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curious if i should use this or an IDE for a custom file manager

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lllaaazzz
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curious if i should use this or an IDE for a custom file manager

Post by lllaaazzz »

I want to make a custom file manager thats usuable on windows 10

reason is that having to open 4-5 windows, using quick access links and all that stuff without accidently closing them and going through the trouble of opening new windows

also would be nice to override the "Save as...." windows that every application uses but i noticed some of them look rather ancient

im not sure if I should look into rainmeter or making an apllication in mvs
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Active Colors
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Re: curious if i should use this or an IDE for a custom file manager

Post by Active Colors »

You can create a skin with some icons/texts which will launch your apps by clicking on them. You can also make an icon/text which will launch all your 4-5 windows at the same time. That is fairly easy. You can additionally make use of various conditions or prepare some additional visual interface to quickly change your settings/variables.

However, if you want to open those windows in a specifc for you layout you will need apply some additional effort.
• Very easy and simple way would be using integrated into Windows taskbar options to rearrange windows. Just click right mouse button on desktop and choose one of the options: Show windows stacked, or Show windows side by side. Note that this works with only visible windows that are not minimized.
• If you need to pre-define the location and size of each window, you will need to use some external app. An app like Autosizer would do the job.
• If you are familiar with AutoHotKey you can make some custom commands using its WinMove command.
• If you need more flexibility that you can integrate into your skin, you would need an app through which you can control the size and position of your windows by sending command line options to the app through Rainmeter using integrated RunCommand plugin. Portable apps like GUIPropView, NirCmd and cmdow do the job.
• The most manual and probably the most inefficient way... ↓
would be using WindowMessge plugin for sending "messages" to other windows. In those "messages" you can put your commands like to set a position and size of each window. Note that you will have to find yourself what sort of "messages" you need in order to achieve that. (1: You will likely find examples on StackOverflow or SuperUser as well as in the "SendMessage API" documentation. 2: You will need to use tools like WinSpy, GUIPropView, WindowDetective, or classic Spy++ to get information about open windows like windowclass and use that info for your purposes. 3: This method is not quite good if you run some software that shows its windows with a delay, like Photoshop.)
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Re: curious if i should use this or an IDE for a custom file manager

Post by Active Colors »

But speaking of replicating Explorer itself, I doubt Rainmeter is good enough for that. I am not saying that it is impossible. Sure the task is not an easy one. Some things are possible and to some extent. Everything depends on what you want to achieve and your familiarity with Rainmeter and other Windows components as well as finding viable workarounds. I don't know what you want to do and what your end result could look like. And I am not the best person who understands how every function of Explorer works. Some heads-up:

• At least, you will need to display folder contents using native FileView plugin.
Additionally:
• You can certainly make use of various native Rainmeter options that will make things logical. Go to http://docs.rainmeter.net/ and explore it by browsing the navigation panel.
• For example, you will mostly probably need to widely use MeterStyles and Variables, Nesting Variables, Built-in Variables, Section Variables.
• You can have Lua scripts and use RegExp natively in Rainmeter in order to achieve certain things.
• You can read registry using Registy measure.
• You can additionally run command line commands using RunCommand, run .bat/.cmd files and PowerShell scripts.
• You might need some external tools like the ones from NirSoft, and by using the same RunCommand you will be able to send your parameters to those .exe tools.
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Re: curious if i should use this or an IDE for a custom file manager

Post by Active Colors »

Maybe in combination with window tiling manager you can achieve some desired effect. You might heard of acclaimed quick and easy tool AquaSnap and quite an old and huge tool Actual Window manager. Fortunately, in the recent years more tiling managers appeared with their own unique features. These are what I know of:

And some tools with different approaches:
If you need a completely different file manager, there are quite a bunch of classic file managers like TotalCommander and Directory Opus. There are also couple of new modern open-source file managers which you might not have heard of:
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Yincognito
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Re: curious if i should use this or an IDE for a custom file manager

Post by Yincognito »

lllaaazzz wrote: March 11th, 2022, 8:59 am I want to make a custom file manager thats usuable on windows 10

reason is that having to open 4-5 windows, using quick access links and all that stuff without accidently closing them and going through the trouble of opening new windows

also would be nice to override the "Save as...." windows that every application uses but i noticed some of them look rather ancient

im not sure if I should look into rainmeter or making an apllication in mvs
So basically you want a system where 5 windows managing various documents are open and easily switched to. If you don't need multiple windows from those 5 to be visible at the same time (which would complicate things as ActiveColors mentioned, irrespective if that is done via Rainmeter or MVS) the best choice would be to try to organize them into tabs, preferably in the same "window container", that you can switch to if desired. Even if they would not belong to the same container (which would again simplify things), that is possible in both software, all it would take is find a way to bring back the desired window "in front" or "in focus". As for replacing the save process or icon in the said apps, I'm afraid that manipulating internal processes in those apps will be rather difficult to say the least, unless those apps have some command line method of triggering saving the current document or you write some small AutoHotkey scripts that do it via capturing the said windows and mouse events on them. Obviously, this would be again made more difficult if you handle multiple documents in those apps, since you'd need to know which document to save at the very least.

