Better NSE implementation

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Better NSE implementation

Postby anton » Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:52 am

I downloaded your software to try and found some of it's functionality really nice and unique. However, I found the NSE feature to be implemented not very nicely from the point of view of the explorer API compatibility. In fact, your NSE basically replace the inside explorer window by its own. Which mean that you provide your own columns different to explorer ones. Thus, I cannot for example sort by a column just by clicking it and I cannot use my own columns. I also can note see thumbnails or do file preview inside explorer window.

There is now another zip NSE implementation that can do all the above; http://zabkat.com/blog/compressed-folde ... ension.htm . The only think it’s lacking compared to yours is the ability to compress.

Thus, my question was if you are planning to upgrade your NSE implementation?

I have also a technical question not concerning NSE. I am using backup software to make images of my whole disk. If I compress my disk with Zip magic would I be able to browse mounted volumes of my backup on a computer without ZIP magic installed (from WinPE for example)? As I understand yes, because it's use standard windows API?
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Re: Better NSE implementation

Postby admin » Thu Jun 02, 2016 3:09 pm

Very good questions, thank you!

We evaluated the ZABKAT NSE. It is in fact very unstable. With NSE's, the most difficult thing is stability. It took us well over a dozen years to stabilize our NSE. When we conducted our regression tests on ZABKAT, we found that they failed a majority of them (not even edge cases). Also performance is a concern, where if you have tens of thousands of files inside an archive, both ZABKAT and Windows's built-in ZIPfolders slow down to a crawl and compromise system stability.

Therefore we settled on our custom window to be shown inside Explorer, as opposed to using the slower and less stable default Explorer interfaces for custom third party content. Please note that the default Explorer interfaces (and the custom window interfaces we are using) are still largely undocumented by Microsoft. This adds yet another layer of complexity.

Please feel free to share your feature requests. For example in Detail view, we do support clicking on row columns to sort by those columns. Be sure to right-click in an empty region of the window to see additional options. Some display modes do compromise stability and just don't scale well, but we'll always do our best and regression test everything before publishing, so you know you're getting the fastest and most stable shell namespace extension technology available for Windows today, period! When extending a core system app like Explorer, reliability and performance have to trump everything else.

As for your backup question, the answer is Yes. With WIMBOOT, you should be able to view as long as the target OS recognizes WIMBOOT AND your backup software recognizes WIMBOOT. ZIPmagic itself has built in backup/restore/clone/system refresh functionality as well.
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Re: Better NSE implementation

Postby anton » Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:30 pm

Thanks for your reply and explanations.

However, the speed is one of the problems that I see with the custom explorer window you provide. When I open the archive or any folder inside the archive it take a noticeable time to refresh. This is independent on the size of the archive that I open. As I understand each time explorer reload your custom interface. When I use your NSE without your custom window, as for example in the ZABKAT xplorer2, everything opens immediately, but then the only information that I have on files it is their names. This is actually another shortcoming of the custom window approach; it does not work in other explorer replacements which are compatible with NSE (well at least in xplorer2, I suppose it would not work in Directory Opus or others either). I mean that I am able to open and browse the archive, but I don't have any information on files nor I am able to extract or copy files inside.
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Re: Better NSE implementation

Postby admin » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:23 pm

That's quite a surprise.

I am very surprised its slower for you.

Can we arrange a TeamViewer connection sometime so I can check it out?
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Re: Better NSE implementation

Postby anton » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:34 am

I attached a video where I browse in and out of a zip folder. First in the explorer that uses your custom window and next in zabkat xplorer2 that does not use it (both uses your NSE for that). You can see that in the second case, changing folders is immediate, while in the explorer it needs time to refresh the window.
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ScreenCapture_06.06.2016 0.10.07.7zip
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Re: Better NSE implementation

Postby admin » Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:22 am

Thanks for the video. It's quite hard to tell any difference in speed.

Since in both cases you used the ZIPmagic NSE, this video would seem to suggest that the delays in Explorer are not caused by the NSE but by Microsoft code.

I thought you were going to compare the ZABKAT NSE with the ZIPmagic NSE?

By the way, I am pleased to see that xplorer2 is able to browse the ZIPmagic NSE properly! They used to have some trouble with that also in the past, which seems they have resolved.
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Re: Better NSE implementation

Postby anton » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:29 pm

No, I was telling that ZIPMagic NSE is slower when run from explorer than from xplorer2. However, it’s possible that you are right that this is explorers fault, not your custom window fault.

By the way, is it possible to make your NSE pass at least the different files properties like size and creation dates (not trough your custom window)?
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Re: Better NSE implementation

Postby admin » Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:51 am

Oh, I understand now. Sure, I'll add that to the wish list.

However, it would reduce performance browsing large archives (not as in byte size but as in number of files contained).

Would the primary benefit of this be for X2? Quite a bit of regression testing will be involved.
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Re: Better NSE implementation

Postby anton » Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:11 pm

Perfect, thank you.
Yes, I will be using xplorer2. Through, for even wider audience, you could probably test it with directory opus too (I think all the other explorer replacements do not support NSE anyway).
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