Topic "Minor Suggestion on "Synchronized Browsing""

Author Message
Melianor

Guest


WinSCP Version: 4.0.2
Transfer Protocol: SFTP
Interface Style: Norton Commander
Error Message: Cannot open corresponding directory in the opposite panel. Directory browsing synchronisation failed. It has been turned off.

Hi,
Beforehand i would just like to say that the error itself is correct. I am using "Synchronize Browsing" Option, and when the directory i select does not exist on the other panel, then the error pops up. This is correctly working.

What i am suggestion though, is a usability change. I use Synchronize Browsing alot. Often some files need to be changed which are not in the sam directory and clicking through both panels makes you feel like playing minesweeper on steriods.

So the change i would ask for is to make "Synchronize Browsing" unobtrusive, meaning that it applies the "Synchronize Browsing" effect on the panels, when possible and if it's not possible just change the directory and don't output and error and don't turn the feature off. Just apply it where possible. It is obvious to the user that "Synchronize Browsing" fails when the directory does not exist on both panels and visible too. No actual need to inform the user or turn the feature off.

Hope this sounds logic. I would appreciate response. It's only a minor request, since i can turn "Synchronize Browsing" on and off myself via keyboard shortcuts.

Otherwise WinSCP is my choice when it comes to free feature rich S/FTP Clients. All the features i would ever have needed.

regards, meli
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martin
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Site Admin
Joined: 2002-12-10
Posts: 26299
Location: Prague, Czechia
It is not easy to do:

Image you are in c:\documents and /home/prikrylm.
You enter directory "images" in either of them.
Now you are in c:\documents\images /home/prikrylm/images
You leave the directory (enter "..").
Now you are in c:\documents /home/prikrylm
Now you enter local directory "html" which does not exist remotely.
Now you are in c:\documents\html /home/prikrylm

1) You leave the directory (enter "..")
Now you are in c:\documents /home and out of sync.

or

2) You enter directory "blah" which is in both directories.
Now you are in c:\documents\html\blah /home/prikryl/blah and out of sync.
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Martin Prikryl
rfc
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Joined: 2007-06-01
Posts: 2
Hi,

I'm also using WinSCP since a short time and interestingly I came here for the very same reason as user Melianor.

Prikryl, what you described, given what Melianor suggested, I would say is then the absolutely expected behavior.

The dialog interrupts the work flow, that is my view. For me, it should be a user preference what should happen. If a directory by the same name on either side is not available, let the user choose from one of the following options:

( ) Prompt dialog and turn the feature off (current behavior)
( ) Silently ignore it and turn feature off
( ) Silently ignore it and leave feature on

Maybe this sounds now overkill, but from my personal view it's worth it. Usability wise I don't like the current behavior, it slows down working. Because everything else is pretty much awesome in this application :)

greets and thanks for WinSCP
JoeFry

Guest


martin wrote:
It is not easy to do:

Image you are in c:\documents and /home/prikrylm.
You enter directory "images" in either of them.
Now you are in c:\documents\images /home/prikrylm/images
You leave the directory (enter "..").
Now you are in c:\documents /home/prikrylm
Now you enter local directory "html" which does not exist remotely.
Now you are in c:\documents\html /home/prikrylm

1) You leave the directory (enter "..")
Now you are in c:\documents /home and out of sync.

or

2) You enter directory "blah" which is in both directories.
Now you are in c:\documents\html\blah /home/prikryl/blah and out of sync.


Or you just keep track of the path virtually if the directory doesn't actually exist. For example:

You enter local directory "html" which does not exist remotely.
Now you are in c:\documents\html /home/prikrylm/*html

The asterisk in the path tells the user that the directory is a 'virtual' directory and does not actually exist on the host. Any attempt to write to the directory will generate a prompt to either abort or create the directory before writing.

Clicking '..' will still work because you are still technically in sync.

This is a lot more complicated solution, but it does solve the problem.
rfc
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Joined: 2007-06-01
Posts: 2
This looks like too much magic to me; I bet you will earn more confusion with so much behind the scene action.

Even for my suggested options I won't recommend change the default from what it is now. Just provider alternatives. Users, like me, will find the option in the preferences.
martin
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Site Admin
Joined: 2002-12-10
Posts: 26299
Location: Prague, Czechia
The next major version will offer creation of non-existing opposite directory (this is implemented already).
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Martin Prikryl
Guest




Has the number of dialogs been reduced when a conflicting state happens? E.g. when I try to change to a directory which doesn't exit on the other side I always get two dialogs:

1) Directory ... doesn't exist [OK]
2) Cannot open corresponding directory in the opposite panel. Directory browsing synchronization failed. It has been turned off. [OK] [HELP]

Can this be reduced to a single dialog? I would also suggest that the [HELP] button directly links to the relevant paragraph https://winscp.net/eng/docs/task_navigate#synchronize_browsing and not just to the page.

(Just to make sure, besides this: WinSCP is a great and very very useful software Smile
martin
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Site Admin
Joined: 2002-12-10
Posts: 26299
Location: Prague, Czechia
Quote:
Has the number of dialogs been reduced when a conflicting state happens?

No. Do you consider it that important?

Quote:
I would also suggest that the [HELP] button directly links to the relevant paragraph https://winscp.net/eng/docs/task_navigate#synchronize_browsing and not just to the page.

It does. See the address bar of your browser. Unfortunately, IE does not seem to follow it Sad
Shores
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Joined: 2015-10-07
Posts: 6
I think what is really a bit strange is not what happens when you try to navigate to a subfolder that doesn't exist in the other pane...

The concept of asking if the subfolder should be created and then entered is perfectly correct.

What I find a little strange is that the disabling of the folder sync nav happens when you try to enter folders, and NOT when you EXIT folders...

I'll show this with an example:

On the remote:
root
--www *
----lib
----liba
----libx

On the local
root
--goofy.com *
----lib
----liba

* marks starting folder with folder sync nav active.

If from the starting folder I try to go to libx on remote, what WinSCP does makes perfect sense: libx doesn't exist on local, create it? If not, sync nav disables (I think in this case it could be suspended until I get out of the non existent folder on remote, but I understand this is difficult).

What I find strange is what happens if I try to go to root, either on local or remote: WinSCP goes there without any message or action, but then...
Anything I can do (entering www on remote or entering goofy.com in local) results in "dir doesn't exists" error!

I think this is misleading: the action that broke the synced nav has been entering the root dir, but it caused no message at all and no disabling of synced nav, but now synced nav is in any case broken...

WinSCP could do better than that: either remember that www and goofy.com where considered the same as for sync nav, or silently disable sync nav, since I expressly exited the folder structure that is considered synced...

WinSCP also has the starting dirs of the saved session as a reference of the synced nav, I think...

Just my two cents!

Thanks Martin for the great WinSCP!
martin
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Site Admin
Joined: 2002-12-10
Posts: 26299
Location: Prague, Czechia
Thanks for your feedback!
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