12-22-2013 06:15 PM
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  1. ntice_521's Avatar
    However, you are misjudging the current technical situation, or at least mischaracterizing it. The entire system underlying WP's approach to file handling can be explained in just a few sentences. It is much simpler than the system used by Android, and it's simplicity alone should easily convince anyone that the system is neither inconsistent nor illogical in any way.... it is incomplete however. I'm not sure I'd agree if you were to call it "too simple", but I wouldn't argue with that characterization either.
    How do you explain in a few sentences why you can open a PDF file with Adobe Reader but not Microsoft PDF Reader? Why music players can play OGG and FLAC files but not MP3s? Why UC Browser saves every file as an MP3? Why file browsers tell you to append a ".y" or some such at the end of all your files? Why a file browser shows epubs but not mobis? What is the significance of the number 20?

    Come on...it took me weeks to figure this stuff out, and there's still probably lots I don't know. The only way you can make it simple is to pretend that WP is some other operating system, one that doesn't support files at all.
    12-19-2013 12:38 AM
  2. link68759's Avatar
    How do you explain in a few sentences why you can open a PDF file with Adobe Reader but not Microsoft PDF Reader? Why music players can play OGG and FLAC files but not MP3s? Why UC Browser saves every file as an MP3? Why file browsers tell you to append a ".y" or some such at the end of all your files? Why a file browser shows epubs but not mobis? What is the significance of the number 20?



    Come on...it took me weeks to figure this stuff out, and there's still probably lots I don't know. The only way you can make it simple is to pretend that WP is some other operating system, one that doesn't support files at all.



    Ignoring your first two questions, which are just incorrect:

    WP has a media library handled by the system. Apps cannot read or write to the library directly- the system acts as the gatekeeper, delivering content both in and out. Only mp3s and jpgs are allowed in currently, and (3) various apps exploit that fact to easily export any file.

    Apps are not allowed to register more than a few protocols/extensions, (4) so some apps suggest you rename content to file.ext.y, so only one extension needs to be registered. (5) I've also seen devs claim that certain extensions cannot be registered or viewed because the system owns them, but other devs have no problem with the same files, so... *shrugs*

    (6) ?
    12-19-2013 01:37 AM
  3. ntice_521's Avatar
    Ignoring your first two questions, which are just incorrect:
    They are valid I assure you. Some programs have a built in file browser (all different, and most bad), some don't. Music players can't play mp3s because that file type is restricted (you can play them only if you rename them). See the documentation for Mediaplayer XP if you don't believe me.

    A file browser can display 20 file types. If a file is not one of the lucky 20 selected by the file browser developer, it will be invisible.
    12-19-2013 02:21 AM
  4. geoghotas's Avatar
    Yes really need it file manager...
    12-19-2013 03:16 AM
  5. link68759's Avatar
    They are valid I assure you. Some programs have a built in file browser (all different, and most bad), some don't. Music players can't play mp3s because that file type is restricted (you can play them only if you rename them). See the documentation for Mediaplayer XP if you don't believe me.

    A file browser can display 20 file types. If a file is not one of the lucky 20 selected by the file browser developer, it will be invisible.
    Why on earth would you have a set of mp3s not in the core music library, where it can EASILY be seen by ANY app? Sorry, that's just user error, and pure stupidity.

    And I have no problems opening a pdf with whatever programs have registered support for pdf with the system... again, I'm going to guess that's more user error on your part.

    Don't use mediaplayer xp, it's an interesting experiment but just bad for general use. There are other, better apps- or even smarter is to just convert your flacs to wma lossless and use a normal music app.
    Last edited by link68759; 12-19-2013 at 03:33 AM.
    12-19-2013 03:22 AM
  6. th0mas96's Avatar
    Why on earth would you have a set of mp3s not in the core music library, where it can EASILY be seen by ANY app? Sorry, that's just user error, and pure stupidity.

    And I have no problems opening a pdf with whatever programs have registered support for pdf with the system... again, I'm going to guess that's more user error on your part.

    Don't use mediaplayer xp, it's an interesting experiment but just bad for general use. There are other, better apps- or even smarter is to just convert your flacs to wma lossless and use a normal music app.
    But there's no access to the files for ANY app, just via the API which is terribly crippled.
    12-19-2013 11:22 AM
  7. link68759's Avatar
    But there's no access to the files for ANY app, just via the API which is terribly crippled.
    While I agree with that statement, I'm not sure if I agree for the same reasons, so please elaborate.
    12-19-2013 11:41 AM
  8. a5cent's Avatar
    How do you explain in a few sentences:
    a) why you can open a PDF file with Adobe Reader but not Microsoft PDF Reader?
    b) why music players can play OGG and FLAC files but not MP3s?
    c) why UC Browser saves every file as an MP3? Why file browsers tell you to append a ".y" or some such at the end of all your files?
    d) Why a file browser shows epubs but not mobis?
    None of those issues have anything to do with the lack of a file manager. Issue (c) is somewhat related to programmatic file system access, so, in a nutshell:

    Every app you install can optionally register a limited number of file-types that it knows how to work with (like the PDF file extension). Apps that ship with the OS (like XBOX music) do the same. The sum of these file-type registrations constitute the known file-types, meaning the OS recognizes them and knows what to do with them. Apps are only given access to those file types for which they have registered. As far as an app is concerned, no file types beyond those for which it has registered exist on the device. Whenever the OS encounters a file of a known type, it will retrieve that file (from the internet, local file system, wherever) and pass it off to the app that registered for it. If more than one app registered for a specific file-type, the user must choose which app should receive it. Whenever the OS encounters a file of an unknown type, WP has no idea what to do with it, so it is ignored (not downloaded, not visible to the app, etc).

    Those few sentences explain issue (c), and many other problems people have with random file access on WP. By registering files of type "*.y" with the OS, and then renaming every file to carry that extension, apps gain the (crippled) ability to deal with files of any arbitrary (unknown) file-type.

    The thing is, the introduction of a file manager doesn't necessarily change any of that behaviour! Why should it? If this is one of the problems you want solved (and I would agree it needs solving), then you're not asking for the right solution! In the very least, you aren't asking for a solution that is guaranteed to solve the problem.

    Coming up with a solution to this problem, without discarding all the security principles on which WP is based, is hard. Under the hood, WP and Android are very different, so the same solutions aren't necessarily applicable to both. Ultimately, we just aren't qualified to think up the solutions to these software engineering problems, and that is what a file manager is. It's an assumed solution, which often isn't even related to the problems people expect it to solve. Unfortunately, the community never gets around to discussing what we'd actually want solved, because these threads always get stuck in the worthless pro-/contra- file manager debate.

    Instead of wasting time with imaginary solutions, it would be far more interesting to discuss the problems people have (so I do appreciate your list of gripes), which brings me to your other points, just briefly however, since they aren't related to the file manager topic of this thread:

    a)
    MS PDF reader is known to be quirky. Whatever your exact problem with it is, the arrival of a file manager won't magically fix bugs in MS's PDF reader app.

    b)
    I have no idea why Windows XP player can't play mp3 files. It is possible to play MP3 files on WP, as demonstrated on MSDN here.

    d)
    How am I to know why some unspecified app can handle one file type but not another? Maybe because it didn't register itself for *.mobi files? Possibly the app simply can't deal with such files? Could it be a bug? I don't know. Whatever the problem is, I'm sure that a file manager won't magically enable *.mobi support.
    12-19-2013 08:38 PM
  9. juanitoriv's Avatar
    Nice breakdown on the tech!!
    12-19-2013 08:43 PM
  10. link68759's Avatar
    Coming up with a solution to this problem, without discarding all the security principles on which WP is based, is hard. Under the hood, WP and Android are very different, so the same solutions aren't necessarily applicable to both. Ultimately, we just aren't qualified to think up the solutions to these software engineering problems, and that is what a file manager is. It's an assumed solution, which often isn't even related to the problems people expect it to solve. Unfortunately, the community never gets around to discussing what we'd actually want solved, because these threads always get stuck in the worthless pro-/contra- file manager debate.
    http://forums.windowscentral.com/win...ml#post2262034

    I'd like some feedback on my proposed solution. From anyone, really. I want to refine my idea before sending it off to uservoice. I think a general shared storage area (that can be the SD card) is probably the best possible solution. It *actually solves problems* that a 'file manager' won't. The only potential security concern is the fact that apps would be doing the writing, as opposed to the current model where apps can only pass mp3/jpg files to a system process. Developers have to implement it like they would skydrive.

