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Last post Author Topic: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared  (Read 38683 times)

mouser

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12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« on: October 13, 2006, 12:37:47 AM »
People have been waiting for us to do a big comparison review of windows explorer alternatives; this is a very nice comparison of many of the best:

Quote
Windows Explorer, the default file manager for Microsoft Windows, hasn’t really changed all that much over the years. Below you’ll find reviews, screenshots and links to download 10 11 12 different alternatives.



from Veign's Blog: http://www.veign.com/blog/

lanux128

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2006, 02:03:43 AM »
quite a good review but a mention of my favourite Servant Salamander would have been nice. also might want to add XYPlorer too..

Dirhael

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2006, 04:10:17 AM »
quite a good review but a mention of my favourite Servant Salamander would have been nice. also might want to add XYPlorer too..

For a lot of people, Servant Salamander isn't really a good alternative in its current state. The lack of Unicode support makes it pretty much worthless to me. It's a shame really, because I really enjoyed it when I tested it. It looks good, feels good, has excellent speed and not to mention all of the useful functions it comes bundled with. While I doubt I'll ever switch from Directory Opus, I'll be very interested to further evaluate that Salamander when it finally supports Unicode :)

As for the comparison itself, I think it's nice to see someone take interest in the file manager category, but I do take issue with some of those scores. I get the impression that the author haven't really taken the time to really get to know the various programs at all. It seems like a few of them have barely been installed, then given a score. Anyway, I can't really complain though, as there are a lot more products featured there than in most of the so-called "pro" reviews.
Registered nurse by day, hobby programmer by night.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2006, 04:14:35 AM by Dirhael »

f0dder

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2006, 04:57:28 AM »
Hrm, that wasn't exactly a review... there's only a few lines of text for each, no justification on how he has rated the programs, no pros/cons, and for Total Commander he even writes: "Having only used it for about 30 minutes total (so far), take these comments with a grain of salt."

Perhaps not a bad start, but certainly not very useful in it's current state, except for showing a batch of explorer replacements that you might want to try out, as well as having copy/pasted their feature highlights from their webpages.
- carpe noctem

Lashiec

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2006, 05:07:36 AM »
Good find! I'll take a peek, it's not that comprehensive, but it's better than nothing

dk70

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2006, 01:22:06 PM »
Is it? No comparison or reviewing - fair to programs? He is not even a regular Windows user! Away with stars/rating and no one would notice  8) Good he see the light in Free Commander though.

zridling

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2006, 01:09:11 AM »
Hey, it's up to 15 apps now, with XYplorer and Servant Salamander included! This is more of a "first impressions" article than a review. Still, I welcome any comparative discussion of software.

lanux128

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2006, 01:40:14 AM »
yes, having included Servant Salamander, the author does have some nice words to say about it. it may be my personal preference but as a former NC user, i am more at home with the Salamander's interface. while other file managers are more likely to ring a bell with those who started out with Windows Explorer.

btw, Salamander's developers do intend to support unicode, eventually. 8) more info here..


jgpaiva

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2006, 03:56:50 AM »
Definitelly, not including XY was a miss on this review. I'm glad to see it got a great rating (as much as dopus? wow!).
What i don't understand is why there isn't any file manager that gets the 5 stars, i'd like to know what he misses.

mouser

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2006, 07:40:27 AM »
XYPlorer has been added to the review.

Quote
Thoughts:
Wow. It only took a couple of minutes of looking around to see some features that I’d never seen before (drop text to file, ctrl+backspace breadcrumb) - and some that I’ve seen before but never this detailed (see the “Rename Special” screenshot below). If you click and hold the left mouse button on an image (in the Preview area) it enlarges until you release the mouse button. Very cool. XYplorer appears to have a slighly larger memory-footprint than Directory Opus (the only other Explorer-style file manager that I gave 4 stars), but it is less expensive.



jgpaiva

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2006, 08:06:19 AM »
Mouser: i think zaine was faster than you :P
Hey, it's up to 15 apps now, with XYplorer and Servant Salamander included! This is more of a "first impressions" article than a review. Still, I welcome any comparative discussion of software.

