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Author Topic: File Managers! Windows Explorer replacement! Come one, come all...  (Read 72899 times)
Armando
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« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2007, 11:36:54 PM »

JohnFredC : you seem to know TC pretty well. Can it be easily configured to replace explorer (Directory Opus can)?


No, not easily but I'm quite sure you'd be able to it the same way as with Xyplorer: More details at the Xyplorer wiki.

Thanks Dirhael. I haven't invested in any explorer replacement yet... But I'll try this method (carefully...) with the one I'll choose, eventually!
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« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2007, 01:44:19 AM »

Interesting - I just tried zipping two files with DOpus in dual pane mode (vertical) and the zip file was created in the folder of origin. I looked at the zip settings in the settings dialogue and can't see anything that covers this, so don't know how I have it set up to accomplish this! I can post screenshots of the two tabs covering zip options from my setup, if you like, but that's about it. It's worth noting that my wife is still running DOpus 8 and on her setup creating a shortcut from the context menu in dual pane mode results in the shortcut being created in the source folder! That's what prompted me to speculate that its a more general setting and not zip specific. I'll take a look at her settings and post back if anything illuminating pops up...

Darwin,

I figured it out by reading the 'Getting to know Directory Opus' tutorial.

We can control where the operations (for zipping and extracting etc.) for buttons takes place by going into Advanced editing of the respective buttons.

For example, for a Extract button:

if the command is "Copy EXTRACT", then the contents get extracted by default to the destination (i.e., the opposite pane).
if the command is "Copy EXTRACT=sub HERE", then contents get extracted to a sub folder by the same name as the archive and in the same folder as the archive.

Any idea what's the equivalent of XY's Catalog in DO? i.e., I want to add (a pointer to) a file or folder and I should be able to click to go to that location in DO (followed by a press of return key to open).

How come I can add only folders to favorites? What about the files?
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Darwin
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« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2007, 02:57:49 AM »

Quote
I figured it out by reading the 'Getting to know Directory Opus' tutorial.

What? How novel... That's something that I almost always neglect to do (seriously! I'm always amazed when someone says "I solved the problem" and then explain that they read the manual, or worse, the "Quick Installation Guide", etc. because I realise too late that this is something that I haven't even thought of doing!).

Good for you and thanks for posting the solution. Interesting that the discussion is about the buttons - I have removed almost all of them from my toolbar and use the context menu. Thus when I checked into this earlier, I was using the context menu, not the buttons (which are not present on my toolbar).

Quote
Any idea what's the equivalent of XY's Catalog in DO? i.e., I want to add (a pointer to) a file or folder and I should be able to click to go to that location in DO (followed by a press of return key to open).

Haven't used this feature of XY, but suspect that what you are after in DOpus are "File Collections" (something else I really haven't used).

As for adding individual files to the Favorites, I don't really know - I've never thought to ask that question!
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JohnFredC
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« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2007, 09:54:08 AM »

File collections or "virtual" folders is an area in which SpeedCommander really excels.

SpeedCommander is dual panel commander that implements two kinds of tabbed panels: folder tabs and "file containers".  The user selects which group of tabs to display from a second level (or row) of tabs that itself contains two tabs (that is: two for each file panel): "Folders" and "File Containers":



To create a "virtual folder" or File Container, one right-clicks on the "File Containers" tab and selects "New File Container".  An empty panel displays.  To add files and folders to your new Container, simply drag or "Copy" them from the opposite panel.  The action is instantaneous, since the actual file or folder is not copied to the panel, just a reference or pointer to it.

This is so easy to do and so powerful that I am addicted.  You can mix and match any files and folders in the SC file containers.  I have Containers set up for various projects, various backup sets, it's wonderful.  And because Containers are so well integrated into the SC panel/tab metaphor, there are no "extra steps" to display the containers and their contents.  They are just file panels like any other (well, almost: naturally, you can't display a folder tree inside a File Container panel).  Deleting a file or folder from a Container only deletes the reference, not the original (an important point!).

There are downsides to SC File Containers, though:

1. You cannot navigate into the folder hierarchy of a folder in an SC Container tab.
2. You cannot create new "virtual folders" in a Container to further organize the contents.  (Some of the several TC virtual folder plugins support this useful function.)
3. SC Containers do not appear in the Folder Trees as they do in Dopus.

IMHO SpeedCommander has by far the best GUI of any file manager I have encountered (this includes Dopus, the runner-up).  Its tab implementation is by far the best (TC's is the runner-up) and it's toolbar implementation competes with the excellent approach that Dopus uses.  SC subordinates folder trees to the tabs (tree visibility is linked to the tab, NOT the panel as in Dopus and every other commander I know of). SC exposes a scripting object model within which you can script essentially anything using the built-in VBScript editor (with syntax checking!). Since SC uses VBScript, it has SC object methods, properties, conditional branching, variables, functions, the whole deal.  Makes Dopus's simplistic (though useful!) button "scripts" seem quite confining, and TC's pathetic "one internal command per button and no parameters" approach positively abysmal.   The latest SC beta (v12) has the best implementation of a breadcrumb bar I have encountered, etc, etc.

