Options Dialog Finished

Hello everyone, remember me?

Wow, it’s certainly been a while since my last blog post.  I apologize for that, but honestly, I didn’t really feel like anything worth blogging about had happened, and I really didn’t want to make even more “sorry for the lack of updates, I’ve been busy”-type posts.  As an aside, let address something quickly:  I think I kind of assume people know this, but for anyone that doesn’t, please note that the blog is definitely not the way to judge whether the project is alive or dead.  The commit log is.  As you can see, I’ve been working on this project at a break-neck speed for the last couple months, and a few days ago I finally hit a milestone I feel is worth blogging about: The options dialog is complete.

This dialog has been such a massive undertaking, far bigger than I could have even remotely imagined.  The changes that it required were extensive and far-reaching.  And I’m sure some people are thinking “It’s just a dialog box!  Why is this important/time-consuming?”  I hope no one misunderstands this; I do know that nobody’s going to download this program just because it has a fancy options dialog.  What’s important to realize is that the dialog itself is simply the most visible part of a huge set of changes.  Many parts of the program have been re-coded from scratch, with performance improvements, increased stability, and simplifications made all over the place.  It’s certainly been a wild ride, and as difficult and time-consuming as it was, it’s been incredibly fun and an enormous learning experience.  Before this, I always kind of felt like I was just poking a few places in this enormous, enigmatic black-box.  But now, it truly does feel like it’s my program.

I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up that the next release is coming tomorrow; there’s still a ways more to go, a few more features to implement, and more than few bugs to fix.  But, this is a very big milestone.

I know screenshots of an options dialog aren’t exactly super exciting, but I suppose I should include a few here:

69 comments to Options Dialog Finished

  • Qriist

    Impressive! I am looking forward to the end result.

  • Gavin

    Glad to hear you’re still alive! This looks absolutely wonderful, good work!

    Can’t wait to see the final product when you’re done! :)

  • Qriist

    Impressive! I am looking forward to the next release.

  • Jairo

    i knew you were working on it (a LOT) but i didn’t know if you were posting somewhere else xD

    man… that looks REALLY good. i can’t thank you enough for bringing this to us, i feel compelled to chip in!

  • Eluvatar

    Nice, I cant wait. will this also include a few features? or just the options change?

  • Wow! This is so impressive!
    Thanks for your great work! ;)

  • maul.esel

    Wow! That looks great!

    Thanks for your effort in this wonderful software! And thanks for doing it open source. I always learn something from your code.

  • alexander_q

    We haven’t forgotten your hard work. Keep it up.

  • h13.Bishop

    Looks great. Thank you. Waiting for release!

  • cc

    Thanks for the update, I am eagerly awaiting next release. Thrilled to hear you are finally feeling at home with the code and it’s very comforting to see that you have a real nice sense of design/UX as well. Great job on the options modals. I love the icons you’ve used next to the headings, would be real cool if you could try to release toolbar buttons in the same look/feel.

  • Speedy

    Absolutely stunning! Great work! Thanks a lot.

  • iron2000

    Have been keeping track of this blog using RSS so I won’t forget :)
    The Options dialog is looking great!

  • Putzo

    Amazingly good looking, nice job man! Can’t wait to see it all in action (and I, for one, was checking the commit log ;) )

  • MrWolf

    Awesome! Thanks for all of your hard work on this!

  • Nobody

    Truly nice job!

  • chris

    way to go! your software is already very usefull as it is, i can hardly wait for a new update. cheers

  • bremaya

    Hey man, this is great…. I wanna this new version, good job ! ! !

  • JQP

    You’re too hard on yourself there, Mr. Dev. Those of us who don’t code (but are nerdy enough to hunt down an app like QTTabBar) are impressed by anything. :) So you should blog those insignificant changes. =D

    And uh, yyyeah, judging by all the stuff showing in that options dialog, the additions are extensive and impressive. Plugins? I had no idea you were up to all that kind of mess.

    I’m looking forward to playing with it. Saving tabs/locked tabs on exit is enough to get me interested.

    P.S., I’m using Beta 2…is there an option dialog in this version, and if so, how do I access it?

    Anyway, good job, and I love the app.

