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Author Topic: Idea for Incredibly Helpful Feature  (Read 3914 times)

raybeere

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Idea for Incredibly Helpful Feature
« on: January 09, 2009, 02:55:37 PM »
FARR is a great tool; what it does, it does very well. But I got to thinking of something it doesn't do, trying to figure out how to do it in AutoHotKey - then I realised this would make a great addition to FARR.

I like to set up a lot of apps on a USB stick, so I have them, and my documents, in an emergency. The one thing that is toughest about using them this way is the loss of file associations. Browse to find the file you want, double click on it - and find out that the computer you're using has associations set up to open HTML in IE, or TXT files in Notepad. Uggghhh!

So what would be really, really, really cool :D if you could add it to FARR would be a section the user could turn on or off for "associations" - FARR would find the file, check its extension, then open it with the app specified by the user. Sure, it would be a pain to set up all the associations we have in our Registries - but most of those are things we seldom if ever use. For the dozen or two dozen file types we use all the time, it would be a really excellent solution for making file associations portable. AFAIK, no other app does anything remotely similar. This would need to use a variable for drive letter, of course, since it would be possible to add the relative path from the stick's root, but the drive letter might change.

One bit that would be even cooler, if it wouldn't be too tough: allow built-in aliases of Open and Edit - with different associations for each. Say for a HTML page, Open would open the page in Firefox, and Edit would load it in Notepad++ or whatever other choices the user made.

If this were just something I'd like, I wouldn't bug you about it, but I know there are a lot of users out there who would find the ability to make 'portable associations' the greatest invention since the wheel. :D
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 02:57:13 PM by raybeere »

TucknDar

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Re: Idea for Incredibly Helpful Feature
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2009, 03:06:36 PM »
I think you should look at the Akete plugin. I think that does pretty much what you're asking. I haven't tried it myself, TBH, but from the description it sounds like a good solution.

raybeere

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Re: Idea for Incredibly Helpful Feature
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2009, 03:30:16 PM »
Thanks; that is almost what I'm thinking of, but not quite. First, you can't easily turn these associations on and off - so if I want to use the associations on my own computer (something I do when I can, to save wear on the 'stick') I can't. Even worse, it doesn't seem that you can specify the path as ".\Apps" or whatever.

TucknDar

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Re: Idea for Incredibly Helpful Feature
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2009, 03:56:25 PM »
Maybe Akete could have those features added. Toggle on/off associations and use relative paths.

raybeere

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Re: Idea for Incredibly Helpful Feature
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2009, 04:13:21 PM »
Sounds cool. I just want some way to set up "associations" on my USB sticks. I was going to take a stab at writing something myself, but since it would need to find the documents and launch them, I'd be trying to rewrite FARR. And I know my version would be nowhere near as good as Mouser's. ;D So this seemed the obvious place to post.

ewemoa

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Re: Idea for Incredibly Helpful Feature
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2009, 12:17:14 AM »
FWIW, I think there are a number of portable file association apps in the works elsewhere (sorry I don't have a list handy, but FWIW, last time I checked none seemed ready enough for my own use) -- I've been waiting for this kind of functionality too.

As for the drive letter issue, I can relate, but I don't have a really good solution worked out for that.  The closest thing I have working w/ FARR at the moment is the use of FARR's user variables to factor out the drive letter from my portable app paths.  I only need to change one variable instead of many, but that can be still a pain.

mouser

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Re: Idea for Incredibly Helpful Feature
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2009, 12:42:20 AM »
ewe's Akete plugin is a perfect solution for what you are asking as far as i can tell..

it seems like all you really need is the drive letter replacement thing.

there are a couple of solutions:

1) FARR has built in code to resolve changed drive letters, so that if you refer to:
X:\Programs\Notepad.exe and it doesn't find it on X it should try C:\Programs\Notepad.exe then D:\ etc.
If thats not working then i can try to find out why not.

2) I can certainly easily add a replacemnt that will expand to the drive that farr is running on.. like have it automatically change every $:\ to the drive letter that FARR is running on.

ewemoa

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Re: Idea for Incredibly Helpful Feature
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2009, 02:26:34 AM »
2) I can certainly easily add a replacemnt that will expand to the drive that farr is running on.. like have it automatically change every $:\ to the drive letter that FARR is running on.
This type of functionality sounds pretty interesting to me :)

mouser

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Re: Idea for Incredibly Helpful Feature
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2009, 02:57:12 AM »
after checking the source code.. i think maybe #1 (farr autochecking other drives to work with portable drives that change letters).. i may have been mistaken.. i may have added that feature to my Launchbar Commander tool, and not farr.

i will add both features in the next version, that should solve the problem.

czb

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Re: Idea for Incredibly Helpful Feature
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2009, 03:11:39 AM »
Toggling on/off associations could be easily done via my Settings system:
http://czb.dcmembers...m/help/FARR#Settings
ewemoa:
If you needed some help with implementation and would like to use Settings object, let me know and I will help you with that.

EDIT: Oh I see Akete does not use FSubScript engine. Still you might be able to use
http://czb.dcmembers...m/help/FARR#settings but you will not be able to use onLoad function which might be crucial
My open-source online piano game: https://github.com/musicope/game
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 03:14:31 AM by czb »

ewemoa

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Re: Idea for Incredibly Helpful Feature
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2009, 05:16:11 AM »
Thanks for your comments, czb.

I tried to take a look at the links you posted, but somehow I didn't manage to get through -- may be I will try again later.

raybeere

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Re: Idea for Incredibly Helpful Feature
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2009, 08:29:23 AM »
1) FARR has built in code to resolve changed drive letters, so that if you refer to:
X:\Programs\Notepad.exe and it doesn't find it on X it should try C:\Programs\Notepad.exe then D:\ etc.
If thats not working then i can try to find out why not.

2) I can certainly easily add a replacemnt that will expand to the drive that farr is running on.. like have it automatically change every $:\ to the drive letter that FARR is running on.

As for 1), it is a cool idea for some uses - but for a portable setup it may backfire, as if it starts with the first drive letter, it will run the program on the local machine. If that is not mine, it might be an older version, whatever. I don't mean to be overly picky, but in my case, most of my portable use is primarily intended as an emergency preparedness strategy. Sure, it is convenient otherwise, but stable function in an emergency is my top priority. Too many writers I know have lost all their manuscripts to some glitch or disaster - if I can help it, I don't intend to be one of them.

2) Yes, that would be absolutely perfect. Thanks! :D