Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: xplorer², a powerful windows file manager and explorer replacement / alternative« on: August 31, 2007, 11:13 AM »
You may be 100% satisfied with TCLordy I am incredibly not... you should read my posts over there sometime. My problem with switching from TC is that it offers some specific things I cannot live without.
OTOH TC's folder tree implementation is awful (though in one way (only) it's better than xplorer2's: at least TC will display a second tree in the right panel). Its tab implementation isn't as robust as SpeedCommander's (by the way: how do you lock a tab's root folder in xplorer2? or restrict navigation to only up or down the tabs folder hierarchy?). I hate TCs unmoveable button bar (mostly), though it is still more functional than xplorer2's. TC seems to have trouble from time to time with Network shares, especially in more recent versions: very bad in a file manager! And TC doesn't currently support Unicode (a huge shortcoming in today's world... funny no one has mentioned that!)
Why don't I turn the table round and ask you to present us with a TC column that does a summary/non-recursive column like x2 does it?If I get a chance I'll see about using one of the many TC file/folder-count column values (via the column content plugins) to demonstrate that. However, showing the count of files and folders only one level down (that is: no recursion) seems useless to me. Why would you want to ignore the subfolders' contents?
The xplorer2 "mini-scrap" is OK... as a replacement for a kind of folder tree (since it appears to link to whatever is the active tab), but seems only "half" implemented. It acts more like a list of favorite short-cuts than a virtual file container. It's immovable, too! Why not take that little window and put it in a tab, instead? Then a user could treat it as just another file tab (albeit with "virtual contents"). Indeed why not mulitiple mini-scraps, one in each tab?
The TC plugin community has created several "scrap" or "virtual" file container plugins that behave like the xplorer2 mini-scrap except you can have as many of them as you want since they appear in their own tabs, you can create new "virtual" folder hierarchies in them, and navigation occurs within the same panel (not in some other panel), there is no need to explicitly save the contents since they persist between sessions automatically (no need for a settings option for this), etc. etc.
The TC plugin architecture design means a user doesn't have to settle completely for the TC author's personal vision of a usable file manager (thank goodness, because he and I differ considerably on that). TC is more like Dopus in many regards: both can be viewed as toolkits for creating personalized file managers. Dopus concentrates on the flexibility of the GUI toolkit whereas TC concentrates on supporting the widest range of file systems, packers, viewers, editors, and metadata engines (via its open plugin design). The rest of the file managers in the landscape are more about each individual author's personal vision about how to manage files. Just because xplorer2's GUI does not work the way I personally think a file manager should (and I can back that up with specific examples), does not mean it isn't useful to many others.
There is no perfect file manager, but the less a file manager is implemented toward a specific metaphor of use and the more flexible it is to user configuration (via GUI elements, plugin architecture, what have you), the better chance it will have to approach perfection for any individual user. Speed of file copying or compatibility with Windows Explorer or a hodge podge of functions, each individually powerful, which nevertheless are not flexibly integrated into a coherent whole, do not a complete file manager make!
IMHO and with all due respect to all the hard working and talented file manager authors out there, as well as to those users whose file management tasks are more casual by nature.