Dolphin bug fixes in KDE 4.8.1

First of all, hello Planet KDE!

Most readers of Planet KDE probably think that Dolphin development is done almost exclusively by a single person. I figured that starting my own blog might be a good way to change this. I’m involved mainly with bug triaging, bug fixing, and implementing unit tests to reduce the risk of regressions. Maybe some readers will find these topics interesting πŸ™‚

I hope that my blog can make some potential new contributors realize that working on software quality is a very interesting and rewarding thing to do, and that any help in this area is welcome in every part of KDE (or any other free software project). I believe that there are many users who would like to contribute to the software they use, but don’t know a good place to start. Actually, I was in the same situation some time ago: I had used KDE for a couple of years before I got involved in a Bugsquad event in 2008. After that, I quickly started doing bug triage on my own and fixed more and more bugs myself.

You might wonder why Dolphin is the application I chose to work on. Well, there are several reasons: First of all, a file manager is an application that most people need. Knowing that a large number of users can benefit from any improvements I make is a big motivating factor for me. Moreover, the code is IMHO very nicely written, and the maintainer is always helpful and fun to work with.

Dolphin got a new view engine recently, which made working with the code even more pleasant than before. I would like to thank all users who tested it, provided feedback and reported bugs. This help is crucial for us because Dolphin can be used in so many different ways that it is impossible for a small group of developers to test everything. The most serious regressions could be fixed before the KDE 4.8.0 release thanks to the brave users who tested beta (or even self-compiled pre-beta) versions. Since then, even more users helped us to identify many more small annoyances, many of which will be gone in KDE 4.8.1. Here is a list of all Dolphin bugs that have been fixed since the KDE 4.8.0 release:

  • Do not make items invisible when switching previews on or off in some situations. Fixes bug 291841. See Git commit cc8f5b4.
  • Make sure that Control+click toggles the selection state. Fixes bug 292250. See Git commit 84a9cc4.
  • Check if the shell process in the Terminal Panel is still running before trying to kill it. Prevents unwanted killing of other processes. Fixes bug 286367. See Git commit 7dfe363.
  • Handle folder names containing special characters, like Space, correctly in the Folders Panel. Fixes bug 291781. See Git commit 80d9bfe.
  • Fix crash when opening a new tab if “Split view” is enabled by default. Fixes bug 292470. See Git commit 5d22b71.
  • Re-enable dropping items on tabs. Fixes bug 292505. See Git commit e3fc04a.
  • Mark items as unhovered after copying them via drag and drop. Fixes bug 292501. See Git commit bc80a99.
  • Respect the user’s “Natural sorting” setting. Fixes bug 292270. See Git commit 803f50b.
  • Fix possible crash in Compact View if the view height is smaller than the item height. Fixes bug 292816. See Git commit f5ecaee.
  • Fix drag and drop issues with non-local URLs. Fixes bugs 292821 and 292355. See Git commit fdc2058.
  • Synchronize view-mode settings before the settings dialog gets opened. Fixes bug 292698. See Git commit 02e3235.
  • Respect a change of the user’s “Home directory” setting also in existing tabs. Fixes bug 291043. See Git commit d03d06a.
  • Update the zoom-slider in the statusbar after changing the zoom-level in the settings. See Git commit 47b4e1d.
  • Implement “sort by path” and sorting by other sort roles that were still missing. Fixes bug 292941. See Git commit 86a4918.
  • Fix keyboard navigation issue that occurred when Home or End and then an arrow key were pressed. See Git commit 999234a.
  • Do not crash when opening a new tab while a tool tip is shown. Fixes bug 278302. See Git commit d80f35e.
  • Fix an integer overflow, which could cause problems when “Sort by size” is enabled. Fixes bug 293086. See Git commit e196f06.
  • Show expansion toggles in the Folders Panel also for directories on ISO images. Fixes bug 292642. See Git commit 6f65a17.
  • When hovering an item with the mouse, show its size in the status bar. Fixes bug 292687. See Git commit 73e4324.
  • Show the value “Unknown” for the item-count only after it has been verified. Fixes bug 291823. See Git commit d9bc83e.
  • When entering a directory which is not shown in the Folders Panel yet, show it by expanding its parents, but do not expand the directory itself. See Git commit 89082ca.
  • Use the whole available width of the icon area for previews of landscape images. Fixes bug 293268. See Git commit 0ade2b6.
  • Fix the issue that decreasing the window size may result in an endless loop. Fixes bug 293318. See Git commit 81034de.
  • Animation fixes: Don’t start animations that result in overlapped items. Fixes bug 289238. See Git commit 84bb46a.
  • Compact view: Don’t hide items at the bottom when grouping is turned on. Fixes bug 291640. See Git commit 44b8e12.
  • Drag and drop: Adjust the destination if the item is no directory or desktop-file. Fixes bug 293511. See Git commit 13d975a.
  • Details view: Draw parent-branches. Fixes bug 290276. See Git commit e505c3a.
  • Folders Panel: Use the whole width as selection region. Fixes bug 294111. See Git commit 98d98f7.
  • Prevent showing tooltips when dragging items into another Dolphin window. Fixes bug 294533. See Git commit 72fe031.
  • Don’t crash when switching to the details-view when specific roles are visible. Fixes bug 294531. See Git commit abd23c2.