  • zoraro

    @JQP, right click beside the tabs (i.e. tab background) options is the last entry in the menu. All the feature you mentioned are already in Beta 2 version (plugins and restoring locked tabs).

  • tony bombata

    man, i was scared you were pulling a quizo on us

  • Raj

    Thanks for putting the screenshots of the re-worked options dialog. I like the new mouse dialog – it looks clearer and easier to work with. Also love the new icons – gives it a modern feel. Great job!!

  • zoraro

    Any chance getting an idea of what new features will be added.

  • Tabbed windows for Explorer is indispensable :D
    Using v. Beta 2 on Windows 7 and have found 1 flaw. That is the usability of Memo.dll (folder memo plugin)

    I have tested v. Beta 2 and noticed a lot of wonderful changes optimised for my OS. There are some weird behaviours though. Double-clicking a folder, for instance, takes me up one folder level.

    Thanks for continuing to work on this gem of a program :D

    • Sorry to say that the v2 Beta 2 is from Quizo’s branch, not mine. I haven’t really looked in depth as to what new things he implemented. If you know of anything in particular you’d like to see in my branch, let me know and I’ll prioritize it.

  • Haozhun Jin

    Well done! And thank you!
    BTW, have you considered integrating with Windows 8 explorer?

    • As of the latest Windows 8 build, almost everything still works. Breadcrumb Bar middle click is the only thing I found that’s broken, and I know why and how to fix it.

  • xCurt

    Congratulations on this fine milestone! ♥

  • bamajon1974

    Is v2.0 and future versions of QTTabBar fully compatible with Classic Shell?

  • boiledfox

    Looked at the new option screen shot and Great jop!! Really like the look!! Glad you are still alive btw. :)

  • Michael

    I would like a keyboard shortcut and a dedicated icon to invert a selection in explorer.

    Had been an easy feature with Windows XP, but it has been buried deep in the menu with Windows 7.

  • Reiner Block

    Great job done! I guess just software developers as us can imagine what kind of cruel work it is to design and implement a good looking GUI without errors and with high usability. :-)

  • Peter

    Hello Paul, good that I surfted by here. Screenshots are always very interesting. Nice, that you posted them!
    The Firefox style for the addon feature is truly a gem. It is a pitty, that you couldn’t update the Button Bar options too:
    Add and Remove buttons to move entries between two list boxes is a very old fashoned way to configure a toolbar.
    Would it be possible to introduce a more Firefox-like way to change these settings by using drag’n'drop?
    I see, that you made significant changes to the language file feature too. Will it be possible, to upload translations?
    Thanks a lot!

    • Drag and drop buttons is a great idea! However I think at this point I have to declare the options dialog feature-complete for this release. I’ll definitely look into it for the release after next.

      For translations, my current idea is to have a special folder on the website that QTTabBar will periodically check for new language files. If a new one is found, it will download it automatically and place it in the “Built-in Languages” dropdown you see in the screenshot. Translators can then just email me the language file, I can add it to the folder. I don’t think giving people the ability to directly upload translations is a good idea; Even if they’re just XML files, I still have to be able to check them for anything overtly malicious.

      • Peter

        Ok, very understandable. I am looking forward to see drag & drop in a future release some day. :)
        You mentioned one time to introduce the frosted glass surface from Aero behind the tabs.
        Are you still planning this? – I am asking, because this would just be a feature for Vista and 7, since in 8 you will probably position the tabs underneath the ribbon, which means, that Aero does not make sense here… :(

        In first place I was a little disappointed, that you wanted remove the tabs from the options dialog.
        - I am a fan of tabbed multipages and did tweak the translation, until all tabs did fit into one single row.
        But I see your point of having more flexibility to add new menu points without to fear, that it will create a new tab row. This will result in a lot more structured options dialog, which we can see in the new mouse settings. :)

        What I hate at the current version of QTTabBar is, that tab rows switch places while selecting different tabs.
        This does couse a lot of confusion, because it is way harder to find back the old tab. Better would be, if the tabs would keep their position.
        Another approach would be, to scroll the tab bar – but here I would try to scroll a whole tab row instead of a single tab. This of course has advantages and disadvantages. But I never saw such behavoir in an application yet – it would be nice to see, how this works in practice.

