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First look at TC 9

Discussion in 'Support' started by ronburk, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. ronburk

    Jun 19, 2008
    Likes Received:
    [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

    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

  2. Jim Cook

    May 20, 2008
    Likes Received:

    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.
  3. samintz

    samintz Scott Mintz

    May 20, 2008
    Likes Received:

    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.


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

  4. rconn

    rconn Administrator
    Staff Member

    May 14, 2008
    Likes Received:
    ronburk wrote:

    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.

    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".

    I have no idea what you're referring to here ...

    I don't know what you mean by "dirstack listbox" -- are you referring to
    the directory history popup (the F6 popup)?

    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.

    The list view window lets you select multiple folders -- how are you
    trying to select them?

    Rex Conn
    JP Software
  5. Charles Dye

    Charles Dye Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 20, 2008
    Likes Received:
    List View does, Folders does not. (As Folders seems to exist primarily to select the location that List View displays, that seems reasonable to me.)

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