You can open the dialog by selecting "New Connection..." from the File menu, or by using the command-E keyboard shortcut.
The connection dialog consists of 4 text fields, the hostname, username, password and the path.
For the Host field, enter a host name or a dotted IP address. For example, you can enter "ftp.info.au" or "22.214.171.124" (you don't enter the quotes of course).
SHORTCUT: to specify a site whose name is "ftp.<some site>.com" site, you can enter just <some site> in the host field, for example, entering "apple" is the same as "ftp.apple.com". Similarly, you can enter "ftp.<some site>..<some country code>", for example, entering "apple..au" is the same as "ftp.apple.com.au".
NOTE: to specify a port number other than the default port of 21, add ":<port number>" after the hostname. For example, "ftp.coolsite.org:23" to specify port 23 as the FTP port on "ftp.coolsite.org".
For most anonymous FTP sites, you can leave the username and password fields blank, and the program will automatically substitute "anonymous" for the username and your e-mail address for the password. Your e-mail address is obtained from Internet Config.
If there is a specific directory you wish to view, you can enter it into the path field. Similarly, if there is a specific file you wish to download, enter its full path into the path field.
For example, you can enter the following as the path to view the "rec" directory on an info-mac mirror site:
note the ending '/' - this tells NetFinder that you wish to do a directory listing. If it can't list this directory, it will list whatever directory you get logged into.
If you wish to download the file "NetFinder.hqx", you can enter the following:
When you have entered all of your login details, click Connect to connect to the site.
TIP: To force the collection of a fresh directory listing from the FTP server and not use any cached listing, press and hold down the control key until the listing has started to be collected.
SHORTCUT: The dialog also has two square buttons with key(s) in the icon. These buttons are used to enable/disable Apple's KeyChain Manager (left button) and to add the current URL, specifically the username and password to the current keychain when you successfully login to the server (right button).
What is the KeyChain manager? It is a secure way to store your passwords. Also once you have saved your username/password pair into the keychain, when you next type in your username for a specific site, NetFinder will automatically retrieve your password from the keychain and insert it into the password field. This saves you from typing in your password.
SHORTCUT: Another shortcut which you may have already noticed is that NetFinder can auto-complete your hostname if you have previously visited the site. ie if you previously connected to "ftp.apple.com" you can just type in "ftp.ap" and NetFinder will find the closest match for what you have typed and substitute it into the Hostname field.
TIP: If you connect to one site frequently, you can save yourself the trouble of entering its details again and again by making it the default site for the dialog (Note, each protocol has its own default). To do this, enter the site's details and then keep the OPTION key down while you press the "Connect" button. That's all there is to it. When the dialog is next opened, your new default is automatically loaded in for you. Be aware that if you allow passwords to be exported, then any passwords you enter are NOT encrypted when the URL is saved, so you may prefer to leave the password field blank for the default URL, in which case NetFinder will ask you for a password when you try to open that URL.
You can load a bookmark into the dialog by selecting Open from the File menu.
If you wish, you can save a bookmark to the FTP site so you don't have to re-enter all your details. First, enter all of the details you wish to save in the bookmark. Then select Save from the File menu. A dialog will appear. Navigate to where you want to save the bookmark and give it a name. If you wish, you can save the bookmark as a normal bookmark or as a stationary pad bookmark by clicking on either of the two radio buttons. Click Save. The bookmark is saved.
Another way to make a bookmark is by clicking in the URL text field and dragging the selected text to your Mac desktop or into a folder or into any Drag and Drop capable text window (such as a SimpleText window). When dragged to the desktop or a folder, a NetFinder bookmark file will be made. When dragged to a text window, the URL text is inserted at the drag insertion point. Alternatively, you can drag the URL into a bookmark list window.
Similarly, any URL can be drag-and-dropped from a text window (such as a text editor or an e-mail program) into the connect dialog and it will be inserted into the appropriate fields. You can also drag and drop NetFinder bookmarks or any URL saved in a text file into this window - the only condition is that the URL must begin with "ftp://" or "http://".
WARNING: any bookmarks that you create or URLs that you drag out will include your password and it will be in cleartext - that is, not scrambled or hidden. This is not something you want to do if the Mac is used by many people or there are others watching your Mac's screen!
