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 Post subject: So, what's next after v18.1?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:07 pm 
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With v18.1 finally out (ufff!) it's now time to start a new thread.

So, v18.1 was essentially a maintenance release (e.g.; it fixes more issues than it adds new features) but with a bit of UI eye-candy thrown in for good measure. Besides the obvious new User Interface dark modes and slide-in animations, there are plenty of other 'touches' that didn't even make it to the change log: for instance, the background wallpaper on the Effects panel is now blurred to make the effects easier to see.

Anyway, what are the plans for the next release? If v18.1 was about eye-candy, the next version will be all about adding tons of new functionality.

First I want to add the ability to open WorkShelf sub-docks with NextSTART hotspots. Picture this: instead of having a dock hidden at the top which is easy to accidentally activate from time to time, you can simply click a quick launch button on your always-visible NextSTART taskbar. This would make the dock pop-out right above your mouse pointer.

And, a bit less useful of course, but still interesting: you would be able to add items to NextSTART menus that popped out sub-docks instead of sub-menus. :)

Second, I will be doing very extensive work on the Shelf. This means changing internal structures and thus running the risk of adding new bugs in what was previously working well.

However, the end results will be more than worth it, in my opinion, because what I will be aiming for is:

1. Vertical Shelves
2. Multiple Shelves

3. Single-tab Drawers
4. Multi-tab Drawers

The last two items were already discussed on the v17.12 thread, and if at the time I was looking at it as a 'x or y' I am now looking at it as 'x and y'.

A single-tab Drawer would be like a regular Shelf with a single tab. Clicking on the tab would fully expand the Shelf until the opposite edge of the screen.

Multi-tab Drawers would be the combination of Shelf tabs and sub-docks. The tabs remain in place when you click on them, and what slides out of them is a sub-dock.

Each type has different strengths and weaknesses, but both are useful for different situations. Another advantage is that both Drawer types can take full advantage of existing skins.

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 Post subject: Re: So, what's next after v18.1?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:56 am 
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Added customized Message Boxes so those too match the current UI mode.

Alarms with Audio files attached now display an audio symbol in Alarm Manager.

Changing UI mode no longer changes the colors of the LCD alarms (what was I thinking? The default green actually looks good with all the modes lol I blame it on lack of sleep).

Also, after 19 years in business I am finally seriously thinking about getting a code signing certificate and start signing the software. A code signing certificate is expensive and an extortion for what it does (basically a glorified CRC32 checksum) but if that means AV vendors with their stupid false positive generating methods get off my back, it might be worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: So, what's next after v18.1?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:34 pm 
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Still dancing around the real big changes and focusing on details: added smooth scroll to the alarms list in the Alarm Manager, improved the scroll in the Docks & Shelves tab.

Probably also going to make the theme preview images in the Themes tabs fade out/fade in instead of the abrupt transition it is now.

Little things are important too.

This is a bit like when you go to the beach... first you walk around a little bit, start a conversation with somebody, dip a toe to test the temperature of the water, and eventually... dive!

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 Post subject: Re: So, what's next after v18.1?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:58 pm 
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have you thought about implementing a subdock list into or separate of the current shelf/dock list? i figure with your future plans for drawers and hotspot launched docks it could be very handy

and while we are at the dock management, opening a simple way for user to name the docks and subdocks?


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 Post subject: Re: So, what's next after v18.1?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:14 am 
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seeker wrote:
have you thought about implementing a subdock list into or separate of the current shelf/dock list? i figure with your future plans for drawers and hotspot launched docks it could be very handy


I know you mentioned that already, but I'm not convinced yet (but keep trying). Such a list would only be useful if the parent object was also identified, and that is the opening of another can of worms.

You would need some kind of hierarchal tree view, like the one in the Menu Editor.

seeker wrote:
and while we are at the dock management, opening a simple way for user to name the docks and subdocks?


My thoughts on that is making the dock name editable in the Docks & Shelf tab in Preferences. Also, adding a new 'Dock Name' field to the Contents tab of the Dock Properties dialog.

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 Post subject: Re: So, what's next after v18.1?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:50 am 
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When switching themes in the Themes tab in Preferences, the previous and the new preview images now merge instead of switching abruptly.

Simple thing, but makes a world of difference. Should change my middle name to 'Smooth' after all this. :)

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 Post subject: Re: So, what's next after v18.1?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:10 pm 
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Sounds good Jorge!
You should give yourself a break and work on
something boring, like the theme builder.

:D

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 Post subject: Re: So, what's next after v18.1?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:18 pm 
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Ahahaha... :P

Yeah, a lot of people seem interested in that now. And Dawn (Gillon) is back too. :)

Anyway, after gathering my strength back for a little while between v17.1 and v17.12, at the speed I'm going now I might do all of that in one go.

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 Post subject: Re: So, what's next after v18.1?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:17 pm 
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Quote:
Anyway, after gathering my strength back for a little while between v17.1 and v17.12, at the speed I'm going now I might do all of that in one go.


