This is my first topic on this forum.
My native language is french so pardon my english mistakes if you find some
Also my computer/informatics knowledge is not very deep therefore some of my questions and comments may seem pointless to some of you, if that happens I apologize in advance.
First, I would like to thank the development team for the great program that is Directory Opus and all the possibilities it offers, it is already huge and continues to improve. I already have been using some evaluation versions of Directory Opus in the past years, but I never used it regularly nor at full potential. Only recently I decided to buy a Pro licence.
There are already many useful and unique features that I began to use for files managing. But there is one aspect of common file systems (NTFS in particular) that main file managers (like Directory Opus) seem to not handle with full potential, it is hard-linking, or using multiple hard-links per file. I know it is already possible to create multiple hard-links per file in Directory Opus with commands like “makelink=hardlink” (I didn’t look into how to use commands yet). But to my knowledge there is no real integration in the main user interface to handle all the possibilities offered by multi hard-linking.
For me one of the main reasons to use multiple hard-links per file is for classification. Multi-hierarchical organizations to handle any kind of files groups are very powerful, logic and permissive systems for end users. It is not limited to mono-hierarchical structures that are very restrictive for classifications and force users to make illogic, constrained choices and make files finding less efficient. There are systems that use tags or labels to classify files with multi-hierarchies, some softwares propose but often this solution is not based at the file system level, is software/vendor locked, modify file names, don’t handle nested tags/labels, don’t hold in backups, transfers, etc.
I know there are few limitations inherent to hard-links, like the inability to span them across different volumes, but it is not really a problem in most contexts. I already use hard-links for some years to classify many of my personal files, for that I use especially Link Shell Extension which provides many useful tools to manage all types of NTFS links. But I am still limited in many ways, notably to navigate efficiently through those multi-hierarchy classifications and analyze them, or to find particular files. For example there is no tool to find files relatively to their multiple locations in the classification, which kind of defeats one of the big purposes of using hard-links. There is no program with handy user interface (like Directory Opus) to find files by recoupment with ensemble-logics like unions or intersections across different sets of folders. There are also some problems that arise by using multiple hard-links for some non-aware programs, like calculating sizes of folders which contain multiple hard-links per file.
I don’t know why hard-linking and multi-hierarchies are not already widely used in files classifications, at user level, handled by common files managers, because it is a feature very powerful and already supported by most file systems like NTFS. Maybe some already use this, or maybe there are other ways to use multi-hierarchies for files classification, that I am not aware of. So maybe what I am asking for here is features-request and I don’t post in the correct place, or maybe It is already possible to do it In Directory Opus in some ways, in this case I would like to know how.
So, if not already implemented in Directory Opus, I think it would be very beneficial to implement full hard-linking management, at all levels (creation, visualization, moving/copying, recouping/finding, size calculations, etc.). I can give here already some examples of implementations in Directory Opus that I think about:
To find a file referenced in multiple folders with multiple hard-links (multi-hierarchy classification). We could use the find mode and have options to include multiple locations (folders) linked with logic operators like “and”/“or”. We can do that already with the advanced find tool but only for things like names, dates and other file attributes, not for locations. For example if you multi-class your photos by dates, by locations, by events, etc., with hard-links, you can find easily all the photos that are of one particular date AND one particular place AND one particular event. You could also exclude some folders, to find all photos that are from one particular event AND from all dates BUT one. And many other possibilities and for all types of files. It is what you can do with tagging systems but with less efficiency, and not tied to file system level.
To create cross-locations (cross-folders) directly in navigation tabs. We could combine multiple folders with “and”/“or” operators in the navigation tabs (by using folder trees and files lists) and visualize/manipulate the resulting files directly in navigation level without using find tools.
To calculate folder sizes accordingly to hard-links counts. For that Directory Opus could scan inside a directory for all hard-links pointing to the same files and counting only one time the size of multi hard-linked files.
I already searched for queries about hard-links in Directory Opus, in this forum also, and found some, like for calculating folder sizes accordingly to hard-links, but there seems to be no solution at present. For all the possibilities and operations mentioned above I think it is easy to find at NTFS level the hard-link count and also in which places (folders) hard-link are located, for each file. Link Shell Extension do that already.
What do you think about all those things? Is it possible to implement those features in Directory Opus in near future?
Thanks in advance for your replies.