20 July 2016

ExpPrint 6.3 Release

While this is only a minor release, there are a few additions that may benefit from some additional background information.

These first 2 additions will, I hope, finally allow me to eliminate classic mode as they cover all the remaining points that customers have raised that have led them to still want the old classic mode.

1. Plain Text Listings

I started development on plain text output around V4 time and abandoned it because I couldn’t see any use for it as the HTML listing provided much better formatting capability and most modern applications can neatly import full fidelity HTML by copy/pasting from the browser. The CSV output covered the situation for gigantic listings where browsers are unable to cope with the size of the HTML document; allowing you to to load the data into a spreadsheet.

What I’d not considered is a case that a customer recently pointed out to me where they wanted to get a listing into MS Word and easily edit the lines of the listing to do very specific editing and formatting. Copying and pasting an HTML listing into Word gives rise to a table, and doing any editing on the table was quite difficult and inflexible.

After a few emails we decided that a plain text output was a pragmatic solution, and by separating each column with a tab character, and doing any indenting of files/folders with space characters, they could work with that format inside Word easily.

After a prototype trial, I realised that the new plain text and CSV transforms were almost identical, so with a few more changes the same code now does both the CSV and plain text output formats, and the CSV output gains the optional indenting of the file name too. Smile

2. Folder Depth limit

This is a facility that the old classic mode had. I’d discarded it in favour of limiting the listing depth at the final stage of output so that the folder total sizes were always accurate.

This wasn’t an issue until you have a very large, deeply nested folder tree that you only wanted to get a listing of the first couple of level of, and aren’t interested in the folder sizes. In this scenario the listing generation could take a long time – doing a listing of an entire 4TB of data will inevitably take a while.

To satisfy this requirement, you can now set a depth limit (from the Additional Settings dialog) when generating a listing. Since ExpPrint will no longer process folders below the depth limit, the folder size totals will of course be incomplete.

To indicate that sub-folders have not been listed, there's a built-in default "NotEnumerated" styling for HTML listings to indicate the absence of sub-folders. Folder totals that have omitted sub-folders are displayed by default in blue italic text with "≥" (greater than or equal) prefixing the size to show that the size is likely to be greater than the figure shown. Also, the first level of omitted sub-folder is shown with the blue text "Omitted" added to the size column. You can of course create your own CSS files to override this style and format it however you like.


3. Hard Links

I’ll cover these in a separate post.

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