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Author Topic: Qatapult  (Read 70711 times)
ecaradec
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« on: January 13, 2012, 05:30:32 PM »

Application NameQatapult
Short DescriptionQatapult is keyboard application launcher focusing on the decomposition in objects and actions ala Quicksilver.
Supported OSesWindows 2000 -> 7
Websitehttp://emmanuelcaradec.com/qatapult/
Setup Filehttp://emmanuelcaradec.co...qatapult/bin/Qatapult.zip
Screenshots
Change list10.03.2012 (summary of changes happened onto the period )
- plugin system for creating custom sources (in javascript )
- plugin system for defining new commands to use in rules (in javascript )
- plugin system for skin (in javascript )
- better ranking
- fix crashing when no debugger was installed
- alfred-like skin by pigeonlips
- bookmark plugin by ewemoa
- catalogs (allow to not include every source by default )
12.02.2012
- settings format change to xml
- basic plugin system for creating new rules
- a 'reload' rules command for quickly testing changes
- shift+enter now create newline in text
- provide multiple values inside rules
- a WINDOW source that list the currently active windows that can be queried for $x.title and $x.hwnd
06.02.2012
- the text now don't display vertically anymore
- the completion don't automatically select the first subfolder
- you don't need to hit the down key twice to browse the results
- results are cleared when you hide the ui, so that it's always clean when you invoke qatapult
- fuzzy matching on some results like on the startmenu items : "moz firx" will match firefox. All characters must be in the name in the correct order to match. That allows to miss a char and still get the correct result.
21.01.2012
I made some change progressively since the 15
- Fix some memory leak on images
- Hotkey configuration (you can now set you favorite hotkey in the settings )
15.01.2012
- Text edition mode : you can now switch to edit mode by typing . and then use the arrows and delete keys.
- You can also paste text into the UI with ctrl+v
- There is now support for extra user commands : there is no UI, but you can check them in the ini file. I added two examples. You can use %p (path), %d (directory ) and %f (filename ) as inputs
14.01.2012
- windows 2000/XP support (hopefully )
- status line
08.01.2012
- The focus issues should now be gone. Qatapult hides itself when it's not the foreground window
- The download of gmail contact is now limited to only new contacts
- The contact sources now fetch and displays the profile pictures from the gmail directory (the download of theses is a bit long of course : if you enable this, please wait that the download complete before closing Qatapult otherwise, you'll only get half of your contact )
- I added a special source (type Clock ) that display an animated clock. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it but it's fun. If it gives you ideas, please share Wink
- You can add extra directories to index (they are currently limited to 3 level of recursion because indexing too large directories cause huge slow downs )
- The text is not typed anymore (it's displayed by underline the text on the icons ). I'm not sure if this behavior is very usable. Tell me what you think about it. However it definitly looks better.
18.12.2011
- remove the verb indexing from the shell (it's too slow, doesn't always work and not nicely extendable )
- scale small icons (badly )
- unicode storage for startmenu items
- icons in the listview
- new controls tabs/shift+tab for pane navigation, right for completion (the rest is a bit more difficult to bind right now )
- extra icons (with reference to people who made them, I removed one GPL icon so I think that my source code was automatically GPL till previous version )
- memory leak fixing
- automatic opening of listbox after 1 second
- slower (not a very desirable feature :I will need to spend some time there, it's ok on my very new PC, not sure on others )
15.12.2011
- fix a bug in the indexing of the verbs associated with the startmenu items
14.12.2011
- you can now send email (you'll need to edit the settings.ini file to add your email, username, password and smtp server )
rem : I use blat to send email, it requires that you add the stunnel proxy server if you use a ssl smtp server like gmail (http://www.stunnel.org/ )
- qsll can fetch your contact from gmail (see the little knob on the top right corner of the UI to give him the permission )
- items from the startmenu are now fetched from an index that make finding them faster
InstructionsHere is what you can do with the current version :

The invocation shortcut is shift+space

You can run an application by typing it's name

You can type windows path like that and browse the file system (tab works for completion )
c:\...

You can type text either with a ' prefix which will give text a boost, or just continue to type until there is nothing left but text and it will be automatically known

You can use this text in 2 ways. Once you get a text hit the right arrow then the down arrow to get a list of what is available at this point. There is two operation you can send a mail to a contact (this doesn't work yet ) or you can search a website. Type 'search with' then hit the right arrow to select which website to search.

You can try actions on applications too, you can open, get the properties and other things detected from the context menu.

