From the Beginning (a running review)

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Trasd
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Re: From the Beginning (a running review)

Post by Trasd » 16 Nov 2011 18:17

From the Beginning - Review (Continued)

It's Finally Here!
It's that time again, time for me get my notes together and report on my impressions of a few of XYplorer's features - my first impressions, that is...

The problem is, I cannot find my notes! But, along with a couple other items, I will be putting in my 2 cents about the Find Files feature - it's finally here!

I am also changing my strategy with how I do my research. From here on out, I will just be looking at the different features and reporting on my findings, I am no longer going to try to learn everything systematically. I will run a few tests on each item I am reviewing instead of exploring each feature in-depth. As I've stated earlier, and others have warned me, XYplorer is extensive.

I finally made it to the Testimonial page! What I find interesting is that Don didn't quote anything from my many continuing review posts, but from a random statement I made in another forum.


Damn My Memory
As I said, I cannot find my notes, so I don't have a list of what I played with over the last week and a half, but I know I did spend a lot of time in Find Files. First, the bad news: XYplorer's Find Files feature will not be replacing my FileLocator Pro. But really, this is not bad news for XYplorer, just for my pocketbook. Don't get me wrong, Find Files is great and I use it 75% of the time. The reason I will be upgrading my FileLocator Pro is that it can search individual files within compressed files (in their native format) and it has more options, whereas, if Find Files scans a compressed file, it will only see binary data (I'm sure even this limitation can be overcome with a properly written script, but I am not there yet, plus all of my searching is not initiated from my file manager). FileLocator Pro has one job, and that is searching files - it does this well.

For each separate file contained within a compressed file, should Don add the ability to scan these in their native format when searching for content with Find Files and for locating files themselves? I say no. There are plenty of search programs out there that can handle this, and many are free. Don has elected to concentrate on file management without innate compressed file support, which is perfectly acceptable; I support his decision. I was just hoping the Find File feature could replace FileLocator Pro, strictly from a financial point of view.

The Find Files feature is nice. It is easy to use and fairly intuitive. But, because of the inherent complexity of searching for and within files, the more options you need, the more complex this job will become. XYplorer handles this tool well. I give it my full endorsement.


Renaming Files
Again, I am impressed. This time I am impressed with the multitude of available option and techniques XYplorer has for renaming files. It can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. For those interested, Regular Expressions is one of the available options when locating which files you want to rename, and in renaming them. This feature quickly out striped my current knowledge level, but even so, I had no trouble utilizing this tool. I found myself renaming files (temporary test files I copied to my temp folder for this purpose) just to play with it - I was actually enjoying myself.

That's all I can remember from my notes, though I am sure I did learn at least one other feature. When I find my notes, or if I run across the same feature (or features), I will report on my finding then.


The Dark Side
Yes, once again the dark side of XYplorer reared its ugly head, but this time it is with information availability, not with XYplorer itself. I have to thank nas8e9 profusely for pointing me to a plethora of technical information and documentation on XYplorer. This is what he posted:
nas8e9 wrote:For rooting out information about *specific* stuff that's undocumented, the best way is to access History.txt through the License Lounge, found in the Support section of the main website. (As the name implies, this is only accessible to licensed XYplorer users.) As a learning tool or put another way, for its suitability for bedside reading, well... :?:
If you are a registered XYplorer user, check it out.

So, why did this end up under The Dark Side? Only because I mentioned briefly, awhile back, about possibly writing a PDF Quick Start Guide. Many people saw the post where I said this, including Don, but no one told me about this particular resource! If I'd known this existed, not only would I have not mentioned writing a PDF, but I would have said nothing at all; "XYplorer PDF Help" already covers most topics. It may not be a Quick Start Guide per se, but it covers anything that would be in a Quick Start Guide.

Wow, I'm glad I got that off my chest!


(Continued)
Last edited by Trasd on 05 Jan 2012 17:22, edited 2 times in total.
Trasd

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." A.C.C.

"I'll tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." J. M.

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Re: From the Beginning (a running review)

Post by admin » 16 Nov 2011 20:42

Trasd wrote:I finally made it to the Testimonial page! What I find interesting is that Don didn't quote anything from my many continuing review posts, but from a random statement I made in another forum.
:D You are not word-thrifty (English?), so I would have to pick some of your many wonderful sentences. Not easy. I'm still hoping for the final verdict being short and catchy (and good!); I will surely make good use of it...

