Total Commander 7.5: What's New?
“What's New?” Is a traditional article from the Russian-speaking community Total Commander, published after the next version of this file manager. This time I offer the first to familiarize myself with the article
The new version of TC at first caused the most controversial feelings: on the one hand, the changes are quite global, and on the other, global still does not mean good. Frankly, I expected more from the announced innovations, but the undeclared innovations, which turned out to be unexpectedly pleasant, were enough.
Let's try to figure out what the Swiss programmer of his associates did this time.
Without a doubt, Unicode support is important and necessary, and if the implementation is too late, then by no means much. But everything is supported qualitatively, files with names in Hebrew, Katakana or some other gibberish will now correctly display and be processed in TC and all its tools. And even in plugins whose unicode versions can exist next to their non-unicode ancestors (they will get the u prefix to the extension). The documentation for the updated API is already available, you can start experimenting.
Expanded support for encodings appeared in the standard viewer (Lister). Instead of the previous three (ANSI, ASCII and one custom user), you can choose any encoding for which fonts are found in the system.
For all this, TC nevertheless remains a non-unique application - say, the localization files and menus are still stored in single-byte encoded files. But this, frankly, is completely unimportant.
Hint : it would seem - what could be wrong with an uniquely useful and pleasant change? Nothing if you have used Unicode-enabled fonts before. But lovers of non-Unicode fonts will have to make a choice between Unicode support and their favorite font. I already found a unicode analogue of my favorite Fixedsys, which I’m glad about.
The mechanism of internal associations is cool. This is very cool. This is unrealistic cool: TC can now ignore system associations using its own. The plus is obvious: when using the pre-configured TC, everything will work the same regardless of the system settings. Considering how many people like to carry all the necessary software along with Total on a USB flash drive, we can say that this is definitely cool (and gives one more reason for jokes about the TC-based operating system). And those who just run the old Total on the new system will also like this convenience - they set up, for example, once linking text files to their favorite editor, and that's all, no more Notepad. And the binding, by the way, is done not just by extension - it can be performed for groups of files, just as well as when setting the backlight, for example.
Now the main thing is to force yourself to do this setting once =).
Breadcrumb (bread crumbs) - a way to navigate a la Windows Vista Explorer - dynamic navigation menus for each level in the displayed file path. Now TC also has this mechanism, and it is implemented as an add-on above the panel title.
The appearance of a new navigation functionality in itself is pleasing. In certain circumstances, navigating directories through Breadcrumb is faster than in any other way (that's for sure in Explorer).
But for some reason, Gisler decided not just to make his Breadcrumb, but also add a little bit of whores and blackjack to it. The devil, as always, lives in the little things - and these little things were not taken into account: the menu navigation was not very convenient. Displaying a hierarchical menu requires either a bunch of extra mouse clicks, or the need to aim the cursor on the highlighted section of the menu, and it turned out to be difficult to understand the logic of the behavior of Breadcrumb. And for many, he simply interfered simply with his fact of existence - clicking on the panel title constantly brought up the Breadcrumb menu, even when it was not required at all.
All this caused a wave of discontent among testers, because in the beta testing process a bunch of settings were added to Breadcrumb - moreover, hidden, i.e. available for editing only by direct editing of the settings file. With their help, in principle, you can still fine-tune behavior, but one important drawback is not eliminated by anything. This is the size of the breadcrumb, and more specifically, the height. Compare it with the counterpart from Windows - Explorer does not require mouse aiming.
You can try to guess the reason for this minimization: TC has two panels, respectively, and there are two times less widths for Breadcrumb in width. Height is reduced proportionally. But why not make the dimensions customizable? Even if then a vile scroller will be displayed on the panel for paths that do not fit on the panel? .. Of course, there is an option with Breadcrumb control from the keyboard, and if you get used to it, it is quite convenient, although it duplicates, in fact, navigation in file panels directly.
However, like any other non-liked innovation, Breadcrumb can be safely turned off. But still - not the most thoughtful implementation of a very interesting idea upsets.
FTP Manager and its cataloger
FTP account management tool has acquired the ability to catalog. The flat list has been replaced with a tree structure, which allows you to conveniently group compounds. If you have more than two dozen of them, and TC is your main tool for working with FTP - rejoice, FTP bookmarks can be arranged just like bookmarks in your favorite browser.
But the way the new FTP manager appeared in the first beta releases made me indignant. It was frankly unfinished, there were practically no editing functions. Nothing can be done with directories: they cannot be renamed, they cannot be moved or rearranged. You can only delete.
Fortunately, not only I was indignant about this, but Gisler still listens to vox populi. Part of the shortcomings has been eliminated, as a result of the release of directory renaming is already available. But the movement - alas, no. Apparently the popular voice should have been louder.