Hit 'return' at any point to run the current action.

If you want to quit, just type quit in the first pane.
Current commands- Type 'name of your software' to run it, or followed by properties, sendto, etc...
- 'Quit' to quit the application
- 'Clock' to display a animated clock (won't display the animated clock before vista )
- 'text' 'EmailTo' 'name of your contact'
- type '.' to switch to text mode when typing something
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 03:28:11 PM by ecaradec » Logged

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Tuxman
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OMG not him again!

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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2012, 08:03:21 PM »

So, this is Gnome DO for Windows?  Grin
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ewemoa
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2012, 08:46:53 PM »

It seems so if Gnome Do is Quicksilver for *nix Wink

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Tuxman
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2012, 08:54:06 PM »

Yes, that's what I meant: A copy.  Cool Grin smiley
(Nothing wrong with that.)

But is Quicksilver not already for Unix?  Grin
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ewemoa
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2012, 02:02:22 AM »

But is Quicksilver not already for Unix?  Grin

Although MacOS X is somewhat of a Unix I suppose, I dont' remember QS running on any other *nix.  Did/Does it?



But back to the main topic...I just tried the latest version on XP and noticed the following sort of thing after invoking "Options":



...that is, the window that came up seemed positioned a bit too high so the upper portion was cut off.

To work-around this, the following seemed to work:

  • Display the Options window
  • Change screen resolution to lowest
  • Accept new resolution
  • Change screen resolution to highest
  • Accept new resolution

May be there's a better way smiley



My apps are located under X:\apps -- I didn't figure out how to add paths to the Options dialog.  When I right-click on the right area of the Options window a popup menu with a 'Delete' item shows up...Any hints?



Regarding the invocation shortcut -- is it possible to customize it already?  Shift+Space is one of those that I encounter difficulties with -- my ordinary text typing seems to often end up accidentally leading to that sequence being entered...
« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 02:15:56 AM by ewemoa » Logged
ecaradec
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2012, 11:02:01 AM »

Yes, Qatapult is a copy of Quicksilver (for the moment ... but I have terrribles projects )

I don't think Quicksilver ever worked on Unix, I think that it was all objective-c and it may have discouraged any porting effort.

Thanks for the bug report ewemoa, it's fixed.

To add folders to your search path, you can left click on the first item. Try clicking slightly at the beginning of the row, otherwise the component doesn't understand that as an edition. You should be able to add X:\apps there.

I'll allow to change the invocation shortcut soon, I agree with your remark, I tend to invoke it without really willing it.

I also added new changes :
- Text edition mode : you can now switch to edit mode by typing . and then use the arrows and delete keys.
- You can also paste text into the UI with ctrl+v
- There is now support for extra user commands for files : there is no UI, but you can check them in the ini file. I added two examples. You can use %p (path), %d (directory ) and %f (filename ) as inputs

I really need to find a way to simplify the UI of the settings, as it is taking me more time to code that the actual functions...



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ewemoa
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2012, 06:02:26 PM »

...it's fixed.

Thanks!  Hope to try it out on an XP machine soon.

Quote
To add folders to your search path, you can left click on the first item. Try clicking slightly at the beginning of the row, otherwise the component doesn't understand that as an edition. You should be able to add X:\apps there.

Thanks for the tip -- seems to work here (at least under W7).

Quote
I'll allow to change the invocation shortcut soon, I agree with your remark, I tend to invoke it without really willing it.

Looking forward to it!

Quote
I also added new changes :
- Text edition mode : you can now switch to edit mode by typing . and then use the arrows and delete keys.

Interesting -- I see a single large pane when I enter that mode.

Quote
- You can also paste text into the UI with ctrl+v

Worked here -- definitely nice to have this functionality.

Quote
- There is now support for extra user commands for files : there is no UI, but you can check them in the ini file. I added two examples. You can use %p (path), %d (directory ) and %f (filename ) as inputs

I see:

Quote
[FileVerbs]
count=2
0_name=Cmd here
0_workdir=%d
0_command=cmd
0_args=

If there are more than two commands, does the value of count need to be updated?

Also, I have not succeeded in getting "Cmd here" and "Explore here" to appear in my UI.  Typing either cmd or explore and looking through the results doesn't appear to show the associated custom commands.  Any hints?

Quote
I really need to find a way to simplify the UI of the settings, as it is taking me more time to code that the actual functions...

What do you think of Firefox's "about:config" UI?  Would it be easy to implement?
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ecaradec
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2012, 06:52:42 AM »

Quote
Interesting -- I see a single large pane when I enter that mode.
I watched some Quicksilver video and the interface seems to behave that way. I actually liked the idea as it gives more space and make things much clearer when you need to edit things. I was a bit annoyed of allowing to edit paths inside the thumbnail that I used to display text.

Quote
If there are more than two commands, does the value of count need to be updated?
Yes, you need to update the value of count.

Quote
Also, I have not succeeded in getting "Cmd here" and "Explore here" to appear in my UI.  Typing either cmd or explore and looking through the results doesn't appear to show the associated custom commands.  Any hints?
Hum, I put the "cmd here" and "explore here" in the settings.default.ini, you need to copy these lines inside your settings.ini. The default is just here to be used if there is no local settings.ini file.

Quote
What do you think of Firefox's "about:config" UI?  Would it be easy to implement?
That's a nice idea, but I'm not sure that it brings a lot of value over just editing an ini file. I'll probably do a fully featured settings UI, I just need to polish a bit things to make things easier to setup. That's should be ok anyway.
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2012, 02:43:23 AM »

...it's fixed.

Thanks!  Hope to try it out on an XP machine soon.

Worked here under XP smiley
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2012, 03:01:44 AM »

Hum, I put the "cmd here" and "explore here" in the settings.default.ini, you need to copy these lines inside your settings.ini. The default is just here to be used if there is no local settings.ini file.

settings.ini is where I saw them.  Any other ideas what I might be doing wrong?

Quote
That's a nice idea, but I'm not sure that it brings a lot of value over just editing an ini file. I'll probably do a fully featured settings UI, I just need to polish a bit things to make things easier to setup. That's should be ok anyway.

Not trying to convince you which way to go with the following -- just sharing some thoughts.

As I see it, the FF about:config UI provides a number of benefits:

  • Users can discover what settings are possible more uniformly -- a user searches a single linear list as compared with possibly switching among multiple screens / tabs / dialogs -- it is clearer whether all items have been scanned and also clear how much there is to search
  • Users can search for particular settings more easily than many traditional GUI config screens -- settings can be named and thus referred to (and possibly searched for / filtered for) more easily, e.g. app.update.auto VS the checkbox labeled auto on the update tab in the app dialog
  • It is much easier for developers to expose (certain?) new settings to users -- I presume this one is obvious
  • With an ini file there is no validation of values entered, whereas with a GUI there can be

I find settings-related GUI programming to often be a hassle -- though it's certainly nice from a user perspective to have a nice GUI for learning what can be configured and nice to be guided to "correct" values.  I think though that making it possible for a 3rd party app to provide a GUI for displaying / writing settings is attractive -- a minimal config UI like what FF provides seems like the main dev(s) can channel / focus their effort / time / resources on other functionality of the app.

Well, there's my two local currency units smiley
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ecaradec
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2012, 04:17:13 AM »

Commands only appears when you have a file selected. Sounds stupid but I didn't mention it... Are you trying to see them on the first pane ?
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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2012, 05:34:59 PM »

Commands only appears when you have a file selected. Sounds stupid but I didn't mention it... Are you trying to see them on the first pane ?

Doh!  Indeed, that was it!  The problem was definitely on this end.

Thank you smiley
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2012, 04:25:04 PM »

When there are exactly two panes displayed and I press tab a second time, I would like for the first pane to be selected...and analogously for 3 panes.  What do you think?
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2012, 04:40:16 PM »

Attached is a quick hack to demonstrate the idea of getting Qatapult to guess some context and fill in its first pane with something relevant.



To install, unzip the zip file.

To use, make sure Qatapult and the included .exe file are running, and type control+shift+space while a Windows Explorer window is active or Notepad++ is active and displaying some file.

To modify, just edit the included .ahk file and reload the script via the tray icon menu.



Only tested on Windows 7 x64.

* loder.zip (344.53 KB - downloaded 124 times.)
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ecaradec
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« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2012, 04:25:07 AM »

The first idea is very good, I'll need to polish my code a bit before adding it. It didn't work when I tried but I feel that cycling around the panes would feel a bit more free instead of just locking on the last pane. That way you could just tab-tab-tab and polish your command before running it. However I think that it will be a bit hard to maintain the other panes selected if you go back, but the UI idea is very good anyway.

