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Workbench Explorer feedback
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Joined:
2007/5/19 13:23
From England
Posts: 3404
Some initial observations of Mr Ritter's newly release WorkbenchExplorer. Feel free to add your own comments!

It looks like a very promising start to what could be a Filer (or light-weight DOpus5) replacement (except a bit more inspired by Windows Explorer than I'd personally prefer). The use of a preview pane should be much faster than Filer's idea of showing thumbnails for everything (which I have disabled due to the speed hit).

It's stable & didn't crash yet, which is somewhat surprising for a complex piece of new Amiga software! Especially since it seems multi-threaded (to some degree).

Personally I think that it should default to saving the window position & size, as it's quite disconcerting to have it forget that when doing something as simple as changing some Preference settings. (It should remember the current folder too!)


I did however noticed various performance issues, which I am sure will be fixed in time:

1. When the window is first opened, the menu doesn't appear to be available for a long time.

2. It become unresponsive for a long time when I first tried to open a multi-assignment (it took maybe 30 seconds before asking me which part of the multi-assignment should be displayed).

This may be related to the first point, as I suspect it does some scanning in the background when you first start it up, but certain features may not be available until this scanning is done (of which there is no visible indication). My best guess is that it has only ONE background thread/task, and everything that it does in the background gets queued waiting until the previous background tasks are done. This is probably makes it much easier avoid crashes, but also causes problems when one "background" task takes a long time & blocks other tasks.

3. It also seems to take rather longer than it should to scan & display a folder. I guess this is due to using Datatypes to determine the type of every single file. It would be better if this was deferred until later (either when double-clicking on the file, or else done in parallel - updating the window every so often).


Edited by ChrisH on 2017/5/4 10:51:41
Edited by ChrisH on 2017/5/4 10:55:07
Edited by ChrisH on 2017/5/4 10:56:56
Edited by ChrisH on 2017/5/4 15:09:04
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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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2006/11/24 17:54
From Sanremo
Posts: 1693
I tried it yesterday for the very first time for about 30 minutes and my first impressions are very positive!

It has what a user need for a good workbench experience, it allow you to have all your devices in one place, add favorites drawers, ftp servers and it is fully customizable! It reminds me the philosophy of Dopus Magellan and the usability of Dopus 4. From Workbench Explorer you can run programs, games, play music and more..

I think that A-Eon should consider to include and develop this piece of software inside the Software Enancher Pack..

There is a lot of things to use and discover. I hope that a lot of user will start using it from today!

Edit: if the author could add the possibility to open the workbench explorer when user clicks on the disk icon it would be perfect..

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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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2007/9/11 11:31
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Tried yesterday

For me there wasn't long delay at startup. That probably because i don't have installed full AISS (usually, those ones who use let's say FFS boot partition and install AISS on it, then many apps using AISS slow downs on start for about 20-30 seconds). Maybe that not the case, but worth of invistigating.

The perfomance issue i notice, is that when i resize main window, it something did't resizes fast. I can see how whole window resizes, then white areas, and only after content.

Also, one time when i press on close gadget, it didn't closes. It waiting for something for long time, and only after that closes.

Imho that all, and long startup can be as some "semaphore/input/tasks" handlers.


In whole it works, and looks positive, but if there is possible to ask for some changes, then:

1. Remove that area where icon placed. The take too much space, and basically, better as it in filler : user just choice "show icons" in settings, and then all dirs and files looks as they should. Currently does not matter what i try, it always non-icon ones in lister, and only shows in that icon-area at bottom-left.

2. Add "show as icon" in lister.

3. To be able to "open in workbench" without needs to mark directory, but as in Filer : you just point mouse on the current lister, choice "open in workbench" and it open what is currently open in lister.

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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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@kas1e

Quote:

For me there wasn't long delay at startup. That probably because i don't have installed full AISS (usually, those ones who use let's say FFS boot partition and install AISS on it, then many apps using AISS slow downs on start for about 20-30 seconds). Maybe that not the case, but worth of invistigating.


Pretty sure the startup lag is not due to AISS icon loading, I have TBIMAGES: on SFS2 on ymSAM and see no lags with MVer which is the heaviest AISS user on my system.

