[PATCH] Dolphin column view behavior

Peter Penz peter.penz at gmx.at
Sun Dec 16 10:04:21 GMT 2007

Hi Aurélien,

Thanks for your patches!

> I have been using Dolphin column view for a while and got a bit frustrated
> by its behavior being different from MacOS Finder. I guess Dolphin column
> view is supposed to follow the Finder implementation (am I wrong?), so I
> put together a little patch to address my issues.

I've had a look on the column view of MacOS Finder but Dolphin is not supposed 
to follow the Finder implementation 1:1. But if we do things different we 
need to have good arguments as Apple usually does a good job concerning 
usability :-)

I'm not sure if I have such good arguments, but I hope I can at least explain 
my decisions a little bit:

> First issue is the behavior when leaving column view.
> In the Finder you can switch to the column view, navigate wherever you want
> to go, and when you are in the wanted folder, switch to the icon view. The
> icon view will open in the folder you just reached. In Dolphin, switching
> from the column view to another automatically brings you back to the root
> of the view. It seems to be done on purpose, according to a comment in
> DolphinView::setMode(), but I don't understand the problem. Removing the
> column view specific code brings the Finder behavior.

The original comment in the code says:

"When changing the mode in the column view, it makes sense
to go back to the root URL of the column view automatically.
Otherwise there it would not be possible to turn off the column view
without focusing the first column."

When playing around with the column view for me it was bothersome that I 
always had to focus the first column first to switch the view-mode back to e. 
g. the details view. For me semantically the column view is just another 
representation of a tree view: even if nodes are open, all view-properties 
(view mode, show hidden files, show preview, ...) are always applied to 
the "root node" and used by all child nodes.

My concern was that people don't know how to switch off the column-view again 
for the root-directory when they open N columns. For example in the image 
http://enzosworld.gmxhome.de/temp/columnview.png it is not possible to focus 
the first column without using the CTRL-key + left mouse button as no 
viewport is there. The trick is to just click on the URL navigator, but for 
me this was quite bothersome.

But maybe my concerns are totally wrong. I'm open for applying your patch if 
it turns out that the current behavior is not what people expect, but for KDE 
4.0 I only want to apply critical patches and no behavioral changes (there is 
no chance for userfeedback anymore as the last RC is out). Is this OK for 

> Second issue is the behavior in double-click mode.
> When you are running KDE in double-click mode, I think it still makes sense
> to open dirs in column view with a single click. Again, this follows the
> Finder behavior.

The patch looks straight forward and I don't see the risk of any side effects.  
As I'm a "single-clicker" I'm completely open here for any input from 
the "double-clickers". My only concern again is that the last RC has already 
been released and there is no chance for getting user feedback anymore.

@"double-clickers" at core-devel: any input from your side on this topic?


So as summary I'd like to postpone the "view-mode" patch until 4.1 for getting 
some feedback first from other users.

For the "double-click" patch I'm quite open applying it for 4.0 if nobody from 
the "double-clickers" objects.

Anyway thanks for your support and best regards,

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