It's time to release TC 9.0?

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xmeron
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It's time to release TC 9.0?

Post by *xmeron »

The last release date of TC is about nine months ago, seems it's time to release a new version of TC to start a new journey? Keeping occasional updating can catch more attention and get more new TC users.

By the way, I often open several projects in the same time, and every project has 5 or 8 directory tabs, so it's always a little difficult to find out the right tab in tens of tabs. Last year, I thought I could post a thread in our forum to suggest: "left click Down Triangle Button to display Opening Tab List, right click Down Triangle Button to display History Tab List", but I searched in forum then found some people already suggested many years before, so I had to give up.

Hope the new version of TC can bring us more new functions as usual as in the past 20+ years, such as:

1. Convenient tab group operation:
Save tab groups directly in ini file (or a separate TabGroup.ini file) without choosing where to save;
Display all saved tab groups in right click menu to load them easily without searching location.

2.Emphatic tab colors:
Using some different background colors to emphasize some tabs, 2 or 3 colors (must be harmonious with whole UI) are OK, e.g. RGB(170,170,170), RGB(128,128,128), RGB(85,85,85). The darkest tab(s) is/are the most important tab(s).

3.Easier file/folder rating function which windows explorer already supported.
:roll:

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Post by *Skif_off »

2xmeron
1. TC uses filename.tab for tabs (not *.ini, see in help: appendtabs <filename>.tab & opentabs <filename>.tab). And you can join: SAVETABS.

P.S. http://www.ghisler.ch/board/viewtopic.php?p=199541#199541
ghisler(Author) wrote:That sounds indeed useful. Maybe with a new button bar command, e.g. SAVETABS tabfilename ?

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ghisler(Author)
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Post by *ghisler(Author) »

I'm not yet sure what I should add to TC 9. There have been thousands of small suggestions which all require a few days of work, but would bring almost nothing for most users. Maybe I will bring out a TC 8.51 with bugfixes first, but there haven't been that many bugs which need fixing either...
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Samuel
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Post by *Samuel »

My opinion:
Please do the small things. Most of them will make TC even more powerful. (in what it already does very good)

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Post by *Hacker »

Christian,
I think if you open a thread or a poll there will be no shortage of larger suggestions.

My personal list would be:
1. Faster search
1.a) Use WDX plugins to index files (user defines which WDX fields for which files should be indexed) - Indexed search using WDX plugins
1.b) Use NTFS MFT search as in Everything and WizTree

2. Customizable status panel

Roman
Mal angenommen, du drückst Strg+F, wählst die FTP-Verbindung (mit gespeichertem Passwort), klickst aber nicht auf Verbinden, sondern fällst tot um.

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solid
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Post by *solid »

I thought that new TC is just around the corner with some mindblowing features but i just read that author has not a clue what to do next. Feeling disappointed now.

Free tip: check some features of XYplorer for ideas.

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Post by *Lefteous »

small suggestions which all require a few days of work, but would bring almost nothing for most users.
Are there no suggestions or ideas which would result in real advantages for must users?

What do other users think? What are main problems in TC for most users?

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Post by *Sob »

I think that most users use just the basic functions and are pretty much happy, because they work. You would have to come up with something revolutionary to get them excited and that's hard to do, you can't sit and invent something fantastic, just like that. But there are tons of things that can be improved or optimized. No "wow effect" from that, but personally, that's exactly what I want, making things better, without following some stupid fads and making "changes for changes". Too bad it's not the "in" thing nowadays.

If I could suggest something for TC, then off top of my head (random order):

1) Truly asynchronous panels. E.g. when I need to wait a minute to open remote directory with several thousands of files over slow VPN, I want to be able to do something else in the other panel or start a program from button bar in the meantime. Instead of just staring at "locked" TC and waiting. I realize that this is probably big one, implementation wise, but it would be really cool.

2) Allow plugins to use "<number> drive" feature, just like internal FTP. You know, when you connect to FTP server and you have it accesible as drive "0". And second one as drive "1". Unlike with e.g. SFTP where you connect and must take care to not reuse the panel for anything else, otherwise you have to take another trip through network neighborhood, when you need it again.
This one annoys me for years, more and more in fact, with increased SFTP use. In just two weeks, I'll have 10 years anniversary with this one. :) I don't care much about centralized "bookmarks" any more (but I wouldn't say no to that), just the "<number> drive".

3) Support for stuff like links. I know it's not for most users, but advanced file manager should be able to create a stupid symlink without external tools.

4) Various optimizations. E.g. when comparing files by content, file A can be read from disk in 4 seconds, file B takes the same. But comparing them takes 30 seconds (non-SSD drive, depends heavily on file's position on disk). I'm sure there's possible to do something about that.

