Blackbox Tutorial - Part II: The Plugins

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OK, so u downloaded Blackbox, u ran ur fist session, u are happy switching styles - and then what? Most hardcore Linux Blackbox users will tell u there is nothing more - there should be nothing more. After all, Blackbox was created as a minimalistic shell. But u do want some buttons on the desktop, a clock, a system meter, perhaps, an audio player...
This is where plugins come in. What started as a minimalistic shell with only two or three plugins, is now a different beast with over 60 plugins and more coming out each week. Plugins are basically little add-ons to the shell that offer many features - u take ur pick. Notice that Blackbox plugins are intended for Windows Blackbox clones only and do not work on other platforms or shells.

HOW TO LOAD PLUGINS

Very easy, if u use BBLean (which I strongly recommend). Right click on the desktop to bring up the menu and then click on Blackbox/Configuration/Plugins/Add Plugin. To load/unload pluggins, click on Blackbox/Configuration/Load/Unload. Xoblite works more or less the same way. U may need bbnote to add plugins to plugins.rc and recycle under BB4W.

AVAILABLE PLUGINS

The following alphabetical list is as extensive as it can be, since I probably managed to leave out a plugin or two. Notice that not ALL plugins work on ALL Blackbox clones. Most will work under BB4W but not under Xoblite, and the ones that run under Xoblite do not necessarily run under BBLean. Test to make sure. The following list includes only latest versions. Believe me, u won't need older ones. U can download plugins from xoblite.net/plugins.html or www.desktopian.org/bb/plugins.…

