actions seem very limited

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actions seem very limited

Postby stodd » Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:15 am

I would like more flexibility with Actions.
"It is what X1 can do with the information found that is important."
I agree, and it would be lovely if it could do a lot more.

I almost see X1 as an Explorer replacement ~ though I agree it is always dangerous to add features to a program that does one job so excellently.

1 - When I right click a file/directory in search results, I would like the same dropdown list that I would get for the same file/directory in Explorer (or xplorer2)

2 - I can't see how to tailor actions. The nearest I can get is to tailor toolbars, but for some reason the actions bar does not seem to be a toolbar, so I can't drop extra actions onto it.

3 - I can't see how to add new actions; eg ones that don't appear anywhere in the Toolbar/Customize/Command list.
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Postby Kenward » Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:23 am

Good points. What would you like to do with the actions?

Adding all the "right click" options may not be possible. It would require X1 handing over control to third party software in some way. And I have all sorts of odd things that are not in the default set of actions for Windows.

If you can say what you would like to do, then maybe other folks will support you and we can persuade X1 to at least increase the repertoire available.
MK
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Postby stodd » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:27 pm

My top priority would still be to clone the Explorer actions. X1 must hand over control to someone else in the end, when it executes the action. I don't know how much code is needed to create the Explorer menu ~ for example xplorer2 does it. Lots of registry parsing I think. None of this code is on the X1 critical speed search path.

Assuming that is not possible (clearly not a cheap fix), my top priorities would be
1 - copy path to clipboard
2 - Open With...
3 - PSPad (clearly a very personal one)

Actually, cloning the Explorer dropdown may not be as bad as you think. It could save lots of custom code needed to implement and configure X1's own dropdown. X1 might well end up with less code overall. The Explorer dropdowns are configurable, and I can't think of any reason (doesn't mean there isn't a reason) why anyone would want a different set of options on a given file just because they found the file via a different route. As a user, I prefer the consistency of the same options list, plus the work saved of only having to do one set of configuration.

Picasa manages to do something pretty similar in extracting its 'Open With' from the Windows 'Open With' ~ though it does often leave out lots of items becuase of registry permission peculiarities.
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Postby stodd » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:03 am

after a little looking:


So, things X1 could do very easily:

A - X1 could use the first code to embed the dropdown code directly into X1.

B - X1 calling the "runmenu /show" as one additional builtin action would give the end user the same effect, but with less work on X1's part.

C - Even less obtrusive to X1 would be to give a generic (user choosable) extra dropdown item in their builtin list, which the end user could program to call renmenu if desired.

The complications would probably be more in the license than the code (and that would not apply to C).
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Postby Kenward » Mon Feb 25, 2008 3:53 am

I will not comment on how easy or difficult it is to add new features to X1. I am not a programmer.

I step in just to warn people not to mess around with context menus unless they know what they are doing.

Some piece of software I tried months back, I can't track down what it was, has wiped out my "Open With" entries. Nothing I have tried will recover this.
MK
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Postby stodd » Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:49 am

Yes. These suggestions would all be safe, as they are only USING the context menus and not CHANGING them.
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right button click in X1 ~ kludge

Postby stodd » Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:36 pm

I now have a kludge for right button click in X1.
This relies on the fact that X1 does support drag/drop for files.
As for my X1 command line caller, this should be built into X1 properly, but meanwhile ....

The user sequence is not as clean as I would like, but it works and is more effective than any alternative. Anyone interested, please contact me privately.

    Run DragDropHere.exe. This will hide away till needed. Just run it once at some early time (windows startup, or when you might want it.)
    Find and select files in X1 in the usual way.
    Hit Alt ctrl-\ (This is convenient on a UK keyboard, Sorry US folks. ctrl-\ is currently a builtin sequence, could make programmable very easily.)
    Use the context menu as you should have been able to do from a simple right click.
    Drag the files from X1 to DragDropHere. This will bring up the content menu for the set of files chosen. It will also rehide DragDropHere.
    The DragDropHere window will come to the front just below the mouse.



It uses a file DragDropHere.exe, which will collect file(s) dropped onto it, and launch runmenu (see post above) to create an appropriate drop down menu. DragDropHere is generic, so can be used with any application that DOES support drag/drop but does NOT support Windows style right button context menu.

To get rid of DragDropHere, bring it up with ctrl-\ and cancel like any other window.
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Postby stodd » Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:43 am

improved kludge: I still hope X1 will do it properly some time.

The user action is now:
1 - select file(s) in X1
2 - make sure the mouse is hovering over one of the selected files (it usually will be)
3 - alt-\ (or other hotkey)
4 - the dropdown menu will appear, use it in the usual way.


Also:
0 - just once at start ~ run DragDropHere

DragDropHere now automates the DragDrop part. Also the hotkey is (partly) programmable.
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Postby stodd » Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:59 am

Code (kludge) for better integration between X1 and Windows is now available:
1 - X1 command line
2 - invoke X1 from Explorer etc context menu to search directory
3 - standard context menu, or other user selected action, on files selected in X1.

For description:
http://stephentodd.wordpress.com/2008/03/03/x1-windows-integration-helpers/

For download (including description):
http://www.programbits.co.uk/downloads/X1Integration.zip

Apologies for multiple posts: it applies to multiple threads.
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Postby jshofstra » Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:11 pm

To use stodd's X1 integration helpers, you have to be able to drag a file found by X1 from the search results pane to another application. The only drag and drop I seem to be able to do is dragging a search result to another folder (when I do this, a copy of the found file is made in the folder I dragged to). I cannot, for example, drag a found text file onto notepad and have it open in notepad. From reading previous posts it seems like I should be able to do this (e.g. the release notes for V. 5.5 beta cite this added feature, " - Allow Drag and Drop from the Results List to the Desktop or other Applications." In fact, stodd's application seems to require this in order to work. Is there a setting I need to set to enable drag/drop to work with applications?
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Postby stodd » Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:26 pm

Just to reinforce Jim's comments (we have been communicating about this on my blog).

My DragDropHere does indeed require drag from X1 onto another application to work. Dragging onto Notepad is a good quick test, which works for me and for others, but not for Jim. Neither of us can see any X1 settings that could be causing the difference.
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Postby Kenward » Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:12 am

One way to check this, or to get round it, might be to use a substitute for Notepad, which is pretty basic anyway.

I use Notepad++.

See if that will work. It might show if the problem has anything to do with the .txt associations in Windows.
MK
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No, I have nothing to do with X1, just a user since 2004.
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Postby jshofstra » Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:17 am

Kenward: I also use notepad++. If I do a file search, get some results, drag one of the results (a text file) to notepad++, nothing happens. It seems like what should happen is that it should open up in notepad++. I tried this same thing with notepad and wordpad just to be complete, and the results were the same.

One other thing to note: when I drag a found file from the X1 results pane to another folder or the desktop, the cursor looks like a little dashed box with a plus sign attached at the bottom right corner of the box, indicating that it is a valid action. When I drag it anywhere else (on to notepad++, for example) the cursor looks like a circle with a slash through it, seemingly indicating that the action is not valid.

Can someone say if X1 is supposed to be able to do what I'm trying to do?
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Postby stodd » Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:00 am

The use of Notepad rather than Notepad++ was not really significant. I just suggested Notepad as everyone has it around even if they don't use it (I use PSPad). Notepad was just an example of a generic dragDrop target for files.

It is the curious Drag behaviour of X1 on Jim's machine we are trying to diagnose. X1 seems to behave as it should on most machines, but not on Jim's. Almost all dragDrop behaviour on his machine is what we would expect (from Xplorer2 to desktop, from Xplorer2 to DragDropHere, from X1 to desktop). The only thing that is missing is from X1 to anything other than desktop/explorer (eg from X1 to Notepad/Notepad++/DragDropHere).
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