SC has no custom column definitions a la TC, though, cannot customize thumbnail captions and tooltips to show EXIF values (for instance) like TC, and the limited number of viewer and packer plugins available for it keep me using TC.

There is no perfect file commander.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2007, 10:02:22 AM by JohnFredC » Logged
Dirhael
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« Reply #29 on: August 31, 2007, 10:31:55 AM »

I do not feel that Speedcommander implements file collections any better than Dopus or Xyplorer, as in both of those it feels perfectly natural and easy to use as well. Total Commander doesn't do this as transparently as any of the 3 previously mentioned ones (neither does Xplorer^2), but it's by no means difficult as long as you already have the plugins installed.

I don't agree fully on the GUI either. I mean, it's pretty and very comfortable but if fails to provide me with an alternative to the dual-pane display mode. Thus, it gives me to little space to properly organize my images in thumbnail mode. It's essentially the same as TC in that regard. Can't comment on the folder trees, as I never use them in any file manager but I'm sure it does it well.
Another thing that bothers me in SC though is that the quick search forces me to hit enter twice to actually launch the results (you type what you want to find, need to hit enter to close the find box, then enter *again* to actually launch the file or enter the folder). I know it's not a big problem, but for a file manager that otherwise feels quite polished it seems sloppy to let that one slide release after release. They would do well to take a look at how Servant Salamander and Dopus handles it, as those are the ones that I feel get it just right. The fact that it is not fully translated into English isn't really a selling point for me either…

Ultimately though, what made me drop it despite the fact that I'm quite the file manager addict, is that it does not always create standard-compliant zip files (try to add/extract files from a Opera skin file, which is contained in zip files, and you'll see what I mean when you try to load them up in the browser), and a result of this was that I never quite felt that I could rely on it. I'm anticipating the release of v12 somewhat despite the fact that I might come off as a little negative towards the program, as it does hold great promise smiley

By the way, Dopus allows you to use VBscript but only for renaming (so far at least).


EDIT: By the way, I absolutely *HATE* they way SC feels that it needs to remind you that you're using the trial version every…single…time…you…open…the…file…viewer! Damn nag screens should only appear when you first open the application (example to follow: Total Commander).
« Last Edit: August 31, 2007, 10:36:33 AM by Dirhael » Logged

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JohnFredC
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« Reply #30 on: August 31, 2007, 11:24:37 AM »

I agree with all your points except:

Quote
fails to provide me with an alternative to the dual-pane display mode.
You can set the SC panel divider to 100% (or 0%), turn off the tree, maximize the SC window, turn on the thumbs, and have the full screen to organize your thumbs.  Save that as a named layout, put the built-in layout dropdown control on a tool bar and switch to it instantly.  Voila! 

Or even simpler: just put SC's built-in 100% button on a toolbar.  You can see that button (along with other panel control buttons) on the bottom toolbar shown in that SC graphic in my previous post.

I should add that SpeedCommander doesn't seem all that speedy compared to Salamander or xplorer2.  A sticking point for me.

Salamander has by far the slickest/smoothest "seeming" interface behavior and appearance.  It's like silk.  Scrolling long panels of thumbs in Salamander is especially smooth.  The Salamander helper dialogs for copying/moving etc, are also excellent, though they have fewer options than TC's do (the leader in copy exception dialogs, IMHO).  Sometimes the sheer attractiveness of the interface makes using a program more pleasant than another.  Salamander is a joy to use, in that regard.

One nice thing about the Dopus thumbs display is that you can put a slider in a tool bar and resize the thumbs on the fly without having to enter the Options dialog. 

Finally: No problem here with a nag screen if I haven't paid.  I only open programs once between system boots, anyway.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2007, 11:37:00 AM by JohnFredC » Logged
Dirhael
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« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2007, 11:41:01 AM »

I agree with all your points except:

Quote
fails to provide me with an alternative to the dual-pane display mode.
You can set the SC panel divider to 100% (or 0%), turn off the tree, maximize the SC window, turn on the thumbs, and have the full screen to organize your thumbs.  Save that as a named layout, put the layout dropdown on a tool bar and switch to it instantly.  Voila!

Salamander has by far the slickest/smoothest "seeming" interface behavior and appearance.  It's like silk.  I love it.  The Salamander helper dialogs for copying/moving etc, are also excellent, though they have fewer options than TC's do (the leader in copy exception dialogs, IMHO).

The nice thing about the Dopus thumbs is that you can put a slider in a tool bar and resize the thumbs on the fly without having to enter the Options dialog.  Seems de riguer, to me.

