[xplorer˛] — Color coding metadata
home » blog » 14 October 2007
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First thing for this week, hats off to Al Gore for clinching the 2007 Nobel prize for peace (a honor that transcends epsilon and other small time awards) for his work on raising global warming awareness to man+dog. I knew all along that the world is getting warmer, and I submit collateral evidence to this effect. As to whether this is man made or not I am not quite sure, but windows vista's CPU resource utilization doesn't help at all humanity's carbon footprint minimization efforts, surely!

Another human endeavor that's completely irrelevant to climate change is color coding of filetypes. The windows exploring convention sees that different file types are distinguished by their filename extension and a unique class defining icon. Some peoples organization requirements are not satisfied by little icons though and insist on more vivid visualization of file type differences, e.g. showing each file with a different foreground or background color, according to its class.

xplorer˛ offers Customize | Color coding menu command for this purpose. You can create a series of simple filters based on filename extension and associate a different color to each of them. The example pic on the right defines 3 color filters, blue for *.cpp, red for *.h and bold for *.txt files. You can go beyond color coordinating extensions
file type color coding
using any valid wildcard pattern, e.g. give green background color to folders that begin with Release*. You can even use the same color for a range of filetypes using the comma separated format understood by xplorer˛, e.g. *.cpp,*.h,*.rc.

You can get more creative using the full potential of hyperfilters as basis for color coding. You don't need to confine yourself to filename rules; every piece of file attribute or metadata can be used, as supported by xplorer˛ search engine. Last week we were talking about folder junctions and how nice it would be to have them standing out to avoid accidental deletions. That's easily handled using a detection rule that is based on the Attribute column. Since folder junctions have a unique "J" attribute letter, we can define a color coding rule on this feature.

See a step by step guide on how this is done in today's demo video
Warning: color rich content, may cause epileptic fits to some :)

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