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So, what's next after v18.8?
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Author:  winstep [ Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:09 am ]
Post subject:  So, what's next after v18.8?

v18.8 was a truly MASSIVE update which required me to change THOUSANDS of lines of code. It was a tremendous effort, but now it's done and it's time to start thinking about the next release.

I kind of want to take it easy on adding new features for now and focus more on consolidating what is already there. This means working on the Winstep Theme Builder, updating the website, videos, images, documentation, etc...

This does not mean actual work on the application itself grinds to an halt - quite the contrary. New ideas keep popping up all the time and other things are in desperate need of improvement.

To start with DanDaBear gave me an idea that not only do I like the more I think about it as it would be something quite easy to implement: icon colorization.

This would be especially useful for minimalist Windows 10 type themes using monochrome icons: you could automatically tint those icons to whatever color you wanted, to match the current theme or whatever.

Furthermore, the Winstep application already has some very powerful theme colorization options, which can be easily applied to icons as well: you can colorize a theme based on a solid color, the current wallpaper dominant color, and the current 'Accent' color on Windows 10 systems.

Combine this with the three different colorization methods supported (Tint, Hue, and the new Tone method) and you can get some very interesting results indeed.

The other things I would like to work on in the next release have more to do with NextSTART: add the ability to have different NextSTART taskbars per monitor, and also improve how vertical taskbars display.

Something else that is quite critical is add support to Windows 10 per-monitor DPI settings, but this will have to wait until I replace my current Windows 7 development system with a new Windows 10 machine. It will also be a LOT of work to implement such a beast.

Author:  winstep [ Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: So, what's next after v18.8?

Another idea I had regarding the new Drawers: as you know, one of the MAJOR advantages of Drawers is that they are based on existing Shelf skins/themes.

This is extremely useful because it means they will work and look fine with all existing Winstep themes.

There is one issue, however: some Shelf themes have large margin offsets (i.e.; the space between the left/right edges of the Shelf - for horizontal Shelves - and where icons start/end). This is not a problem when the theme is applied to a Shelf, but with Drawers it can result in much thicker Drawers than needed.

So, there is a possible solution: because Drawers only ever show a single row of icons, they don't use the vertical icon spacing field. By actually making use of this field in Drawers - and especially by allowing it to go negative - we could use it as a way to reduce an overly large margin offset in a specific theme.

Author:  nexter [ Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So, what's next after v18.8?

Absolutely agree Jorge - top of the list, the for you 'boring' bits that are also less stressful so you can unwind after this behemoth 18.8, and we finally get a new ThemeBuilder. :) (And of course not forgetting the importance of getting the web site etc. up to scratch.)

Grudgingly have to go along with icon colourisation as well, it's bound to e popular even though personally I loathe, nay hate, any kind of colourisation. (There are far too many 'choices' for users already. Too much choice is overload and never a good thing - it's one of the things that has modern society in such a god-awful bloody mess. While the skinner is left with comparatively few options (and the user can f*** up his theme any way he likes!) and absolutely no control over how his theme is used or appears to the user in the first instance - not a great incentive to create skins, is it.

So, I'd counter-propose as it were, give skinners fullest control over how their themes appear and over what users are permitted to do with them - after all, the user always has the *choice* to use a different theme (of which there would almost certainly be far, far more in this scenario), so what are you afraid of? Trust skinners, work with them and not against them. After all, most of the earlier skinning option suggestions/requests came from - no, not users but skinners!

NextSTART Taskbar, definitely agreed. Might have a few more suggestions/ideas in that respect as we go along. And I'd definitely place the taskbar ahead of everything else apart from the TB and web site etc. stuff.

Per monitor DPI support for Win 10, yes, definitely needed/wanted, but no rush, it will keep for a good few months at least. :)

As regards the drawers/vertical icon spacing field thing - maybe I'm getting the wrong idea here, but wouldn't that have potentially detrimental effects on drawers docked to/aligned with horizontal screen edges? Otherwise, I'm all in favour.

Perhaps this might be a good time also to bring up this 'boxes in a shelf' idea of mine that I mentioned some time ago? It's a bit involved to explain, though possibly dead simple to do (I think! YMMV, of course. :) ), so I'll leave that for a separate post sometime. It's more or less all there hidden somewhere in 'What's next after 18.5?' also. What it boils down to in short is, being able to have a say 1-pixel simple frame around a group of icons in a regular (or new special? shelf tab. More simply, let's have the frame first and then drag the icons into it. And of course, multiple 'boxes' like this should be available. It would be a very neat way to organise large numbers of icons in a tab neatly into delineated groups.