5) User interface. Now don't get me wrong, I myself am die hard fan of classic Win9x interface and already decided to be a founding member of "Windows 7 (with Classic theme) forever" club. ;) But the fact is, TC was born in days of 640x480 and it did not change much since then.
Is crowded ~550x450 settings dialog really an advantage? Or various other dialogs with fixed size, e.g. the packer one, where file/path field is only ~350px? It was fine in 8.3 file names days, but now it's not that great any more. Or that stuffing of checkboxes in the same dialog, why? Copy dialog got a width update recently, but it's still fixed. What if someone likes really long names?
These are of course details and TC will work great even if they never get touched. But it would be nice improvement if they did.

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Post by *sky66 »

Hacker wrote:Christian,
My personal list would be:
1. Faster search
1.a) Use WDX plugins to index files (user defines which WDX fields for which files should be indexed) - Indexed search using WDX plugins
1.b) Use NTFS MFT search as in Everything and WizTree
...
1.c) Refer to Listary
"Find As You Type" & "Disk Search"

And here are some other suggestions should be useful for many users:

A. Undo function
(for Rename, Move and Delete)

B. Windows style "file, directory and disk icons"
(optional, user-selectable, and no more need Fileicons.dll or Drives.dll)

C. Windows Explorer "rectangular region selection"
(similar to Right mouse button mode, but need in Left mouse button mode.)

D. Text & Hex editor
(Windows notepad without Hex editor, and too slow for big text file)

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Post by *Lefteous »

Great. Now everyone posts even more suggestions from a very personal point of view.

There are proven ways to improve a product or prioritize features like "buy a feature" or "customer value analysis". The critical point is to find the right users to ask. The usual suspects (including me of course) here in the forum might lead to a large bias. That doesn't mean they are always wrong but they are not the normal users.

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Post by *seb- »

Lefteous wrote: like "buy a feature"
Nice, didn't know that one... i'll suggest this to some project managers in our company ;)



Has someone seen "votebox"? Its Dropbox Feature voting center. I havent used it for some time now, but i remember that each user had a certain amount of votes to up-vote some feature requests.

In the end it is probably almost the same as buy a feture, but maybe more simple to understand or maintain.

Personally if there is missing features i suggest bug fixes and small UX additions, like a nicer config dialog, or maybe spending some effort to make the internal button bar editor a bit nicer, or some kind of scripting ability.

+1 for the real asynchronous left/right view that someone mentioned before. I dislike being unable to use the second panel while i'm waiting for the other one due to slow network, or due to my NAS waking up from deep-sleep.

There were also suggestions to improve the background transfer manager in another which i would also find very nice if implemented one day...

So i guess there is plenty of feature requests in this forum, but i also understand Ghisler saying that most of the feature requests would target a very small audience...

hence a voting solution is the best possibility to find out what users (at least the ones reading this forum... i'm not sure how many % of the real TC users we represent... maybe 5%... maybe Ghisler can share some estimates?) would appreciate the most on a democratic basis - altough feature implementation would still be depending on Ghislers ideas of what is important. At least a feature voting would help showing up the most important points.

vgs


Edit: i just saw that Dropbox Feature Voting has been closed already in 2013...

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Post by *ghisler(Author) »

The problem is that every user has his own very specific suggestions for new features, and there are 1000s of them. Even if I managed to implement 100 new features, only 1/10 of the users (maximum) would be happy. I'm looking for suggestions for features which are interesting for a wider audience, like the following added recently:
- unpacking of 7z files - they get increasingly popular, even the installation of the ssl dlls requires unpacking a 7z file
- more details in the copy progress dialog, e.g. files/bytes remaining when clicking on the numbers
- Loading icons for internal associations in background thread -> less hangs

Of course I'm also adding smaller suggestions, but there are just too many to add them all, and the benefit for most users would be marginal.

About your suggestions:
- search using NTFS MFT: Only the name is stored in the MFT, all the file attributes and details are stored separately. Therefore this would only help to find files by name. But it also has many disadvantages: The user rights would be ignored, so you could find other user's files. And it requires elevated administrator rights, which many business users don't have.

- Undo function: I haven't added it because it makes the user think that his files are safe - but they are not when he overwrites files!

- Windows style "file, directory and disk icons": They are copyright by MS, I can't just steal them. Loading them dynamically has the problem that they are different between systems, and may not look good with the other icons.

- Windows Explorer "rectangular region selection" - this is not supported by a Listbox, where clicking ANYWHERE on the line clicks on the file. In Explorer, you have to click on the file name only

- Text & Hex editor: The editing needs are very different for each users, e.g. programming, word processors, html etc. etc. Using an external editor is better.

- User interface: I'm using the official theme APIs, and I'm now using a non-bold font. I don't know what else I could change! I don't want to use a different look in TC than Windows. I really don't understand why people think that this is "Windows 95" - it's not! You really haven't seen Windows 95, right?
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Post by *a_flying_visit »

For me one of the „wow functions” was quick search. I don’t know if Mr Ghisler, while working on it, thought that it would be a major feature or an insignificant improvement. It’s great for me, but probably there are users who don’t care much about it. However, a function that some users will hardly notice may be a great improve-ment for other users.
What could be added, off the top of my head:

1. CD menu – we’ve got “eject” option. What about “close drive”?
2. A new column showing number of files in folders.
3. Graphical overview of files/folders – essentialy incorporate functions of VisualDirSize plugin now defunct (only 32 bit) and abandoned by its author.