About the listing window's header
NetFinder's listing window should look very familiar. It has been designed to be as easy to use as the Finder windows you are already used to. Below is a picture of a typical listing window.
Here are the important differences:
5.2.1 Current Directory Name (A)
Like the Finder, this displays the name of the currently displayed folder. Command-click the text of the folder name to display a menu containing the names of the folders above and including the current one. If you then select the currently displayed folder from the menu, the current folder's contents are refreshed with a fresh listing from the FTP server (any cached listing is discarded). You can also select a higher folder from the menu and it will be opened in a separate window (or its window will be selected if it's already open). To force a re-list of a higher folder, hold down the control key when you command-click the menu.
5.2.2 Window Status Icon (B)
This is the icon in the top left corner of the window. It represents the current status of the window. When the window is not doing anything, you will see a folder with a cable coming out of it (as shown in the picture). When a directory listing is currently in progress, you will see this icon change into an animated pair of chasing arrows.
TIP: this icon can be dragged to the desktop or a folder or into a drag-and-drop capable text window to create a bookmark to the currently displayed listing window. You can later open the bookmark to quickly and easily connect again to the same internet site.
NOTE: Under MacOS 8.5 or higher folder icon will not be seen as it will be located to the left of the "Current Directory Name" (A). ie It mimics the Finder.
5.2.3 Partial File Capability Indicator (D)
This is the icon in the top right corner of the window. This icon represents whether the server you are currently connected to (as shown by the name under the title of the window) supports partial files. If partial files are supported, you will see an icon with a green tick on top of a partial file icon. If partial files are not supported, you will see an icon with a red cross instead. See Section 5.3 Downloading Files below for more information on partial files.
5.2.4 Remote Hostname (C)
The name under the window title that starts with "ftp://" or "http://" (or any other protocol) is the name of the server that the listing window is connected to. This is helpful when you are connected to several sites and need to know which site the listing window belongs to.
Section 5.5.2 Moving Files and Directories explains about moving files on the same server. By looking at the remote hostname area, you can identify whether you are moving a file to somewhere else on the same server.
5.2.5 Sort Order (G)
This is the icon just below the "Partial File Capability Indicator" icon (D). Clicking on this button will toggle the sort order of the selected column between asending and decending order.
5.2.6 View Expander (E)
View expanders are the vertical bars between the listing column names. For example the "Name" and "Size" labels. They allow you to expand the view of the displayed text when it is too long to see in the current viewing space (hint: you start getting text that end with "..."). To see more of the text, expand the view by dragging the View Expanders to the right.
5.2.7 Reordering/Showing/Hiding columns in the Display (F)
Sometimes you do not want the display the "Size" column after the "Name" column. Instead you want to to display "Kind" after the "Name" column. To do this you simply press and hold down the command key, while clicking then dragging the name of the column you wish to reorder to a new position (as seen in the picture). Once you are done release the mouse and the column is reordered.
To Show or Hide columns that you do or don't want, simply press the control key down while clicking anywhere in the column title (ie Name, Size, Kind etc buttons). This will popup a menu with the available choices to choose from. Simply select and deselect the appropriate items to show and hide them (as seen in the picture above).
NOTE: The Name column can not be reordered or hidden.
5.2.8 Age Of Listing (H)
Use this display to determine if the listing you are looking at, is an old and possible cached list of files. This is useful when you have Directory Caching enabled and you get errors like "File Not Found", indicating that you are looking at an outdated list of files. When this occurs refresh the listing using the Refresh menu item in the File menu.
5.2.9 Simple Unidirectional Scrolling (I)
To scroll the display freely (in any direction) without using the scroll bars. Press the command key down in the display (but not over any text) and the cursor will change into a "Hand" cursor. Now just press the mouse button down and drag the display in any direction you wish, to view the parts you want to look at.
If you press the control key down instead, you will be shown a contextual menu that will enable you to alter things or perform operations to the current display window.
5.2.10 Renaming A File or Folder (J)
Click on the file or folder name, wait a small amount of time and the name will become editable, then enter your new name.
NOTE: If the name does not become editable, it may be because you have disabled renaming in the preferences. You should also note that not all servers support renaming.
By pressing the control key down when clicking on a filename you will get the following contextual menu appear.
You will be able to Get Information on the selected items, Duplicate items, Set Permissions on items, Make Bookmarks of items, Download selected items...
and View file's (in NetFinder or your Web Browser) or edit file's in BBEdit.
