Option for Live Filter Box instead of Type Ahead Find

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photoman
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Joined: 29 Jan 2017 14:36

Option for Live Filter Box instead of Type Ahead Find

Post by photoman » 27 Feb 2017 06:07

I discovered I really need Live Filter Box as the default behavior.

Background Information::
--------------------------------------------------------
I've been a user of XYplorer for about 3 years and I love it. When I found it, it was literally like every single enhancement I wished TotalCommander had was in XYplorer. Tagging, labeling, commenting, went way beyond and it's all in a text file <tags.dat>, if I ever need to manipulate it manually. Absolutely incredible! And on top of that, this year, I've given up struggling with LightRoom and Adobe Bridge to tag and organize my photo collection which is about 35,000 photos and growing. Why? Because I came to the conclusion that XYplorer does everything I want in terms of organizing photos. Not only that it's blazingly fast, ultra flexible, and again it's all stored in plain text in <tags.dat>.
I use the comment field as "caption".
I use tags to add searchable keywords (example - Paris, Me, John, picnic, etc...). The search is so much quicker than anything else especially since XYplorer loads in a second and searches are near instantaneous.
I use Labels as "quick collections" as they call it in Lightroom. I can quickly mark some pictures that I want to process or send to a friend etc... or as a generic flag. Some of the labels I have "Todo", "Sent", "Damaged", "Red Flag", "Blue Flag".
That was a very long digression... My point is, I love this thing!
And for all this time I've been trying to figure out why I'm not using it all that much. Recently, I figured it out.


As much as I desperately want to, why I haven't been able to commit fully to XYplorer::
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It's because of how much I depend on Live Filter Box type functionality, and in XYplorer it takes too many extra keystrokes to navigate quickly.
I'm a computer guy and heavy heavy user.
So, I'm literally navigating through folders on my computer constantly all day long, everyday. And type ahead find is sort of OK, but since Live Filter Box works better and faster, so I compromise and just use TotalCommander.



An Example of the difficulty with type ahead find::
-------------------------------------------------------------------
let's say I want to get to my c:\Users\JohnSmith\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\
In Type ahead find, I type:
us <enter> #Nothing else in C: that matches 'Users'
jo <enter>
app #now a bunch of stuff might match. AppData, ApplicationData, possibly more. So it's here where things slow down.
#appdata is highlighted but what if I want applicationData? Keep typing right? Well, what if another folder also starts with "application" and is highlighted first
#now I'm stuck. I could start doing something creative like typing "tionDat". But now I'm just taking a shot and hoping things work, not to mention disrupting my workflow and spending valuable brain power on creative type ahead find patterns. Once is tolerable but when I'm doing it hundreds of times a day, it's too much work.

Continuing on , let's say I head into "applicationData". which is the wrong directory. and I keep digging looking for the outlook folder. Because honestly, who in the world can remember if things are in appdata or applicationData or local or roaming or Microsoft\office\outlook, or Microsoft\outlook. We're always just searching. And that is my point. Now I go into the wrong directory and I can't really see quickly that the outlook folder isn't where I am because there are a million files in there and type ahead find doesn't really indicate explicitly that outlook isn't there. Maybe I mistyped outlook? Maybe I have to scroll down a few pages especially if other files are highlighted that match "outl".
So this becomes very cumbersome and kind of a gamble as to whether it works without great effort, and my fingers naturally want to switch to Totalcommander.

A bit of history::
-----------------------
Total Commander use to have type ahead find until about 7 years ago and then replaced it with what we here call Live Filter Box. I think because it just works much more efficiently. At least for me it has.

Ideal Proposal::
-------------------------------
- Have Live filter box as the default or at least an option to toggle.
- When typing alphanumeric characters it starts live filtering.
- cursor keys up/down work to move focus of list items.
- hitting enter navigates into a folder and resets the live filter back to nothing.
- hitting enter on a file runs the file and doesn't reset the live filter. (you might be searching for a document and there are 2 - "Roland DP90.pdf" and "Roland DP90-S.pdf" and you need to quickly try both to find the one you want)
- hitting escape clears the live filter first if there is a live filter. After that escape works as it usually does in XYPlorer.

Bottom Line::
-------------------
I think type ahead find is good but Live Filter Box is potentially quicker especially when people are hunting and searching deeply nested folders.
The current implementation of type ahead find is good for a narrow use case. That is, if you have a giant folder of mp3s or something and you are trying to find a song and you don't remember the file name perfectly. That use case is great. Just keep typing different things until you find it. Much faster than using quicksearch over and over again until you find your file. Because it save unnecessary keystrokes, i.e. repeatedly opening quicksearch and retyping variations of the filename.
I think that use case is a subset of what Live Filter Box can be used for. In the current implementation, actually, other than this use case, is it useful for anything else? I mean, if you had a small directory, type ahead find is good enough and faster, so I would just use that. If I knew the exact filename then type ahead find is faster. If I didn't know the exact file name but all the filenames were different enough then type ahead find is what I would use (first at least). The only reason, I would use type ahead find is because it's the default behavior when I type alphanumeric keys and live filter box requires me to hit the hotkey for it, type some stuff, tab my way back to the listbox, run the program, then disable or clear the live filter again. That is a whole lot of work just to find and run a file. Live Filter Box as default would cover all the use cases of type ahead find but in a more efficient way. Right?

