ngraham added a comment.
Yes, when the filename or metadata are the primary tools for differentiating files, having the items presented in a list format is much much better, as in your example of browsing for source files. But keep in mind that source files and other textual documents are only one use case! Large icons with previews are often much more helpful for predominately visual content, like images (think of Gwenview's open and save dialogs!), videos, presentations, epubs and comic book files, and many PDFs. This distinction is why I wanted to make it easier to change view modes within the file dialogs, and why I think each of the two view modes accessible from the toolbar should ideally support one of those use cases. If we don't change the icon positioning default, then we'll have two view modes that are optimized for textual content, and none for visual content. Thankfully, previews aren't shown for tiny icons, and each view mode remembers its own size settings, so it's feasible with very little work to have Detailed Tree View show 16px icons and a nice tight list, and icons-on-top Short View show 48px (or larger) icons with previews. With this, we would have two views, each optimized for one of the two primary content types, which seems humane and appropriate given the diversity of software out there. Of course this discussion is relevant to the //next// patch, not this one... REPOSITORY R241 KIO BRANCH arcpatch-D12077 REVISION DETAIL https://phabricator.kde.org/D12077 To: ngraham, #frameworks, rkflx, #vdg, abetts Cc: rkflx, mmustac, broulik, michaelh, ngraham, bruns