Daily directories for saving safely.
Fred Graute, current maintainer of StrongED, released a new version of Transient towards the end of last year, a utility that provides a temporary directory on the hard drive, creating a new subdirectory each day in order to help organise files. The application puts an icon on the left side of the icon bar that can be used much like a RAM disk, to which you can drag and save files, such as downloads from a web browser. Unlike the RAM disk, however, the files are safe and sound on the hard disk across shutdowns, remaining there until they are deleted, although there is also an option to automatically ‘expire’ directories of a certain age.
Transient was originally written by Alisdair McDiarmid of Illusion Software, who appears to have decided to cease work on it with the release of version 1.39 in January of 1999. The next major release, version 2.00, appeared a little over ten years later, in February 2009, and which saw a significant rewrite for the application, including converting it to use AppBasic. Since then, it has seen a number of updates, with the latest to version 2.06 including the following changes:
- Objects dragged to the Transient icon on the icon bar can now be filtered to different users, removing the need to switch to a specific user first.
- Previous versions marked saves from an application to Transient’s icon as ‘Safe’. These are now marked as ‘Unsafe’ because Transient’s directories may be expired. An option has been added to mark saves as ‘Safe’.
- A bug found in version 2.05, whereby the auto-expiry of directories didn’t work when warnings were off, has been fixed. Another bug, which led to an abort if there were a lot of directories to expire, has also been fixed.
- If the format of the directory name is changed, the new format can now be applied to either the ‘Today’ directory of the current user, all directories of the current user, or all directories of all users.
- User added comments in the Choices file are no longer preserved when the file is saved. This is because the choices file doesn’t have to be edited by hand these days as it can all be done from the choices window; as users are now unlikely to add their own comments, Transient no longer tries to preserve them.
- The standard comments that Transient adds to the Choices file are now read from a Messages file, allowing for them to be translated.
- Transient’s scroll-lists relied on the ability to align columns by separating them with tabs but, unfortunately, the RISC OS Open Ltd toolbox modules do not support this. Scroll-list handling has therefore been rewritten so it doesn’t rely on RISCOS Ltd toolbox modules; Transient now does the alignment itself, so should work no matter which toolbox modules are in use.