Ten years after
Those of you that still remember, ten years ago a simple twin panel
file manager was released. It had a few small glitches like showing
rrr instead of rwx for permissions, had some compatibility issues with
Debian and Solaris, did not save keyboard settings, but it was, in
spite of many bugs, "sort of usable" for everyday work. Ten years ago
Krusader started the path to becoming top file manager for many
different operating systems and many flavors.
And the story goes ...
First biographer describes the beginning in a simple manner: In
early days of the second millennia, two young man Shie and Rafi, full
of life and dedication, started to create a twin panel file manager.
One afternoon after having falafel for lunch, and instead of attending
to their academic duties, they started Krusader.
Krusader was created because there was no good Total Commander
(formerly Windows Commander) replacement for Linux. Shie and Rafi
chose KDE/Qt, because it offered the right tools for software
development, as well as a rich and dependable framework. That famous
meeting took place on 30th April 2000.
On the 1st of May 2000, the project officially started.
The first working version was called M1 (Milestone 1) for KDE 2
(Kleopatra 1.91). The first release was M2 (Milestone2) on 11th July
2000. Version 1.0 was released on 1 January 2002. About three years
after the project started more people joined the project, and the
Krusader Krew was born.
During the first year of millennia, after not so apocalyptic
devastation of Y2K bug, Krusader released 8 versions, crowning the
first birthday in 2001 with the tenth release. On average there were 6
releases per year, which made Krusader one of the most active open
source projects. After the 1.70 release, the cycle shortened to three
releases every year, manly due to preoccupation of developers. Version
2.0.0 was released on the tenth birthday.
In ten years time ...
In ten years time, more than 1500 features, bug-fixes and updates were
made, primarily to keep Krusader up to date with file management
demands and technological progress. Krusader was among the first to
actively support tabbed interface, make use of advanced bookmarking
system, support different views, advanced file previews and system
information gathering. Pioneering in user customization was made
possible by the rapidly evolving KDE environment which was, as the
developers pointed out on many occasions, sole key to the fast paced
development. Whole look and feel with user customization was very
important. Many interface enhancements followed strict keyboard
settings to make pleasantly looking window also functional and
adaptive for real administrative tasks. Krusader has defined
key-binding for every single operation, which can make magic in the
right hands. For that reasons many demanding groups of people
supported the development, while the program kept it's simplicity for
not so tech savvy users and other operating system drop-outs.
Probably the greatest single Krusader's feature that makes it unique
is its powerful user-action system. Some user-actions can be even
imported from community supported sites, or one can script it and
adept it to own personal needs. Another great feature is powerful
regex search which was introduced quite early in the program's
development history. Powerful searching is along the crude file
management features, the most important aspect that the file manager
must address and Krusader did that in an innovative manner. There is
nothing developers forget to add, when it comes down to searching.
Many other features grow into ones way of work that makes it easier to
maintain the circus of files.
Looking down at the milestones ...
Looking back at the development period until the 1.0 release of
Krusader, looking back at the screenshots of the program, and looking
back at the history of open-source, must give you heavy dose of goose
bumps. That was a "hard-stuff" period! A that time, users of this file
managers were mostly developers themselves and other developers and
system administrators, that really knew their way around the code.
First really user oriented features came in July with the release of
version 0.6 that featured MountMan - the auto-mount-manager, enhanced
DirWatcher and major optimizations for the archive handling module
ARC-VFS. One month later the release 0.65 featured BookMan, the
bookmark manager and integral pack/unpack functions.
Version 1.0 was released in April 2001 to the first bugfix release
that also added new ftp/smb vfs support and added support for sftp &
scp. These first steps in the wild introduced the little piece of
software to the community which then in the years got acquainted with
releases following every major milestone that developers placed on
their everlasting to-do list.
- In the first milestone version 1.10, a new viewer was introduced
which was a huge improvement over the previous version. This release
also cleared some annoyances as well as added some important features
like a possibility to execute files on remote file-system. But the
single most important feature was coding the Krename into the heart of
Krusader, making it lifelong companion and a good example of different
- Milestone 1.20 in april 2003 introduced a preview option that was
added to the right-click menu and an extension column that was added
to the files window. This milestone was oriented towards the usability
of the program and simplifying user experience.
- With the release of 1.30 in the same year, a Total-Commander style
directory selection was added, which gave an option to select
directory with the space key. Following the TC's example was well
accepted by the community that started looking into the windows
alternatives. Among other important additions was multi-file
properties dialog, KIO handling of archives and rar support and with
the in-place renaming option, Krusader stepped even closer to TC's
- Next milestone (1.40) introduced a file splitter and directory
synchronizer. This was already a long time feature request by the
community, since Krusader was also used by system administrators that
frequently needed such functionality. The community also welcomed the
new "calculate occupied space" feature that prints the directory's
size like TC. This milestone also served new konfigurator for settings
interface and an ability to configure the fields of the panel like
extension, size, permissions and other.
