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Last post Author Topic: Program Whose Time Has Come: virtual folders, collections, file baskets...  (Read 20897 times)

40hz

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Re: Program Whose Time Has Come: virtual folders, collections, file baskets...
« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2009, 10:19:38 AM »
Maybe I'm dense, but how is a collection or virtual folder really any different than using a tag to group a disparate collection of items?

If you did a search for all items tagged something like "Collection-01", wouldn't all the program features be available for use on the results of the search?

I realize there are productivity gains to be had by not having to do another search each time you wanted to reassemble the file group so some indexing and filtering would be involved. But isn't that basically what it comes down to? That and some UI cosmetics to make it look as though the collection resided in an actual folder or other container





« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 10:22:30 AM by 40hz »

tranglos

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Re: Program Whose Time Has Come: virtual folders, collections, file baskets...
« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2009, 12:28:50 PM »
Maybe I'm dense, but how is a collection or virtual folder really any different than using a tag to group a disparate collection of items?

If you did a search for all items tagged something like "Collection-01", wouldn't all the program features be available for use on the results of the search?

Yes, quite. The terms tags, keywords, sections, categories etc. do have a lot in common. But let me quickly suggest a scenario where "tags" (in the most common sense of loose words or phrases associated with items) may not be as good as "collections" in the sense of "folders".

You've added a number of items (files, bookmarks, what-not) to your database and want to group them together. In a typical UI, you would select these items, click a field for entering tags, and type a tag like "travel". Then you hit Enter.

Then you recall that a few weeks ago you already used this tag for another bunch of items. If your intention was to create a completely new grouping, distinct from all groupings that already exist in your db, you have a problem. If you search for the "travel" tag now, you'll get both today's files and the old ones. You can still tell them apart by the date added, but only if the software maintains. At any rate, you now have to undo what you just did, select the files again and pick a new tag, being mindful not to use any tag that already exists.

Compare that to folders on disk: the system won't let you create a folder that already exists, so a mistake like the above is much harder to make (though still not impossible).

The name we use to denote this functionality doesn't really matter; what matters is the implementation. When you think in terms of folders, categories or what I've been calling "collections", the UI scenario is slightly different to using tags. In a typical UI, you would create the collection (category) first, then add stuff to it. This way the software can warn you that a collection by that name already exists, and you can decide whether you want to add to it or come up with a different name.



40hz

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Re: Program Whose Time Has Come: virtual folders, collections, file baskets...
« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2009, 01:22:56 PM »
@tranglos- Thanks for the clarification. As you pointed out, the difference is in the implementation. And you've obviously thought this one through.

Question: how does your product handle changes to the collection after the fact? Does all file manipulation (add, delete, move, rename, set file permissions, etc.) have to be done within your app if you want to preserve the collection; or can you use any tool (including Windows built-in tools) and still have the collection reflect the changes?

Sorry I'm asking so many questions. I'm not much of a coder, but I have a huge interest in how applications such as this one get designed and built.

 :)

tranglos

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Re: Program Whose Time Has Come: virtual folders, collections, file baskets...
« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2009, 01:43:35 PM »
Question: how does your product

Whoa, wait, what product? :) What I am describing exists only within the confines of this thread, alas! I am too scared to start coding it, because I know I will screw it up the first time :)

handle changes to the collection after the fact? Does all file manipulation (add, delete, move, rename, set file permissions, etc.) have to be done within your app if you want to preserve the collection; or can you use any tool (including Windows built-in tools) and still have the collection reflect the changes?

I don't have good answers to some of these questions yet. If you go back to my OP, I mentioned two possible implementations. The better solution is to implement it as an Explorer shell extension. (This is quite hard, and beyond my skill level at the moment.) This means, among other things, that the app could be notified about any changes in the filesystem and would be able to update the database accordingly. So if you renamed a file in your preferred file manager, the renamed file would remain in the collection. Another thing it means is that you would be able to access the collections, though right-click menus, wherever Explorer is available - e.g. file managers.

The other possible solution is to implement it as a stand-alone application. Much easier when you're the one writing it, but the above benefits no longer apply. If you add a file to a collection, then rename it or move it using your file manager, the collection would now point to a missing file. This can be rectified partially, e.g. by monitoring folders for changes, but isn't as clean as the first way.