FTP changes affected more than just the interface. The long-standing problem of securely storing passwords from FTP has apparently been completely resolved. In addition to the old version with password encryption using the standard key, it is now possible to encrypt using a password specified by the user. This password is not stored anywhere, and is entered once - at the first request. During user activity, TC stores this master password in memory in the form of an array of pointers to characters, and each character is also littered with a random number, which virtually eliminates “password recovery” by third-party software. Paranoids can configure additional security settings - say, TC can “forget” the master password after a time has passed, when the window is minimized, or when the screensaver starts.
The ability to use a master password is now available for plugins. In principle, no one interfered with the developers, if necessary, to implement this independently, but using ready-made mechanisms is more logical and simpler.
In the previous version, the toolbar was already fundamentally redone, as a result of which it acquired support for XP and advanced display capabilities. This did not end there: now the capabilities of the panel are logically improved.
Firstly, the panel is also accessible from the keyboard. True, this is not the assignment of hot keys to buttons, which many wanted, it is the movement of focus on it.
Secondly, now the dimensions of the panel are not limited to two rows. Of course, this was never critical, but it looked very strange when part of the TC interface could simply “disappear” when resized.
Thirdly, added the ability to break the panel into rows in arbitrary places. Why this is needed is not entirely clear, because the useful screen space is lost. But this does not interfere, if not used.
Fourth, and, of course, the main ones: the buttons in the toolbar can call other panels in the form of a menu. In fact - a built-in (and therefore more convenient) analogue of utilities like TCMenu. Here everything is done smoothly and without unnecessary whistles: on one button you can hang up a call to one menu-panel, without drop-down submenus (and rightly so - for branchy menus there are a bunch of other implementation options). Difficulties arise, perhaps, at the first attempts to configure a new functionality - it is not immediately clear what checkmark its support is enabled. Let me tell you - this checkmark is called “Show as menu” and appears only when a button with a call to the file with the TC toolbar is hung on the button.
I noticed that in each new version of TC some kind of file handling mechanism is added, which everyone has been asking for a long time, but which has been ignored all the time. In the previous version, file comparison was added when dubbing "on the fly" and improved BTM. In this - setting the automatic behavior when copying. Before starting the operation, you can configure the response of TC to the encountered files that need to be rewritten. You can, as before, ask the user each time for confirmation, or you can specify a rule by which TC determines whether to overwrite — for example, copy only new files, or automatically rename old ones.
At the same time, it became possible to copy to several receivers at once - if you select several directories and enable the corresponding option, then the copied files will appear in each of them. And the started copying process got a Pause button (earlier it was possible to pause only background operations).
Below are described all sorts of pleasant things, which in each update TC - a carriage and a small cart.
- Improved compatibility when working under Windows x64. The most noticeable and obvious improvement is full-fledged context menus for 64-bit programs. This is implemented through wrapper (find the TCMDX64.EXE file in the TC directory - this is it) that intercepts the menu call.
- Enhanced support for custom file comments. Despite the fact that Gisler does not go to add many necessary functions (for example, support for comments on files with unicode characters in the name), referring to the impossibility of a one-sided change in the descript.ion copyright format, some improvements are still being made. In this version, we received an increase in the maximum comment length to 4 Kb, and support for multi-line comments.
Hint : if you add a comment to the descript.ion file to the file with a unicode in the name manually, then TC will display it normally. Obviously, the restriction is artificial.
- Improved individual directory trees. This add-on, which was very ambiguously accepted by many users after appearing in the previous version, was significantly improved. A full-fledged Drag & Drop appeared, almost all the functions available in the main panels began to be supported. I don’t know if these improvements are sufficient to start using these trees - they are nevertheless designed for users migrating to TC from Explorer, and, as you know, I haven’t been one of those for a long time.
- New modifier key: Win can be added to keyboard shortcuts along with Alt, Shift and Ctrl.
- Quick filter. A trifle, but I can’t imagine how I could manage without it. Press Ctrl + S, start typing characters - and only those files in the names of which contain these characters remain on the panel. Conveniently incredible, in addition, it turned out that the filter is expanded by plugins. There is already a QuickSearch eXtended plugin that allows you to make a quick filter using templates, regular expressions and much more.
- Archiving has been improved: now there is built-in support for zip encryption and multi-threaded operation of the RAR unpacker (if the corresponding version of unrar.dll is available).
- Support for the progress bar in the Windows 7 taskbar.
- Last but not least: Russian in the distribution .
All this, of course, is far from a complete list of improvements and changes - listing only corrections will take a couple of pages with a small size. Want to read it all - HISTORY.TXT to help you, as always. And if you have any questions - RU.TCKB and the Russian community of Total Commander will always help with the answers.
And of course the link to the official website of the program: ghisler.com