And: I have no problem with a nag screen if I haven't paid.

No I don't have a problem with a nag screen if I haven't paid either, but it's over the top to display a nag screen every single time I hit F3 to view a file considering that I've already viewed this nag screen when I opened the program itself. This excessive nagging doesn't allow me to really evaluate the product, as it means that just to view a single image with the viewer, I have to first hit F3 to open the file, then hit TAB twice to reach the "continue" button on the nag screen, then enter to close said nag screen and first then am I able to take a good look at the image I tried to open. This is insane and only serves to alienate potential customers. I'd much rather have a fully functional, usable, trial peroid lasting a week instead of 60 days of excessive nagging...all the time.

Oh and by the way, while you can set the divider to split the view 0/100%, the program still behaves like you are in dual-pane view. As an example, try hitting TAB when using that display mode and you'll soon see what I mean. It is not a good enough alternative to multiple display modes.
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JohnFredC
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« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2007, 02:15:09 PM »

The SC nag screen doesn't appear if you use QuickView instead of View.
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Dirhael
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« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2007, 02:41:10 PM »

The SC nag screen doesn't appear if you use QuickView instead of View.

No, but how does that help? Of course I wouldn't experience any problems with a feature if I don't use it, but that doesn't change the fact that they've gimped the trial badly by doing it the way they did. Quickview is by no means the same as the view you get with F3, and isn't even remotely close to being an acceptable workaround.

If my projector doesn't work, I don't see staring at the slides themselves as an acceptable workaround and this is pretty much the same thing. If this is the way they want the trial to work then fine, but seeing as their competitors are able to get it right I'd much rather give one of them my money instead. I would think that the purpose of a trial is to give a potential customer a good impression of the software and the company behind it, so while this isn't something I'd encounter in a purchased copy it doesn't exactly give me a good impression on how I can expect to be handled as a customer. A good product can only get you so far. It's how you handle public relations etc. that makes something good great.

Anyway, enough about that. It's not really worth discussing any further seeing as I don't think there is much I can do about it smiley
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« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2007, 06:21:53 PM »

There's an old thread that discusses Directory Opus here:

http://www.donationcoder....um/index.php?topic=8056.0

I think a few other file managers are discussed there. I would like to throw in my two cents regarding some of the file managers discussed thus far in this thread, though.

Directory Opus - Very powerful, but lacking the ability to treat non-zip archives as directories a la Total Commander. Also, upgrade pricing is horrible. Depending on when you buy the existing version compared to when the new version comes out expect to pay up to 80% of new user pricing. It's shameful.

SpeedCommander - While also powerful near as I can figure each version is priced unto itself, i.e. each new version has no upgrade path. You must pay the full version price if you want to use the new full version. This is also a shameful policy.

PowerDesk - Unless you like the program exactly as it is with the feature-set (and bug-set) set in stone, do not buy it. It's all but abandoned and will most likely not ever be updated. It hasn't been updated in years as a matter of fact. The original authors (Mijenix) sold this program off and it's switched hands numerous times before landing in VCom's hands. VCom has never updated it since acquiring the program to my knowlege. The good news is the original authors went off and re-wrote the program from the ground up, has new features, and works a LOT better than PowerDesk & their version is called ExplorerPlus. The bad news is their company was called Novatix & it went under with their programs being sold off and distributed to other companies except for...you guessed it, ExplorerPlus which has evidently been abandoned. I strongly suggest anyone who likes PowerDesk try to scrounge up the full version of ExploerPlus on abandonware sites. The last version I am aware of is v6.2.

TotalCommander - It's the most powerful file manager ever written. However, if you don't like the classic two-pane interface or having to deal with plugins all that power is likely to mean nothing to you. Of the commercial file manager programs it has the most generous price. Just pay once and you have free upgrades for life. Again, if you don't like the TC way of doing things then that's not going to mean anything to you, either.

Sounds like there are some people in this thread who are as serious about their file managers as I am. I'd love to see the confgurations & plugins you TC junkies are using.
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urlwolf
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« Reply #35 on: September 09, 2007, 06:59:14 PM »

Well, I'm using one of those TC 'distros'. It's called ultima prime, and it comes with all kind of plugins and programs to handle basically any file association. it's almost an entire OS in itself. And no, I didn't have to spend any time configuring it; everything worked out of the box.


http://tcup.pl/index.php?l=en
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Mongoplus
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« Reply #36 on: September 10, 2007, 06:06:34 PM »

I have been using PowerDesk Pro for many year and I love it.  It has many features and supporting programs with it.

You can use dual or single pane, tree and detailed views.