[edit]

Having said that it does start a bit faster when installed to harddisk rather than RAM:




Edited by broadblues on 2017/5/4 12:27:07
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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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@nubechecorre

Quote:


I think that A-Eon should consider to include and develop this piece of software inside the Software Enancher Pack..


I think people should stop suggesting a-eon absorbs every bit of software out there, and instead actively support independent developers!


Quote:

Edit: if the author could add the possibility to open the workbench explorer when user clicks on the disk icon it would be perfect..


You could probably configure context menus to open it same way as filer.

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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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@ChrisH

Quote:
think that it should default to saving the window position & size

You can snapshot window size and position using the new popup button on a window border.

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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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@ChrisH
Quote:
Especially since it seems multi-threaded (to some degree).

I ran Snoopy when starting & using the program but could only spot a single process. I couldn't find a seperate process in Ranger either. I could be wrong but it seems like a single process to me.

Quote:
Personally I think that it should default to saving the window position & size, as it's quite disconcerting to have it forget that when doing something as simple as changing some Preference settings. (It should remember the current folder too!)

There is an option in the prefs to "autosave" the window position and a snapshot option that TSK mentioned. I ran Snoopy while testing Workbench Explorer and even with the "autosave" not activated, it opens ENVARC:WorkbenchExplorer/WorkbenchExplorer.xml hundreds (or thousands if you move the window around a lot) of times as you move the window. I'm not sure why it does that but I don't like it.

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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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It does seem to take an age to scan directories, I loaded my work:temp dir which filer loads "instantly" and it took a good 20 seconds to display anything at all.

If Datatypes type scaning is to be used, it probably ought to be on a seperate process that doesn't dold up the normal flow of loading files.

On the other hand perhsp tis is to give the true "Windows Explorer" feel

Also after sorting by type two or three times, only files of the "last type" are retained in the list/

ie in a list with 50/60 micelleneous files and 5 ZIP files only the zips remained after sorting. IN a list with a WAV file only the WAV remained in the list.



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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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@broadblues
Quote:
Pretty sure the startup lag is not due to AISS icon loading, I have TBIMAGES: on SFS2 on ymSAM and see no lags with MVer which is the heaviest AISS user on my system.

I think it's loading most (if not all) it's images from it's "images" directory rather that the TBImages: directory. I only get about a 1 second startup delay but if you run Snoopy while starting Workbench Explorer, you will see why there is a slight time penalty for opening several hundred images.

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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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Workbench Explorer is a very ambitious program with many prefs settings. A lot of problems or personal operational preferences might be resolved after fully exploring the prefs settings and program operation.

That being said, I do have one complaint of my own. I always test programs with my system partition locked until I see how they operate. In this case, I forgot to reassign ENVARC: to ram: before starting WorkBench Explorer. The program attempts to write initial prefs to ENVARC: and I get an AmigaDOS requester complaining about the write protected partition. That's O.K. except for the fact that I keep getting the requester no matter how many times I cancel it. I think the program should only make 2 or 3 attempts to write to ENVARC: before giving up and either:

1. Write the prefs to ENV: and continue.
or
2. Notify the user (with a requester of it's own) that it can't write the prefs and exit.

As it was, I had to reboot to stop the AmigaDOS requesters and assign ENVARC: to ram: before testing a second time.

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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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@xenic Quote:
I ran Snoopy when starting & using the program but could only spot a single process. I couldn't find a seperate process in Ranger either. I could be wrong but it seems like a single process to me.

You are no doubt correct. I only made a guess, based on the fact that the GUI still seem responsive (to some degree). AFAIK non-MUI interfaces don't update if the event loop is not active, but perhaps I misunderstood something, or perhaps he's still processing GUI events when doing big 'background' tasks... (I did the trick of turning the GUI event loop inside-out once myself, when writing some program in OPL for Psions. Actually worked quite well, although it is theoretically slower due to additional procedure calls.)

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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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2015/9/28 23:42
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Posts: 87
Thanks guys for trying WEx out. I put a lot of time into.

I am making note of your ideas and issues and will work on them ASAP.

The auto window save position was there originally, but changed it to SnapShot and/or set accordingly in Prefs.