I could be wrong, and if I am, I'm more than willing to listen to any feedback.

Keep up the good work. XYplorer is awesome.

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Re: Option for Live Filter Box instead of Type Ahead Find

Post by admin » 27 Feb 2017 12:18

photoman wrote:Ideal Proposal::
-------------------------------
- Have Live filter box as the default or at least an option to toggle.
- When typing alphanumeric characters it starts live filtering.
- cursor keys up/down work to move focus of list items.
- hitting enter navigates into a folder and resets the live filter back to nothing.
- hitting enter on a file runs the file and doesn't reset the live filter. (you might be searching for a document and there are 2 - "Roland DP90.pdf" and "Roland DP90-S.pdf" and you need to quickly try both to find the one you want)
- hitting escape clears the live filter first if there is a live filter. After that escape works as it usually does in XYPlorer.
I think I like it, but I cannot do it right now (other things first) and it might need some discussion. I'm personally not a big LFB user, so others should chime in and give their opinion.

BTW, did you already try XYplorer's 4 Key Navigation:
https://www.xyplorer.com/release_12.20.php#A4KN

highend
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Joined: 06 Feb 2011 00:33

Re: Option for Live Filter Box instead of Type Ahead Find

Post by highend » 27 Feb 2017 12:47

I have to say: Very good suggestions to improve the LFB
And my personal opinion: I would like to replace Type ahead find with the LFB instantly (because it can be much more powerful)

A few comments:
- cursor keys up/down work to move focus of list items.
Don, would that be possible without leaving the LFB box (cursor stays in but the current selected file
is changed in the list pane)?
If yes, great! A bit more like Listary
- hitting escape clears the live filter first if there is a live filter. After that escape works as it usually does in XYPlorer.
While inside the LFB? That's the way it currently works. Outside of LFB? Debatable...
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Re: Option for Live Filter Box instead of Type Ahead Find

Post by admin » 27 Feb 2017 12:52

highend wrote:
- cursor keys up/down work to move focus of list items.
Don, would that be possible without leaving the LFB box (cursor stays in but the current selected file
is changed in the list pane)?
Yep, it already works like this in all the other filter boxes in XY, e.g. Help | List All Commands...

Love it, too. :tup:

highend
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Re: Option for Live Filter Box instead of Type Ahead Find

Post by highend » 27 Feb 2017 12:58

I see...
Immediate action is necessary!

No one needs syncing! We need better LFB support now^^ :P

With the latest addition to quicksearch() it's very easy to write powerful
sync / mirror things on your own... Ok, I was just kidding. Finish it first :biggrin:
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photoman
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Re: Option for Live Filter Box instead of Type Ahead Find

Post by photoman » 27 Feb 2017 14:06

admin wrote: BTW, did you already try XYplorer's 4 Key Navigation:
https://www.xyplorer.com/release_12.20.php#A4KN
Actually, I never used it for navigation until just now. It works great for what it is. The folder completion is definitely very well implemented, and a lot can be done with just the keyboard which is great.
Once you get to the folder though, you're kind of back to the same problem if you're looking for a particular file, and you'd obviously go down to the listbox and use type ahead find again, or quick search, or live filter box.

By the way, the folder completion of 4 key navigation seems to break down upon reaching a shortcut. Once I got to \Application Data\ which is a shortcut, no more suggestions appeared. But I think that's understandable, from a programming perspective, because I imagine it's a special case in the way it interfaces with the file system.

Jerry
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Re: Option for Live Filter Box instead of Type Ahead Find

Post by Jerry » 27 Feb 2017 14:56

I enthusiastically add my vote for optional LFB as the default instead of Type Ahead Find, as I first requested last month back in this post here.
Running on Windows 10 Pro 64-bit quad-core ASUS G752-VY notebook with 64 GB RAM, 20 or more external USB3 drives attached via 4 powered hubs, totaling 50+ TB.

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Re: Option for Live Filter Box instead of Type Ahead Find

Post by admin » 28 Feb 2017 18:56

photoman wrote:By the way, the folder completion of 4 key navigation seems to break down upon reaching a shortcut. Once I got to \Application Data\ which is a shortcut, no more suggestions appeared. But I think that's understandable, from a programming perspective, because I imagine it's a special case in the way it interfaces with the file system.
Indeed, I wonder why nobody ever reported this. :eh: Fix comes.

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Re: Option for Live Filter Box instead of Type Ahead Find

Post by admin » 28 Feb 2017 19:47

photoman wrote: - Have Live filter box as the default or at least an option to toggle.
- When typing alphanumeric characters it starts live filtering.
- cursor keys up/down work to move focus of list items.
- hitting enter navigates into a folder and resets the live filter back to nothing.
- hitting enter on a file runs the file and doesn't reset the live filter. (you might be searching for a document and there are 2 - "Roland DP90.pdf" and "Roland DP90-S.pdf" and you need to quickly try both to find the one you want)
- hitting escape clears the live filter first if there is a live filter. After that escape works as it usually does in XYPlorer.
I did it all, it was too good to wait. :D

However, I don't understand the first point. :eh:

highend
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Re: Option for Live Filter Box instead of Type Ahead Find

Post by highend » 28 Feb 2017 20:13

Very nice!

