How about a file viewer and editor?

Features wanted...

Editing and Viewing Files in XYplorer

Should have a built in editor and file viewer
2
13%
Should have the ability to launch an external program when asked to edit or view a file
10
67%
Should have neither feature (stay the same as it is now)
1
7%
Should have both features
2
13%
 
Total votes: 15

JimW
Posts: 8
Joined: 25 Nov 2009 19:45

How about a file viewer and editor?

Post by JimW » 25 Nov 2009 19:57

I'm a Windows Server admin for a large, multi-billion dollar candy manufacturer. As such my file management needs are quiet extensive. I've been using FAR for at least 10 years, and have always been very please with how it works. Recently I've gone in search of a high-end filemanager, one that had as much power and ease of use as FAR has, but with a GUI interface.

I've been amazed at the sheer number of programs available, and have downloaded and tried over a dozen of them. More then half of those don't have the power and capabilities I need, so they were uninstalled. Some haven't been updated for a long time, so they were removed as well (since I don't want to spend time familiarizing myself with a program that isn't being developed). XYplorer is one of the few that seems to fit the bill, but it has one glaring omission (two, actually); there's no editor or viewer.

Every single file manager I've evaluated has both a viewer and editor, or at least the capability to configure an external program to use when a certain key is hit. For example, TotalCommander uses the standard F3 key to view the highlighted file, and F4 to edit it (the key sequences used by the old Norton Commander from ages ago). XYplorer doesn't have this functionality. Well, I shouldn't say "doesn't have" -- because you can hit the F11 key and read some files -- but that doesn't provide the same functionality.

I did come across the Personal Open With list, but that's not quiet it either. Unless I misunderstand how it works it seems as though I would have to already know each and every extension I'd want to view or edit, and then configure the Open With list to handle them. That's not a workable solution because there are at least 20 different extensions I can think of without even trying hard. The other drawback to that approach is this... what happens if I configure, say *.vbs, to load into an editor, but I come across a VBS file I only wanted to view? Yes, an editor can just read a file too, but often a program designed merely to view a file will be much quicker to load then the monster editor with all the features. And for those of us who do a lot of work over network connections speed is a definite benefit.

Another problem in how Open With works is the unknown file type. Many, many times I come across a file I don't know what it is, so I open it in a viewer. If it has an extension that's unknown to the Open With configuration I get an error when I hit the F11 key, saying it can't open the file (because the function associated to F11 isn't really a standard file viewer). Having to constantly add files to the Open With list is time consuming and counter productive. And even if F11 does load the file properly there's not even something like a Find feature. How often do you need to find something in a file you're viewing? For me, the answer is very often.

Since every file manager has some type of viewer/editor mechanism -- whether internal or external -- I actually emailed Donald about this, because I was certain it was just me being totally blind and not seeing them. To my surprise he said XYplorer doesn't have anything like that. He told me no one has ever asked for them to be included, but it was something that made sense to him. He also asked me to post this topic and see what everyone else's opinions might be.

JimW
Posts: 8
Joined: 25 Nov 2009 19:45

Re: How about a file viewer and editor?

Post by JimW » 25 Nov 2009 19:59

OK, I cast my vote. Now it's your turn... :lol:

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 46920
Joined: 22 May 2004 16:48
Location: Cologne, Win 8.1, Win 10
Contact:

Re: How about a file viewer and editor?

Post by admin » 25 Nov 2009 20:05

Just to make sure: Your F3 does open the same viewer app for each file type?

jacky
XYwiki Master
Posts: 3106
Joined: 23 Aug 2005 22:25
Location: France
Contact:

Re: How about a file viewer and editor?

Post by jacky » 25 Nov 2009 20:31

But XY does all that already, pretty much.

XY does have a viewer actually, under File|Quick File View, great to read text files, and for binary files you get an hex view of its content. Although limited (to the first 32KB for binary files, and 256KB for text files IIRC), it still is quite useful and found to be enough most of the times for me. Also, it is very easy to add a Quick File Edit feature using a simple script, for instance I use this : http://88.191.26.34/XYscripts/script/quick-file-edit
Very basic, but for quick editing of text files (config, log, etc) it's damn useful IMO.