   BB8Ball 1.0 by Theo   June 7, 2004 Magical sphere
   BBAltMenu 0.0.0b by kana   July 24, 2004 Alternative alt_tab switcher
   BBampTitle v0.02 by pulse   April 24, 2003 Displays the song title and the artist name playing in Winamp
   BBAnalog 1.7 by Mortar   June 23, 2003 -> [needs gdiplus, get it from
download.microsoft.com/downloa… Older version of BBAnaloxEx
   BBAnalogEx 1.4 by Theo   June 23, 2004 -> [needs gdiplus, get it from
download.microsoft.com/downloa…
Analog clock with many options
   BBBloglines 0.0.0 by kana   October 16, 2004 -> [needs BBCmd, get it from
s.8.xrea.com/2004/03/27/BBCmd] It's like a mail checker, but it checks the number of unread items of your subscriptions from Bloglines www.bloglines.com/
   BBbin 1.2.1 by qwilk   August 4, 2004 Recycle bin manager
   BBCalendar 1.1.1 by Theo   September 11, 2004 A configurable calendar
   BBColor v1.1 by NC-17   November 25, 2002 Like bbcolorex, but with less capabilities
  BBColor3dc 1.1 by grischka   August 28, 2004 Like bbcolorex
   BBColorEx 0.0.0 by kana   November 2, 2004 Changes the color of window elements that are not changed by bbwinskin/bbleanskin
   BBDDE 0.3 by Tres`ni   May 4, 2003
   BBDropFTP 1.0 by qwilk   March 28, 2004
   BBEdgeFlip 0.0.7 by bladestaylor   May 15, 2004 Accompanies bbedgehook
   BBEdgeHook 0.0.2 by bladestaylor   May 25, 2004 Crosses over from one desktop to the other when the mouse pointer goes over the screen limits
   BBEdgeMenu 0.0.1 by bladestaylor   May 15, 2004 Accompanies bbedgehook
   BBFoomp 1.4 by freeb0rn   July 28, 2004 Audio player based on Foobar. Doesn't work under BBLean
   BBgesture v0.9b by Kaloth   July 17, 2004 Follows the movement of the mouse pointer
   BBHook 1.2 by TheDevTeam   August 31, 2003 Μonitors and intercepts mouse clicks on window titlebars and buttons to add new functionality like window shading and selective horizontal/vertical maximizing.
   BBIcons 2.00 by Tres`ni   March 17, 2003 Creates desktop icons/shortcuts to you favorite programs.
   BBInterface 0.9.5 by psyci   February 3, 2004 An interface for the creation of almost everything, from sidebars to menus to players
   BBkeyhook v0.1b by Kaloth   March 20, 2004
   BBKeys 1.63 by TheDevTeam   March 10, 2003 Keyboard-enhanced commands
   BBLeanSkin 1.2 by grischka   October 22, 2004 Window skinning engine like bbwinskin, but with more capabilities
   BBLifeGame 0.0.0a by kana   July 24, 2004 The Game of Life for Blackbox
   BBLoSlitta 0.0.0 by kana   October 22, 2004 Puts any plugins in the slit even if they are not slittable.
   BBMail 1.0rc4 by qwilk   July 13, 2004 Keeps track of ur e-mails
   BBMemDisplay by grischka Oct, 2003 Monitors the system - old and outdated plugin
   BBMemShrink 0.0.1 by bladestaylor   March 31, 2004 Shrinks memory used – but may cause some problems
   BBMouseGesture 0.1.6 by kana   October 9, 2004 -> [needs BBCmd, get it from
s.8.xrea.com/2004/03/27/BBCmd] Follows the movement of the mouse pointer
   BBmuse v0.7b by Kaloth   October 25, 2004 A Blackbox audio player with many capabilities
   BBnetState v0.01 by pulse   April 11, 2003 Allows you to monitor your network status. Does not work on some
clones.
  BBNote 1.05 by grischka Sep. 12, 2003 An alternative editor which can edit and recycle every rc file in ur system - a valuable tool
   BBoscilliscope v1.1b by Kaloth   July 7, 2004 Oscilloscope, much like then one in winamp.
   BBPager 1.1b11 by NC-17   March 1, 2004 Alternative desktop manager
   BBPlayer 0.0.2 by kana   October 17, 2004 A Blackbox audio player
   BBPlugManager 0.7b by Kaloth   October 31, 2004 Manages plugins
   BBPower 1.0rc1 by qwilk   May 30, 2004 Battery meter plugin, useful for notebooks
   BBRightClick by grischka May 29, 2003 Extension to the blackbox menus, that shows you the context menu for items with a right click. You can also get the folder's contextmenu with a shift-right  click on the title-bar. Now comes with BBLean 1.2
   BBShelf v1.1 by Fatman   September 20, 2004 Program launcher, sort of a wharf
   BBSlider 0.2.0 by psyci   October 4, 2003 Creates a slider control, capable of controlling the volume of sound devices on your system.
   BBSlit 0.01.07 by Tres`ni   November 1, 2003 A bar that nests other Blackbox plugins
   BBSoundFX v2 by qwilk   January 26, 2003 -> [upgrade from xoblite.net/files/bbsoundfx2_u… Adds sound effects to events
   BBspectrum v0.4b by Kaloth   July 7, 2004 Audio spectrum analyser, much like then one in winamp.
   BBStatus 1.0.2 by Stocker   January 17, 2004 Provides a simple status bar that mimics the Toolbar label (it
displays the current active window title and other messages sent to it). The bar is auto-resizable, and has slit support.
   BBStyle 0.25b5 by NC-17   November 7, 2003 Applies a random style to Blackbox on a set timer. This timer can
be disabled or enabled on the fly, via the plugin menu. BBStyle can also be set to apply a random style on
Blackbox startup and the latest release adds support for different wallpapers for each workspace.
   BBSysmon 0.8 by Mortar   August 14, 2003 Αllows you to monitor various system resources.  These monitors
include: CPU percentage used,  RAM percentage used,  Swap percentage used,  Drive space availible - any
drive letter except Floppys or CDRoms,  Uptime in 3 formats:  0w 0d 0h 0m, 0d 0h 0m, 0h 0m,  IP address of the first adapter, Workstation name,  Name of user logged in
   BBsysState v0.03 by pulse   April 11, 2003 Allows you to monitor the following system resources: CPU percentage used, RAM percentage use. Does not work on some clones.
   BBTaskSwitch 0.0.3 by kana   August 18, 2004 Task switcher
   BBTextClock September 13, 2004 - A text clock plugin, very useful for digital representation of the clock
   BBtodo 1.0 by Ender   July 22, 2004 A "sticky note" list
   BBTrans 0.5 by TheDevTeam   June 15, 2003 Adds transparency support to the Toolbar and Menus. Also allows the user to add transparency to any window they can place their mouse over. A bit outdated now, since
transparency option is build-in in most Blackbox clones
   BBTray 1.0b8 by TheDevTeam   February 16, 2004 Active program tray, much like the systray under Window's Explorer shell
   BBVHM 0.0.0 by kana   November 2, 2004 Provides two broms that maximize a window vertically or horizontally
   BBWeather v2.1 by Fatman   September 9, 2004 -> [needs svc files, get them from
dreamtrack.dnsalias.com/bbweat… Weather forecast
   BBWinAmpList 0.0 by Procic Konstantin   May 16, 2004 Shows Winamp's playlist in BB menu. U can select songs
from Winamp's playlist via BB's menu
   BBWinSkin 1.1 + engines by TheDevTeam   January 20, 2004 Skins windows. See also bbleanskin
   BBXEyes v0.3 by Procic Konstantin   May 7, 2004 Eyes that follow the mouse pointer around the screen
   BBZCmdEx 0.1 by Procic Konstantin   January 25, 2004 Extended command line
   Broambox 0.01.1 by Tres`ni   November 1, 2003 Simple dialog box that gives you an easy way to execute any command in BB4Win, be it a brom, or shell command.  Broambox helps give you full control over BB4Win with easy access to broams that could previously only be accessed through a menu or hotkey.
   BroamRelay 0.001 by bladestaylor   Mar 2, 2004
   GradTest 2.0 by qwilk   July 30, 2003 -> Displays a fully styled window (according to the current window style
settings), with clickable buttons, focused/unfocused state, etc. This gives style creators the visual feedback they
need to tweak their styles to include *all* elements. A little outdated after the release of bbwinskin/bbleanskin.
   Liam 1.2.4 by Anonymints   April 8, 2004 Checks u re-mails
   multiamp bb4 by qwilk   February 8, 2003 Audio player that works with Winamp, Foobar, and CoolPlayer
   nWeather r1.5 by Nexistenz   October 13, 2002 *unstable* Weather reporting plugin
   SystemBarEx 2.1 by bladestaylor   February 7, 2004 A system bar under Blackbox's toolbar, highly configurable