5.2.11 Filter Options (K)
Click on this triangle to reveal a section that allows you to enter text to specify a filter on the items in the listing.
Example: ".gif" to show all files that contain ".gif" or say "Quake" in a directory of games.
NOTE: You are allowed to specify wild cards. Example: "Quake*.sit" will find all version of Quake that are compressed.
For Power Users, you may wish to specify that the entered text is a Regular Expression.
Some basic RegExp rules are:
Some examples (everything inside the quotes):
5.2.12 Secure Connection Indicator (L)
This indicator indicates whether the connection to the server is secure or not. If it is, all messaging that is sent and received is encrypted.
When transferring a file, this pad lock is also seen in the progress dialog. When the pad lock is closed the connection is secure and all data is transferred encrypted. If the pad lock is open then the data is not encrypted.
If your server does not support secure data transactions, then you can simply transfer files pre-encrypted using a third party product like PGP or Stuffit.
Below the header area is the display area containing the files and folders on the FTP site. Just as in the Finder, you can select items, drag-select across items to select multiple items, shift-click extra items, and deselect items by clicking the blank areas. You can click on the folder triangles to open them and see the contents of a folder. Click again to close them. Double click folder icons to open them in separate windows. Option-double-click them to open a window for that icon and close the current window behind it. Just about anything you can do in the Finder, you can also do in NetFinder's listing windows.
The real fun starts when you start dragging items out of the window. See the 5.3 Downloading Files and 5.4 Uploading Files sections below for information about transferring files.
About Directory Caching
NetFinder's engine can cache directory listings, so it does not have to ask the server for information that it already has. In this version of NetFinder, you have three options:
(1) "Never use cache", NetFinder will always get its listings from the remote server.
(2) "Always use cache. Never get fresh listing", NetFinder will get directory listings from its cache if it can. If the directory is not in the cache, it will then get the listing from the FTP server.
(3) "Always use cache, but get new listing "Once Per Session"", NetFinder will get a new listing whenever the application is started up. There after it will always use what it has in its cache.
There are two ways to force NetFinder to get a listing from the remote server instead of its cache:
(a) open a directory with the control key pressed and held down. You can use this cache override mechanism when you:
(b) select the "Refresh Listing" command from the File menu (or press command-R).
About Window Positions
NetFinder remembers the window positions and the "sort by" method of all directories opened in a listing window.
TIP: This is a great feature when combined with a bookmark for, say, a "recently uploaded files" directory on a server. You probably always want to view this directory sorted by date. Well, since NetFinder remembers the sorting method, that directory will always will be displayed sorted by date.
NOTE: Window position information is stored in NetFinders' cache files and will thus be forgotten if you purge the directory cache (see section 6.3 Listings Pane in section 6.0 NetFinder preferences for more information).
TIP: command-drag-and-drop to move the selected files or folders. This will cause NetFinder to first download the files or folders and after each one is successfully downloaded, it is deleted from the FTP site (assuming you have the access rights to delete files and/or folders of course). This is handy if you move data to and from sites often.
While downloading files, NetFinder uses a variety of options to work out what to do with the downloaded files. For example, you can configure NetFinder to automatically decode MacBinary and Binhex 4.0 encoded files, to "post-process" files, to keep partial files, to play a sound when it's done, and even to automatically rename files if there already is a file with the same name in the destination folder. See the section 6.5 Downloading Pane in section 6.0 NetFinder preferences for more information.
If you want to use a different decoding method for a particular download, you can:
During a download, NetFinder displays this dialog to tell you how far it is in the transfer and how much is left:
It looks and behaves just like a Finder copy window except that it also has an extra section at the bottom to tell you useful information like the transfer mode, whether the server supports partial files (so you know whether you can stop the transfer now and continue later), the current transfer rate and the amount remaining to transfer (both as number of bytes and estimated time to completion). If more than one file or folder remains to be transferred, an extra line at the bottom will appear and it will tell you how much remains to be transferred for all of the remaining items.
You can click the "Stop" button to stop a transfer. If the FTP server supports stopping a transfer, it will be stopped. If the server supports continuing partial files, NetFinder will use its "Partial Files:" setting to determine what to do with the partially downloaded file. See the section 6.5 Downloading Pane in section 6.0 NetFinder preferences for information on this setting.
