Leave out / Put away

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Leave out / Put away

Postby mritter0 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:51 am

I have seen a lot of screen shots of people's Workbench and they are leaving out icons more and more. The project I am working on allows for this. But...it has to be done through an ARexx script. It has to open the window then leave the icon out. Not pretty to see a window open.

Could it be added to the workbench.library to do this? For files and drawers.


And why does the object need to be "hidden" in it's window? Why can't I access the object from the Workbench and it's actual drawer? Dumb. Start treating them like the shortcuts that they are. Composite an arrow, or a boing ball, or nothing, on them. It's not a bad thing to make use of the Workbench.

Maybe use a master list on the Sys: drive somewhere (ENVARC:) instead of a .backdrop file on each drive?
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Re: Leave out / Put away

Postby Daedalus » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:16 pm

What are you trying to do? Is your program adding left out icons without user interaction? It's already possible to leave out icons using the Workbench menus via ARexx, but of course this requires the icons to be selected.

I know it's frowned upon because it's not officially documented, but why not just add the paths you want to the relevant .backdrop file? Sure, it's not an official API and could in theory change, but that's unlikely to happen for two reasons: the glacial pace of development versus the issue's triviality, and even if it changed, it should still be compatible with the 3.x scheme for legacy reasons, which is even less likely to change and therefore could still be used.

Personally I don't have a problem with the whole "left out" paradigm. It makes sense to me, and it's never occurred to me that an icon should be present in its original location as well as on Workbench, and I've been using left out icons for 20-ish years. And I much prefer the volume-centric storage rather than a single central area. There are many benefits to it over a central location, mostly to do with removable media and the ability to rename devices and volumes. A .backdrop file system doesn't care about any of these things.
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Re: Leave out / Put away

Postby broadblues » Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:04 pm

mritter0 wrote:I have seen a lot of screen shots of people's Workbench and they are leaving out icons more and more.


More and more? I've been using left out icons since erm... the dawn of time (1985 for amigas...) I actually use them *less* now because I have AmiDock doing the job of the left out icons on my older 3.5 workbench from the a1200 days,.

The project I am working on allows for this. But...it has to be done through an ARexx script. It has to open the window then leave the icon out. Not pretty to see a window open.

Could it be added to the workbench.library to do this? For files and drawers.


Could be a useful additional ro WorkbenhCtrl() I agree. On the otherhand, maybe you should just let users use the workbench for that functionailty?

And why does the object need to be "hidden" in it's window? Why can't I access the object from the Workbench and it's actual drawer? Dumb. Start treating them like the shortcuts that they are. Composite an arrow, or a boing ball, or nothing, on them. It's not a bad thing to make use of the Workbench.


It's not dumb, it's a philosposphical pardigm.

1. They are not shortcuts. they are left out items.
2. It's a workbench. As a thought experiment go into your shed. Take a tool from one of the drawers in your toolbox place it on the workbench. Can you see it in the toolbox any more? Same with files from the filing cabinet. This is the model the workbench works on a an abstraction over the filesystem (which you can access via the shell at the same time using a different pardigm.).
3. There is already support for marking leftout icons as left out with small arrow or other glyph (the actual image is defined by an icon somewhere I think, and falls back to an internal one if the left out con is too small).

I do have what I would describe as shortcuts on my Workbench, they are in fact small shell scripst with icons that I leave out to open filer windows etc. But they are a custom addition of my own.
Maybe use a master list on the Sys: drive somewhere (ENVARC:) instead of a .backdrop file on each drive?



No doesn't work for removable devices, I have USB sticks with left out icons on them, and long agao my first edition o my first CD had a left icon to provide CDExtra features on amiga. Neither would work with a central respitory.
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Re: Leave out / Put away

Postby xenic » Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:46 pm

mritter0 wrote:I have seen a lot of screen shots of people's Workbench and they are leaving out icons more and more. The project I am working on allows for this. But...it has to be done through an ARexx script. It has to open the window then leave the icon out. Not pretty to see a window open.

Could it be added to the workbench.library to do this? For files and drawers.

I don't see the problem. If the user want's to leave your application out, he just drags it to workbench and selects the Workbench "Icon/Leave out" menu.

And why does the object need to be "hidden" in it's window? Why can't I access the object from the Workbench and it's actual drawer? Dumb. Start treating them like the shortcuts that they are. Composite an arrow, or a boing ball, or nothing, on them. It's not a bad thing to make use of the Workbench.

Maybe use a master list on the Sys: drive somewhere (ENVARC:) instead of a .backdrop file on each drive?

Adding a new feature to Workbench is fine but changing the way it has worked for over 20 years to please one person (or several people) just frustrates/irritates the rest of us. For example:

In October 2013 an update to ASyncWB changed the way it had always treated bare icons. You can no longer copy a bare icon (icon with no underlying program) to another disk (which worked previously). If you want to copy something like SYS:System/Shell to another disk it won't work. I don't know if that change was in response to a suggestion but all it really accomplished was forcing people to use DOS or a file manager for copying an icon (usually a project icon) to another disk.

The bottom line from my perspective is that additional Workbench features are fine but don't change the way Workbench works.
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Re: Leave out / Put away

Postby mritter0 » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:37 am

I don't mean just to leave my program's icon out, any file the users wishes. I just want to do it with library functions instead of ARexx. I don't want to have to open the containing drawer to make it work. It's a hack.

