Lister Styles and Thumbnail View

Absolutely! If the user wanted the Creation Time column displayed all the time, they would've already added it to the applicable Folder/Content Type/Default Format. If the user wanted the Creation Time column displayed only during the current Opus session (i.e. the life of the current Folder Tab), they can enable Format Lock, conveniently located in the Status Bar (and in my case also by hotkey sequence).

Consider this modified example:

The user lists C:, governed by the Local Drive Default Format, and subsequently adds the Creation Time column and does not enable Format Lock. In the same file display, the user proceeds to C:\Music, governed by the Music Content Type Format (which does not include Creation Time). Today, Opus discards the Creation Time column.

So why should this behavior be any different if the next folder listed is governed by the Local Drive Default Format? The user already made their choice, when they enabled and configured Local Drive Default Format, that means they wanted to use that format. It simply is not intuitive to give the user discretion to enable and defined a Default Format, then turn around and ignore that preference in everyday use. If you are going to automate a behavior, it should be for the 80% majority, not the 20% minority.

The more familiar a user gets with Opus Folder Formats, the less intuitive this temporary Default Format monkey business becomes. It is really not intuitive to treat folders governed by Folder and Content Type Formats one way, but those governed by Default Formats a different way. Folder Format-savvy users will implicitly expect the format to change upon listing a new folder, unless Format Lock is enabled.

The novice Opus users stand even less of chance of figuring this out intuitively. Users migrating from Windows Explorer will have one of two expectations:[ol][li] The format changes for each new folder listed, unless:[/li]
[li] The user has saved a format for all folders.[/li][/ol]
The thing that usually trips up new Opus users (regarding folder Options/Formats/View Mode) is that, in Opus, they must explicitly save the format for the current folder from the Folder Options dialog. This is in contrast to Windows Explorer, which saves so many hundred (400?) folder formats automatically, the least used folders automatically bubble off the format list, the most used remain on it. But the issues we have been discussing in this thread have no bearing on this migration issue one way or the other. So that is part of their growing pains when migrating to Opus.

I understand why the current behavior is there—it's well intended. If I remember correctly, this behavior made sense back in the Opus 6 which pre-dates Default Formats and Content Type Formats. All we had in Opus 6 were Folder Formats and a default set of Folder Options in Preferences. But with the advent of Default and Content Type Formats, I'd be happy to see the temporary format go the way of the dinosaur.

Another point of confusion related to this issue is the View Mode = Auto setting inside a Lister Style. I've looked long and hard in the documentation, but what this specific option actually does isn't really explained anywhere.

What it implies to me, is that the Lister Style should not apply any View Mode changes, but should instead let the Folder/Content Type/Default Format applicable to the listed folder dictate the View Mode. The only exception would be if the Lister Style's own Folder Format also saved a View Mode. (I'm not this is saying how it works or should work, I'm saying this is what would make sense to me, in the lack of any documentation on this setting.)

While we are having such a good discussion. :smiley:

The Content Type field, which allows you to apply different Content Type Formats has an option named .

This option resets the file display's Folder Options to the Custom Default Format. I believe it would be far more useful and intuitive if this option would reset the file display's Folder Options to either the applicable Folder Format (if one exists and is enabled), or the applicable the Default Format for the listed folder. (In other words, the same as the default Folder Format Precedence, but skipping all Content Type Formats.)

I also believe an option should be added to this list named , which would simply reapply the applicable Folder/Content Type/Default Format as if the folder had just been listed for the first time.

What do others feel about this?

Ken, I agree with you on every topic - including your added post. In fact I've been somewhat frustrated by the current implementation of the Content selector gadget. I agree with your suggestion here.

As far as the View Mode in the Lister Style, the whole thing that makes absolutely no sense to me at all is the fact that this option can be switched on or off. All the options in a Lister Style act as an optional override - as in they only act if you enable them first. So if you don't wish there to be any change in the Style's view mode then you simply don't enable it. This method of "overriding" is great! Yet when you enable View Mode and put it on Auto there is an inherent suggestion that you are not selecting a specific view mode but that an applicable one will be selected for you. What other applicable mode could possibly be selected other than the one dictated by Folder, Current and Default Formats? This is the only thing that makes sense yet it does not appear to function that way.

