Request: Actions > File Operations

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HeyYCw
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Request: Actions > File Operations

Post by HeyYCw »

First use and XnConvert is amazing - thank you!

I would like to be able to perform a sequence of actions on a master image and export different versions to multiple destinations.

Feature request: A new category of Actions > File Operations. The new actions would essentially contain many of the same options provided in the "Output" tab. However by making this tab an Action, I could efficiently perform multiple operations on a single file. The Output tab would then become redundant.

Other file actions could include touch, delete and duplicate.
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xnview
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Re: Request: Actions > File Operations

Post by xnview »

If we have 'File operations' tab how do you set multiple destination folder??
Pierre.
HeyYCw
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Re: Request: Actions > File Operations

Post by HeyYCw »

Actually you would not need an Output Tab anymore. Instead, you have an Output File action like:
OutputFileAction.png

So you have multiple "Output File" actions in this list - with a minimum of one "Output File" action. When there's only one 'Output File' action in the action list, the 'delete' button/icon is disabled.

Just a minor change ;)
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cday
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Re: Request: Actions > File Operations

Post by cday »

Making Output an Action would make the interface less intuitive and cause problems, I think...

But possibly tabs on the Output tab to set up multiple outputs?
HeyYCw
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Re: Request: Actions > File Operations

Post by HeyYCw »

What I want to do is to sequence a series of transformations and exports on a single image (for example hi / medium / low res versions for an web app that targets different platforms).

It is a significant change from current version. However, from a UI perspective it just wouldn't make sense to have multiple destinations on the current "Output" tab because you need to perform specific transforms prior to outputting each version. That's why you need this idea of 'File' Actions (eg 'Output File") instead of having the Output tab.

Hope that makes sense
cday
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Re: Request: Actions > File Operations

Post by cday »

You're right: tabs on the Output tab would only enable output to alternative file formats/compressions.

But difficult to see a way of meeting your needs without making the interface substantially less intuitive for other users. :(

Possible workaround: You have the capability to quickly load saved action scripts to run again with different settings...

Possible workaround: You could probably use multiple instances of XnConvert to do what you want, but not a perfect solution...

But this is a need that has been requested periodically, so it would be good to find a practical solution :?:
HeyYCw
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Re: Request: Actions > File Operations

Post by HeyYCw »

I see what you mean... It would create UI inconsistency.

So here's an even crazier idea...

Let's make everything an action with a minimum of one Input and one output action:
InputFilesFolders.png
Here I've gone even further by combining the 3 Input, Actions and Output tabs into a single tab 'Convert', creating UI consistency again.
PS:I'm too lazy to readjust the original Output file image 'cause I think you get the idea now...
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cday
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Re: Request: Actions > File Operations

Post by cday »

XnConvert has a really excellent interface... :D

But yes there is a need for a way to output multiple files with, for example, different pixel sizes. Your suggestion seems fine in principle -- with the slight qualification that not all Actions could be 'undone' successfully if required in a 'serial' flow -- but would seriously impact the existing interface.

Two more thoughts for a possible solution:

- A checkbox on the Output tab 'Enable output action' [or something...] which grays the Output tab and enables the proposed Output action;

- A way of automatically running multiple saved scripts in succession.

The advantage of those possible solutions, if they check out, would be that they would add the needed capability with minimum impact on the existing interface... :wink:

Or maybe there are other possible solutions?
HeyYCw
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Re: Request: Actions > File Operations

Post by HeyYCw »

The first suggestion I think suffers from similar complicated UI problems as my first crack at this issue.

Your second possible solution has really good potential but wondered about the difficulty of trapping errors across multiple scripts.

I'm still favouring the 3-into-1 solution as the simpler more elegant solution (eg click a file and it would show in the preview window). One refinement to the idea would be to have a "Reload Original" file action. This would reload the source file and allow transform operations maximising image quality.

There would certainly be a design and programming challenge to manage possible conflicting actions. Solve that and you've got incredibly powerful, flexible tool.
cday
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Re: Request: Actions > File Operations

Post by cday »

cday wrote: - A checkbox on the Output tab 'Enable output action' [or something...] which grays the Output tab and enables the proposed Output action;
HeyYCw wrote:[This] suggestion I think suffers from similar complicated UI problems as my first crack at this issue.
A big advantage is that with the checkbox unselected as default, most users will see no change to the existing excellent and familiar interface. But the details would have to be worked out.
cday wrote: - A way of automatically running multiple saved scripts in succession.
HeyYCw wrote:[This] solution has really good potential but wondered about the difficulty of trapping errors across multiple scripts.
I'm not sure how significant a difficulty that would be...

The saved scripts would also have to include the Output tab settings as well as the Actions, I'm not sure if that is presently the case, although the Output settings could probably be added.
HeyYCw wrote:I'm still favouring the 3-into-1 solution as the simpler more elegant solution (eg click a file and it would show in the preview window). One refinement to the idea would be to have a "Reload Original" file action. This would reload the source file and allow transform operations maximising image quality.

There would certainly be a design and programming challenge to manage possible conflicting actions. Solve that and you've got incredibly powerful, flexible tool.
That would be a radical interface change...

If one were developing an application from scratch to provide alternative actions and multiple outputs, one might think of paired Action and Output tabs, and a way of creating new pairs as required... Not immediately relevant, but a possible insight?

Edit:

That last insight might actually have some potential:

Add to the existing excellent and familar interface a way to add additional Action + Output tab pairs as required...

So the default interface would be identical except for the new button, and when new pairs are added the interface would show [Action 1 tab + Output 1 tab] then [Action 2 tab + Output 2 tab] and so on: just more tabs added to the existing interface when required, for which there is plenty of room.

That should be reasonable easy to impliment reusing existing code and would provide a capability that has been requested periodically. You might like to mock up alternative designs to sell the idea to Pierre if it checks out... :D
HeyYCw
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Re: Request: Actions > File Operations

Post by HeyYCw »

Yes the paired tab thing had crossed my mind too. There are many possible approaches and such a radical change (whatever the approach) be best left for a v2.0. I'll leave it to Pierre / UX experts / community to figure out the optimal solution. Thanks for the discussion - most enjoyable.
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XnTriq
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Re: Request: Actions > File Operations

Post by XnTriq »

Related topic(s): Resize to multiple files at once
Corel AfterShot Pro ([url=http://product.corel.com/help/AfterShot/540111115/Main/EN/Doc/batch_output.html]Understanding settings for batches[/url]) wrote:By having multiple tabs in the Batch Output Settings dialog box, you can create multiple output types within a single batch. For example, you can create small thumbnail images, large Web-viewable images, and full size TIFF images with a single click.
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xnview
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Re: Request: Actions > File Operations

Post by xnview »

The UI must keep user friendly, so i don't find a easy way to do that...
Pierre.
HeyYCw
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Re: Request: Actions > File Operations

Post by HeyYCw »

I agree with that being the guiding principle - don't want to confuse or alienate users. Hope the above is constructive food for thought.
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XnTriq
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Re: Request: Actions > File Operations

Post by XnTriq »

How about a “Reset” action?
Revert to the initial state of the input files and specify a new output directory.
All subsequent actions will be applied to the originals and the results will be saved in a different destination folder.