First look at TC 9

Jun 19, 2008
1
0
#1
[posted this via NNTP first, but then realized I have no idea where that comes out now!]

Returning to the JPSoft after a long absence,
it appeared (though not 100% clear) that 4NT
is to be replaced by TC 9. Not wanting the GUI
interface, but also not wanting to have no
upgrade path, I downloaded it to try. I was
disappointed by how little and how awkwardly
the GUI augmented the command shell, hopefully
because of lack of understanding on my part
of features that really do exist.

In no particular order from the first hour
of use:

a) When I ask for a history or dir history list,
I get a window. Great -- because it's much
easier to resize a GUI window. Oh no -- it
doesn't remember the new size the next time
I invoke it. So I have to resize it every single
time, or else change a config entry which would
be no improvement over 4NT.

b) What an unfortunate nomenclature to give an
integrated product two sub-names: TC and TCC.
It's as though Microsoft consistently referred
the collection of features for tables in Word
as "WordT", leaving the inevitable support confusion
of "Did you mean Word or WordT?".

c) I see fancy menus that let me do all kinds of
things I would never want to do, like move a
command menu so it has white space to the left.
Well, that's great, because I want to
expand what looks like my dirstack in a listbox,
since I have looong paths that it clips. Oh no --
I can find no way to directly resize the first
and most obvious thing I would want to customize
on the "customizable" menus.

d) Right-clicking on the dirstack listbox also
offers no customizability. But it does offer
both "Cut" and "Delete". How could those two
things be different? I don't know, and despite
the gigantic status bar at the bottom of the
window, no help text appears there when I mouse
over the various options. This is why I hate the
idea of putting 4NT in a GUI -- because if
you don't really take advantage of the GUI,
then it's just a bag of visual clutter.

e) The dirstack listbox is clipping my paths and is
therefore pretty useless to me. I look through the
options but can find no option to tell it to
compress the middle out of long paths with a
[...]. Even though the Folders treeview gives me
tooltips to show the full name when mousing over
a clipped entry, the dirstack listbox offers no
such tooltips. This sure doesn't feel like a version
9 of a product, or else I'm just not the target
demographic.

f) There's that gigantic folder view on the left,
so I decide I might as well learn to get some
kind of use out of it. Obviously, right-clicking
on an entry there should give me all kinds of
useful options. No... that's just the same as
explorer. You mean there's not even a context
menu item for "CD to this directory"???

g) For a long time, I could find no real useful
thing to do with the folder window at all.
Then I realized you could at least drag-n-drop
from it to the command window. So, to do one
of the all-time most common operations (cd)
visually, I have to:

i) click in the command window
ii) type "cd " in the command window
iii) find the directory in the Folder treeview
iv) drag-and-drop from the treeview to the cmd window

OK, I guess you don't have to type "cd", but...

I'm still scratching my head that using the GUI
to change directories isn't a double-click, or
at most a context menu selection. I'm starting to
realize this is like two products that aren't really
integrated at all. It's just like running a copy of
4NT with the window positioned over a window
that contains Explorer. The two products seem to
barely talk at all.

h) Alright, lets copy two directory names to the command
window. Oh no -- I can't, because the folder treeview
only lets me select one folder at a time. How is that
a feature?

i) Well, maybe I've been going about it wrong. There's
a context menu in the command window with an item
that says "Insert Directory", so I'll try that. Geez,
it doesn't even open up expanded to my current directory,
but OK, I'll do 7 clicks to get in the vicinity of
where I'm working. Alright, 5 minutes later I'll use
that feature again and... oh my god!... it doesn't
remember the previous state of the window at all!
It's as bad as just having to open Explorer from
scratch every single time you want to use the GUI
to select a directory name! It's as though this is
some kind of "Home" version of TC, and I can't find
the "Power User" version anywhere. I'm just astounded.

j) Hey, there's a "Go Up" button on the toolbar. That
could be useful because I sure use the analogous
button on my Google toolbar. And... no, it doesn't
provide the drop-down list of possible parent paths
that would make it truly handy. Another failure to
take any advantage of the GUI possibilities.

