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An example usage

Posted By: Walter Rassbach <>
Date: Tuesday, 8 September 1998, at 7:23 p.m.

In Response To: Agreed... a little too complicated. (Dan LeGate)

Since there still seems to be some confusion as to what I have proposed, I thought an example might be useful:

Let's say that I have just full-logged the disk that has my source code files on it. On my system this disk has over 16,000 files (the SDK and DDK are on the same disk, along with Visual studio and some other stuff). With my normal defaults, the sort order is "by extension" (I find this is BY FAR the most convenient default sort...), with "path sort" off (ASIDE: It would be nice if there was a configuration option to set "path sort" ON as the default...).

I am looking for a a file called CLOSE_IT.H but don't remember which directory it is in (and the disk has something like 2500 directories -- again, the SDK and DDK are there). With the current ZTree functions, I can do one of the following things:

A) I can hit "S"howAll and then hold down either the PgDn or right arrow key until I get close to it in the displayed list of 16000 files. My machine is pretty fast, so I almost always overshoot and have to hit right-arrow a number of times to go back, and then the down arrow to get to the actual file (I run in a 60-line ZTree, so this is maybe 25-30 repeats, and may overshoot again since the key repeat rate is high). Now hit the '\' key to go to the directory. Total keys hit:

S (showall)
maybe 200 repeats of the right-arrow key (even holding it down this takes a while)
3-4 individual presses of the left-arrow key to correct the overshoot
30 repeats of the down arrow key (and yes, you wind up holding it down)
2 presses of the up arrow key to correct overshoot
the '\' key

Awkward and time consuming, but, in fact, actually better than the methods below (because I actually want to be in the directory so that I can look at the associated files...)...

B) Hit "S"howAll and then "F"ileSpec and type in "CL*.H"[enter], and scroll through the resulting list to get to the file -- This involves a number of keystrokes since there are a bunch of files with names like CLEAN.H, CANCEL.H, etc. Now hit the '\' key to go to the directory, and then "F"ileSpec and [enter] to show all of the files in the directory. Total keys hit:

"S"howAll
"F"ileSpec
the characters C, L, *, . (period), H, [enter] at the prompt
something like 35-50 cursor keys
The directory locating '\' TreeSpec key
"F"ileSpec and [enter]

C) Hit "S"howAll, then alt-"S"ort, and "N", followed by a shift-C, maybe 7-8 right arrows (there are a 1000 files with names starting with a "C"), and then down arrows etc. as in method (A), but, after I get to the directory, I will still need to hit alt-"S"ort and "E" to return to extension sorting... Total keys:

"S"howAll
alt-"S"ort and "N"
shift-C
7-8 right arrows
30 down-arrows on repeat
2 up arrows to correct overshoot
the directory localizing '\' treespec
alt-"S"ort and "E"

The situation is worse when there are three or four files named CLOSE_IT.H, since I (at least) never get the right one the first time... I either need to repeat the whole seqeunce again, OR, what I normally do is to TAG all of the files named CLOSE_IT.H, examine the first, and use an ESC, ctrl-"S"howAll, cursor, '\' sequence to go to the next one... However, this means that I now have to clear the tags once I find it, which is a pain (especially if I already have some tagged files...).

With the proposed method, it is quite simple:

Hit "S"howAll, then shift-C, shift-L, colon (holding the shift), shift-H, and then probably colon again followed by a shift-O to scroll further down the list (again, lots of files with names like CANCEL.H, CLEAN_IT.H, etc.), followed by the '\' to go to the directory. It is EASY to see what one is doing because the highlight-bar/cursor skips to the selected file AS ONE IS HITTING the shift-key sequence. Moreover, one is holding the SHIFT key down throughout... Total keys:

"S"howAll
Shift-C, shift-L, colon, shift-H, colon, shift-O
'\'

In addition, when one gets the wrong file first, one now just hits the ESC key, "S"howAll, TAB (or the double-quote), down arrow (once, since the sort order is "by extension"), and the '\' again... One does not need to reset the "F"ileSpec or the sort order...

If one has path sorting ON, it is even nicer since the associated files are near the currrently selected CLOSE_IT.H file and one can examine the associated files easily without having to use the '\' treespec to go to the directory or the ESC, "S"howAll sequence to go back and try the next one...

This is where the use of a double-quote comes into full play, since one starts by just hitting "S"howAll, shift-C, shift-L, colon, shift-H which happens to put one on one of the CLOSE_IT.H files, one looks at it and the associated files (it's the wrong one...), and then hits a double-quote (and HAS THE SHIFT KEY DOWN), "discovers" a file named CLEAN_UP.H, and hits a shift-O to give a better selection (the navigation "string" is now "CLO*.H*"), and now will just be hitting file with names starting with CLO and an extension of H...

This seems, to me, to be very easy and intuitive, and, with only a few uses, should become almost automatic...

-- Walter

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