The context idea is also very nice, and I will investigate in that way. I was considering adding sources of information like current HWND, title, clipboard as primary source of content for use with future extra hotkeys.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 04:49:18 AM by ecaradec » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2012, 05:06:55 AM »

Hotkeys configurability is complete. You can now use your favorite key shortcut to invoke Qatapult.
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« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2012, 07:06:30 AM »

I verified the hotkey configurabilty under XP -- worked fine here  thumbs up



Good point about difficulty with maintaining content of panes if tabbing cycles...I hope something good can be worked out though.



Looking forward to context functionality!  Current/last active HWND and clipboard sound good.  I suppose with HWND, one may be able to obtain relevant "selections" -- e.g. text or filepath(s).



By the way, I noticed that Home and End keys don't seem to work in text input mode.  Do you think it would be worth having (most?) editing-related key sequences work under those circumstances?  For example, for path-related editing, control+arrowkeys, control+shift+arrowkeys, control+delete, control+backspace seem quite handy.

I like how the escape key can be used to exit text input mode -- is there an advantage perhaps to not having the period key exit text input mode and instead behave so that a period may be typed?  I guess it doesn't seem confusing to me, but may be it would be for other folks...



I wanted to get at "text" from the first pane to operate on -- I see I can use %d, %p, and %f for path-related things, but is there something else for raw text?



He he.  Sorry if this is too much smiley
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ecaradec
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« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2012, 07:58:20 AM »

I also noticed that period as a text input mode enabler is not very good since it prevent to type anything with a dot. I also found myself under cases where I'd like to filter extensions of some type and then typing a dot would prove useful.

Quote
By the way, I noticed that Home and End keys don't seem to work in text input mode.  Do you think it would be worth having (most?) editing-related key sequences work under those circumstances?  For example, for path-related editing, control+arrowkeys, control+shift+arrowkeys, control+delete, control+backspace seem quite handy.
Yes I know that some basics of text editing are not there right now. That's due to the fact that I need to reimplement a full text editing control that can work within a transparent window. Noone seems to have developed and share a control like that. Handling all common control shouldn't be too hard anyway.

raw text is not available for new command right now but I'll add these for sure. I also need to add some contextual mode selection so that text commands only appear when text is available and file commands only availables when a file is selected. That's should not be a problem anyway.

Quote
He he.  Sorry if this is too much
Don't worry your feedback is very welcome.



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« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2012, 01:02:30 AM »

Yes I know that some basics of text editing are not there right now. That's due to the fact that I need to reimplement a full text editing control that can work within a transparent window. Noone seems to have developed and share a control like that. Handling all common control shouldn't be too hard anyway.

Sorry to hear there don't seem to be appropriate ready-made parts.  I hope it doesn't take too much of your energy / time working on this aspect.

Quote
raw text is not available for new command right now but I'll add these for sure. I also need to add some contextual mode selection so that text commands only appear when text is available and file commands only availables when a file is selected. That's should not be a problem anyway.

Looking forward to these things!



Attached is an updated helper program which provides a tray icon for the time being smiley

* loder.zip (338.22 KB - downloaded 149 times.)
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« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2012, 01:56:46 PM »

I've switched my default keyboard launcher from FARR to Qatapult. There is still a few things that I miss like the fc plugins for math things. I'm carefully documenting the shortcomings of Qatapult, so I found a bunch a small little issues and I added some big things :

  • Qatapult now knows your network shares. That make browsing network share much easier : it did worked earlier if you typed the exact path, but now it's much better.
  • Qatapult remembers the last files you got from the file explorer. Just time the name of that file once you used it once and it should be there.
  • The email source didn't worked anymore. This is fixed. If you tried getting your contacts from gmail and it didn't work, try this version.
  • "Current selection" pseudo object (Quicksilver call them proxy ) is now the currently selected file from the explorer (ewemoa special ). I don't have multifile support inside Qatapult, so it will only take the first file for the time being but it would be totally possible to add the whole selection.
  • The text moves are more complete with ctrl+back, ctrl+del, and control moves, etc.. (ewemoa special )

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« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2012, 03:16:37 AM »

Thanks for the update smiley

Qatapult remembers the last files you got from the file explorer. Just time the name of that file once you used it once and it should be there.

Nice!  Got this to work.

Quote
"Current selection" pseudo object (Quicksilver call them proxy ) is now the currently selected file from the explorer (ewemoa special ). I don't have multifile support inside Qatapult, so it will only take the first file for the time being but it would be totally possible to add the whole selection.

I was able to get a folder which was selected in Windows Explorer to open using "Current Selection" + "Open".   Also tested successfully: "Current Selection" + "Explorer here" and "Current Selection" + "Cmd here".