k) Boy, that's weird. All my files stopped appearing
in the listview window. Where did they go? When did
that happen? I can't get them back! After much long,
tedious wrestling, I discover that the Filter combobox
is empty, even though I had typed in a filter earlier
that was still in use (and correctly preventing files
from being displayed). I could not figure out what I
did to make the Filter combobox stop displaying the
current filter, so maybe that's just a bug.

l) Because most Windows programmers stick with standard
controls, even when they are horribly ill-suited to
the task at hand, it's NOT surprising to me that the
Folder window can't do the following things:

i) "Hoist" a given directory so that it is the new
pseudo-root of the tree. This ability makes it
much easier to use a broad and deep tree (like
the directory structure on my hard disk), since
you can visually clear out most stuff that's not
in the area you're currently working. The nice way
to implement "hoist" is with a draggable icon,
so the user can easily restore the original root,
or any position between with just a click and
drag operation.
ii) Split into two or more windows. Combined with
hoisting, this makes it much easier to work
with two (or more, but usually two) widely
separated positions in the tree.
iii) Remember the previous state of the folder window
across invocations. It is a small courtesy that users
appreciate every single time they use the treeview,
but since it is not a built-in feature supplied by
Microsoft, few Windows programmers go to the trouble
to implement it.

Well, that was my first hour. Hopefully first impressions
are deceiving and there is lots to love that I have not
uncovered yet. But if there's a place to vote for keeping
4NT a separate product, that's where I would cast my vote
today.


 
#2
> [posted this via NNTP first, but then realized I have no idea where that
> comes out now!]

> uncovered yet. But if there's a place to vote for keeping
> 4NT a separate product, that's where I would cast my vote
> today.

TCC is the new name for 4NT, and it available without the GUI. I run
it here with some regularity.

I love the tabbed interface and regularly have several tabs open for
switching among projects.

I do not use the folder/file/command views often, but do sometimes
when I would have otherwise resorted to explorer.

--
2008 Fridays: 4/4, 6/6, 8/8, 10/10, 12/12 and 5/9, 9/5, 7/11, 11/7.
Next year they're Saturday.
Measure wealth by the things you have for which you would not take money.
 

samintz

Scott Mintz
May 20, 2008
1,312
11
Solon, OH, USA
#3
Ron,

TakeCommand is a GUI wrapper for *any* console mode application. 4NT/TCC
is still its own program and can be launched outside of the GUI. TCMD was
designed for people that still use CMD or bash or any of the other command
shells. So 4NT/TCC *does* have additional interface support for TCMD. But
CMD does not. So, TCMD was designed under the assumption that there would
*not* be extra abilities of the console app running in it.

Because 4NT/TCC is TCMD aware, it can take advantage of that - and does
for some of the commands.

Your usage comments about the TCMD GUI are good ones. Many members have
already complained about similar things and I'm sure Rex will add them to
the suggestion list for v10.

-Scott

ronburk <> wrote on 06/19/2008 01:38:40 PM:


