Path column right justification: feature or flaw?

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Path column right justification: feature or flaw?

Postby ofofofofof » Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:03 pm

I've looked for info on this but haven't found anything.

In the results panel, when the path is longer than the column's width, the text disappears on the left side of the column. In all the other x1 columns that I've used, the text runs off on the right, and elipses show that there is more (which is how most adjustable UI columns work, in my experience.)

This is counter-intuitive. It can also be visually distracting, it just doesn't look quite right.

Interestingly, though, I've occasionally found it useful, because for long paths, it's often the last segment that gives you the most meaningful information, especially if you already have a basic idea of the where the file is located. I know I very often need to expand columns (e.g., in Windows Explorer or Outlook) for that very reason, especially path cols.

Thinking that this might be by design, I've tried things like Ctrl- and Shift- clicking the column header, thinking it might alternate the justification, just as sort order alternates when clicking the header. But no.

So now I'm curious: Is this a design decision, or just an anomaly that somehow snuck in?
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Postby w0qj » Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:00 am

Many thank for your suggestion!

We've moved your posting to the Feature Request Forum!
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Re: Path column right justification: feature or flaw?

Postby Kenward » Thu Dec 13, 2007 3:21 am

ofofofofof wrote: This is counter-intuitive. It can also be visually distracting, it just doesn't look quite right.

I'm not sure that this is true. I have seen similar behaviour in other software. Indeed, it seems to be fairly common when you are dealing with long pathnames.

The logic is obvious.

When entering a path, the most interesting, and useful, bit may well be at the right-hand end of the path.

Indeed, you have explained why it works:
it's often the last segment that gives you the most meaningful information, especially if you already have a basic idea of the where the file is located.

I like it the way it is.

Maybe that it because I have a lot of long pathnames. My way of dealing with these is sometimes to put the path column on a separate line, below the other columns. Then I can make it really wide and avoid truncation.
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Postby Greg Dawes » Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:18 am

Kenward wrote:When entering a path, the most interesting, and useful, bit may well be at the right-hand end of the path.
Kenward is exactly right. Years ago we asked our users about this and the feedback was that the end of the file path is more important than the beginning; we therefore right-aligned that particular column.

As a work-around, you can hover your mouse over the applicable path and the entire path name will appear as a tooltip.
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X1 Technologies
http://www.x1.com/company/contact-us
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Postby ofofofofof » Thu Dec 13, 2007 3:31 pm

I wasn't griping or requesting a change, I was just wondering about it as I'd never seen such an implementation before (my post had been moved into this folder.)

I agree, it's a preferable way of handling a path column. Visually it took a bit to acclimate to, with the text simply "cut off" on the left, e.g., without elipses. But the right justification is useful and makes sense.
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Postby w0qj » Thu Dec 13, 2007 7:44 pm

You can also force XEC to display search results in Two Rows, and put your Path info on your 2nd Row.

http://forums.x1.com/viewtopic.php?p=2239#2239

YMMV (Your Milage May Vary), depending on your screen's resolution, whether or not it's a wide-format LCD screen, etc.

Hope this helps!
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Postby Kenward » Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:30 am

As I said a few messages earlier in this thread:

My way of dealing with these is sometimes to put the path column on a separate line, below the other columns. Then I can make it really wide and avoid truncation.

Anyone who has not investigated the various ways of rearranging columns is missing something.

For example, when you have created a path based search that you want to keep, you can then eliminate that column from the view completely. After all, you have fixed that bit of the search so why show it?

You can then eliminate or add columns that are relevant to a specific search.

This is why I have a growing list of saved searches that I have to back up as a part of my daily routine.
MK
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Postby ofofofofof » Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:08 am

Yes. I've I've been playing around with path based searches, and saving them. Very powerful. And yeah, you could eliminate the path field altogether and, say, name the search after the path's last segment. All of this makes me wonder....

Is there any way to copy a search's column layout (only) and apply it other already defined searches (and which use the same column set?) I realize I can do a Save As, and then reproduce the specific search params. (And I can copy a current search's critera by Shift-clicking to another search.)

But what about something that amounted to an "Apply current layout to other searches" option, or a dialog that let you select searches to be copied to? Not super essential, but it would be convenient.

Re: puttng the path on a second line, I've been playing with that too. I think the display might be a little cleaner and easier to read/scan if the text of the first field on the second line aligned itself with the first field's text on the first line, i.e., "indented" to the right of the file type icon. Would make for smoother browsing and scanning of the results.
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Postby Kenward » Sun Dec 16, 2007 3:09 am

Most of my searches tend to be for specific type of files, PDF for example, and various locations. So I usually create a "top level" search and save that. Then, when I want a new one on similar lines I start there. tweak it and save a new search using a name as you suggest.

It would be nice to be ale to copy layouts, but in the absence of that, the above strategy seems to work.
MK
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