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Re: From the Beginning (a running review)

Post by j_c_hallgren » 16 Nov 2011 21:03

Trasd wrote:because I mentioned briefly, awhile back, about possibly writing a PDF Quick Start Guide. Many people saw the post where I said this, including Don, but no one told me about this particular resource! If I'd known this existed, not only would I have not mentioned writing a PDF, but I would have said nothing at all; "XYplorer PDF Help" already covers most topics. It may not be a Quick Start Guide per se, but it covers anything that would be in a Quick Start Guide.
Sorry that you didn't know about that but as someone who has seen hundreds of XY newbies come thru here over the years, I still DO believe that a simple Quick Start Guide in PDF fmt would be helpful to acquaint new users with some of the unique XY features, XY terminology and how some XY features may be similar to other FM's but implemented slightly differently and/or named differently.

For example, the recent discussion about tweaks...that's something that a nbr of new users have trouble with.

And the more basic/generic it could be done, the less likely it will get obsoleted by updates..

Don: "word-thrifty" was good enough so I knew exactly what you meant...maybe 'concise' or 'succinct'?
Still spending WAY TOO much time here! But it's such a pleasure helping XY be a treasure!
(XP on laptop with touchpad and thus NO mouse!) Using latest beta vers when possible.

Trasd
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Re: From the Beginning (a running review)

Post by Trasd » 16 Nov 2011 23:16

I do have one question: Should I continue with the reviews? Do you think they are (or will be) beneficial? I just want to make sure I am not writing for my own sake. Even if they are just helping you Don, I will continue.
admin wrote:
Trasd wrote:I finally made it to the Testimonial page! What I find interesting is that Don didn't quote anything from my many continuing review posts, but from a random statement I made in another forum.
:D You are not word-thrifty (English?), so I would have to pick some of your many wonderful sentences. Not easy. I'm still hoping for the final verdict being short and catchy (and good!); I will surely make good use of it...
Oh yea, English is my one and only language. I write, how should I put this, novels, so I tend to be a little wordy - sorry. But, I will try to be a little more concise with the final review. The problem is that, if I try to write something quotable, it won't come out right, so I just have to keep plugging away (for the time being) until I hit something you can use. The trick is to edit more - the more editing I do, the more conservative my sentences will get, but as this is just for our use, I haven't been watching myself.

j_c_hallgren wrote:
Trasd wrote:because I mentioned briefly, awhile back, about possibly writing a PDF Quick Start Guide. Many people saw the post where I said this, including Don, but no one told me about this particular resource! If I'd known this existed, not only would I have not mentioned writing a PDF, but I would have said nothing at all; "XYplorer PDF Help" already covers most topics. It may not be a Quick Start Guide per se, but it covers anything that would be in a Quick Start Guide.
Sorry that you didn't know about that but as someone who has seen hundreds of XY newbies come thru here over the years, I still DO believe that a simple Quick Start Guide in PDF fmt would be helpful to acquaint new users with some of the unique XY features, XY terminology and how some XY features may be similar to other FM's but implemented slightly differently and/or named differently.

For example, the recent discussion about tweaks...that's something that a nbr of new users have trouble with.

And the more basic/generic it could be done, the less likely it will get obsoleted by updates..

Don: "word-thrifty" was good enough so I knew exactly what you meant...maybe 'concise' or 'succinct'?
A section in a Quick Start Guide could point people to places that have more information, and I completely agree that the more basic it is, the less revisioning would have to be performed. That's what I was thinking when I suggested it.

Believe it or not, I also used to write computer manuals (for classroom training). It's been so long, though, it would take me awhile to get back in that mindset. Of course I would have to know the program a whole lot better.
Trasd

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." A.C.C.

"I'll tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." J. M.

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Re: From the Beginning (a running review)

Post by j_c_hallgren » 17 Nov 2011 00:20

Trasd wrote:I do have one question: Should I continue with the reviews? Do you think they are (or will be) beneficial? I just want to make sure I am not writing for my own sake. Even if they are just helping you Don, I will continue.
8) Definite YES to both!! I find them helpful because we've been using XY for so long that we have often lost the "new user" viewpoint so having someone who's good at describing their initial experiences as you've done can be useful in seeing where shortcomings in documentation and such exist...plus they can help other new users who may be encountering similar situations.

We often have new users who post similar questions that are answered by XY web site, help files, prior threads here, etc. and I think that having one PDF that might cover these issues may reduce threads that are dupicate since many of these users don't have much luck with forum search (if they even do so) sometimes because they don't know what search terms to use.
Still spending WAY TOO much time here! But it's such a pleasure helping XY be a treasure!
(XP on laptop with touchpad and thus NO mouse!) Using latest beta vers when possible.

