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General Software Discussion / Re: What's your preferred File Manager
« on: February 12, 2014, 09:23 AM »
Re XY: Its memory M doesn't seem to be really on the ace side, since after some hours (= that's acceptable, imo) of moving around pics, it (or more specifically, its special, rather new preview pane) is a real burden on my system, and closing down XY, and then re-opening XY will not do away with the prob, only closing down Win (XP) will solve the prob.

This being said, this floating preview pane (which I look upon on my second screen, tree and thumbs being on my main screen) is a BIG, BIG factor in my having chosen XY (of which I own a lifetime license, as for some others) for my pic M (but amended with some AHK scripting for this) - I like it a lot for that task.

This being said (again), I heavily suppose that DO would not be any "worse" than XY in this respect (but most dedicated pic viewers are!!!)...

As for traditional file M, ALL file managers are rather dumb, independently of them being free, or paid, and I kindly invite you to have another look at FreeCommander XE, which is a quite wonderful piece of (free, as the name indicates) sw, and which I prefer to use, again and again and again, in my daily file M - again, with some AHK scripting (but which would apply to any of my 6 or 7 file managers as well)...

In other words, I own several paid file managers, but 95 p.c. of my time (and except for pic M), I use this free one of which I'm more than fond.

I've said it before, and I say it again: Most file managers include SOME level of "additional (more or less integrated) functionality" to justify their respective price, but in ANY, EVERY case, there is at least ONE (even free!!!) tool that's FAR BETTER than the one having been included into your paid file manager, and which makes (or should make) you look from another, different perspective to these (sometimes rather preposterous) offerings.

ANY ONE of these paid file managers suffer(s) from them clinging to the old, outdated 2-pane NC concept, and I had been called a fool/idiot/lunatic in ANY of these fora, and by ANY of those developers, when I begged for MORE than 2 panes (and very unfortunately, Q-Dir is buggy like hell, whilst FileBoss comes with LOTSA probs of its own), whilst, for paying for a file manager, IT'S THE THIRD PANE that would justify almost any price (in an otherwise really good, stable, robust file manager), but that third pane only.

Re X2 (and of which I also own "lifetime"), it's one of the most HYPED applics out there, especially with a developer who, just like XY's (but with the difference that XY's sometimes comes with real good ideas of his own), does NOT listen to "ace users"... well, that's what I'd call myself in this respect, wanting to express that those "power users" would HAVE been a gold mine of good ideas for the respective developer, in order to very quickly propulse that particular file manager onto top of the bunch...

So, for "doing additional things from within your file manager", both XY and DO seem to be of some additional value (but could easily be replaced by more dedicated tools, in those respects), whilst "traditional, paid file managers", be them called X2, SC, TC, whatever, ain't worth their respective asking price - I'm speaking here from years-long, sometimes very intimate experience with (paid versions of) those; so some fine craft like FreeCommander XE, for "regular, standard use" is far from negligeable.

This being said (again), there are "alternative solutions", or more precisely, offerings that TRY at least, to offer some alternative, and I lately wrote about them here:

File M IS different from IM, so you simply cannot mix up possible approaches, but it's undeniable that even FM cul-de-sacs are of high conceptual interest to what we're all striving at at the end of the day, and which is IM as a whole.

General Software Discussion / Re: Mind mapping software
« on: February 12, 2014, 08:45 AM »
Such discussions would be more fruitful, weren't it for people who steal ideas in one forum and present them as their own in other ones.


Tomorrow or after tomorrow, "Quick Macros" ( will be on, half-price, 20 bucks instead of 40.

So let's have a look on their screenshots since they are highly instructive because they illustrate why at the end of the day, it's not really in your interest of having some (even rather very good) proprietary macro tool.

Those screenshots clearly indicate that such (more elaborate = the better ones of them) tool come with real scripts BUT permit you to "click together" the respective command lines (and they group them together in "related command groups") so that you don't "have" to "learn" those: They simply spare you to look into the command list and then apply the syntax of the command in question correctly, whilst in AHK, you have to "look them up", AND then often have a real chance to do lotsa wrong: with or without %%? with or without parentheses? (in function-style AHK commands) with how many "empty" commata? (in "command-style" AHK commands, e.g. dothis, somevalue,,,someothervalue,,andsomeothervalueagain).

As you can see from this example, the problems with AHK lie in its "historically grown-up" chaos syntax, which would be perfectly avoidable, had the developers NON-programmers in mind, but no, they have it their way, as some sort of a combined IQ-and-physical-and-psychological-resilience test: Instead of making it "available to everyone", they insist on it "staying select", for fellow programmers (but as you will have grasped before, I'm not on their side with this policy).