If the server supports partial files and the partial file is not deleted, then its icon is changed to that of a "partially downloaded file". You can later double click this icon to continue downloading the file from the position it was up to when the transfer was stopped.
TIP: click the "Transfer rate" to toggle the transfer rate between bytes per second, bytes per minute and bytes per hour.
TIP: click the "File remaining" lines to toggle between amount remaining, total amount and amount transferred.
5.3.2 View File
The purpose of the View command is to allow you to easily display a selected file in a number of different forms. Namely as a Text file (show raw data), or a Graphic (picture representation of the file if applicable) or get your Web Browser to try to display the file the best way it can.
The View File command is accessable via the File menu or by using the Contextual Menu on a selected item.
There are 4 options when viewing a file:
The View Graphic window (seen below) displays various useful bits of information about the picture like the dimensions and file format. When the picture is larger than the window, you can use the hand cursor to grab the picture and move it in any direction instead of using the scroll bars.
The item will then be uploaded using your settings in the "Uploading Pane" in the "NetFinder Preferences" window. See the section 6.7 Uploading Pane in section 6.0 NetFinder preferences for information on the settings.
During the transfer, a transfer dialog just like the one for downloads will be displayed. It has exactly the same operation and the same usage. See the section above for downloading files for information about how to use the dialog.
If you want to use a different upload method(s) or permissions for a particular upload, there are a few ways to do it:
WARNING: You cannot stop an upload and continue from the stopped position at a later time. In other words, this version of NetFinder does not support partial file uploading.
5.5.1 Deleting Files and Directories
There are several ways to delete a file or directory (including its all of the directory's contents). First select the files and directories you wish to delete and then:
TIP: you can bypass this confirmation dialog by option-dragging the items to the Trash icon (that is, press and hold the option key down before dragging the selected items to the Trash icon).
Once you have confirmed the deletion, NetFinder will dim the selected items, preventing you from manipulating them further. It will then delete the selected items one by one.
WARNING: be very careful what you delete! It is very hard (well, more like next to impossible) to recover accidentically deleted files. Unlike your local hard disk where deleted items may be recovered using a disk utility, when an item is deleted on an FTP server, it is almost guaranteed that you will never see it again!
5.5.2 Moving Files and Directories
To move a file or a directory to a new location, select the items you wish to move and drag them to where you want them to go. Yes, it is as simple as that!
You can even move items between windows as long as the two windows have the same login details, that is, same hostname (and port number), same username and same password.
WARNING: some FTP server programs do not support moving files. A good way to check is to refresh the directory listing after you move a file (use the "Refresh Listing" menu command in the File menu). For example, tcpConnect4 does not support moving files.
WARNING: many FTP servers do NOT like directory names with one or more spaces in the name. As a result, moving and renaming items with a space in the name may not work. On some servers, its may even result in the file "disappearing" forever!
5.5.3 Renaming Files and Directories
To rename a file or directory, click on the name of the item, wait for it to become editable (or just press the 'return' key to make it editable straight away) and then type the new name for the item. Press 'return' to rename the file.
NOTE: Many servers do not like files with unusual characters in the name, so you should try to avoid these characters whenever possible. Unusual characters include spaces and most of the option-key combinations like option-F for example. Directories and files with spaces in it their names may especially cause the server to not work properly when retrieving directory listing information.
WARNING: Some servers will allow you to rename an item to the same name as another item in the same directory. Try to avoid doing this, because this will result in the existing item being replaced by the item you just renamed! This is especially dangerous if you do this to directories, because the replaced directories' contents will be lost forever!
5.5.4. Creating Directories
To do this, select "New Folder..." from the File menu. A new directory called "Untitled_Directory" is created on the FTP site. And just like in the Finder, you will then be able to rename it to what you want (provided you have renaming enabled in the preferences).
5.5.5 Copying and Duplicating Remote Files
To copy a file on a FTP site to another FTP site (or to a directory on the same FTP site), select the files you wish to copy and option-drag them to where you want them to go (either in the same window or to another window). Yes, it is as simple as that!
To duplicate files on a FTP site, select the files you wish to duplicate and select "Duplicate" from the File menu.
You can also do remote copying of directories.
