PCManFM Qt port is 85% finished now!

A picture is worth a thousands words so again let’s see the screenshot first.

PCManFM Qt with desktop manager turned on

This is the Qt port of PCManFM with desktop management feature turned on. The desktop icons and the wallpaper were painted by PCManFM-Qt, just like the gtk+ version of the original PCManFM. The new Qt port is in a pretty good shape now.
Although it’s not yet ready for production use, it’s almost there. About 85% of the planned features are finished.

What already works:
  1. Nearly all folder browsing features
  2. Change icon theme
  3. Preferences dialog (most options work)
  4. Load/save settings
  5. Single instance + dbus service
  6. Command line options
  7. Desktop icon manager: enable with “pcmanfm-qt –desktop”. You can add “pcmanfm-qt –desktop” to the startup script of your desktop environment/window manager.
  8. Change wallpapers via “Desktop Preferences” dialog
  9. Mount remote filesystems and removable devices (requires gvfs)
  10. Split into pcmanfm-qt and libfm-qt library.
  11. Install libfm-qt header files to /usr/includ/libfm-qt along with a pkgconfig file, so later libfm-qt can be used in other Qt programs
  12. Most file operations, move/copy/symlink/trash/rename, change file attributes in the file properties dialog.
  13. Basic drag and drop support (very basic)

Things which do not work or are still work in progress:

  1. Create new folders/files
  2. Edit bookmarks
  3. Auto-mount/auto-run for removable devices
  4. No thumbnail support yet. (This may require some changes of the upstream libfm library)
  5. No ABI version (libtool soname not set yet)
  6. No translations yet (Qt Linguist and the *.ts files are hard to work with and lack features I need, I consider using GNU gettext instead)
Also noted that the git repository is now moved to:
The original libfm-qt repo will be removed later.
The binary program pcmanfm-qt and the library libfm-qt.so are bundled in the same package.
Please help test and give some comments.
If anyone is interested in helping the development, patches are welcomed.
Thank you!

PCManFM file manager is ported to Qt?

No, LXDE will NOT use Qt. Don’t panic!!
It’s just one of my side projects and was an experiment to test how good libfm and Qt are. Since the core library of PCManFM, libfm, is carefully separated from its Gtk+ UI code, theoratically it can be ported to other GUI toolkits. To give it  a test, I played with Qt recently. The result is quite satisfactory and impressive. I must admit that working with Qt is quite pleasant.

Everybody loves screenshots so here is one.

At first glance, this looks like the original GTK+ version very much. Because I choose “Cleanlook” Qt style, it highly resembles Gtk+ “Clearlooks” theme. Besides, I load the “elementary” icon theme. Though it matches the looks and feels of typical Gnome/Gtk+ programs, this is an 100% pure Qt program.

The most interesting and unique part of the PCManFM Qt port are:

  1. No KDE dependency. Really, it’s a lightweight pure Qt4 program.
  2. Almost as fast as the original Gtk+ version. I have not taken any time to do optimization yet. It’s possible to make it faster after optimization.
  3. Uses Libfm + glib/gio, and supports gvfs. So you can mount remote filesystems.
  4. Source code is clean and short, written in C++.
  5. Desktop independent, do not depend on any specific desktop environment (although it uses glib/gio/gvfs, it does not require Gnome)
  6. Built with cmake. No more autotools.
  7. Later, when the APIs becomes stable, I’ll make it two parts, PCManFM main binary and libfm-Qt, which can be used in other pure Qt programs.

For decades, people from the Gnome/Gtk+ camp and the KDE/Qt camp don’t work each other sometimes. Each of them likes to reinvent the wheel and create functionally equivalent programs with different toolkits. The fact is, technology from both camps can be mixed very well. Qt-based UI sit on top of low level platform APIs from Gnome stack is another good option.

PCManFM Qt, when finished, will be a perfect mix of Gnome libraries + Qt-based UI.  I think it’s a good news for who like Qt but don’t want to install KDE.

The source code is available here:
git clone git://pcmanfm.git.sourceforge.net/gitroot/pcmanfm/libfm-qt

It’s still a work in progress and many parts don’t work yet.
If you’re a Qt developer and is interested in helping the development, feel free to contact me.

P.S. Special thanks to KDE developers Aaron Seigo and Will Stephenson. I met them last year during an open source event “COSCUP 2012” in Taipei, Taiwan. They gave some instructions about how to use Qt. Then, I finished the basic skeleton of this port at that night.