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Author Topic: Why I consider file managers inferior tothe file M solution you'd ideally expect  (Read 2120 times)

peter.s

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Well, posting general considerations in a DO fanboy thread was naïve, since it could only be met there with admirers' blah-blah, not addressing the underlying conceptional considerations. So I take the liberty to open a new thread for those, be there some arguments to come or not.

Unchanged, that other post:

Features, not benefits

Andus is right, and I want to spit in the soup anyway, or so it might seem to some.

- Update scheme: I think 2007, 2011, 2014 (full 3 years between 2011 and 2014) is acceptable. It's just that people buying on bits (or worse, paying full price whenever the current major version has been on the market for some time then) are a little bit fuc**** up, since asking price is high, update price is high, accordingly, and on bits (that's my impression at least), this prog tends to be offered whenever next major update, without being imminent, is not THAT far away: was it spring / early summer 2013, last time, i.e. 2/3 into the "life span" of the then current major release? And this means, if you want to profit from this prog, release of a major update is the time the buy (full price, unfortunately, but full price for 3 years' it being up-to-date is better than paying half-price or more just for 10 months, right?).

- Scriptability: Well, that's been offered before, and also from XY, SC and some others. As I said before, I don't see the real value in a given file commander's scriptability, since I've got an AHK macro system which gives me access to almost any "command" I am in need, or just in want, of, from ANY file manager today, and also (here I have got some more work to do, though), from "anywhere where it applies", i.e. it's possible to access the respective file M functions from within another applic, from within there would be an "interest" of having access to the respective file M function, i.e. without switching to your file manager, and then triggering the relevant commands from within there.

So this is a common prob of all those scriptable file managers: Finally, they let you do lots of elaborate macroing, but from within that given file M, and I prefer it light, smooth: Why would I have to bother with a file manager, or worse, with a specific file manager, when I can do the work in a much more elegant way? (= Any file manager is an additional access gui to what you want to do, under the hood, so being able to have it done under the hood, without getting by a file manager for that specific task that arises within your REAL task, the one you are doing in your main prog at that time, IS a much more elegant way to do things, with no file manager coming into your way.)

And as said, I do such things from ANY file manager even today, so for me, even FC XE does not have any limitation, e.g. compared with X2 (I don't own DO but don't see any additional functionality in there): from both (and several others), I trigger the same AHK commands, instead of relying upon what one file manager might be able to do, and another, not.

- As said before, there is additional functionality both with XY and with DO, for pic browsing, and I use XY extensively for this, but at the end of the day, hadn't I my license to it, I'd do it with XN or other freeware, and Fast Picture Viewer is also there, as the superior prog to anything else (I've been extensively using the free version for years, because the version has been 1.95 for years now (or so it seems to me), and I'd be happy to buy 2.0 (but would have been extremely unhappy to buy 1.95, just some months before 2.0 came out. In other words, the developer will have prevented many prospects from buying, by having upheld his 1.95 version number for years or so now, and I very much hope this will change soon, i.e. he will bring out 2.0, finally.)

I also said this before, general preview, both with XY and DO (i.e. not only for pics), seems to be superior to their competition, but then, in order to be fully functional (and unparalleled), DO's preview pane has to be spiced up with an external add-in that costs (if I remember well) 40 euro, i.e. some 55 dollar. Also, and even if you're willing to pay for that upgrade, too, you'll realize that most of those additional formats you just bought are legacy formats, often from the VERY early days of personal computing...

So here is a viable concept but which lacks in realization quality for today's needs - many current file formats you would be eager to have preview access to in your file manager, are simply not available here (and I don't have the impression that there is much development going on on that subject, either).

- Also, in both DO and X2 (not XY, as before: they have their own, proprietary format for that, and in TC, it's even more weird, with their maintaining the venerable descript.ion format), the ADS-NTFS-format meta data concept (which has been dumped by MS) has been upheld (and probably, it's even fully interchangeable from X2 to DO and vice versa, but that's not for sure in every possible circumstances), but both are unwilling to discuss specifics: Whilst XY just isn't helpful, DO's lapdogs, in their usual style, even become rude when some paying user (not me) dares to bring up the subject. So, at the end of the day, it's more than doubtful that ADS file attributes could ever be an argument pro DO or pro X2, since you will never know what are their respective intentions with that, let alone those of MS.