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Re: From the Beginning (a running review)

Post by admin » 17 Nov 2011 08:36

Trasd wrote:I do have one question: Should I continue with the reviews? Do you think they are (or will be) beneficial? I just want to make sure I am not writing for my own sake. Even if they are just helping you Don, I will continue.
admin wrote:
Trasd wrote:I finally made it to the Testimonial page! What I find interesting is that Don didn't quote anything from my many continuing review posts, but from a random statement I made in another forum.
:D You are not word-thrifty (English?), so I would have to pick some of your many wonderful sentences. Not easy. I'm still hoping for the final verdict being short and catchy (and good!); I will surely make good use of it...
Oh yea, English is my one and only language. I write, how should I put this, novels, so I tend to be a little wordy - sorry. But, I will try to be a little more concise with the final review. The problem is that, if I try to write something quotable, it won't come out right, so I just have to keep plugging away (for the time being) until I hit something you can use. The trick is to edit more - the more editing I do, the more conservative my sentences will get, but as this is just for our use, I haven't been watching myself.
Yes, continue, please. Sorry, that I give so little feedback but either I'm coding or I think about coding... (or, ok, I do something even better :)).

Here is a special offer to a novelist: If you bring your whole review into a short-novel-like form -- à la "In bed with a file manager" or so -- I will add it to the home page unshortened.

Trasd
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Re: From the Beginning (a running review)

Post by Trasd » 17 Nov 2011 11:01

admin wrote:Yes, continue, please. Sorry, that I give so little feedback but either I'm coding or I think about coding... (or, ok, I do something even better :)).

Here is a special offer to a novelist: If you bring your whole review into a short-novel-like form -- à la "In bed with a file manager" or so -- I will add it to the home page unshortened.
Not a problem - and really, I am not looking for a pat on the back or anything, but just wanted to determine the usefulness of this exercise.

As far as an unabridged, homepage version, that might be something to think about - I would just have to think of a good format, but we'll see. I am far from being finished!
Trasd

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." A.C.C.

"I'll tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." J. M.

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Re: From the Beginning (a running review)

Post by PeterH » 17 Nov 2011 11:21

admin wrote:Yes, continue, please. Sorry, that I give so little feedback but either I'm coding or I think about coding... (or, ok, I do something even better :)).
Better? I can only think of using your code, i.e. XY :lol:
W7(x64) SP1 German
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Trasd
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Re: From the Beginning (a running review)

Post by Trasd » 05 Dec 2011 14:46

For those following this running review, please be aware that I have not stopped or given up, I am learning one of the more difficult aspects (for me, anyway) of XYplorer and I need to devote blocks of time learning in order to review this (these?) feature(s) properly. Plus, because of the holiday season, I am very busy with other things.

If anyone has any good links where I can find help discovering all the list-type functions (UI settings applied to specific folders, saving only certain UI changed settings, saving without having the branches I just used being highlighted when I go back, etc.), it would be a huge help. A consolidated list of UI settings is, I guess, what I am looking for. It seems the different help topics for setting and customizing the "look and feel" list-type UI settings are scattered. Hopefully I'm wrong and missed something obvious somewhere.

Regardless, it still may be some time before my next review...
Trasd

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." A.C.C.

"I'll tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." J. M.

Trasd
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Re: From the Beginning (a running review)

Post by Trasd » 05 Jan 2012 16:26

From the Beginning - Review (Continued)

Welcome Back
I'm welcoming both you and myself back. After a long vacation (for me, anyway), I'm returning to the case. I hope everyone's holidays, in the mist of this national (or is it global) crisis, was a good one.

No one answered my last question (see the immediate previous post dated December 5th) so I've had to find what information I could, which was not a difficult task, but I think a little more onerous than it should have been, kind of like Don's work fixing the Flat File issue - a bit superfluous, or as Don put it, "read: many hours of stupid extra work." Of course this was not many hours in my case, nor was it what I consider stupid, but the concept remains the same. Much of this can be attributed to my unfortunate tendency to read and understand all related documentation - the proverbial look before leaping syndrome, but taken to the extreme.


The Dark Side
To get it out of the way, I am leading off the review with this topic. For those of you following these (now somewhat sporadic) reviews, you may recall that I was attempting to learn how to configure the different aspects of the lists, specifically the List Panel, options (again, see the previous post in this topic).