Like ActiveColors said, a bit more details are required to have a more precise assessment of the task at hand. Some simpleton example using common software like Notepad or others won't hurt either.
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balala
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Re: curious if i should use this or an IDE for a custom file manager

Post by balala »

lllaaazzz wrote: March 11th, 2022, 8:59 am I want to make a custom file manager thats usuable on windows 10

reason is that having to open 4-5 windows, using quick access links and all that stuff without accidently closing them and going through the trouble of opening new windows

also would be nice to override the "Save as...." windows that every application uses but i noticed some of them look rather ancient

im not sure if I should look into rainmeter or making an apllication in mvs
Even if a basic file manager (and / or file viewer) can be created, Rainmeter is not a programming language. You can't create a really good and versatile file manager in Rainmeter. Simply this is not the meaning of Rainmeter. A properly chosen app would be much better and simple.
My opinion...
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Yincognito
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Re: curious if i should use this or an IDE for a custom file manager

Post by Yincognito »

balala wrote: March 11th, 2022, 6:54 pm Even if a basic file manager (and / or file viewer) can be created, Rainmeter is not a programming language. You can't create a really good and versatile file manager in Rainmeter. Simply this is not the meaning of Rainmeter. A properly chosen app would be much better and simple.
My opinion...
Indeed, bar the "can't" part. :D The native Rainmeter INI format and capabilities can be extended via scripts in PowerShell, Lua, Python, batch, WScript, CScript, AutoHotKey, etc. which while it will make the task more difficult, it won't make it impossible (dragging would probably be an issue, if a proper mouse plugin isn't used, I reckon). I know you said it's your opinion and I respect it of course, just trying to be more to the point in the assessment, that's all. This file manager thing reminds me of when I created my own file manager in Pascal back in DOS days... Nowadays things are much simpler, though the functional coding part still needs to be done, unlike the visual one.
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balala
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Re: curious if i should use this or an IDE for a custom file manager

Post by balala »

Yincognito wrote: March 11th, 2022, 7:22 pm Indeed, bar the "can't" part. :D The native Rainmeter INI format and capabilities can be extended via scripts in PowerShell, Lua, Python, batch, WScript, CScript, AutoHotKey, etc. which while it will make the task more difficult, it won't make it impossible (dragging would probably be an issue, if a proper mouse plugin isn't used, I reckon). I know you said it's your opinion and I respect it of course, just trying to be more to the point in the assessment, that's all. This file manager thing reminds me of when I created my own file manager in Pascal back in DOS days... Nowadays things are much simpler, though the functional coding part still needs to be done, unlike the visual one.
I'd like to see a fully functional file manager created in Rainmeter. Am just curious...
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Re: curious if i should use this or an IDE for a custom file manager

Post by Active Colors »

Well, nobody has asked for a fully-function and versatile file manager yet. And moreover, nobody has asked for a "good" one yet too. A very simple file-manager that does one specific job can be as good. And if it should have only couple of functions then it will be likely possible with Rainmeter. As I said before, it really depends on what the OP is looking for.
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Yincognito
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Re: curious if i should use this or an IDE for a custom file manager

Post by Yincognito »

balala wrote: March 11th, 2022, 7:31 pm I'd like to see a fully functional file manager created in Rainmeter. Am just curious...
Well, since that would be about reinventing the wheel (of which I'm not that much of a fan of, obviously), I'd need an incentive to satisfy your curiosity, apart from my particular preference for 'impossible' challenges that you guys are well aware of. Say, you could commit to never say "it can't be done" again, LOL. What do you say? :sly:

Joking aside, bar the 'bonus features', a file manager is not that much of a big deal, to be honest. On a basic level, it must have:
- one or more visually scrolling lists of files (the FileView plugin checks almost all boxes here, the rest would be Container meters or dynamic scrolling)
- the ability to create, copy, move, delete and select folders and files (possible via simple mouse actions, Lua scripts and its table arrays)
- the ability to view or edit text files (via executing Notepad for the simple variant or using an integrated file viewer or editor, roughly similar to this)
- the ability to access the local network (now that I think about it, I'd be curious if the FileView plugin can do that, since network paths are still paths)
- various other file or folder features like setting attributes, zip files or folders, etc. (possible via batches or PowerShell scripts ran by mouse actions)
And that's about it. Other bonus features can be added via scripting as well, or RunCommand measures, etc. The key here is to actually try to do it, or think of ways to do it, before rejecting the possibility - my opinion, like you said as well. ;-)
Active Colors wrote: March 11th, 2022, 8:04 pm Well, nobody has asked for a fully-function and versatile file manager yet. And moreover, nobody has asked for a "good" one yet too. A very simple file-manager that does one specific job can be as good. And if it should have only couple of functions then it will be likely possible with Rainmeter. As I said before, it really depends on what the OP is looking for.
Indeed - it was just an exercise of imagination or a side note, if you like, given the somewhat related topic here. A harmless one, of course. ;-)