WinSCP and the Adventure of the Retarded Error Dialog





  • (Sorry for the crude censoring)

    That error dialog basically translates to:

    "WinSCP has a way of doing this operation that works flawlessly all the time, but it doesn't use it by default because ???. Now turn it on."



  • Drag and drop is too new to expect anyone to do it properly.



  • @hoodaticus said:

    Drag and drop is too new to expect anyone to do it properly.

    Well, the problem it is basically negotiation of content format (one of the most notorious); just like a clipboard without the clipboard. And no, it's not trivial nor easy to do. Despite being a freetard myself I fell ashamed of this, because in this case it's not really that hard to get it right.



  • also, I'm writing like I never learnt English. Shame on me.



  •  Seems a bit little long-winded, but seems quite reasonable: there is a shell extension that should DTRT, but there is also a compatable mode that kludges things - extracting the files to the temp folder first, then moving. So install the extension, or tell me to kludge.



  • At first thought, it seems like a weird choice to put something like that into an "extension", although:

    @WinSCP Documentation said:

    The extension is installed by WinSCP installer by default (the portable WinSCP executable does not include the extension and it cannot be downloaded separately).

    So I guess that makes sense, since if you're using the portable version, you probably shouldn't be trying (or able!) to install stuff like shell extensions. And I suppose the reboot thing is required to get the extension working with explorer (I have no idea, but that seems like a reasonable guess).

    So, was it not installed, or had you not rebooted? Maybe this was the run once thing that choked on you previously?



  • @robbak said:

     Seems a bit little long-winded, but seems quite reasonable: there is a shell extension that should DTRT, but there is also a compatable mode that kludges things - extracting the files to the temp folder first, then moving. So install the extension, or tell me to kludge.

    You don't find it absolutely ridonkulous that WinSCP requires an extension to do something every other program (including itself, apparently) can do without an extension?

    @boomzilla said:

    So, was it not installed, or had you not rebooted? Maybe this was the run once thing that choked on you previously?

    I probably didn't install it, since shell extensions are generally speaking crashy pieces of shit. Or possibly I did install it, and its installer was the RunOnce thing from before, I dunno.



  • @spamcourt said:

    @hoodaticus said:

    Drag and drop is too new to expect anyone to do it properly.

    Well, the problem it is basically negotiation of content format (one of the most notorious); just like a clipboard without the clipboard. And no, it's not trivial nor easy to do. Despite being a freetard myself I fell ashamed of this, because in this case it's not really that hard to get it right.

    I usually disable things in my apps rather than have them display the infernal dialog.  But then, I have to support my apps.

    "Umm, programmer, I got an error message,"

    "Did you take a number from the complaint grenade?"

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    "WinSCP has a way of doing this operation that works flawlessly all the time, but it doesn't use it by default because ???. Now turn it on."


    Actually no, it does not. It has two options of which neither is flawless:

    1. Use the shell extension, but that requires installation (so it's not available in the non-installed version)
    2. Download the files to a temporary directory and hand them to explorer to copy to the final destination (because that's the only way explorer can do it, but it's slower)

    It should be able to check whether the first is available and automatically turn on the second though.



  • @Bulb said:

    It should be able to check whether the first is available and automatically turn on the second though.

    But it's trying to help a bit too much, telling you there is a way to make it work better, but it'd be invasive (install shellext). The assumption here being that otherwise 99% of people would use the temp copy approach, which sucks.

    Blakey, tell me... how high on your "usability" meter is the tempfile option, where drag/drop causes Explorer to pretend the drag has been ignored until the file's downloaded, and then out of the blue pop up the "Moving files" dialog? Especially with it being titled "Moving" (from temp to dest), even if you started an SCP copy operation?

    Also also... TRWTF is using drag-and-drop instead of the two-pane "Commander-like" mode and function keys. Seriously, drag and drop in Explorer-like tools with a laptop touchpad throws the files at random locations often enough to be useless.



  • @bannedfromcoding said:

    Blakey, tell me... how high on your "usability" meter is the tempfile option, where drag/drop causes Explorer to pretend the drag has been ignored until the file's downloaded, and then out of the blue pop up the "Moving files" dialog?

    Well, about 80 krajillion times more usable than the Moby Dick-sized dialog box, if that's what you're getting at.

