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Open-Sourced Windows File Manager Gets New Life on Windows 10 | Community

Microsoft has rummaged deep into its archive for its newest contribution to the open supply group: Windows File Manager.

Originally bundled with Windows in 1990, File Manager was a alternative for the command-line interface in MS-DOS. The program was used to go looking, open, copy and delete recordsdata till it was changed by Windows Explorer, which adopted the introduction of Windows 95.

Craig Wittenberg, a veteran of Microsoft, has maintained the code since 2007, after copying it from the Windows NT four supply tree in November of that 12 months. He
launched the code this week on GitHub beneath an MIT license.

The department named “original_plus” comprises a really restricted set of modifications to permit winfile.exe to run on as we speak’s model of Windows, in keeping with Wittenberg.

Among the adjustments in original_plus:

  1. Converted to Visual Studio answer; works on VS 2015 and 2017
  2. Compiles and runs on 64-bit Windows (e.g. Get WindowLong -> Get WindowLongPtr, LONG -> LPARAM)
  3. Added header recordsdata saved in elsewhere within the NT supply tree (e.g., wfext.h)
  4. Deleted some unused recordsdata (e.g. winfile.def)
  5. Converted 64-bit arithmetic from inside libraries to C
  6. Converted inside shell APIs to public APIs

A bigger variety of adjustments had been made in grasp v10.zero, which characterize all of the adjustments Wittenberg made since 2007. A abstract of the adjustments:

  1. OLE drag/drop assist
  2. Control characters (e.g. ctrll+C) map to present quick lower (e.g. ctrl+C -> copy ) as a substitute of adjusting drives
  3. Cut (ctrl + X) adopted by paste (ctrl + V) interprets right into a file transfer
  4. Left and proper arrows within the tree view broaden and collapse folders like in Explorer
  5. Added context menus in each panes
  6. Improved icon show for recordsdata
  7. F12 runs notepad or notepad ++ on the chosen file
  8. Moved ini file location to %AppDatapercentRoamingMicrosoftWinFile
  9. File.search can embody a date that limits recordsdata returned to after date is supplied; output sorted by date as a substitute of title
  10. File.Search contains choice whether or not to incorporate sub directories
  11. ctrl+Okay begins command shell (ConEmu if put in) within the present listing; shift+cntrl+Okay begins elevated command shell (cmd.exe solely)
  12. File.Goto (ctrl+G) will get record of directories after typing a couple of phrases of a path
  13. UI exhibits reparse factors
  14. Simple ahead/again navigation added
  15. View command has new choice to type by date ahead, which means oldest first. Default is latest on high.

Old School

Open sourcing File Manager was principally for enjoyable.

“It’s a bit of nostalgia, a blast from the past, simply because it was captured and maintained,” stated Paul Teich, principal analyst at Tirias Research.

File Manager may service as a pleasant addition for an introductory course for somebody who needs to study file methods, he informed LinuxInsider.

“Outside of computer science classroom demos or nostalgic remembrances of 1990s era computing, I can’t think of any practical reasons to run Windows File Manager on a Windows 10 — or any other Windows system,” stated Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

There are quite a lot of Windows customers nonetheless engaged on archaic Windows functions which may have some use for the outdated File Manager, however Linux customers will not achieve a lot from it.

Still, the transfer does mirror Microsoft’s eagerness to embrace the open supply group, which beforehand been a no-go zone.

“We released WinFile as OSS given developer interest in using the tool and felt the release would further support Microsoft’s overall developer ecosystem, dedication to open source, and illustrate Microsoft’s commitment to OSS,” a Microsoft spokesperson stated in an announcement supplied to LinuxInsider by company rep Joel Gunderson.

Just final week Microsoft launched a brand new instrument to make it simpler for programmers and builders to run Linux on Windows 10. The instrument additionally makes it simpler for Linux Distro distribution maintainers to carry their distros to the Windows Store.


David Jones is a contract author primarily based in Essex County, New Jersey. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain’s New York Business and The New York Times.




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