Sugestions: Directory compare and synchronize

Support for Android version of Total Commander

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Sugestions: Directory compare and synchronize

Post by *Mikefield » 2013-08-21, 11:36 UTC

I miss some directory functions from the Windows version: Directory comparing and synchronize, also over the LAN plugin. I need this very often to have the newest files on my NAS as on my SDCard of my Android device. Also it would be fine to have the internal command 115 (directory size) also working over LAN. Also it would be fine to have a button (sub) menu, i.e. to switch to different directories like the directory list. I know, a lot at one time. :-)

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Post by *ghisler(Author) » 2013-08-22, 14:38 UTC

The problem is that there is very little space on most Android screens, not enough for these functions. Can't you just use the copy function with the option "overwrite older"?
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Post by *Yuccaman » 2013-08-28, 20:21 UTC

Copy is great to get new or modified files from one side to another, but this won't show if you have files in the destination not present in the source....

i.e, you have 100 files and copy them all to your destination.

Your then change 10 of those files and add another 10....

Copy and Overwrite Older copies the 10 new files and the changed versions of another 10 files... You now have 110 in both source and destination.

You then add another 10 files, delete 10 files and change 10 files...

Copy and Overwrite Older copies the 10 new files and the changed versions of another 10 files but does nothing with the 10 files deleted from the source...

You now have 120 in the source but 130 in the destination and they are no longer in sync.

If there is a way to do this, that will be very handy imho.....

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Post by *Mikefield » 2013-08-28, 22:00 UTC

ghisler(Author) wrote:The problem is that there is very little space on most Android screens, not enough for these functions. ..."

But comparing directories (Shift + F2 in Windows) does not need additional space ... only the colour of the different files must be changed or the mark key has to be set.

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Post by *ghisler(Author) » 2013-08-29, 12:51 UTC

Yes, "Compare directories" would be possible, but "Synchronize dirs" wouldn't.
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Missing Sync Dirs and Compare File contents

Post by *Hammillian7 » 2013-12-27, 23:26 UTC

ghisler(Author) wrote:Yes, "Compare directories" would be possible, but "Synchronize dirs" wouldn't.
I also love PC's Sync Dirs and Compare File contents TC options and miss them a lot in Android version.

Maybe they coud be adapted to the small mobile screens with some re-organizing study (maybe optionally showing /hiding part of the info).

But what I think could be done meanwhile (and maybe it could result even better than reorganizing) is generating a big virtual screen with the whole info and letting the user pan the big virtual screen through the small real mobile window to view its parts (including changing the sincyng arrows status). This would result more familiar for PC TC users, who I'm sure would cope with the smaller comfort.

Thanks a lot,

Jose

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Post by *Scoulder » 2014-09-05, 09:34 UTC

For synchronization purposes there already are other apps but there's no usable app that allows a decent file compare. So that would be a nice plus for TC Android.

+1 for a file compare feature

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Post by *ghisler(Author) » 2014-09-07, 08:20 UTC

Do you mean an interactive side by side compare, or a simple same/different, or comparing multiple files by content as in the Windows sync tool?
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Post by *Scoulder » 2014-09-07, 12:15 UTC

All of these would be helpful but also parts would be of a great use.

Example:
I use the SwiftKey keyboard app and changed one file of its release so the keyboard fits my needs.
When a new SwiftKey version arrives some steps have to be taken:

Level 1: I need to check if the file's content changed in comparison to the one of the previous release version (which I backed up). I assume this is what you meant wit "simple same/different"

Level 2: If the file changed I'd like to see what parts have changed (your "interactive side by side compare")

Level 3: Transferring parts from one file to the other, like the desktop program WinMerge does it would avoid the need for manually editing the lines on the phone or transferring it to the desktop PC first.

Level 3 is probably a huge amount of work and code which would need a different app or a plugin.
But already Level 1 would be a good help, Level 2 even more.

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Post by *Hammillian7 » 2014-09-07, 20:07 UTC

Quite agreeing with Scoulder, what I would like, and think feasible, is:

1.- 1 File-to-1 File contents comparison in the Normal (non-syncing) views (like Win version's File, Compare by Contents, in Spanish, "Archivo, Comparar por Contenido"), after preselecting them in any comfortable way. Resyncronizations of lines would be useful and feasible; editing would maybe be too complicated, unless you devise ways of doing it in small screen.

2.- Sync Dirs: as similar and functional as possible to the Windows version, whose most options are very useful: including subdirs (maybe allowing depth limitation), ignoring dates, viewing and changing arrows, selecting showing duplicates / singles, comparing within archives and, for duplicates, direct access to their File-To-File comparison. Also, most of the Win version's available operations are useful, both the syncing button and the right click menu.