I am, once again, commenting on the documentation afforded XYplorer. But please be aware, I am not complaining or reprimanding, merely pointing out a deficiency. As I've mentioned before, I'd rather see the XYplorer's powers-that-be spend their time with the program's improvements than on the documentation. You can usually always find the information you need somewhere, you may just have to dig a bit.


It's Not What You Configure
The research I was attempting rapidly expanded to encompass a much larger topic; configuring XYplorer. Once I made the leap in understanding (my eureka moment), all the pieces fell into place. The best wisdom I can impart on configuring XYplorer is:

It's not what you configure, it's how you save it.

Because of the easily accessible Save All Settings icon in the toolbar, I tended to click on this whenever I made configuration changes. I believe I even commented on this icon in a previous review. I have now removed this icon from my toolbar.

I am in no way suggesting everyone do this, though. Removing this icon also removes a good visual indication that some type of configuration setting has changed; it will also depend upon how you work. For me, I like XYplorer starting with the same configuration in the same directories and with the same Tabs every time I open it. I like to know my starting point.

I'm sure the question now arises (for those of you paying attention) as to how and where do you save your setup changes. If you want to save only those changes that affect the parts of the program you customized (as opposed to the entire program's current state), look in File->Settings. Here you will find the option to save only those customization you want.


Lost in the Forest
One problem I have found with my way of analyzing options and reading all available documentation, is that I sometimes miss seeing the forest because of all the trees in the way; I miss the big picture. In this case, I missed a key concept. I can't say that this concept isn't documented anywhere (besides here, of course), because I may have missed it, but I can say once I embraced this idea, a multitude of mental tumblers fell into place.

It is advised in many places and in regard to many subjects that you need to, at times, step back and take a break. Though it was not intentional, this is exactly what helped me with this concept. If I had not been busy elsewhere during the holidays, I probably would have still been struggling with this topic.


Today's Conclusion
Custom configuration is easy to do and easy to save.

The reason we have editors (writing), checks and balances, over-site committees, etc., is that many times one person, or one group of people, can easily miss an (sometimes) obvious concept or idea.

Extrapolating further, I would say this is one of the main reasons XYplorer is successful and has such a devoted following; Don is willing, and more importantly capable, of listening. He embraces and encourages the suggestions of XYplorer's users. I think this is absolutely, and without a doubt, the best formula for success.

(Continued)
Last edited by Trasd on 16 Mar 2012 13:45, edited 3 times in total.
Trasd

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." A.C.C.

"I'll tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." J. M.

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Re: From the Beginning (a running review)

Post by j_c_hallgren » 05 Jan 2012 16:39

Trasd wrote:If anyone has any good links where I can find help discovering all the list-type functions (UI settings applied to specific folders, saving only certain UI changed settings, saving without having the branches I just used being highlighted when I go back, etc.), it would be a huge help. A consolidated list of UI settings is, I guess, what I am looking for. It seems the different help topics for setting and customizing the "look and feel" list-type UI settings are scattered. Hopefully I'm wrong and missed something obvious somewhere.
Unfortunately, I don't believe there is any consolidated list like that...we tried for quite some time having a user maintained wiki to help document XY but it became stale as there wasn't enough of us who had time to keep up with Don's rapid development progress! I even ran into this issue myself in last day or so when there was a setting that I knew had to be somewhere in XY but where?

That's where this forum comes in very handy as we have a GREAT group of regulars in varios time zones so an answer is usually available in a few hours at most, unlike some forums that go for days without a reply.
Still spending WAY TOO much time here! But it's such a pleasure helping XY be a treasure!
(XP on laptop with touchpad and thus NO mouse!) Using latest beta vers when possible.

Trasd
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Re: From the Beginning (a running review)

Post by Trasd » 16 Mar 2012 15:45

From the Beginning - Review (Continued)

The Less Frequent, the Better More Understood
Those of you following my reviews have undoubtedly noticed they are becoming less frequent. I see this as a good thing! What this means to me is that much of XYplorer's features are very intuitive and don't require mentioning in this kind of review (except possibly where they get an honorable mention). It also means the most common, expected features required in a file manager are present and users don't need to jump through metaphorical hoops to make the program do something not native to its abilities. In other words, XYplorer is a well written, intuitive program that is easy to learn. I think I can say with confidence, my running review will soon be coming to an end.


Search Results Refresh
In one of my From the Beginning posts (submitted November 4th, 2011, 11:12 am, here), I stated "Whenever I navigate away from the 'Search results' tab, then back to it, Find Files repeats the entire search - I have not been able to find a way to turn this off" under The Dark Side heading. If I'm not mistaken, I also asked for advise concerning this subject somewhere in these forums. None who answered knew of a way to accomplish this. I am happy to say, not only can this be accomplished exactly the way I wanted it to work, there are other options I never even considered that make it much more functional. As with most problems like this one, once you know the answer, it seems so simple.

