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Show HN: Cloud Commander orthodox web file manager with console and editor (cloudcmd.io)
81 points by coderaiser on Nov 5, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 23 comments

Hey, that looks like Norton Commander in the browser! Even the icon is an homage to the original. Neat.

Also TIL that "orthodox" file manager is an actual term, and there's even a huge online book about them [1]. That's funny, we used to call then just "file managers"... ;)

1. http://www.softpanorama.org/OFM/Paradigm/index.shtml

Oh, what Norton used to be. I cut my teeth on Norton Utilities once upon a time. The only way to write batch files!

It's not an actual term, it's just some guy who keeps editing Wikipedia to try and introduce it.

A few things I noticed in the live demo:

- The console isn't there unless you open it manually, at which point it overlays the panels. To me one of the main benefits of an OFM is that you have a console always available as well as the panels (from which you can pick file names or paths (Ctrl+Enter, Ctrl+[, Ctrl+]). If I want only one or the other I'd use Explorer and cmd instead of Far.

- The context menu (curiously opened with F9, which normally triggers the application menu of the OFM, from which you can access settings, view options, etc.) is not usable with the keyboard, which kinda defeats its purpose in such a tool.

- Bulk selection keys Num+ and Num- don't work, although they are documented.

- Alt+Left/Right is perhaps not the best idea for a hotkey in a browser. Sometimes it performs its intended function, when pressed in the wrong panel it instead performs the browser's function for going around the history. I'd say either find better hotkeys or always disable the browser's function, instead of contextual.

- Page↑/Page↓ curiously move less than a page, which means when pressing Page↓ with the cursor at the top, the list doesn't scroll.

- When using a keyboard layout where `/~ is a dead key (e.g. US International), the dead key will remain active for the first key pressed in the console, leading to things like à instead of a. This may not be circumventable from within a web application, but perhaps a better hotkey can be chosen instead to make up for the deficiencies of handling input in web applications. This issue also would go away once the console is always there instead of having to be toggled.

- The feedback button in the live demo doesn't work.

Thank you for such a detailed commentary.

- Yes, there is such thing: console opens on a modal, but it would not be changed in the nearest future in Cloud Commander, anyways console(https://github.com/cloudcmd/console) could be used independently to build a fork from cloudcmd dependencies which are mostly located on npm. I can help with it but I have no time to do it myself. It is a good idea about picking file names or paths (Ctrl+Enter, Ctrl+[, Ctrl+]). Actually you already can paste path to current directory with Ctrl + P, but using this hotkeys would be more convenient.

- You right about menu. It is a simplest possible component https://github.com/coderaiser/menu-io, anyways it could be improved, pull requests are welcome.

- Num+ and Num- and Alt+Left/Right fixed in v5.7.6 (https://github.com/coderaiser/cloudcmd/releases/tag/v5.7.6)

- I can not reproduce Page↑/Page↓ bug, maybe it is related to screen size? What screen resolution do you have?

- I'll think about dead key, looks like it should be handled separately.

- It is strange, I can't reproduce feedback button bug either. What browser and OS do you have? Could you look at Network Panel and Console of Developer Tools of your browser? Is there something red?

I'm sorry to not being able to help out with pull requests. My grasp of JavaScript isn't good enough and work leaves me with little time to devote to other projects, sadly. I hope a bit of input from a bit of a usability perspective is still welcome, though :-)

As for Page↑/Page↓: 1680×1050 here. Could reproduce it in both Firefox and Chrome.

As for dead keys: It may require rethinking input handling, depending on how you're doing it currently. Input is usually on two different levels: Key presses and text input. While you usually cannot reliably turn the former into text and cannot get a pressed key from the latter (could also have been an IME or multiple keypresses), you usually should be able to handle a key press (for opening the console) and not have it result in state changes for text input handling (which would be required for input on the console).

Feedback button now works, but didn't for me when I wrote that comment either on Firefox or Chrome on Windows 10. I didn't consider checking the dev tools, though, sorry. But seems to be resolved now.

I have been trying to break a FAR manager addiction for many many years, despite being a linux user exclusively for the last 10, FAR is the most useful shell I have ever used. mc doesn't cut it.

I guess my may have seen it, but there appears to a project ongoing to try to port FAR to Linux.


Makes me wish this was what Firefox would present me with if i entered a ftp url...

This has to be the greatest logo I've seen in a while. Did you create it yourself and if so what did you use?

This logo is a work of a great designer http://zalitok.github.io She use CorelDRAW and Adobe Ilustrator for this purpose.

Anyone want to give a run down of what this is/does?

The live example isn't working either.

From the site, it seems to be a Web version of mc on JS base, making file management outside of trusted ssh devices less of a nuisance. Fairly straightforward imho.

> Web version of mc on JS base

What is mc?

"mc" stands for midnight commander, which is itself a clone of Norton commander, which was sold by Symantec in the 80s and 90s. Norton commander was popular enough that by the time it was discontinued it had been ported to many other platforms (midnight commander being one of the ports for unix systems). Over time, Norton commander became the prototype for the "orthodox file manager", the category of file managers with two side-by-side file browser windows: many of the same key bindings for this category of file manager are the same as the original norton commander keybindings.

Midnight commander (and more generally an orthodox file manager) is especially useful for moving files from one system to another, as it usually supports browsing to remote file systems over ssh or ftp, and gives you a simultaneous view of where you're moving files from and to on the same screen.

The Wikipedia page is a pretty interesting read, actually: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midnight_Commander

Actually it started as a independent company that Symantec bought in the 90s.


Fascinating, TIL–thanks!

midnight commander


I guess this is my Ron Burgundy moment - 'I've never heard of it'.

Looks like it would be very useful for some of the stuff I do too. Clearly I've been living under a rock.


Maybe your mom and dad will teach you some manners if you ask them nicely.

Excellent! Great doco too.

This looks hella useful. Checking it out today. Thanks!

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