Extra INI-entries…

Ideas for improvements and requests for new features in XnView Classic

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Clo
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Extra INI-entries…

Post by Clo » Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:06 am

:arrow: All

:) Hello !

• Many times, users request some options which are useful in some cases or with some OSs only. Indeed, Pierre can't add a mountain of options in the program, this causes a huge work, especially as long as we'll have the languages as DLLs.
Hence, we get only new options when a major version is released, for really missing features and / or big lacunæ.

- However, there is a simple way allowing to get some options for these special cases. It's to plan a bunch of extra INI variable entries that each user can add by hand following his / her needs.
- Most certainly, Pierre ought add the appropriate codes in the program core, but he's not bound to modify all interfaces in all languages (and I don't know about the UN*X versions, in addition…).

- So, some options could be added for bugfixes and minor changes versions.

- I have proposed such a solution already here and there in various threads. This is heavily used, for instance, in Total Commander, that satisfies the users and the Author who saves Option-pages… You may verify giving a glance to the Tutorial, at the «wincmd.ini» chapter.

- Another user thought to this too in this thread
- This allows also very flexible features. In the aforesaid program, in example, the dirs. names are shown by default within square-brackets in the file-lists (ugly !); there is not any option in the configuration pages to change that, but one can add the line :
[Configuration]
DirBrackets=0

in the INI file, just restart the program and the trick is played, the ugly brackets have gone…:wink:

- In that way, it could be possible too to improve some existing features, following the user's suggestions. Recently, I requested improvements for the “Grid” display. Other users brought ideas, that have led to a need of several options. Below, what these options could be as extra INI-entries :

[Grid]
GridMarking=0

;0 —> No labels, 1 —> Displays digits and letters for the “X” and “Y” coordinates (like actually), 2 —> Displays only digits for “X”, and letters for “Y”.

GridThreadColour="Value"
;Colour value, i.e. as hexa : $E9AA28 (little endian) …

GridStepSize="Value"
;Value in pixels of the side of each cell. IMHO, the grid might have square cells always… Or else, the two values in the order W*H like : GridStepSize=24,48

GridStyleAtZoomMax=1
;0 —>Displays the size set by the previous entry GridStepSize=n…, 1 —> Displays the pixels themselves as a 1*1 grid (if possible as “buttons”, like in Corel 3.0™).

KeepGridFor NextPrevious=1
;1—> Keeps the grid display for the next / previous files, 0 —> Doesn't keep the grid beyond the current file.

- Indeed, the information under each entry here (in small font) should be provided in a document, not in the INI file itself…:P

- For a try, some entries could be written already and commented in the default INI, but personally, I'm not in favour of such a way later…

- We could have means to add easily such entries, without any risk of mistake; a friend here has some good ideas about that, I think he'll explain you. :D

- Waiting for that, I can say that it's much simpler to add a line (which can be copied / pasted from a document) in the INI than to write a «kind» letter with Word® to your Dear Aunty Agatha (in the hope to inherit of her nice nest egg) Image

• Another very intersting use for extra INI-entries is to test options for a new feature in the betas and RC versions, this could be fast, and could bring precious indications to Pierre, thus shorten the tests periods, I guess.

Glad to hear your feedback,

:mrgreen: Kind regards, V. G., Cordialement,
Claude
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Last edited by Clo on Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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helmut
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Post by helmut » Fri Sep 16, 2005 6:06 am

Thank you, Clo, for addressing this. You have listed the pros of options available only in the ".ini" file. To have a complete picture, we should look at the disadvantages, too:

Options which are available only in .ini file (and not in dialog "Options") are:
- harder to change
- harder to know about
- will need an explanation somewhere: Forum? Online help?
- adding options might become inflationary and not thoroughly discussed since it's so easy for the author to add another one.
- until now, all options (except the hidden options for Terminal server) are available in the options dialog

I'm not completely against such options. But until now XnView doesn't use them. We should be careful when breaking this concept and be aware of what it will mean.

Other thoughts and comments are welcome.
Last edited by helmut on Fri Sep 16, 2005 6:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Lesmo16 » Fri Sep 16, 2005 6:07 am

As TC user I fully support this request ...
... and these "options for professionals" will only been given from druids mouth to druids ears! :D
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Thanks, and more later---

Post by Clo » Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:06 am

:arrow: Lesmo16

:) Hello !
- Thanks for support!

- Indeed, this way we know very well as TC users needs to be explained more, and appropriate limits must be defined…
- For years, I wonder that it isn't applied in XnView, even within specific limits.

- I'll bring more info a bit later for this practice; neither to write in the INI, nor to have a good document are serious issues, they can be solved easily…

:mrgreen: V G
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How to add entries easily ?

Post by ouistiti » Sat Sep 17, 2005 7:44 am

Hello !

