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#43 Tally by nodes

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Erwin Bonsma
None
4
2012-10-26
2009-07-01
Rich Morin
No

It would be useful (and probably not too difficult) to allow the user to specify whether the view maps rectangle area to the aggregate size of a directory tree (as it does now) or instead maps it to the aggregate number of folders. The first view is great for finding some things, but the second is good for finding others (eg, things that cause GP to run for a long time :).

Discussion

  • Erwin Bonsma
    Erwin Bonsma
    2009-08-02

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    It would indeed not be difficult to add this. However, I'm not (yet) convinced by its usefulness. I think the option would unnecessarily confuse users and take up precious screen real-estate (of what-ever panel or dialog it will become part of). All functionality in the application should be pulling its weight, and I don't think that would be the case here.

    Nevertheless, thanks for the suggestion, and feel free to try to change my mind. :-)

    Cheers,
    Erwin

     
  • Rich Morin
    Rich Morin
    2009-08-02

    I would be happy to have it on the Menu Bar (eg, as a checkable item). This would keep it out of the way of most users, but leave it available for folks that need it.

    Now for the justification. GP is (primarily) a way of looking over a file tree to understand (and probably, work to reduce) its resource utilization. Currently, the only measure that GP considers is aggregate file size (or possibly total number of blocks in the tree, like du).

    However, the aggregate number of items is also an important measure of resource utilization. If I do a tree walk (eg, with find or Sherlock), the walk will take time proportionate to the number of nodes it has to traverse. Copies are also affected. So, if I have some huge trees of small items, they will slow me down and NOT show up in GP.

    Given the nature of packages for OSX and build trees for FOSS projects, it's all too easy to acquire massive trees of files, some of which will not contain all that much data. Having a tool to find these would be useful.

     
  • Erwin Bonsma
    Erwin Bonsma
    2009-08-05

    Having given it a bit more thought, there is actually already a natural place where to add this functionality, and it's far enough out of the way that it shouldn't confuse casual users. In the Preferences panel you can currently chose between two file size measures: Logical and Physical. I could add a third one here, "Tally", which basically would give all files a unit size. So the size of folders in the view would be proportional to the number of files in it, and the reported size of folders would be the number of files in it.

    So, given all that, it's a feature worth adding. It really is not much effort. It is just another file size measure, albeit a slightly strange one, that's there for power users should they want it. It does mean that you have to go the preferences to change this setting, perform a scan, and change the settings back afterwards, but I hope that's acceptable.

     


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