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Author Topic: Direcscape: don't get lost in your project  (Read 7266 times)

Curt

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Direcscape: don't get lost in your project
« on: July 09, 2008, 06:49:35 PM »
When I read about Direcscape I had to give it a try, because I simply could not understand what it was about! I downloaded the file, 680 KB, and double-clicked it. It is a WinZip SelfInstaller that will unpack to the silly folder name, "Install Direcscape". Would you go looking under the letter "I" to find Direcscape? I wouldn't, so I unpacked the container again to see what had happened. I found it and installed it in a folder named extSoftware. I tell you these minor details because the Direcscape installer will not create any shortcuts for you, so...

At the end of installation you are told to move a folder from the program's folder to My Documents:

direcscape.gifDirecscape: don't get lost in your project

Now came the big question: What the heck was I to do with this program? At first I found it to be extremely strange if it was supposed to be some kind of a file manager that would navigate. But it isn't. All it will do if you click inside the program is to open Explorer. Hmm...!?? It certainly took me more than a moment to understand what was happening. And studying the readme.txt didn't do much ("This is a sample file." End of story!). Well, the program actually comes with a chm help file and a link to on-line tutorials, so eventually I started to figure out what it all is about. And because of the tutorials you really don't need me to tell much. But I will say that as I kept on trying the program, it became clear to me how smart it is that the author has left it to Explorer to do what Explorer is meant to do, instead of trying to make Direcscape replace Explorer.

But what is it then, Direscape? No matter what intentions the author may have for this program, I will say that Direcscape is a VERY fine tool to prevent you (me) from getting lost in a project - I would say Direcscape is a project viewer, if ever there was one. I would also call it a Project Organizer, but in the sense that I will organize the view of the project's folders and files, not the project itself, if you know what I mean.

This is what you see when you finally execute the program:

direc01.gifDirecscape: don't get lost in your project

- at first it doesn't make much sense, does it? It didn't to me
which is why I won't explain much further, but mostly leave it to you and the tutorials


When I clicked "Computer", I was taken to the folder I earlier had moved to My Documents:

direc02.gifDirecscape: don't get lost in your project


As your project escalates the Direcscape application may show you something like this (1024x768, 84KB):

Window.jpgDirecscape: don't get lost in your project


A few words from the company:

Quote from: extSoftware
Product Description
Direcscape is an innovative software application that is like no other.    (Amen!)
While, most software file management programs look like Windows Explorer (Windows File Manager), Direcscape has a unique interface that improves access to files and documents by enhancing the view of folders (directories). Since one is able to manage directories more efficiently, one can organize files and organize directories more effectively.

Direcscape Interface                                   Windows Explorer Interface

Direcscape works with Windows
Direcscape provides a view of the current directory (folder) structure, the same directory structure used by Windows. Hence all Window’s functions and applications function as expected; for example, the Window’s Search, Backup, Recent Items List, File Sharing and Previous Versions (only Vista). And since, Direcscape helps organize your computer more efficiently, you’ll find yourself using Windows the way it is intended to be used.

Direcscape Directories

Direcscape performs common tasks more efficiently
Finding and moving folders are easier and quicker using Direcscape.

Finding Folders, using Direcscape           - and using Windows Explorer
Moving Folders, using Direcscape            - and using Windows Explorer

Direcscape contains features not found in other programs such as Status and Note Icons
Status Icons allow one to view the type of content in a folder without opening a folder. For example, the Note Status Icon indicates there is a note associated with a folder, while the Task Status Icons indicates there is a task associated with the directory.

Other Resources:
Direcscape Tutorials
Direcscape FAQs

Did you ever try it, and can tell about it?
 :tellme:
http://www.extsoftwa....com/direcscape.html

Edited:
Freeware.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2008, 07:14:26 PM by Curt »

Armando

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Re: Direcscape: don't get lost in your project
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2008, 09:00:20 PM »
Thanks Curt. So it's a bit like a mindmap of your folder structure. Should be very useful for visual people.
I might try it for fun during the weekend.

40hz

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Re: Direcscape: don't get lost in your project
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2008, 08:56:51 AM »
Curt! You da man! I've been looking for something like this since forever. Great catch!  :Thmbsup:

Daleus

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Re: Direcscape: don't get lost in your project
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2008, 11:45:24 AM »
My experience with this app has been less than stellar.

While it does do pretty much everything it says it does, there are some shortfalls.

Also everything I tried in terms of adding and removing notes, tasks etc. as described in the help file, didn't work the first time.  Then worked the second time, but without an update of the visual element, and then on the third time worked as expected. In my mind this is minor for a new piece of software such as this.

The biggest problem I had with it was with moving child nodes.  You seem to be able to move them "downstream" into subfolders, but in no way was I able to move them "upstream" into a parent folder.  This is a serious shortcoming in my mind.

Additionally, when exploring features there seemed to be a lot of them I couldn't back out of.  After selecting a Folders Status node and displaying the scrollable list of folders, there didn't seem to be a way to get rid of the folder list.

I suspect I am missing something on all of these counts, but if anyone else wants to explore this app, they should be aware that it is rough around the edges and a bit frustrating when you start with it.  Maybe people who have had more patience with it can answer these simple questions for the next person who is interested.

I certainly liked the concept of being able to see more of a folder hierarchy and to treat it as a mind map or sorts - I too have projects within which there are dozens of folders that I am convinced could be better organized. I just don't think this one is quite ready for prime time.  Quite a good start though, and kudos for recognizing how useful this approach could be.

Cheers!
Daleus, Curmudgeon-at-Large
« Last Edit: July 10, 2008, 11:48:13 AM by Daleus »

Curt

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Re: Direcscape: don't get lost in your project
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2008, 04:43:20 PM »
Thanks for sharing, Daleus!  :up:

DavidM

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Re: Direcscape: don't get lost in your project
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2008, 05:33:55 PM »

Quote
Also everything I tried in terms of adding and removing notes, tasks etc. as described in the help file, didn't work the first time.  Then worked the second time, but without an update of the visual element, and then on the third time worked as expected. In my mind this is minor for a new piece of software such as this.

Just hit F5 at anytime to refresh the application.

Quote
The biggest problem I had with it was with moving child nodes.  You seem to be able to move them "downstream" ?into subfolders, but in no way was I able to move them "upstream" into a parent folder.  This is a serious shortcoming in my mind.

I don't have this problem. Are you sure that the move operation is valid. For example, you can't move the C:\Software directory into the C:\Software\Word directory.

Quote
Additionally, when exploring features there seemed to be a lot of them I couldn't back out of.  After selecting a Folders Status node and displaying the scrollable list of folders, there didn't seem to be a way to get rid of the folder list.

To close the Folder List just double click the Folder List Icon again.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 05:41:21 PM by DavidM »

Curt

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Re: Direcscape: don't get lost in your project
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2008, 06:52:13 PM »
To close the Folder List just double click the Folder List Icon again.

- thanks, DavidM!  :up: