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Old 05-10-2012, 06:52 AM
schferk schferk is online now
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Join Date: 11-02-2010
Posts: 151
Integration with Search / Tag Tools, etc.

Problem with tag tools is they all (= all of them I know that is, but I searched fervently) have their own proprietary tagging system, no integration with file commanders, and especially make no use of the Windows system's comment attribute for storing tags (which technically would be perfectly possible, and then, the (very big) interest of the tag tool could be that it would standardize the processed of attributing, finding / filtering by, renaming of and any other processing of these tags. If they used that comment attribute, even integration with file commanders would not be necessary, since the tool itself would display such comment elements (and hopefully would let you filter by several of them at the same time, and furthermore, by Boolean search).

As it is, they use their proprietary databases for tagging, which is unacceptable by means of "not storing your metadata in any other system than the file system itself", and which presents the (big) additional problem (which is not inherent to their choice but they simply don't see any necessity for it, having made that choice to stay proprietary, in order to rely upon Windows metadata) that they don't display the comment attribute in their hits (from searching, from filtering), hence the interest of (absent) integration with a file commander that would display them.

As it is, then, any naming conventions you want to do, you could do them in the file names, and within the file names only, which by then would necessarily become rather long; remember that within my very short naming system (which for understanding relies on permanent display of the "resolved" name within the comment field), I easily can filter not only by single code chars (if they are allowed within Windows filenames, but then, I place those within the comment attribute anyway, in order to avoid problems with file clones), but also by specific code characters on specific positions, i.e. not only for "a" or for "a*", but also for "?a*", for "?a?" or for "?a??" (which is all very helpful for searching for specific subgroups), and all this also for display grouped two or more such specific subgroups concurrently within my list window. (As said before, all this could easily be done within a tagging system offering Boolean searches, but as there don't seem to be but proprietary tagging systems out there, any system relying upon the file system's attributes itself seems to be safe to me.

Problem with search tools searching specifically for file names (and possible folder names) is again possible integration with file commanders (in order to display the comment attribute which no such tool of my knowledge display on its own), but not one such search tool I've found does offer such integration. (E.g., there would be "Everything" (free), "Ava Find" (ridiculously priced at 40$), and so on, and it's similar with "Listary" (free/20$) which "integrates" into various file commanders but presents its own hit list then, devoid of any comment attribute (of course - this being said, Listary not having Boolean search = combinations of search terms, but heaving RegEx, it could be put to fruitful use of some of the alternative ways of filtering for specific files discussed before).)

Thus, again, as with the tag tools, you'll have to rely upon your possible naming conventions within the file names itself, which will make them rather long (= not only for your own understanding, that is, but also for distinguishing them from imported web files, etc., and their aleatorically containing such "encodings", producing false hits (search / filter results), a risk greatly enhanced by using short "codes" (but you could always try a system with "#axyz#" and then searching / filtering for "#?x??#" or something in order to avoid mixing up your (and in case of imported files, additional) naming conventions / encodings with similar naming bits being present within those imported files' "normal" filenames.

It goes without saying that the disappearance of "Virtual Disk" / "Virtual Folder" (the same people were behind those programs, may they have been buggy or not), instead of their refining and further development, is catastrophic in view of the fact that in spite of them being abadonware, even "as is" they cannot be got anywhere, and be it just for evaluation purposes (in fact there's just a worthless crippled "trial" version to be found), and that they were without any contender (if searching in vain for such a contender for DAYS authorizes me to make such a statement; I know some file managers have some sort of virtual folders (and as almost always, Directory Opus have got the best realization of such a thing, here again), but then, try to use those for real workflow, doing dozens if not hundreds of virtual folders / possible contexts for standard material, and let me predict you'll quickly realize that not a single one of them is of real practical value for you either - I tried hard, believe me).

I also found a single open dialog enhancer that displays subgroups of files together with their attributes by option, but it was really buggy, and from kind request on its bugs and faults to the developer, I just got some blahblah, hence my final turning to file commanders together with scripting.

Here, you can of course (if you've got a large enough screen (resolution)) display TWO panes of your file commander concurrently, one displaying groups of files (= projects, contexts, reference material, etc., = virtual "virtual folders" (if you can attain a mental representation of such a thing), and the other one displaying a ToDo list (or whatever), and if you need a third one of such list (i.e. having two monitors at your disposal), e.g. for external material (that you would like to separate from your "own" things, as discussed above, but with synchroneous (= possible by scripting) displaying of the same groups / contexts / whatever), and if your file commander doesn't allow for more than 2 simultaneous panes, try to install a paid version AND the trial version of the same program (in order to have easy access to every one such of the 3 or 4 panes for your scripts), or have two / several concurrently running instances of your file commander (which will need some more technical understanding in writing your scripts correctly addressing any such pane there).
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