44 thoughts on “Dolphin bug fixes in KDE 4.8.1

  1. fasd

    This is far more exciting than new features! Thank you for your work, we do very appreciate it. KDE need more poeple like you!!

    1. freininghaus Post author

      We know that there are sill many open bugs at πŸ˜‰

      We would like to fix all of them eventually, of course, but you can only get a finite amount of work done with a small team of people who are doing development in their free time.

  2. uniq

    Nice, thanks for helping to get all these bugs out. I like software with less bugs and more tests.

  3. Simon Yuan

    Dolphin 2 definitely feels a lot better than its predecessor, but I miss two things:
    – The option to enable/disable expandable folders in details view
    – Selection rubberband in details view just like how it works in icons view

    1. freininghaus Post author

      The first wish is already reported:

      Is the second point about the rubberband taking the whole width of the view in Details View? Actually, this makes the code simpler and less bug-prone (I could point out a couple of bug reports which were caused indirectly by Dolphin 1.x’s details view selection customizations), but I agree that the way it works in Icons View feels more ‘natural’.

      1. Ralf

        Actually, I think the rubber band is even better this way than it was, since after all, icons always take up the entire width of the view.

  4. Vasq

    There (in 4.7.x) was a feature in grouped view (icons view with sorted by type mode), where I was able to select entire group by one plus-minus button on the upper-right corner of that group (group selection button?).
    Here in 4.8, dolphin has lost this thing, which was very convenient in most cases, but disappeared.
    Is it possible to return this thing back? How to operate (select/deselect) on sets of files based on their type by minimal finger-typping/mouse-clicking? Do I learn dolphin again?
    Please do not address me to send a bug report, since I can not even name this feature. And this sounds like a humble wish to return this thing back.
    This is also regards konquerior, perhaps the same widget is used to show files

  5. John

    Your thoughts that Dolphin is well respected are right on the button. This is a superb app – so please keep up the great work.

    BTW is there any way to arrange the icons in columns not rows as was possible with dolphin before?

    Thanks – John

    1. freininghaus Post author

      That’s basically the new ‘Compact View’. It was indeed possible to get that kind of layout in Dolphin 1.x by modifying the ‘Icons View’ settings, but it turned out that most users did not notice this option and are a lot happier with the ‘Compact’ button.

  6. Mitch

    Kudos for doing this work. Bug fixing is not sexy, but it’s even more important nowadays than adding features!

  7. isemenov

    Ohh. I’m migrating to WP. Looks like what”ve done so far to the standard Blogger theme but much nicer. Thank you for the idea about linking to the bugs and commits!

    I’m curious if this list shows the result of two months’ work or only Februrary?

    Keep up the good work!

      1. isemenov

        Thank you for the changelog hint! Now this changelog is most likely automated, right? Where can I find info on how to use the automation?

        1. freininghaus Post author

          It’s partly automated. You have to add your fixes (with bug number and commit hash) to the file ‘changelog_branch_4_8.xml’ in that directory, run the ‘generate_changelog’ script and ‘svn commit’ your changes to the server.