First point:
A toggle in the gui to automatically use LFB
Toggles between using Type Ahead Filter & LFB
While LFB option is active:
You type a character while in a list pane -> LFB opens, XY switches focus to the LFB and all your
typing lands in there (including the first char you typed before the LFB was visible)
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Re: Option for Live Filter Box instead of Type Ahead Find

Post by admin » 28 Feb 2017 20:52

Looks like fun.

highend
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Re: Option for Live Filter Box instead of Type Ahead Find

Post by highend » 28 Feb 2017 20:56

It is (from a users perspective)^^ :D
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highend
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Re: Option for Live Filter Box instead of Type Ahead Find

Post by highend » 28 Feb 2017 21:57

Works great!

One additional minor feature whish:

If you typed and narrowed the list down to one entry only, even without selecting the item with cursor up / down,
can we get the same behavior like if this item would have been selected (folder = open, file = execute)?

And another one, although I don't know if this is possible...
Let's imagine we entered a folder through typing + selecting + {ENTER} in the LFB.
The LFB was cleared automatically. Could the {BACKSPACE} key in the LFB activate the
"Go - Up" function (at least if it is still defined beside Alt + Up in the keyboard configuration shortcuts)?
Alt + Up works in this case but just {backspace} is a lot easier to reach and type
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autocart
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Re: Option for Live Filter Box instead of Type Ahead Find

Post by autocart » 01 Mar 2017 08:41

Great improvement, IMHO! Thx! :tup: :D

One (or more - depending on how one counts) little bug(s) I want to report, though:

Scenario:
Branch View (of a mapped "slow" intranet UNC path - with a local path, working on an sdd, there seem to be no problems)
1036 of 1047 items visible (because of global visual filter but it seems that the number of files is more important than the filter)
Some View that displays thumbnails (could also be tiles w/ thumbs)
Quality of Thumbs set to "Fast" (not "High Speed").
Focus is on the list (the LFB is visible but does not have focus)
"Redirect typing to Live Filter Box" is on.

Action:
I start typing a word e.g. "test" (typing the whole word at once at a relatively determined speed)

Bug(s):
1) The filtering process is "relatively" slow (but if that was all it would be ok, and to be fair, I did not compare it to other filtering operations)

2) The live filtering seems to filter the list after each typed letter (I know, this is probably not a bug since it is the meaning of "live" filter, but for the sake of typing whole words at once, maybe it could wait for a split of a second to see if another letter is typed before starting the filtering)

3) A lot of times it happens that the first "t" of the word "test" will be displayed in the LFB but the caret does not move to the right immediately. Instead it starts filtering but still accepts user input in the LFB. This results in a display of "estt" in the LFB (instead of "test") and in a live filter of "t" (as shown in the live filter info bar).
(Also, if a live filter of "t" has run successfully and is therefore active, and I then type "est", it may result in a live filter of "te" instead of "test".)

4) Depending on when I hit Esc to interrupt the filtering process, it can happen that the LFB is empty but the live filter info bar still is visible and displays something. If I then right click on it and pick "Remove Live Filter" it runs one of the recently used terms for the live filter instead of removing it. (No. 4 seems to be ok in a fresh version. Seems, I have to keep observing this behaviour to return a better report but No. 1-3 are unaffected by this.)

Conclusion:
I assume that the ovserved bug(s) are due to a slow intranet connection. Overall, it seems that the processing speeds of the various elements involved in this feature are not always working right fine tuned to each other if the connection to the data storage is slow (additionally depending on other configuration settings).
Thx for reading. Ideas?
Last edited by autocart on 01 Mar 2017 08:56, edited 2 times in total.
customInlineRenameKeys ("OldStyle", "Mouse++" and "Ultimate"), clipboardHelper_and_XYEscToList

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Re: Option for Live Filter Box instead of Type Ahead Find

Post by admin » 01 Mar 2017 08:50

The first wish: sure, no problem. Even when the list is longer the focused item will now receive the action even if it is not selected.
highend wrote:And another one, although I don't know if this is possible...
Let's imagine we entered a folder through typing + selecting + {ENTER} in the LFB.
The LFB was cleared automatically. Could the {BACKSPACE} key in the LFB activate the
"Go - Up" function (at least if it is still defined beside Alt + Up in the keyboard configuration shortcuts)?
Alt + Up works in this case but just {backspace} is a lot easier to reach and type
Totally possible technically but I think I cannot allow that (although I fully understand the wish and would even like to allow it). BACKSPACE is an important key in an Edit box. If I overload it to mean something completely different in a certain context (if LFB is empty) I break muscle patterns and create fear and confusion in the user.

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