The reason the prefs file is saved so many times is to catch listbrowser column resizing, resizing of the panes (no signal from ReAction when do that), etc. It will be improved over time.

It is not multi-threaded....yet.

It is weird that myself and my 3 beta testers all say it is very fast at opening and reading drawers, but then other people say it is slow.

Scanning each file with datatypes as the drawer is scanned is both a positive and negative. It slows things down, but you get all the stats for your images/mp3s/whatever all at once.

This is the first release, bugs/issues were expected. Keep the ideas coming.

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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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@mritter0 Quote:
The reason the prefs file is saved so many times is to catch listbrowser column resizing, resizing of the panes (no signal from ReAction when do that), etc. It will be improved over time.

I did not realise it wrote to EnvArc regularly (especially if nothing has changed), but I don't like the idea - it's not at all "Amiga-like". (Also it's not such a hot idea if someone is using an SSDs on the Amiga.)

Most Amiga software only saves column resizing (etc) when the program quits (or user snapshots), and IMHO that should be sufficient for such superficial (GUI) changes.

If there is some important use-case (I can't imagine what) then make it an option...

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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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2006/11/28 22:14
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@mritter0

I scasnned a 2000 photos directory and it takes about 6/7 minutes :(

Anoteher thing seems that dont use Exif thumb image to preview images so was slow for big images...any plan to add it in future?

For the rest it seems very promising and nice to use!

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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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Good work, lots of interesting possbilities

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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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2015/9/28 23:42
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@kas1e
1. Do you mean in the listbrowser or down below? If listbrowser, it will always be there. If down below you can toggle it off/on from menu or gadget View->Thumbnail.

2. Would love to, but listbrowser.gadget can't do single cell selection (like MUI can).

3. Window menu -> Open Workbench window


@broadblues
- Fixed Type sorting issue.
- Thank you! Support your independent programmer through donations to them.


@nubechecorre
- I would love to patch WB to open WEx when double click on a device/drawer. As is, not possible.


@xenic
- Never heard of anyone testing the way you do. I will see if I can do a retry count as you mentioned.
- I use my own images drawer because mason made me several new images that aren't in the public release yet (might be, not sure). So if they weren't current, no images.


@Tuxedo
- Could you email me some images, say 5, that have Exif thumbs? I will see what I can do.


@All
Keep checking the menu: Project->Check latest version
for updates. I will post them regularly. Check the Change Log for details.

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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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For the people with slow startup times, are you connected to the Internet? Ethernet cable plugged in?

WEx does a check for this. It is unresponsive/slow if no cable plugged in. Lasts 10-20 seconds. Nothing I can control; that is bsdsocket.library taking that long.

I suppose it could be made an option to NOT check for internet connection.....yes?

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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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2006/11/29 4:47
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@mritter0

Is there any way to display icons without the black box around them?

Attach file:



jpg  shot.jpg (83.88 KB)
102_590bd136a4425.jpg 700X500 px

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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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@klesterjr
Probably you just need switch your wb screenmode from 16 to 32 bit

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Re: Workbench Explorer feedback
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@mritter0 Quote:
For the people with slow startup times, are you connected to the Internet? Ethernet cable plugged in?

Yes to Ethernet cable plugged in & LAN network working , but I have no idea if internet was not working (it might have gone down very briefly without me noticing).

Why does it need to check for internet when started?

Quote:
Keep checking the menu: Project->Check latest version
for updates. I will post them regularly. Check the Change Log for details.

It says there is an update, so I tell it to update. It downloads the archive to RAM:, and then reports an error saying that "The hashes do not match".

However, I can manually unpack the archive, so it is not corrupt. Therefore I think must be some hash-checking bug in your program.

Quote:
@kas1e
1. ... you can toggle it off/on from menu or gadget View->Thumbnail.

Your explanation looks kind of scrambled to me. I would rephase that as:

You can toggle it off/on from the View->Layout->Thumbnail menu, or from a gadget near the top-right of the window.

However, even if Kas1e tried this, he will have seen a huge empty space where the Thumbnail was, and maybe not realised that this can be gotten rid of by dragging the bar above it. Perhaps your program could reset the space used to some minimum when disabling the Thumbnail? (But I don't know what would happen when you re-enable the Thumbnail again...)

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