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Re: Make Directory Enhancement and DirSpec

Posted By: John Gruener <>
Date: Sunday, 30 August 1998, at 12:45 a.m.

In Response To: MAKE Directory Enhancement!? (Dan LeGate)

Hi Dan!

> I'd like to see a feature where if we enter a forward or backward
> slash in our directory names, it will make multiple directories
> for us.
> In other words, if I want to make a directory called:
> and currently only C:\TEMP exists, I could hit "M"
> at the "TEMP" directory and enter:
> and it would make both directories for me. Now, I have it do
> Make once, arrow (or shift-character) down to the directory, hit
> M again and type another name. Does anyone know of a quicker way
> to do this in ZtreeWin?

Yes, a little quicker, but there's a little quirk to it.

Using your example, after you Make SYSTEM, stay on the TEMP entry. Press Make, F3, add \FONTS to the prompted SYSTEM, and Enter. The display will then show a directory under \TEMP called "SYSTEM\FONTS", on one line, which, of course is impossible. But if you unlog \TEMP and re-log it, you'll find the FONTS directory was actually created properly, and is no longer shown on one line with SYSTEM. You can continue this process, (without re-logging), as many levels down as you like, or you can backspace over FONTS and make others at this level.

> Any takers on this one? Suggestions?

I'm a taker. I think it would be quite logical and *very* helpful, (and perhaps easy to do, Kim?), to be able to create multiple levels in one command. You've got my vote.

In any case, I think the little display quirk ought to be fixed.

> I'm still also really hot on the DirSpec idea.
> Here's my suggestion: Release all subdirectories in branch
> matching a certain character-spec. In this instance I would match
> on an underscore: _* or _vti*
> This ability would be SO great in my opinion. Anyone else?

Well, Dan, I'm a taker on this one too, but with some caution. I really think it would be *great* to be able to do this, especially if the DirSpec is added to the history list so it could easily be picked again, as I assume it would.

My caution is that many of the new, very desirable things which are being suggested, (including some of my own), go well beyond the original design of XTree, and therefore require, I think, some careful thought. Directory level things, such as directory level tagging and DirSpec fall into this category. Kim has done an excellent job of preserving the look and feel of the original XTree, while adding new capablities. I just don't want us to push him too quickly into uncharted territory without our thinking through some of the ramifications and/or alternatives. The more completely we think through a design for Kim, the easier his job will be. On the other hand, in some cases, he may already have thought through or completed a design, and we're way behind him. (Any time this happens, Kim, please jump in here and let us know!)

With that said, I'd like to discuss this a little. When you say "released" are you suggesting that the excluded directories, after being logged, are simply un-logged, ("+" signs next to them)? Or are you suggesting that they be totally hidden from view, as a FileSpec does to files? It seems either one would satisfy your need here, but they are quite different.

If un-logging, I would rather call it an UnLogSpec. This, it would seem, would be relatively easy to do as compared to a real DirSpec. You could even have a complementary LogSpec to log only a certain set of directories, but this might get more complicated than we need. It could even be one LogSpec using negative signs to indicate directory names not to be logged. In any case, this would just be another "tool" to quickly get the tree logged the way you prefer, but would be subject to any subsequent logging or unlogging in the normal manner. It would, of course, require that you first log the entire branch, (or drive), before performing the UnLog-by-Spec. I assume, also, that any directory at any level under the selected branch would be unlogged if it met the UnLogSpec.

A true DirSpec, on the other hand, would totally hide these directories from view, and would not require a logging operation first. This would really be a negative DirSpec, or a HideDirSpec if you will, as compared to the FileSpec which is, by default, a positive one. (I'm not sure a positive DirSpec would be very useful, unless, once finding a match, it would make visible all levels both above and below it, regardless of their names. Again, this could get quite complex, and probably not very intuitive. We probably should stick to negative specs on the directories). But with the HideDirSpec we now have to deal with a new "state" of the display, just as when a FileSpec is invoked. We must have a way to show this state, lest we forget that certain directories are "missing".

Lots to think about, including just where and what commands would be used, so I'll stop right here and let you, (and anyone else), respond with some thoughts.


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