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IDEA: collect files in a virtual folder

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cracksloth:
most filemanagers do not have the ability to create "virtual folders".  these are not physical folders but they still allow you to create holding pens for files you want to group together (but not physically move).  this concept is similar to a search results window where files from many different disk locations are viewed together as a collection allowing the user to perform file operations and access the explorer contect menu for the items in the list.  a "virtual folder" is similar in that it allows you to drag in whatever files that you want.  this is useful for collecting a bunch of files from various locations and performing a single action of them all from the context menu.  if the virtual folder supports saving and loading of file lists, then a user could quickly show all files relevant to a particular project.  as mentioned in another thread, if used with "log monitor" then a list of recently added or updated files can be displayed.  scripts could be created that display dynamic lists of files based on virtually any search criteria.

i know xplorer¬≤ (a file manager) supports "virtual folders" (actually they call them "scrap containers").  i have seen a few others but i can't recall any names right now.  regardless, these features have always been bundled with the filemanager itself rather than being a standalone prog that can be used universally and can be customized to more powerful uses.  needless to say, plain vanilla explorer doesn't have this feature (and neither do most filemanagers).  it would be great if users of any file manager could take advantage of this concept.  the most universal method would be to allow files to be added to a virtual folder from the sendto menu.  this would necessitate using a commandline parameter for adding files.  as mentioned above, this would open up a huge number of options by using scripts.  also, with "log monitor" users could get an instant display of any new or updated files (such as any newly downloaded music, or any documents that have been updated on a shared drive, etc) and instantly be able to process those files however needed.

so, the skinny on such a program:

filebox.exe "music.box" "x:\path\file.ext"

where "music.box" is the filename for the virtual folder and "x:\path\file.ext" is the path of the file(s) you want to add to it.

if "music.box" does not exist, it will be created.  the file structure for a *.box file is just a text file containing a list of the files included.  changes to the *.box would be automatically saved.

i hope i explained the concept of a virtual folder okay - maybe everyone is already familiar with the idea and i just talk in circles  :)

jgpaiva:
That's an interesting idea.
Just throwing some stuff in:
Doesn't launchbar commander support virtual folders? I guess that could be the solution.

cracksloth:
are you talking about how launchbar commander supports loading the contents of a folder into a menu?  i'm not completely sure, but i think that is what you mean by "virtual folders" in this case.  if so, this is a bit different than what i am talking about.  i think the name overlap here is just coincidental.  i'm afraid there is no solid terminology for the feature i'm talking about.  i have heard them called "virtual folders", "scrap containers", "temp panels", and "file holders".  every time, someone just comes up with a term they think sounds snappy.  do you think i should re-explain a bit?  i realize that words are a poor substitute for actually seeing it in action.  you can check out "scrap containers" by looking at xplorer2 http://zabkat.com/

JennyB:
Pikybasket does the job of collecting fitepaths and appending them to the clipboard, using a shell context menu option. Can they Just be pasted from there into the queue wimdow of D&DR?

More generally, is there a simple utility to write clipboard contents to a file, or append them? I'm thinking it should be possible to map a file type to some of the more common clipbord formats, and give a choice if it is available.





Perry Mowbray:
This is a nifty idea.

Pikybasket will certainly do the job (if it's just a list of files type job) for a single folder.

But, I'm guessing you're more wanting a shortcut to the file?? That way you can interact with it via Explorer as with a normal folder: play mucic/add to list/etc??

I'm thinking a group of folders (aka your music.box type folders) and a group of SendTo entries (ie to those folders) would fit the bill?? That would get shortcuts into your "virtual folders", but then it depends what you wanted to do with them?

May be a better solution if your wanting to act on the files from the context menu directly (like Pikybasket does) is a separate application?

- Perry

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