Basically I was looking for a way to make search result tabs persistent. With the default settings, when you execute 'Find File', then navigate away from the result's tab, the search is repeated when you return to the tab. To make 'Search results' tabs persistent, you use a feature called 'Cache Search Results'. This option can be turned on by checking the 'Tool -> Configuration... -> Find Files & Branch View -> Cache Search Results' option. If you want to be able to perform more than one search and keep the results of each search in its own tab, change the 'Show search results in:' to 'Current tab' or 'New tab' (two items down in the same options panel). You can also change the number of cached tabs allowed by editing the 'Maximum number of items cached' text box to reflect your needs. That's it, simple and effective.

If you like these settings after you've experimented with the options, don't forget to save your settings. If you are interested, here is where you can find my review (and conclusions) about saving your current configuration.


Recommendations
As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. I am referring to how much I like XYplorer. I think nothing shows a person's approval more than recommending a program to a friend or family member. Based solely on my suggestion, my father, who didn't have the time or ambition to research a solution himself, recently purchased a 'Lifetime License Pro' edition of XYplorer after running a trial for a very short time. He has had nothing but good things to say about it. Don for president!


The Dark Side
This is Don's favorite part of my reviews! He likes it so much, not only did he name it, but he said it gets his heart pounding every time he starts to read it.

Sorry to disappoint you Don, but I have nothing to report this time. Next time (or in my final review, which may be my next post anyhow), I will try to find something to complain about - I know how much it means to you.

(Continued)
Last edited by Trasd on 30 Jul 2018 20:25, edited 1 time in total.
Trasd

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." A.C.C.

"I'll tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." J. M.

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Re: From the Beginning (a running review)

Post by j_c_hallgren » 16 Mar 2012 19:28

Trasd wrote: In other words, XYplorer is a well written, intuitive program that is easy to learn. I think I can say with confidence, my running review will soon be coming to an end.

Next time (or in my final review, which may be my next post anyhow), I will try to find something to complain about - I know how much it means to you.
Just because XY may be easy to learn, it's also nice to know how some newer users feel about certain features...and you've got a good way of describing your experiences so I really do hope that you continue making occasional posts here about how some of the more unusual or lesser known features of XY are useful to you...or how you have found XY's version better than another FM, etc.
Still spending WAY TOO much time here! But it's such a pleasure helping XY be a treasure!
(XP on laptop with touchpad and thus NO mouse!) Using latest beta vers when possible.

Trasd
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Re: From the Beginning (a running review)

Post by Trasd » 17 Mar 2012 03:02

j_c_hallgren wrote:Just because XY may be easy to learn, it's also nice to know how some newer users feel about certain features...and you've got a good way of describing your experiences so I really do hope that you continue making occasional posts here about how some of the more unusual or lesser known features of XY are useful to you...or how you have found XY's version better than another FM, etc.
Sure JC, if that will be a benefit, I have no problems continuing with the posts, but I do think it is time for my overall new-user summary review. This was my original goal and to be honest, it bothered me when I couldn't get back to it for long periods of time.

With my original commitment fulfilled, I can do what you are asking in a more leisurely way. I can also deviate from my self-imposed format and cover specific features in more detail. I think it is time for me to move to the next level as far as my reports, but with no specific commitment or agenda other than relating my experiences (from new discoveries to unfulfilled expectations). I can even revisit some of the items I covered as a new user and say the things I wanted to say, but didn't feel it was the appropriate time or place to do it.
Trasd

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." A.C.C.

"I'll tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." J. M.

Trasd
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Re: From the Beginning (a running review)

Post by Trasd » 18 Apr 2016 23:31

j_c_hallgren wrote:Just because XY may be easy to learn, it's also nice to know how some newer users feel about certain features...and you've got a good way of describing your experiences so I really do hope that you continue making occasional posts here about how some of the more unusual or lesser known features of XY are useful to you...or how you have found XY's version better than another FM, etc.
Well, obviously and unfortunately, I haven't gotten back to posting my experiences with XY, but I just wanted to pop on and say, after four and a half years, I still use and appreciate the program very much. My interests have turned to other things, as usually happens, but I have become very comfortable with XY and have still not discovered half of what it does.

I have not and have no plans of looking for another file manager. I am still a happy camper!
Trasd

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." A.C.C.

"I'll tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." J. M.

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