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DirSpec, HideDirSpec - fleshing it out

Posted By: Dan LeGate <>
Date: Sunday, 30 August 1998, at 9:08 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Make Directory Enhancement and DirSpec (John Gruener)

> 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.

Wow!! Didn't know that! How long has that been around? Or did you just discover it while toying with my suggestion? So it doesn't seem impossible that Kim could make this a little more intuitive here... and perhaps fix that bug. :)

> Well, Dan, I'm a taker on this one too, but with some caution.

This is why I like it when you respond to message - you almost always think of things that would have NEVER crossed my mind! :) (and I'm sure Kim appreciates it too)

> 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.

Yes, this is DEFINITELY a history list item - it would be pointless without it IMHO.

> 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.

Ah, yes, the good ole dir-level tagging topic, which IS a major overhaul I think. It's one that I hope proceeds VERY delicately, lest we lose our classic Xtree look/feel/operation. Perhaps Kim should develop the more "radical" ideas in another version: ZtreeWin Pro? ZtreeWin Gold? ;-) Directory-level tagging is definitely in that "radical" category, but I don't think the DirSpec necessarily is.

> 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.

Good point... I actually meant it to just hide them, as in DirSpec. But that brings up an interesting option to both the possible DirSpec feature and the old FileSpec feature. Perhaps an F2-Release Directories from memory option, and for DirSpec, F2-Release Files from memory...? I have to admit: this would have been EXTREMELY welcome back in the old Memory-Limited days of XTGOLD, but I'm not sure how necessary it would be now - if at all. As long as those files are out-of-view, it would fit my needs.

> 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.

Actually, this was a suggestion I had a while back... it was a "Never Log" function that I wanted to see implemented. I almost *never* want to see my Netscape's CACHE directory, or C:\WINDOWS\Temporary Internet Files, etc. I had suggested that this feature be handled via *.HID files. (take a look at the link below for my original posting on it) Looking back at that posting I see that I had mixed in both DirSpec and FileSpec options in the same files... hehe Anyway, the idea was that, this feature could be used before or after the actually logging. If before, Ztree would log the directories, but keep them out-of-site. If after, Ztree would push them out-of-site. (or greyed out, if that's a better method?)

But, now that we're discussing it as a new Directory-Level feature, I think it would be best done that way - AS a new directory-level function, rather than a required external file. Although I think that suggestion from my original posting has some interesting implications - perhaps someday we'll find a use for it! :)

In any case, I think an absolute MUST for this new DirSpec feature (or whatever it should be called) is being able to specify MULTIPLE DirSpecs on one line (like FileSpec):

C:\NETSCAPE\CACHE _* C:\WINDOWS\Temporary Internet Files

but I think that goes without saying, since it follows the model of FileSpec.

> 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.

Yes, good point. Perhaps when you select DirSpec, it can be as simple as Kim's prompt saying "Directories you want to HIDE contain:" or something to that effect? But yes, it's definitely a hiding function.

I don't think we need an inverse of the hiding function for DirSpec. I don't know... maybe someone out there might find a useful need for it?

> 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".

Yes... so far I've considered these ways: (add more if you like)

1. completely off the list (not giving user any clue that it's in effect)

2. greyed out (good feedback, but if Kim's already considering color coding directories for other usages, we might be S.O.L. here)

3. collapsed, as if they were unlogged (they'd have to BE unlogged though for consistency)

4. collapsed, as if they were outlined with F5/F6 (but with F5/F6, the files in those directories are still available

5. use a new token to the left: instead of a + sign or a dot (used in outlining) and new character could be used... perhaps a tilde? caret? exclamation?

Looking back, #2 and #5 are the only viable ones from this list, since the others already have functionality within Ztree (and #1 would leave users clueless). Anyone have any other suggestions?

Well... that's all for now... I'm sure I've opened up several more cans of worms here, but I think it's a good discussion so far.


= = = = = = = = Dan's Top Ten List = = = = = = = =

Top Ten Features Dan would like seen added to Ztree:

10. Invert File Specification re-enabled.

9. Ctrl-F8 partial untag re-enabled.

8. While [V]iewing files, Ctrl-5 would jump %50 (half-way down) the file being viewed, Ctrl-1: 10%, Ctrl-2: 20%, Ctrl-9: 90%, etc.

7. Log Multiple drives option: after hitting L, F3 could enable multiple drive enteries: CDGZ

6. Tag from "here down" or from "here up" using Ctrl-Down and Ctrl-Up Arrow keys.

5. "New Date" feature should have a "Same As..." with F2 pointing ability at the file-level.

4. Directory Level Tagging (major implications - many discussions needed)

3. SizeSpec added to FileSpec: ">100000 <150000" would only show files between 100,000 and 150,000 bytes.

2. AND/OR logic added to Ctrl-S searches and F9 (Viewing File) searches.

1. DirSpec (or HideDirSpec)

if any one wants to discuss any of these further, by all means, create a new topic and let's go! :)

>My Original Suggestion on the ZtreeWin Bugs Form

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