Published on May 18, 2004 By _Martin_ In WinCustomize News
DesktopX is an amazing tool. For $20 you get software that can do pretty much anything on your desktop. DesktopX is NOT just eye candy, it can be an awesome productivity tool. The problem is that it's just not as popular as it should be.

The main issue is the lack of really useful objects. There is some real creative talent out there and a few developers really push the boundary, but personally I get a little depressed when every other object uploaded is a clock, calendar or weather object. There's nothing wrong with these objects 'per se', they just become a little tedious after a while.

Do you want to help do something about this? If so read on ...

What I propose is a concerted effort by the DesktopX community to get some really cool objects on there. You don't need to be a great scripting or artistic talent, ideas are probable even more useful! I'm not looking for this to be a competition, no prizes, just a lot of self satisfaction.

Think about what you do and need during your everyday life. OK, so you wake up and read to news, check the time and date, look outside at the weather - we have these things nailed. What do you do after that? Do you have kids and need to check that the school is open? Do you need traffic reports to check the way to work is clear? When you get to work/school - what do you use - what tools would be handy or cool to have?

What I'm suggesting is the following
1) A core of USEFUL DesktopX objects
2) Simple graphics to allow easy customization
3) No "ownership" as such. If someone wants to use these objects I'd like to think that permission is not required - though credit is nice.
4) A team effort to improve objects over time. If you can provide an object containing the suggested improvement then even better
5) The creation of Widget versions of all these objects so they can be run "stand alone"

What we need is:
1) Ideas for objects - even if you have no idea how to make them
2) Developers willing to turning these objects into a reality
3) People will to provide patient support and help to those who want to TRY to create objects themselves
4) Any ideas on how to improve this process? e.g. Do we upload under a new consolidated user account?

If you can contribute on any of the above points, please do so.
Comments (Page 2)
4 Pages1 2 3 4 
on May 18, 2004
Im willing to make cpu meters if I am giving most of the graphics. I just need to know what you guys want. Also we will need people running AMD and Transmeta CPU's and 64 bit pcs because to have the cpu monitor it uses files available only on hte computer you are using. It is based off the cpu. Look at my candy CPU Monitor and you will see what I mean. I have heard it crashes AMD systems. All we need ar a few developers running different proccesors to allow for this to work. I can make the main part all they will have to do is edit it. If you would like to contact me regarding this e-mail at design ********at******* (subject should be wincustomize ¬ all caps&) Thanks
Also, I am going to have 6 hours a day to put into skinnign soon so be prepared for me to make my own theme after my IconPackager. My theme will be better than ay of my other work but obviosuly if someone wnats me to help them in this project to make DesktopX better that will obviously have priority for me. I like to help others and think I can help here. I might not be the best but I think I can if I spend quality time doing it.
on May 18, 2004
Oh and instead of a consolidated account. Maybe we could have it so that the programmer who does the final product gets it approved by the artists. THe programmer uploads it (becuase code problems are going to have more problems and are usually what needs updating) and puts a link to a page of the artistss choice (such as their userpage). That way more individual credit is given for hard work. It could be just coordinatinon between two. Also I havent had much time to read all the stuff because I am busy right now but If it hasnt already been offered I am willing to give about 200mbs of hosting space (php and email forwarding to all devlopers and a cpanel for whoever wants to be webmaster, I am willing to be webmaster). This would be a great way to keep everyone informed on this project and coordinate the project. PHP-BB is a much better way of contacting than the boards here at Wincustomzie because PHPBB includes everyting. I think it would be nice to give people a benefit to help with the project (THe benefit is the email forwarding account and maybe 2 megabyte of advertisement free webspace. BTW I think I would be able to support this without ads at all since I havea very good relationship with the hosting company. Anyways please comment on my ideas and everyone elses. I will be commenting tonight (tommorow for some of you) on what I think of comments above me that I havent had time to read. Anyways GO Yankees!
on May 18, 2004
Lazlo: Mail me a sample iCal file and I'm sure I can do something in a few minutes

Media Player - try this (
The standard shortcut menu will create a dynamic popup menu based on menu contents
Start menu - why a plugin. You could create objects that replicate pretty much what it does.

on May 18, 2004
How about a request section on the forums?
on May 18, 2004
I am willing to put that in but I just need people to help with a skin for the phpbb or we can just use theplain one. Martin please contact me I want to help but I dont want to do anything without your approval and stuff. If I put up some forums I can have them up by Sunday but first we need moderators and administrators who KNOW how to use PHP-BB. If you think you are a good candidate contact aim joedougdotcom or design $a$a$ joe doug .com (no spaces or anything and no special characters replace the as with the at symbol. I think it would be great to have a full featureed forum for this topic only. WSTaylor has one for general skinning I will create this one for DesktopX only. If anyone has any domain names they want to use or anything like that or a good forwarder tell me what it is and direct the DNS to an and I will set it up to go to the forums. Please I would love some help on this and maybe we can even create a project like faus-x except collaborative and for desktopx with a goal to create objects to make your deskop the only thing you need to use to do most tasks.
on May 18, 2004
upsidedownGC - I don't want to really manage this as such - I really want to community to drive it - as such you are welcome to do what you can to help. I am happy to help promote any forums though I really am not a techie type, but I will help where I can.
on May 18, 2004
Okay, after my AP Test on Friday I have a party to go to on Friday niht so Satruday Evening I sohuld be able to upload it. Please if anyone wants to help make theme for the foumrs then please do. Also we need a person good at designing a PHP-Nuke or Post-Nuke theme that way it will be easy to put news on teh site. If it gets too big though (over 5gb's transfer per month or if my host gets mad at me whic is unlikely then I willhave to put Google Ads. Anyways please contact me with subject wincustomize if you are interested in helping. All moderators who do a decent job will get an email forwarding accoutn and later on I will do it for art and programmin contributors. We need a tutorial writer and someone who known either post nuke or phpnuke to do the news submission. It will require many things. Anyways here goes the firealarm...g2g
on May 18, 2004
With the power of DX is it finally possible to create a NeXT like "dock" that would function more like a cross between the windows start menu and the OSX dock?

for example I would like to drag a folder from my start bar to the the dock and have it expand in next style blocks for say the first eight blocks then have a more button that would open a list.