    With the current model, if you use one app to download something and another app to open the file, the file is copied from isolated store to isolated store, doubling the effective space used just to open the file. This model is broken and by far the most pressing issue WP has re:file handling, and a common storage area is literally the only solution that doesn't undermine the security of an app's isolated storage area.
    Binoya Mathews likes this.
    12-19-2013 10:04 PM
  11. ntice_521's Avatar
    None of those issues have anything to do with the lack of a file manager. Issue (c) is somewhat related to programmatic file system access, so, in a nutshell:
    A file manager would solve some problems. Most important, you could browse for (or search for) files and launch the associated program for that file type.

    You can do that now with the WP file managers, but it's ridiculously clunky. The file manager registers 20 file types (the maximum allowed), and if your file isn't one of those types (e.g. MOBI), it's invisible. And when you select a file, the file manager itself appears on the list of programs that can handle the file, though of course it can't.

    a)
    MS PDF reader is known to be quirky. Whatever your exact problem with it is, the arrival of a file manager won't magically fix bugs in MS's PDF reader app.
    No bug, it just doesn't have a built in file browser. So when I run it, I see a blank screen, and can't do anything with it. There's no "open file" option. When I run the Adobe Reader, I see my files, since it has a file browser.

    Although a file manager *would* solve some problems, I don't really want a file manager. What I want is for non-clunky 3rd party file managers to be possible, and for any developer to be able to create an app like Moliplayer. A relaxation of counterproductive artificial limits.

    I don't think reverting back to the WP7/iOS way of doing things is viable, especially if Microsoft wants to merge WP and RT. It's too limiting.
    12-20-2013 12:18 AM
  12. link68759's Avatar
    A file manager would solve some problems. Most important, you could browse for (or search for) files and launch the associated program for that file type.

    You can do that now with the WP file managers, but it's ridiculously clunky. The file manager registers 20 file types (the maximum allowed), and if your file isn't one of those types (e.g. MOBI), it's invisible. And when you select a file, the file manager itself appears on the list of programs that can handle the file, though of course it can't.
    It mihjy solve some problems, but it's well established that it's not the right way to go about it, it's not possible with the security practices, and also "file manager" is so vague as to mean nothing- which means it potentially solves nothing.

    Your description of "clunky file managers" is still sort of inaccurate- you're describing the behavior of specific apps that go about doing weird things that don't really need to be done. Look at a different specific app that actually does things in a sane way- Pocket file manager. Within skydrive and its own isolated storage, pfm can see and open any extension. Some extensions are supported internally, but not registered with the system. All files can be opened within the system, provided there is at least one app that supports the extension. It only registers pdf (I think) so it can download them from internet explorer.

    No bug, it just doesn't have a built in file browser. So when I run it, I see a blank screen, and can't do anything with it. There's no "open file" option. When I run the Adobe Reader, I see my files, since it has a file browser.
    Right, so when you open a pdf, you'll be given the option to open with ms pdf or adobe reader. MS pdf deletes the file after viewing to save space, adobe reader keeps a copy of every pdf you view in its own isolated storage- there's no "file browser" aspect to it per se, just a list of cached documents. Adding a file browser to this scenario won't add anything pocket file manager doesn't already do fyi.
    12-20-2013 02:18 AM
  13. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    No bug, it just doesn't have a built in file browser. So when I run it, I see a blank screen, and can't do anything with it. There's no "open file" option. When I run the Adobe Reader, I see my files, since it has a file browser.
    The reason you see your list of files in Adobe is because you opened the file in Adobe and not in MS PDF Reader. If you had you would see a list of files in MS PDF Reader in the Library section. Adobe does not have a file manager it just keeps a cache of the files you have opened. MS PDF Reader is exactly the same.