That's for internal stuff. Now if you want more, I'm not sure XY should provide it itself (after all, it is not an editor.. although often I wished the QFV offered a simple search function), but if you have a good editor that fits your need, you can use a UDC (menu User) or, indeed, the Portable Open with Menu to open whatever file you may come upon (you don't have to specify an extension, just use * for any & all files). Using the former, you can assign a KS so pressing F3 for example could always open the selected items with a predefined application.

For instance, I am an EditPad Pro user, and I have this PFA defined, so that I can open any file with it:

Code: Select all

|*>"..\EditPadPro\EditPadPro.exe"
And just in case, and to have a KS assigned to it, I also have an Open With UDC to achieve the same.

Code: Select all

"..\EditPadPro\EditPadPro.exe" <items>
What more do you want?
Proud XYplorer Fanatic

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 46920
Joined: 22 May 2004 16:48
Location: Cologne, Win 8.1, Win 10
Contact:

Re: How about a file viewer and editor?

Post by admin » 25 Nov 2009 20:39

jacky wrote:But XY does all that already, pretty much.

XY does have a viewer actually, under File|Quick File View, great to read text files, and for binary files you get an hex view of its content. Although limited (to the first 32KB for binary files, and 256KB for text files IIRC), it still is quite useful and found to be enough most of the times for me. Also, it is very easy to add a Quick File Edit feature using a simple script, for instance I use this : http://88.191.26.34/XYscripts/script/quick-file-edit
Very basic, but for quick editing of text files (config, log, etc) it's damn useful IMO.

That's for internal stuff. Now if you want more, I'm not sure XY should provide it itself (after all, it is not an editor.. although often I wished the QFV offered a simple search function), but if you have a good editor that fits your need, you can use a UDC (menu User) or, indeed, the Portable Open with Menu to open whatever file you may come upon (you don't have to specify an extension, just use * for any & all files). Using the former, you can assign a KS so pressing F3 for example could always open the selected items with a predefined application.

For instance, I am an EditPad Pro user, and I have this PFA defined, so that I can open any file with it:

Code: Select all

|*>"..\EditPadPro\EditPadPro.exe"
And just in case, and to have a KS assigned to it, I also have an Open With UDC to achieve the same.

Code: Select all

"..\EditPadPro\EditPadPro.exe" <items>
What more do you want?
I assume that's what he wants, but he wants it without any need for scripting or reading the manual, which I can understand perfectly. I find it a good idea to offer a simple way to define an external viewer and an external editor app: It just takes two text boxes and a browse button for each, two menu commands, and done.

jacky
XYwiki Master
Posts: 3106
Joined: 23 Aug 2005 22:25
Location: France
Contact:

Re: How about a file viewer and editor?

Post by jacky » 25 Nov 2009 21:05

admin wrote:I assume that's what he wants, but he wants it without any need for scripting or reading the manual, which I can understand perfectly. I find it a good idea to offer a simple way to define an external viewer and an external editor app: It just takes two text boxes and a browse button for each, two menu commands, and done.
I'm not saying bloat, but wait, it's coming. :P I mean, is that really necessary? No scripting is required already: menu User|Manage Commands, go to Open With, you define the Caption (textbox already there ;)) and click Browse (yep, button already there too! ;)) to select whatever viewer/editor/etc you wish to use, then click Assign KS and you have you KS assigned to the viewer/editor/etc of your choice.

Why add anything? It's already there, easy & simple, you already get it in a nice menu as well, and you can repeat as many times as you wish to use as many apps as you'd like... do we really need an extra set of things that would be exactly the same (only maybe with less options, e.g. Mode) just because it would actually say this one is for a viewer & this one for an editor ? I'm sorry, but it almost feels to me as if this is how bloat starts... :roll:
Proud XYplorer Fanatic

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 46920
Joined: 22 May 2004 16:48
Location: Cologne, Win 8.1, Win 10
Contact:

Re: How about a file viewer and editor?

Post by admin » 25 Nov 2009 21:18

jacky wrote:
admin wrote:I assume that's what he wants, but he wants it without any need for scripting or reading the manual, which I can understand perfectly. I find it a good idea to offer a simple way to define an external viewer and an external editor app: It just takes two text boxes and a browse button for each, two menu commands, and done.
I'm not saying bloat, but wait, it's coming. :P I mean, is that really necessary? No scripting is required already: menu User|Manage Commands, go to Open With, you define the Caption (textbox already there ;)) and click Browse (yep, button already there too! ;)) to select whatever viewer/editor/etc you wish to use, then click Assign KS and you have you KS assigned to the viewer/editor/etc of your choice.

