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Author Topic: F&R fans get an update  (Read 9124 times)

mouser

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F&R fans get an update
« on: August 27, 2005, 06:48:05 AM »
ok, its just a start but here is a new version for beta testing. it has 2 features that have long been requested:
1) right click and you can choose to see normal shell context menu for the item.
2) easy menu group for adding an item to an alias, which can make building aliases (one of the nicer features but often unused) much easier.  plus a couple more minor things.

download from beta location:
http://www.donationc.../FindAndRunRobot.exe

Version 1.05.22, August 27, 2005
 · Added instructions about right-clicking in options tabs 
 · Added normal shell context menu pop-up 
 · Added "add to group" menu item for easy alias making 
 · Added scrollbars to alias listbox 
 · Added License key code 
 · Added alt+space hotkey 
 · bugfix - hotkeys weren't being set on startup 
 · bugfix - horizontal scrollbar was being shown on start 
 
this is just a teaser to let you know that F&R is going to get all the nice features we've been talking about in the near future :)

and if you havent tried (group) aliases yet, now is the time: add a bunch of links to an alias, then just type the alias to show and choose from that list.

let me know if you see any problems with the new features.

kfitting

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2005, 09:04:24 AM »
Comments after a few minutes of fooling around with the new version:

- Could the normal shell context menu be made into a submenu?  This would eliminate the need for a click and also avoid the "hanging menu" look (when you open the context menu, it appears far away from the file you actually clicked on).
- The Window for the aliases looks mis-sized.  The bottom edge cuts off some of the ok/cancel buttons.  Not a big deal functionaly, everything still works, but it just looks kind of funny!
- I may be "backward" or stuck in the past, but could you add a browse to file button in the alias creation window?  I realize you can drag 'n drop and add from the main window of FindRun (possibly the most useful) but it feels weird not to be able to browse for the file you want.  Drag 'n drop requires you to open explorer (or your superious explorer replacement of choice) and then add files.  All ways are useful I think.

Other than that... will keep playing.  Looks good so far though.  I also noticed that reaction time is better.  Before, pressing the hotkey brought FindRun to the front but then you had to wait a second or so while it flashed the history at you.  Now, it just comes up and is ready to go!  Nice...  Thanks for the update,

Kevin

mouser

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2005, 09:42:44 AM »
i i will add the browse button, i will fix the button locations.

i will improve context menu thing.  i will *try* to make it a submenu, but i can't guaruntee it, just because of the steps involved in fetching it and displaying it.  at the least i think i can make it appear exactly where it should if it were a submenu.

im going to be adding more features in the next week - i'd like to start with the non-revolutionary features first and go from there, so i'd definitely be interested in hearing peoples favorite things they have been waiting for..

i will also try to add the ability to drag and drop from results out of f&r and into other programs now.

kfitting

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2005, 11:00:19 AM »
Got two ideas for you:

- First, I realized I spoke too soon regarding the start up speed I mentioned above: FindRun still flashes its history once before attaining focus.  I think sometimes it happens so fast I don't see it, but it can take a noticeable amount of time and keeps anything from being typed into the search window.  Is this able to be corrected?  I press pause/break, FindRun comes to the top with the history showing (as normal), then goes blank, then brings the history back up.  This usually is the worst when other things are going on, so I'm sure it's related to processor speed, but why does FindRun need to flash the history at all?

- Second, is there a way you can resume a search?  As you type you can hit escape to stop the search, but if you stop it you can't resume from where you left off.  This sounds trivial but it's something I've tried to do more than a couple times. 

Don't know if these is possible, just trying to think of new "quick" features!

Kevin

Carol Haynes

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2005, 11:14:10 AM »
I may be missing something here - where is the context menu popup?

Carol Haynes

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2005, 11:17:01 AM »
PS Just one thought that has been niggling ...

When the app has default search folders can I suggest that the Start Menu folder have the Program subdirectory dropped, otherwise anything in the top level of the Start Menu is missed.

kfitting

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2005, 11:43:41 AM »
Context menu pop-up: right click on a program and go down to the menu entry labeled "Shell Context Menu..."