    But the real problem is, that isn't necessary. Tons of programs pull of drag&drop correctly without Explorer dialogs and without Explorer extensions. You're giving me two false choice, when the real choice is: WinSCP needs to fix their fucking code so it does the same thing, say, Thunderbird does. Or IE. Or Word. Or any of the umptillion applications I use on a daily basis that implement drag&drop without fucking it up.

    Fuck, I mean, what does the shell extension even *do*? Given, I'm not a drag&drop expert, but I'm thinking Microsoft wouldn't implement it in such a way that programs wanting to use it would need shell extensions, yes?

    @bannedfromcoding said:

    Seriously, drag and drop in Explorer-like tools with a laptop touchpad throws the files at random locations often enough to be useless.

    And you know I'm using a laptop... how?

    Pretending the WinSCP window is an ugly Explorer window is a fuckload lot quicker than navigating to my destination folder *twice*, which is what I inevitably end up doing for programs that use that retarded two-pane mode. Remember my griping about spatial relationships? At least if I open up the folder in Explorer, I get the (tiny) amount of spatial hinting Explorer has. If I have to navigate there using a whole new program, it's like dropping me in an ocean of shit.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Fuck, I mean, what does the shell extension even do? Given, I'm not a drag&drop expert, but I'm thinking Microsoft wouldn't implement it in such a way that programs wanting to use it would need shell extensions, yes?

    I guess you didn't look at WinSCP's Technical Background on the shell extension. They claim (in part, you can--but won't--read the whole thing):

    @TFM said:

    Here is short explanation: Windows drag&drop mechanics does not allow source application of drag&drop operation to find out easily, where the files are dropped. It is up to target application (Windows Explorer usually) to transfer files to destination. It is rather reasonable, because source application can hardly transfer files to all possible destinations. Keep in mind that you can drop files not only to a directory, but even to ZIP file (or any other archive), remote directory (via FTP, SFTP, SCP, …), trash, …

    There's more about the kludge they use for "compatibility mode," or whatever. I don't know enough either way to say if it's BS or not. I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.



  • Look, I don't care if they do it the good way, the bad way, the ugly way, Carlito's Way.

    What I will not tolerate is putting a gigantic and confusing error message on the screen and then not doing it at all. That is the WTF.

    What do you think the results of their hallway usability test of this dialog-- OH WAIT OF COURSE THEY DIDN'T DO ONE BECAUSE THEY DON'T GIVE A SHIT NEVERMIND


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    And you know I'm using a laptop... how?
    Because only luddites use desktops these days. (and people with the balls to leave work at work)



  • @Weng said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    And you know I'm using a laptop... how?
    Because only luddites use desktops these days. (and people with the balls to leave work at work)

    I have 2 desktops and a work laptop. (One of the desktops is really a QA web server, but it's not in the server closet.) If I work from home, I usually do it by remoting into my desktop, and only use the laptop for note-taking at meetings.

    Of course, even if I was using a laptop for real work, I'd still plug in a mouse... I mean duh.



  • @Weng said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    And you know I'm using a laptop... how?
    Because only luddites use desktops these days. (and people with the balls to leave work at work or that can't work at home)

    FTFY



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Look, I don't care if they do it the good way, the bad way, the ugly way, Carlito's Way.

    Maybe not, but you did ask about it like you cared.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    But the real problem is, that isn't necessary. Tons of programs pull of drag&drop correctly without Explorer dialogs and without Explorer extensions. You're giving me two false choice, when the real choice is: WinSCP needs to fix their fucking code so it does the same thing, say, Thunderbird does. Or IE. Or Word. Or any of the umptillion applications I use on a daily basis that implement drag&drop without fucking it up.

    Thunderbird and Word can tell Explorer "Yo, dude, there's a file here, put it in drop target" or "Yo, dude, there's an <OLE supported object> in <this area of cross-process memory> here, put it in drop target as file", and Explorer can do it right now.

    WinSCP doesn't have the data ready yet, it'll only start downloading it.
    @blakeyrat said:

    Fuck, I mean, what does the shell extension even do? Given, I'm not a drag&drop expert, but I'm thinking Microsoft wouldn't implement it in such a way that programs wanting to use it would need shell extensions, yes?


    As boomzilla quoted, the app you drag from does not know where did you drag to. The idea is the target window gets the drop, with the data, and puts it somewhere. WinSCP doesn't have the data yet. So it tells Explorer "Urm, hang on..." downloads, Explorer's window has hung DnD thread in the meantime... "Ahh, right, that file you wanted? It's in %temp%\shit.bin, put it in the drop target, please!".

