Tools FileBrowser/en

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The File Browser provides useful functions to search, manipulate and edit files. In expecco, its main use is to provide a simple but powerful editor to look at traces, test data attachments or to edit configuration files. The editor supports Unicode and various common encodings and can also display binary data (hex dumps), bitmap images, XML, HTML and some other common file formats.

The tool's documentation is part of the official Smalltalk/X Online Documentation.

This is an expert tool, which should be used with care. Be especially careful to not modify any of expecco's own configuration or support files (which is of course also true for any other text editor).

Display Options

When double clicking on a file, the File Browser will display the file's contents in the lower editor pane. Usually, it will be displayed as text, but if the file contains a bitmap image in one of the common formats (JPEG, TIFF, PNG, GIF, ICO, BMP, etc.) it will display the image in the lower pane.

You can also open a preview window (via "View" - "Preview") which displays a bitmap image file as a thumbnail in a floating window. It immediately follows the current selection without a need for double click (use single click or cursor-movement keys in the file-list).

To get a hex dump of the file's contents, toggle the "Hex Display" toolbar button in the lower toolbar. Sorry, but the hex-dump is (currently) read only. We may add this to a later version if customers are interested (please place a feature request into expecco ALM).

File Indexing (Tags)

For text files in many common formats, the builtin indexer will be able to determine syntactic constructs contained in the file and display them in the index list at the right. Program files written in C, C++, Java, Lisp, Ruby, Smalltalk, and many others, for Makefiles, HTML files etc. are handled. It will determine where functions/chapters/classes etc. start and list them. Click on an item in that list to quickly navigate to the corresponding syntactic entity.

There are also a number of filters (by name pattern or type). For example, it is possible to only list functions, macros, types, labels etc. of a C program file (try the popup menu in the index list for details).

File Search Operations

Press the "File Search" button in the File Browser's toolbar menu, to get an extra page (tab) containing a search input form. You can search for files by name, contents, non-contents, size or modification time. Both file-name and search-pattern can be regular expressions, and the search be either case sensitive or insensitive.

The search is usually recursive. Use this e.g. to find all files with a particular suffix, which contain a particular string pattern or which have been modified before/after some particular time/date. In many situations, this search is faster than using "find | grep" on Unix, and - unless indexed - also faster than corresponding search functions under MS Windows.

Embedded VT100 Terminal Emulator

The File Browser includes a vt100 emulator, in which shell or cmd consoles are shown. The emulation is not 100% perfect, so please be tolerant when some cursor-movements are not accurate or leave garbage characters on the screen (especially cursor movements at the right/bottom may wrap differently than the "real thing"). For real editor work, use xterm under Unix / cmd-windows under MS Windows.

Advanced File Operations

The File Browser offers a number of special file operations which may be seldom needed, but no less useful to have at your command, when needed.

File Splitting and Joining

File splitting (into a number of smaller files) is useful when you have huge files (typically traces, dumps or debug output) which are too large to be edited in one piece, too large to be stored on a particular storage device (think of the 4Gb size limit of Windows file systems or USB sticks), or which are too large to be sent via mail or other communication channels (think of mail-attachment size limits).

There are two split functions, to split a large file into pieces by size (e.g. pieces of 1Gb) or to split into pieces by line-number count (eg. pieces with 100k lines each).

The functions are found on the File Browser's popup menu (select one or multiple files first) under "Tools" - "File Operations" - "Split".

There are actually two such menu items, "Split by Size" and "Split by #Lines". It will split a file named "x" into parts "x.1", "x.2", etc.

The reverse operation is "Join", which is found under the same submenu. This takes a number of pieces and rejoins them into one big file.

Copying Corrupted Files

This operation may be helpful to extract as much as possible data from partially broken files. I.e. to copy files form a disks or tapes with errors. It will copy the file blockwise and skip over bad blocks when an error is encountered (instead of the regular copy operation, which stops when a read error happens). Instead of stopping, it will retry to copy the bad data block a few times, and then write a block of zeros to the output and continue to copy (or try to copy) the rest of the file or tape.

Truncate File

This truncates a file to a given size, effectively cutting off the tail of a file.

File Differences

Generates and displays the differences between two files.

Directory Differences

Recursively visits two folders and display information about files missing in either directory or being different.

Find Files with Same Contents

Quickly searches a recursive folder hierarchy for files containing the same data. This is very fast and can quickly find duplicates, even among thousands of files.


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