I think it's quite a challenge to make it fit in the small screen That's why I suggested in my previous message the use of a virtual pannable (and maybe resizeable) window, that I suppose you have discarded. But, actually, the current Android presentation (with its filename and smaller size, date info) would be similar to it and quite enough and convenient, as long as the current sliding (scrolling) to change viewed pane could be left in any intermediate position and would allow to also verticaly scroll the listed file names (size and date should be placed near to the central division line). Instead of filenames being independently listed in each pane (like in the current, non-syncing view), they could be horizontaly aligned between the 2 panes, when they are duplicates, in this sync dirs view. Then, I'm sure you will choose clever ways of presenting, marking and selecting arrows and files for operations (by my part, the more similar to the Win version, the better).

It could also be somewhat complicate to document, but you could direct the new users to some Web documentation and/or to the Windows version.

I think all this would be an important distinctive advantage of your app with relation to other android file explorers and a demonstration of what can be achieved, even with a small screen. And most of the logic ¿and code? you already have from the windows version.

But, of course, again agreeing with Scoulder, even any part of it that could be added would be very useful and welcome.
Thanks,
Jose

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Still struggling to resist with Windows XP

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Folder sync ESSENTIAL in Total Commander Android app

Post by *eyallvy » 2014-09-21, 08:52 UTC

Folder sync capability in the Total Commander Android app is absolutely ESSENTIAL in the context of the severe limitations Google put on the use of external SD cards in its KitKat version of Android. I installed and now use the Beta version of the app and testify that it works perfectly, enabling write access to an otherwise readonly SD card, albeit into the specific Total Commander "sandbox" folder, which is fine as long as you don't uninstall the app. A large music collection can be written to the SD card in this way, but what about keeping it updated? For that you need sync capabilities. To make matters worse, apps can only write to their own sandbox and nobody else's, which means that another folder sync app will only be able to sync stuff in its own sandbox and not to that of Total Commander.

I couldn't find, as of yet, an Android folder sync app that can write to an SD card, but when one does come along it will enable the management of large collections of files in its own sandbox, negating the need for Total Commander. That's why, in order to stay relevant in the era of Google SD card write restrictions, Total Commander MUST provide a method of syncing large collections of files located in its SD card sandbox with their counterpart collections on the PC or in the cloud.

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Post by *ghisler(Author) » 2014-09-22, 09:04 UTC

Just start copying everything, then on the first collision choose "Overwrite older". This way only changed or added files will be copied.
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Thanks but you're assuming the directory structure is intact

Post by *eyallvy » 2014-09-22, 12:12 UTC

A proper sync utility has to also be able to mirror a directory tree structure, in both directions. This implies the ability to add files, delete them, rename them and rearrange the target directory structure if it's been changed on the source. There are apps that do this, and do it quite well. FolderSync is a good example. The trouble is that they haven't got round to adapting themselves to work in the KitKat SD sandbox. Apart from this, they don't have the ability of Total Commander to make changes in its own sandbox, because they just know how to sync and don't have a file management interface.

I've read in one of the posts here that there's an issue of not enough space on the screen for managing a sync function. I don't think this is true. Check out the interface of FolderSync. It's very simple. You set up a folder pair, fire it up and forget about it. A folder pair is like a bookmark with certain parameters. At the end of the sync you can read its log file.

This sandbox restriction has created a need for apps that are jack-of-many-trades, because specialist apps can't manipulate stuff that's not in their own sandbox. I can't use someone else's sync app to rearrange the furniture in Total Commander's sandbox, and I can't use TC to mange the files in theirs. It may be possible to manage files in a sync app's sandbox with the built in file manager, but I've noticed that even that may not always work. There is apparently a permissioning system in place in KitKat which enables apps to make files invisible even to the native file manager. The MediaMonkey music player creates its own sandbox and enables a sync to it, but the files in the sandbox are invisible even to the native Android file manager. I don't like this total lack of control, so I uninstalled.

I've already seen that hint about "Overwrite older", but it's a very simplistic type of sync. What about if I've deleted something at source and want it gone at the target as well?

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Post by *Aurelien » 2015-07-29, 14:45 UTC

i too would like the synchronization feature available on TotalCommander for android.

it sure will be difficult on phones, even 5 inches, but what about tablets in landscape mode ?

It surely is possible, even on a Nexus 7 screen.

In fact, it would be great to have the synchronization screen (both directory structure side by side).
The file comparison is something even better, but not necessary in my case.

I have to compare a great number of directories containing music files, so TC options would be great : asymetric, sub-directories, ignore date, the four buttons and duplicates + isolated.

i want to be able to detect missing files, files with different sizes/dates.
binary comparison would be cool too.

one point in favour of such a tool is that now that devices only operate in MTP or PTP, the only way of easily compare data is using TC on Android with the USB Stick plugin by Ferenc Hechler.
But the sync feature is missing ;-)

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Post by *Aurelien » 2015-07-29, 14:50 UTC

Or would it be possible for TotalCommander for Windows to handle MTP / PTP devices : this way i would have the standard synchronization feature on Windows ?

Does such a plugin already exist ?

[edit] MTP access is already possible via the small arrows available on the left near the diretory labels.
But unfortunately the synchronize function does not work with suchs directories (i get a dialog box warning me that the feature is not available in this mode)

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