[SOLVED] Lack of UAC support is dissapointing

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[SOLVED] Lack of UAC support is dissapointing

Postby Migue » Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:05 am

I've given this product a few hours to test but it is just too buggy or un-intuitive and inconsistent, but the lack of UAC support is the worst offender. This is using the shellview component on Windows 8.1.

First, most tools installed by the application, when opened from the start menu, just show a "please contact administrator". If the tools require administrator access, why not include manifest for elevation. (I get that most just use rundll32.exe so it's harder to do. Maybe a wrapper executable, or maybe the cpl itself can have the manifest. Or the cpl can call a helper process with manifest when applying settings).

But, what makes me really frustrated is actually trying to extract contents from an archive to a UAC protected location like Program Files. The behavior is so erratic. Most of the times, if extracting an archive that contains a root folder or choosing to extract only a selected folder from an archive, the extracted contents won't appear in "Program Files", but instead will be located in the VirtualStore location (%localappdata%\virtualstore). If I try to extract a file and not a folder, then nothing seems to happen at all, couldn't find the file anywhere.

Now for other less irritating bugs. When choosing the option to 'extract selected files', the window that opens to choose location is completely different from the one shown when using the 'extract all files' options. This window (the standard browse for folder window) doesn't allow for choosing options for extracting, so, for example, if I've chosen the option to 'prefix folder' for extracting all archives then, when extracting a single selected file, this file will be extracted to a folder on its own, which is not the desired behavior. This can be fixed by using the same custom dialog as the "extract all files" option.

Inconsistency in experience when overwriting files. If I choose either 'extract all files' or 'extract selected files', the ask overwrite dialog is very unfriendly, not providing any information to the user on helping them make the decision on whether to overwrite or no. If dragging and dropping, then the system shell's (Explorer) conflict dialog shows up, which is the desired behavior, in my opinion. If choosing multiple items on the archive, right-clicking and selecting copy, and then paste on a folder with existing items with same name, then a Vista-esque(or Win7) conflict dialog shows but its behavior is bugged. In this dialog, if I choose the "copy and replace" option with the "do this for the next xx conflicts" unchecked, the dialog will close without prompting what to do with the other items!! :shock:

.ISO file handling. Windows 8 handles ISO files also through a shell extension for mounting the image. ZipMagic takes over and there's no way to revert the behavior of this file extension. Using the tool "Archive Ownership" and selecting "never use Zipmagic" with this filetype does nothing at all.

The extracting to UAC protected locations and inconsistency in overwrite dialogs can possibly be fixed by doing what other unarchivers do, extract the contents of the archive to a temporary location (configurable preferably to try avoid space issues on storage) and then let the shell handling file moving. And yes, I know there's an impact on extraction speed since there's now more operations performed but personally I don't mind it since the functionality gained outweighs it. (Brainstorming about protected folder issue...maybe query the destination location's security and if current user has no write permission then do the copy to temp and let file system, else do direct extract.)

Now some 'would be nice to have' feature requests. It would be nice if when browsing archives with pictures, the picture's thumbnails would show up in preview pane and in the list view. (I know this one is probably hard to implement due to nature of shell extension trying to call another shell extension and also all the different archive filetypes). It would also be nice if the listview allowed selecting of items with checkboxes, like Explorer allows for normal files/folders.

I really want to use this program. I've always liked the concept of managing archives from Explorer itself, finding it even as a logical thing to do. But as it currently stands, it is too frustrating to use so I'll be uninstalling for now. I'll keep checking here and website to se how it improves over time and hopefully I'll be installing a vastly improved version soon :)
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Re: Lack of UAC support is dissapointing

Postby admin » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:45 am

Thank you very much for sharing your concerns. We will be working to address these issues in the - very near - future. Expect a detailed update soon :)
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Re: Lack of UAC support is dissapointing

Postby admin » Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:50 pm

Migue wrote:I've given this product a few hours to test but it is just too buggy or un-intuitive and inconsistent, but the lack of UAC support is the worst offender. This is using the shellview component on Windows 8.1.


For this post, I used a 64 bit copy of Windows 8.1 with Update 1 in trying to reproduce your results. If our results differ because of this, please don't hesitate to clarify the exact bitness and version of the operating system you used.

Migue wrote:First, most tools installed by the application, when opened from the start menu, just show a "please contact administrator". If the tools require administrator access, why not include manifest for elevation. (I get that most just use rundll32.exe so it's harder to do. Maybe a wrapper executable, or maybe the cpl itself can have the manifest. Or the cpl can call a helper process with manifest when applying settings).


