EW Windows Uploader - "Save As" Directory Note

Applicability

This note applies to EW Windows Uploader versions up to and including 0305A. The fix described at the end applies to versions 0322A and later.

Problem

When EW Windows Uploader displays the Save As dialog box for a trace which has been uploaded it does not specify the directory to be used by default. The intention is that Microsoft Windows will choose a suitable default. Generally speaking, Windows does this.

For Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 the operation is simple - Windows chooses the current directory.

For Windows 98 and what the documentation I have calls Windows NT 5.0 (presumably what was actually released as Windows 2000) and subsequent versions, Windows uses the current directory if it already contains files of the specified filter type (i.e., "*.IGC"). However, if there are no such files in the current directory it uses the personal files directory of the current user (usually "My Documents").

It is easy to see why Microsoft have chosen to implement this behaviour. By default most applications are installed to run with their installation directory (typically, C:\Program Files\whatever) as the current directory. This is usually not an appropriate place to store files. In these cases a change to use My Documents is sensible.

Sometimes this behaviour is a problem. Typically an empty directory has been set up to receive logger files for, for example, a particular day of a competition. For the first upload of the day EW Windows Uploader will appear to switch the the My Documents folder without specifically alerting the user.

Of course, the directory used is shown in the Save As dialog but it is not necessarily obvious to the user that this needs to be changed. If EW Windows Uploader is being run under the control of another program which has created the destination directory it may not be easy for the user to find out which directory should be used.

Work Arounds

There are two possible work arounds for this problem:

For most users the first of these work arounds seems simplest. David Robertson tells me he is considering implementing the second in TaskNAV.

Fixes

EW Windows Uploader version 0322A adds processing of command line switches. In particular, the -d switch can be used to resolve this problem.

Using the -d switch without specifying a particular directory will result in the program always using the directory which was current at the time the program was started as the default for the Save As dialog, even if it has been changed using the Save As dialog in the mean time and even if Windows 98, 2000 or later are in use and the current directory does not contain any .IGC files.

More details are in the help text for the appropriate program versions (version 0322A, clarified slightly in version 0330A).