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The X-file Suite

'The easiest way to explain it is to not explain it. Try looking for files the Microsoft way and your machine may crunch through your hard disk for a very long time. Do the same thing with X-file and bang, it's there.'
 - John Lettice, The Register


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The X-file Suite is the Windows file management system for developers, administrators, and power users alike. It's four XPT applications - X-attrib, X-file, X-find and X-scan.

The layout of the X-file suite is reminiscent of Windows Explorer (and the notorious Windows Explorer replacements) but it's better, it's faster, and it has - and demands - a significantly higher IQ.

Data that's there on your system but that's normally 'ignored' by other 'file managers' and 'Explorer replacements' is at your beck and call. File times include the milliseconds field and all file attributes are listed - even those normally left out: Archive, Compressed, Directory, Hidden, Offline, Read-Only, System, Temporary.

And the X-file menus are hot - they really know what is available for clipboard operations and show you. And the rightmost pane in X-file's status window will indicate where a pending file operation originates. There'll be no more beeps when you try to paste. And you will always know what you're getting before you get it.

Cloning

X-file implements cloning - a clone is an exact copy of your current session (your current application window) listing your current working directory. Hold down a shift key while invoking the Folder command to create a clone.

File Sizes

An important issue, as neither Microsoft nor the 'Explorer replacements' even come close.

  • Windows Explorer for 9x (version 4.72.2106.4) - 169,232 bytes.
  • Windows Explorer for NT (version 4.00.1381.133) - 237,328 bytes.
  • X-file (version 6.00.2195.2001 - for both platforms) - 24,576 bytes.

The 'Explorer replacements' - built from the same Microsoft 'EnumDesk' tutorial code - are even worse.

New Twists

Operations are much the same as Explorer, with a few new twists:

  • You create a new directory by naming it and then putting it on disk.
  • A refresh updates all running instances simultaneously with a single click.
  • Run command lines, open consoles, files, folders: do it anywhere.

Further:

  • As soon as one instance of X-file changes something, all the rest know about it.
  • All files on all disks are listed. All files. Nothing is hidden from you - not even '.' and '..'.*
  • By default (configurable toggle) 'Delete' deletes files; holding down a shift key 'recycles' them.
  • Entries are sorted by extension and not by an arbitrary shell 'pretty name' file type.

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*Yes people write and ask if '.' and '..' are real files. Some of them are even developers. You read it here.

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