#24 Scan Folder doesn't include 'hidden files and folders'


Even if one has changed the Finder to 'Show hidden files and folders', Grand Perspective only tends to show the Apple default selection. For example, when you select 'Scan Folder', there is no obvious way to select the /tmp directory {it can be done -- use Option-/ at the Scan Folder selection, and you can type an arbitrary path}.

Ideally, there should be an option to show these other folders.


  • Erwin Bonsma

    Erwin Bonsma - 2008-04-22

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    Originator: NO

    I will see what I can do to support this. Maybe I'll add an option to the preferences. However, as it's mostly needed by advanced users who may know the Option-/ trick (I didn't, so thanks for enlighting me :-), it's not on top of my To Do list. Nevertheless, if it's easy to support, why not? Thanks for the suggestion.


  • Erwin Bonsma

    Erwin Bonsma - 2008-12-23

    I have now looked into this a bit more. Within the current version of the app, you can already scan the contents of hidden folders in two ways:
    1) Using Option-/ or Command-Shift-G in the "Scan folder" dialog
    2) Using "defaults write net.sourceforge.grandperspectiv AppleShowAllFiles -bool yes" from the Terminal

    I think that is sufficient, given that this is something only power-users would need. The risk of confusing ordinary users by adding support from the GUI does not outweigh the benefits in my opinion. However, I just added a page to the help documentation that describes how hidden folders can be scanned in. It will appear in the next release.

  • rdm0

    rdm0 - 2008-12-26

    I guess I can see your point, but ... I still think you could do a bit more. After all, you could check to see if the user has already enabled 'Show Hidden Files and Directories', and enable showing those for these selected users. Otherwise, a user who has enabled showing those files/folders might not realize that certain files are not being displayed in a filtered view (if he's not paying attention), and think he's okay when in fact he's not.

    I think it is more 'the Apple Way' to have the user set system-wide options only once, and expect all other applications to behave accordingly.

    However, this is only my opinion -- one needs to check the Apple Design Guidelines to verify whether this is indeed preferred policy or not.

  • Erwin Bonsma

    Erwin Bonsma - 2009-01-02

    Just to clarify (this will also be described in the updated help by the way), hidden files are always be shown in the treemap views (unless of course, the user applies a filter/mask to explicitly hide these). This is I think important (as you also point out). When the user is wondering where all available space is gone, all files that take up space (and that the user has permission to access) should be included, even if they are hidden files that the user may not be aware of.

    The only question is whether the user can select a hidden folder in the "Scan Folder" dialog when initiating a new scan. This, however, is a pretty minor issue in my eyes. Firstly, I think even "power users" will rarely want to scan in only the contents of a given hidden folder (it's much more common to scan a normal folder that happens to contain hidden files and folders). Secondly, if they want to, I think it's okay if they have to jump through one of the minor hoops I described (which will also be documented in the help documentation). Thirdly, I think it could be quite confusing if GrandPerspective takes the initial value for GrandPerspective's AppleShowAllFiles property from the Finder preferences. It could easily lead users to believe that GrandPerspective uses the Finder preferences, which would cause confusion when the user changes the Finder settings, and does not see the corresponding change in behaviour in GrandPerspective. This can of course be avoided if GrandPerspective does not have its own copy of the AppleShowAllFiles property, but always uses that of Finder. That, however, is not the way it's implemented in the Cocoa library, so implementing it that way would in fact be non-standard.

  • rdm0

    rdm0 - 2009-01-03

    Actually, because things like '/usr' and other 'system' files (like /etc, /bin, /sbin, /dev, /tmp, /Volumes, etc.), are considered 'hidden files', I think that there are actually lots of reasons people might want to look through those directories. Particularly, for example, if you use Fink or MacPorts to install and use additional Unix utilities. And being able to filter views that include those make a lot of sense -- at least, to me. But perhaps I just do more development than the average user.

    So what is actually more confusing to me is when I see these directories listed in the treemap views, and then do a filter that shows no appropriate files from these directories when in fact there are some very significant ones.

    If you feel copying the current Finder setting of 'Show Hidden Files and Directories' is 'non-standard', then I still have trouble understanding why users (who are trusted with seeing and setting this setting for the Finder) should somehow be 'protected' from having a similar setting in the GrandPerspective Preferences. I really feel not being able to obviously set this is actually more confusing. In fact, I would expect most people who run into the issue of finding these files not being included in the filters to actually file a bug report, rather than think to search through the documentation and find out why this occurs (particularly if they see the directories in the treemaps already). So I think making a setting (which may or may not take the default from the Finder setting) available to user makes the user's life easier.

    But then, I guess I see the hiding of any files to be an artificial contrivance. So I guess I feel it shouldn't be so hard for users to disable this contrivance. After all, most users will probably leave the setting alone, and thus default to the situation you think should be the default, anyway. I guess I just don't see the 'confusion factor' being all that significant, which is the basis of my argument. If your experience leads you to believe otherwise, then perhaps it is I that am missing the point. ^^;



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