Dirhael

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2006, 08:27:49 AM »
The fact that he calls Directory Opus a "explorer style file-manager" just confirms the fact that he haven't really tested it at all. Really, I'm not to sure I even understand what he means by that, considering that in one of his screenshots he's even using the commander-style lister :huh:
Registered nurse by day, hobby programmer by night.

Lashiec

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2006, 10:41:16 AM »
After reading the article slowly at home, I realized the guy gave a very quick test drive to some of the explorer alternatives. Lines like "At first glance xplorer² appears fairly average, digging deeper shows it to be a powerful File Manager" or "Having only used it for about 30 minutes total (so far), take these comments with a grain of salt" really makes you think about that possibility. Not to mention this other line "As it stands right now, I can’t pick a “winner” between Servant Salamander and Total Commander"... How come can he choose Total Commander after 30 minutes with it? Once you discover the 3rd party site, full with plugins, you almost feel overwhelmed by the power inherent in it.

Also, I would not recommend freeCommander as the budget alternative to anyone. If you don't want to spend a penny, it's way better to go with xplorer². freeCommander does not have a good design to start with, but then again, xplorer² is the one I use, so I may be a little biased :)

vegas

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2006, 08:54:14 PM »
I would like to say that I really like XYplorer and was happy to get in on the DonationCoder discount to purchase it ;)

BUT. and it's a big BUTT..... It does not support dual panes and the author states it NEVER will. I guess this is a big peave of his and says he doesn't want it and doesn't like it when talk of this feature comes up in the XYplorer forums.  Personally I just find myself really missing this feature, ALOT.   I do not understand why someone who writes a program to sell to users, says it's NOT something HE wants in his program and therefore it will NOT be there. Leaves me more inclined to believe that somehow the code would actually not be able to function properly if this was implemented, because it CAN be an optional feature.   I also don't think that adding that one feature desired by many, would have to lead to bloating the program with a longer list of other features.

Ok no more CAPS ;)

Aside from that Glaring omission, this program is very fast, customizable and well supported.  Definitely a top 6 in the world of explorer replacements. Others of course being:

Total Commander
Directory Opus
xplorer2
Servant Salamander
Free Commander

f0dder

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2006, 04:36:34 AM »
vegas: back when xPlorer^2 was 2xExplorer, the author stated that he wouldn't do a single-pane version... but lo and behold, with xPlorer^2 I can toggle dual-pane with ctrl+o. Extremely useful feature, glad he saw the light! :)
- carpe noctem

gussan

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2006, 05:28:20 PM »
Hello, first time writing here. First of all Total Commander beats all of the file managers out there, in speed, stability and support. I have tried all of them, but TC is my choice. It is portable, easy to install (manual installation), does not use registry (like Directory Opus), its installer its less than 2 MB, has many many plugins (www.totalcmd.net) to customize TC the way you want to work. It has 3 kind of plugins: content, lister and file system. With plugins you can work directly with registry, access windows event logs, burn CDs, recover deleted files, catalog hard drives, and the list goes on and on. Believe me, it takes a lot to discover all the features this File manager has (I have it 4 years but I am still discovering new ones, it is like tweaking windows). I do not deny that if you download the file manager from its web page and install it plain (www.ghisler.com) it is very simple, but be patient, learn how to use it, and you will have all the power to manage windows OS. In 30 minutos it is impossible to analyze this terrific file manager for power users.

f0dder

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2006, 06:06:01 PM »
The default look of TotalCommander has always put me off - it's so darn ugly >_<. It has this "early win95 app" look-and-feel, including the installer. And it doesn't seem like there's a single-pane mode?

Oh well, I'm just glad xPlorer^2 does everything I need (including single-pane mode :)), and I don't like integrated archive and ftp support et cetera, since I have specific applications for that...
- carpe noctem

gussan

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2006, 06:42:01 PM »
I forgot to say, license is for lifetime of the product, at least for now.  A plus.