Why add anything? It's already there, easy & simple, you already get it in a nice menu as well, and you can repeat as many times as you wish to use as many apps as you'd like... do we really need an extra set of things that would be exactly the same (only maybe with less options, e.g. Mode) just because it would actually say this one is for a viewer & this one for an editor ? I'm sorry, but it almost feels to me as if this is how bloat starts... :roll:
Yeah, I know. But... a possible definition of bloat = "What others need." :wink: You know, I'm currently selling the Home version like crazy, so for many users UDC is bloat. But they still might like a simple way to define an viewer/editor. Especially those coming from TC... :wink:

BTW, it just came to me that JimW maybe does not know about the Preview tab... maybe that's what he means by "viewer"?

PeterH
Posts: 2574
Joined: 21 Nov 2005 20:39
Location: Germany

Re: How about a file viewer and editor?

Post by PeterH » 26 Nov 2009 00:30

admin wrote: Yeah, I know. But... a possible definition of bloat = "What others need." :wink: You know, I'm currently selling the Home version like crazy, so for many users UDC is bloat. But they still might like a simple way to define an viewer/editor. Especially those coming from TC... :wink:
Hey - an interface to define 3rd party programs :mrgreen:
(Sorry - I had to say that :roll: )

I'll try to get serious again: I think it's not bad to give users some pre-defined solution for more or less common functions, instead of letting them learn to do this in a mor flexible, but complicated or complex way. Just as you said.
I think people looking for a new product will test and try it with easy-to-go functions - and when they decide for the product they (maybe) will learn about the more complex things - isn't it so?

graham
Posts: 457
Joined: 24 Aug 2007 22:08
Location: Isle of Man

Re: How about a file viewer and editor?

Post by graham » 26 Nov 2009 00:38

admin wrote:
You know, I'm currently selling the Home version like crazy, so for many users UDC is bloat. But they still might like a simple way to define an viewer/editor. Especially those coming from TC...
Well, I like the first bit of this - I recall you (Don) not being keen on more than one version of XY in the distant past and that leads to the realisation that whilst you can do practically anything with scripts and features scattered in full blown XY the plain fact is that for many they want a simple upfront solution to do common tasks. I can see how the follow-on likely action to viewing a file content is to edit it and as such it makes sense to have this function tied for easy access. For all the common file types this can be surely ready made and for those exceptional files then the script is a fall back solution however once identified then these too can be added. A long time ago, prior to the realisation of scripting I thought there was a good case for an easy dialog type of approach to do common tasks and these 'wizard' type solutions are often very acceptable to those like me who struggle with scripts etc. but not liked by the clever people!

jacky
XYwiki Master
Posts: 3106
Joined: 23 Aug 2005 22:25
Location: France
Contact:

Re: How about a file viewer and editor?

Post by jacky » 26 Nov 2009 13:57

admin wrote:Yeah, I know. But... a possible definition of bloat = "What others need." :wink: You know, I'm currently selling the Home version like crazy, so for many users UDC is bloat. But they still might like a simple way to define an viewer/editor. Especially those coming from TC... :wink:
Well, I wouldn't say it is bloat, just they don't use it. I mean, DP isn't bloat, just useless :P ;)
I'd say bloat falls more under adding stuff that are already there/available, or stuff that aren't/shouldn't be for that app, e.g. asking XY to also be a complete text editor or media player.

Anyways, I absolutely didn't think of the Home version, so I guess with that in mind it could be justified yes. But then, what would be best, add it as a external viewer/editor thinggy, or still call it a (couple of) Open With UDCs, just to give them a taste of what the Pro version can do : not 2, but unlimited OW UDC, as well as many other UDC categories!
Proud XYplorer Fanatic

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 46920
Joined: 22 May 2004 16:48
Location: Cologne, Win 8.1, Win 10
Contact:

Re: How about a file viewer and editor?

