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 Post subject: Desktop Modules or Widgets
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:26 pm 
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I am a widget creator, I created all the widgets shown in this screenshot, plus many more...

Image

To create Winstep widgets - what is required and is there a guide as to how it is done? All mine are created using XML, javascript for the Konfabulator/Yahoo widget engine and Xwidgets.

Can we create our own modules/widgts? Can it be done? I am hoping so... as a widget creator my sole reason for using Winstep xtreme is development of new steampunk widgets.


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 Post subject: Re: Desktop Modules or Widgets
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 5:59 am 
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WOW! Those are gorgeous! I know that the modules that exist are part of the program itself, not standalone at all. But given what i see here it would be great if that could be opened up.

Where can one find more examples of your work?


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 Post subject: Re: Desktop Modules or Widgets
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:03 am 
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I love your work! Just the other day I was admiring some of those icons/widgets, no kidding! :)

Unfortunately I have bad news: Winstep applications are not a widget engine. The Winstep widgets came about some time before the Konfabulator/Yahoo/DesktopX/Windows 7 widget wars and are all developed in-house, i.e.; hard coded into the program.

So, unfortunately, the only thing you would be able to do is skin the existing widgets, not add new ones.

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 Post subject: Re: Desktop Modules or Widgets
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:20 am 
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That is SUCH a pity as my efforts in widget creation would have been switched in the direction of what seems to me, to be a rejuvenated winstep xtreme.

Such a professional look to the program and active community/support too.

The Y!WE engine is now no longer supported, Xwidgets is a product in throes of not existing but the dev. doesn't yet know it. If winstep Xtreme had the environment to build widgets in XML javascript it would have been the engine of choice.

Yellow, this is a good gallery for some of my widgets:

https://www.behance.net/yereverluvinuncleber

My widgets in full can be seen and downloaded here:

http://lightquick.co.uk/steampunk-widgets.html?Itemid=264

Jorge, If you ever wish to take the program in that direction embedding the spider monkey engine and replicating some of the functionality that YWE had, then you'd have my full support. If you wanted to take it another direction and embed the Xwidget engine and IDE, it is a full product, it works very will in some respects, is owned and created by one struggling dev. who just needs help and direction for his product (an interesting aside is that the scripting logic for his widgets is accomplished with either javascript or vbscript, the choice is up to the widget developer).

The dev. there is making slow work as he does not understand how to make a thriving community that could help making a product that matches the communities demands. He is too involved in coding the next variant of his product for Android. I am sure you know how absorbing coding can be.

I am in touch with the Xwidget dev, Tony if you ever need the introduction.

If "no" to the above then I am afraid I must remove Winstep xtreme no matter how good it is. I really like it, very slick and efficient but my primary need is a RAD development platform for non-rectangular, transparent background programs and so my search must continue.

A pity!

PS. The Yahoo Widget engine and your product work quite well together, no conflicts, no slow-downs, no hogging of the cpu. Each exists side by side. If only!

My Win10 development desktop testing wintep Xtreme and Yahoo Widgets side by side:

Image

Cluttered but such fun, especially with Wanda.


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 Post subject: Re: Desktop Modules or Widgets
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 5:17 am 
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Oh I love Wanda. Pity she is under-rated.

I once tried to hire different people to create other tropical fish animations, but unfortunately I ended up having to give up on the idea as everything they came up with was sub-par.

I even tried contacting some of the guys who do 3D Aquarium screen savers, but I guess they were afraid I just wanted to make another Aquarium screen saver, so that ended up going nowhere either lol

Anyway, widgets... For a while there they were all the rage. Stardock's DesktopX, Konfabulator got into Windows and was then acquired by Yahoo, even Microsoft got into it too... And then it all died. DesktopX is dead, Yahoo widgets are dead, Microsoft (as always) abandoned them... Too much fragmentation, or too much exposure, maybe?

My focus was never on the widgets themselves, for me they were kind of a by-product of something bigger, in this case Winstep Xtreme... and that is how I think they might survive, as part of something bigger.

While opening up widget creation to 3rd parties is always a good idea since it gets many others involved, the last thing the world needs at this point is a YAWE (Yet Another Widget Engine) :wink: . Also, opening up is not without its drawbacks too: a buggy ObjectDock docklet, for instance, can bring the host program down with it (and the user won't know any better, for him the problem won't be a buggy docklet but a buggy host application).

Like this QA is always on me.

