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Holo File Explorer
Android File Management. Simple. Powerful. Beautiful.
Android File Management. Simple. Powerful. Beautiful.

Holo File Explorer's posts

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I just put a new reply up on the XDA HFE thread.  Please read and let me know if you are interested.

Secretsauce work continues, but I wanted to take a moment to ask all of you a question:  How desirable would a choice between a list view and grid view be?  This, of course, is with respect to phones.  A grid view is the only good way to display files on a tablet.  I want to know if you would seriously use a GridView for anything, or whether its a mostly useless addition.  I'll leave the voting options in the comments, so +1 whichever one you prefer.  Also leave a comment with viable use cases for a GridView if you take the second pick.  Thanks everyone!

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New Update
This update replaces the text based view pager indicator with a sliding bar that looks just like the stock launcher's indicator. I'm still not satisfied with the contrast between the bar and the surrounding elements, because it isn't easy to see at this point. I'll keep tinkering with it, and would welcome suggestions. In addition, I have figured out how to allow viewing of read protected directories like /data/. My implementation isn't perfect, which leads me to my next point. I have come to realize that there are some fundamental shortcomings to a few of the apps underpinnings, and I need to find a way to fix them. I have yet to figure out how to make the root process persist so that root functionality doesn't throw up a toast every time it does something, and I seriously need to clean my code.

Therefore, my plan is thus: I'm going to take a crack at helping the dev of OpenExplorer figure out how to enable full root functionality. His code is the only resource I have been able to glean much useful info from, and his own implementation is still half-baked. (seriously, why are there no robust root related resources out there?) Then, (tentatively) I'm going to fork his repo and replace the look and feel of his app with that of Holo File Explorer, while retaining what appears to be a vastly superior back end. The downside to this is that we're looking at something of a rabbit hole, so you guys may not hear from me for a bit. The upside is that forking OpenExplorer will provide a less buggy experience, plus lots of extras like network folder, dropbox and access.

I'm also hopeful that at the end of this process, I'll have my own code hosted on GitHub and ready for collaboration. If I can get interested parties to help with development, It'll speed up the rate of releases. Because to be honest, my rate of release hasn't exactly been timely of late, and you guys deserve better than that. This is the best answer I can come up with to solve the problem. What does everyone think?

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Thanks to Jake Wharton's new ViewPagerIndicator release, I got the launcher style pager indicator working, which I'm pretty excited about. It was very easy to implement, and probably only took an hour from the time I downloaded it until I finished tweaking the style.

On the root side of things, I'm currently trying to figure out how to determine whether a given folder is mounted as read only or read/write. Which means I'm looking for a relevant linux command, since you can't use the built in file objects with protected files without throwing errors.

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You'll all be happy to know that +Holo File Explorer can now open system folders :) I still don't have file operations or mounting working yet, but my understanding of how I'll do those things is rapidly growing.

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A great article on open source code contribution. Definitely worth reading and considering.

Hoping to get some quality dev time in this weekend. The work on root functionality should see some significant advancement before Monday rolls around. But in the meantime...? Work. I should be engaged in power coding sessions until 1:00am, not writing investigative reports for the big man! Ahh... the things we do for a paycheck :P

Guess who just bought a $240 Xoom? That's right, me! Looking forward to having an actual tablet and a piece of hardware to dev tablet apps on. When I finally get the +Holo File Explorer sorted out for phones, I can move on to the tablet integration! I am rather excited about the prospects. Thanks for the sales tip +Droid Life!

Hey everyone, just finished up a fairly fruitful night of coding. I have returned from my long travels and was able to sit down and spend some time on the app. There is still a lot left to be done, but I ironed out some of the action item code and the root preference toggle. Root functionality will be off by default, and it will have to be enabled within the preferences. It's small pain for those who want it, but I think it is ultimately more easily dealt with by the larger populace, and therefore a better choice for the entire user base.

I also did some more tinkering with the root code, but I still lack some understanding of the whole process. +Stephen Erickson deserves a big shout out though for his RootTools library. It's been a big help thus far in my quest to understand the swirling morass of mounting and permissions commands.

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Conventional paging indicator or Launcher-style scroll bar? That is the question.

I have to admit that I am dissatisfied with the currently implemented paging indicator. I'm considering making use of a launcher style horizontal scroll bar as pictured on the bottom half of the attached photo.

Before I launch into a philosophical discussion of the pros and cons of the different approaches, I should take a moment to explain the distinction between each of these.

There are three main approaches, the first of which are tabs. I'm sure you are all familiar with tabs, because they are everywhere (Phone, contacts, etc.). They are particularly useful when an app needs to display every possible screen "shortcut" at the same time. This works best when there are a small number of tabs, and is especially necessary if the tabs have little to do with one another.

If there are a large number of tabs or screens, and the information provided on each screen is closely associated, it is advisable to make use of a text based paging indicator. You can find a perfect example of this in the market app. Each screen provides a slightly different grouping of the same data, and there are a large number of available screens - too many tabs to fit on screen at one time.

The final approach is that of a simplified paging indicator. The best and most common example of this can be found in many different launcher applications. This indicator only shows the user's current position in the larger ViewPager hierarchy. It can take the form of a line or a series of dots, among other things.

I would argue that a paging indicator should be unobtrusive as possible while also providing the required information. For example, the sliding text-based indicator used in the market is is useful because each of the titles provides information about the current page, and because that title is essential to understanding the content of each page. In contrast, each launcher page is a mutable piece of information, and requires no title. The user need only know where they are among their home screens. Furthermore, space is valuable on the launcher, and the simplicity of the paging indicator matches the low need for specific indicator information.

I think that +Holo File Explorer is more similar in need to a launcher. The relevant "title" information pertaining to each page is contained within the upper portion of the action bar, inside the drop-down. With this in mind, I would argue that the purpose of +Holo File Explorer's paging indicator largely centers around helping the user plot the order of each page in his or her mind. Therefore, I have been thinking about replacing the current text-based paging indicator with a close copy of the ICS horizontal scroll bar. This would reduce clutter and streamline the look of the app. However...

I know that the horizontal scroll bar is never or almost never used in-app, so I am seeking opinions, ponderings, musings and dissent regarding the inclusion of this UI element. Would this make sense? Or is it just to bizarre such an element in-app?
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