Kevin

Carol Haynes

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2005, 11:46:37 AM »
Thanks

mouser

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2005, 06:16:32 PM »
good idea carol about start menu, i will make that change

mouser

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2005, 08:14:14 PM »
tiny update:

Version 1.05.23, August 27, 2005
 · fixed numerous minor form layout issues 
 · added file browse button to alias form. 
 · added properties menu item to right click 
 · changed from default of startmenu\program files to startmenu\   

download from beta location:
http://www.donationc.../FindAndRunRobot.exe

rbeeger

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2005, 07:46:27 AM »
You forgot to change the version number in the about box. It's still .22.
I think the .19 version used the Windows XP Luna buttons etc. Now it all looks like Win 2000. Have you forgotten to add the manifest file or something like that. I don't want skinning in F&R, but it should at least look like the rest of the system.

mouser

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2005, 07:49:35 AM »
i've never included a manifest - did v.19 really show luna look?
i will make a manifest for next version though, can't hurt right? (famous last words)

thanks for pointing out i forgot to update the version#

Carol Haynes

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2005, 08:58:49 AM »
Looks the same to me (but does still say .22)

mouser

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2005, 01:03:52 AM »
ok i'm really interested in you guys/gals take on this latest version..

Version 1.05.24, August 29, 2005
added ability to drag files out of f&r window into other programs.
added ability to drag and drop url links as urls.
changed help/options button to icon toolbar
added user-configurable toolbar items (and right-click option to add app to it)

i hope you guys like the new toolbar solution i came up with..


download from beta location:
http://www.donationc.../FindAndRunRobot.exe
« Last Edit: August 29, 2005, 01:12:40 AM by mouser »

kfitting

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2005, 07:27:53 AM »
Toolbar looks fine to me.  The only problem I could see is that it runs into the search bar if you put a lot of buttons on it.  Could you give an example of drag and drop out of FindRun?  (I looked through the helpfile very quickly, I may have missed it)  Or, could you explain what it does?  I may be forgetting a prior conversation....  Also, while trying to get to the helpfile, I noticed that the toolbar button for help does not launch the helpfile.  I click on it, it brings up a menu, I click help, and nothing happens.  I have not had this problem with any of the other toolbar buttons.

One other clarification: items added to the toolbar are sort of like the quick-launch bar in windows?  In other words, clicking a self-made button launches a program/file?  Or, is there more functionality here that I'm missing? 

Looks good overall though.  The new toolbar seems to work well, just have to play around with it to find out what all it can do! 

Kevin

mouser

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2005, 08:03:11 AM »
help file hasn't been updated yet but it should launch when you select help, i'll fix that.

you can adjust the size of the area reserved for buttons, just drag the divider (perhaps ill try to autosize it in next versoin).

ok so the buttons...
you can put on the buttons documents or programs (you can also right click an entry to add it to toolbar buttons), or configure specific commands directly.

commands to launch as buttons can be simple standalone launches, OR can be configured to launch the currently selected file, by using the %file% parameter in the commandline.

so for example, you could add buttons for your text editor, hex editor, mp3 player, etc.
do a search select the file and then push the button to open it in the text editor.

--

as for drag and drop out.. there aren't too many cases where it would be useful, but let's say you had an ftp program, you could search for files and then drag them out of find and run robot into the ftp program to tranfer.  stuff like that.

kfitting

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2005, 08:27:26 AM »
Ahhhhh, ok, your explanations make sense.

I like the toolbar idea a lot, I just wonder if there could be a way to integrate it with the keyboard more.  RIght now, to use it requires hitting the hotkey to bring up FindRun, then using the mouse to "launch" the button.  Like I said, I think the toolbar is a good idea, just trying to brainstorm if it could be more fully incorporated into the "keyboard centric" flow of FindRun.

Kevin

Carol Haynes

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2005, 08:41:05 AM »
This version seems to work well for me.

Note I had no probs using the Help button ???

Couple of suggestions (speedwise). I like to search Program files too but I have such a lot of stuff it is really slow.

