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[Ranger-users] What I like best about ranger (compared to mc)

From: Sitaram Chamarty
Subject: [Ranger-users] What I like best about ranger (compared to mc)
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2010 23:13:17 +0530

I just wanted to make sure I put it *somewhere*... :-)


MC (midnight commander) has some really neat features, like VFSs, but
one thing it has never gotten right is keeping track of navigation.
If you want to systematically explore even a moderately complex
directory hierarchy, mc forces you to stick to a certain way of
exploring it -- any jumping around and mc forgets a lot of things!


(terminology note: what mc calls "tag", ranger calls "mark", so we'll
use those words just like that.  Ranger's tags are quite different and
are not discussed here)

(1) ranger doesn't lose marks when you navigate away from the
directory temporarily.

Let's say you're tagging files and directories for some later action.
As you're doing that, you come to one that you have to dig into before
deciding if it should be tagged or not.  With mc, the moment you do
that, and then come back, all your existing tags are gone!

Ranger doesn't lose marks.  When you hit that left-arrow and come
back, you'll see they're all still there.

(1.1) ranger can remember marks in multiple directories.  It won't
*act* on them all together, since it will only act on one directory at
a time, but at least they're all there when you can come back to that
directory later.

(2) ranger remembers where you came from if you jump to some totally
unrelated directory.

Same situation as above, but now you want to quickly check something
in some unrelated directory on the system.  With mc, the moment you
jump elsewhere using a "cd" command, it's forgotten all about where
you came from.

Ranger doesn't forget.  Just hit H to get a web-browser style "history back"!

(3) ranger remembers how far down you were when you come back to a directory.

In the situation above, even if you carefully typed out where you came
from and cd'd back, you'd find yourself at the *top* of the listing
once again.  This is applicable to any movement other than drill down
one level (even: "go to parent directory and then come back").

Ranger remembers where you were and the cursor is placed exactly there
in the directory listing.


After you read this, you may feel I'm nit picking and these are really
very trivial issues.  All I can say is I can only imagine how much
*time* these trivial issues must have cost me over the past few years,
and how I wish ranger had been written oh say at least 6-7 years ago!

You could also say "duh, if they bothered you this much, why didn't
you complain/write the features yourself".  Fair point.  What can I
say?  I didn't know what I was missing till I saw ranger.  I sorta
just got used to mc's quirks, maybe?

The real reason, I suspect, is this: mc was so far ahead of anything
else I had, it was easy to be seduced by all the nice features it
certainly has, and little issues like this go unnoticed.


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