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Missing "Always show folders" button

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  • Missing "Always show folders" button


    Using build 444 I was wondering why some folders were disappearing while a new folder compare was done. Aahh, I remembered from BC2 that there is a button "Always show folders" which makes for example empty folders appear.

    But where is that button in the current Cirrus build??

    After 10 Minutes of browsing the "Customize Commands" dialog-box, the helpfile and this forum I had no success. Hmmmpff!

    Last chance: the Changelog.txt ... and voila:

    - Added "Compare Folder Structures" session setting, replaces "Compare orphan folders like orphan files" and "Always Show Folders".

    Using this option all the missing folders got displayed. But I think that this checkbox is hidden too much. The helpfile mentions the old button even though.
    I personally want to have back the button on the toolbar!! plz. plz. Believe me, every normal BC2 user will run in the same trap like me ...

    Any chance? What do the others think?


  • #2
    Sorry, I meant to post about this feature earlier! I'll get the help file updated for the next release.

    The new "Compare Folder Structure" option combines and replaces two features that in our view were "band-aids" -- stuck on to fix complaints but not well integrated into the core model.

    If the new feature is as successful as we hope it will be, we will enable it by default.

    I'd like everyone to try turning on the option in your most-used sessions and your Folder Compare session defaults. Let us know if you find any problems with it, and in what cases you'd rather have it off.

    And yes, we'll look into putting it back on the toolbar, but for now it's more important to us to see that it's working correctly.

    Tim T Scooter Software


    • #3
      Christoph's request makes sense to me in theory - I did regularly use the Always Show Folders button in BC2. However, for whatever reason I haven't yet missed it in Cirrus, perhaps because until the past month I still used BC2 for pre-existing sessions. So for now I'm agnostic on the question.

      Edit: This post's original crossed Tim's. I will give it a try. Tim, could you post a description of exactly how this new option is supposed to work? Or do you want us to be introduced to it more intuitively?
      Last edited by jdmarch; 17-Jan-2008, 09:41 AM.


      • #4
        I seldom ever have "Always Show Folders" disabled in BC2 or in Cirrus. The only time I hide folders is when my folder tree is so large that it impacts my ability to find changed files. In those situations, I've used the toolbar button to toggle the option.

        I agree that burying this option is not helpful. It unnecessarily complicates the interface and decreases a user's ability to toggle the view on the fly. I don't mind if the setting is saved with a session, but please leave the toggle on the toolbar.
        BC v4.0.7 build 19761


        • #5
          Here's the long story:

          BC1's folder comparison always showed the entire directory trees. This caused difficulty finding a few differences in a sea of folders.

          In BC2 we implemented a new philosophy: Folders are hidden unless they contains something that contributes to the comparison. IOW, we're really comparing files -- folders are only there to show where the files are located. We recognized that that wouldn't cover everyone's needs so we slapped on a "Show Empty Folders" option. That caused some confusion (does it mean truly empty folders or folders with entire contents filtered out?) so it evolved into the simpler "Always Show Folders". Then there were complaints from people who were surprised that empty orphan folders were not shown as a difference, and when Sync commands didn't sync them. We slapped on a "Create empty folders" option in Sync Options.

          In Cirrus we introduced the rather obscurely-named "Compare orphan folders like orphan files" criteria to try to deal with the issue. Then it occured to me that simply the directory structure is either important to the comparison or it isn't. If it is, I want to see orphan folders whether or not they're empty. So we changed the name of the option to "Compare Folder Structure".

          Craig then suggested extending Compare Folder Structure criteria beyond merely including orphan empty folders as differences -- it could also count non-orphan empty folders as an explicit match. So now, with Compare Folder Structure enabled:

          1. With the Show All display filter you always see all folders.
          2. With the Show Orphans display filter (and any other filter that includes orphans) you see all orphan folders.
          3. With the Show Same display filter, folders that are on both sides but empty will now appear (they didn't before).

          We hope this rather neatly handles what the Always Show Folders option was trying to accomplish.
          Tim T Scooter Software


          • #6
            Thanks, Tim. That sounds like a well thought out and useful implementation (certainly better than the "obscure" BC2 implementations).

            I am just requesting a toolbar button to toggle the new enhanced feature (I already looked in the "Customize Commands" dialog to see if it was available...and being so new, I'm not surprised that it hasn't been yet).

