing: In KDE we have KIO and it is just fantastic. And of course you can also use KIO in FolderView and show all kinds of remote folders right on your desktop.

Here it shows the folders that keep my irc logs on the server my irssi is running on.

FolderView showing remote folders

And here some files on my ftp server:

FolderView showing remote folders

And of course you can also show something totally boring like my home folder πŸ˜‰

FolderView showing home folder

I hope this shows how powerful this already is now.
But it will become even more awesome once Nepomuk search can be used with this. (Or can it already?) Imagine showing all files tagged with “todo” across your whole file system. Or how about showing all files related to your thesis? Just tell it to show all files containing words related to your thesis.

Get creative people! There is a lot of nifty ahead of us πŸ™‚

How are you going to use FolderView?

And before someone asks: You will be able to use it just like a “normal” desktop.


Daniel, the SoC student working on Nepomuk integration in Amarok, just send me this:

FolderView showing Nepomuk search results

Sweetness πŸ™‚Β  (It is still a work in progress and therefore in Playground.)

72 thoughts on “FolderView is the awesome?! [updated]”

  1. Wow, thanks a bunch for this. The ftp-server stuff is a rather cool thing to use. I will try it out πŸ™‚

  2. One neat thing, apart from those you already mentioned, is that is negates the need for a quicklauncher applet.

    I have thin folderview on the right-hand side of my screen, which points to ~/data/shortcuts.

    Copy a bunch of .desktop files there, and hey: a quicklauncher sidepanel.

  3. I have a couple of suggestions for making folderview more usable (for me at least):
    – Be like “Quick File Browser” kicker applet. I would use this in a panel where I only want to see the icon until I click it, at which time the files would be shown. I would prefer a list like QFB, but I suppose others might like icons.
    – I like the filter functionality, but I wish there was a way to only see files and not directories. Or some mechanism so that directories don’t take up so much room.

  4. I don’t like at all the traditionnal “icons on desktop” and I think FolderView is much better. However, I hope we will see the come back of the old KDE3 applet “Quick Folder” (directory tree in a menu) or better ways to integrate FolderView in panels.

    One more thing, the filter is really nice but it should be more usable for novices to have a list of mime-type (“I just want all my pictures here, I don’t even know what is a .jpg…”). Even I don’t know how to just show my folders with this system (ok, I’m not an expert but well…)

    BTW, here is a cool mockup from Pinheiro related to folderview things :
    I hope we will see something similar in a near future because this look very sexy and usefull πŸ™‚

  5. @Scott: I think it is on their list to not make it show folders. And yea I agree it would be good to have that.

    @Danakil: Yea seems like a few people would love to see better integration in the panel. And yea Pinheiro’s mockups _are_ sexy πŸ˜‰

  6. @Danakil: the idea for the future is to make big applets looking like iconified on the desktop, clicking on them, they are opened in a top level window, think about how behaves the device notifier if you put it in the panel as opposed when it is in the desktop.
    the folderview will be something like that

  7. Looks pretty nice although I don’t get the point.

    There’s an option in Ubuntu Tweak to make your home folder be the desktop, so all files/folders appear on the desktop… so I’m a bit confused.

  8. @Vadi: Please read what I wrote. This is _a lot_ more powerfull than just making your home folder shown on your desktop.

  9. eh please LYDIA, can you and a screenshot about file standard action menu in folder view applet ( rename, add, delete)


  10. @Mimoune: Sorry I can’t as that was not finished in KDE 4.1 beta 1, which is what I am using right now. But most of it is done in trunk and the rest is being worked on.

  11. Is it possible to show filtered files from multiple folders by using some kind of expression ?

  12. It is nice indeed, but what do you do when the files don’t fit in the view and you have no more space left? There should be some kind of scroll and/or an option to change the size of the icons representing th files

  13. @Carlos: Yes that is a problem. But I am very sure that plasma developers are aware of this problem and are working on it.

  14. What kind of expressions can be used with folder view? Is it just the simple unixy kind of thing (such as *) or are regular expressions possible as well?

  15. One of the things I would really lke is to be able to order the files somehow. And maybe limit them to a certain number. Coz what I would like is to add a FolderView that monitors my download folder. For this I would need it to order those files and show the newest first.

  16. Waouh, folder views are great πŸ˜€ That’s so powerfull and I can already imagine tons of things I could do with that.

    BUT, still, why do I have to leave behind my old beloved fashion way of using my desktop πŸ™
    I mean, I just would like to have icons on my desktop acting as if they were in a folder view…

    I would like so much kde4 desktop to be, from the user point of view, kde3 desktop + plasmoid/widgets/gadgets/*gets .
    I can’t help it, I like to have tons of stupid icons on my desktop….
    Will it be possible in 4.2 at least?

    Congratulations for the good work, though πŸ˜€

  17. @CPDA:

    >>>> BUT, still, why do I have to leave behind my old beloved fashion way of using my desktop <<<< You don't have to. Most of the stuff you want will be ready for KDE 4.1 and the rest will follow in 4.2.

