An replacement for Explorer

So this post is about the hobby project I was referring to in the previous post. It is just an teaser for now but here goes. I am working on a replacement for the Windows Explorer. In my day to day work I come across the Windows Explorer a lot and I mean a lot lot. So where did this all start, how did I decide to write an replacement for it. Well about a year ago my intern and I as sysadmins started asking how hard can it be making an Windows Explorer replacement that instead of having a sh*t load of windows of it open having it tabbed instead. Of course it started simple using existing replacements that are available to make this happen, which all was great and worked. But we soon wanted more after having the tabbed problem lets say ‘fixed’.

Other features starting in our heads of what else could be improved and implemented into the standard Windows Explorer. So this we tried as well fixing this for our workflow eventually finding complete replacements for Windows Explorer that offered these options. For a while we were happy and going about our day until the next question popped up when my intern challenging asked me how hard could be to actually write something like the things we just used. To combine the things we loved of them and discard the things we didn’t see needed. Make an bare bone only essentials Explorer replacement that had functions only we deemed critical/needed without any overhead.

So here we are after about a year of me using it in my day to day job. Developing, learning and fixing bugs I find when I am using it. Fixing the problems or writing code in my break time and off hours at home. I am not a developer by title or schooling but I do find a sense of relaxation in it to zone out and program a bit especially when I am of course passionate about it.

So here it is, the current version at the moment of writing of my explorer.

So what are things that I implemented that me and my intern at the time deemed as critical. Let’s start out of course with tabs as mentioned earlier in the post it is essential if you are finding yourself overloaded in Explorer windows. The second feature that we wanted was the calculation of directories when you are standing in a given location. Because it is always hard to find that little file that is apparently eating through your hard drive space. Which rolls nicely into feature number 3, we wanted to at all times have a disk usage indicator depending of course where you are in the file system. The fourth feature was having a clear UI that is smooth, easy to read and no unneeded options or otherwise that could over complicate what we were trying to achieve. At best we started with the idea of how hard could it be not make the best one available.

After these features added we added more. A simple sum up of the most important added options are an update system, phone files connection, zipping and unzipping using 7Zip, portability of the program, a search function. But still the goal was to implement these clean as possible into the UI to improve our work flows.

A year in development and I think it is almost time to at least release it for general use for the small amount of people that want it or read this. It has become more than just a hobby and side project of mine but I am really passionate about the poorly written Explorer replacement that I created. I know it has flaws because I write the damned thing but with the website updated I think it is time. So we will see when the page goes life so for now stay tuned for that and thank you for reading.

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