Also I would like to have Next style app running indicators for short cuts in the dock.

look at the old Next style themes by myself and moremegil.j like these only much better and more dynamic out flyouts had to be hand configured for each block I like for it to be dymanic like the startmenu, but only for folder that you drag to it.

Jeez I hope some of this makes sense! This has been what I wanted form DX from the beginning.
on May 18, 2004
One idea I think of is similar to multiple desktops, as in Linux, etc. But not necessarily multiple desktops.
I'll explain.
The way I tend to use that feature is I'll have programs grouped by task on different desktops. So say if I'm skinning, I might have a button or object representing group 1 that I've put SkinStudio, PS, and maybe Explorer in.
And I might make another group that would be, say for browsing where I might have a couple of browser windows open.

The objective would be to be able to create groups on the fly, adding open windows as needed, and being able to call up a group when I want to work on a particular task and all the programs associated with that group are available.

Make sense?
on May 18, 2004
my guess is Stardock put a lot of work in DX and now nobody is really using it. I don't. To me it's just overdoing it. I don't need a bunch of crap on my desktop,I don't need clocks - there's one in the systray, i don't need a calender - i can double-click the systray, i don't need a media play - i have several, i don't need news or other content shown to me - there's websites for that, and i don't really care about what percentage of memory i'm using right now.

i don't need anything to be more productive - if there's something i want to do i just hafta launch a program from my start menu.

i think DX is a good idea (in theory) and is a good piece of software, but is it really worth it?
on May 18, 2004
Some people have made e-mail notification objects, but right now they only tell you whether or not you e-mail. Is it possible to make an object that scrolls the subject lines of e-mails too?
on May 18, 2004
^^Good Idea^^^

Maybe even a dropdown list with the subject lines...
on May 18, 2004
I would like to see an object that shows contacts from Miranda IM floating on the desktop with their status as it's icon to the left of the name label. I would like to have it horizontally along the top of my desktop but it should be able to go vertically too. Someone at miranda IM just released a program with samurize in mind called mirandaRPC.dll and it makes things that would make that possible available.

I would like a to do list thing that shows each item in it's own bar graphic with it being resizable to fit the biggest entry.

Is there a sticky notes object? If not there should be.

It would also be nice to see objects that can interact with cygwin or other command line things.

DesktopX needs a plugin to interact with Foobar2k. I would like to see something using that which shows a jewel case on the desktop with a drop shadow which shows the cd cover downloaded from and a generic cd if none found. Then show and empty case if player is open an nothing is palying and hide when player is not open.

on May 18, 2004
If these do not already exist:

1 - Virtual desktops - skinnnable and showing snapshots of each desktop, much like linux pager.

2 - User configured Start Menu. Like the Litestep or NextStart popup menu, skinnable and activated anywhere on desktop via configured action.

3 - I imagine this is already in place, but I see many themes that aren't resolution independent. The ability to stretch objects based on screen resolution (ie a filler graphic, or even a task list, etc.)
on May 18, 2004
I am not currently a developer with the DesktopX package, and I am certainly no artist, but have been considering what to do with DesktopX for a couple of years now. I am a professional developer working in several environments from .NET Java and web work. The problem that I face is dealing with the clumsy UI of the tools and the sheer size of them. I want a system that will present me project architecture and file editing/project building tools in an intuitive manner.

To achieve this, the Toolbar Virtual Window tool, the Object bar and Desktop X must be tightly integrated and this integration must be open to third-party developers. If I click on a zoomer that has appeared from an Object Dock object, operating in the context of a DesktopX object, I would also want the 'screen' to change to another panel oriented to editing source files - for example. This integration and control is not yet possible, objects are not aware of the change in state of these other objects and have no behaviour in response or control defined.

I think there needs to be a big push in trying to bring together these applications in a robust and formal manner, so that they are reliable, quick to load, have the ability to share data and communications, have some synchronicty in their interactions and system responses and do this without having to create a shed-load of hWnds.

There is an absolute need for some reusable components, I would like to see object dock objects contain other object docks, zoomers/objects that are placeholders for any other zoomer/object. Common Calendar, Clock, Weather interfaces so people only need to produce a skin and not develop the whole thing over and over and over.... There are some good generic objects out there, but they all reinvent the application they are modelling. There are no objects that know how to integrate into the Address Book, or the MAPI system, or TAPI, or Exchange, hooks into BizTalk etc etc etc. These common communication tools, when developed for skinners, will open up the market share no end and enable individuals to create the environment they need.

There are lots of others to think of, competant system tray objects, objects to contain the system quicklaunch, not reinvent it, hooks into Media Centre and Windows Media (does this exist already?).

There is a long way to go before the suite of applications can be used sensibly, in a professional environment and manner. Until then, I fear it will only be a toy, and I have so many ideas of how to apply this great technology to add massive value to mundane application areas, such as Operations and support and so on.

It will be interesting to see how these tools develop, they deserve to be far more widely developed for. Lets hope.

I will soon be kicking off some development in DesktopX and ObjectBar/Dock objects, to see what is *actually* possible.

4 Pages1 2 3 4