I’m currently working on 2 utilities absolutely unrelated to anything I’m doing here at Microsoft. This isn’t new since I’ve been doing this ever since I got into the industry (even before I was an official “programmer”). This time I have 2 utilities that I’m creating knowing that when they’re finished, I will use them a lot. Each of them are close to being finished (just hammering out some defects right now). So my question to you is, which of the following utilities would you like me to finish first and eventually post here for you to view/use?
1. Bread Crumb Band: This is a deskband (toolbar) that is used in Internet Explorer and/or Explorer. The best way to describe is to take the current address you’re viewing (http://www.microsoft.com/directx or C:\windows\assembly for example) and break it up into smaller hyperlinked pieces. So if you were looking at C:\windows\assembly, you can click on ‘windows’ to navigate to the windows directory or you could click on ‘c:\’ to go to the root. This has been extrememly handy when I’m knee deep in the folder hierarchy and want to get to my root drive really quick. I also find it handy on blog aggregator sites like this one or my other favorite http://www.geekswithblogs.net. If you had this utilitly installed and you were currently looking at my blog, you could click on the http://blogs.msdn.com to go back to the main MSDN blog page (in fact, that’s what made me write this utility).
2. Smart Delete a.k.a. Sharp Shell: This is both a framework and a utility wrapped in one. Basically, it’s a framework that you can write plugins for that will create context menu shell extensions to work with files and folders. The plug in interface is quite simplistic and frees you from having to figure out how to write explorer context menu shell extensions. As a proof of concept, I created a Smart Delete plugin. How many times have you decided to go into your temp folder and clear it out. You do a CTRL-A and hit the delete key in hopes of deleting your 2000+ files in there. It stops at the 53rd file saying that it is in use and cannot be deleted. So you deselect that file and try again. This time it stops at the 123rd file with the same message. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. etc… This utility will simply skip those files and continue deleting the remaining ones. So what you’re left with is only the files that are in use and cannot be deleted. I still have 1 more thing to add which is a Smart Recycle plugin that basically does the same thing but moves the files to the Recycle Bin instead of permanently deleting them.
Let me know what you would like to see and when I finally get some free time, I’ll fix it up and post it (followed later by the other one).