Anyway, let's leave all that for now and then concentrate on the 'boring' bits, Jorge. ;)

Author:  winstep [ Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: So, what's next after v18.8?

Ok, here's the result of the new icon colorization options, using a solid orange color:

No Colorization:
Attachment:
nxnocolorization.jpg
nxnocolorization.jpg [ 42.7 KiB | Viewed 4811 times ]

Tint:
Attachment:
nxtint.jpg
nxtint.jpg [ 46.36 KiB | Viewed 4811 times ]

Hue:
Attachment:
nxhue.jpg
nxhue.jpg [ 42.65 KiB | Viewed 4811 times ]

Tone:
Attachment:
nxtone.jpg
nxtone.jpg [ 47.7 KiB | Viewed 4811 times ]


As you can see results depend on what type of icons you've put in the dock to begin with.

Hue colorization is great for backgrounds and pretty much useless for icons, but Tint works the best for color and white monochrome icons while Tone should be used if the original icons are all solid black.

Just like backgrounds, the icons can be manually colorized with a solid color, or automatically with the dominant color of the current wallpaper or the current system Accent color (Windows 10), again using one of the three different colorization modes.

Using a solid black color together with Tint is also a great way to quickly grayscale all the icons:

Grayscale:
Attachment:
nxgrayscale.jpg
nxgrayscale.jpg [ 36.54 KiB | Viewed 4810 times ]

Author:  winstep [ Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: So, what's next after v18.8?

I've split the posts regarding what Drawers do and don't to THIS TOPIC HERE, as the discussion has nothing to do with the next release and was not proving to be very productive either.

Author:  nexter [ Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: So, what's next after v18.8?

winstep wrote:
I've split the posts regarding what Drawers do and don't to THIS TOPIC HERE, as the discussion has nothing to do with the next release and was not proving to be very productive either.

Well done! It more and more looks like an exercise in trolling from start to finish anyway.

Author:  nexter [ Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So, what's next after v18.8?

nexter wrote:
.... There are far too many 'choices' for users already. Too much choice is overload and never a good thing - it's one of the things that has modern society in such a god-awful bloody mess. While the skinner is left with comparatively few options (and the user can f*** up his theme any way he likes!) and absolutely no control over how his theme is used or appears to the user in the first instance - not a great incentive to create skins, is it.

So, I'd counter-propose as it were, give skinners fullest control over how their themes appear and over what users are permitted to do with them - after all, the user always has the *choice* to use a different theme (of which there would almost certainly be far, far more in this scenario), so what are you afraid of? Trust skinners, work with them and not against them. After all, most of the earlier skinning option suggestions/requests came from - no, not users but skinners!

NextSTART Taskbar, definitely agreed. Might have a few more suggestions/ideas in that respect as we go along. And I'd definitely place the taskbar ahead of everything else apart from the TB [ThemeBuilder] and web site etc. stuff.

....

Perhaps this might be a good time also to bring up this 'boxes in a shelf' idea of mine that I mentioned some time ago? It's a bit involved to explain, though possibly dead simple to do (I think! YMMV, of course. :) ), so I'll leave that for a separate post sometime. It's more or less all there hidden somewhere in 'What's next after 18.5?' also. What it boils down to in short is, being able to have a say 1-pixel simple frame around a group of icons in a regular (or new special? shelf tab. More simply, let's have the frame first and then drag the icons into it. And of course, multiple 'boxes' like this should be available. It would be a very neat way to organise large numbers of icons in a tab neatly into delineated groups.

It looks like I might have to be absent for a little while on medical grounds (with no net/computer access), possibly from as early as next week.

So, any comments on the previous in the next couple of days or so would be appreciated. :)

Author:  winstep [ Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So, what's next after v18.8?

nexter wrote:
It looks like I might have to be absent for a little while on medical grounds (with no net/computer access), possibly from as early as next week.

So, any comments on the previous in the next couple of days or so would be appreciated. :)


Sorry to hear about that and apologies for the late reply to this, hope everything works out ok (of course it will!)...

Anyway, regarding skinners full control, the answer is a big fat NO (lol). Sorry.

As for the other idea of the pixel frame around the icons: no can do due to the way icons are rendered and organized internally.

However, in a similar vein, I'm fully aware that some way to select multiple icons in the Shelf for drag & drop is sorely needed.