    When you go to open a PDF from an Email you have both programs installed it gives you the option of which program you want to open it from. If you never open it with MS PDF Reader you'll never have a list of files. Simple.

    MS PDF Reader has access to Skydrive, Adobe does not but it can access Adobe Cloud.

    So technically they're identical pieces of software.
    12-20-2013 02:29 AM
  14. ntice_521's Avatar
    The reason you see your list of files in Adobe is because you opened the file in Adobe and not in MS PDF Reader. If you had you would see a list of files in MS PDF Reader in the Library section. Adobe does not have a file manager it just keeps a cache of the files you have opened. MS PDF Reader is exactly the same.

    When you go to open a PDF from an Email you have both programs installed it gives you the option of which program you want to open it from. If you never open it with MS PDF Reader you'll never have a list of files. Simple.

    MS PDF Reader has access to Skydrive, Adobe does not but it can access Adobe Cloud.

    So technically they're identical pieces of software.
    Incorrect. One has a file browser, the other doesn't. Who said anything about email? Copy a file to your phone via USB.
    12-20-2013 03:20 AM
  15. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    Incorrect. One has a file browser, the other doesn't. Who said anything about email? Copy a file to your phone via USB.
    I am not incorrect. If I copy a file over to my phone it ends up in Office Hub where I have the option to open the file in either PDF Reader or Adobe. If I open it in Adobe it caches the file for me to open again. If I open it in PDF Reader it adds it to it's Library. In what way am I wrong?

    To add to that. If I delete a PDF in either program it does not delete it from my phone, only from the app. So unless you're phone is different than mine, neither Adobe or MS PDF Reader have a file manager.
    12-20-2013 03:39 AM
  16. Mavee Shah's Avatar
    There must be a difference from the file manager of Android phones but we must have an option to deal with SD card storage in a better way using phones not every time we can go for PC/Lappy to do this
    12-20-2013 03:46 AM
  17. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    There must be a difference from the file manager of Android phones but we must have an option to deal with SD card storage in a better way using phones not every time we can go for PC/Lappy to do this
    It will be coming in WP8.1 as Skydrive will be deeper integrated into the OS, at least that's the understanding. So I personally think this whole topic is moot in regards to a file manager. Let's wait and see. Banging on about this topic is pointless. Some form of file management will come along but it won't be 'Android' like.
    12-20-2013 04:07 AM
  18. th0mas96's Avatar
    While I agree with that statement, I'm not sure if I agree for the same reasons, so please elaborate.
    The apps can only play files, they can't create playlists, play gapless audio when changing songs, can't remember where they left (after quitting the app & killing the music player), can't fast forward etc.. And there's no access to "the raw files", so the devs have no chance to support these features except for using their local storage, which makes the music inaccessible for other apps.
    Mavee Shah likes this.
    12-20-2013 07:50 AM
  19. ntice_521's Avatar
    I am not incorrect. If I copy a file over to my phone it ends up in Office Hub where I have the option to open the file in either PDF Reader or Adobe. If I open it in Adobe it caches the file for me to open again. If I open it in PDF Reader it adds it to it's Library. In what way am I wrong?
    Office only sees files in Documents.

    To add to that. If I delete a PDF in either program it does not delete it from my phone, only from the app. So unless you're phone is different than mine, neither Adobe or MS PDF Reader have a file manager.
    I said file browser, not file manager. You can open files but not delete them. Possibly my phone is different - I have an SD card, perhaps you don't?
    12-20-2013 04:53 PM
  20. link68759's Avatar
    Office only sees files in Documents.



    I said file browser, not file manager. You can open files but not delete them. Possibly my phone is different - I have an SD card, perhaps you don't?
    You're confusing two very different things, and confusing the rest of us by thinking that the words "browser" and "manager" carry much meaning at all.
    12-20-2013 06:04 PM
  21. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
    A file manager would be invaluable to me on a daily driver.
    12-20-2013 09:24 PM
  22. Mavee Shah's Avatar
    So if its not of your use you can't make us to shut our thinking and use cause we r using mid and low range devices and there is a need of better SD card management
    12-20-2013 10:06 PM
  23. StudentoflifeUSMC's Avatar
    I personally can see a need for a file manager for two separate reasons.

