Ever have one of those days when you're extremely busy but you don't seem to
get very much done? I got back from my trip and my todo list is huge. The
trip seemed to go well but won't know for a few weeks still but now I'm left
with tons of things to do.
We were supposed to go out with a new public DesktopX build. DesktopX is
going to be great...when it gets the bugs out. I ran into so many buglets today
that I had to kill today's public beta announcement which is a bummer because
there's a lot of good stuff in it.
But until the glitches are worked out, it's just plain frustrating. For
instance, I couldn't change the size of my IconX icons. And when running with
IconX on, I couldn't change my wallpaper. Definite showstoppers. IconX is
really cool but it has to be bulletproof before release. What is IconX? It
basically lets you replace your desktop icons with "extended" icons (IconX) that
can be any size you want, have shadows, zoom up when you put your mouse over
We also ran into a bunch of buglets with the new extended abilities (plugins)
that are new to this build. Those got fixed today but the IconX stuff has to be
taken care of. There are also still problems with combining various objects
together where the z-order gets messed up or the combined window behaves oddly.
It'll get fixed but I was really hoping to get that out today.
The build is up on Object Desktop
via Stardock Central for those who want to monkey with what we have right now.
I also created a
looking DesktopX object to show off some of the new features. The main one I
wanted to show off was the gauges. To create one, you just need to put together
X number of gauges together into a single bitmap, png, targa, or whatever your
favorite graphics format is. Then you tell the plugin how many frames
there are and it takes care of the rest. So I made one with 5 frames to
represent the arrow going from pointing straight left (0) to pointing up (50%)
to pointing right (100%). I'm not a graphics designer so I can't do it justice
but it worked. Hopefully skinners will be able to do stuff with it.
Next week we have a new version of WindowFX coming out. That's ready to go.
Just have to get all the marketing stuff ready for it. The PR people are getting
ready to do their thing. The public version will be a lot nicer in that it now
provides shadows, morphing, and other features in the free version. We have so
much new content that we can afford to give away some of the previously
"must-have" features for free. I've always felt that WindowFX should be nearly
as popular as WindowBlinds but it's
never happened. I figured anyone who runs WindowBlinds would want WindowFX.
Of course, a lot of what WindowFX requires is beyond our control. nVidia just
can't seem to get their act together with regard to their drivers. On an
ATI Radeon, WindowFX runs great. But the "Detonator" drivers make WindowFX look
like a bloated pig which is really too bad because WindowFX, when running on a
card with properly written drivers, can enhance the visuals of windows (animated
minimizing/maximizing, shadows, etc.) with no performance hit (all done via
hardware). But when they're not hardware accelerated, it becomes a
performance sucking toy.
The next version of WindowBlinds (4.2) due out probably in mid October or
early November will be able to replace the various animations in progress
dialogs. You know that ugly Windows 95 looking copy animation (for
instance)? You'll be able to make your own and put it there. That will be sweet.
Well that's all for now. I still haven't even checked my email yet!