Dual-pane programs aren't exactly thin on the ground, but if you’re a multi-platform user you might prefer to stick to a single solution that will run across all your computers, be they Mac, Linux or Windows.
The solution in question is an open-source tool called muCommander 0.9.0, which has just received its first major update in over two years.
muCommander works like many other file managers – it provides a dual-paned window giving you quick and convenient access to both source and destination folders, and allows you to bookmark favourite locations for easy navigation.
Want a single, multi-platform file manager for all your computers? muCommander could be just what you're looking for.
The app also allows you to connect to various remote sources via networking protocols, FTP/SFTP, NFS and HTTP, while built-in tools like a text editor and file packer/unpacker also boost its usefulness.
muCommander does fall down slightly in some areas, however. It’s hampered by the fact its built on Java, which restricts certain functionality. You can’t tap into your OS’s native “Open With” commands for example; instead, you have to grasp the basics of XML to craft your own custom list using the built-in text editor.
You also have to take care when opening files and apps – certain types (including OpenOffice documents and all OS X apps) need to be launched by selecting the Open Natively command.
If you can get past these niggles, however, then you’ll find a potentially useful file manager lurking. And the latest release – the first since February 2010 – adds some useful new features and improvements too.
The headline new feature is tabbed browsing support – when browsing, simply right-click a folder and choose Open in new tab to create a multi-tabbed pane. The built-in text editor/viewer has also been improved – it can now wrap long lines, plus display line numbers. There’s also a new quick list pop-up for root folders – simply press [Alt] +  to display it.
Other improvements include better display of long filenames, with the beginnings and end shown to help with identification, plus the implementation of natural file ordering, so all symbols come before digits.
muCommander 0.9.0 is a free, open-source download for Windows, Mac and Linux. It requires Java 5 or later.
This article originally appeared at softwarecrew.co.uk