Quick, Someone send Jorge some Wheaties!
8) :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: So, what's next after v18.1?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:34 am 
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winstep wrote:

I know you mentioned that already, but I'm not convinced yet (but keep trying). Such a list would only be useful if the parent object was also identified, and that is the opening of another can of worms.


how about another of my earlier suggestions, an option to back up/import individual docks

i dont know about other users but the way i have my winstep setup, backup file size is 210 kb+ and takes a while to load (and even save) settings, and sometimes i want to undo some changes to one dock, while keeping the changes to the rest, or to copy settings from a dock in an old backup that i deleted...

with drawers and multiple shelves i expect that average backup size for workhelf will grow as users utilize new functionalities

and btw, been meaning to ask you for a while now, how come winstep saves its settings in the registry, and not in some in file or smth?


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 Post subject: Re: So, what's next after v18.1?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:42 am 
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seeker wrote:
and btw, been meaning to ask you for a while now, how come winstep saves its settings in the registry, and not in some in file or smth?


That decision was made many years ago - back in the Win9x days - so my memory is fuzzy, but I'm sure it was for a good reason. The reasoning at the time had to do, IIRC, with users being able to have their own settings at a time where Windows had no personal data folders (again, IIRC).

It doesn't really matter anyway, since the application cannot be made portable due to the various dependencies, some of which need to be registered in the Windows Registry in order to work.

Anyway, current change log: added the ability to take a screenshot of the active window - instead of the whole desktop - if you press ALT when clicking on the Capture Desktop IC. Also added right click context menu options to that IC to browse the folder the last screenshot was saved at, open it in Explorer, and open the image. Thinking that a 'delete screenshot' option might be useful too. Ah, and the 'last screenshot taken' filename is now remembered between sessions.


Now... something else I'm thinking about implementing. On the other thread we discussed saving CPU resources when playing a full screen game, etc... well, this is kind of related.

Windows 10 has a new 'power saving' mode, which will slow down various things in the OS in order to preserve battery when it becomes active (you can turn that feature on and configure it so it triggers when the battery charge reaches a certain percentage, etc...).

Nexus/WorkShelf, with all its animations plus graphical bells and whistles, is not very battery runtime friendly, which is not so good for laptops. In fact, I think I remember seeing a handful of comments about that in the Uninstall Surveys.

So, I was thinking about implementing a similar mechanism, one that works with the Windows 10 feature but is also able to operate on its own.

Basically it would be two power saving modes, one yellow (medium) and another red (maximum).

These two modes would slow down the rate at which information such as CPU and network activity, etc is retrieved, from once per second to once every 3 seconds or so, stop icon (Wanda/animated icons) animations, turn off UI and dock/shelf activation animations, etc... There are a lot of little things that can be fine tuned to help save battery usage - the trick would be to figure out what belongs in yellow mode and what belongs in red mode.

In addition to being automatically triggered by the OS (and if you are not running Windows 10 you would still be able to tell the application to activate it when battery level reaches a certain percentage), the power saving modes could also be manually activated 'on demand' via a new 'Power Saver' internal command. Click it once the icon turns yellow and activates the Medium power saving mode, click on it again the icon turns red and activates the Maximum power saving mode, click it again and the icon goes back to green and no power saving measures.

What do you guys think (if anything)?

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 Post subject: Re: So, what's next after v18.1?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:20 am 
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Jorge,

for the power saving idea, what about sensing when a laptop is running on battery and making the power save switch automatically (or set by user)?

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 Post subject: Re: So, what's next after v18.1?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:24 am 
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winstep wrote:

These two modes would slow down the rate at which information such as CPU and network activity, etc is retrieved, from once per second to once every 3 seconds or so, stop icon (Wanda/animated icons) animations, turn off UI and dock/shelf activation animations, etc... There are a lot of little things that can be fine tuned to help save battery usage - the trick would be to figure out what belongs in yellow mode and what belongs in red mode.

In addition to being automatically triggered by the OS (and if you are not running Windows 10 you would still be able to tell the application to activate it when battery level reaches a certain percentage), the power saving modes could also be manually activated 'on demand' via a new 'Power Saver' internal command. Click it once the icon turns yellow and activates the Medium power saving mode, click on it again the icon turns red and activates the Maximum power saving mode, click it again and the icon goes back to green and no power saving measures.

What do you guys think (if anything)?


good idea, just a matter of deciding what should and shouldnt be slowed (or stopped) and how much.

IMHO clock module is something that should be least affected, since broken clock is worse than useless


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 Post subject: Re: So, what's next after v18.1?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:59 pm 
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Chuck wrote:
for the power saving idea, what about sensing when a laptop is running on battery and making the power save switch automatically (or set by user)?


That's the idea. :)

seeker wrote:
IMHO clock module is something that should be least affected, since broken clock is worse than useless


Ahah, depends. The digital clock does not show seconds, but it is still updated once per second just so the ":" blinks. This can be stopped with no ill effects. As for the analog clock, it can be drawn without the seconds hand, and thus only updated once per minute too.

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 Post subject: Re: So, what's next after v18.1?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:54 pm 
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winstep wrote:
Chuck wrote:
for the power saving idea, what about sensing when a laptop is running on battery and making the power save switch automatically (or set by user)?


That's the idea. :)

seeker wrote:
IMHO clock module is something that should be least affected, since broken clock is worse than useless


Ahah, depends. The digital clock does not show seconds, but it is still updated once per second just so the ":" blinks. This can be stopped with no ill effects. As for the analog clock, it can be drawn without the seconds hand, and thus only updated once per minute too.


didnt means seconds, meant minutes. it was actually the clock that made me point out modules stopping working while i was watching a movie on other screen as i noticed wrong time


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