- I said this before: File managers like XY, X2, DO, SC, etc. try to justify their price by integrating some additional functionality into them, e.g. batch rename, file search, and even some file synch, duplicate search, etc.: As said before, most of the time, there are (even free) tools available that do this even better (= with more options to choose from, e.g., i.e. more fine-tuning allowed), and so what really remains from this, is their argument that it's more convenient to have it all in one applic. Well, I don't share this pov, for a double reason: I prefer having the very best tool available for any given task, not some tool from the file manager but which more or less limits what I want to achieve; and even those tools "integrated" into those file managers are often just triggered by the file manager in question, appearing then in their own, additional window, which means they are not as fully integrated into the file manager as they try to make you believe, and then, if there is no full integration anyway, why not trigger, by a shortkey, the additional tool of your choice to do the work in question? Here, the promised convenience seems to lie in the fact that most users don't have immediate access to anything, by simple shortcut and/or custom menus (AHK again), but would have to fiddle with opening those additional tools, instead of them being instantly available. So, for me, this argument of "convenience of having all (???) needed tools in one tool box" falls flat, all the more so since, again, at least in some cases, non-file-manager-dependant tools of the same kind are MUCH more sophisticated than the (more or less) "integrated" ones.

- So, from my pov, it's just looks, and yes, DO's pretty, and from that, perhaps it's not that bad an idea to buy DO 11 LITE on bits when it reappears there, since that would add another file manager to your collection that might be a pleasant-looking replacement for FC XE (or anything else), for triggering your AHK commands from there, like you would do it from any other such file manager. Just don't expect file managers to be "complete" in any way, since even the most expensive ones are just compromises for anything they do. I did buy that bunch of file managers over the time for lack of understanding then that even by being willing to buy them "all", and at any price, I would NOT get real good stuff, and not even by combining their respective highlights, by switching between them. And in conclusion, I seriously think that expecially fervent DO advocates did not yet see this evidence:

You will have to build up your own toolbox; by waiting for some perfect toolbox, comprising it all, and delivered to you, at any price you're willing to pay, you'll just grow old - and that includes DO, notwithstanding their snooty pretending otherwise.

And now some additional remarks, re that 1001st DO thread:

"just a pint of beer frequently cost >= $15 USD"

As we all know, Norway (the country of the poster of that "argument"), as well as Switzerland, has highly inflated prices, AND highly inflated wages, so almost ANY price will be considered "cheap", in direct comparison with local prices, and with local wages, in those countries (and in Oil countries: Kuweit, etc.). BUT THAT IS NOT THE POINT. The point is, what does a 100 bucks sw does MORE for you, than, say, a 0 bucks sw? I.e. it's all about comparing apples with apples, not with the purse of your Lady.

"Auto filters on folders?  That's just plain cool."

Of course it is, but then, again, this automatic filtering of files should be accessible from within your main application, automatically presenting you a dataset reflecting what you're doing in your real work environment: Any file commander is just INTERFERING, badly or slightly, but interfering, with that "natural workflow" which in most cases, today, has NOT yet been realized for most people.

Of course, for people JUST doing file M, the "mileage" varies, but for most of us, a file manager is something that gives us access to some "material TO" our real work, and for this task, today's file manager do NOT "deliver", or in a way no manager who's in optimization of business processes, could ever find even reasonably satisfying. (Developers are more or less aware of the fact, so they invent "virtual folders/collections/whatever", but they lack the imagination to do this in any real useful way.)

Btw.:

We've got a similar prob with MS Excel, which is misused by legions of managers for "data crunching", "data analysis", as a data BASE, and so on, more appropriate sw not being (financially, organizationally or intellectually) available (for most people), à la différence près que in file M, there does not even exist such an ideal solution... because here, the ideal solution would be complete integration of all relevant file M functionality into what you're REALLY DOING. And it seems that this paradigm is more than most people's minds can cope with, conceptually, hence the blatant absence of relevant solutions.