            It can look the same as the old (eyeglasses on a folder) with a new tooltip to reflect the improved functionality. It would probably be a candidate for the View drop-down menu as well.
            BC v4.0.7 build 19761


            • #7
              As I mentioned earlier, we'll look into adding a toolbar button. However, it's not as simple as you might think: The setting is a comparison criteria and not a display state. Notice that if you turn Compare Folder Structure on or off in a named session, it becomes a modified session and prompts for saving on exit. If we make the feature a display state, it would break one of our design rules: display states never change item coloring. Besides, as it's now implemented, it's a "how to compare" feature and not a "how to display" feature.
              Tim T Scooter Software


              • #8
                Disappearing Folders

                You're right, Tim. Now that I've taken another look at it, it's not at all like the "Always Show Folders" option. I do not need this on the toolbar. What I really like is to be able to always see my folders. If content is the same underneath, they turn gray, not dissappear. I used it all the time in BC2 and, while I do like this implementation better than the "Compare orphan folders like orphan files", I do not agree that it replaces the "Always Show Folders" functionality. It eliminates it.
                BC v4.0.7 build 19761


                • #9
                  Thanks for the good explanation, Tim. I think this one is going to take some time to settle out.


                  • #10
                    Thanks, Michael. That's exactly what we're looking for -- people who would miss "Always Show Folders" if we permanently remove it.
                    Tim T Scooter Software


                    • #11

                      In BC2 it is hard to duplicate a folder structure in a simple and logical way. What would really be helpful to me is the following:
                      • User enables "Always Show Folders" (if we get it back)
                      • User selects the "Show None" Favorite (if it gets added) or turns off all component toggles
                      • User expands the folder tree
                      • User selects the expanded folder tree
                      • User copies to other side

                      To me, this seems like it would be the most logical way to copy a folder structure from one side to the other without having to play with custom file filters, etc.

                      In BC2, copying the folder (even when the component toggles are all turned off) copies the entire contents of the folders. I have always considered this to be a defect in BC2. If I have expanded my folders and no files are visible (because all of the toggles are off) then copying the visible folders should do just that...copy only the folders without the files.
                      BC v4.0.7 build 19761


                      • #12
                        This is how I tried it in Cirrus (which was equally frustrating):
                        • I expanded all folders.
                        • I Selected All files.
                        • I Inverted the selection so that only folders were selected.
                        • I copied to the other side.

                        All the files that I had de-selected by inverting the "All Files" selection were copied anyway instead of only copying the folders.
                        BC v4.0.7 build 19761


                        • #13
                          Michael, duplicating folder structures is fairly easy in both BC2 and BC3:

                          1) Turn on "Always Show Folders"
                          2) Set file filters to -*.*
                          3) Use the Synchronize Folders->Custom Sync, Mirror, with "Create empty folders" checked and "Just selection" and "Only affect visible files" unchecked.

                          1) Turn on "Compare Folder Structures"
                          2) Set filters to -*.*
                          3) Select all
                          4) Copy to other side. Make sure that "Including filtered files and folders" is unchecked in the confirmation dialog.

                          In the next release we're getting rid of the "Including filtered files and folders" checkbox. Copying a folder will only copy unfiltered files, and moving/deleting will always affect the entire folder instead of moving/deleting the unfiltered subset.
                          Zoë P Scooter Software


                          • #14
                            Yes, I am aware that one can use a -*.* file filter. In my opinion, that is not intuitive, especially for one that normally does all their filtering using the component toggles.

                            I look forward to testing the changes you've mentioned... but I still maintain that it would be nice to be able to view and copy a folder tree with files filtered by the toggles excluded from that copy. Although keying a manual filter is a workaround, it doesn't make it any less frustrating when a user tries to do something in a logical way and doesn't get the results they are looking for.
                            BC v4.0.7 build 19761


                            • #15
                              In other words, if there is a method to accomplish something that does not require the user to pull up the session settings and change their session defaults...a user is going to prefer it rather than editing session defaults to do a specialized task, then remembering to revert the settings when they are done.

                              Likewise, if the user thinks there should be a way to do something without having to edit their session defaults, then they will try it... and will get frustrated when it does not work.

                              The -*.* method will only work if the "Compare Folder Structures" setting is enabled. The method I described would work regardless of the "Compare Folder Structures" setting, thus eliminating the need to go into and change/verify the session settings.
                              BC v4.0.7 build 19761