[This is probably the first of a series of posts...]
I've been falling in love with Windows all over again recently with Windows Vista.
While creating the Diamond SDK we had to edit the file redistribution list heavily because we added a ton of new resources. See C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows Media Center\v5.0\License\redist.txt for this -- it tells you what files we give you permission as a developer to redistribute in some form or fashion with your apps.
To generate this list, I installed a release candidate of the SDK and pulled out one of my rarely used, but favorite tools to enumerate the files and folders exactly as they appear in the file system post-install: FileGrab. When you drop files from Explorer onto the FileGrab window, you get a list of filenames, instead of the files' contents. You can save the list to disk, print it, or copy it to the Clipboard for pasting into another application. View options let you choose which file characteristics (such as date, size, or attributes) to include with the filenames.
FileGrab was created by Michael Mefford at PC Magazine...
...for Windows 95.
I have run it on every version Microsoft has shipped since -- including Windows Vista.
This is one of the hallmark features for which I consistently rank Windows above all other operating systems I've used over the years with each subsequent release (which would include MacOS, Linux, Solaris and BeOS among others): Its ability to run the software I like to use even if it was written light years ago in computing time.
FileGrab has worked great for me the last 10 years. As with any software though, eventually, at some point, it can be improved. While FileGrab has always met the need, each time I leveraged there were always a few improvements I would have made for my personal use. For example...
It has more features than I personally need -- extended file attributes, the ability to print the enumerated list as a couple of examples.
A feature missing which I always yearned for -- the ability to enumerate files or folders or both during a drag and drop operation and denote folders with a trailing slash ('\').
A mildly annoying feature I would call a 'bug' today that, at the time it was created, could certainly have been a limitation of the underlying platform -- a fixed length (number of characters) for the file name which resulted in unecessary white space in the text.
So, while on a recent vacation I finalized a new tool inspired by FileGrab called FileAndPath to address these issues. When you drop files from Windows Explorer onto the FileAndPath window, you get the following at the time of the operation...
A list of file names or folder names or both.
Full path or file / folder name only.
An optional trailing slash ('\') added to folder names.
The options for the generated list are limited to saving to disk or copying to the clipboard.
So, take your pick -- both tools (though written ten years apart) run just fine on Windows Vista.