23 August 2018

Bogus warnings from Chrome about Opus and other software

Some users have started seeing messages from Google Chrome saying Directory Opus (and a lot of other software) may cause problems and should be updated or removed.

These messages are a false positive from Chrome. Chrome is merely detecting anything which has caused a DLL to be loaded into one of its processes. DLLs are loaded into other processes on Windows for various reasons which do not generally cause problems: System-wide hotkeys, shell extensions (icons, overlays, columns in things like the File Open dialogs, as well as the Explorer Replacement mechanism in Opus), anti-virus, and various other functionality.

Third party DLLs certainly can cause problems (bad shell extensions installed by other software are probably the main cause of crashes in Opus!) but what Google/Chrome is doing is not the way to deal with the situation, and makes people worried about software which is not causing problems.

Chrome is not detecting a specific problem or specific software that it knows to cause problems. Chrome is simply detecting software which uses certain Windows APIs and mechanisms. Chrome even includes the anti-virus software it is partnered with — announced as a press release — in the list of potential problems, which is rather ridiculous. There is no need to update or remove any of the software that Chrome lists, at least in general.

There is more detail and discussion in this thread on our forum: Chrome reports: Directory Opus -> This application could prevent Chrome from working properly.

Please complain to Google if the message from Chrome is causing you problems or if you want their explanation for it. From our point of view (and other developers'), the message Chrome displays is completely bogus and should be ignored.

As Chrome users ourselves, we find it a shame that Google did not respond to pages and pages of criticism of this new "feature" when it was in beta, from their users and from other developers alike, and that they went ahead with it in release versions, but we have no control over what Google do.

16 August 2018

Directory Opus 12.9.2 (Beta)

Directory Opus 12.9.2 (beta) is now available for all Opus 12 users.

This is a preliminary, beta release. Translations may not be fully up-to-date and some English text may appear in non-English versions.