Pages where you could start:

http://www.ghisler.c.../index.php/Main_Page (Total Commander Wiki!)
http://www.digdug.cx/total/ (Guide to Efficient Use of Total Commander)
http://www.ghisler.c...php?language=english (Total Commander Forum)
http://www.digdug.cx/total/ (Guide to Efficient Use of Total Commander)
http://www.ghisler.c...i/index.php/Weblinks (Weblinks)

"Like any powerful tool, Total Commander won't work the way you want it right away. Until you use it a little and learn how it works, it may even seem a bit uncomfortable. But don't be discouraged, as the payoff is too great to ignore. You'll do all your file management a lot faster. An experienced person using Total Commander may seem like a magician to observers." Ilya Gulko.

gussan

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2006, 06:50:17 PM »
f0dder, you are right, the look is not good as other file managers, but at leas for me, I need power more than a good look. But, TC can be customized, more than any other file manager I have tried: colors, icons, toolbars, menues, etc.

You might download "Total Commander PowerPack 1.7" from "http://www.totalcmd....ugring/tcmdpp17.html" which is a extended version of Christian Ghisler's Total Commander, with a lot of plugins ready to use.

Regards,

f0dder

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2006, 01:29:11 AM »
Thanks for the link, but xPlorer^2 has the power I need - and I don't have to do a whole lot of tweaking to get it to look okay :). Especially since it seems TC doesn't have a single-pane mode, it's not very useful to me.

I know it has some very loyal followers, it just isn't for me :)
- carpe noctem

JavaJones

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2006, 02:03:22 AM »
TotalCommander = FireFox, xPlorer^2 = Opera? :D

- Oshyan

wasker

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2006, 10:19:09 AM »
I'm another one for Xplorer2. I was completely sold on it when saw how it utilizes all underlying power of usual Explorer and adds tons of useful things on top. And, boy, it's really cute out-of-the-box and ergonomic.

I was using FAR Manager before switching to X2, BTW.

gussan

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2006, 10:43:15 AM »
TotalCommander = FireFox, xPlorer^2 = Opera?

JavaJones, what a great comparisson (alsmot an equation), I just was thinking the same yesterday (but just the part TotalCommander = FireFox), and I was going to write it today.

FireFox, its extensions and speed beats Opera, even though Opera for most users is good enough. The same happens with TC versus Xplorer2 (limited for me, I repeat for me). Anyway, each person has the right to choose their file manager depending on their needs.

JavaJones

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2006, 11:59:09 AM »
Well, the way the "equation" worked in my head was this:

Total Commander: starts out limited in functionality and you wonder "what's so special?", but then you find out there are many, many plugins that can do almost anything you want.
Result: If you are willing to customize, it can be "the best".

Xplorer2 (or XYplorer, or others): starts out ready-to-use with lots of built-in functions (that TC may require a plugin for), but less expandable.
Result: If you don't like having to customize and/or the default configuration "out of the box" is good for you, this is a faster, easier approach than TC.

You could replace TC and Xplorer2 in those sentences above with Firefox and Opera respectively, and it would make perfect sense to me. Now mind you I haven't tried TC yet, so I don't know just how limited it may be in default configuration. I feel Firefox is pretty limited without extensions though. Also Opera is demonstrably faster than FF, but I don't know if TC is slower than Xplorer2. ;)

- Oshyan
« Last Edit: October 24, 2006, 12:01:31 PM by JavaJones »

wasker

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Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2006, 12:18:21 PM »
Xplorer2 (or XYplorer, or others): starts out ready-to-use with lots of built-in functions (that TC may require a plugin for), but less expandable.

I don't want to have a religious war here, but this statement doesn't reflect the whole reality. X2 IS expandable, but does it in Explorer's way - i.e. you can implement standard Explorer's shell extensions which will work (mostly) in X2. So, in fact, it's not "less expandable", it's simply the question of numbers: TC has way bigger audience which writes plug-ins for it. The abilities for add-ons functionality in X2 is not less than in TC from developer's point of view.