A file manager or file browser is a computer program that provides a user interface to work with file systems. Computer programs (also software programs, or just programs) are instructions for a Computer. The user interface (or Human Computer Interface) is the aggregate of means by which people&mdash the users '&mdash interact with the System In Computing, a file system (often also written as filesystem) is a method for storing and organizing Computer files and the data they contain to make They are very useful for speeding up interaction with files. The most common operations on files are create, open, edit, view, print, play, rename, move, copy, delete, attributes, properties, search/find, and permissions. A file viewer is Application software that displays data stored in a Computer file in a human-friendly form Streaming multimedia is Multimedia that is constantly received by and normally presented to an end-user while it is being delivered by a streaming provider (the File copying is creation of a new file which has the same content as an existing file File deletion is a way of removing a file from a computer's File system.
Typically files are displayed in a hierarchy. @@@ main@@@ - title Hierarchy@@@ keywords structure; sociology; information@@@ review@@@ - File managers may contain features inspired by web browsers, including forward and back navigational buttons. A web browser is a software application which enables a user to display and interact with text images videos music games and other information typically located on a
Some browsers may also provide network connectivity, e. A computer network is a group of interconnected Computers. Networks may be classified according to a wide variety of characteristics g. via FTP, NFS, SMB or WebDAV, either by allowing the user to browse for servers and connect to them and then accessing the file system from the server the same way it accesses local file systems, or by providing its own full client implementations for file server protocols. Network File System (NFS is a Network file system protocol originally developed by Sun Microsystems in 1983 allowing a user on a client Computer to access In Computer networking, Server Message Block ( SMB) operates as an application-level network protocol mainly used to provide Shared access Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning, or WebDAV, is a set of extensions to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP that allows users to collaboratively edit
Some file managers also provide the ability to extend operations using user written scripts. This is a typical feature of Orthodox file managers.
Orthodox file managers or "Commander-like" file managers have three windows (two panels and one command line window).
They are one of the older families of file managers. They develop and further extend the interface introduced by John Socha's famous Norton Commander for DOS. John Socha-Leialoha is a Software developer best known for creating Norton Commander, the first Orthodox file manager. Norton Commander (commonly shortened to " NC " was a prototypical Orthodox file manager (OFM written by John Socha and released by DOS, short for "Disk Operating System" is a shorthand term for several closely related Operating systems that dominated the IBM PC compatible market That concept is more than twenty years old as Norton Commander version 1. 0 was released in 1986. Despite their age they are actively developed and dozens of implementations exist for DOS, Unix and Microsoft Windows. DOS, short for "Disk Operating System" is a shorthand term for several closely related Operating systems that dominated the IBM PC compatible market A public standard (version 1. 2 dated June 1997) is available from Nikolai Bezroukov's website. 
The following features define the class of Orthodox file managers:
Other common features include:
An orthodox file manager typically has three windows. Two of the windows are called panels and are symmetrically positioned at the top of the screen. The third is the command line which is essentially a minimized command (shell) window that can be expanded to full screen. Only one of the panels is active at a given time. The active panel contains the "file cursor". Panels are resizable. Each panel can be hidden. Files in the active panel serve as the source of file operations performed by the manager. For example, files can be copied or moved to the passive panel. This gives the user the ability to use only the keyboard with the convenience of the mouse interface. The active panel shows information about the current working directory and the files that it contains. In Computing, the working directory of a process is a directory of a hierarchical File system, if any dynamically associated with each process The passive (inactive) panel shows the content of the same or other directory (the default target for file operations). Users may customize the display of columns that show relevant file information. The active panel and passive panel can be switched (often by pressing the tab key). Tab key (abbreviation of tabulator key) on a keyboard is used to advance the cursor to the next Tab stop. Other user interface elements include:
The introduction of tabbed panels in some file managers (for example Total Commander) made it possible to manipulate more than one active and passive directory at the time. Total Commander is a Shareware Orthodox File Manager (OFM for Windows.
Orthodox file managers ) are among the most portable file managers. Examples are available on almost any platform both with command-line interface and GUI interface. This is the only type of command line managers that have a published standard of the interface (and actively supported by developers). This makes possible to do the same work on different platforms without much relearning of the interface.
Sometimes they are called dual-pane managers, a term that is typically used for programs such as the Windows File Explorer (see below). It is technically incorrect since they have three windows including a command line window below (or hidden behind) two symmetric panels. Command line windows play a very prominent role in the functionality of this type of file manager. Furthermore, most of these programs allow using just one pane with the second one hidden. Focusing on 'dual panes' may be misleading; it is the combination of all of these features which is important.
In summary, a chief distinguishing feature is the presence of the command line window and direct access to shell via this window - not the presence of two symmetric panes which is relatively superficial.
