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Android File Management. Simple. Powerful. Beautiful.
Introduction
Holo File Explorer is an Android app for 2.2 and up.  It aims to provide a full featured file manager for casual users and enthusiasts alike that also adheres perfectly to Google's design guidelines.

We're still in the early alpha stage, but things are coming along and it is functional for a number of basic file management tasks.

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Holo File Explorer

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I just put a new reply up on the XDA HFE thread.  Please read and let me know if you are interested.
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Sebastian Görick's profile photoCheatKS Horatio's profile photoBennett Kanuka's profile photoAdam Sweeney's profile photo
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or more regular status updates, so we know you're alive.
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Holo File Explorer

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New Update
This update replaces the text based view pager indicator with a sliding bar that looks just like the stock launcher's indicator. I'm still not satisfied with the contrast between the bar and the surrounding elements, because it isn't easy to see at this point. I'll keep tinkering with it, and would welcome suggestions. In addition, I have figured out how to allow viewing of read protected directories like /data/. My implementation isn't perfect, which leads me to my next point. I have come to realize that there are some fundamental shortcomings to a few of the apps underpinnings, and I need to find a way to fix them. I have yet to figure out how to make the root process persist so that root functionality doesn't throw up a toast every time it does something, and I seriously need to clean my code.

Therefore, my plan is thus: I'm going to take a crack at helping the dev of OpenExplorer figure out how to enable full root functionality. His code is the only resource I have been able to glean much useful info from, and his own implementation is still half-baked. (seriously, why are there no robust root related resources out there?) Then, (tentatively) I'm going to fork his repo and replace the look and feel of his app with that of Holo File Explorer, while retaining what appears to be a vastly superior back end. The downside to this is that we're looking at something of a rabbit hole, so you guys may not hear from me for a bit. The upside is that forking OpenExplorer will provide a less buggy experience, plus lots of extras like network folder, dropbox and box.net access.

I'm also hopeful that at the end of this process, I'll have my own code hosted on GitHub and ready for collaboration. If I can get interested parties to help with development, It'll speed up the rate of releases. Because to be honest, my rate of release hasn't exactly been timely of late, and you guys deserve better than that. This is the best answer I can come up with to solve the problem. What does everyone think?
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Ivaylo Stoyanov's profile photoHolo File Explorer's profile photoHayden Lau's profile photoMurugan Nanadkumar's profile photo
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Any updates on this? At least release it with the toast notifications showing up every time. That's what happens on my other file explorer (MI File Explorer).
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Holo File Explorer

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You'll all be happy to know that +Holo File Explorer can now open system folders :) I still don't have file operations or mounting working yet, but my understanding of how I'll do those things is rapidly growing.
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Holo File Explorer

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Hey everyone, just finished up a fairly fruitful night of coding. I have returned from my long travels and was able to sit down and spend some time on the app. There is still a lot left to be done, but I ironed out some of the action item code and the root preference toggle. Root functionality will be off by default, and it will have to be enabled within the preferences. It's small pain for those who want it, but I think it is ultimately more easily dealt with by the larger populace, and therefore a better choice for the entire user base.

I also did some more tinkering with the root code, but I still lack some understanding of the whole process. +Stephen Erickson deserves a big shout out though for his RootTools library. It's been a big help thus far in my quest to understand the swirling morass of mounting and permissions commands.
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Mariusz Bielski's profile photoBrent Kensey's profile photoPranav Prakash's profile photo
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That would be perfect, as people who want to be on the bleeding edge could do so with the nightlies, whereas people who want to play it safe with a stable version can just download from the market.
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Holo File Explorer

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I thought I could make myself finish the zip viewer first, but I couldn't help it :P So it begins.
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Mike Bates's profile photoLorenzo Quiroli's profile photoBrent Kensey's profile photo
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+Lorenzo Quiroli High praise! I definitely haven't given up on development. I am also considering bringing others on in order to speed development and mitigate situations when I personally don't have time to work on the project. If this interests anyone, send me a message.
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In their circles
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Ádám Bors's profile photo
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Holo File Explorer

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Secretsauce work continues, but I wanted to take a moment to ask all of you a question:  How desirable would a choice between a list view and grid view be?  This, of course, is with respect to phones.  A grid view is the only good way to display files on a tablet.  I want to know if you would seriously use a GridView for anything, or whether its a mostly useless addition.  I'll leave the voting options in the comments, so +1 whichever one you prefer.  Also leave a comment with viable use cases for a GridView if you take the second pick.  Thanks everyone!
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Florian Brandstätter's profile photoP.O. Linnet Poulsen's profile photoBrian Azar's profile photoHolo File Explorer's profile photo
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Dual view it is then.  I'm looking to style the gridview after the ICS gallery app, and I think things should translate well.
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Holo File Explorer

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Thanks to Jake Wharton's new ViewPagerIndicator release, I got the launcher style pager indicator working, which I'm pretty excited about. It was very easy to implement, and probably only took an hour from the time I downloaded it until I finished tweaking the style.