> [posted this via NNTP first, but then realized I have no idea where
> that comes out now!]
>
> Returning to the JPSoft after a long absence,
> it appeared (though not 100% clear) that 4NT
> is to be replaced by TC 9. Not wanting the GUI
> interface, but also not wanting to have no
> upgrade path, I downloaded it to try. I was
> disappointed by how little and how awkwardly
> the GUI augmented the command shell, hopefully
> because of lack of understanding on my part
> of features that really do exist.
>
> In no particular order from the first hour
> of use:
>
> a) When I ask for a history or dir history list,
> I get a window. Great -- because it's much
> easier to resize a GUI window. Oh no -- it
> doesn't remember the new size the next time
> I invoke it. So I have to resize it every single
> time, or else change a config entry which would
> be no improvement over 4NT.
>
> b) What an unfortunate nomenclature to give an
> integrated product two sub-names: TC and TCC.
> It's as though Microsoft consistently referred
> the collection of features for tables in Word
> as "WordT", leaving the inevitable support confusion
> of "Did you mean Word or WordT?".
>
> c) I see fancy menus that let me do all kinds of
> things I would never want to do, like move a
> command menu so it has white space to the left.
> Well, that's great, because I want to
> expand what looks like my dirstack in a listbox,
> since I have looong paths that it clips. Oh no --
> I can find no way to directly resize the first
> and most obvious thing I would want to customize
> on the "customizable" menus.
>
> d) Right-clicking on the dirstack listbox also
> offers no customizability. But it does offer
> both "Cut" and "Delete". How could those two
> things be different? I don't know, and despite
> the gigantic status bar at the bottom of the
> window, no help text appears there when I mouse
> over the various options. This is why I hate the
> idea of putting 4NT in a GUI -- because if
> you don't really take advantage of the GUI,
> then it's just a bag of visual clutter.
>
> e) The dirstack listbox is clipping my paths and is
> therefore pretty useless to me. I look through the
> options but can find no option to tell it to
> compress the middle out of long paths with a
> [...]. Even though the Folders treeview gives me
> tooltips to show the full name when mousing over
> a clipped entry, the dirstack listbox offers no
> such tooltips. This sure doesn't feel like a version
> 9 of a product, or else I'm just not the target
> demographic.
>
> f) There's that gigantic folder view on the left,
> so I decide I might as well learn to get some
> kind of use out of it. Obviously, right-clicking
> on an entry there should give me all kinds of
> useful options. No... that's just the same as
> explorer. You mean there's not even a context
> menu item for "CD to this directory"???
>
> g) For a long time, I could find no real useful
> thing to do with the folder window at all.
> Then I realized you could at least drag-n-drop
> from it to the command window. So, to do one
> of the all-time most common operations (cd)
> visually, I have to:
>
> i) click in the command window
> ii) type "cd " in the command window
> iii) find the directory in the Folder treeview
> iv) drag-and-drop from the treeview to the cmd window
>
> OK, I guess you don't have to type "cd", but...
>
> I'm still scratching my head that using the GUI
> to change directories isn't a double-click, or
> at most a context menu selection. I'm starting to
> realize this is like two products that aren't really
> integrated at all. It's just like running a copy of
> 4NT with the window positioned over a window
> that contains Explorer. The two products seem to
> barely talk at all.
>
> h) Alright, lets copy two directory names to the command
> window. Oh no -- I can't, because the folder treeview
> only lets me select one folder at a time. How is that
> a feature?
>
> i) Well, maybe I've been going about it wrong. There's
> a context menu in the command window with an item
> that says "Insert Directory", so I'll try that. Geez,
> it doesn't even open up expanded to my current directory,
> but OK, I'll do 7 clicks to get in the vicinity of
> where I'm working. Alright, 5 minutes later I'll use
> that feature again and... oh my god!... it doesn't
> remember the previous state of the window at all!
> It's as bad as just having to open Explorer from
> scratch every single time you want to use the GUI
> to select a directory name! It's as though this is
> some kind of "Home" version of TC, and I can't find
> the "Power User" version anywhere. I'm just astounded.
>
> j) Hey, there's a "Go Up" button on the toolbar. That
> could be useful because I sure use the analogous
> button on my Google toolbar. And... no, it doesn't
> provide the drop-down list of possible parent paths
> that would make it truly handy. Another failure to
> take any advantage of the GUI possibilities.
>
> k) Boy, that's weird. All my files stopped appearing
> in the listview window. Where did they go? When did
> that happen? I can't get them back! After much long,
> tedious wrestling, I discover that the Filter combobox
> is empty, even though I had typed in a filter earlier
> that was still in use (and correctly preventing files
> from being displayed). I could not figure out what I
> did to make the Filter combobox stop displaying the
> current filter, so maybe that's just a bug.
>
> l) Because most Windows programmers stick with standard
> controls, even when they are horribly ill-suited to
> the task at hand, it's NOT surprising to me that the
> Folder window can't do the following things:
>
> i) "Hoist" a given directory so that it is the new
> pseudo-root of the tree. This ability makes it
> much easier to use a broad and deep tree (like
> the directory structure on my hard disk), since
> you can visually clear out most stuff that's not
> in the area you're currently working. The nice way
> to implement "hoist" is with a draggable icon,
> so the user can easily restore the original root,
> or any position between with just a click and
> drag operation.
> ii) Split into two or more windows. Combined with
> hoisting, this makes it much easier to work
> with two (or more, but usually two) widely
> separated positions in the tree.
> iii) Remember the previous state of the folder window
> across invocations. It is a small courtesy that users
> appreciate every single time they use the treeview,
> but since it is not a built-in feature supplied by
> Microsoft, few Windows programmers go to the trouble
> to implement it.
>
> Well, that was my first hour. Hopefully first impressions
> are deceiving and there is lots to love that I have not
> uncovered yet. But if there's a place to vote for keeping
> 4NT a separate product, that's where I would cast my vote
> today.
>
>
 