Thus, DO might be "best" or "among the best ones" within very low confines, within a real flat world.
When the wise points to the moon, the moron just looks at his pointer. China.

wraith808

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"Auto filters on folders?  That's just plain cool."

Of course it is, but then, again, this automatic filtering of files should be accessible from within your main application, automatically presenting you a dataset reflecting what you're doing in your real work environment: Any file commander is just INTERFERING, badly or slightly, but interfering, with that "natural workflow" which in most cases, today, has NOT yet been realized for most people.

As the writer of that particular statement, I must disagree with your assessment- and if you'd *read* the feature, you'd see it's a lot more than just filtering.

When browsing source, there are several file types for my particular case, i.e. for c# .xaml, .xaml.cs, .cs, and more- to have those clearly outlined and coloured (which is part of the autofilters) is pretty useful.  Same when differentiating between source and css or source and images, etc.  The filters go beyond the mere not showing to labeling and colours.  It also allows grouping of filetypes based on rules, i.e. the .xaml with the .xaml.cs.  So your estimation of the usefulness is based on your opinion- which is quite valid for you, but not valid for everyone else.  Which is exactly what I say at the end of the iteration of those features, i.e. each person should evaluate the benefits rather than just the feature list.  Which is also the reason that I am still in the evaluation mode, rather than just being a 'fanboy' and purchasing.

Vurbal

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It seems to me this is a difference of opinion that mostly comes down to personal philosophy about what high end file managers are. That's because what they aren't is file managers any more than a program like MP3Tag is a file manager. In both cases they are workspaces which happen to use the paradigm of file browser as a shell. I have yet to see anyone stupid enough to pay $60 - $80 for a file manager.

I understand completely because that used to be exactly how I worked. When I had 4 hard drives and constantly had to shuttle files from one to another. I had 4 sets of folders across 3 drives just for ripping, encoding, and authoring DVDs. I had another set of folders for guide related assets, a different one for other articles and related assets, and one more for notes on various projects and experiements I had in the works at any given time.

That's not counting more mundane things like keeping a folder to store initial backups before burning them to DVD and various other routine user and maintenance stuff. I couldn't afford a top notch explorer replacement so I used a free one and kept folders full of related shortcuts - sometimes numbered for particularly complex sequences of operations, also because autism.

After some intensive therepy I've gotten better. :D Well not really, more like my insanity is constantly evolving - or perhaps mutating would be more accurate. If I still worked the way I did 8 - 10 years ago I would have no problem dropping perhaps as much as $100 on a file manager based workspace if I expected not to upgrade for at least 2-3 years. I spent $150 on DVD authoring software around the same time and that was mostly because it was my hobby.

Today it would be a waste because all I'm looking for is an advanced file manager. For me XYplorer is just about perfect. I'm using the free version right now. When I feel completely ready to adequately test the trial version I'll be doing that. I'm not sure they'll make a significant difference but I like rewarding companies who offer free software that doesn't feel crippled. I definitely won't be buying a $70 lifetime license but I think it's a fair price that shows smart long term thinking.

I do feel like I have something of an advantage in terms of seeing the whole issue philosophically. Most people vastly overestimate the degree to which they understand how other people think. While most people do have a surprisingly good handle feel (from my POV) for how other people feel, beyond that it's mostly an illusion - a necessary illusion on the whole - but nothing more. Having given up on understanding what goes on in other people's heads long ago - besides from a purely intellectual standpoint - I find it more of an intellectual curiosity.
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40hz

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So your estimation of the usefulness is based on your opinion- which is quite valid for you, but not valid for everyone else.  Which is exactly what I say at the end of the iteration of those features, i.e. each person should evaluate the benefits rather than just the feature list.  Which is also the reason that I am still in the evaluation mode, rather than just being a 'fanboy' and purchasing.