NOTE: Some servers do NOT allow copying from other servers, or duplicating a file on the same server. The reason for this is not because the server can not handle such an operation, but rather by enabling the feature, the server opens itself up to potential security holes, resulting in hackers causing damage to the server or obtaining files illegally.
WARNING: many FTP servers do NOT like directory names with one or more spaces in the name. As a result, copying items with a space in the name may not work.
5.5.6 Setting Permissions on Remote Files
To set permissions on remote files, you can either:
NOTE: of course, you can only set permissions on sites that you have authority to set permissions on. :-) Most sites that you log in to anonymously won't let you do this.
5.5.7 Editing Remote Files with BBEdit
Using BBEdit 4.5.1 or later, you can now edit (text) files on FTP sites. For example, this is useful for quick and easy modifications of web sites.
To edit a file, select it in a Listing window, and then select the "Edit in BBEdit" from the Edit menu or use Command-B. NetFinder will then download the file to the Temporary Items folder on your Mac's disk, and then open the file in BBEdit. Edit the file, save your changes and when you are ready to update your FTP site, close the file. NetFinder will then upload the file. After NetFinder successfully uploads the modified file, the local copy on your Mac's disk is deleted. If the upload fails, the local copy if not deleted but is instead moved to your desktop.
The last paragraph describes the simplest use of editing. However, there are several variations that are possible:
WARNING: currently, NetFinder will always upload a saved modified file. If you want to abort the uploading, you must be certain to NOT save any changes to the local copy, that is, just close the file without saving any changes. For obvious reasons, NetFinder will not upload files that are not modified.
NOTE: if you forget to press the control key, you will end up starting a file transfer instead of creating a bookmark.
TIP: if you use an e-mail program or a text editing program that can accept text being dragged and dropped into it (such as SimpleText), you can quickly create a list of URL's by simply selecting the desired files or folders and dragging them to the text window. This is very handy for compiling a list of URLs for an e-mail letter or a web page.
The saved bookmark files are actually text files that contain a URL. For example, <ftp://archie.au/mac/info-mac/rec/>. As such, you can edit them in your favourite text editor like SimpleText.
WARNING: If you did not log into a site anonymously, that is, you used a username and password, you should create bookmarks to that site with caution, because the bookmark's URL will contain your username and password in plain text (that is, not encrypted!). For secure password storage use Apple's KeyChain Manager.
TIP: If you use NetFinder with your own FTP account often enough, you can create a bookmark on the desktop and give it a custom icon of, say, a hard disk. This will either (a) confuse you, or (b) make FTP access more transparent. I guess it depends how confused you already are about your desktop - I know I am with mine ;-)
NOTE: Bookmarks can be made for files and folders from the listing window. Each however perform two entirely different functions when you open them. A bookmark of a directory/folder will cause NetFinder to display that directory's contents in a listing window. A bookmark of a file will cause NetFinder to start downloading that file.
About stationary pad bookmarks
NetFinder can save URLs as normal bookmarks or stationary pad bookmarks. The difference is this: when you double click a normal bookmark, the URL saved in it is automatically opened (that is, NetFinder connects to the site, logs you in, and lists or downloads whatever the URL points to); when you double click a stationary pad bookmark, NetFinder reads in the URL and displays it in a fresh "New Connection" dialog and places the insertion point at the end of the path field, ready for you to add to the path. In a sense, the URL in the stationary pad bookmark acts like a template which you modify when you open it.
TIP: you can change a normal bookmark into a stationary pad bookmark and vice versa by selecting the bookmark in the Finder, selecting the Get Info command (in the Finder's File Menu), and clicking the "Stationary pad" checkbox on or off.
To show or hide the Transcript window, use the "Show Transcript" and "Hide Transcript" menu commands in the Windows menu. You can also click its close box to hide it.
NOTE: The transcript window only stores a limited amount of information (about 25K). So if the transcript gets is long, the start of the transcript is deleted from the window. The transcript file, however, always contains the entire transcript since when it was activated.
geturl <URL> [ to <destination spec> ]
Example 1 - lists the rec directory.
