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TreeSpec Input Line Editing!!!

Posted By: Dan LeGate <>
Date: Friday, 5 February 1999, at 8:39 p.m.

I tried posting this on the Unnoficial Ztree board, but it choked on me - I got a blank page back and nothing got posted. (and no more preview? Yuk!)

So I'll start it here in hopes that we can get a good discussion going on this topic.

While the board was down, John Gruener and I discussed a proposal for editing the TreeSpec input line.

Since TreeSpec is "live" (i.e. it likes to automatically go to and display the directory/ies you are typing in) the standard Xtree input line has always been uneditable. The proposal is that if you use either home or the left arrow key (any others?) it would "suspend" the live WYSIWYA (What You See Is Where You Are) mode and allow you to enter a new drive letter. That *may* be the only editing needed, but perhaps others would also like to edit directory names as well (I personally would be happy with a drive letter-only edit for now). Anyway, the suspension of "live" activity would end as soon as you hit the END or Enter keys. If the user had entered an invalid character, etc., it would behave much like TreeSpec does - erase back to the valid point. If the drive letter entered was invalid, it would simply go back to the previous valid TreeSpec you had before editing. (this proposed behavior is certainly negotiable)

Why have an editable TreeSpec input line? I personally maintain many servers that have identical directory structures. So, for instance, when I want to go to my web server's root directory, I have a TreeSpec entry of:

J:\InetPub\wwwroot

in my history list, which is the directory on my development server. But I also have a production server which is mapped to:

L:\InetPub\wwwroot

Then I'd have to have 2 items in the history list for each server. Problem is, I have lots of projects I like to go directly to:

J:\InetPub\wwwroot\StaffDir
J:\InetPub\wwwroot\Catalog
J:\InetPub\wwwroot\Private
J:\InetPub\wwwroot\Test
J:\WINNT\Profiles\WebAdmin\Desktop

this would mean having 10 different entries in the history list to cover both servers. Problem is, I have 8 servers with identical directory structures at one point or another. That's 40 history items I'd need to keep, which Ztree can't - nor would it be very efficient. With the proposed TreeSpec Input line editing, I could keep a history of TreeSpecs for just one drive, and then edit the drive letter as needed.

So now it's open for discussion. Any other takers?

Dan

PS - this brought up two sub-proposals for me: one is having a longer (perhaps scrollable?) history list. The other was a thought: Can Ztree automatically know where the current user's Windows (95/98 or NT) Desktop is? (from the Registry?) I constantly like to get to the Desktop directory, but on every system (and for every user) it can be different. If TreeSpec could have a [D]esktop sub-option taking us to the Current User's Desktop, that would be really cool!

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