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Author Topic: An idea for FARR "with this file do.." type actions  (Read 4151 times)

mouser

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An idea for FARR "with this file do.." type actions
« on: July 06, 2007, 07:49:59 PM »
So i was thinking about an issue that has come up a lot in the past regarding actions for FARR.

Right now you can search for a file, and then when you find one you can use the special action alias feature where you specify +ALIAS and alias refers to an action that takes a parameter, and FARR will then offer to perform the action on the found file (see screenshot).

Screenshot - 7_6_2007 , 7_44_23 PM.png

This actually works pretty well but it lacks 2 main features:
  • It won't autocomplete and let you search for actions.  In other words you have to know about +hedit, it won't autocomplete that as you type.
  • There is no way to have FARR suggest a choice of actions based on the file you select (like certain actions for mp3 files).

What if we let you type a character (like the | separator character) that means, take the first result and get ready to perform an action on it, like you would type:
notepad.exe |

At that point, the editbox would clear and somewhere it would show some hint text saying "With notepad.exe do.."
And then the list results would show only actions that are configured to work with .exe files, and let you search within that action result list.

This could be leveraged for plugins as well, so if you used taichi's process lister plugin and then typed | you might then get a list of actions provided by the plugin like:
  • terminate process
  • restart process
  • lookup process on the web

Thoughts?

mouser

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Re: An idea for FARR "with this file do.." type actions
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2007, 07:51:55 PM »
I was thinking we might be able to use standard alias files to configure such actions for files simply by letting each alias specify a list of file extensions which the alias is applicable to.

Lashiec

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Re: An idea for FARR "with this file do.." type actions
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2007, 07:57:06 PM »
I guess this is somewhat related to the ideas for FARR 3 to be more like Quicksilver. That aside, I think it's quite neat. The alias file, on the other hand... I guess for the moment the actions related to the file types should be provided and restricted by the plugins. You can also use the shell extensions you have installed to provide the right actions.

mouser

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Re: An idea for FARR "with this file do.." type actions
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2007, 07:58:37 PM »
smart idea about using shell extension properties.
yes you are right, this is directly related to our farr v3 discussions.

mouser

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Re: An idea for FARR "with this file do.." type actions
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2007, 08:00:43 PM »
Another issue is what to do if user types | and there is more than 1 result showing.  FARR needs to know the single file you are going to use..

Maybe when you type | far should pop up and ask you which item you wish to select to work with, OR allow like |2 to mean choose second item, or |5 for fifth, etc.  so if only one result then as soon as you type | it will switch to "with ... do.." mode, but if more than one it will wait for you to type a digit after the | before switching.

taichimaster

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Re: An idea for FARR "with this file do.." type actions
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2007, 08:01:09 PM »
I wonder if it's useful to do it both ways on the selection, so that for example you can do

notepad.exe | $$1 abc.txt

and

notepad.exe | winhex $$1

where the first one will open "notepad.exe abc.txt" and the 2nd one will do "winhex notepad.exe"

Perhaps we can already do that with alias?

jgpaiva

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Re: An idea for FARR "with this file do.." type actions
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2007, 08:05:03 PM »
I absolutelly love this idea!!

I just think that using | would be a bit strange, maybe hard to understand, and most possibly won't be found by someone who doesn't read the whole help file (and let's be honest: who does?)
I think that the -tab- option is better. Right now, it gets the path of the whole file on the editbox, but i see no reason why it shoudn't do what you said in the first post. Notice that if one wanted to have the directory of the file, one could just do ctrl + rightArrow, and to copy the path of the file itself, one could do arrowDown and then ctrl-c. Thus, i don't think that using tab to autocomplete files is very useful right now.

On the other hand, if we wanted the functionality refered on this post to be available for both files and folders (since one could, for example, apply the "zip" action to a whole directory), then, as tab is VERY useful with folders, it could not be used for this.

Also, another reason why i'm a bit relunctant is that | is only accessible through shift-\ in my keyboard.

Lashiec

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Re: An idea for FARR "with this file do.." type actions
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2007, 08:10:51 PM »
You can use a key modifier to select the file you want to work, like "I want to open the second file in PSPad instead of Notepad", you press Ctrl+2, and then using shell extensions, you use the "Open with" dialog.

I was thinking in what character to use time ago, when I read the different discussions. How about going the UNIX and C++ way? That is, using "<<". But I think this was a bit unreachable in certain layouts. To use "|" here, I've got to resort to Alt Gr, but thanks to programming, I have it mastered.

steeladept

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Re: An idea for FARR "with this file do.." type actions
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2007, 05:21:41 PM »
Maybe I am missing the point, but why would something like this be required to be on the same line?  If it works without the arguments, it would still work on a command line.  If you were using FARR from a non-CLI, then you can have it open (or show) in a subfield on the interface.  If you wanted to continue this for CLI, you can have those map directly to switches.  Or am I way off here?

nitrix-ud

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Re: An idea for FARR "with this file do.." type actions
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2007, 06:27:32 PM »
Quote
I think that the -tab- option is better.

i agree  :Thmbsup:

mystcolor

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Re: An idea for FARR "with this file do.." type actions
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2007, 10:40:04 PM »
I can't wait to see this wonderful function, and I have some ideas about it.

Use a new shortcut key maybe like "shift+tab" to open a second instance of FARR window for search, and launches the file selected in the first window with executable file in second window and/or reversely.

Maybe also add a shortcut to switch between searching windows like "ctrl+tab"? Then users can quickly go for and new search and perform open with.. actions with the selected program.

tinjaw

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Re: An idea for FARR "with this file do.." type actions
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2007, 10:42:50 AM »
I'm thinking a two paneled FARR. One panel designates the source to act upon, and the other designates the tool to use.

Nod5

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Re: An idea for FARR "with this file do.." type actions
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2007, 07:26:48 AM »
| is hard to enter on some keyboard layouts (AltGr + < on mine) so I agree with jgpaiva that TAB would be better. The current TAB functionality (display path) could then be demoted to CTRL+TAB perhaps? Another key that is consistently easy to press across keyboard layouts: the UP key. And it seems to have no current use in FARR when the input field has focus.

Another issue is what to do if user types | and there is more than 1 result showing.  FARR needs to know the single file you are going to use..

Maybe when you type | far should pop up and ask you which item you wish to select to work with, OR allow like |2 to mean choose second item, or |5 for fifth, etc.  so if only one result then as soon as you type | it will switch to "with ... do.." mode, but if more than one it will wait for you to type a digit after the | before switching.
Sounds great but let plain | (or plain TAB) automatically work on the first result and let || (TAB TAB) trigger FARR to somehow ask the user about what result(s) to work on.

edit: Also, navigating down to a result (say number 2) in the list and then pressing | (or TAB) could be made equivalent to typing |2 (or TAB 2)
« Last Edit: July 20, 2007, 08:01:39 AM by Nod5 »