**I posted this in 8.1 discussion, should it be here instead?
Well, I was totally blown away when Dopus came out with tabs, because it is now giving my other favorite file manager a big run for its money (Total Commander). I hope I can comment on the two without offending anyone, I mean it with very much respect.
First of all, I use the two programs for completely different reasons. DOpus is my overall Windows Explorer replacement, it is much more polished than TC and is much more suitable for most of my daily operations. However, for times when I need to really use a lot of different directories, move and copy many files around, etc. I use TC. In my opinion, using tabs on TC is a little better, although the differences are subtle. (granted, DOpus just started this, so I'm sure we'll see a lot of improvements). Here are some comments comparing TC's tabs with DOpus' tabs.
In TC, you can lock certain tabs in two different ways, which are very useful. In normal lock mode, anytime you try to open a directory other than the current locked one, it will open up a new tab in the current frame. There is another lock mode which allows directory changes. This allows you to change directories, but if you press "home" or "root" it will bring you back to the directory you have locked. Also, if you go to another tab and return to this locked tab, it will always revert back to the locked directory, no matter where you left it. I love these features.
In Dopus, you can set the folder settings of each tab independantly, which is great. These are things like column sorting, content filtering, mode (details, power). It would be nice to be able to have a setting that allows changes made in one tab apply to all the tabs in that panel. Better yet, it would be better if the user can decide which settings apply to all the tabs in the panel, and which remain independant (maybe a dialog box with check boxes).
This third one is very subtle. In DOpus power mode, you can drag select files just like in TC. However, in TC you can right-click and drag select like normal, BUT, you can also left-click on a file and select it without REALLY selecting it and adding it to the overall group selection. It's kind of hard to explain. For example, you can right-click and select many files and they will be highlighted, but then you can left-click and select an individual file also, but it won't be highlighted, there will just be an outline around to indicate that it is the current file right now. This allows you to work with that file (rename, whatever) without adding it to the selection set, or if it is already in the selection set, you can work with that file individually. Again, this is very minor, but still important. Let me know if I have not explained it clearly.
Here's another minor feature. You know how when you are in a directory, you can just begin typing the first few characters of a filename or directory name, and the selection will immediately jump to the matching file (called Quirck Search)? Well, TC offers another way of doing this which is nice...with a small search dialog. For example, you'll be in the directory, and as soon as you type a character, a little box will appear where you can type. Once you are done, you press enter and the selection will jump to the matching filename. This is sometimes better because if you make a mistake typing, you can backspace, and you also don't have the time limit where if you pause too long, the search will reset and you have to start from the first character again.
Finally, both programs allow you to customize the hotkeys according to the user's preferences. In DOpus, some keys are not mappable, such as Escape. I would like to use Escape in Power Mode to deselect all files. I understand that Esc is used a lot to cancel out of dialog boxes, but TC is able to do it. I don't know about programming, but all I know is that somehow TC is able to differentiate when the Esc is needed for dialog boxes and when it can be customized for the user.
That is it. DOpus just made it harder for me to justify using two different programs, so that's why I wanted to offer my suggestions. If I'm going to drop TC, I'd like to not miss it as far as features go. DOpus has really been unbelievable about being the most flexible and configurable program out there, there's just no comparison. By the way, I love the TAB groups, that's awesome!
Thanks, and please let me know if what I said was inappropriate.