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Gentoo File Manager

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My favourite file manager has been upgraded for gtk2 and I couldn't be happier. The gtk1 version that is installed in Lenny is terminally broken and, as a result, I have been trying to use other file managers without much joy.. The gtk2 version has been out for several months but today's code dump (version 0.15.4) is stable enough to warrant a post to the blog.

The Gentoo file manager [http://www.obsession.se/gentoo/] doesn't do drag-and-drop, it doesn't do tree views, it doesn't do previews, it doesn't do many of things of modern flashy file browsers do --- and is all the better for it (those things are nice but I don't really miss them) The things it does do it does very well. Even better it avoids the worst sins of more "modern" file managers that drive me space --- things such as:

  • executing files when the exec bit set instead of openning them for edit
  • choking on large directories
  • providing a convenient drag-and-drop way of moving files and then totally screwing up the implementation by making dragging into a list view which contains directories almost always move the files into the subdirectories rather than into the displayed directory
  • using drop down menus --- for a file browser!
  • not providing a convenient way to run shell commands or to open a terminal using the directory displayed
  • making file recognition so convoluted and compounding the poor design by using a central mime database common to all programmes making it share behaviour with the web browser

Gentoo provides a two directory pane listing with sticky togglling of selections, A pile of operations you can do in or across directories, highly customizable file recognition, easy extension and generally gets out of the way of doing real work.