For me widgets shouldn't just be cute little things that seat on your desktop, but they should provide something genuinely useful and unique too. That is why the Net Meter widget in Xtreme not only monitors bandwidth but is also able to list all currently active connections (and close them if required), the CPU not only lists global CPU utilization but is also able to list which applications are using the most CPU, same for the RAM Meter in regards to memory utilization, etc...

I was also adamant of always providing two different versions/views of each widget (or modules, as I call them): one that works as a simple icon, and a fully skinnable desktop version.

Unfortunately I haven't focused on the Winstep widgets for a long time, but I'm getting ready to turn my attention on them soon (but alas that won't happen on the next release yet, that one is reserved for the Winstep Theme Builder).

Once I do, I will first have to re-code a lot of stuff so that adding more widgets becomes a lot easier and faster than it currently is. Once that groundwork has been prepared, I will be looking to see which types of widgets would be the most useful these days (no point in coding another VDM now, for instance, although that was once a popular request, since Windows 10 natively offers that functionality - however poor it is) and I guess I will dedicate a new release almost exclusively to adding new widgets.

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 Post subject: Re: Desktop Modules or Widgets
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:33 pm 
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winstep wrote:
Oh I love Wanda. Pity she is under-rated.


She is under-rated, the animation is a good one. Difficult to do a good natural animation. A skill in itself. I have access to some 3D design skills that can create all sorts of static 3D designs, including some natural figures using Maya, Designing a model is one thing but good natural animation is a real competence that you need to pay for an arm and a leg for... There are some that can take real-life movement and then capture it for use in animation tools but all that it is currently beyond me. If I manage to come up with something as good I'll push it your way.

winstep wrote:
the last thing the world needs at this point is a YAWE (Yet Another Widget Engine) :wink: .


I'm not sure I see it like that. The world needs a good supported javascript desktop engine for RAD and also for good-looking apps. Widgets by another name I know but currently there isn't such an engine. There are some that still work but they aren't supported, what I am looking for is one with a future.

I agree that widget development was the 'thing' for a while and everyone wanted in. It seems to me that the big boys bought up the best players and the small players found it was a lot of work to implement a full widget engine and only the bigger boys could do that, so the smaller boys bowed out (see all the dead linux engines). However, the bigger boys (Yahoo widgets, Apple dashboard, MS and Google, Opera gadgets &c) soon found out there was no money to be made supporting a free product that they didn't use themselves and so they abandoned widget engines altogether.

My feeling is that this was premature for the users as they are a VERY useful set of tools for the scripter/DIY programmer (a typical vb6-er?) to knock up desktop apps with a minimum of programming skills. Especially when MS has pulled the rug from their traditional RAD tools - VB5/6. My search for a VB replacement brought me to javascript widgets in the first place.

I ask myself the question, if someone had javascript skills and an application or two already written for the web or handheld devices and they wanted to migrate their code to the desktop - or if they wanted to use those skills in desktop app development, which tool would they currently use? I find it hard to say which. NSBasic or B4J are the only ones that I would use, both allowing VB/javascript but neither are suited to good-looking desktop apps as they both run within the context of the browser. They produce square-boxed traditional-looking apps. and I'm not into producing those... :?

winstep wrote:

For me widgets shouldn't just be cute little things that seat on your desktop


Agreed, all mine function and do a 'real' job. The cup/gpu thermometer checks the temperatures of various sensors, the clock is an alarm, the orrery shows the moon phases, the weather widget... &c


winstep wrote:

I was also adamant of always providing two different versions/views of each widget (or modules, as I call them): one that works as a simple icon, and a fully skinnable desktop version.


Agreed, I have always done the same but in the context of providing the same icons for rocketdock, ICO, PNG, BMP, HQX and ICNS.

winstep wrote:

Unfortunately I haven't focused on the Winstep widgets for a long time, but I'm getting ready to turn my attention on them soon (but alas that won't happen on the next release yet, that one is reserved for the Winstep Theme Builder).


I look forward to seeing what you come up with. A pity though that you don't feel that YAWE would be a good thing. I think that if you came up with such a thing, that yours could end up being be the sole occupier of that market now that all the others have left. My suggestion instead that you think about incorporating an existing engine ie. the Xwidget engine or Kludgets ( an open source widget engine that works reaching 1.0 but never progressing beyond that) is one that would save you time and I honestly feel it is a natural progression for your product at the stage you are in (forgive me giving out unsolicited advice). It could also be an exciting new product in a market that you have partially already invested in. Good-looking widgets are still a major draw. You know how a good-looking GUI draws attention from new viewers. My desktop always elicits a "Wow!" - then a "My God! - that's busy..."

