Monday, August 09, 2004

Erwin Waterlander, WCD Wherever Change Directory

Erwin Waterlander's WCD - Wherever Change Directory

This is much more impressive than appears on first look. It's a cross-platform text mode program that does what Norton Change Directory did, but with far more control on what's indexed and how. It also allows wild card searches -- which is very, very cool. Combine this with some personal conventions for naming directories and there are great productivity gains. It's too powerful and complex for most WinXP users (it's really more for the UNIX/Linux user), but it's a Source Forge project that could be integrated into many Norton Commander like clones -- or into a Mac OS X AppleScript application! (There's an OX port.)

Erwin's web page doesn't mention how to integrate Windows Explorer with WCD. I was playing with all kinds of trickery, but he gave me the very simple and elegant solution. It's easy to understand what's happending in the Win9x version, but to change the current directory in WinXP one must use a batch file intermediary. Read the Win9x version first to understand the WinXP version. Once the current directory has been changed the command "explorer ." opens the current directory. There are more options for the explorer command I'll probably add, but this is a good starting point. Here's Erwin's advice:

I used this script to run explorer after wcd (on windows NT/2000/XP):

@echo off
wcdwin32.exe %*
echo explorer.exe . >> %HOME%\wcdgo.bat

If you use the dos32bit version on windows 95/98/ME this script will work:

@echo off
wcd.exe %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6
explorer.exe .

Erwin Waterlander
Eindhoven, The Netherlands

No comments: