Adding Files "Weirdness"
A Better Finder Rename has a feature that allows you to add entire folder hierarchies for renaming.
This powerful feature is switched on by ticking the "Subfolders and their contents" checkbox, which by default is switched off.
This feature does impose some restrictions on what kind of other files and folders you can add to the preview table and the reasons why this is so, are fairly complicated and non-intuitive.
A Better Finder Rename will on occasion refuse to add new files even though they are not yet in the preview list and this can cause some serious head scratching.
This page explains the why behind this refusal, but I'm afraid it's complicated and won't change anything, so there's two explanations really:
The short one first for those with little time: it doesn't work and it shouldn't work.
And now for the the much longer, boring and complicated one for those with a more inquisitive mind..
Essentially the problem is that adding two overlapping folder hierarchies makes no sense and would make the user interface totally unpredictable because there wouldn't be a common set of expectations of what would happen.
A little example might help:
Imagine dropping first your Desktop folder into the preview and then your entire user folder. The desktop folder is of course inside your user folder.
As long as you haven't switched on the "Subfolders and their contents" feature, there's no problem in understanding what this means. You just want to rename two folder names in the same manner.
Once you switch on the "subfolders and their contents" feature, however, nothing makes much sense any longer..
Surely it should "go".. but it's still part of the user folder hierarchy, so it's included whether you've added it or not!?
You could say "well it means that it's explicitly excluded", so it should be all subfolders of the user folder except for the desktop folder. In this case, should all the files and folders (ie. the "content") also be explicitly excluded or not? Moreover, what if you want to remove the explicit exclusion? The exclusion is no longer represented anywhere, so how do you select it in order to remove it? "Well, we could have a glowing red item in the folder list that represents the exclusion." Well, yes we could.. but that way lies madness..
There are a myriad other complications in allowing items from subfolders into the preview list, but this one specific example to illustrate the general problem.
There are similar problems with allowing folders which contain items that are already in the list into the list.
The truth is that there is no way of supporting this behavior that does not end up being much more confusing than it would ever be useful.
Finally, there is one alternative behavior to what is currently implemented that one could argue would be beneficial: Only imposing the restrictions once the "subfolders and their contents" feature is activated.
This would have the advantage of letting users who have no interest in the feature use the program exactly as they would expected.
The disadvantage would of course be that it would shift the "weirdness" to the moment where the feature is switched on. What would need to happen would be that either the checkbox would be disabled as soon as there are items in there that violate the necessary restrictions; or that the program does some "house keeping" as soon as the feature is switched on.
Both of those alternatives, I feel, are worse than simply not letting you drop the files into the preview in the first place.
This refusal, while unintuitive, is easily observable and you know exactly what has happened, even though you may not understand the why in detail.
Disabling the "subfolders and its content" would be plain mystifying, plus you wouldn't know how to get it back. This wouldn't just be "odd", it would prevent you from going back. In my opinion that would be much worse.
Finally, doing some "house keeping" when the feature is activated isn't a good solution either. A dialog would need to appear that explains why you can't have overlapping hierarchies and the program would need to remove all but the highest level folder (in our example only the user folder would remain).
This would again be confusing, plus you couldn't get back to previous situation: Imagine you dropped 20 individual folders into the preview and then their parent folder. Now you click on the checkbox; all subfolders are added, but when you untick the checkbox again the 20 folders are gone but only the parent folder remains!?
Finally, it comes down to a design decision of where to place the non-intuitive behavior. Is the "subfolder and their contents" feature more important than the ability to drag & drop several items from different levels of the same file hierarchy?
This decision isn't all that difficult to make as:
Right, that was the long explanation :-)
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6th March 2013
Version 9.19 adds support for reading meta-data tags in a variety of video formats.
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