Microsoft stealing from commie scum

For example, document icons are no longer a hint of the type of file, but rather a small picture of the file itself. The icon for a Word document, for example, is a tiny iteration of the first page of the file. Folders, too, show glimpses of what’s inside. Such images can be rather small, but they offer a visual cue that [assists] in the searching process, Allchin said.

News.com: An early peek at Longhorn

The K Desktop Environment‘s Konqueror has supported icon thumbnails for numerous document types and folder content hints for several years. Apparently, the KDE developers have a time machine that allowed them to travel to 20xx so they could steal these “innovations” from Longhorn!

  • File thumbnails
    1. MP3 audio*
    2. JPEG (PNG and many other image types are also supported)
    3. KPresenter document (the KOffice slideware component)
    4. KSpread document (the KOffice spreadsheet)
    5. KWord document (the KOffice word processor)
    6. SVG
    7. HTML
    8. PDF
    9. EPS
    10. MPEG-4 Video
    11. AVI (DivX)

    *Konqueror can also preview audio files, playing the file when the mouse cursor is held over the icon for one second or so. It isn’t a must-have feature, but it is kind of cool.

  • Folder content hints; these are not custom icons — Konqueror automatically badges the folder with the icon of the majority filetype.

While I am happy to point out that KDE beat Microsoft to the market with these features by several years, they aren’t as useful as one would hope. Seeing a thumbnail of a text document really isn’t much use when it is between 100-200 pixels. I do like image thumbnail icons (which pretty much every environment’s file manager has provided for a while) because they are visually distinct and it is useful with some PDFs. As for folder content hints, they break when a folder contains several different types of files.

Remember: those dirty open source communist hippies just copy Microsoft’s super fabulous products and it’s never the other way around. Ballmer told me so.

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Daniel J. Wilson

I am a designer, drummer, and amateur photographer in Brooklyn, NY.

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