- Version one and a half released at the end of 2004, added new
colossal user-action system, based on the previous prototype and the
original 3rd hand of Krusader which resided silently on the bottom of
both panels. Third hand was basically designed as Krusader's
information gathering and viewing center giving many possibilities to
enhance default file management features with advanced system and file
data browsing, selecting and displaying capabilities. One-point-five
had also full handling of arj, ace and lha packers support, iso
protocol for viewing .iso cd/dvd images, linking mimes and protocols
and powerful compare by content. Kruseder also became more KDE-ish
file manager with added support for the konqueror's right click menu.
- Next major barrier was the "great" 1.60 release that was really
widely recognized by the community. Features like vertical Krusader
mode, disk usage tool, TC's style refresh and virtual VFS support,
made the program important even for very demanding users. With the
addition of the import and export of keyboard short-cuts and color
scheme, extensive redesign of right click and scripting support, the
release was also well accepted by the KDE development community, which
found a place among extra KDE programs. Among other features were feed
to list-box search support with virtual folders, that made searching
usable even after the search action was finished. Bookmarks could be
now placed into toolbars, most used places were now added to
popular-URLs feature and files could be now selected with custom
selection mode, which was another long awaited option.
- With the 1.70 Round Robin release, Krusader defined it's role in the
OSS world. File selection filters, Jump-Back feature, QuickNavigation,
checksum module for md5 and sha1 support, unpacking from RPM packages
and many more features that caught the eye of wide variety of users.
- In 1.80 in mid 2007 new krarc password handling was introduced along
with archive type auto-detection, writing out archiving error
messages, stepping into hidden archives and other option. New krarc
supported 7z and 7za handling and also packing with encryption,
multiple volume archives and compression level. With copying and
moving attributes also stayed preserved. Another long awaited feature
rocked the users. At last the so called brief view was introduced.
With its addition, Krusader supported all types of views known for
twin panel file manager.
- The mighty power stone 1.90.0 was released in 2008, bundled with
many user-actions, scripts, color schemes and keyboard short-cuts
maps. This release started closing the first release cycle and opening
the second release with major overhaul of Krusader's code to follow
the release of KDE4. This "upgrade" took quite some time, but the
outcome was great. Integration of Krusader into the KDE environment
benefited in both KDE and Krusader's features, making file management
even more intuitive and faster.
- The outcome of this transition was Krusader 2.0.0 which was released
with new enhancements like selecting remote encoding for krarc and
character encoding option for content search, ability to use
Thunderbird or Evolution as the default email sender and sending more
than one file in e-mail, highlight quick search match, enqueue
operation for copy / move, original support for tar.lzma, copy and
move by queue.
- Version 2.1.0-beta1 version cleaned many bugs, but also served new
additions to the program. Better trash integration, many new tabs
actions, queued packing and unpacking and many more.
- Just on the tenth birthday, Krusader Krew released the 2.2.0-beta1
version, a preview of the upcoming series which includes many new ideas
and overall polishment.
Ten years after
Today, Krusader joins many top notch developers and other contributors
of code, spread all around the world. So, writing a story about the
history of an open source project is not an easy task. People that
contribute to the project come and go, have more or less time, users
get older, working environments change. But there is a special
something that keeps coming up with every new decade and that is the
philosophy, some kind of ultimate philanthropic point that simply
says; I do it because I love doing it.
What about the Krew, you ask? Well, the Krew got ten years older,
found more demanding jobs with more working hours, got families and
pets, got lazy Sundays and jumpy Mondays. Sometimes the lack of
activity shows, that Krusader needs new, fresh blood, savaged
developers and fierce bug-fixers to keep the pole position in the
desktop file management race. But on the other hand, in next ten
years, Krew will be another ten years older, will have mastered the
job demands, will have almost grown up kids and trained pets, will get
sick of lazy Sundays and Mondays will start without the early hour
alarm. Then the fresh will mix with reliable old and then the cycle
will turn again.
Happy birthday, Krusader
The highlights of this release are:
- A reorganized Konfigurator
- Seperate per view type icon sizes and previews
- Imporved MountMan with solid interaction
- A dbus interface for new tabs
- Polished status and totalsbar and more panel configurations options in
- Aged 10 years
Notice: if you've got bugs to report, please do so using Krusader's
website, and not using KDE's bugzilla (bugs.kde.org
as always, enjoy
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