notes from /dev/null

by Charles Choi 최민수

Announcing Casual Dired - an opinionated porcelain for the Emacs file manager

06 May 2024  Charles Choi

Truth be told, my thoughts about the Emacs file manager Dired are complicated. On the one hand, I do buy the argument that Dired is unparalleled as a file manager. It enables workflows that would otherwise be cumbersome or impossible to do with lesser file managers. On the other hand, I also feel that Dired is punishing to users new (and sometimes old). In my opinion, Dired out of the box is a power tool with poor user interface affordances and many questionable default settings. All this ends up making Dired harder to use than I think it should.

Given my activity of late in using Transient menus, it seemed manifest what to do here: make a Transient-based porcelain for Dired.

Announcing Casual Dired, now available on MELPA.

Hopefully the screenshot above expresses clearly what you can do with it. In making it, care was taken to not rely on third party Emacs packages or tools outside of GNU coreutils (for ls) and ImageMagick (for identify). For users new to Dired, note that a subdir should be thought of a logical view on a sub-directory that can be created or destroyed without impact to the actual physical sub-directory.

If you share the same sentiments I’ve described above, I invite you to try Casual Dired out. With it, I’ve tried to strike a balance that offers good discovery for new users, while providing bindings that are immediately familiar to experienced users. I’m quite pleased with the end result and I suspect you’ll think likewise.





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