Author:  seeker [ Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So, what's next after v18.8?

a way to export/import/backup single dock or shelf?

Author:  winstep [ Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So, what's next after v18.8?

seeker wrote:
a way to export/import/backup single dock or shelf?


It would have to be an 'Import/Export' feature that would do so one at a time.

Importing a dock, shelf or Drawer would also necessarily have to *add* it to the existing ones (but then you could delete a duplicate older version later via the Dock & Shelves manager).

Author:  winstep [ Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So, what's next after v18.8?

Something else I would like to add (provided it doesn't imply a lot of work to implement because of other internal dependencies) is an option to left/center/right justify icons in the Shelf. Seems to be a popular request too.

Author:  nexter [ Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: So, what's next after v18.8?

winstep wrote:
nexter wrote:
It looks like I might have to be absent for a little while on medical grounds (with no net/computer access), possibly from as early as next week.

So, any comments on the previous in the next couple of days or so would be appreciated. :)

Sorry to hear about that and apologies for the late reply to this, hope everything works out ok (of course it will!)...

Thanks Jorge. Yeah, I'm sure it will. Anyway, it looks like it might get postponed for now. :)
winstep wrote:
Anyway, regarding skinners full control, the answer is a big fat NO (lol). Sorry.

LOL! Chicken! ;) Well, not necessarily total control, just a whole lot more. Hasn't anybody else ever brought this up?
winstep wrote:
As for the other idea of the pixel frame around the icons: no can do due to the way icons are rendered and organized internally.

Pity, would have been useful. In the meantime, I've thought of an alternative of sorts. I'm going to try and use Drawers as 'boxes', just that they're not inside a single shelf tab. And could mean an awful lot of Drawers. Ah knickers! :P
winstep wrote:
However, in a similar vein, I'm fully aware that some way to select multiple icons in the Shelf for drag & drop is sorely needed.

Oh yes, that would be extremely useful.

BTW, I'm almost done with the first of my new trash anims - the desktop mod will consist of 8 frames now, plus empty and full of course. Just have to downsize now and find a couple of suitable sound files for it. It's going to be a real blast! :)

Author:  nexter [ Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: So, what's next after v18.8?

winstep wrote:
seeker wrote:
a way to export/import/backup single dock or shelf?


It would have to be an 'Import/Export' feature that would do so one at a time.

Importing a dock, shelf or Drawer would also necessarily have to *add* it to the existing ones (but then you could delete a duplicate older version later via the Dock & Shelves manager).

Yep, sounds like a plan, a good addition to the 'to do' list. :) As would be something similar for NextSTART menus, but I could see that that could lead to complications. Anyway, 'twas easy enough for me to do it through the registry.

Author:  winstep [ Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So, what's next after v18.8?

I had already mentioned this, but since it was on another thread I'll put it here as well: added a new page explaining modules HERE and expanded the Internal Commands page using highlighted examples HERE.

Been slowly updating the product pages as well... Working on the Xtreme page now (it still says "Superior Task Management! Still running Windows XP or Vista? No problem, Winstep Xtreme can bring the new Window 7's Superbar ability to these Windows versions too" AHAHAHAHA oh boy)

Also need to update the FAQs.

What I REALLY need to do now though is come up with a nice HD demo video to replace the decade-old SD demo videos on the website. I would pay to have someone do this for me, but it would have to be professionally done by someone who actually understands and digs the product.

Author:  nexter [ Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So, what's next after v18.8?

winstep wrote:
I had already mentioned this, but since it was on another thread I'll put it here as well: added a new page explaining modules HERE and expanded the Internal Commands page using highlighted examples HERE.

Been slowly updating the product pages as well... Working on the Xtreme page now (it still says "Superior Task Management! Still running Windows XP or Vista? No problem, Winstep Xtreme can bring the new Window 7's Superbar ability to these Windows versions too" AHAHAHAHA oh boy)

Also need to update the FAQs.

What I REALLY need to do now though is come up with a nice HD demo video to replace the decade-old SD demo videos on the website. I would pay to have someone do this for me, but it would have to be professionally done by someone who actually understands and digs the product.

All really excellent work Jorge, as I said elsewhere - can't praise those improvements/additions highly enough.

Aside from the video, what's also needed is a comprehensive Users' Manual/Guide (excluding skinning, as I mentioned before, which would be better in a separate one), first explaining the individual apps in outline and then getting down to the nitty gritty of actually using and configuring them. Should also be available as PDF for download. (Or could be just PDF, period.)

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