    1st, my own personal experience. I have about 100 or so PDFs stored on my phone, some are rather lengthy, but I open them via Adobe. (Why can't we get a complete PDF solution on our phones? Hello Adobe ?) however I ended up suffering the live tile failure that WP8 has been known to suffer from , and one of the solutions to solve it was to delete my apps and reinstall. Well, when I reinstalled Adobe, my list of PDFs was no longer visible, because the file system seems to only care about file extensions that are registered after the app is loaded, not before. So even though I used my data to download those PDFs, I had to go re-download them just to have them available to view again. (Can we get a phone-based search too while we're at it ? That would possibly solve problem one)

    But it's the 2nd point that is more important. Let's not BS here. Microsoft has built their company off of servicing businesses, not private consumers. Look at their products and who they're targeted to. With the exception of the XBox line, most everything is originally designed towards business, with slimmed down versions for consumers who want to be able to work from home. That's their business model. That's why they violated their own EOL on Windows XP because the corporations that keep them alive told them that they would not upgrade.

    But many companies (including the USG) will not buy any device that lacks VPN. I'd be willing to bet that better than half of all Blackberry usage in the US is courtesy of the US Department of Defense. Why? Because Blackberry is the only phone at the time of the contract that supported PKI, TFTP, and VPN. There wasn't another option. But once that contract is gone, I suspect Blackberry will die almost immediately afterwards.
    I would suspect that the existence of a file manager would be significant too, so that the user is able to access files as needed on their phone. Put them on the SD card at work, shove the SD card into the phone, and access them from there. In many ways, it's like the start button. Companies don't like having to retrain their employees. They want to be able to hand them gear, and they can immediately start making their companies money using it.

    I personally would be satisfied with a global phone search that allowed wildcards to be used. I could find the files I need rather quickly. But for businesses, I think that a lack of a file manager would be a major selling point AGAINST WP8. And let's be honest, given Microsoft's business model, until the corporate community embraces Windows Phone 8, it's future is in jeopardy. But conversely, once that happens, then development will take off both from a software and a hardware side.

    I fully believe that if Windows 8 had shipped with VPN initially, the Nokia 1520 would've had a Wacom digitizer and stylus and much more 'business-friendly' features than merely being a 'big phone'. But until the corporate sector jumps on board, we're not going to see those sort of things, consumers aren't purchasing thousands of them at a time to justify the expense of the R&D to make it happen.

    We need to get the companies on board if we want WP8 to thrive. And that likely means a file manager of some type or another. If you don't want to use it, don't. No one's making you.
    12-20-2013 10:43 PM
  24. Binoya Mathews's Avatar
    http://forums.windowscentral.com/win...ml#post2262034

    I'd like some feedback on my proposed solution. From anyone, really. I want to refine my idea before sending it off to uservoice. I think a general shared storage area (that can be the SD card) is probably the best possible solution. It *actually solves problems* that a 'file manager' won't. The only potential security concern is the fact that apps would be doing the writing, as opposed to the current model where apps can only pass mp3/jpg files to a system process. Developers have to implement it like they would skydrive.

    With the current model, if you use one app to download something and another app to open the file, the file is copied from isolated store to isolated store, doubling the effective space used just to open the file. This model is broken and by far the most pressing issue WP has re:file handling, and a common storage area is literally the only solution that doesn't undermine the security of an app's isolated storage area.
    I agree with you. This is the real problem which needs to be rectified. File manager will never be like what many expect it to be when it comes. I`m pretty sure about that
    12-20-2013 11:27 PM
  25. DBZo07's Avatar
    Yes true.. I need a file manager for at least knowing every details for the my phone storage! What if Microsoft adds spywares in other storage?? That will be a huge scam...

    Sent from my L625
    12-22-2013 03:23 AM
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