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Workbench Explorer feedback

Subject: Workbench Explorer feedback
by ChrisH on 2017/5/4 10:38:10

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).

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