When I tried "Current Selection" + "Properties" for a file, I expected to see the properties dialog, but I didn't see any result.  Was anything supposed to happen?

Multiple file support would be nice -- especially for things like compression, computation of hashes, batch file conversion, etc.

Quote
The text moves are more complete with ctrl+back, ctrl+del, and control moves, etc..

Thanks!  I successfully tested Home, End, Ctrl+BS, Ctrl+Del, Ctrl+Left, and Ctrl+Right successfully.

On a related note, do you think eventually one will be able to select text with mouse and or keyboard?



BTW, when directory browsing (e.g. C:\Program Files in the first pane) with the results list visible, is there a recommended way to navigate up one directory level?  My brain was wired to press the left arrow key, but I when I tried that, I didn't notice any change.

Found the following section in the QS Manual (Files and Folders section):

Quote
Back up a folder hierarchy by typing ← or ? (i.e., a shifted / on a US keyboard). This can backup all the way to the root directory

I don't think I ever used ?, but used the left arrow key.  What do you think?



FWIW, my tests were on Windows 7 64-bit.
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« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2012, 07:06:01 AM »

I wrote a somewhat official announcement and slightly humoristic announcement of Qatapult on my blog here : http://emmanuelcaradec.co...t-a-fairy-tale-for-the-99 .
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« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2012, 07:31:45 AM »

Good spot with the properties. After a quick look I found that it's not the "current selection" that doesn't work but rather the properties command.

Selection should be a quick add for the keyboard, but the mouse would be a pain : I didn't found a good way to get the position of characters with the gdiplus lib. If someone know a way to do it I'd love that.

Multiple file support is totally on my list for the exact same kind of need you list : zipping. I'm not sure at which point I'll add them, because it's a rather large change, involving UI and changes in the way I store and release memory.

You can go up one level in the hierarchy by using ctrl+backspace right now, it will go back to the precedent space or \ like in the text edition mode. ? is a good idea but I'm not sure what I'm going to do on my azerty keyboard. I was really thinking to have \ complete the current folder, this is the reverse, I think I'll add it too. I'll probably move some keys on my keyboard Wink

The one thing that I'd really like to do now is to allow users to create custom rules from the settings. Rules are the internal way I store the various arguments and available command of items. The current idea I have is to allows the writing of description of that form (3 examples ) :

rule=FILE,"zip to",FILE
rulecmd=zip %p0 %p2

rule=FILE,"zip here"
rulecmd=zip %p0

rule=TEXT,"append to",FILE
rulecmd=appendtext "%t0" "%p2"

That should open a lot more possibility.

I'd also like to give rules special background : a google look when you search google, an amazon look for amazon, but this is more for the fun...


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« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2012, 09:04:24 PM »

I hope to respond to your most recent post soon.

Just a quick note -- I didn't find Qatapult to handle some non-Latin text (e.g. CJK).  Specifically, pasting of such text in the first pane showed garbled results:



Not sure how to phrase this appropriately -- perhaps it is Unicode-related?
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« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2012, 12:46:59 AM »

Selection should be a quick add for the keyboard, but the mouse would be a pain : I didn't found a good way to get the position of characters with the gdiplus lib. If someone know a way to do it I'd love that.

Sorry, I have no idea.



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You can go up one level in the hierarchy by using ctrl+backspace right now, it will go back to the precedent space or \ like in the text edition mode. ? is a good idea but I'm not sure what I'm going to do on my azerty keyboard. I was really thinking to have \ complete the current folder, this is the reverse, I think I'll add it too. I'll probably move some keys on my keyboard Wink

Thanks for the tip -- Ctrl+BS worked here.

Do you think using the left arrow key is a bad idea?



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The one thing that I'd really like to do now is to allow users to create custom rules from the settings. Rules are the internal way I store the various arguments and available command of items.

The general idea sounds nice smiley

On a related note, may be you've seen the following already -- the QS Manual has a section that begins:

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Command Objects and Droplets

Commands in Quicksilver can be represented as objects in Quicksilver. To create a command object, activate Quicksilver and enter a command as you normally do, but instead of typing return to execute it, instead type ⌃-return. You’ll see a new command window appear in which the object is a new command object of the command you entered and a default action which is probably Run.

The section continues with information about functionality for scheduling commands and other bits including the saving of commands to a file.



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I'd also like to give rules special background : a google look when you search google, an amazon look for amazon, but this is more for the fun...

Mmm, sounds good!
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