I’m really looking forward to this summer, since my project proposal for this
year’s Google Summer of Code has been selected! I’ll be working on adding
features to Thunar file
an XFCE application, with the help of my mentor Alexander Schwinn.
My history with XFCE
I’ve been big on open-source ever since my school days, and actually ran
Xubuntu (an Ubuntu distribution with XFCE as its desktop
environment) on my daily driver, an old netbook back in eleventh grade. It was
too slow of a device to run GNOME, so I absolutely had to use a lighter-weight
desktop environment, and compared to alternatives like
LXDE which I didn’t like the aesthetics of, and
pantheon (the default DE for elementaryOS) which still
felt lacking in terms of performance, XFCE was the perfect balance of form and
Since then, I’ve done some distro-hopping before settling on my current setup,
hand-rolled with awesome window manager and no DE.
While I generally prefer to use the command-line, Thunar has been by GUI file
manager of choice ever since I started using this setup a little over 2 years
ago. It’s fast, light-weight, and gets the job done without getting in your way,
which is exactly what I need.
Thunar does however lack a few features that would be really handy to have,
which is exactly what I’ll be working on.
Adding undo and redo is an absolute no-brainer for me, and would probably be the
single biggest thing I think Thunar is currently missing. If you’re anything
like me, you’ve often selected the wrong file to move into another directory,
and you have to manually undo it and move the correct file once you realize your
mistake. Implementing this would do away with such frustrating tedium in the
case of minor mistakes.
File counts for folders
Currently, the list view in Thunar has a ‘size’ column which shows the size of
the corresponding file in the listing. However, this column is blank for folders
(or directories). As such, it’s essentially wasted space for directories, but it
could be put to good use showing the count of the files in the folder instead.
Picture-specific maximized thumbnail view
Managing pictures is primarily based on the content of the picture itself,
rather than metadata like the name, date etc. So it would be very convenient to
have a specific view optimized for folders with a large number of pictures,
where the thumbnails take up as much space on the screen as possible. Think
Pinterest, Google images etc.
If somehow I complete the work enlisted in my proposal ahead of time, I plan on
looking at some of the file system synchronisation bugs that some Thunar users
I’m glad to have the opportunity to be able to work on open-source tools I
myself use everyday, and feel really lucky to have the support of Google to be
able to work on this over this summer. I’m really grateful for the help I’ve
gotten along the way to getting my proposal accepted from Sergios
Kefalidis, Alexander Schwinn, and other members of the XFCE community.