Advanced Explorer vs Windows Explorer
From version to version, Windows and its explorer retain the same defects, as a precious heritage.
Worse, Linux distributions like Mint in their willingness to provide an interface as familiar as possible to that of Windows, show the same defects in the interaction with the user. In designing the interface of Tiloid and that of Advanced Explorer, I tried to find new solutions so that do not reappear in the new software.
What are these mistakes ?
Here's a list of what the interface of Windows and more in the explorer, may annoy the user ...
- When a window is moved on the screen as soon as it touches the edge, it goes into full screen mode. None of the designers of Microsoft thought we could want to move a window to the edge of the screen to clear the view of other windows.
- When you click on a directory entry, a filename or subdirectory, inevitably, the explorer proposes to rename it. Yet it is much more common to select a file to open it than for changing the name, a rare operation that should not be so immediate.
In Advanced Explorer, you click in a menu or an icon to rename a file, only.
- Another idea that probably wanted to be ingenious initially, and whose use can have disastrous effects : you can select a group of files to rename them all together. The drawback of this feature is that all the selected files then have the same name. The advantage of having a group of file with the same name seems a bit dubious. It may even happen that files remain selected outside the current view, and they are renamed by mistake. Then remain for the user to retrieve the original name.
This option of renaming a block of file has not been retained in AE, an omission entirely voluntary.
- When asked to create a new folder, Windows immediately creates a folder named "New Folder". Even if we cancel the operation. It can happen with time to have several of these empty folders in a directory.
This defect does not exist in A.E. because the folder is created only if the operation is completed.
- The designer who imagined to reduce the size of the button on the scrollbar based on the content of the folder has perhaps never a directory containing over 1000 files. Because in this case the button becomes so small that it is difficult to grasp it with the mouse.
Unfortunately A.E. depends on the browser interface and can not do anything when it uses the native widgets.
- A defect found also only in the drawing software Gimp, another nightmare in terms of interface : the lack of memory in the navigation system. When you open the explorer, it is always at the the root of the C drive, you have to search again and again folders used during previous sessions.
A.E. always opens to the last directory visited, before closing the program. If you want to return to the root of the file system, it is not very difficult ...
Designers often seem never to use the software they realize the interface.
Yet explorer also has qualities. The ability to click on a directory in the path in the navigation bar, for example, is one. Its implementation should also be made in A.E. in the future.
The art of innovation at Microsoft: AOL' site in 1996 vs. Windows 8
But A.E. is not limited to correct defects in Explorer and it is not the purpose of its design. It has a local client-server architecture that can easily allows to add new modules without the need to compile the code. Over time it will gradually improve with new functions that you will never see in Windows Explorer or similar tools of any other system.