Interim builds of several plugins, awaiting official release, can be found at bb4win.sourceforge.net/latest/.
If you get an error dialog telling you that MSVCR7x.dll is missing, you can find it at
http//bb4win.sourceforge.net/opt/msvc_7.x_runtimes.zip

Thanx to the xoblite plugins page and to individual programmers. If u need help, u can always ask me here or e-mail me...
© 2004 - 2021 pitkon
Comments59
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BlueBomber21's avatar
Thanks for this tutorial.
My desktop in Windows looks really awesome and faster :o
pitkon's avatar
Yes, BB makes Windows a lot faster and lighter. Thank YOU for your kind words :)
BlueBomber21's avatar
I'm going to use one of yours cool themes BB.
I'm impresed of the huge amount of themes that exist to choose. I was years seatching the perfect shell for Windows and Blackbox seems to be the best. (and free) n_n
Thanks YOU for showing the big potencial of this program.
pitkon's avatar
Thank YOU for the kind words. I have used over 40 shells myself in the past 15 years, before deciding Blackbox IS the best. If you are going to use one of my themes, I suggest that you download one of my latest ones which include full packages. Saves you the trouble of configuring - and you can build and expand from there :)
nomnomking's avatar
Oh god this is from forever ago
pitkon's avatar
Indeed... Starting to update it, it may take some time...
d-estin-y's avatar
Im looking for a weather plugin, due to the fact that the link for fatmans weather plugin is dead. ANy ideas?
z0mbiexx's avatar
BBSlideshow don't work with my BBL anymore :hmm: but it used too and the calender i once had i can't seem to find.. or know how i got it so small :slow:

but good list ^_^
pitkon's avatar
BBSlideShow DOES work with BBLean - I use it myself. Make sure you have the latest build. The calendar should be under plugins\bbcalendar
z0mbiexx's avatar
i have newest bblean i could find and it said wasn't capable =/ and as for calender i just can't seem to get one i use to have i had 2 calenders one i really liked :o

:slow:
countocram's avatar
what are the most commonly used plugins? there are a lot in the list, I dont know what am I goin to use...
pitkon's avatar
It depends on what you need. Just think of what you would like your desktop to lool like. Blackbox can do anything. You can e-mail me, when you decide on a look and I can help you build your own environment :)
countocram's avatar
pitkon's avatar
ViperStrike's avatar
Hey, thanks alot for the tut...I've got everything downloaded, installed and almost working properly. I've downloaded the BBIcons plugin, and sometimes when I try to change the style with that plugin loaded, BlackBox crashes on me. I would expect it has something to do with it having troble changing the colors of the icons. However, if I close the plugin, change the style and then restart BBIcons, they match the colors of the skin. Any idea on why that might be?
And one other question related to BBIcons, I is it possible to add shortcuts to items other than folders and .exe files? I ask 'cause I want to make a shortcut to a .html file, and my recyle bin, but I can't find an easy way to do it.
pitkon's avatar
Sorry for my late reply, but I was away till recently. BBIcons behaves erratically sometimes. Yes, u can add html files by browsing, but the easiest way to do it is to use a bbinterface button. Then u can load anything, even bro@m commands. Note me if u don't know how :)
ViperStrike's avatar
Thanks, but yeah, I figured it out on my own...acctually, I choose not to use BBIcons, and instead used BBIconBox, which I am quite happy with. I haven't found any use for the bro@m commands, but possibly because I don't know what they do (or how to use 'em).
pitkon's avatar
If u use BBLean, a short guide to bro@ms is included in the documentation. Take a look there, they r quite helpful. BBIconBox is fine, but once u use bbi u won't ever go back :)
ogiGamedev's avatar
GAH!!! Nevermind AGAIN!! I went back to the list and just clicked the name of the person that made them and found what I was looking for.

Sorry... :blush:
pitkon's avatar
Lmao... u r quick...
ogiGamedev's avatar
*smacks self on forehead* Nevermind that nevermind lol! I'd still like the original question answered if you could :). I thought I answered it myself when I found a screenshot page but they were full desktop screenies not of the plugins (or even something saying which ones they have in the shot).
ogiGamedev's avatar
Um, nevermind :D.
ogiGamedev's avatar
Do you know of a site that actually showcases these plugins? The plugin names themselves don't really tell me if I would want them...
pitkon's avatar
[link] is the inventory of ALL plugins, tho not a showcase... Read the second part of my tuts for more...
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