SpaceFM is now 7 months old! (First test release was January 13, 2012, although I was using it before then. ;) SpaceFM has been running well in most regards – I haven’t received any reports of crashes or hangs for a month or two, and there are no such critical issues open anymore. (If you do encounter any instability, please report it – distros and installations can vary.) I plan to remove the ‘beta’ sticker soon, possibly in the next release. There are plenty of more minor GUI and functional issues still pending, but hopefully they don’t seriously interfere with usability.
Out of beta, SpaceFM will remain unfinished, prototypical and experimental in nature, as this is my file manager too, and I’m always hacking it in the next branch. But I also try to keep core features stable in master branch releases, even as new features are added. Being a single developer project, it’s easier to maintain this stability (not so many spoons stirring the soup), but it is a complex application.
I developed SpaceFM to introduce some new ideas on what a Linux command line and GUI combo could do, and to provide a useful, consistently stable file manager. I’ve been very pleased and somewhat overwhelmed by its reception. It already has a flagship distro running as Parted Magic‘s default file manager (for a few months now), and is included in a number of distros. I’ve also received lots of feedback, suggestions, requests, and useful problem reports over the months that have already improved it greatly, and will continue to do so.
I’m still adjusting to managing a project of this size. With the ratio of developers to users, I perpetually feel like I’m not doing a sufficient job keeping up – the TODO list gets longer every month despite whatever I remove, mostly due to good ideas, mine and others’.
I always try to make bug reports, especially serious ones, top priority. And for its first six months, I’ve made an extra effort to support SpaceFM aggressively – give it a solid start until established. While development activity may now slow at times (especially during these summer months), I still plan on improving SpaceFM as time goes on. Suggestions are welcome as always – just remember the waiting line is long. Nor is it necessarily a first in/first out list – a somewhat complex formula determines what is done next.
Next up, in addition to addressing bug reports and some requests as always, I’m working on some ideas to expand SpaceFM’s custom command capabilities. The plan (part of the original design) is to build some zenity-type functionality into SpaceFM, so custom commands can conveniently create dialogs to interact with the user. Also, I plan to add some communication between custom commands and SpaceFM’s socket, perhaps allowing them to interact with the GUI more. This will be a gradual design and development, and how long it takes will depend on my available time as well as how smoothly it goes.
Thanks again for the many contributions to SpaceFM and its little brother udevil in the form of user feedback, translations, packaging, artwork, donations, etc. – it really is a collaborative effort. In case you may think I ignored your idea or input, I didn’t. I consider it all, and while I may not implement every suggestion in this project, especially as quickly as you might want, the more ideas in the pool, the better this and future software becomes.
If you’re impatient and know some C, or just want to try something different, feel free to fork the Github repo and carry on. I don’t mind forks or borrowed ideas. In fact that’s one reason I released SpaceFM – to put some ideas out there which I know I alone can’t fully develop.
Also, there are now complete translations for SpaceFM in French and Russian, and a partial one for Swedish. udevil has only a Russian translation. If you are multi-lingual, please consider contributing a translation for your language(s) to SpaceFM and/or udevil. Instructions are available in TRANSLATE. udevil is a quick job. SpaceFM is a bit of work, but with a few translators ahead of you, some of the kinks have been worked out. A translation doesn’t have to be perfect or complete to be useful, so you can work on it and submit updates a little at a time.
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