On the root side of things, I'm currently trying to figure out how to determine whether a given folder is mounted as read only or read/write. Which means I'm looking for a relevant linux command, since you can't use the built in file objects with protected files without throwing errors.
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Holo File Explorer's profile photoManuel Hermann's profile photoClayton Hayes's profile photoBrent Kensey's profile photo
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I think Zeus and Thor are having a throwdown outside my apartment. No development tonight :(
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A great article on open source code contribution. Definitely worth reading and considering.
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Holo File Explorer

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Hoping to get some quality dev time in this weekend. The work on root functionality should see some significant advancement before Monday rolls around. But in the meantime...? Work. I should be engaged in power coding sessions until 1:00am, not writing investigative reports for the big man! Ahh... the things we do for a paycheck :P
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Thomas Gladdines's profile photoYofat J's profile photoClayton Hayes's profile photoBrent Kensey's profile photo
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+Thomas Gladdines I totally understand how life gets in the way. I'm excited to see what you can put together. At least once or twice a week I get the urge to post some kind of opinion on UI design, so I can't wait to have a unified platform for those thoughts.

+Yofat J I am definitely going to add in thumbnails, since no file explorer is complete without them :)

+Clayton Hayes Perhaps this weekend, my friend ;)
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Holo File Explorer

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Guess who just bought a $240 Xoom? That's right, me! Looking forward to having an actual tablet and a piece of hardware to dev tablet apps on. When I finally get the +Holo File Explorer sorted out for phones, I can move on to the tablet integration! I am rather excited about the prospects. Thanks for the sales tip +Droid Life!
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Thomas Gladdines's profile photoHolo File Explorer's profile photo
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Thanks man! I'm pretty excited to try out some tablet development.
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Holo File Explorer

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Conventional paging indicator or Launcher-style scroll bar? That is the question.

I have to admit that I am dissatisfied with the currently implemented paging indicator. I'm considering making use of a launcher style horizontal scroll bar as pictured on the bottom half of the attached photo.

Before I launch into a philosophical discussion of the pros and cons of the different approaches, I should take a moment to explain the distinction between each of these.

There are three main approaches, the first of which are tabs. I'm sure you are all familiar with tabs, because they are everywhere (Phone, contacts, etc.). They are particularly useful when an app needs to display every possible screen "shortcut" at the same time. This works best when there are a small number of tabs, and is especially necessary if the tabs have little to do with one another.

If there are a large number of tabs or screens, and the information provided on each screen is closely associated, it is advisable to make use of a text based paging indicator. You can find a perfect example of this in the market app. Each screen provides a slightly different grouping of the same data, and there are a large number of available screens - too many tabs to fit on screen at one time.

The final approach is that of a simplified paging indicator. The best and most common example of this can be found in many different launcher applications. This indicator only shows the user's current position in the larger ViewPager hierarchy. It can take the form of a line or a series of dots, among other things.

I would argue that a paging indicator should be unobtrusive as possible while also providing the required information. For example, the sliding text-based indicator used in the market is is useful because each of the titles provides information about the current page, and because that title is essential to understanding the content of each page. In contrast, each launcher page is a mutable piece of information, and requires no title. The user need only know where they are among their home screens. Furthermore, space is valuable on the launcher, and the simplicity of the paging indicator matches the low need for specific indicator information.

I think that +Holo File Explorer is more similar in need to a launcher. The relevant "title" information pertaining to each page is contained within the upper portion of the action bar, inside the drop-down. With this in mind, I would argue that the purpose of +Holo File Explorer's paging indicator largely centers around helping the user plot the order of each page in his or her mind. Therefore, I have been thinking about replacing the current text-based paging indicator with a close copy of the ICS horizontal scroll bar. This would reduce clutter and streamline the look of the app. However...

I know that the horizontal scroll bar is never or almost never used in-app, so I am seeking opinions, ponderings, musings and dissent regarding the inclusion of this UI element. Would this make sense? Or is it just to bizarre such an element in-app?
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Dave Rosen's profile photoClayton Hayes's profile photoLorenzo Quiroli's profile photoSebastian Görick's profile photo
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A good question
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Holo File Explorer

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Hey everyone! I wanted to give you all an idea of my current efforts so that you're in the loop. I've been working on implementing zip file handling. Zipping now works, and I just need to add in zip viewing and extracting.

I also wanted to get some feedback on the beginnings of a discussion in the XDA thread. I'm considering open-sourcing the main app in order to promote collaboration and to help other programmers learn from my mistakes (but hopefully not copy them).

Does anyone have positive or negative thoughts on this? And would any of you be interested in sending pull requests if I posted the source to GIT? Lets get a good discussion going.
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Sebastian Görick's profile photoMaximilian Salomon's profile photoHolo File Explorer's profile photo
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+Máks Salo Nope. Totally different code base. UI is all written from scratch, and I learned file operations from OI file manager and a few other open source projects.
+Sebastian Görick I think that I can still benefit while making this open source. I figure I'll make the basic file explorer and root functionality free, open source it, and then create a closed source add-on at some later point.
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