On the other hand, you will need the "same" commands (in fact, more or less the same sub-group of all of those available commands, except for some rare exceptional cases), again and again, so you will be interested in copying those commands into some subset of your own, with your own comments "what is what", so as not being forced to look up the "how many commata in this command-style command or that", every single time.

The big advantage of tools like AHK (or AI) is certainly not the savings of 20 (or 40) bucks, but the fact that you'll quickly write quite large scripts, once you'll have set up such a "tamed subset" of commands, instead of "clicking your script together, line by line"... and there are many such commands in AHK, even for very special cases, incl. low-level Win access things.


This being said, some things are really, really weird in AHK; just read the (again, not totally helpful) help on

"Variables and Expressions" or especially on

"if (expression)" :

Where you look out for something more obvious, it's where they further blur things.

If fact, it's very simple (my explanation might be a simplification, but which will get you along here, and that is the relevant aspect here):

abc = 120 ; numerical variable assignment
xyz := "blahblah" ; non-numerical variable assignment

if abc = 120 ; numerical comparison
if ( xyz = "blahblah" ) ; non-numerical comparison


if abc = 1
   do this
and go on in your script


if abc = 1
   do this
   do that ; more than one command line or even complicated substructures here
go on with your script

(In the above example, if you forget the braces, the "do that" line will be executed anyway, independently of abc being 1 or whatever; that's a common mistake in a "just 2 lines after an if" structure.)

As for numerical comparisons
if a = 45
you could write them in the form
if ( a = 45 )
, too, but why should you, since you'll use such numerical comparisons (and also for true/false/status variables/toggles = 1/0) again and again, it's just very important to always remember this style cannot be applied to non-numerical comparisons.


As said above, it's these totally unnecessary syntax probs in AHK that make the day for click-together-tools like Quick Macros, and that's why it's important, in AHK, to very early adopt some consistent but visually easy (= no parentheses but where they are needed) programming style (nitpickers will replace "programming" by "scripting" individually, please).

And make plenty of use of
msgbox, yes; (= yes, this part of the script has been attained) for structural probs, or even use
msgbox, yes1
msgbox, yes2 ; etc. for checking several possible probs at once, and of
msgbox, %nameofvariabletobechecked% ; whenever it's not entirely certain (yet) your script has properly assigned the variable in question.

At the end of the day, it's the STRUCTURAL possibilities of macro languages which will give you so many new ways to ease up your work, and those you will encounter in click-it-all-together tools as well - they cannot help you with structure, but only with the syntax of the respective single commands - and that makes their appeal:

They enormously help you within those very first 3 weeks in macroing, but afterwards they more or less are an obstacle to further progress - and even if they allow for your real scripting there, alternatively to just clicking-together, you'll be stuck then with their respective, proprietary command syntax...

from which consideration ensues that some tool like "Quick Macros" but which entirely relied upon AHK would be an enormously useful thing, for the AHK beginner... (and for the developer of such a tool if he sold it without the usual 30 days trial period...)

General Software Discussion / Re: RightNote version 3.0.0 released
« on: January 27, 2014, 01:31 PM »
Hi tomos,

You see, Pierre Paul has got sw that for any mention of his prog, wherever that might be, he's informed of it, and pronto! Neville should have similar, so no prob for discussing sw within threads named for different sw. ;-)

Hi Pierre Paul,

I tried to discuss recursion some months ago with you, but you didn't answer.

Let's just continue our discussion over there.

For the casual reader here:
- whenever recursion occurs, you must cut it off on export/print (and the routine could add some info there re the cut, e.g. reference to the item number ("e.g.") in the exported subtree
- data replication (e.g. a cloned heading with some general info, at several places in the hierarchy) is not recursion (and thus is without prob)
- I've never seen any IMS in which recursion would have been "advisable", let alone "necessary" for any of its content, hence:
- You could even implement a routine that will prevent recursion, your data construct only gaining in clarity by this
- We're speaking of IM here, not of code libraries
- But even those, incl. their recursive parts, can be put in a non-recursive tree structure

- In fact, we're discussing main frame spaghetti code for information... but then came Jean-Dominique Warnier...
- And what was missing in his system, we do it by cross-referencing

- Could we have a (short, schematized, but nethertheless) real-life example of where recursion in IM would really be useful?
- Sloppy programming has been exterminated; why incite "information managers" to do sloppy IM?

My points for IM are:
1 - Recursion can (but must) be handled when it occurs
2 - Recursion can be prevented (as can "go to")
3 - Recursion should be avoided for clarity reasons
4 - I'm open to rethink point 3 if I'm given a real-life example where recursion might be helpful

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