Best programming language to write a Windows File Manager app

I would like to write my own file manager i.e. something like what XYplorer or Free Commander does but with a feature set that's more helpful to programmers.

What's the best language to write this. I'm basically looking for a language that has both rich GUI libraries and a nice wrapper library over the Windows Shell API.

I tried with C#, but writing my own PInvoke wrapper layer over Shell32.dll is a PITA I'm that I'm hoping to leapfrog over, so that I can get down to actually writing the app itself.


I'll second aku's recommendation for Delphi. It actually comes bundled with demo apps for working with the Windows shell. The whole Delphi VCL is basically a giant wrapper to make Win32 API calls trivial.

Here's a good reference with lots of examples. Turbo Delphi is free, but I don't know if it includes the demos I mentioned.

Since you're going to write GUI app, I would recommend to look for a tool with a good support for GUI development. not a specific language. In my opinion VisualStudio (WinForms\WPF) or Delphi whould be a perfect match for this task. As for PInvoke, you can use site to avoid writing wrappers yourself. Also you can write Windows Shell related code using managed c++ it allows to mix winapi with .net code.

You might want to have a look at UltraExplorer, which is a Windows file manager written in Delphi. It is based on a couple of component sets built specifically for this sort of stuff --- and they're free, also!

Delphi should be the perfect tool to create a native Win32 app with a rich UI, and it allows you to easily call all sorts of Windows API functions.

Check this out. Very interesting stuff from Anders and his crew. There is a great file explorer (the point of which is its cool extensibility model implemented with the Managed Extensibility Framework).


Late answer I realise, but I couldn't resist.

Did you know that, to this day, XYPlorer is written in good old Visual Basic 6?

This is a perfect example of how little the programming language really matters. It's what you build with it and how useful and effective it is that really matters.

I own a copy of XYPlorer and could not care less what language it was built in. I originally thought it looked like a Delphi app. but I was proven wrong on the XYPlorer forums.

I do mostly C#/.NET these days but it's good to know there are applications like XYPlorer still around.

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