Not that you could tell from my blog, but I do hack on things other than Plasma as well. ;) It seems that once or twice a year I end up spending some time on the file dialog, and it's apparently that time of year again.
Right now the All Powerful KDE File Dialog has a few unfortunate usability, visual and functionality quirks that diminish it's wonderfulness. (Is that even a word?) I didn't feel like doing anything too major to it as it's a proven model; that and I don't want to spend too much time on it either given all the other things I've got on the go. But still ... It needs a bit of love right now.
After fiddling with it a bit, I dropped an email to the usability list. Discussion ensued, and Peter Penz provided some data he gathered from user testing he'd done with it. (It's very nice how the number of people working on file management stuff has really grown with KDE 4.) I continued fiddling with things trying to improve the visual layout and make the order of things more correct (e.g. for scanning). Here is what it currently looks like on my disk:
I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to see if you can spot all the modifications. I'm not quite done yet, but it's coming along nicely I think.
As a historical note, here's what the dialog used to look like a long time ago:
We're obviously not quite so obsessed with frames and divider lines anymore, but a lot has remained at least somewhat similar as the dialog has grown in power and usability over the years.
p.s. The QtWebkit crash I mentioned in a blog a couple days ago has now been fixed upstream. Huzzah! I can browse without crashes now. =P