I think your product was bundled with ability to create one's own widgets would be a killer...

Regardless of what you choose, good luck to you. It is always interesting to talk to someone with an opinion, who also knows what they are talking about.

PS. Kludgets is here : https://www.openhub.net/p/kludgets

I'd be interested to know how your thoughts pan out in this area.


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 Post subject: Re: Desktop Modules or Widgets
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:17 pm 
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Good animations of fish in existing Xwidgets.

Both of which are comparable to Wanda in their animation.

http://xwidget.com/xwidget/widgets/other/2011/1021/85.html
http://xwidget.com/xwidget/widgets/other/2011/1025/97.html

The download link is further down the page.

They may be of use...


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 Post subject: Re: Desktop Modules or Widgets
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:22 pm 
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Hey, great find, thanks!!!!! :)

I had to delve into the configuration files themselves to find the author's (Binseven) email/contact info, though. :) He could be Chinese since there are what looks to be Chinese characters in the <name> field.

Anyway, I'll try contacting him to see if I can get permission to distribute the animations as alternatives to the current Wanda animation. Pity they are all goldfishes as well.

Not sure if you are aware of this, but if you rename the XWidgetPkg extension to .zip, you can open the package and extract the Right.png 'animation strip' file.

Normally this would be enough to use it directly to customize Wanda's animation, but alas, the individual frames in those animations strips are not square, which prevents Winstep from calculating the number of frames and thus recognizing the bitmap as an animation strip.

You can solve this problem by opening the animation strip, counting the number of frames, dividing the width of the bitmap by the number of frames, and then changing the height of the bitmap in Photoshop via 'Canvas Size', so the height of the animation strip is the same as the width of each individual frame.

Save and you can now use this new animation strip to customize Wanda directly: simply drag & drop it into a Wanda module on the dock (as you would for changing the icon of any other dock shortcut), or open Preferences, go to the Modules tab, select the Wanda module, then click the Change Icon button.

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Jorge Coelho
Winstep Xtreme - Xtreme Power!
http://www.winstep.net - Winstep Software Technologies


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 Post subject: Re: Desktop Modules or Widgets
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:49 pm 
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How about these?

http://www.deviantart.com/art/VClouds-W ... -179152045


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 Post subject: Re: Desktop Modules or Widgets
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:03 pm 
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Jorge,

Glad they are of use.

I have the two fish widgets on my desktop at this moment. Since I met Wanda it was my life's ambition to have a fish or two as an Xwidget on my desktop. I have succeeded and life is complete.

However, with regard to Gregory's link, I see lots of clouds but no fish...


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 Post subject: Re: Desktop Modules or Widgets
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:06 pm 
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These are for the Weather widget.


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 Post subject: Re: Desktop Modules or Widgets
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:10 pm 
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Gregory2001 wrote:
How about these?


Those Weather module alternative icons are very nice too, but the current 'photo realistic' style icons of the Winstep weather module are equally as good if not better.

There is also a question of the author's remark of 'Not to be used for commercial use without permission!'. My guess is that he would want money for them.

You can still use them yourself though, by replacing one of the two current sets of weather icons used by Winstep. You would have to rename those icons properly, though, since originally I didn't use Weather.com's numbering scheme (a huge mistake in hindsight, but, as they say, hindsight is 20/20 vision). :)

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http://www.winstep.net - Winstep Software Technologies


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 Post subject: Re: Desktop Modules or Widgets
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:17 pm 
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yereverluvinuncleber wrote:
Since I met Wanda it was my life's ambition to have a fish or two as an Xwidget on my desktop. I have succeeded and life is complete.


Hehehe, glad Wanda had such a profound influence in your life path. :wink:

I already changed the png anim strips here so they can be used directly by simply drag & dropping them into Wanda, and the animations are really good - unfortunately I think he used a lot of blank space at the left and right edges of each frame, which ends up making the alternate fish look much smaller than the Wanda original. Perhaps it's something I could fix, but first I have to get the author's permission to distribute these via the Winstep Themes page.

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 Post subject: Re: Desktop Modules or Widgets
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:17 am 
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Finally figured out where those fish animations came from: Stardock's Desktop Aquarium (which is no longer being sold).

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 Post subject: Re: Desktop Modules or Widgets
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:17 am 
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Ah, good detective work.

Probably means they won't want you to bundle the things I suppose, your offering being commercial. Which is a pity. However if the animations are out there and being used by others, the cat is "out of the bag" as it were.


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