File Stapler - staples files together

File Stapler


Hi. I have designed a small piece of software that I really need help with!

File Stapler staples files together, so that when one opens, the option to open all stapled files is also given. It’s a way to associate files without having to move or rename them.

I have a very basic prototype that does not behave as it should (using a right click function) and I hope to speak with people who may be able to figure out it’s functionality. I have zero programming skills and worked with developers to make this prototype, and I would be seriously happy if anyone in the community could work with me to make it behave as I intended.

Help me Obi Wan, you’re my only hope.

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Your first problem will be that the project sources aren’t available.

Your repo doesn’t have the source, and the rahulan repo doesn’t exist either.

Hi Fire Eggs, thank you for taking time to reply. I’m effectively working blind so I appreciate this.

I’ve added the entire library from the original developers now. If you have a moment to see if this works for you it would be a big help. I’m really conscious that I told about 500 people to access a non working repo and you were the only person who mentioned that it was missing all the files!

Peter.

From your Reddit:

It’s far far smaller than the installed software / executables (no idea how that’s possible) and so I was able to upload the files to GitHub

For many software frameworks, the application support environment (“the libraries”) are much bigger than the source code. E.g. a simple source file will merely say “show a window on the screen” and that requires megabytes of executable code “behind the scenes”.

Let me know if I’ve misunderstood anything. The following are my off-the-cuff thoughts based on what I know of Windows development. Smarter people may be able to give you better suggestions. [I have no experience with Mac or Electron.]

The software currently does not behave using the right click function which is critical to the concept, instead it uses a clunky dropzone.

Looking at your use case, the desired User Experience (UX) appears to be to:

  1. Select one or more files in separate folders. This requires using one instance of Windows Explorer per folder.
  2. Right-click on any one selected file, choose the “Staple” menu, and all selected files across Explorer will be “stapled”.

Unless someone can give me a counter-example, built-in Windows functionality won’t allow you to do that. The right-click context menu can be used with one or more selected files in a single Explorer window, and does not work across multiple Explorer window instances.

Using built-in context menu behavior, the user would have to right-click on each file of interest across the Explorer windows and use “Staple” to add them one-by-one to the “staple group”. UX-wise, this seems like the same process required with a “clunky dropzone”. [Presumably each file of interest has to be dragged one-by-one from each Explorer window to the dropzone.]

So you can’t use built-in behavior. To extend this, what you’d have to do is have code written which effectively would:

  1. Query Windows to find all open Explorer windows.
  2. Query each Explorer window to get the list of selected files.

This code would be executed by FileStapler when the user selects “Staple” via the right-click menu. In fact, with such code it should be possible to staple all selected files by just running “FileStapler” [e.g. via a desktop shortcut].

What is the current state of FileStapler’s “right click menu” support? I.e. if the user selects a file in Explorer, then selects “Staple” via the right-click menu, what happens?

Hi Fire Eggs, thanks for looking at this. And sorry for the slow reply, kids and massive backlog of work holding me up.

It really seems that the big stumbling block is right clicking on files in different locations. And I may have to compromise in some way as you identify.

—> Right now there is no right click behaviour at all. The app only works as a dropzone that sits in the corner. If this could just be hidden from view until needed it would be the main thing. And my feeling is that it should only pop up when needed - logically this is when a right click happens.

You know, I’ve just looked at the whole behaviour of the app right now, and the only thing really that is so terrible is the dropzone sitting there! If this could hide / pop on demand then this would not be such a terrible interpretation of the idea!

**Do you possibly know anyone who could work with the original electron app, or build it from scratch? Your input here is seriously welcome! What’s your name by the way?

Peter.

I have also previously come across Symlinks (linux) which seem(ed) to do a similar thing.

Symlinks in Windows 10! - Windows Developer Blog.