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RE: Re: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard!

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Author webpost at tigris dot org
Full name webpost at tigris dot org
Date 2010-12-21 12:10:34 PST
Message Hi Jack,

Thank you for taking the time, to provide a clear explanation of this problem!

> There are APIs for providing icons, and changing icons, and even an API
> for providing the larger "preview" view ...
> The Apple file system has no concept for "a file whose status is based on
> files in some other directory." ...
> Apple file system doesn't ordinarily store file icons directly, but rather
> remembers which application owns the file, and checks the app's
> configuration info to learn the icon: we'd have to commandeer ownership of
> all svn-managed files, or give them single-file private icons, each of
> which carries its own kind of tackiness.

Thanks for this - it is much clearer to me now, why this is problematic.


> Changing the color of the file names (what Apple calls "labels") is
> possible, ...
> I believe the post you quote is describing a nook of the Code UI, which is
> basically a text list not icons.

Yes - that is exactly what I had in mind: if icon badging is at the moment not possible, one could maybe either use font coloring (i.e. these "labels") - or temporarily change the text rendered as the filename [from, say, 'text.txt' to '(M) text.txt' (for those files under Subversion control - and only when SCPlugin is active, of course)] - in Finder; as long as it provides some sort of visual feedback in Finder.


> Regardless: once again, the difficulty is not in finding some way to
> represent state, but rather in ensuring we know when state has changed
> and representation needs to follow suit.

If that is the crux of the matter, then I'd like to share my experience as a Nautilus user, and along that RabbitVCS (and before that, NautilusSVN plugin). Both RabbitVCS and NautilusSVN are/were supposed to detect when a file has changed, then calculate the SVN state, and then update the badge automatically. Fine enough.

However, apparently they both call Python to do this state calculation (though I'm not sure, don't take my word for this) - and on my netbook, more than often this results with either:
- Nautilus not updating the status of the file instantly (maybe it will do so, like, after a minute)
- Nautilus showing that spinning 'updating...' icon, while only few of the files icons are rendered, and the rest are, well in queue..

And so I've learned (in spite of the intended outcome for these plugins) that whenever I edit a file, and hit 'Save' - I should go also to the Nautilus window showing the dir containing this file, and hit on the Nautilus 'Refresh' button *manually* in order to regenerate badges and see actual SVN status; and if Nautilus freezes while generating the badges, it pays more for me to click the 'stop' button in Nautilus, and then click 'Refresh' again - than wait for the original process to complete.

However, as I see it, here the problem would be that Finder, as I recall, does *not* have a 'Refresh' button/context menu option (I guess the guiding philosophy here being 'why would one need it? This is Mac, all is automatic for the user') - and even less a corresponding 'stop' button.

But - since SCPlugin already requires a toolbar button as a workaround, how about a drop down menu for it (can't recall, maybe it already has some), which will allow entries for:
* Choice of rendering options (i.e. checkboxes for: add letters to filenames; color filenames; icon badging [when it works]; alternative engine (i.e. render and display png, possibly on mouseover) - along with possibility to turn them all off)
* 'Refresh' action (which would update any or all [or none] of the chosen rendering options).

This may also make SCPlugin a bit more "forward compatible", by which I mean:

> As it happens, we're presently quite close to fixing the badging, as
> per original user-interface design intent--see the discussion "Snow
> Leopard badging", in the dev@ list,

Thanks for the info - I found parts of that post while looking into all this, but couldn't find the thread! In any case - I keep my fingers crossed! :) However, if ...:

> No, no API. In fact, discussion with Apple engineers on the topic
> includes such remarks as "that sort of use is exactly what we're
> trying to prevent."
>

... Apple themselves want to prevent that, it means that the solution you may get working is still a 'hack' of sorts; and that means that it is likely Apple will break it again in the near future - which then again puts you in position of wasting your time/resources running after Apple hacks.

However, if a manually instigated 'Refresh' (via toolbar button, or context menu option click) is an easier and 'allowed' thing to implement in the Mac (Cocoa, whatever - sorry) Finder API; then I guess a 'Refresh' command + alternative rendering is what would help keep SCPlugin 'alive', by 'default' - even when Mac engineers would undertake more drastic API changes of similar character in the future (and then, as people hack the new changes, those could be retrofitted to SCPlugin, to bring back snappier status indication).

The only drastic change, I guess, SCPlugin users would experience - is that they should learn not to trust automatic status indication updates, but to hit that 'Refresh' button instead, if they want to be sure (which is maybe contrary to the entire Mac experience?). Then again, now one still has to drag a toolbar button to get to SCPlugin, so maybe adding a 'Refresh' command wouldn't be too much of a stretch.

In any case - are there any similar technical problems with implementing a 'Refresh' command?


> If any of the Mac users with whom you work are also Mac programmers,

Heh - sorry if I may have oversold them; none I know are specifically Mac programmers... I'm simply trying to get them to use Latex and svn for collaborative document writing :)


Thanks again for clarifying matters - and if you have the time, I'd love to hear your comments on this post too!

Cheers,
sdaau

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SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! jackrepenning Jack Repenning 2010-01-25 17:13:58 PST
     RE: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! mhgsjm m.higashijima 2010-01-26 09:33:59 PST
         Re: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! jackrepenning Jack Repenning 2010-01-26 09:56:50 PST
             RE: Re: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! webpost at tigris dot org webpost at tigris dot org 2010-01-26 12:03:22 PST
     RE: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! webpost at tigris dot org webpost at tigris dot org 2010-07-22 14:32:56 PDT
         RE: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! jrepenning Jack Repenning 2010-07-22 14:42:58 PDT
     RE: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! webpost at tigris dot org webpost at tigris dot org 2010-12-01 20:04:41 PST
         Re: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! jackrepenning Jack Repenning 2010-12-02 20:13:23 PST
     RE: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! webpost at tigris dot org webpost at tigris dot org 2010-12-21 00:55:03 PST
         Re: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! jackrepenning Jack Repenning 2010-12-21 10:23:16 PST
             RE: Re: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! webpost at tigris dot org webpost at tigris dot org 2010-12-21 12:10:34 PST
     RE: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! webpost at tigris dot org webpost at tigris dot org 2011-01-14 09:03:07 PST
         RE: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! jackrepenning Jack Repenning 2011-01-14 11:17:45 PST
     Re: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! lrivers Lorin Rivers 2010-01-26 14:15:33 PST
         RE: Re: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! webpost at tigris dot org webpost at tigris dot org 2010-01-27 00:32:11 PST
             RE: Re: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! jackrepenning Jack Repenning 2010-01-27 13:39:13 PST
         Re: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! jackrepenning Jack Repenning 2010-01-27 10:11:10 PST
             RE: Re: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! webpost at tigris dot org webpost at tigris dot org 2010-05-02 12:10:35 PDT
     RE: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! webpost at tigris dot org webpost at tigris dot org 2010-01-26 19:59:56 PST
         Re: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! auria Marianne Gagnon 2010-01-27 13:51:05 PST
     RE: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! webpost at tigris dot org webpost at tigris dot org 2010-01-27 13:31:17 PST
         RE: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! jackrepenning Jack Repenning 2010-01-27 13:55:04 PST
             RE: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! webpost at tigris dot org webpost at tigris dot org 2010-01-27 14:15:54 PST
                 RE: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! jackrepenning Jack Repenning 2010-01-27 16:14:20 PST
                     RE: SCPlugin version 0.8.0 released - now, with Snow Leopard! breakpoint Brian 2010-01-28 07:29:09 PST
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