On the issue of Folder Formats, I think the only way to resolve it is as follows:

It appears there are two methods in Opus of locking the Format of the Lister. There is a visible manual lock and an invisible "auto" lock. There can be no doubt about this.

What I suggest is either of two things:

[1] The Format Lock have 3 modes instead of 2, ie Off, Manual and Automatic.

[2] The Format Lock remains the same (ie On and Off), yet there is an option in Preferences called "Automatic Format Locking", which can be enabled and disabled.

In both cases above you have the option of disabling the current hidden automatic format locking that is causing me and others so much grief.

I think the above is a simple solution to a complex problem. I understand that others like this automatic format locking and so that's why I suggest that it be transformed into an option instead of being hard coded on.

This is one if the issues that I was trying to figure out in my testing. But now I'm inclined to believe that the temporary format behavior Leo shed new light on might really be the cause of confusion with View Mode = Auto. That is to say, if you applied a Lister Style with View Mode = Auto, to a file display listing a folder to which a temporary format has been applied, then quite possibly this setting correctly does nothing, since the applied Format will not change.

What we need going forward is to clearly understand what View Mode = Auto is intended to do in a Lister Style, then to ensure that this behavior is also intuitive and documented. And finally, if our suggestions are implemented (i.e. dispense with the temporary format), I believe View Mode = Auto would (or should) then poll the applicable Format to the listed folder and use that View Mode.

If anyone else has better understanding of how View Mode = Auto works today, or a more intuitive suggestion how it should work, please speak up!

I disagree with adding a Preference option. From a coding perspective you cannot make logic simpler, by adding another option to already complicated logic. From the user's perspective, I believe the additional Preference option would further complicate an already complicated topic—trying to understanding of how Formats, even more than the current behavior by itself does. A user could play around with that preference option and all of sudden Opus is broken to them—they would have the same experience you did at the start of this thread.

And, I have yet to hear anyone say (not even Leo) they are a proponent of the current temporary format behavior. In fact, I think even Leo said he would like to see it changed as well. So, I think this is really a situation where addition through subtraction makes more sense.

Again, I'm not saying that the temporary format feature is bad, I'm saying that it is really a relic from a time when Content Type Formats and Default Formats (and even the current manifestation of Folder Formats) did not yet exist. And I further believe that this feature (which was once the best thing we had) no longer fits well into the new Formats metaphor, and confuses users needlessly. There are already simpler ways in Opus for the user to accomplish the same thing.

For any casual Opus users reading this topic please get involved and add your input and thoughts. Those of us participating are curious as to what others affect. and when I submit to the official request(s), I'm going to be linking to this thread.

Ken, you have more knowledge of how things used to be and how they relate to this "temporary format". If indeed it does exist, it appears we are both saying here that its scope should be limited to the current viewing folder, with bold+italic+underline emphases on the word "temporary" :slight_smile: This is where the Format Lock comes into play, as it temporarily stops this Temporary Format from being reset, as should normally happen when you browse to a different folder. So in this sense, probably from a programing point of view, the Temporary Format has its place but it has been designed to inherit changes made to it without the Format Lock being activated. This is where the logic falls apart.

Currently the Temporary Format logic is faulty and I believe that the Temporary Format should never inherit changes unless I specifically tell it to, using the Format Lock (but hey I'm going over old stuff here). Whether they chose to continue an optional "automatic" lock, is not my place to say, although I do agree that it is something that would only serve to confuse and complicate the programming logic so much that it would attract bugs (as it is currently doing). The paradigm isn't working.

I've done some experimenting with the Lister Style - View Mode. From what I can tell at this stage, it appears to be working on my setup except in the instance where a folder has been formatted using a Content Format with a view mode of Thumbnails.

What I've tried doing is changing the "Custom" Default Format to all sorts of View Modes and then applying my "Normal" Lister Style that uses a Style View Mode of Auto. It appears that in all cases, except for Thumbnails, the view mode is correctly set - using Default, Content and Folder Formats. So, if I open a folder full of pictures, where I have it set to display thumbnails as per Content ("Images"), and then I immediately apply my "Normal" Style, it reverts to the view mode set in the Default Format "Custom", which in my case is Details. So this appears to be the bug.

It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.