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On A Regular Basis by Samantha-Wright On A Regular Basis by Samantha-Wright
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Behold, a desktop screenshot. Perhaps I'm stooping to new lows here or something by putting up pretty pictures of things instead of releasing content, but I swear all of this stuff will come out soon, and I figure if it generates a comment or two requesting something in the picture then I'm going in the right direction.

To that end, let's go for a bit of a tour here.

Icons—British Library and Sandwich-Kainos

...nothing so surprising here.

Wallpaper—The Symbol Tree

Unreleased for the moment, but that probably won't last.

Visual Style—Sandwich for British Library (Sandwich-Kainos)

Yeah, I should put this up too.

File Manager—Explorer with FindeXer

The sidebar is provided by [link] which is nearly indispensable on XP.

Terminal—Console

It's great. [link] Everybody wave goodbye to classic window borders now! The font of choice is Apple's preferred Monaco.

Top—Workspace Monitor

Something I've been working for an unreasonably long time. To most people it will probably look fairly Mac-ish, but the original idea was to come up with an Amiga-ish bar, which doesn't really say a great deal, but it works.

The text and information displayed on the top bar is largely customisable. Moving the mouse cursor over the window will replace the text on the left with a set of programmable menus, which are your typical fare: launching programs and running scripts. The scripting environment, called pass3, is fairly flexible and can do everything from shutting down the machine to making the foreground window translucent.

Workspace Monitor has grown steadily more aggressive in its featurefulness with time, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Clicking the process name (here shown as (Sappho)) will bring up a list of running programs and all of their windows, making it comparatively painless to switch between them, hide them from unwanted passersby, retrieve them from crashed virtual desktop managers (!), and send WM_QUIT to Explorer's DDE Server Window (less fun than it sounds.)

The small window hovering under the date is a clipboard historian, which patiently and dutifully tracks every piece of text that has ever been added to the clipboard and can list the text if requested to do so. (At present, it displays this text, lazily, in an IE frame, which has the added bonus of executing any JavaScript you may put on the clipboard for you.)

Text Editor—Sappho

Sappho functions both as a text editor and RTF editor. It's a fairly basic piece of software itself, but what really makes it shine is scripting support through pass3, which allows not only complicated macros to be written for the purposes of text editing, but also small applications to be put together.

It's not properly Unicodey, but the facilities available make it decent for small, event-driven internet utilities. The most useful I've written so far is a basic Telnet client, but there's also a deformed, half-functional Wikipedia parser, and at least in principle it would be a good tool for writing collaborative editing stuff on top of. Importantly, the amount of work required to create a functioning script with networking abilities is very minimal.

Button-bars: Marina

You know the dock? No, not that one, the real one. Good. And you know the wharf? Okay, sorry, maybe that one was a bad memory. I can see the configuration files flashing before your eyes already.

This here is Marina: inspired by WindowMaker's portrayal of the NeXTian dock, it shows icons for minimized windows, honest-to-goodness dockapps, and any files or programs you drag onto it. By default, this is all on one bar, so it's generally convenient to run multiple copies with different config files (although you never have to edit these by hand!) The bars themselves can be dragged anywhere.

File shortcuts you plan on keeping around can be configured to glow around the edges when they are open, by providing identifying information about the process name and window title.

Marina's functionality at present is comparable to the Windows taskbar, though it does not currently support collapsing an entire process into a single icon with a pop-up menu (XP's group windows/OS X dock/default Windows 7 behaviour). In addition to this, I plan on extending it to provide full OLE object support.

What exactly does this mean?

In Windows, when you drag and drop something, most types of data can be sent between a variety of programs: files can be dragged from Explorer into Word, for example, without either feeling overly bad about it. It doesn't matter where you drag the file from or to, however: pretty much any program will take the suggestion the same way and react appropriately.

However, Windows allows for dragging and dropping of much more than files. You can drag around anything that you can put on the clipboard—images, text, graphs, whatever—and drop it anywhere else that supports the format. You can even drag text around in a textbox; even copy it if you hold down Ctrl.

So it seemed pretty reasonable to me to extend this paradigm to include dragging text snippets directly onto Marina, as an alternative to putting them on the clipboard, which notoriously has a size of precisely one item. Workspace Monitor's clipboard history window has a lot of potential for dealing with this problem as well, but it's an interface that makes more sense with a linear history of items, not a set of fragments being actively used.

For some heinously awful reason, Word will let you drag text into an Explorer window and create a document snippet, so I guess it can't be totally wrong.

Future: To Do

1. Polish and release all this.
2. Write a unified configuration program (Byzantium) for Workspace Monitor, Sappho, and Marina.

Woo!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconizanagiii:
IzanagIii Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2017
is this vs released yet?
Reply
:iconsamantha-wright:
Samantha-Wright Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2017  Hobbyist Interface Designer
Not likely to happen, sorry! It was for Windows XP, and never quite complete.
Reply
:iconizanagiii:
IzanagIii Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2017
Ooh thats A pitty. But looks amazing anyway
Reply
:iconsom011981:
som011981 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
woooooooo nice...
Reply
:iconthesteampunker:
TheSteampunker Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2010
I have your icons already but this is a nice image of what you can do with them. So pretty!
Reply
:iconsamantha-wright:
Samantha-Wright Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2010  Hobbyist Interface Designer
Thanks. I'll have the next batch out soon.
Reply
:iconforestborn:
ForestBorn Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2010  Professional Writer
grrrs where are the icons :( You need to put them out already
Reply
:iconsamantha-wright:
Samantha-Wright Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2010  Hobbyist Interface Designer
Oh yeah, and Sandwich is here.
Reply
:iconsamantha-wright:
Samantha-Wright Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2010  Hobbyist Interface Designer
Aaaah! Most of those are already out!

British Library for OS X 10.4 Linux/Web (PNGs) Windows OS X 10.5

Or do you mean you want the third edition? 'cause I could put one of those together, I guess.
Reply
:iconbiologik79:
Biologik79 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2010
Nice ;p
The wall looks fine too!
Reply
:iconrilii:
rilii Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2010
wow this is looking really great- i can't believe how gorgeous the icons are! i would totally love to try this layout out. i am seriously blown away :heart:
Reply
:iconsamantha-wright:
Samantha-Wright Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2010  Hobbyist Interface Designer
I'll work on making it practical! Right now there's too much hard-coded for most people to really use; the dock buttons can't have their appearances changed, for example. But I'm already working on a program to make it all configurable from one place, so it shouldn't be more than a month or two before it's all released and usable!

And thanks very much for the comment + favourite. I wasn't sure I'd gotten anyone's attention.
Reply
:iconrilii:
rilii Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2010
aha, i see! well it's great that you're thinking ahead like that- i assume most people would just slap it on and call it a day. i would imagine alot of work goes in to coding- especially if you need a couple more months to finish it when it already looks so great!

and i'm surprised this hasn't gotten more attention either... hopefully it will catch on when it's completed.

best of luck <3!
Reply
:iconsamantha-wright:
Samantha-Wright Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2010  Hobbyist Interface Designer
Yeah, it's a long labour of love, particularly since I've got real life to attend to, but putting it all together in a way that makes it practical to go back and change/add stuff later can really bog things down. Most of what I still want to do involves making it more user-friendly.

I'll make sure I post all of the programs in new submissions here, though, when it's all done, so it's easy to find! Thanks again!
Reply
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Submitted on
January 11, 2010
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