rconn

Administrator
Staff member
May 14, 2008
10,740
97
#4
ronburk wrote:


> Returning to the JPSoft after a long absence,
> it appeared (though not 100% clear) that 4NT
> is to be replaced by TC 9. Not wanting the GUI
> interface, but also not wanting to have no
> upgrade path, I downloaded it to try. I was
> disappointed by how little and how awkwardly
> the GUI augmented the command shell, hopefully
> because of lack of understanding on my part
> of features that really do exist.
>
> In no particular order from the first hour
> of use:
>
> a) When I ask for a history or dir history list,
> I get a window. Great -- because it's much
> easier to resize a GUI window. Oh no -- it
> doesn't remember the new size the next time
> I invoke it. So I have to resize it every single
> time, or else change a config entry which would
> be no improvement over 4NT.
4NT didn't allow you to resize *or* move the windows, so IMO it's still
a considerable improvement. The next version of TCC will save the
resized / moved positions as well.


> b) What an unfortunate nomenclature to give an
> integrated product two sub-names: TC and TCC.
> It's as though Microsoft consistently referred
> the collection of features for tables in Word
> as "WordT", leaving the inevitable support confusion
> of "Did you mean Word or WordT?".
I'm not sure where you got the "TC" name -- we've never called it that.
It's officially "Take Command" (or occasionally "TCMD") and "TCC".


> c) I see fancy menus that let me do all kinds of
> things I would never want to do, like move a
> command menu so it has white space to the left.
> Well, that's great, because I want to
> expand what looks like my dirstack in a listbox,
> since I have looong paths that it clips. Oh no --
> I can find no way to directly resize the first
> and most obvious thing I would want to customize
> on the "customizable" menus.
I have no idea what you're referring to here ...


> d) Right-clicking on the dirstack listbox also
> offers no customizability. But it does offer
> both "Cut" and "Delete". How could those two
> things be different? I don't know, and despite
> the gigantic status bar at the bottom of the
> window, no help text appears there when I mouse
> over the various options. This is why I hate the
> idea of putting 4NT in a GUI -- because if
> you don't really take advantage of the GUI,
> then it's just a bag of visual clutter.
I don't know what you mean by "dirstack listbox" -- are you referring to
the directory history popup (the F6 popup)?


> f) There's that gigantic folder view on the left,
> so I decide I might as well learn to get some
> kind of use out of it. Obviously, right-clicking
> on an entry there should give me all kinds of
> useful options. No... that's just the same as
> explorer. You mean there's not even a context
> menu item for "CD to this directory"???
The problem here is you're assuming that there's only going to be one
shell running, and it will always be TCC (so it's possible for Take
Command to communicate the requested directory change). But the GUI
shell is intended to be used with other shells (CMD, bash, PowerShell)
as well, which would not have any way of talking to the Take Command shell.


> h) Alright, lets copy two directory names to the command
> window. Oh no -- I can't, because the folder treeview
> only lets me select one folder at a time. How is that
> a feature?
The list view window lets you select multiple folders -- how are you
trying to select them?

Rex Conn
JP Software