The idea of Leave Out is that way because short cuts as we know them now didn't exist back in the 80s. It's not really left out, it is hidden and the icon shown on WB. The actual file is not moved (left out). Why can't it be updated a little? The idea of the global file doesn't have to be done; no big deal, just an idea.

"Hiding" the file when it's left out is not very useful. It should be visible in both places, original drawer and WB.

Manually edittng the .backdrop file requires a reboot to take affect. Not doing that method.
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Re: Leave out / Put away

Postby Daedalus » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:42 am

mritter0 wrote:I don't mean just to leave my program's icon out, any file the users wishes.

It's all the same to AmigaOS.

I just want to do it with library functions instead of ARexx. I don't want to have to open the containing drawer to make it work. It's a hack.

Fair enough, it's probably something that could be added to workbench.library, though I'm sure there are plenty of higher up priorities. I don't see what the problem is with ARexx though - it's very simple to send ARexx commands directly from an application. If there was an ARexx command for leaving out that took a full path instead of an array of icons in a window, that would solve your problem.

The idea of Leave Out is that way because short cuts as we know them now didn't exist back in the 80s. It's not really left out, it is hidden and the icon shown on WB. The actual file is not moved (left out).

Workbench doesn't have the concept of a desktop directory (which is a good thing IMHO). It fits the whole workbench paradigm - you take what you want to use out of a drawer and leave it on the workbench so that it's easier to get at. It still belongs in the particular drawer it came from. Moving the file (as is done on other platforms with the same operation) would be a bad thing. Creating shortcuts is supported by the OS already, though it's not particularly convenient. See the Makelink DOS command. I've added some scripts to create shortcuts to my Tools menu that I've been using for many years that create links to files. These can then be left out if you wish, giving the same result as other platforms. It could even be integrated into the same script.

Shortcuts were around in the '80s - certainly predating Workbench 2. Windows versions prior to '95 are essentially based on shortcuts. It would have been a conscious decision to go with the Workbench model at the time when everything about the Workbench was being overhauled.

Why can't it be updated a little?

Just so long as they make that behaviour optional so that those people who prefer the "Workbench" paradigm can still use that, I don't have a problem.

"Hiding" the file when it's left out is not very useful. It should be visible in both places, original drawer and WB.

That's a matter of opinion really. It can be done that way (see above), but generally I prefer it to be visible in only one location so that if I move it, delete it, rename it or anything I don't end up with a bunch of broken shortcuts.

Manually edittng the .backdrop file requires a reboot to take affect. Not doing that method.

True, that should happen when the "Update All" item is selected from the Workbench menu (if it doesn't happen already - I haven't checked). I'm still struggling to think of a use case for creating shortcuts programmatically though. I hate it when applications on other platforms do it without at least asking. I like to be in charge of what goes where on my computer.
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Re: Leave out / Put away

Postby mritter0 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 4:25 am

I'm still struggling to think of a use case for creating shortcuts programmatically though. I hate it when applications on other platforms do it without at least asking.


DOpus. Browsing drawers, select a file, Leave Out.

I never said I would just do it without asking. What I am doing doesn't do anything like that. All user controlled.

Using ARexx to do it opens the containing drawer, it has to populate, if there are a lot of files (200+) it sometimes fails because it took too long to populate.
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Re: Leave out / Put away

Postby broadblues » Sat Jun 11, 2016 5:54 pm

mritter0 wrote:
I'm still struggling to think of a use case for creating shortcuts programmatically though. I hate it when applications on other platforms do it without at least asking.


DOpus. Browsing drawers, select a file, Leave Out.

I never said I would just do it without asking. What I am doing doesn't do anything like that. All user controlled.

Using ARexx to do it opens the containing drawer, it has to populate, if there are a lot of files (200+) it sometimes fails because it took too long to populate.


Rather than attempting to take over the whole process youself, you could just add a "show file in workbench" feature and allow the user to manipulate the file themselves via the workbench GUI. This is essentially what filer does with it RAmiga W, keyborad / menu shortcut.
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Re: Leave out / Put away

Postby Daedalus » Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:17 am

mritter0 wrote:DOpus. Browsing drawers, select a file, Leave Out.

Fair enough. I think of file managers in a different way, i.e. not for managing Workbench, but purely for manipulating files, but I guess some people might like that sort of functionality. DOpus 5 of course is different, having a full shortcuts system as on other platforms.

I never said I would just do it without asking. What I am doing doesn't do anything like that. All user controlled.

That's a relief :)

Using ARexx to do it opens the containing drawer, it has to populate, if there are a lot of files (200+) it sometimes fails because it took too long to populate.

Yes, but that's not because of ARexx. That's a limitation of Workbench lacking the required command, the very same reason you can't do it in C.
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Re: Leave out / Put away

Postby mritter0 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:22 pm

Using ARexx to do it opens the containing drawer, it has to populate, if there are a lot of files (200+) it sometimes fails because it took too long to populate.

Yes, but that's not because of ARexx. That's a limitation of Workbench lacking the required command, the very same reason you can't do it in C.


Right. That's why I am asking for it to be added.
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