  • 3D objects (3mf, fbx, glb, glbt, obj, ply, stl) can now be displayed in the preview pane on Windows 10 (Creators Update and above). (3mf seems limited to files created by Microsoft's own tools and won't load most 3mf files from the web.) See 3D Object preview for an example and additional details.
  • Added Publisher column.
  • The CreateFolder command now has a MULTI argument to force multi-line mode on and off, and now lets you pass multiple default folder names to the multi-line dialog.
  • The Rename command's FROM argument now understands aliases mixed with wildcards, e.g. Rename FROM /downloads\*.zip to rename all zip files in the system downloads folder.
  • Select FILTER now works in conjunction with the TYPE argument to limit the filter to either files or directories.
  • Added Select NEXT=row and Select PREV=row arguments, to allow commands that move the selection up or down a row in icon modes.
  • The Rename command now has a WHENEXISTS argument, letting you specify the action to take when the new filename already exists.
  • The Simple Find function (and the Find NAME parameter when automating a find from the command line) now supports regex: at the start of the pattern to specify a regular expression.
  • Added Find NOPARTIAL argument to prevent "partial matching" when automating Find from the command line.
  • The Go command (and other commands that support things like /aliases) now supports file:// URIs (so e.g. you can now do Go file:///C:).
  • Opus now recognises command codes like {allfile|sep=|} where you want a pipe character as the separator between files.
  • @if:set focus now allows more flexible testing of which window currently has input focus (e.g. @if:set focus=filedisplay to test if any file display has focus).
  • The action for normal left-click on items in the tree is now configurable through Preferences / Folder Tree / Selection Events. The default action is Go; to get the same result as the old Switch to existing tab if already open option, change it to Go TABFINDEXISTING. You can also change it to e.g. Go NEWTAB=findexisting to make left-clicks on the tree open new tabs by default.
  • The new setting clipboard_change_delay, under Preferences / Miscellaneous / Advanced [Troubleshooting], allows you to tell Opus to delay before checking the clipboard for changes. This may help avoid problems using the clipboard in certain software (e.g. Microsoft Office, although a *lot* of other software triggers the same problem in Office, including parts of Windows itself, so YMMV). The default delay is 100ms; it was effectively 0 in the past.
  • You can now override the default icons used by new File Collections via Preferences / Miscellaneous / Advanced [Cosmetic]: collection_icon_default, collection_icon_find, collection_icon_flickr, and collection_icon_marked. Also fixed custom collection icons not being used in certain places, and some cosmetic issues with the File Collection properties dialog.
  • Thumbnail Threads (Preferences / File Display Modes / Thumbnails) maximum limit increased from 8 to 32. (When Opus launches it also limits the value to the number of CPU threads.)
  • Added Preferences / Miscellaneous / Advanced [Behavior]: slow_dblclk_rename option, which allows you to disable inline rename via slow double-click (F2 not affected). (Does not apply to Power mode, which has its own mouse button settings.)
  • The HEIC/HEIF viewer plugin now supports the CopyTrans HEIC decoder (works with Windows 7 and up) in addition to the Microsoft one (works with Windows 10).
  • The Combine groups with only one member into the 'Other' group option is now ignored when grouping by duplicates.
  • Improved support for creating a toolbar button to go to a web page by dragging from a web browser to the toolbar in Customize mode. (Tested with Chrome and IE. Should work with Firefox. Does not work with Microsoft Edge, since you can't drag from Edge to *anything*, even to create a .URL file in File Explorer).
  • Added support for dropping .URL files (including Steam game shortcuts) on a toolbar in Customize mode to create buttons.
  • When Opus receives a "media removed" notification from the OS it now reads the Computer folder automatically in any tabs that were showing folders on the removed media.
  • When test-running commands in the button editor, the command will now always run against the Lister that launched the editor. (Previously, the command would look for a source window and potentially run against a different Lister, or even fail to find a source if you had two or more dual-display windows and no single-display ones).
  • Copying files out of a zip file in flat view now gives more consistent results (both in "recreate" and "flatten" mode).
  • It's now possible to prevent Opus from saving FTP passwords, by setting the PreventSaveFTPCredentials value under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\GPSoftware\Directory Opus to DWORD:1.
  • Pasting a file from a virtual data source (e.g. Remote Desktop) now behaves the same as pasting a real file when the destination already exists - you'll be prompted to overwrite/rename etc, rather than the new file just being renamed automatically.
  • Default config for OpenStreetMap (Image LOCATE=osm) now adds a marker to show the exact location on the map.
  • Workaround for issue with SumatraPDF Open With menu item.
  • Fixed Open With menu showing just an icon and no name for Notepad.
  • Fixed SetAttr META coverart only allowing numeric specification of the type of cover-art when adding, not removing.
  • Fixed metadata editor's Add cover-art button not working correctly when in the Desktop folder.
  • Fixed labels applied via folder formats not doing anything if the global labels-in-NTFS option was off and the global list of assigned labels was completely empty.
  • Added missing music cover-art image types "other file icon" and "colorful fish" to the Metadata editor, SetAttr command and AudioCoverArt script object. (The fish thing is, unfortunately, part of the ID3 specification. It is hidden in the UI except when editing a file which already uses it, because it is ridiculous and some tagging software won't recognise it.)
  • Prefs LAYOUTLIST SHOWICONS now assigns folder icons to branches of the layout list, instead of only assigning icons to the layouts themselves.
  • Fixed the default "Lister Styles" menu heading being mistranslated to "Rotate" (in the target language) if you changed language after installation.
  • Fixed crash if you started a Find Files operation from a folder with a localised name. (You would normally have had to type the localised name into the Find In field manually to make this happen).
  • Fixed issue where clicking "skip" to the error shown when attempting to copy a file > 4GB in size to a FAT32 drive would abort the rest of the function rather than just skipping the file.
  • The Print FOLDER command no longer flashes a progress dialog on screen if delayed progress dialogs are turned on in Preferences and it is outputting to a file or the clipboard without showing the Print Folder dialog.
  • Fixed a Favorite which pointed to an Alias called /user not doing anything when clicked.
  • Fixed Properties dialogs showing zero size when opened for multiple items in different folders (e.g. via Flat View or collections like Find Results).
  • Fixed right-click > Properties on an FTP Site in the folder tree opening the FTP Address Book but not selecting the site.
  • Fixed right-click > Create Shortcut on the File Collections root in the folder tree crashing when used.
  • Possible fix for folder tabs sometimes getting stuck "Reading Folder" with TortoiseSVN installed. (The problem stopped happening for us by itself so it is difficult to verify the fix does what it is supposed to. Please let us know if you still encounter the problem with this or later versions.)
  • Made change to solve problem of Opus not allowing files > 4GB to be copied to Google Team Drive (which misrepresents itself as a FAT32 filesystem).
  • Fixed problem that meant when an FTP folder was added to favorites and selected from the Favorites branch in the tree the folder would open in a new Lister (or even an external program, depending on your settings).
  • The Browse dialog shown for the Preferences / Miscellaneous / Advanced [Image Formats]: use_color_management setting now has a filter set to *.icc;*.icm to make it clear what type of file is required.
  • Fixed alignment of Opus-generated folder thumbnail when shown in a tooltip.
  • Config files now support characters outside the BMP range (UTF-16 surrogate pairs and 4-byte UTF-8 sequences). Previously, such characters — e.g. in button labels — were dropped when saving and turned into '?' when loading.
  • Fixed crash in the button editor which could happen after using Shift+Tab to de-indent lines (usually while editing scripts).
  • Addressed Explorer Replacement not working in some cases where applications initialized COM in a non-standard way for calling shell APIs (e.g. Google Chrome).
  • Scripting changes:
    • Fixed item.name_stem_m and item.ext_m ignoring multi-part extensions when obtained via tab.selected_files.