        Another idea for getting cleaner UI would be, to give all tabs a fixed size like the standard on every browser.
        Especially if users open folders with very long names, this would be really helpful.
        You might ask, how the user will differentiate between similar named tabs… – But I think, that this would not be a big deal, if the tabs keep there position: the user will rember it, if there are just a few similar named tabs.
        Maybe you can make this optional or solve it with a plugin, like Tab-Mix Plus is doing it on Firefox.

        I don’t want to force anything on you. – These are just my thoughts about your great project! :)

        • Glass tabs are definitely still on the docket. And in fact, given that there is still an option to disable the Ribbon in Win8, it should still be possible there too.

          The tab row behavior is already customizable. I think it’s on the “Tab” tab of the current options dialog. Needless to say it will be much more visible in the new dialog.

          Fixed size tabs is also in progress. However, I’m not sure how attractive it will be. The reason it works so well for web browsers is because web pages have unique icons. Folder icons are mostly the same (for most people). Because of that, it’s much more important to be able to see the full name of the folder. But I know a lot of people want this feature anyway, so I’m definitely implementing it.

          • Peter

            Oh, I hope that these ribbons will be deactivateable!
            I think the ribbons have advantages and disadvantages compared to the old style menus. Over all I think they are fine for applications like Microsofts Office suite. – But I hate them on MSPaint and WordPad. At these applications it looks that Microsofte tried hard to get enough buttons to be able to open a second ribbon. This just forces the user to switch between ribbons for no reason. For me a very bad design. The old WordPad was good to open large files (e.g. logfiles) – basically the only reason for using it. But the Win7-Version became way slower, which makes it almost useless. I am feared, that Mircosoft does deface the Explorer too… :(

            Thank you very much for the tip with the customization of the tab row!
            There was just “Underneath 1″ and “Underneath 2″ – this is not very understandable. I think I tried both, but could not see any difference in first pleace (I didn’t switch tab in that situation – I just thought, that with one setting the number of tabs is just limited).
            I am looking forward to see your solution in the new options dialog. :)

            I also see your point of fixed size tabs. But if the tabs are big enough, I think it can work pretty well.
            We should give it a try at least.

  • red

    Hi ShiningMasamune,
    Congrats on this fine job and your amazing consistency (i keep seeing the trac timeline) in developing the app.

    Quizo had posted a plugin (for the v. Beta 2) which would show the folder size in the statusbar (showed the sizes correctly but kept crashing explorer). I hope you have that plugin or something similar because it seems like a reallllyyyy useful plugin. There were few other plugins as well but can’t remember now. If you are in touch with him, maybe you could expand on those.
    I really hope the blue menu which appears when you click on desktop is also brought back (works in v. Beta 2).

    Thanks and Regards,

    • Peter

      Hi red, calculating the folder size might freez the explorer for a while. Maybe it can be solved via a worker thread – but even here the information might show up with some delay.
      If this feature can be implemented with not too much drawbacks, then I would show this information in the normal file list under the column file size instead of the status bar.

      What do you mean with blue menu while clicking on desktop? Could you upload a screenshot somewhere please?

      • He’s referring to the Desktop Tool. Which will be brought back, probably next version but possibly the version after.

        Regarding folder size, I’m still looking into it. No promises.

  • Benjamin

    QTTabbar has been good and will get even better now. Thank you!

  • xpclient

    Wow it looks gorgeous. Well done. Your design skills are GOOD.

  • @jaywk

    I seem to recall the Backspace key working as ‘moving up a directory’ in XP. I recently upgraded to Windows 7 and it now functions as back (history). Can you make it so we have the option of how we want the backspace key to work? I’ve tried with the current shortcut options but I can’t change this particular behavior. Like everyone else here, I really appreciate your work on this project. It is indispensable! Thank you.

    • This can be done already. Look around the options dialog for “XP compatible backspace.”

      • @jaywk

        Thank you. That is exactly what I was looking for. Maybe you can help with this too as I’m sure I’m probably overlooking it. It is preferred that each time the Backspace key is pressed that it goes up a folder in the directory but without opening each directory in its own new tab. Any way to make it so that a new tab doesn’t open for each folder you navigate up?