+1 w/Wraith here...

In the end it really doesn't matter what anybody else uses as long as it works for them and fits their workflow. One program, many programs, no program at all...in the end it's just trifling details. They're just tools. About as significant a factor in the larger picture as one's favorite brand of toothpaste or choice of beer. Because, in the end, nobody really cares (or should care) about the scaffolding once the building is completed and it all gets cleared away.

What is important that we all become aware of choices, techniques, and available tools. And if a user of some program gets enthusiastic enough about it to want to share their impressions and successes with it, it's no bad thing. And certainly not cause to go referring to them as fanboys.
 8)
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 06:22:09 PM by 40hz »

Innuendo

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Peter, your post raises some interesting ideas....so let's discuss them. I apologize for the multiple quotes, but you post in an extremely dense, rambling format with not many small sentences and you just said too many things that needed to be addressed.

Well, posting general considerations in a DO fanboy thread was naïve, since it could only be met there with admirers' blah-blah, not addressing the underlying conceptional considerations. So I take the liberty to open a new thread for those, be there some arguments to come or not.

I'm just curious as to how you determined that the other thread was a 'fanboy' thread? I was the thread starter & all that was in my starting post was the announcement of the new version along with a list of what's new & the upgrade policy. It was very cut and dry. Also, if you go check out all the responses to that post I think you'll see that there's not a lot of praise. As a matter of fact, most posts were very neutral & some were even negative.

I think you'll find here at DC this is a different type of forum than you may be used to. Its members may take one side or the other, but we're pretty objective overall and discuss any differences of opinion we may have calmly and rationally. I've been a member for years & I've never seen an argument or flame war.

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And this means, if you want to profit from this prog, release of a major update is the time the buy (full price, unfortunately, but full price for 3 years' it being up-to-date is better than paying half-price or more just for 10 months, right?).

I'm not sure what point you are are trying to make with your comments on the upgrade policy. You're saying the earlier you buy the more value you'll get before the new version comes out. How is this different than someone who buys a new car every year? Or anything else that releases updates?

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Scriptability: Well, that's been offered before, and also from XY, SC and some others. As I said before, I don't see the real value in a given file commander's scriptability, since I've got an AHK macro system which gives me access to almost any "command" I am in need, or just in want, of, from ANY file manager today,  and also (here I have got some more work to do, though), from "anywhere where it applies", i.e. it's possible to access the respective file M functions from within another applic, from within there would be an "interest" of having access to the respective file M function, i.e. without switching to your file manager, and then triggering the relevant commands from within there.

So rather than write a script in the file manager's scripting language that is optimized for that environment, you would rather write a script in a generic scripting language that would accomplish the same thing just by a different means? I don't see the benefit in doing things your way & actually see a couple possible pitfalls to doing things your way. At the end of the day, though, you still have to write a script to accomplish the task either way so I'm going to call this a wash.

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Why would I have to bother with a file manager, or worse, with a specific file manager, when I can do the work in a much more elegant way?

So rather than use a file manager's built-in abilities you would rather use AHK to re-invent the wheel. That's not smooth at all. That's being stubborn and contrary, IMHO.

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Any file manager is an additional access gui to what you want to do, under the hood, so being able to have it done under the hood, without getting by a file manager for that specific task that arises within your REAL task, the one you are doing in your main prog at that time, IS a much more elegant way to do things, with no file manager coming into your way.)

But, you see, I use my file manager to do all my real tasks and it is my main program at all times. My file manager *replaces* Windows Explorer as the way to access everything on my system. My file manager is the one program I use every single day and it is open and running 90% of the time. I may use other programs to create content from time to time, but my file manager is what I use to do everything else on my PC. My file manager does not come into my way. No, it *paves* the way for me to get things done.

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And as said, I do such things from ANY file manager even today, so for me, even FC XE does not have any limitation, e.g. compared with X2 (I don't own DO but don't see any additional functionality in there): from both (and several others), I trigger the same AHK commands, instead of relying upon what one file manager might be able to do, and another, not.

