C# based curses file manager
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This is a C# version of the Midnight Commander that I am using as a
testbed for Mono-Curses. - Miguel de Icaza

This new version is called "Mouseless Commander[1]", to bring back the
original name.

[1] With mouse support.


This is a C# reimplementation of the Midnight Commander (originally,
the MouseLess Commander, later the MouseLess Commander With Mouse
Support) in C#.

Unix Evolves

The C version of the Midnight Commander was started some time in 1991
or 1992 and many of the features in the code base had to deal with
Unix as it used to be back then.  Since then, Unix has changed
extensively and this rewrite takes advantage of how Unix evolved since

Plenty of older Unix systems that MC supported no longer exist, so
none of the supporting code for those systems is replicated here.

Curses Evolves
Back then, curses was mostly broken so the code supported three
backends: curses, slang and a built-in version of slang.  Over time,
ncurses became a standard and addressed the bugs and limitations that
existed back then.   These days ncurses has mouse support built right
into the API, so many of the hacks that used to exist in MC are no
longer necessary.  

When MC was originally developed, not only curses was broken, but
terminal settings could be wrong, terminfo and termcap databases were
often wrong and in general things were consistely broken.   The old
midnight commander had its own Learn-the-keys system, and its own
system for mapping escape sequences to function keys.   None of this
is necessary anymore

ncurses support Unicode output, so this codebase takes advantage of
this and the built-in viewer uses the .NET powered Encoding class to
render files, allowing not only various common formats to be viewed,
but will easily allow various fringe character set encodings to be
supported with little effort.

Virtual File Systems

The original Midnight Commander was the first Unix file manager that
had a virtual file system (VFS) interface.  This virtual file system
was later adopted by KDE and Gnome.  But application-specific virtual
file systems are no longer necessary as both Linux and MacOS now
support FUSE as a kernel-supported user-pluggable file system

The Mouseless Commander no longer ships its own VFS, and instead will
integrate with the operating system FUSE functionality to provide
access to archives and remote storage facilities. 

Features and Usability

Many features that were added to Midnight Commander over the years in
retrospect were not very good ideas.   SOme of the dialog boxes grew
to become too complicated, and not only was it hard to explain to
users what they did, I could not even remember how to use some of the
most advanced features like pattern renaming (common in DOS).

Many of the file copying options were advanced features that I never
changed or switched in the past 18 years.   At the time, it probably
made sense that we might have wanted to control with precision how
files were copied, or moved, but the solution we came up with was
poorly designed.

The dialog boxes became cluttered, and the tab-order was downright
odd due to all of those features.   So none of that complexity is
available here. 

Although MC had an hex editor, very few people knew how to activate it
(Open viewer, activate hex mode, hit Edit).