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Author Topic: Using FileHamster to keep track of status of a job  (Read 5817 times)
tomos
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« on: March 03, 2010, 07:23:17 AM »

I'm in the middle of trying to use FileHamster to keep track of a job - i.e. keep track of the status of the files I'm working on, also to help with overview of job.
Unfortunately I didnt start this at the beginning of this project, but it's going well all the same. I'm pestering them for bugfixes and minor improvements in the GUI, etc. in particular in the Report Window Plugin (also going well!).
I don't have much experience in this field, so any comments suggestions welcome.

I'm posting this here:
1) cause using FH this way simply hadn't really occurred to me before I started this (a couple months ago)
2) curious if anyone using FH this way already (till this I simply used FH for backup - backup with info about the particular revision)
3) curious what others think / or what you use for (something like) this

I'm using the full version of FileHamster - you would at a minimum need the Report Window plugin.


The 'Project'

There's hundred of files in this project, they all have to be
  • 'converted' to a new 'style' ('WEB' in the comments used below)
  • corrected/adjusted (usually)
  • approved
  • Finalised & PDF created


It's not rocket science smiley

I make a FH revision with a comment at important stages of the work
When it gets toward the final stages I have a couple of 'default' comments (could be called tags really) e.g.

_working
WEB_DRAFT
WEB_correction
WEB_FINAL

Keeping an overview depends on there being well-defined 'tags' for the different phases of the job.


In the Report window here, I'm showing all files - no date filter, and the filename column is not showing (scrolled to the left).



lines coloured green = most recent revision of this file. This is very helpful (unfortunately you cant currently sort by it - but you can filter to show only most recent revisions i.e. those in green)


I can sort by:
~ Date - see most recent revisions
~ Comment - see all files at a particular stage e.g with 'DRAFT' I can see it's awaiting feedback, etc.
~ and naturally by Filepath+name (if you're looking at revisions of files within Folder 'X', the path below that folder is shown)


I can batch edit comments - add text before or after current comment, or simply edit the comment
e.g. when my 'WEB_FINAL' files are approved I can simply add 'Approved' - or when I create the final PDF version, I can add a comment to that effect


I havent really gotten to the final stage of the project yet - production of final PDF's - I think that's when all this will get really tested! Overall though I'm happy with the current setup. I have a few wishes listed below ('cons' merged with 'wishes'). I can easily check all this info - also, if I had to do something else & come back to this job in a month it would make that transition much easier.
I think the most helpful improvement to the programme would be the ability to open the 'actual' file (i.e. not the revision) from the Report window context menu - that way I could check where I left off & continue from there or work down the list or whatever - but all directly from within FileHamster (without having to go to my file manager & finding the relevant file there)


Pro's:
~ I make the comment as I save the file so there's no post-op work to be done (or forgotten) e.g. adding this info to some other programme
~ good for getting an overview of project status (statusbar says how many files selected), but also naturally to see status of an individual file
~ I imagine it would be very helpful if you're getting back to a job after a break

Would be Helpful:
~ Very helpful: - the ability to open the 'actual' file (i.e. not the revision) from the Report window context menu
~ Very helpful: - the ability to sort by item colour (green = most recent revision of this file) this is covered really by the ability to filter to show only the most recent revisions i.e. those in green
~ Helpful: - Customisable shortcuts
~ ? - I'm toying with tagging ideas but they only vague yet
~ ? - Time Tracking


2010-03-04 09:10 GMT  Edits in Maroon
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 03:16:44 AM by tomos » Logged

Tom
tomos
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2010, 07:26:12 AM »


procrastinating again  embarassed cheesy
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Tom
cmpm
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2010, 08:03:36 AM »

A possible alternative to FileHamster-

http://www.exendo.org/

$40 though...
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tomos
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2010, 08:18:10 AM »

A possible alternative to FileHamster-

thanks cmpm,
I'm interested in what other might be using and how, but I'm fairly happy with, and commited to, FileHamster (i.e. not looking for alternatives as such)
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Tom
nudone
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2010, 04:24:06 AM »

i like the "comments" as "tags" idea. i need to play around with the reports for a while before appreciating what i can do with them - i'm used to seeing a more limited layout.

i had a quick look at History Explorer (by exendo). it looks quite nice - it has a very attractive timeline view. i considered using it, but it doesn't look like you can have individual "watches" like you can with FileHamster, i.e. projects that have their own set of filters and rules.

on a side note: one thing that has annoyed me from the beginning of FileHamster's creation is the ugly popups. they looked horrible years ago and they don't look any different now. i refuse to use them because they look so disgusting - seeing them makes me think i'm using an unfinished, unprofessional program, so i pretend they don't exist.
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nudone
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2010, 05:12:46 AM »

hmm. hopefully i'm just being dumb...

i was hoping the report feature would allow me to see which files have been revisioned, i.e. only the files that have been modified within a Watch.

could be any day, any time, with any number of saves. i just want to know which files i've tampered with and which i've definitely left alone.

i'm thinking i'm going to have to use something external to FileHamster to give me this information. or, as i said, am i being incredibly dumb - can i just display this kind of information in windows explorer or something?

edit:
maybe i should explain a little more.

a tyical Watch for me is a project containing several folders (and sub folders) with several hundred (or thousand) files. well, FTP dumps from web sites i'm working with. i try to make notes on what files i edit but things often go wrong on the server i'm working with - i wanted the report feature in FH to help me show that i'd not tampered with problem files (or to prove me wrong and show i'd forgotten about editing a file).