Every file manager is different and if you are using the same scripts for FC XE that you would for Directory Opus or Total Commander then you would be under-utilizing DOpus (or Total Commander) then and being extremely inefficient as there is *tons* of things DOpus (and TC) can do that FC XE can't...even with AHK.

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I also said this before, general preview, both with XY and DO (i.e. not only for pics), seems to be superior to their competition, but then, in order to be fully functional (and unparalleled), DO's preview pane has to be spiced up with an external add-in that costs (if I remember well) 40 euro, i.e. some 55 dollar.

You must be talking about Quick View Plus. That's an add-on for Windows, not Directory Opus so you can't fault DOpus if it can take advantage of something that's an add-on to the OS itself. Therefore, this point as an argument is invalid, especially since QVP is not needed for DOpus to function head and shoulders above most file managers anyway.

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Whilst XY just isn't helpful, DO's lapdogs, in their usual style, even become rude when some paying user (not me) dares to bring up the subject.

What specifics? And more importantly, lapdogs? Really? First the use of the word fanboys and now lapdogs? Sir, I've seen your tactics to rile up the populace elsewhere on the internet, but I fear they will not work here. Everyone here wants to discuss ideas, exchange information, and do it in a calm, respectful manner. I ask that you please do so as well.

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...I prefer having the very best tool available for any given task, not some tool from the file manager but which more or less limits what I want to achieve;...

Now I know you aren't a regular user of Directory Opus, or Total Commander for that matter. Why are you discussing imagined shortcomings and lack of want or need for programs you have never used, or at least not used to any great extent?

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You will have to build up your own toolbox; by waiting for some perfect toolbox, comprising it all, and delivered to you, at any price you're willing to pay, you'll just grow old - and that includes DO, notwithstanding their snooty pretending otherwise.

And this is near the root of your misguided opinion. You seem to think people buy DOpus, start using it, and that's that...never leaving its safe confines. I can assure you that could not be farther from the truth. I might dare say that DOpus users are more intent on 'building up their own toolbox' of the best of the best programs *and* integrating them into their file manager of choice more than any other group of people I know. Using DOpus' ability to interface and interact with those other programs like they are all one, integrated, meshed environment. No, sir, people don't buy DOpus to use it as their toolbox. They buy DOpus to use it as the glue to hold all the other tools in their toolbox together. If one would put it in programming terms, one could almost think of DOpus as being an IDE that one can use to bring all one's other tools 'under one roof', so to speak.

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And now some additional remarks, re that 1001st DO thread:

1001st...ah, another jab. Again, that's not how we do things here.

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Any file commander is just INTERFERING, badly or slightly, but interfering, with that "natural workflow" which in most cases, today, has NOT yet been realized for most people.

If your file manager is interfering with your natural workflow you are either using the wrong file manager for you or you aren't using the one you've got efficiently. Using the right file manager for you in the right way for you very well may possibly double or triple your productivity.

One last thing, this site was founded by developers for other developers and for others who appreciate good programs. Coming on here and spouting that developers are not a very creative lot who don't implement things in very inventive ways is going to leave a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of people around these parts.

urlwolf

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I'm on explorer now, after having an extensively tweaked TC, and DO before that.
IMO sticking to defaults has lots of advantages. I don't miss any advanced features.

Innuendo

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I'm on explorer now, after having an extensively tweaked TC, and DO before that.
IMO sticking to defaults has lots of advantages. I don't miss any advanced features.

Using what's best for you is key when choosing a file manager. Choosing something that has the most features isn't always the right choice if it doesn't work the way you do.

x16wda

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I'm on explorer now, after having an extensively tweaked TC, and DO before that.
IMO sticking to defaults has lots of advantages. I don't miss any advanced features.
Me too (except with the addition of Clover).  I've worked with lots of the choices, bought DO and X2 (ultimate lifetime), but eventually something in each ends up annoying me more than its features excite me.  And I end up moving between a number of different machines, so in the end, for my purposes, Explorer is fine.  (Clover just adds the convenience of tabs and bookmarks.)
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