MAIDENS 1.4: Navigator UI while saving a MIDI file

Navigator UI

What it is

The Navigator is MAIDENS’ custom build, three panel file system explorer. The rationale for building it was to provide a unified interface for selecting both files and folders, one that looks consistent on all supported operating systems.

How does it look/behave

The Navigator‘s first two panels display all folders and files available at the current location, respectively. These panels stay true to their function, and never mix files and folders, as is customary in Windows, for example. The third panel provides details about the current selection. There are also controls for adjusting the current location and current selection, and tools for filtering and sorting the listed folders and files.

Below there is a complete rundown of the Navigator widget’s components and their function:

  1. Location text field: displays the folder or disk volume the navigator currently looks into; one can also type text into it;
  2. Folders list: shows all the folders available at the current location; one can double-click a folder to go into it; single-click to select it;
  3. Parent folder button: navigates into the folder or disk volume containing the current location;
  4. Sorting criteria controls: change the order list items are laid out in. Click the arrow to the right of the label to select different criteria; and click the label itself to toggle between ascending or descending ordering;
  5. Files list: displays all the files available at the current location; click a file to select it;
  6. Selection text field: presents the name of the folder, disk volume or file, which is currently selected in either of the lists; one can also type text in-here;
  7. File type filter: hides away files that do not match a given type (aka extension on Windows);
  8. Free text filter: conceals both folders and files that do not match the text typed-in; the free text filter is applied after the file type filter;
  9. Button for resetting the free text filter;
  10. Description area: shows information on the currently selected file, folder or drive;
  11. Image preview button: turns on a preview for JPEG or PNG files;
  12. Buttons that submit or discard the current selection.

The Navigator also provides these assistive features:

  1. The Location text field also allows one to type-in or paste text into it. If this text proves to be a valid path to a local file, folder or disk volume, the following shall happen:
    1. If the text is a path to a folder or disk volume, it becomes the new current location;
    2. If the text is a path to a file, its parent folder becomes the new current location;
  2. The Selection text field also allows one to enter text. If this text proves to be a valid path to a local file or folder, the following shall happen:
    1. If the text is a path to a folder, its parent will become the new current location, and the folder itself will be selected in the list of folders; also, its name (only the name, with any leading path stripped off) will become the new value of the Selection field;
    2. Similarly, if the text is a path to a file, its parent will become the new current location; if, and only if, the file’s type and name match the filters currently in effect, the file itself will be selected in the list of files, and its name (only the name, with any leading path stripped off) will become the new value of the Selection field;
  3. The Free text filter can be used to match any part of a file or folder name, including its type/extension. For instance, with the Type filter set to all files, one can type exe into the Free text filter to constrain the listing to Windows executables found at the current location;
  4. When using the Navigator to create a new file, the current value of the File type filter will become the file’s type/extension.

What to Use it For

You use the Navigator to open existing files (for reading or writing) or to create new ones.

Note: the complete list of pending bugs, features and epics is available in Jira.

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