Peter Penz blogged this morning about the new views in Dolphin, dubbed "Dolphin 2.0". The big push: speed. The code is now in master, so I figured I should try it out and see what this very new code can do. I expected regressions and bugs given that this is the first drop of a huge bunch of code, but was hoping for the performance improvements Peter was talking about.
It just so happens that less than two weeks ago I did some rough measurements of file listing performance in Dolphin (and Konqueror; they share the code for this) after reading a posting about how bad file listing times in popular Linux file managers were. The writer had asserted that unlike say, on Microsoft Windows where large directories list almost instantly, both KDE's and GNOME's file managers were very slow on directories with a lot of entries.
Indeed, with previews on Dolphin would take up to 15 seconds to list directories with 3000-5000 entries in them, as /usr/bin and /usr/lib on my laptop do. Ugh. Certainly not great.
After pulling the new code from git and trying it out: I'm now getting between 1 and 2 second load times for these same directories. That means the difference between horrifically unusable and beautiful. It also means that Dolphin and Konqueror are now faster at listing directories than the file dialog, which now takes about twice as long on these larger directories.
Peter: my hat is off to you!
There are some regressions in the current code drop: no rubber banding, clicking on white space then release on an icon will activate it, no drag and drop, no icon overlays, scrolling with the mouse wheel or track pad (I die a little inside without my two-finger scrolling :) is very slow. So if you go to use it now, expect some steps backwards in the functionality department, but these should all be resolved before 4.8 comes out with this new view engine.
Also important is that Peter paid a lot of attention to making the code much easier for people to understand and contribute to. So if things like "awesomely faster and clearer code" turn you on and you'd like to help make KDE's filemanager rock like Freddy Mercury with a mic in his hands, now is a perfect opportunity to get in there.