Get it a try.  I think you'll like it too.

http://www.v-com.com/prod...t/PowerDesk_Pro_Home.html
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« Reply #37 on: September 10, 2007, 06:52:29 PM »

Hi urlwolf - TC is at 7.02 while Ulitma Prime is still shipping with 7.01 and installs everything into its own directory. How do you deal with updates to a given component - can you install it individually or do you have to wait for the UP installer to be updated? Just curious. Running TC now and am quite intrigued (and a little bit intimidated  ohmy)...
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« Reply #38 on: September 10, 2007, 07:06:33 PM »

Darwin, you would just install TC 7.02 over Ultima Prime. The TC installer is smart enough to preserve all the existing Ultima Prime settings.
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Darwin
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« Reply #39 on: September 10, 2007, 07:10:34 PM »

Hmm... tempting, very tempting. I might just have to give that a try. I should let everyone know, publically, that I've shamed myself once again and purchased TC (happened last night, actually). I'm up to 10 File Managers...

My name is Michael and I have a problem. ohmy
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« Reply #40 on: September 10, 2007, 07:15:59 PM »

A little quirk of TC you may have to get used to...  drag and drop copies a file by default (as opposed to Explorer, which moves it, instead).  To move a file in TC use <alt> when you drag and drop.

I personally like TC's behavior better, but then I am big on excessive file redundancy after so many drive crashes over the years.
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Darwin
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« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2007, 07:24:03 PM »

Duh, doh! (Darwin smacks forehead and utters an oath!) - what a dolt I am. TC's installer explicitly asks for an installation directory... What can I say? I'm operating on three and a half hours sleep (yeah, like that's an excuse!).
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Darwin
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« Reply #42 on: September 10, 2007, 07:44:26 PM »

Thanks for the tip, JohnFredC. I like that behaviour WRT drag and drop as well. It makes sense.
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« Reply #43 on: September 10, 2007, 07:47:23 PM »

For those of us who cannot (are not willing to) keep up with the plethora of postings on file manager swiss army knives, it sounds like the Big Four are (in no particular order, or course) Directory Opus, XYplorer, TC, and xplorer2. And, I imagine like vi and emacs, pc and apple, and coke and pepsi, it is a matter of taste you choose as they are all relatively equal in power. Am I kinda correct?
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« Reply #44 on: September 10, 2007, 08:33:39 PM »

For those of us who cannot (are not willing to) keep up with the plethora of postings on file manager swiss army knives, it sounds like the Big Four are (in no particular order, or course) Directory Opus, XYplorer, TC, and xplorer2. And, I imagine like vi and emacs, pc and apple, and coke and pepsi, it is a matter of taste you choose as they are all relatively equal in power. Am I kinda correct?

You would be correct in that it's a matter of taste, but I wouldn't really say that they are that close when it comes to features and "power." Of those you mention, all of them are actually quite unique in what they have to offer. Of course, most of the basic functionality will be quite similar but other than that it can really be a "night and day" experience going from one of them to another. I love all of them (with the exception of Xplorer^2), so it's not really an issue for me. Like Darwin, I'm kind of addicted to file managers. Those and text editors are like heroin...only slightly more addictive Wink
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« Reply #45 on: September 10, 2007, 08:46:36 PM »

Those and text editors are like heroin...only slightly more addictive Wink

 huh Care to share your experience with DC readers?  cheesy
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Dirhael
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« Reply #46 on: September 10, 2007, 08:59:53 PM »

Those and text editors are like heroin...only slightly more addictive Wink

 huh Care to share your experience with DC readers?  cheesy

Well, you see... Hehe, thankfully it's just a  figure of speech smiley If I were to rephrase it and use something I have personal experiences with, I could have said something like this instead; I've managed to quit smoking after well over 10 years with that unhealthy and highly addictive habit. Despite this, I could never ever imagine giving up any of my beloved file managers or text editors...It's ours, it is, and we wants it!
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« Reply #47 on: September 10, 2007, 09:09:52 PM »

How about TabbyFile? Has anyone heard of / tried it yet?
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PhilB66
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« Reply #48 on: September 10, 2007, 09:11:16 PM »

Those and text editors are like heroin...only slightly more addictive Wink

 huh Care to share your experience with DC readers?  cheesy

Well, you see... Hehe, thankfully it's just a  figure of speech smiley If I were to rephrase it and use something I have personal experiences with, I could have said something like this instead; I've managed to quit smoking after well over 10 years with that unhealthy and highly addictive habit. Despite this, I could never ever imagine giving up any of my beloved file managers or text editors...It's ours, it is, and we wants it!

Now, that sounds better and convincing too.
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« Reply #49 on: September 10, 2007, 11:13:30 PM »

PhilB66, no, I hadn't heard of that one. I don't keep as close a watch on new file managers as I used to. I compiled a list of 30-40+ file managers on TC's forums a while back, but I've slacked off & really just keep to TC & wishing DO would address my wish list.
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