  8. isemenov

    BTW, we’re kind of colleagues with you πŸ™‚ FolderView lives right next to Dolphin in kde-baseapps, and does pretty much the same, although on a much greater scale. And we both do polishing work. Nice to meet somebody doing similar kind of fixes!

      1. jospoortvliet

        He just needs to blog more about it πŸ˜‰

        Hey, welcome on planet, you’re very right in that it’s great to blog about what you do! People need to know the good stuff that’s going on…

  9. misbcl

    Thank you for your great job. Dolphin and many others KDE applications are already full of features, what we need now are bug fixing.

  10. freininghaus Post author

    @all: Thanks for your nice words!

    I would like to point out (if it wasn’t clear already from the post) that not all the fixes I listed were done by me. Actually, Peter fixed most of these bugs, so the ‘Thank You’ comments are also addressed to him.

  11. Thomas

    Just wanted to say, that Dolphin is simply the best filemanager around. The improvements it made over the past releases are simply impressive!
    I have no problems with some small glitches (mainly some missing view-updates but that may very well related to my proprietary nvidia driver) and am sure that will improve over time.

  12. jesus

    Congratulations! I’m don’t have enough technical skills to help resolving bugs or coding… but I think Dolphin is the definiteve file manager. I use it everyday in my work, at home.. and, well, I love it! Keep the good work!

    1. jospoortvliet

      Like the author of this blog, you could start helping to triage bugs. This is very much needed, for example the KDE PIM team is so overworked just reading bugreports they get no coding done. It is quite easy to help with this – see the documentation on

      As you see the bugsquad has not been active for a while, it would be cool if somebody (you?) could revive it.

  13. Robert Felty

    Thanks for your help. File choose / manager is one of the things I care most about in a Desktop. Dolphin and Mac’s Finder are the only ones I like, mostly because of the column view. But I really like how Dolphin let’s you do the split view, which the Mac Finder doesn’t.

  14. m_h_n

    Thank you so much, to both of you ! Dolphin is extremely important, it’s crazy to see you are only 2 developers ! Also, it would make no sense at all having something super-modern and complete, if it wasn’t stable.

    I would have loved to contribute but have other priorities ATM…
    Cheers !

  15. STiAT

    Didn’t realize you existed and doing so much great work on Dolphin until this blog post. Thanks for sharing, I always enjoy reading about all the bug fixing going on – stability and consistency is often more important to me than the one or other new feature, since those are the things which can annoy you day by day in your workflow.

    I did try to take the same path into KDE some time back, but in the end I gave it up in favor of an other project.

  16. Pingback: Lanzado KDE 4.8.1 : KDE Blog

  17. memorysticky

    there is a bug where sometimes if you set png it comes up white.
    Or comes up wrong png.
    sometimes renaming dir fixes it and sometimes changing name to png and .directory fixes it.
    I have album covers set with .directory file as ./.albumcover.png etc etc.
    It should take the albumcover.png for that directory which is does most the time and other times it dont’. I need either a bug fix or some script or something that clears the caches. BTW where is the cache for that? thanks.

    1. freininghaus Post author

      Thanks for testing Dolphin and providing feedback, but the comment section of a blog is not a suitable place for reporting bugs. Please use for that and describe the problem in more detail, such that one can understand it at first sight (“sometimes if you set png int comes up white” is a bit unclear, one has to read everything to realize that you probably want to change a directory’s icon).

      I’m not familiar with the code that handles directory icons, so I can’t tell you if there is a cache for that somewhere.

      1. memorysticky

        Thanks I will try another format. Sorry for posting the bug. I thought this page was for open conversation. I will check out thanks again.

        1. freininghaus Post author

          This page is definitely open for conversation πŸ™‚ It’s just not the right place for reporting bugs. We have for that. Keeping track of all the issues reported there is close to impossible already. It would get even worse if bugs get reported at other places 😦

  18. Kai

    In Dolphin Version 2.0 it seems that the “columns view” is gone. What is the background for this?
    Are you planning to reactivate it?

    1. freininghaus Post author

      Unfortunately, the columns view made the maintenance of much of Dolphin’s code very complicated because the behaviour of this view mode differs quite considerably from the other modes. Therefore, Peter decided to drop the columns view when he rewrote the view engine. There are no plans to bring it back, sorry – things like this are just not doable for a small team of people who can only spare a couple of hours of their free time each week.

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