First, I support that request, it can help a lot the author and the users whether it's adapted alright to the program. I'm a TC user too for a while, so I can say it's good globally.
- We could have means to add easily such entries, without any risk of mistake; a friend here has some good ideas about that, I think he'll explain you. :D
I suppose that Clo thought to some discussions we had out the forum …
What could we have, in order to add extra INI-entries easily ?
1. A text-file containing all allowed extra entries, plus the information for each, like Clo showed in his example above. Of course, this might be documented with more details in the various Help folders and Manuals that XnView has…

2. A simple menu command, let's say in the Info menu or whatever to invoke a text editor, able to display both that reference file, and the current xnview.ini file, like “Add extra Options” or so.

a) An editor in wich you can copy / paste from a window to the other (with a vertical tiled layout, i.e.) could be stated -by extra entries, indeed-, and invoked by the menu entry.

b) A specific small tool could be created as well by Pierre as by a competent user, and called by that menu entry.
- It should be made only with twin-windows, like on the fake capture below :

Image

Note : the pic has been made from the windows of an editor…

With such a tool, we could have automatically the wanted files displayed. We could select the entry to add, then paste it by Drag & Drop in the INI file, on the opposite window.
Then, just type the right flag or the value.
The "Save" button'ld save the changed INI, keeping the tool open if you want to add /change another entry,
The "Close" button without saving should act as a "Cancel" button (no change)
"Save" —> "Close" might save the INI, then close the tool and eventually restart XnView automatically.
It isn't very complicated, isn't it ? I bet that even the famous “Aunt Agatha” is able to do this :D

Best regards,

Paul
L'important n'est pas de convaincre, mais de donner à réfléchir.
The important thing is not to convince, but to incite to think.

1,77245385090552...

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More info…

Post by Clo » Sun Sep 18, 2005 2:54 am

:arrow: Helmut and All

:) Hello !

• Some replies and additional info…
…- harder to change
- Very relatively. Besides, I don't think that these entries be used for options you ought change frequently… It's the way in which I use them in Total Commander, and I guess that others (TC-users) do the same…
- Like you can see on the Ouistiti's message above, it should be so simple to get means to add entries…
…- harder to know about
- No more than the options in dialogues. Simply check the messages from Members and Guests here, you'll see a myriad asking for "How to do…", while an option exists in a dialogue ! Some guys and girls are pretty sure that they born “omniscient”, they never browse the option-pages { no offence to anybody, but unfortunately this occurs, and we can't change this. :( }
- will need an explanation somewhere: Forum? Online help?
- First, Help folders, of course… All users are not members of the Forum, or have insufficient Web connections to consult it a lot…
- Now, my own ("a bit special") Manual is available for download and also online on the Web, no problem to add a chapter :D
But the forum is still the best place to discuss the needs of options, and in which way the majority wishes they be added.
- adding options might become inflationary and not thoroughly discussed since it's so easy for the author to add another one.
- I wrote in the start posting :
…• Another very intersting use for extra INI-entries is to test options for a new feature in the betas and RC versions
- So, even if it's easy to add by Pierre, only the successfully tested useful options could be added. Testing in betas and RCs should help Pierre to decide which options must be added, and which must not…
- Besides, if such an INI option seems very demanded for an important new feature, it can be changed later into a dialogue-option in a next major release.
- I wrote too :
…- Indeed, this way we know very well as TC users needs to be explained more, and appropriate limits must be defined…
- This is obvious. Pierre is the only able to define the limits of using extra INI-entries, and I don't think he'll go in the excess, we have not to fear an inflation. 8)
…I'm not completely against such options.
- Sweet to hear…
…But until now XnView doesn't use them.
[joke] Helmut, on my teenage period, till I had not met a kind (older) tart yet, I remained a virgin ! A very old story…[/joke] Over the joke, it's the same : we can't know as long as no try is done…

• Some other capabilities of extra INI-entries :

a) Make a sum of flags.

- In some cases -not very rare- several options can be added ones others if they can't cause conflicts, it's an AND (&) Bolean function shown usually in the dialogues as tick-boxes [ x ], while the usual flags 1 / 0 or more, which can't be added as a sum are an EXCLUSIVE OR Image Bolean function. They are shown as radio-buttons [] [O] in the dialogues.
An example, from a Total Commander INI entry :
* CopyComments=6
* This is a combination (sum) of the following flags:
 1: Default comment type is files.bbs
 2: Default comment type is descript.ion
 4: Read comments from both types
 8: Copy comments belonging to files. The comment files themselves are skipped.
16: Use DOS charset for descript.ion (files.bbs always uses the DOS charset)
* If both 1 and 2 are set, 2 takes precedence
- Indeed, yes, this is slightly more complicated, but avoids a large section in an option-page…

b) Use an exclusion marker.