  • Anoyimus

    whats is the milestone?

  • Lookin’ Good! QTTabBar is one of those extensions I can’t live without. It is simply unbelievable (and inexcusable) that MS still hasn’t figured out (or doesn’t give a rip) that users like tabs.

  • Phil

    I hope you release a beta or alpha in the near future ;-)

  • red

    @Peter, Thanks for responding. You are right about the freezing part and of course it could be made to work with a worker thread. But the plugin is already implemented by Quizo and i think it is SelectionTools.dll, just need to remove the bugs. I have uploaded the required files for you to test at w w w . m e d i a f i r e . c o m/?0cdogwyfze08jci (please remove spaces) But the source for plugins seems to be missing (i hope you can get it from the author). Also the blue menu is part of the QTTabBar Desktop Tool, i have included the screens in the file attached. Kindly have a look.

    P.S: my above comment posted 2 days ago kept awaiting moderation, hence posting with the spaces in the link.

    • Peter

      Hello red, thank your for your upload. Now I know, how the QTTabBar Toolbar works – I tried it several times in the past, but could not see any effect (because the toolbar has to be hovered with the mouse).

      Its functions seem to be pretty similar to the application Direct Folders, which I use:
      h t t p://codesector.c o m/directfolders

      Here you can see its features:
      h t t p://codesector.c o m/directfolders-demo

      I am using middle click instead of the double click. For my opinion this fits better to context menus and does not interfer with the application Fences from Stardock.

      I think, that currently Direct Folders has a richer feature set than QTTabBar.
      Until now I saw QTTabBar more as a tabs addon for the Explorer instead of an all-in-one extension. Also, because it offers the possibility to add plugins for additional functions besides the awesome tab feature set.
      Paul, can you please tell us your philosophy of QTTabBar regarding this point?

      • red

        @Peter, had already tried directfolders, it has some issues with other software on my system. My point is not only for the desktop menu but the blue tip for desktop folders as well (since i am a heavy user of the desktop) i.e. QTTabBar Desktop Tool made to work for win7. Quizo’s version for windows 7 had it working fine so thought it might be in the source (included in my uploaded file) for you guys to see and extract.
        Thanks and regards to all.

  • Heiner Misas

    Congratulations. Spectacular work.

  • Ralph Martin

    Awesome, very nice, keep it up. Looking forward to the new release.

  • Angtor

    This looks pretty amazing now that you’ve optimized the all things internally and reflected them in the option dialogues. Pretty awesome job there ShiningMasamune. Am looking forward to the next release.

  • Hi Masamune san,
    Thank you for your efforts.
    I’ve been using your QTTabBar and QTAddressBar quite long.
    Looking forward for the new release.

    Thank you

  • Anoyimus

    come on man! you are awesome!
    all i can see inside the timeline are HUGE chunks of modified code @_@
    you are really working you arse off here xD
    unfortunately, i cannot thank you enough for that… i’ll start doing so anyway…

    Thank you.

  • Trois

    Good to see you keep working on it! Looking forward to next release (when?)

    What I would like to see: automatically saving all open tabs and their locks – so, if I reboot (or machine crashes), all tabs are re-opened (and locked, if any) – in the order that they were opened (as in group, where you can edit the order). That way I start where I left (you could call it ‘tab-history’).

    Is there a way to subscribe to your blog/project per email – I don’t use feeds.


  • Songokuu

    Glad to now you still working on this. Thank you for this great app.

  • Leito

    That looks promising. I just discovered QTTabBar today, and I already can’t do without it!

  • David Cardona

    Personally that options menu is vey good, i like it my comment would be more of the visual part of the tabs like would be alot better if they looked like win 7 tabs kind of like areo instead of win95 tabs i know it takes a lot of time and effort and i appreaciate that. I just wanted to make you aware that, it would be nice for that visual change in the future when you get enough time to do it. thanks for everything you have done up to this point.

    best regards

  • xeonnnnn

    Features and improvements …options dialog.. not so much personally

  • someone

    for some reason , this version didn’t allow me to open any file/folder .
    also , i couldn’t find how to use the tab style i had before .