Post by admin » 26 Nov 2009 14:36

jacky wrote:
admin wrote:Yeah, I know. But... a possible definition of bloat = "What others need." :wink: You know, I'm currently selling the Home version like crazy, so for many users UDC is bloat. But they still might like a simple way to define an viewer/editor. Especially those coming from TC... :wink:
Well, I wouldn't say it is bloat, just they don't use it. I mean, DP isn't bloat, just useless :P ;)
I'd say bloat falls more under adding stuff that are already there/available, or stuff that aren't/shouldn't be for that app, e.g. asking XY to also be a complete text editor or media player.

Anyways, I absolutely didn't think of the Home version, so I guess with that in mind it could be justified yes. But then, what would be best, add it as a external viewer/editor thinggy, or still call it a (couple of) Open With UDCs, just to give them a taste of what the Pro version can do : not 2, but unlimited OW UDC, as well as many other UDC categories!
Well, we'll see. I'm not even sure what is expected since JimW never came back to answer the questions...

Stefan
Posts: 1360
Joined: 18 Nov 2008 21:47
Location: Germany, EU

Re: How about a file viewer and editor?

Post by Stefan » 26 Nov 2009 15:30

JimW wrote: Every single file manager I've evaluated has both a viewer and editor,
or at least the capability to configure an external program to use when a certain key is hit.
For example, TotalCommander uses the standard F3 key to view the highlighted file, and F4 to edit it (the key sequences used by the old Norton Commander from ages ago).

XYplorer doesn't have this functionality.
You may try "snippets" one-click solution for "F3 View" / "F4 Edit" as shown in "XYplorer behave NortonCommander"--thread ?

Or Portable Openwith Menu and Portable Openwith Menu

Code: Select all

+|"Open with NP&P " *>"..\NotePad++\notepad++.exe"
+|"Open with &Notepad2 " *>"Tools\NotePad2\Notepad2.exe"
+|"Open with &Viewer " *>"Tools\UViewer\Viewer.exe"
+|"Open with IView" *>..\IrfanView\i_view32.exe
+|"&Launch with parameter" exe;cmd;bat;vbs>::Load "<xypath>\scripts\RunWithParameter";
+|"Script handling" *>::Load LoadInactiveselectedScript;
+|"NewItems>>" \;*>::Load CTX\NewItems;
+|"Packer" \;*>::Load "Tools\Packer\Packer";

--

I think an tools-build-in solution would not be that great since there would be
a lot of work to do to bring the functionality of that viewer/editor to an acceptable level.

But i missed an "View/Edit" menu entry first too as i was new with XY.
I was very wondered how to preview or edit an file in the first few days of using XY and feel very lost.

So i would suggest to deliver XY with such view/edit item with both link to notepad.exe as default
and the user should be able to config the tool to use (like TC does):
ViewerEditor001.PNG
ViewerEditor001.PNG (27.34 KiB) Viewed 3460 times


In the back that could be still pre-configured UDCs
but linked in the "Edit" menu as "Edit > View" and "Edit > Modify" or like this.
And then deliver it with an default hotkey, smtg with "F3" to call the viewer and with "F4" to open the editor would make this perfect.

.

Stefan
Posts: 1360
Joined: 18 Nov 2008 21:47
Location: Germany, EU

Re: How about a file viewer and editor?

Post by Stefan » 26 Nov 2009 15:49

admin wrote:Just to make sure: Your F3 does open the same viewer app for each file type?
With TC you have an ini to define which file extension,
or which group like multimedia or even which file size should be open with what tool.
ViewerEditor002.PNG
ViewerEditor002.PNG (12.89 KiB) Viewed 3454 times

So my suggestion from above could be improved to use PFA instead of UDC.
So maybe deliver XY with an PFA-setup and Alt+F3 as shortcut.
With some configuration to open text files in notepad and pictures in paint or this MS-picture-viewer-thinggy.
Then if an user press Alt+F3 and depending on which file extension he do this, this file is opened or POM will presend him some alternatives.

The main point is to deliver XY with an pre-setup to use this out-of-the-box.
Notepad.exe and msPaint.exe should be available on all windows versions?

ReviewPilot
Posts: 150
Joined: 27 Jul 2007 09:21
Location: Germany

Re: How about a file viewer and editor?

