Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
According to the Dolphin webpage, Dolphin is: "a file manager for KDE focusing on usability." To expand; from my experiences with it, along with words from developers, Dolphin is a light-weight file-manager, meant to be strictly used for file-browsing. It is not meant to be a replacement for Konqueror. Konqueror, however, in KDE 4 will be the "power user" tool..made for more experienced linux/kde users. It will not be the default file-browser; Dolphin will.
While it all sounds very interesting, and from my experience, Dolphin seems to be progressing steadily, I still have a few concerns. However, my main issue, is the fact that the majority of the developers are against adding tabs.
The proposal for adding tabs, was posted in this thread http://lists.kde.org/?l=kfm-devel&m=118373314623787&w=2 , however it was quickly shot down by many of the developers. For instance, one said: "Ouch, honestly it doesn’t look like a good idea to me. It’ll be yet another setting for a feature you can already have elsewhere. "
Now I ask..is that really the case? Is it really yet another feature you can get elsewhere? Well, yes..Konqueror does indeed have tabs...
..but, should that disqualify tabs from being added? Does the fact that Konqueror has tabs make it so adding them to a filebrowser would be pointless? Would adding tabs to Dolphin make it less or more functional as a filebrowser? You tell me.
Let's look at it another way. Konqueror, as a "power user tool," has many different view options. You can have a tree view..a column view, etc. But..what do you know? So can Dolphin! Why? Because it makes things more convenient for different people. Do you really NEED a multi-column view in Dolphin when Konqueror can already do that? Technically, no..you don't NEED columns in Dolphin to be a standard file browser. You COULD just open new windows. But, like I said, it was added anyway..and for a good reason. Yet, if this useful feature is added, then why aren't tabs?
Essentially, tabs don't HAVE to be added. Nor' does one HAVE to have a MultiColumn view. However, there are some things..despite the fact that you can get them with other programs, that can be added to make things easier for the end user. In my view, tabs can (and do) generally enhance the FILE-BROWSING experience. And besides, isn't that the point of Dolphin; to be a functional and simple FILE-BROWSER? I for one, prefer tabs over multiple windows, and I know many do as well. Multiple windows for me, are annoying, cluttered, and over-all disorganized. Plus, opening a simple tab is much cleaner and more functional than opening a new window; a new window that can soon be lost behind the many other apps you have open (if you're a multi-tasker like myself!).
Overall, I think tabs should be added to Dolphin. While granted, it isn't a HAVE TO feature(neither is multi-column view), it is a feature that can help keep things for FILE-BROWSING neat, organized, and easier for the end-user. Plus, most applications now days have tabs, and most people just automatically look for them. Tabs ARE NOT a power-user feature, infact they've become just one of those "common sense" things; one of those things that have been proven to be very useful.
Personally, I'm not sure why the developers are so hell-bent on keeping tabs away from Dolphin; but I will say this: listen to the every-day kde user. Don't rely completely on philosophies or technical concepts. Don't cloud your mind with what's best for YOU. Instead, listen to the users; put yourself in their shoes. From the responses I've seen on several forums and blogs, I think it’s pretty apparent that most people want tabs. In my eyes, tabs are a standard feature that should be added; not with the purpose of making things more complex or bloated, but to add simplicity — which I thought, was the point of dolphin.
And finally, I'm not saying add every feature under the sun..and add a google bar, and turn Dolphin into Konqueror the second. No. I'm saying use common sense, and make Dolphin (especially since it will be the default file-browser) functional, smart, and easy to use.