Figures 22.1 and 22.2 show what FileExplorer looks like running on Microsoft Windows and Macintosh OS X, respectively. The client area of the application shell contains four main sections.
A tool bar containing a combo for selecting the file system root to browse (really useful only on Windows) and several tool items that invoke common operations.
A tree for walking the directory hierarchy.
A table showing the contents of the selected directory.
A status line that shows information about the selection.
Figure 22.1. FileExplorer running on Windows XP.
Figure 22.2. FileExplorer running on Macintosh OS X.
Typically, you would use the tree to walk down the file hierarchy to the directory you are interested in, then use the information in the table to find a particular file. Double-clicking on the file will cause it to open in an editor. You can also use menus (either from the menu bar or the context menu) to act on selected files and directories. This includes deleting or renaming existing files and directories, and creating new files and directories.
Some of the more interesting features of FileExplorer include the following.
Notice that the four sections of FileExplorer fill the available space in the shell. The tool bar, the status area, or both may be hidden via menu items, and the relative space taken up by the tree and table can be varied by dragging the sash that appears between them.
You can move files and directories from place to place in the directory hierarchy using the appropriate mouse gesture for the platform.
Double-clicking on a file in the table will launch the native tool available for editing files of that type, if it can be determined.
Many of the operations implemented by FileExplorer provide incremental feedback as they operate.
Selecting the Rename menu item allows a file or directory to be renamed by typing a new name into an in-place editing window that appears over the item.
We will look at how each of these features is implemented in the next section.