[xplorer˛] — Europe is in shock
home » blog » 13 May 2007
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Yesterday europe's heart stopped a little for the annual eurovision song contest. Non europeans cannot grasp the festival of kitsch and junk bling that this song contest is. Somehow we all watch it over here though — and it's not for the musical quality! Anyway, as I resigned myself to my usual watching mode (trying to figure out which of the apparent women singers are in fact TVs in drag gear), I was pleasantly surprised by the bulgarian entry, a high energy original tune, sang by a real woman for a change — not a stunner but neither is xplorer˛ if you get my drift.

It goes without saying that I voted for it. It looks like the remaining greeks in the UK took a more patriotic stance since a 10 was registered for the greek song. But the most fanatic of all were the UK turks, since their song snatched the top mark of 12 (out of the UK voters I mean). In the end all that was in vain since the rest of the europe thought that the best of the breed was a lullaby sang by a "not too partial to the opposite sex" serbian woman. Go figure!

In other news this week, I have nearly finished with the next version 1.7 which implemented the democratically selected features xplorer˛ users asked for. A beta version is available for download, if you want to take it for an advance test ride. It is not final yet, so the odd bug may pop up, so you may want to skip this stage and wait for the official release of v1.7. But you know you want it right now so here's the download link:

Download build beta (950KB)

Here are the main improvements (use Help | What's new for the complete list)

  • Keyboard customization. This feature got the people's vote for most popular addition. No longer do you have to press <ctrl+R> to refresh a folder or <shift+tab> to go to the addressbar, you can set your own favorite hotkeys. This short demo shows how it all works.
  • Vista integration. Several small improvements, e.g. now you can once again set comments to all kinds of files, like in windows XP. But see my comments below.
  • editor˛ improved. We eventually lost the windows 95 16-color icons :)

For the final version I hope to offer another popular item, a GUI tool that will allow you to tweak the more advanced options in xplorer˛ without resorting to registry hacks. A big thanks to wasker for writing most of the source code. We all owe him a vodka shot or two!

A note of warning for windows vista. I have already expressed my dislike for this new OS, and the more I dig into it, the more outraged I feel. As it turns out M$ in their wisdom have discontinued support for normal file comments (you won't see a Summary tab in generic file properties any more) and also generic column handlers. All over usenet you find developers screaming at this gross stupidity. Anyway, in order to support generic comments xplorer˛ reverted to the way it stored comments in NT4, relying only on NTFS ADS. The downside is that these comments will only be read back by xplorer˛ and not explorer. I hope to come up with a more robust solution down the road.

Addendum: The latest xplorer˛ bypasses the problems of windows Vista and 7 and continues support of traditional column handler extensions. For more information see here

Anyway, enjoy the new beta and don't forget to let me know if you find something fishy.
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