Post by ReviewPilot » 26 Nov 2009 16:12

Hey,

let me add my opinion.
I was always no big friend of Norton/Total Commander, as I liked the "visual & mouse browsing" a lot.

Since working more and more with complex file management/viewing/editing operations, and accessing structures on many many remote network computers which just don't have XY installed, I got used to use TotalCommander.
Some things are ugly at first, but once u got to it, some things are very very neat, and indeed I have to say, more streamlined to use than XY. That's for very fast file/folder maneuvers ...

There are especially some things currently not working so nice in XY for me. I bet they could be implemented by me diving very deep into UDC etc, but let me list what I mean:
This might be more than what fits to this topic in special, but maybe there are some ideas for you, Don. If you haven't, please install TotalCommander and check it out a while. It does really not help me in all cases, but on remote connections I really use it and like it, and sometimes I miss features it has on my local desktop (I then open TC simultaneously to XY):

- The Viewer (F3) and Editor (F4) open selected files from the list, using different executables.
- Sth very special to both of them is some kinda program linkage. E.G I use TC's search feature (search in files/folder). It then shows it's search result in a file list popup. I now select the file I wanna view (all w/ keyboard) or edit (using F3 or F4) and just press F3 or CTRL-F to jump to the previously searched term. It then jumps to the line in that file and marks the search term. THATs NEAT!! Its so seamlessly streamlined
- And pressing Esc just immediately closes the Viewer again, letting me press arrow down to view & search the next listed file; it's just very fast viewing/editing w/o using mouse movement (which would slow down things A LOT, I cannot effort that in some situations (although I'm a mouse guy :D)

-another thing which works very well is the preloading of ascii files in the viewer. I deal with lots of very large LOG-Files, up to several hundred MBytes. The Viewer hesitates NO SECOND to open them and displaying the first several hundreds or thousand lines, loading more and more as I scroll or jump down.. That's very useful, I can tell u. that's for the viewer not the editor (which seems to be just notepad (?)

- I don't remember If XY supports it officially , but in TC I just enter "cmd" or "cmd somewhat", and the command prompt opens at the pane's location with whatever command & parameters i defined. Its fast & easy..

- another thing: I just type in a field (which I can access by keyboard, and it continues to jump to the file which starts with the characters I write, but I can see what I write and undo(backspace), so it jumps exactly where I need in a long file list..

- it also compares files/folders between the two panes. E.g. I select "compare folders" (shift F2) and it shows in each pane what misses in the other (red text color). Also, if I copy stuff to another pane (I just press F5 and apply filters like *.dbx *.ini etc), it marks all copied and all not copied files in the source pane, so I can see what I have left out.

- I also can compare contents of selected files, thats another program it has nicely implemented (not very complex, but it works for fast comparisions): I select the file(s) on one pane, and press the shortcut fpr compare, and a popup box opens (whcih I can close by pressing "esc") which tells me the files (left/right) are identical. If not identical, a small viewer/editor(?) opens which shows the differences (viewing both files left/right, differences are in red text color)

I can go on, but I realize that might be too much for the initial topic..

Don'tget me wrong Don, I love XY and pls don't say: "why don't u just go and use TC all the time", because thats not what I want, but it indeed has some parts I learned to love and live with..

ReviewPilot..
check out this guys work - xkcd webcomics

zer0
Posts: 2671
Joined: 19 Jan 2009 20:11

Re: How about a file viewer and editor?

Post by zer0 » 26 Nov 2009 17:59

My view is short and sweet: I see and use XYplorer virtually as a file manager, not as a files' content manager. I do use XYplorer's 'Edit Script' window as a little text editor when fiddling with ASCII art, but that's about it. As much as I think that XYplorer should inherit features that are normally present in dedicated apps, read FTP, I am wary of XYplorer slowly transitioning into an All-In-One type of application. This would be something that I really would not like, because fans of dedicated apps would be saying "...but you don't have this feature and this isn't working in the same way..." and the like, so its a Pandora's Box that I'd rather remain closed. We have preview function, which is great. For anything else, not MasterCard :P, there are dedicated apps.
Reporting a bug? Have a wish? Got a question? Use search - View roadmap - FAQs: Forum + XY site
Windows 7/10
Always using the latest stable two-decimal build

Post Reply