  18. The only thing i dont like is the resizing, you never know how its going to end up, maybe if there was a resize at the bottom right, like with windows. But do all the plasmoids really need to be resizeable. Using dashboard on OS X, i dont really care how big the widget is, it gets the job done. I mean resizing the calculator widget, it makes the buttons bigger, big wow, i would rather have a slide-out panel with trig and other functions, or a panel with a list of constants. As for the rotating, don’t get me started.

    But folderview is still cool, maybe if it acted a bit more like a file manager, ie drag and drop to copy, and dragging out files into apps.(This might be possible on svn latest, i dont know im only on beta 1). Then it would be awesome

  19. @Kyle:”What kind of expressions can be used with folder view?”

    The cool thing it’s not only expressions you can use, but close to everything you can do with KIO slaves can be put in a folder view. So new functionality can be added by simply installing new KIO slaves.

    For instance you can try one of these old favorites: imap://username@server or pop3://username@server

  20. Lydia, can you please tell me where to get that beautiful fractal-like background?

  21. I’d like to see an “autohide” function, where folder view is collapsible, either as a click or mouseover. Ideally, of course, to whatever geometry it was before it was collapsed.

    Any way to specify mime types yet?

  22. Just a suggestion, but shouldn’t the Nepomuk search terms be put in the “Filter” field, rather than the path? That seems more consistent to me.

  23. @Lydia:
    From the user’s POV, I think they should be separated. Users don’t think in technicalities like that, and they would even know it’s their if it’s not a separate entry. I’m not saying that this functionality should be removed, only that there should be a simpler and more obvious way as well. If the user changes the parameters in one, the other should change as well (In other words: 1 model, 2 views).

  24. @Yman: Mostly agree πŸ˜‰ One just needs a good way of representing it.
    Also keep in mind, that filtering is not the same as searching. You can get search results and then filter them…

  25. I think folderview is a great plasmoid. But, just imagine a better integration with nepomuk and desktop : in fact, let’s imagine a nepomuk plasmoid based on folderview. It would be an empty plasmoid, with just a search field, where you can tip your nepomuk search commands.

    Files would appear when the command is done. And then, you would have some new options on the plasmoid, corresponding to the filetype (just below the “configure”, “resize”, “move” options of the plasmoid). For example, if you have mp3’s, you would have the icon of amarok, and clicking on it would launch amarok, and create a playlist with your files. If it’s avi’s dragonplayer would appear etc…

  26. I’m wondering if there is also some kind of KDirWatch for KIO by now. E.g. nepomuk/strigi/beagle could incrementally update a folder view when new search matches arrive.

  27. Isn’t that “nepomuksearch:/” kio-slave littebit too long?

    I like (actually love) what kio-slaves offers but there should be easier and nicer way to offer them.

    Like add a dropdown-list front of textbox on that configuration dialog, what would allow user to select does it filter a desktop, a XYZ folder, filter by search words or filter by tags/ratings etc, anything what kio-slaves use.

    And even better if user could add search filter things by clickin + (and remove them by -) and typing new filter info.


    [Nepomuk search]

    So user does not need to type “kio-slave:/” to get it work but simply just selecting what wants. Advanced users could type it there if wanted πŸ˜‰

    Kio-slaves are way too underestimated and unknow by normal users because their usage is so dificult, it should be transparent (or should I say invisible?) way to do things πŸ˜‰

  28. @FRI13: I agree but I think it got a lot better with the new address bar in Dolphin for example. It is a huge improvement and make KIO slaves a lot more dicoverable.

  29. @Lydia, you are right, the dolphin really brought the KIO-slaves to new day. It’s more how it should be, you just click the button and you get list of what you can do and then type the rest what is needed, without need to type the kio-slave itself.

    This kind it should be on that too, user just clicks what directory/option wants to use for container. Even just clickin “tags” and it will use nepomuk:/tags: for it and user only need to type tags names to path.

    It would be dificult to implent so all kio-slaves could be used easily, but I think it’s important so normal desktop user could do it without knowing what is kio-slave and how it should be typed.

    For normal and new computer user the http:// is already hard enough, to know when does and does not need www. in front of webpage or when it’s needed to click or double click a button/link.

    So if there would be dropdown-list and there a option for “tags” and then user could type names with autocomplete, it would be much better too πŸ˜‰

  30. Continue: By my opinion, nepomuk should be “integrated” (used actually) littlebit same way as Apple did with spotlight and Novell with Kerry.

    I love the way how Novell added kerry option for KDE’s Open/Save dialoge where you just click it and then type what you want to search and you save/open files trouht it, without knowing where they file actually is πŸ™‚

    And nepomuk should be used with same usability, technology is now there but now it’s that you need to type there the kio-slave and you dont have button somewhere.

    Plasma and Qt allows to do so much great things that nepomuk could be added almost everywhere. Example, you could add/remove nepomuk to/from open/save dialog so it’s side by side on the other places. I would love the idea that there is “search” button on open / save dialoge where you just type what you search and you get the results.

  31. Can we please have a folderview that can be opened and closed like a drawer?

    I think people would instantly “get” this. You could call it “Desktop Drawer”.

    It would allow tradtional, natural placement of desktop icons while allowing other new plasmoids and innovative concepts to be placed on the same wallpaper without any competition for space.

    It could drop from an edge of the screen, like Yakuake (Deskuake!). There could be different tabs for different folders or filters.

    So how about Desktop Drawer?

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