    • Script columns now respect the Folder Options Numeric order filename sorting setting instead of always applying it. You can also now specify nonumeric and/or noword for a script column's type to disable the numeric and word sorting modes, even when they are turned on via Folder Options.

    • Scripts can now use the Progress dialog's Skip button via the new Progress.EnableSkip method.

    • The Progress.GetAbortState method can now handle pausing automatically, can be told to only check for certain states, and will now only indicate the most important state by default.

    • The new StringTools.IsASCII method can be used to test if a string uses only 7-bit ASCII characters, or if it would be better written in a Unicode format when saving it to a file.

    • The FolderEnum.Next method can now return more than one directory entry at once, in a Vector. Specify the number of items you want returned at once, or -1 to return the whole directory in a single call. You can pass a Vector object to use as the second argument if desired, or one will be created for you. If no arguments are specified then only a single Item object is returned as before.

    • Added OnTabClick script event, which lets scripts intercept mouse clicks (with a qualifier key) on tabs and override the default behaviour.

    • The StringTools.Encode method understands a new format string utf-8 bom to encode into UTF-8 with a byte-order-mark on the front.

    • The Progress.SetFromTo methods now clears the "To:" line entirely if the argument for it is omitted. (It's still best to use Progress.SetStatus if you only want one line all of the time.)

    • The new Item.InGroup method lets you test if a file belongs to a particular file type group without having to loop through all the groups it belongs to.

    • The StringTools.Encode method no longer adds a null at the end of the binary data.

    • Fixed Blob.Compare method incorrectly returning 0 when two different sized blobs were compared, without the comparison size being specified, if one was a prefix of the other.

    • In script dialogs, the readonly property of edit controls can now be modified by the script rather than being fixed at design time.

6 August 2018

Coming soon: 3D Object preview (fbx, glb, glbt, obj, ply, stl)

Directory Opus 12.10 will add support for a new type of viewer that comes with newer versions of Windows 10, enabling you to use the Mixed Reality Viewer in the preview pane for various types of 3D object files:

  • .fbx
  • .glb
  • .glbt
  • .obj
  • .ply
  • .stl

The objects can be rotated by dragging with the mouse, and zoom in and out using the mouse wheel.

Demo video on YouTube:

This update will be free to existing Opus 12 users. You'll need a recent version of Windows 10, else you won't have the Mixed Reality Viewer needed to display this type of file (unless you have an alternative compatible viewer installed).

The viewer should work automatically for these file types, provided you're using Opus 12.10 and a recent version of Windows 10. (I think the Windows 10 Creators Update should be enough, but have only tested with the later April 2018 "1803" update.)

Note that the viewer's capabilities are down to what the Mixed Reality Viewer component in Windows provides in the form of its viewer. What we're adding to Opus is the ability to work with this new type of viewer.