Less well-known, but older are the so-called file-list file managers. FAR Manager (short for F ile and AR chive Manager) is an Orthodox file manager for Microsoft Windows and a clone of 7-Zip is a Free software / Open source File archiver designed originally for Microsoft Windows. GNU Midnight Commander (mc is a free Cross-platform Orthodox file manager and a clone of Norton Commander. muCommander is a cross-platform file manager that will run on any operating system which supports Java. Double Commander is a Cross-platform Open source File manager with two panels side by side
Examples include flist which was in use since 1981 on the Conversational Monitor System. See also VM (operating system, CP/CMS, History of CP/CMS The Conversational Monitor System ( CMS; originally "Cambridge Monitor  This is a variant of fulist which originated before late 1978 according to comments by its author Theo Alkema
The flist program provided a list of files in the user's minidisk. , allowed sorting by any of the file attributes. The file attributes could be passed to scripts or function-key definitions, making it simple to use flist as part of CMS EXEC, EXEC 2 or xedit scripts. CMS EXEC, or EXEC, is an interpreted command procedure control computer Programming language used by the CMS EXEC Processor supplied with the IBM EXEC 2 is an interpreted command procedure control computer Programming language used by the EXEC 2 Processor supplied with the IBM Virtual Machine / XEDIT is a Visual editor for VM/CMS using block mode IBM 3270 terminals It is much more line-oriented than modern PC and Unix editors
This program ran only on IBM VM/SP CMS, but was the inspiration for other programs, for example filelist (a script run via the Xedit editor), and programs running on other operating systems. XEDIT is a Visual editor for VM/CMS using block mode IBM 3270 terminals It is much more line-oriented than modern PC and Unix editors These include a program also called flist running on OpenVMS and fulist (from the name of the corresponding internal IBM program) on Unix. Open Virtual Memory System ( OpenVMS) initially known just as Virtual Memory System ( VMS) is the name of a High-end Computer server 
While this category is known as file managers, an older term is directory editor, which dates back at least to 1978. There was a directory editor written for EXEC 8 at the University of Maryland, available to other users at that time. EXEC 8 (sometimes referred to as EXEC VIII) was UNIVAC 's Operating system developed for the UNIVAC 1108 in 1964. The term was used by other developers, e. g. , the dired program written by Jay Lepreau in 1980, which ran on BSD, which was in turn inspired by an older program with the same name running on TOPS-20. The TOPS-20 Operating system by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC was the second proprietary OS for the PDP-10. Dired inspired other programs, e. g. , dired the editor script (for emacs and similar editors) as well as ded
A navigational file manager is a newer type of file managers which became prominent due to the popularity of Microsoft Windows. Dired is the name of the first visual directory editor shown here as implemented for the Emacs Text editor. Emacs is a class of feature-rich Text editors usually characterized by their extensibility It uses a "navigational" metaphor to represent filesystem locations and also often called "Explorer" type of file managers. The Windows Explorer is a classic representative of the type. This article is about the Windows file system browser For the similarly named internet browser see Internet Explorer Windows Explorer is a Since the advent of GUIs it has become the dominant type of file manager for desktop computers, being used, for example, in all Microsoft Windows products. Microsoft Windows is a series of Software Operating systems and Graphical user interfaces produced by Microsoft.
Typically it has two panes, one with the current directory and one with the filesystem tree. For Mac OS X, the Finder is an example of a navigational file manager. The Finder is the default application program used on the Mac OS and Mac OS X Operating systems that is responsible for the overall user-management
The interface in a navigational file manager often resembles a web browser, complete with back, forward buttons that work with history, and maybe even reload buttons. A web browser is a software application which enables a user to display and interact with text images videos music games and other information typically located on a Sometimes there is also an address bar where the file or directory path (or URI) can be typed.
Moving from one location to another need not open a new window. At the same time several instances of manager can be opened and they can communicate with each other via drag and drop and clipboard so it is possible to view several directories simultaneously and perform cut-and paste operations between instances.
Most navigational managers have two panes with the second pane a tree view of the filesystem. The latter serves as the most common instrument for filesystem navigation. That means that unlike orthodox managers, the two panes are asymmetrical: the first (usually left) provides the tree view of filesystem and the second (usually right) file view of the current directory.
When a directory of the tree is selected it becomes current and the content of the second (right) pane changes to the files in the current directory.
File operations are based on drag-and-drop and editor metaphors: users can select and copy files or directories into the clipboard and then paste them in a different place in the filesystem or even in a different instance of file manager.
Spatial file managers use a spatial metaphor to represent files and folders as if they were real physical objects. Metaphor (from the Greek: μεταφορά - metaphora, meaning "transfer" is language that directly compares seemingly unrelated subjects A computer file is a block of Arbitrary Information, or resource for storing information which is available to a Computer program and is usually In Computing, a directory, catalog, folder or drawer is an entity in a File system, which contains a group of files and/or other directories A spatial file manager imitates the way people interact with physical objects.
Some ideas behind the concept of a spatial file manager are:
As in navigational managers, when a folder is opened, the icon representing the folder changes—perhaps from an image showing a closed drawer to an opened one, perhaps the folder's icon turns into a silhouette filled with a pattern—and a new window is opened. An icon (from Greek εἰκών eikōn, "image" is a religious work of art most commonly a painting from Eastern Christianity.
Examples of file managers that to some extent use a spatial metaphor include:
Dysfunctional spatial file managers:
Some projects have attempted to implement a three-dimensional method of displaying files and directory structures. 3D computer graphics (in contrast to 2D computer graphics) are graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data that is stored in the computer The exact implementation tends to differ between projects, as three-dimensional file browsing has not yet become popular and thus there are no common standards to follow.
Examples of three-dimensional file managers include:
Web based file managers are typically scripts written in either PHP, Perl, Asp or AJAX. When installed on a local server or on a remotely hosted server they allow files and folders located there to be managed and edited without the need for FTP Access.
More advanced, and usually commercially distributed, web based file management scripts allow the administrator of the file manager to configure secure, individual user accounts, each with individual account permissions. Authorized users have access to documents stored on the server or in their individual user folders anytime from anywhere via a web browser.
A web based file manager can serve as an organization's digital repository. For example, documents, digital media, publishing layouts, and presentations can be stored, managed, and shared between customers, suppliers, remote workers or just internally.