For our January “Staff Pick” Project of the Month, we selected Double Commander, a cross platform file manager with two panels side-by-side. Alexander Koblov, Double Commander’s lead developer, shared his thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction.
SourceForge (SF): Tell me about the Double Commander project please.
Double Commander Team: Double Commander is an Open Source (GPL-2) cross platform (Windows, Linux, OS X, and FreeBSD) twin-panel (commander-style) file manager. It is written using Free Pascal compiler and Lazarus IDE.
SF: What made you start this?
Double Commander Team: I needed an Open Source commander-style file manager that works under Linux and Windows. I like Pascal programming language so I tried to find a file manager written in Pascal. I found three projects but all were Linux only and two were inactive. So I choose one (Seksi Commander) as start point of Double Commander and begin to rewrite code in cross platform way. This was in 2006.
SF: Has the original vision been achieved?
Double Commander Team: Yes, I think. We created a powerful, cross platform file manager. I am using it on daily basis under Linux and Windows at home and work. And I know many people who do same thing.
SF: Who can benefit the most from your project?
Double Commander Team: I think there are several groups who can benefit from it:
– People who likes commander-style file managers 🙂
– People who need to perform many different operations with files
– People who want to work with files similarly under several operating systems
SF: What core need does Double Commander fulfill?
Double Commander Team: Double Commander allows you to perform all basic operations with files and directories (copy, move, create, delete etc). Plus it can do many advanced operations like group rename, calculate/verify hash, archiving, secure delete and so on. It capabilities can be extended via plugins.
SF: What’s the best way to get the most out of using Double Commander?
Double Commander Team: Use Double Commander in conjunction with plugins.
SF: What has your project team done to help build and nurture your community?
Double Commander Team: We try to make Double Commander backward compatible with previous configuration so in most cases update onto new major release is transparent. I try to support users using email, forum and bug tracker.
SF: Have you all found that more frequent releases helps build up your community of users?
Double Commander Team: More frequent releases are good project advertising and increase program stability. I try to regularly release bug fix updates. But major versions are released once a year. For the year we had one major release and six bug fix releases.
SF: What was the first big thing that happened for your project?
Double Commander Team: Major core rework in 0.5.5 version.
SF: What helped make that happen?
Double Commander Team: A new active and creative developer joined the team—Przemysław Nagay.
SF: What was the net result for that event?
Double Commander Team: We rework Double Commander core. Double Commander became more flexible, extensible and mature. Was added several view modes, (e.g. thumbnails, multicolumn), virtual file systems (archives, network etc).
SF: What is the next big thing for Double Commander?
Double Commander Team: Porting code to new major Free Pascal 3.0 compiler.
SF: How long do you think that will take?
Double Commander Team: I’ve been working on this task several months. I plan to finish it at near time and release new version after Lazarus 1.6 release.
SF: Do you have the resources you need to make that happen?
Double Commander Team: Yes, the only thing that is missing is free time, so the work moves slowly.
SF: If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently for Double Commander?
Double Commander Team: Nothing global.
SF: Is there anything else we should know?
Double Commander Team: I want to say thanks to SourceForge for the infrastructure they give to Open Source projects. It eases Double Commander’s development and support.