Example 2 - downloads the file called "netfinder-10.hqx" to the "downloads" folder on "Macintosh HD".
geturl "ftp://ftp.info.au/mac/info-mac/rec/netfinder-10.hqx" to "Macintosh HD:downloads:"
Here is how to store a file using the puturl event:
puturl <source spec> to <URL>
Example - store "myfile.html", located on the disk "RAM Disk:", in the "public-html" directory on ftp.mysite.net.
puturl "RAM Disk:myfile.html" to "ftp://ftp.mysite.net/public-html/"
NetFinder lets you create and maintain lists of bookmarks. You can organise your FTP sites into convenient lists in the order you want and with folders to keep different types of sites grouped together.
Select "New Bookmark List" from the Lists menu or "Open..." from the File menu. You can open NetFinder lists, Anarchie lists and Fetch lists.
When the list appears, you can:
To create a new bookmark use "New Bookmark..." from the Lists menu or drag an item (file/folder) from a listing window.
To create a folder use "New Folder" from the File menu.
Files and folders may be moved around just like you would expect in any other listing window.
NOTE: in lists, passwords are encoded (using a very simple encoding and should not be used if you must keep your password(s) absolutely secret). For secure password storage use Apple's KeyChain Manager.
List the listing window, you are also able to configure the columns seen in this window. Namely you can hide/show the columns you wish, reorder their positions and resize the column widths.
So how do I get started?
Just apply the following rule to a standard bookmark list, and it will automatically
be converted into a download queue. Another way is to use the "New Download Queue" command from the Lists menu.
Why should I use the download queue?
Step 1: create new mirror list and new mirror item
Scenario #1: simple more-or-less static site
This window displays the list of partially downloaded files that NetFinder is currently keeping track of. It consists of an active and an inavtive queue of jobs. Each entry shows the URL of the file, where NetFinder thinks the file is and how much of the file has been downloaded.
NOTE: The columns in this window can be configured just like those in the listing window. Namely you can hide/show the columns you wish, reorder their positions and resize the column widths.
In this window, you can:
Items that are dimmed indicate that:
Finder Progress icons become useful when you start downloading files either simultaneously or via the download queue while the NetFinder application is hidden in the background. It could also be used as a progress indicator on another machine when you are downloading to a network device from your downloading machine.
To work around this problem, NetFinder can be configured to transfer files in a less intelligent way, namely the "traditional way". The result of this change will cause text files to be uploaded and downloaded properly with these problematic servers, however NetFinder will no longer be able to translate files to the format the remote system likes automatically for non-problematic servers. As a result, NetFinder assumes all servers will do all the translating.
To force NetFinder into this mode of operation, you need to use a resource editor like ResEdit and simply add a resource of type 'UL-A' with any ID number to the NetFinder application.
This feature is only available for PPC Macintoshes.
Also see Advanced Feature - SSL Support section for more details.
This feature is only available for PPC Macintoshes.
Also see Advanced Feature - ICI Script section for more details.
Also see the documentation that is provided in the Modules folder in the Scripting Components Folder (or in your NetFinder folder).
Some sample scripts provided, include:
Examples of this can range from custom written FTP servers running on computers to FTP servers written for PLC cards.
A sample plugin is provided. If you can make sence of it then you can start writing a plugin yourself, otherwise mail us and we will help you get your plugin working.
Server plugins are located inside the "Servers" folder inside the "Modules" folder inside the "NetFinder" folder.
Plugins that fail to load, will be renamed with a leading '?', and the cause of the error will be appended to the end of the plugin contents.
To define custom command key shortcuts for Scripts and Shortcuts items you simply renaming the items on disk. Only available for MacOS 8.0 or higher. eg if "My HTML Pages URL\aocsP" is the filename of a Shortcut on disk. Then the menu item will be shown as "My HTML Pages URL" with the command key being APPLE + OPTION + CONTROL + SHIFT and the letter "P" where \ = command/modifier key sequence begin tag a = Apple Key Modifier o = Option Key Modifier c = Control Key Modifier s = Shift Key Modifier P = command key to use, in this case the letter 'P'. NOTE: the order of modifiers is important.
Further documentation regarding specific routines implemented by NetFinder that can be accessed
via ICI script can be found in the following files located in the "Module Doco" folder located
inside the "Modules" folder inside your NetFinder Folder.
eg "Macintosh HD:NetFinder v2.3:Modules:Module Doco:"
These tips and tricks make using NetFinder more easy flowing.
5.17.3 NetFinder Menu Descriptions
The descriptions of all menus in NetFinder can be viewed here.