ChrisCase
I asked about this before,  but didn;t notice any reply.

In PB3, virtual folders created by dragging a folder from the desktop or explorer would display their contents.  With the current PB4, the only way to get the individual files into the brain for linking with other thoughts is to drag them in one by one.  The file contents only seem to display in the Properties window,  and then only the names, without even zoomable icons for, e.g., image files.

Why was this drastic reduction in functionality carried out?  Or is there some way of getting full display of folder contents in the plex that I have missed?

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mcaton
This is due to the new "multiple file attachments per thought" feature of 4.0. 

Each individual thought can have multiple file attachments that are always displayed in the Properties and Attachments tab.  So the same is true for Virtual thoughts.  Each folder is visualized as a thought... attachments displayed in the Prop. and Attach. tab.

Matt
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ChrisCase
But this renders PB4 no longer superior to Explorer as a way of organising files on ones hard drive,  since the individual files no longer are thoughts.  Why must folder contents be treated as attachments instead of multiple children, as they were before?
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Houston
Have to agree with you about "attachments," Chris.  It's a meaningless word borrowed from the world of personal organizers.  Once a file is moved inside the Brain it's still a file, or an image, or whatever.  Nothing about it changes so it is just fluff to change its classification.

The first time I tried to move a folder containing documents into the Brain, I discovered as you did that there was no way to associate thoughts with any specific document as long as it stayed inside the imported folder.  I have only found this useful in one or two special situations.  Now I open the originating folder in Explorer, select all, then control-drag them all into the plex.  I'm taking them at their word that there is virtually no limit to the number of thoughts.  Now I can see all the file names in the plex (as long as I can handle really tiny script) and link to them as many ways as I wish.

Of course you can't drag nested folders in this way - you are back where you started then.  You have to open each one, create a parent thought to take the place of the folder, and then drag the contents.  One more way to burn man-hours!

The only time you can't do this easily is with HTML docs that have the attached file of images, etc., that go with them.  That problem is described in another thread.

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Spacenexus
I made this feature request which if adopted might be a neat solution to the issue providing best of both worlds:

http://forums.thebrain.com/tool/post/thebrain/vpost?id=2119900

cheers

Jim

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ChrisCase
Houston wrote:
Now I open the originating folder in Explorer, select all, then control-drag them all into the plex. ....

Of course you can't drag nested folders in this way - you are back where you started then.  You have to open each one, create a parent thought to take the place of the folder, and then drag the contents.  One more way to burn man-hours!



Yes, I have used this way, but one loses the main virtue of virtual folders:  changing their children/attachments display as the contents of those folders change.

Couldn't there be introduced a function to change virtual folder thoughts to actual thoughts, with options such as selecting how many levels down to do this?


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zenrain
I think Spacenexus request is the best of both worlds. Personally I prefer the current functionality. It keeps my brain much more free of clutter, and I can easily view all attachments for a certain thought without having to select it as the main thought.
Additionally, it just makes more sense to me in my use of the tool.

Obviously there are different opinions out there, but if the functionality was changed back to PB3 without providing an option to retain it's current state... Well, to say I'd be pretty peeved would be an understatement.

Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
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Houston
The most  important thing here, in terms of improving the situation, would be to drop the word VIRTUAL.  It is only a buzzword and will confuse any situation where it appears.  According to its original roots at IBM, virtual means "almost real - but not really."  This can totally confuse everyone, from programmers to manual-writers and of course users.  Fact is, files and folders you can access through PB are either internal or external.  There is nothing virtual about them at all.  We might choose how we would like to see them in the plex, but I think those choices will improve if the word virtual is banned!
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