if i select a range of dates and ask the report to show me "newest revisions" it appears to show me every single file in the watch. or, at the very least, it shows files i've not edited at all. maybe i'm overlooking something, so i ought to try to test watches out.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2010, 05:27:36 AM by nudone » Logged
tomos
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2010, 05:22:14 AM »

hmm. hopefully i'm just being dumb...

i was hoping the report feature would allow me to see which files have been revisioned, i.e. only the files that have been modified within a Watch.

could be any day, any time, with any number of saves. i just want to know which files i've tampered with and which i've definitely left alone.

not sure I understand exactly (I get the feeling I'm missing something):

you can see the revisions made within one watch - first click the watch folder in the tree.
Then in report window:
  • Untick the 'Show selected dates' option (all revisions then shown)
  • Ticking 'Show newest Revisions' will limit it to one revision per file.
  • Sort by filename. That's you're files that were modified.
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Tom
tomos
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2010, 05:29:16 AM »

hmm. hopefully i'm just being dumb...

i was hoping the report feature would allow me to see which files have been revisioned, i.e. only the files that have been modified within a Watch.

could be any day, any time, with any number of saves. i just want to know which files i've tampered with and which i've definitely left alone.

not sure I understand exactly (I get the feeling I'm missing something):

It depends possibly on how you work - did you use FH to do an initial revision of the watched folders? And you want to see what was modified since?
Then you would have to use the date filter to exclude the initial revision.
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nudone
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2010, 05:33:15 AM »

(sorry, i edited my previous comment whilst you were writing yours.)

hmm, i've just tried the instructions above and my output report contains 2151 files  huh

in other words, it looks like it's showing me more than what i've edited - i've definitely not edited thousands of files. i've edited about 20.

the actual number of files within the folder being watched is 2162 - so, i'm a little perplexed as to what is happening.
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nudone
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2010, 05:35:45 AM »

Then you would have to use the date filter to exclude the initial revision.
ah, good idea. that could well be it. i'll have to experiment. i have some files locked and i "think" i added a directory at some point - which might be messing it up.

i'll try some tests to get to the bottom of it and report back.

thanks, tomos.
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tomos
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2010, 05:45:32 AM »

Then you would have to use the date filter to exclude the initial revision.
ah, good idea. that could well be it. i'll have to experiment. i have some files locked and i "think" i added a directory at some point - which might be messing it up.

i'll try some tests to get to the bottom of it and report back.

try sorting by date - if many files were revised at more or less the same time you can rule them out as being 'initial revisions'. Will still be fun with >2000 files smiley
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Tom
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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2010, 05:49:58 AM »

Another suggestion:
Once you find a batch of 'initial revisions', you could add a comment to them en masse (select them and add via context menu) and then sort by comment to exclude them
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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2010, 05:54:57 AM »

yes, at the moment it looks like i'll have to use a tagging system to get what i want. as usual, half way through a project isn't the time to start messing about so i'll change my work methods on the next job.
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tomos
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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2010, 06:51:43 AM »

one last possibility for this job that might be  manageable:
if you've really only modified a few - in an exported spreadsheet of all (or just newest) revisions, sort by date & delete those revised at the same time. You should be left with the ones you modified. You can then find these easily in report window & add comments to them (or add comments to all revisions & then change the comments on the modified files). It's doable but might be a pia and not worth effort.

It is interesting though to figure out how you might approach the next job...
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nudone
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« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2010, 08:50:28 AM »

i'll try and figure out exactly what is happening first with this current job - it would help if i could remember what i did over the past few days.

then i'll try and come back with a method of keeping things manageable in the future. but i really think that is going to be something like "tag everything on day one AND/OR lock it". (maybe the zip plugin could be used or the duplicate plugin. not really thought about that yet.)

the Report Window does allow to protect everything in one go (i.e. show everything and protect it), which i've always wanted to be able to do - it was too laborious clicking through each directory and selecting "protect" with my old FileHamster. whilst protecting everything i'll just add a tag to everything at the same time - then that can be how i'll filter out unedited files (not sure if the time/date feature will be enough on its own).
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tomos
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« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2010, 06:29:30 AM »

not much new here but still maybe worth a look - there a video intro to the Report Window (& one for each of the plugins) here:
http://www.filehamster.com/index.php?page=advanced
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« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2010, 03:02:19 AM »

thanks. i've watched the videos in the past but it's only now that i appreciate some of the things they say - so it was worth watching them again.

there are a lot of things to consider when thinking about how scripts could be used - and tags - and reports.

i think it will be a while before i conclude i've set up the perfect revisioning system. lots of problems to discover first.
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tomos
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« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2010, 08:46:28 AM »

I'm having to make a change to *all* the drawing files I'm working on. Some printers were having problems printing a fill made of dots. So I replaced it with a solid fill.

I was 'tagging' the new revisions (after having made the change). For simplicity's sake, we'll say I tagged these new versions with 'SOLID FILL'.
Then I clicked it was easier just to tag all the older ones with 'DOT FILL', so I added that as a prefix to the comments on over 1100 backups.
This done en masse: I sorted by date, selected all relevant (pre a certain date), Edit Comment, added my prefix



it took a little while to process but worked a treat.

Now I can just continue tagging the new backups with the tags I've been using all along.
They've finally added a keyboard shortcut to 'Edit Comment'  which makes editing that bit easier too.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 08:48:36 AM by tomos » Logged

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