- Some entries need to state a pretty big number of file-types i.e. for which non-image files are allowed to display as thumb-nails or so;
- It's simpler to use an exclusion marker, generally it's a vertical dash |. Then, we can have an entry like (this one is not real, of course) :
ThumbnailsAllowedFileTypes=*.*|*.pdf *.php *.xyz *.CrappyImageFormat
where all extensions set forward the | are excluded to display, as well images as non-image types, the same entry does the job for all !
- However, I don't know if XnView supports that exclusion syntax, I expect that Pierre will inform us…

:mrgreen: G, VG, m.f.G., Kind regards, Cordialement,
Claude
Clo
Last edited by Clo on Sun Oct 02, 2005 2:20 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Post by Lesmo16 » Sun Sep 18, 2005 6:03 am

Clo wrote:Indeed, yes, this is slightly more complicated, but avoids a large section in an option-page…

That's all advantage in one sentence!

This sligthly more complicated way of setting up will be easily managed by the "slightly more professional" users.
Newbies and users that don't need this additional pro settings are not confused with a blown up option-page.

But: A complete documentation of those settings would be essential! (perhaps Clo will be pleased to create it ;) )

And if additional support is needed ...
... you can count on the great members of this forum! :D
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Post by marsh » Sun Sep 18, 2005 6:12 am

I also support this. Perhaps there are options which can be moved to 'ini' to make an dialogue fit better.
And, a 'testing purposes only' section isn't unheard of.

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Some are for all---

Post by Clo » Sun Sep 18, 2005 6:27 am

:arrow: Lesmo 16

:) Hello!
…Newbies and users that don't need this additional pro settings are not confused with a blown up option-page.

- Thank you for that reply ! You are right. The example I gave is in the medium difficulty-range, and in fact, it's in TC as an Option page-section :P
- This page is so full “like an egg” that it makes confusion, I saw the case…

- But -like you know- a large percentage of users, newbies included, add the famous :
[Configuration]
DirBrackets=0
- Except some lovers of the old NC-Dos and similar… and the Author I suppose, he likes this :D
- Hence, some entries are not exclusively reserved to experts…

{ Aside …
Sorry - forgot to log in! ;)
- To avoid this, simple : I never log-out ! }

:mrgreen: V G
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With also---

Post by Clo » Sun Sep 18, 2005 6:49 am

:arrow: marsh

:) Hi B. !
• Thank you to support !
- We have also "full eggs" in the XnView Option-pages ! I know your troubles about this ;)
- That could help, also with another language system, giving the widest controls for all languages 8)
-Currently, I began to work for that, sh !

:mrgreen: K R
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Post by Olivier_G » Sun Sep 18, 2005 9:41 am

I think this idea is very interesting...

My own opinion is that, currently, XnView options are already overwhelming for first time users (who tend not to read/try settings at all when they become too numerous).
Using extra ini settings could actually be a good solution to simplify quite a lot the options panel... :D

Olivier

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Good opinion---

Post by Clo » Sun Sep 18, 2005 3:48 pm

:arrow: Olivier_G

:) Hello !
- Thank you for the reply. Your opinion is right. The goal is also to avoid to add mess to the mess, since the program-evolution leads inescapably to add more and more options !
…Using extra ini settings could actually be a good solution to simplify quite a lot the options panel… :D

- Why not ? Some options could be kept as INI entries only, that should make some pages clearer; I thought even that pages for some formats not very used (reading, writing…) could stay only like this = a lot of dialogues to suppress, and a pretty bunch of KB saved ;)

:mrgreen: Kind regards, cordialement,
Claude
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An experimental tool…

Post by Clo » Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:34 am

:arrow: Ouistiti & All

:) Hello !

- Paul, the tool you wished exists now, my son Henri L. wrote it! :D
- It's available as a small ZIP HERE.
- Please, read the document “Lire_ReadMe.txt” first !

¤ Pierre and all : please, let me know your opinion about that modest tool.

¤ For the TC-users : a version for TC is adapted too, it's handier than the original menu entry, IMHO… You can get it THERE. :wink:

:mrgreen: Kind regards,
Claude
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Tool : 2.0 version ---

Post by Clo » Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:31 pm

:arrow: Ouistiti & All

:) Good evening,

- The improved version 2.0 of the "Add-ini" tool is available ! Same links than above.
• New in that version :
- Option page at the first start-up time, then from the local menu,
- All settings in that Option dialogue,
- Separate language file : English, Danish (thanks to “Petermad”), Dutch (thanks to Paul) French, German; other languages can be added, just create a section [My_New_language] and translate from another existing one…
- "Start" button allowing to start XnView (or any other program to which the file to change belongs)…
- Please, read the “Lire_ReadMe.txt” file for more info…
- Thanks to Henri and Paul for this brainwave and its realization !
Note : Users running non-French Windows can get the appropriate (eventually missing) VB6 files HERE as a RAR archive.

:mrgreen: Kind regards,
Claude
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Post by helmut » Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:59 pm

The extra settings have positive response and might really be a good idea. I haven't tried the extra tool, yet, but thanks Clo & Henry for providing it. :-)

One more aspect of the extra settings came to my mind:
If you use Windows registry for saving the settings, you will have to edit the registry and create the appropriate registry key and set it's value, there.
Various people know about the usage of extra settings in Total Commander, how is the Windows registry issue handled in TC?

@Clo: You French people have a really strange kind of humour.

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