Is Dopus right for me? :: RAW cmd equivalents

If you're in a hurry, just read the question section.

I'm a new user of Dopus, installed version for evaluation, deciding whether to purchase the product. I've Read the FAQs, I've Read the intro by Leo; I intend to be a purchaser and "power user" (and perhaps plugin developer) of Dopus if I can get a few more insights on unanswered questions.

Some programs allow a user to "record" actions, such that when actions are taken in the GUI, the underlying "RAW commands" are echoed to a log file or text somewhere. This is a great feature, because it enables a user to say "show me how your API maps to the following GUI commands". Without this kind of functionality, an End User has to search the help file or support forum for terms that she doesn't even know yet.

This is a two-part question: 1) what is the RAW command equivalent for "toggling back and forth to change the 'source' pane into the 'destination' pane" in a dual pane lister ... and ; 2) can a user have Dopus spit out the RAW command equivalent for all GUI actions that actually come with RAW command equivalents?

I'm a big fan of automation, I love applications that come with a GUI, but also come with a way to automate every action in the GUI via script. That way, you do not have to do everything by hand, and you can even map complex operations to a single shortcut key. Also, having DOpus spit out code helps the user know what to even search for in the first place when learning how the API works.

If Dopus can deliver on this, I will be well on my way to buying this and recommending it to all my geek friends.

Hi dreftymac,

Set FOCUS=Dest

Opus can't generate commands for you, but with a few exceptions (like toggling Source/Dest as you mention) you can reproduce a sequence of actions by looking at what the toolbar buttons you clicked on run. Almost all of the default toolbar/menu buttons run very simple commands so there won't be much of a learning curve there.

That said, thinking in terms of mouse clicks may not be the best way to approach automating Opus. There is usually a better, more explicit way to do things. For example, if you wanted to copy from the right to the left then you could three commands: one to set the right as the Source, another to select all in the source, and finally one to copy the selected items from source to destination. Or, you could run a single command which uses the {leftpath} and {rightpath} with a wildcard. The latter style of command will generally work better and is more explicit.

To give another example, you might be tempted to make a button which opens a new window, navigates to a particular path, switches to Thumbnails mode and turns on the viewer pane... That is possible, but a much better and easier way is to set up a window as you want it and simply save a Layout, which can then be recalled without any button programming at all.

There are also lots of arguments to the Opus commands which can only be accessed by editing commands (or, more likely for beginners, downloading buttons & toolbars from the forums). For example, there isn't a dialog in Opus which offers up every combination of arguments that you could give to the Copy command, so if Opus did let you record macros they would be limited to combinations of what the preset buttons and toolbars can do.

I guess you could say that there is a GUI which offers all the argument combinations: The button editor itself. The drop-down menus let you select from different commands and their arguments using point & click. I suspect that any attempt to provide a GUI that captures all of the options would end up being just as complex as the button editor. :slight_smile:

Not that I am dismissing your idea. I use that kind of thing myself and find it really useful; for example in Excel when I need some VBA to format some cells, I can record a macro and format the cells using the GUI to save looking up how to do it... Opus's commands are a lot easier to learn than VBA and Excel's object model, though.

I'm rather sleepy so I hope this made sense and came across well. :slight_smile: Maybe if you said what kind of thing you were aiming to do we could give some good examples of how to do it that would give you a feel for what Opus's command language is like. For example, we know that you want to toggle the focus between Source and Destination, and Zippo's provided the command which does it, but we don't know why you want to do that. Perhaps there is a better way to accomplish the overall task, and explaining that would shed light on what I've probably explained very badly, so far, while half asleep. :slight_smile:

Thanks, no need to apologize for your reply, it was quite well stated.

Your analogy with Excel is really the perfect example of the kind of thing I am asking about. Even though recording macros in Excel is almost always "hit and miss" you at least get a starting point of what to search for in the documentation (or the support forum), when the GUI auto-generates code for you.

And yes, the even the complex drop-down lists of commands is actually helpful, the problem is the learning curve is a bit steeper when all you have is a list of commands without the visual feedback of what they actually do.

Nevertheless, DOpus is hands-down ahead of the pack in terms of overall design and simplicity given the complexity and scale of the app itself. What I've seen so far is quite well-done, just trying to get a "big picture" perspective of what's available.