This is easy enough to update in the product installer, I have already made the necessary changes at my end for the next build. Of course, you could also try right-clicking the shortcut and choosing "Run as Administrator". Please correct me if I am wrong, I found only two shortcuts that were affected. I have listed them by their names in the Start Menu / Control Panel:

Archive Ownership / File Associations
Plug-In Assignments / Plug-In Bindings

Right-clicking either shortcut and running it as administrator addresses the issue. For the Control Panel entries, if you click their names under the ZIPmagic Settings heading, they already have a shield next to them - and this will auto-elevate as well. The only dead-end appears to be when you click the ZIPmagic Settings entry in the Control Panel directly, and then try either File Associations or Plug-In Bindings. This presents no elevation route. I will be looking into this further for you.

As you may have noticed already, the Right-Click Menus entry, whether it is launched from the ZIPmagic Settings entry, or directly from its dedicated text link under that heading, already auto-elevates as necessary.

Migue wrote:But, what makes me really frustrated is actually trying to extract contents from an archive to a UAC protected location like Program Files. The behavior is so erratic. Most of the times, if extracting an archive that contains a root folder or choosing to extract only a selected folder from an archive, the extracted contents won't appear in "Program Files", but instead will be located in the VirtualStore location (%localappdata%\virtualstore). If I try to extract a file and not a folder, then nothing seems to happen at all, couldn't find the file anywhere.


I see. What kind of extraction results in this erratic behavior? As you know, there are three kinds when using the shell namespace extension:
1) Drag-drop
2) Copy-paste
3) Direct-extract
Some of the inconsistencies you have observed may be attributable to using different methods (ex: file vs. folder), or not. It would help to know exactly what methods you tried, so I can replicate your results and then resolve them one by one.

Migue wrote:Now for other less irritating bugs. When choosing the option to 'extract selected files', the window that opens to choose location is completely different from the one shown when using the 'extract all files' options. This window (the standard browse for folder window) doesn't allow for choosing options for extracting, so, for example, if I've chosen the option to 'prefix folder' for extracting all archives then, when extracting a single selected file, this file will be extracted to a folder on its own, which is not the desired behavior. This can be fixed by using the same custom dialog as the "extract all files" option.


Actually, the custom dialog you see when extracting all files, is the same as the Windows Explorer right-click menu shell extension you get - the ZIPmagic | Extract menu items to be precise. The ZIPmagic submenu itself was a very recent suggestion from a user such as yourself, which we managed to implement quickly. This bifurcated behavior was based on yet another user's suggestion, in fact - the standard extraction interface for the shell namespace extension was the one that you saw and didn't like, lacking the advanced extraction options. Previously, even when you were extracting all files, you still got the limited interface.

Now, the Windows Explorer right-click Extract option uses the "Shell" profile for extraction. The shell namespace extension, or the limited option, uses the "Default" profile for extraction. You may edit your archive profiles in either scenario using the Compression Settings / Archive Profiles applets. This could provide you with an interim solution. Would this solution (and knowledge of the existence of multiple compression/extraction profiles) satisfy your concern in this regard, or would you require another solution? You could, for example, disable subfolder creation in the Default profile, and leave it enabled only on the Shell profile, which seems to be what you want here.

Migue wrote:Inconsistency in experience when overwriting files. If I choose either 'extract all files' or 'extract selected files', the ask overwrite dialog is very unfriendly, not providing any information to the user on helping them make the decision on whether to overwrite or no. If dragging and dropping, then the system shell's (Explorer) conflict dialog shows up, which is the desired behavior, in my opinion. If choosing multiple items on the archive, right-clicking and selecting copy, and then paste on a folder with existing items with same name, then a Vista-esque(or Win7) conflict dialog shows but its behavior is bugged. In this dialog, if I choose the "copy and replace" option with the "do this for the next xx conflicts" unchecked, the dialog will close without prompting what to do with the other items!! :shock:


This inconsistency is due to the nature of shell extensions. When you are directly extracting using ZIPmagic software - such as the right-click shell extension triggered by Extract All Files, or the direct extraction route triggered by Extract Selected Files, ZIPmagic is running directly, and handling overwrites directly. What you see here is the overwrite dialog coming from the plug-in associated with the archive type - this overwrite dialog is implemented directly by each plug-in, and is a custom dialog as you have seen. If you extract with Copy/Paste, however, the files are actually extracted to a temporary folder (as you intuited in parts of your message below); and Windows Explorer then directly handles the overwrite using its own user interface. Of course, here, Windows Explorer is not actually aware of the file properties at the time of the overwrite query - this is an optimization that saves you time from extracting all files prematurely, should you wish to cancel the Copy/Paste operation. The files are extracted only upon demand; this is why you may have been perturbed by the missing information in this dialog. Windows is aware that the files don't yet exist and they will be extracted only on demand; this is why it does not display some additional information.

