Ark’s interface changes: another progress update

OK, time for another update. The code that I mentioned in my last post has been properly cleaned up now. I would like to thanks for all the comments I received, it was more than I expected. There was also a lot of feature requests, and I have been working on implementing/testing the most requested ones:

Using the KHistoryCombo instead of a custom listwidget for recent history entries
Ok, I ripped out the listview and am letting the kdirselect dialog do its magic for now. The only problem is though, that for the quick extract all submenu to do it’s thing it needs to read the recently used folders from the dirselectdialog. There is as far as I can see not a properly defined way Β to do this, but for now it works fine by just reading the global KConfig entry that contains these directories. A consequence of this though, is that recently used directories are shared between all kde programs and all kinds of directories will appear in the quick extract menu. Is this a downside or upside? I’m not sure, really.

Preserving paths should be better handled
There are many different use cases to when you might to want to preserve paths or not, but I think the most common two ones are 1, you just want to extract it all with paths, and 2, you want to extract two or three files and don’t want them spread all over an almost empty directory structure. Ark does its best to set the dialogs to sensible defaults, but for the special cases a checkbox for preserve paths on/off has been added.

No double subfolders – Ark should be intelligent enough to not create double subfolders when extracting
Now implemented; Ark checks to see if there is just a single folder in the archive, and if so shows the user the detected subfolder name and takes care not to create double subfolders. Ark will also by default extract archives without subfolders into a single subfolder named after the archive.

Ark should be prepared for usage through dolphin/konq service menus
Now being worked on: So far ark accepts an –extract argument that will immediately show the extract all files dialog after opening the file. In most cases however, you don’t want to have to press enter and just want things to go smoothly, and for this reason I have started writing a batch extract interface. This will live next to the usual mainwindow interface, and can be activated by passing the –batch argument. The batch interface will simply extract all archives passed to their respectively subfolders and show the progress while doing it.

Lastly, the only screenshotable change is the slightly redesigned extract dialog. Enjoy!

My git repos for these changes is being pushed regularly to my public github repos here:

Oh, and Aaron, we miss you!


27 Responses to “Ark’s interface changes: another progress update”

  1. Phobeus Says:

    >Ark should be prepared for usage through dolphin/konq service menus
    Go for it! πŸ™‚ This is definitly one of the biggest annoyances in the daily work with KDE 4. I am very happy to see that finally Ark is getting some love. Thanks for your work!

  2. kinto Says:

    You rock!! Thank you for the improvements…can’t wait for dolphin integration!

  3. Psychotron Says:

    Thumbs up for the intelligent subfolder handling! This is driving me insane with ark for long. Seems there’s one more reason to finally switch to KDE4… You rock!! πŸ™‚

  4. MasterMind Says:

    Great improvements.. But I would also like to see a progress bar when extracting compressed archives.

    (I apologise if the progress bar is already implemented)

    Otherwise, Ark looks awesome.

  5. Harald Says:

    MasterMind: Yep, the progress bar is being implemented. Trying to work out right now why it’s so broken at the moment. I agree that the lack of a proper progress bar has been a big annoyance with ark upto now.

  6. Bille Says:

    Great work, Harald

    To anyone else with a bit of time and curiosity: There are plenty of other apps in KDE which are pretty easy to get into and clean up like Harald is doing, and you can see it makes a lot of people happy =)

  7. IAnjo Says:

    Thanks for all the work, ark was really needing it!

  8. SSJ Says:

    This is all excellent work – Ark has been in need of love for a long time, and it’s great to see you and others stepping up! πŸ™‚


  9. Lucian Says:

    Is there a kio_ark? If not, how hard would it be to make one?

  10. AlexeiSergeev Says:

    You are the best!!

  11. Peter Penz Says:

    Thanks Harald for your improvements on Ark. Especially that you’ll provide a service menu for Dolphin/Konqueror is great – I got many bugreports for the 4.0 version of Dolphin that “Dolphin does not support extracting of files anymore” πŸ˜‰

    One minor suggestion for the extract dialog which should be straight forward to fix: The “options” part requires quite a lot horizontal space and the positioning of checkboxes on the right side of the text is very uncommon. I’d suggest having a layout like this:

    Extraction into subfolder:
    [ ] Preserve paths when extracting
    [ ] Open destination folder after extracting

    Is only a suggestion πŸ™‚

  12. Jon Says:

    Nice, looks a hell of a lot more streamlined. But there’s a lot of wasted space in that last screanshot, you could probably easily shrink the right-hand “extract” box to half the size.

  13. tribe Says:

    I was thinking exactly the same thing Peter πŸ™‚

    gj Harald.

  14. teezee Says:


    Besides that, I think Peter is right here.

  15. Dread Knight Says:


  16. allo Says:

    In my Opinion, the last dialog has a too small filechooser and too large options-area. it would be better to give the chooser more place and multicolumns or something like that.

  17. Beat Wolf Says:

    Hi, great to see somebody working on ark.
    may i make a feature request? i have a problem with ark, specialy for my girlfriend. Ark does not show a password dialog when extracting password secured .rar files (perhaps the same problem exists with zip?) so when she has one of those .rar files, i have to go to her place and extract it from the konsole. Would be cool if ark would support passworded files (or rar files, never tested with zip files)

  18. DanaKil Says:

    very cool, thank you πŸ™‚
    As some people said, the layout of the extract dialog looks a bit strange. And a “quit when extraction is finished” option would be fantastic (as another checkbox or, as a command line parameter at least)

    Cheers πŸ™‚

  19. Harald Says:

    @Peter, etc: Yes, I agree the layout looks better reversed like that. I have changed it for the better now.

    @DanaKil: If you just wish to extract the file and quit, then you can use –batch and –extract options together, when these have been properly implemented.

  20. James Spencer Says:

    Ark was pretty darn rough for 4.0.0, and as of 4.1 Beta 2 I’d say it’s in pretty darn good shape. Thank you.

  21. Luciano Says:

    I was just going to fill a bug report about Ark about some of this issues πŸ™‚
    In particular, extraction has VERY annoying problems such as extracting something which is within a folder and ark ignoring the folder. Also, the default extraction path is Home instead of current folder :S
    As many said here, Dolphin integration is a MUST for an easy to use environment.

    Thanks for your time! I hope that most important issues get fixed before 4.1 final πŸ™‚

    Keep up the good work!

  22. renoX Says:

    >No double subfolders

    Very, very nice!
    IMHO this should be customisable, the “smart” default being if the archive contains at the topmost level several files/directory create a directory with the archive name and put the content inside, otherwise if there is only one file or or directory (which can contains file) don’t create a subdirectory and extract it here.

    This has the advantage of avoiding to unneeded directories, the downside being that it’s a bit unpredictable/complex behaviour so users should be able to change the default..

  23. Harald Says:

    @renoX: What you described is exactly the way it is done right now.

    @Luciano: As metioned in the previous blog post, it’s too late to get these changes into 4.1 because of various freezes…

  24. TheBlackCat Says:

    Great! Both th intell9igent subfolder handling and service menus will be extremely welcome additions. Thanks!

  25. marcello anni Says:

    thank you, ark needed some attention!!

  26. Diaa Sami Says:

    > No double subfolders

    Finally, this is coming in KDE4, I’ve been craving for it in KDE3, This should have been in KDE 3 but anyway, better late then never

  27. hagehairer Says:

    Very nice!!

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