(1) How about in the next version allowing F&R to take a snapshot of all pattern-matching searched for in Program files and Windows folders and use that snapshot for speed. An update button could be included to regenerate the snapshots whenever you want (including if pattern-matching is altered).

(2) How about allowing the launch list items to be edited? That way for example an EXE file name could be replaced by something more meaningful.

(3) How about the use buttons being put on a sepatare toolbar with a config button at the end. This would save the search bar being altered in size and remove the need for a Configuartion context menu.

mouser

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2005, 08:45:12 AM »
kfitting, yes good point - it's currently not at all keyboard friendly..
two possibilities - allow user to assign hot keys to them vs. ctrl+1 through ctrl+9 to be equiv to hitting buttons 1-9 ?
or else just say this is a non-keyboard thing aspect.

carol,
1) i am currently debating with myself whether to use an optional database snapshot.. i still have to think about it more.
2) i think maybe best solution would be in the aliases allow user to specify a more meaninful name, that is a reasonable compromise i think.
3) i can actually make it so user can decide easily whether to have tools on separate row from text edit, so that is a good idea.

kfitting

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2005, 11:06:29 AM »
I personally dont see the need to make the buttons Ctrl1-9 capable... why not just assign a hotkey to an exe?  But, if buttons could be made to do more than just launching.... (and here I draw a blank).  A quick cheesy example that can probably be done already another way would be if you could make a button launch a series of files, then it might be worth using the mouse.  Or, if the buttons would change FindRun configuration in some way (yes, I realize I'm stepping all over the earlier arguments!).  Or maybe you could assign buttons for how you want the programs to appear on screen (upper left, centered, maximised, tiled vertically) as they opened.  I dont have many ideas just now (I actaully do much better combining ideas or thinking up variations... that's why I'm an engineer!), but the buttons lend themselves to some very advanced commands (once we think of them!).

Regarding the whole snapshot idea: in some ways I think this is a great idea, and with your database experience from CHS, it may not be too hard to implement.  However, the biggest problems I see are: how do you get the items into the database, and how do you keep database filesize down?  You could index in the background, but then FindRun cant pick up changed files on the fly.  You could index as you search, but this would slow down initial searches a lot and somewhat slow down later searches since a comparison needs to be done.  An idea worthy of further consideration, however.

Kevin

rbeeger

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2005, 11:51:02 AM »
I don't think the database size is really a problem. F&R doesn't search inside the files. Only file names are searched. So even if you have a database of 1000 file names with each filename having no more than 100 characters. Thats 1600000 bytes or1.5 MB  in Unicode. Add some database metadata and it won't be bigger than 2 or maybe 3 MB.
I think this could be an option. I don't need it since I only use F&R to find programs and use a 3.4 GHz computer, but users with slower computers or with a bigger amount of files to be searched may need this badly.

mouser

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2005, 07:34:28 PM »
i'm really going to give the database idea some thought, but i think id like to first add all the other features we have been talking about.
as kfitting says, one of the problems with doing the database approach is all the issues wrt updating the index, etc.
one possibility might be to make f&r able to read one of the existing database formats used by google desktop search or something..
the place a database search could really help is if you only indexed/searched certain files - like if user said, index all *.exe and *.doc, and *.mp3 and leave the rest alone.  also indexing would save huge amounts of time if you expected to search on things like mp3 id tags.

we should keep talking about it though. i have mixed feelings on the subject.

Carol Haynes

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2005, 02:10:01 AM »
I wouldn't want to use existing indexes - I have tried all of the desktop search utilities and don't really like any of them. They gobble up disk space like no tomorrow and always want to reindex when you least want it.

WRT updating an index for F&R I would have thought either manual updating or using the schedule mananger would work OK.

Unless you constantly install and uninstall new software that need to be accessed via F&R I wouldn't have thought the index would need to be updated too often.

It would be nice if files (such as .exe) could be dragged and dropped onto the F&R window too to produce a button quickly without having to search..

mouser

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Re: F&R fans get an update
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2005, 02:28:08 AM »
i am going to add ability to drag and drop files onto toolbar.