As for the "do this for the next xx conflicts" shocker, could you please provide exact steps to recreate the issue? I will do my best to take a look and see whether I can fix it; however because we are deep in shell-extension-land, if the issue is at Windows's end [i.e. if Windows auto-aborts because none of the files yet exist], my hands might be tied on that one, much to our chagrin.

Migue wrote:.ISO file handling. Windows 8 handles ISO files also through a shell extension for mounting the image. ZipMagic takes over and there's no way to revert the behavior of this file extension. Using the tool "Archive Ownership" and selecting "never use Zipmagic" with this filetype does nothing at all.


If you wish to manually decide which files to associate with ZIPmagic (such as the ISO extension), then deselect the Integration | Active ZIPmagic for All Archives feature in the setup wizard. This will let you precision-associate file types with ZIPmagic, or leave them as-is. You selected "Never Use ZIPmagic" after having already associated with ZIPmagic; this ensures that ZIPmagic never automatically owns the file type in question - such as ISO - and you are then on free to re-associate this file type with any program, including Windows's built in tools themselves. However, because you did not do this at setup time, the ISO file association had already been modified. It would have been left intact had you deselected the Integration | Active ZIPmagic for All Archives feature, and made your selections in the setup wizard at installation time.

Migue wrote:The extracting to UAC protected locations and inconsistency in overwrite dialogs can possibly be fixed by doing what other unarchivers do, extract the contents of the archive to a temporary location (configurable preferably to try avoid space issues on storage) and then let the shell handling file moving. And yes, I know there's an impact on extraction speed since there's now more operations performed but personally I don't mind it since the functionality gained outweighs it. (Brainstorming about protected folder issue...maybe query the destination location's security and if current user has no write permission then do the copy to temp and let file system, else do direct extract.)


Indeed, this is already what ZIPmagic is doing in the case of certain operations, such as Copy/Paste; once again congratulations on your intuition here. I will have to figure out how to handle overwrites into protected locations such as Program Files and such; it is not simply a matter of checking permissions on the target folders, because the locations are virtualized into alternate locations when apps are running non-elevated. So I will have to automatically request elevation only when necessary during operations which attempt to write to protected locations.

Migue wrote:Now some 'would be nice to have' feature requests. It would be nice if when browsing archives with pictures, the picture's thumbnails would show up in preview pane and in the list view. (I know this one is probably hard to implement due to nature of shell extension trying to call another shell extension and also all the different archive filetypes). It would also be nice if the listview allowed selecting of items with checkboxes, like Explorer allows for normal files/folders.


To set your expectations right here, it would not be possible to implement thumbnail support without a major extension to the ZIPmagic plug-in specs, and also all of the plug-ins themselves. Please keep in mind that ZIPmagic is archive format agnostic; meaning it does not recognize any archive types of its own; everything comes straight from the plug-ins that are installed, which are extensible by any third party.

To support what you have described, it would be necessary to support in-memory extraction for all plug-ins, and then serving those necessary previews to all client ZIPmagic apps (of which the shell namespace extension is only one). With certain tightly-compressed archive types (such as 7ZIP), and most notably those using solid compression; obtaining a preview of an image would require the extraction of the entire archive up to the point of the file in question. This would consume an inordinate amount of CPU; which is why I believe the very limited compression software that do have this functionality offer it only on non-solid archive types, such as ZIP.

As for check-box based ListView selection in the shell namespace extension, that is much more easy to do. Windows did not default to check-boxes until recent versions (to make handling file selection easier on tablets), so ZIPmagic is more consistent with older releases of Windows on that note.

Migue wrote:I really want to use this program. I've always liked the concept of managing archives from Explorer itself, finding it even as a logical thing to do. But as it currently stands, it is too frustrating to use so I'll be uninstalling for now. I'll keep checking here and website to se how it improves over time and hopefully I'll be installing a vastly improved version soon :)


Thank you very much for your kind words! I hope this post provides some insight into what is going on behind the scenes, and certain design-decisions that had to be made.
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Re: [SOLVED] Lack of UAC support is dissapointing

Postby admin » Sat Sep 06, 2014 12:15 am

I have uploaded:

www.zipmagic.co/zipmagic123.msi

This build resolves the concerns you have posted above.

It will be brought live on the main site pending completion of some final regression testing.

Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us. We hope you are satisfied with the level of service you have received.
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Re: [SOLVED] Lack of UAC support is dissapointing

Postby Migue » Sat Sep 06, 2014 5:58 am

Thanks for providing this new build.

I've installed to test it but unfortunately I'm having issues.
First, I tested the shortcut to settings and they auto-elevate now, thanks. There's still one shortcut, "Show archives as folders" that shows a "please contact administrator" dialog.

As for the rest, I don't know if I did something wrong or what but can't get the shell to work. .zip files aren't associated with the program, even though it shows under the "open with zipmagic" tab in the "file associations" window. And for other archive types, when I double-click in explorer, it just goes to an empty listing. The task pane shows on left and right-clicking shows commands, but no content shows and clicking on the commands do nothing. See screenshot below. I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling with all options checked and same thing.

Thanks for your help.

Image
https://www.dropbox.com/s/3ixnsmv61y26r ... 6.png?dl=0
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Re: [SOLVED] Lack of UAC support is dissapointing

Postby admin » Sat Sep 06, 2014 12:17 pm

Thanks for the additional testing. I'm also glad you found another shortcut I missed! Could you please also confirm:

1) Your exact OS version and bitness.
2) Your exact UAC setting level.
3) Whether you associated all archives with ZIPmagic during installation.

I will then try to reproduce your results again.

On the ZIP file association, sometimes Windows prevents applications from owning certain file types programmatically, if it decides that it may not be the user's intention. Since in your case that clearly failed, you may be able to override this Windows behavior by repeatedly selecting to open the archive with ZIPmagic. Usually a couple Open With's does the trick in convincing Windows that this is what you really want to do.

We can also arrange a TeamViewer session under your supervision to ensure there isn't another unknown variable at play.
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Re: [SOLVED] Lack of UAC support is dissapointing

Postby Migue » Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:55 am

I use Windows 8.1 Update 1 64-bit with all latest windows updates installed.
I have UAC set at the default level.
I associated all files on the installation.

I tried uninstalling and reinstalling again, and still no luck. I also tried to edit profiles in archive profiles and nothing happens when I click on edit profile button for any archive type. Well the mouse cursor changes to the background busy icon and then nothing.

My event log is filled with this message repeatedly:

Code: Select all
- <Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
- <System>
  <Provider Name="Application Error" />
  <EventID Qualifiers="0">1000</EventID>
  <Level>2</Level>
  <Task>100</Task>
  <Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
  <TimeCreated SystemTime="2014-09-07T01:37:02.000000000Z" />
  <EventRecordID>200621</EventRecordID>
  <Channel>Application</Channel>
  <Computer>Migue-PC</Computer>
  <Security />
  </System>
- <EventData>
  <Data>mCodexDLLStub.exe</Data>
  <Data>3.0.2014.1453</Data>
  <Data>2a425e19</Data>
  <Data>KERNELBASE.dll</Data>
  <Data>6.3.9600.17055</Data>
  <Data>532943a3</Data>
  <Data>0eedfade</Data>
  <Data>00011d4d</Data>
  <Data>20ec</Data>
  <Data>01cfca3c39417e73</Data>
  <Data>C:\Windows\syswow64\mCodexDLLStub.exe</Data>
  <Data>C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\KERNELBASE.dll</Data>
  <Data>76ef5215-362f-11e4-bf6d-8c89a5144511</Data>
  <Data />
  <Data />
  </EventData>
  </Event>


Code: Select all
Faulting application name: mCodexDLLStub.exe, version: 3.0.2014.1453, time stamp: 0x2a425e19
Faulting module name: KERNELBASE.dll, version: 6.3.9600.17055, time stamp: 0x532943a3
Exception code: 0x0eedfade
Fault offset: 0x00011d4d
Faulting process id: 0x20ec
Faulting application start time: 0x01cfca3c39417e73
Faulting application path: C:\Windows\syswow64\mCodexDLLStub.exe
Faulting module path: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\KERNELBASE.dll
Report Id: 76ef5215-362f-11e4-bf6d-8c89a5144511
Faulting package full name:
Faulting package-relative application ID:
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Re: [SOLVED] Lack of UAC support is dissapointing

Postby admin » Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:51 am

I have seen the issue, will get to the bottom of it shortly.

Probably the same issue that is causing your displays to go blank.
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Re: [Pending] Lack of UAC support is dissapointing

Postby admin » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:14 am

Also, what language is your Windows installation? The UI appears English, but was the original install in another language?
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Re: [SOLVED] Lack of UAC support is dissapointing

Postby admin » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:18 pm

Please try again with the current build. Thank you.
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