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One of the developers of NewBreeze wrote me back to say this:

"I have some plans similar to yours, but on the whole, the changes you suggest are substantial, and I am not willing to make so many changes. The Right Pane, yes. I will add it in the future. I find the TreeView in the sidepanel messy, but have plans to add it anyway. As for adding file to favorites, I am working on SuperStart, which will have support for files and folders bookmarking. If you want help building a file manager for yourself, I'll try to help you as much as I can. Most of the features you want are not that complicated. You can use most of the Qt classes as is and make do. It would make a very lightweight and a feature rich FM."

Unfortunately I am no programmer myself and doubt I could learn fast enough to make this worthwhile.

That's one of the reasons I posted on donationcoder.  I'd really like to do something rather that sit back and hope. Is there a method or a place - here on DonationCoder or otherwise - where it would make sense to post a prototype design and try to raise money to support development of a new (hopefully open source) programming effort?  Maybe forking off of the QT version of PCMANFM or some other current QT design?

That suggestion of NewBreeze is interesting Panzer - thanks.  I left a comment with the developers.

Thanks again guys - no one paid you for your time and you didn't have to reply.  Alas Wraith808 remains correct.  With all the people who seem willing to program the same independent multi-pane design over and over and over again, I was hoping to happen onto someone who might be looking for a new twist in file managers, since that is what some of the people on this website apparently specialize in doing.

Short of someone in the linux world seeing the wisdom of the XYPlorer/Dopus/Freecommander approach, I guess I am doomed to limp along in virtualbox and/or wine.  Order me another glass, I suppose! ;-)

Thank you Wraith808 we are on the same wavelength.  I decided to post here because the forum and website seem oriented toward working toward practical solutions to existing problems, so maybe there is someone who will come across this thread who sees an opportunity for profit. I am a lawyer and able to use linux for 90+ percent of my work, but I still have to keep a Virtualbox running for several of my important organizational tools.

I'd certainly be willing to donate toward people who are willing to make linux more business-friendly, so maybe at some point something will "click" on this and similar projects.  There are so many reasons to work hard to avoid being totally dependent on Microsoft and Google.

Thanks to Panzer and Wraith808.  I am afraid I agree with Wraith, but with an emphasis on the viewing being missing two, because the panes don't appear to be linked in any usable way - they appear largely independent.  I better stress that - there are "hundreds" of multiple pane file browsers which allow viewing in a single pane as "thumbnail format, but not so many based on a tree to the left (with favorites pane for FILES, not just folders!!) that control what is visible in the next pane over and allow previewing on the right.  To repeat, that pane on the left in my diagram is not just a simple directory tree, it's a drag and drop customizable outline that allows entries in the middle pan to be dragged and organized for future use in a tree-like structure.

Both of these appear to be simply just more implementations of independent multiple panes for file manipulation, rather than a work environment for actively working with a set of currently-hot files in a tree (left side), manipulating them (middle pane), and viewing them (right side). 

That's what I want to do in my "work environment" - I want to gather up a manageable set of files, organize them into priorities or whatever on the left, rename or launch them from the middle, and view them (so as to find which one to launch) on the right.  The order of panes isn't important but the ability to keep a set of "favorites" (including both files and directories) and then scroll through them (the middle pane) and view as I scroll (the right pane) is the key.  XYplorer and Freecommander and even the current Windows file explorers allow this basic level of function, but so far nothing in Linux (or even something in basic windows that really works in wine emulation.)

Yes I love multiple panes for copying and pasting files from one place to another, but I'm talking about actually working with the content of the files, not just shuffling them from place to place.

Here's another example of use of this:  Like most people I use multiple word processes, and multiple image editors.  Part of what I want is to be able to organize my files and then launch them with the "open as" dialogue in the program of choice at the moment.   

ALSO:  I previously asked the programmer of XFE if he would add a favorites pane, and he said that's on his roadmap but no promises.  That would be one way forward, but I really want the file preview function too.

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