In general, you would be able to do the basic file manipulation tasks in "my" application, but since the app I'm proposing is not a fully-fledged file manager, the range of operations might be limited, or the UI may not be as convenient as TC or Directory Opus, say.

If you limited yourself to doing all rename/move/copy operations within "my" app, then the problem with missing files would not arise. However, I would not want to require users to only use my app for file manipulation, since it's often inconvenient. In other words, why would you want to give up your favorite file manager? This is one reason I'm not using any of the popular version control systems (svn, tortoise etc.) - once a file is under version control, all operations on it must be done *through* the version control interface, otherwise it will lose track of the file. And it's very hard to remember that I now have to right-click a file and pick some special new command to rename it, instead of renaming files the way I've done for years. I wouldn't dare put "my" users through that!


rgdot

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Re: Program Whose Time Has Come: virtual folders, collections, file baskets...
« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2009, 02:40:26 PM »
Nothing mind blowing obviously but a simplified version of managing documents would be to download files to a central folder and then via a rule based system (file type, date, tags or other criteria) disperse them into separate folders using AHK or similar. This works for me to some extent in the sense that the final folders the files reside in do basically act as baskets or collections.

tranglos

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Re: Program Whose Time Has Come: virtual folders, collections, file baskets...
« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2009, 07:54:30 AM »
A new (to me) application of this kind is being offered at Bits du Jour today:
http://www.bitsdujou.../software/detalizer/

Comments under the listing imply it doesn't install on Vista or Windows 7 - maybe the authors will respond there.


Innuendo

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Re: Program Whose Time Has Come: virtual folders, collections, file baskets...
« Reply #31 on: September 28, 2009, 02:51:25 PM »
Comments under the listing imply it doesn't install on Vista or Windows 7 - maybe the authors will respond there.

Looks like the author left a comment answering every question except the one where one user asked if it was going to be made Windows 7-compatible. Sometimes what's not said is more teling than what is said. And no, the author didn't address the person saying it wouldn't install on Vista, either. Not a good sign...

wraith808

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Re: Program Whose Time Has Come: virtual folders, collections, file baskets...
« Reply #32 on: September 28, 2009, 03:45:17 PM »
He answered that one also... you just have to click more on the comment.

Quote
Yuriy Zhmerenetskiy (Detalizer Developer) Says:

Brenda G4:
Unfortunately, a full-fledged step-by-step guide is not available
yet, but we do our best to provide it as soon as possible.


Bob S:
1. Creating a new (sub)node in the hierarchy - for example, Mobile devices - Smart phones - iPhone (3 levels deep)
Yes, Detalizer supports creating hierarchies of any nesting. User-defined attributes (tags) are created using 'Workspace Navigator' (see http://www.detalizer...biledevices.png)read more.

Assigning a tag corresponding to the node
To assign attributes (tags), select the required files, and select the desired tag in the context menu.

Assign multiple tags simultaneously - e.g., Device; Operating System; etc.
To simultaneously assign multiple attributes, use 'Attribute Sets' (see 'Workspace Navigator'). Every 'Attribute Set' stores a set of pre-selected attributes. Use the context menu to perform fast assignment (respective items appear after 'Attribute Set' is created).

Also, does Detalizer automatically extract read moreselected metadata, such as author, title, date, etc? or must the owner fill in all of this info.
Detalizer currently allows to automatically extract approximately 80 attributes arranged in subject-matter groups. They can be selected when creating a workspace.


Steve Newport:
Do you plan to make Detalizer compatible with Windows 7?
Yes, the next software release is planned to be Windows 7 compatible.

Innuendo

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Re: Program Whose Time Has Come: virtual folders, collections, file baskets...
« Reply #33 on: September 28, 2009, 08:21:14 PM »
Do you plan to make Detalizer compatible with Windows 7?
Yes, the next software release is planned to be Windows 7 compatible.

I must have missed the little thing to click to read more. Good news for those interested in this program then.

Crush

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Today a virtual folder program "Tabbles" is available on Giveawayoftheday.

MrCrispy

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Does Detalizer not support Win7 x64? I just tried the latest version and got a 'os not supported' error from the installer.

tranglos

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Here's another one, free. Though from the blog review it doesn't seem ready for prime time yet: via Bbox, via FreewareGenius