Regards

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Post by *Lefteous »

Some thoughts on the visual stuff.
Windows style "file, directory and disk icons": They are copyright by MS, I can't just steal them. Loading them dynamically has the problem that they are different between systems, and may not look good with the other icons.
Yes using them statically could be a copright issue. I don't really see the problem in loading them dynamically though. Of course some users use custom system icons but talking about the _normal_ users - they don't customize their system icons. So it should be straightforward to optimize the appearance for the common case. You could even create a fallback case where you check for changed system icons and then go back to the old behavior.
For special states use overlays instead of full icons and use a ghost-like appearance.
User interface: I'm using the official theme APIs, and I'm now using a non-bold font. I don't know what else I could change! I don't want to use a different look in TC than Windows. I really don't understand why people think that this is "Windows 95" - it's not! You really haven't seen Windows 95, right?
Maybe it's not just about Windows 95 look but about a better visual design in general.
  • Visual styles (themes&parts)
    • It's right you are using theming parts and states but not everwhere. What about the path bar, tooltips, selections, menu buttons in the buttonbar?
    • It seems some elements have been replaced in newer OS versions but you are still using the old ones which might not be supported by the default visual style (see buttonbar or tab headers for example).
    • You are using standard elements where more sophicasted elements have been introduced. The search field which differs in look and presents a hint is just a plain input fields in TC.
    • Some things cannot be solved by using the visual style of the OS because there is no equivalent. In this case you have to create a custom solution which works at least with the default styles of several OS versions (inactive tab header, coloured tab headers).
    • Hovering feedback is not provided in custom elements.
    • I suggest to investigate other programs' appearance. This can be inspiring.
  • Many elements look squeezed. The configuration dialog has been mentioned but this applies to many places.
  • You are using too many lines. This leads to a visual heaviness of the program. This includes element borders.
    What you see in the picture doesn't work in TC! The tab content should have the same color as its header but it's interrupted by an ugly line http://fs2.directupload.net/images/150106/rs6u8bxa.png
  • Elements are not properly sized in a few cases (tab header).
  • The default buttonbar icons (icon library) should underline the professionalism of the program. Unfortunately this is not fully true at the moment.
  • Too complex layout by default.
  • brackets sorrounding folders by default
  • A semibold fonts is not a regular font (has been discussed way too often - so I don't think I have even more points here - just for the sake of completeness)
Windows Explorer "rectangular region selection" - this is not supported by a Listbox, where clicking ANYWHERE on the line clicks on the file. In Explorer, you have to click on the file name only
In Explorer there is also full row selection mode which is default since a few windows versions. Anyway in both modes the user has a hard time figuring out where to start a dragging or selection operation.
So the basic problem is: 2 mouse buttons but three functions (dragging, selecting and context menu). I'm not aware of any good solutions.
The rectangle is just a visual assistance especially if you have multiple columns.

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Post by *milo1012 »

ghisler(Author) wrote:search using NTFS MFT: Only the name is stored in the MFT, all the file attributes and details are stored separately. Therefore this would only help to find files by name. But it also has many disadvantages: The user rights would be ignored, so you could find other user's files. And it requires elevated administrator rights, which many business users don't have
From what I can see in my personal circle of acquaintances, more and more users seem to use tools like Everything, since it really improves work flow,
especially if you get more and more files on your disks over the years. (which probably concerns most of us)

Even if it would be too much work or trouble doing it on your own, there are several ways to integrate these existing tools, like linking the Everything DLL
or creating a new plugin interface for search.
TC's search engine is powerful, it would be a pity not to use this possibility, even if it'd require admin rights.
Besides, if I'm using it as a fast search I'm only interested in location in the first place, and wouldn't mind getting attributes at a later time.
(attributes could be fetched in a bg thread or just by user request)


Besides that I'd also agree that the usual set of minor feature additions wouldn't be a problem for a new major version.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but:
...
6.5 -> Thumbnails for graphics, Content plugins (custom columns)
7.0 -> User interface and several minor new features
7.5 -> Unicode (THE major and useful improvement in the last years IMO)
8.0 -> x64
8.5 -> "check target/source before copy" (to prevent interrupting dialogs), minor new features/improvements

I think we could argue about it, but besides the non-essential x64 version, what exactly did 7.0 and 8.0 had as major new feature?
So, another round of minor but still useful improvements for 9.0 wouldn't hurt.
People seem to overinterpret version numbers anyway, no matter what you add.
TC plugins: PCREsearch and RegXtract

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