    The extension signals the WinSCP "Hey, blakey tried to drop to C:\Stuff". WinSCP then can tell Explorer "Erm, what drag? There was nothing dragged, what are you asking me for?", and download the file directly to the target directory by itself, bypassing Explorer, and not keeping it waiting.

    It would be better if whole WinSCP would be a shell NAMESPACE extension, like the Explorer/IE FTP/WebDAV client is. Then you indeed could do the whole download "inside" Explorer. But someone has to code it. The ones who can, prefer the two-pane mode, so won't bother, especially when no one asked for it yet. (Cue Blakeyrant.)
    @blakeyrat said:
    And you know I'm using a laptop... how?

    I don't know, I know I am and that dragging with touchpad over the directory tree sucks. It registers a phantom drop when you're half way through, and puts your files in some random location. Good there's Undo that works, bad that in case of network drives it takes a long while. Sorry, projecting own experiences.
    @blakeyrat said:
    Pretending the WinSCP window is an ugly Explorer window is a fuckload lot quicker than navigating to my destination folder twice, which is what I inevitably end up doing for programs that use that retarded two-pane mode.

    Erm, what?
    @blakeyrat said:
    Remember my griping about spatial relationships? At least if I open up the folder in Explorer, I get the (tiny) amount of spatial hinting Explorer has. If I have to navigate there using a whole new program, it's like dropping me in an ocean of shit.

    Ah, twice as is "Once in Explorer, then in the app"? Well, "duh, you should I would have been using Total Commander in the first place!" - Sorry, projecting still.



  • @bannedfromcoding said:

    As boomzilla quoted, the app you drag from does not know where did you drag to. The idea is the target window gets the drop, with the data, and puts it somewhere. WinSCP doesn't have the data yet. So it tells Explorer "Urm, hang on..." downloads, Explorer's window has hung DnD thread in the meantime... "Ahh, right, that file you wanted? It's in %temp%\shit.bin, put it in the drop target, please!".

    The extension signals the WinSCP "Hey, blakey tried to drop to C:\Stuff". WinSCP then can tell Explorer "Erm, what drag? There was nothing dragged, what are you asking me for?", and download the file directly to the target directory by itself, bypassing Explorer, and not keeping it waiting.

    It would be better if whole WinSCP would be a shell NAMESPACE extension, like the Explorer/IE FTP/WebDAV client is. Then you indeed could do the whole download "inside" Explorer. But someone has to code it. The ones who can, prefer the two-pane mode, so won't bother, especially when no one asked for it yet. (Cue Blakeyrant.)

    As an end-user of the program, I'm going to quote the bits of this technical crap I care about:

    @bannedfromcoding said:

    crickets

    Now I'm going to quote the part that justifies showing me an error dialog and not actually performing the operation I told the program to perform:

    @bannedfromcoding said:

    more crickets

    QED.

    @bannedfromcoding said:

    I don't know, I know I am and that dragging with touchpad over the directory tree sucks.

    Oh, I concur. But that's why I use a mouse with my laptop. (Except my Apple laptop, which has a HUGE trackpad which is much easier to use than the tiny one Dell uses.)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    As an end-user of the program, I'm going to quote the bits of this technical crap I care about:

    The error message could have been a lot better, but TRWTF is probably your inability to install a program.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    As an end-user of the program, I'm going to quote the bits of this technical crap I care about:

    The error message could have been a lot better, but TRWTF is probably your inability to install a program.

    Obviously it's always my fault. There's no such thing as a bad user experience here.



  • Windows explorer still can't do FTP file transfers?

    Jesus fucking christ.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Power Troll said:

    Windows explorer still can't do FTP file transfers?

    Jesus fucking christ.

    We've been over this - it can. WinSCP isn't for that.



  • @Weng said:

    @Power Troll said:

    Windows explorer still can't do FTP file transfers?

    Jesus fucking christ.

    We've been over this - it can. WinSCP isn't for that.

    Oh, my bad. I just figured WinSCP was an FTP client.



  • @Power Troll said:

    @Weng said:
    @Power Troll said:
    Windows explorer still can't do FTP file transfers?
    Jesus fucking christ.
    We've been over this - it can. WinSCP isn't for that.

    Oh, my bad. I just figured WinSCP was an FTP client.
    It's SFTP that Windows/Explorer still can't do.


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