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 3)
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on May 18, 2004
What about an object that connects to Instant messengers? Like a buddylist that stays on the desktop, with alerts, and can send messages.

on May 18, 2004
Here are some ideas that I would do myself If I knew how to script:
a Wincustomize top downloads list
updated skins list
newest editions list
a wc file watcher that can watch skins that are "waiting approval" and updates by itself
we need more animated wallpapers
Weather objects that show doplar radar
A text\notepad like object that can save .txt files
a way to do virtual desktopX desktops
here is my fav one: a way to open games such as halo in a small window on the desktop (or just the entire desktop )
a script that indicates night and day better then the weather scripts so its easier to make those "desktops that reflect the users outside enviroment (weather) via lots of wallpapers for different conditions"
A way to open programs in desktop X
a desktop x theme that automactilly detects the currnt windows blinds skin and utilizes the WB skin's graphics to make a theme
this one is also a must have : A SCRIPT THAT ALLOWS MOVIES TO BE YOUR BACKROUND (cool)
A theme that is completely independant from the windows ui and lets everything run on the desktop
a rain object (kinda like the snow one only rain)
a cpu moniter that goes up and down like a heart rate moniter
on May 18, 2004
I've only made a few themes. I would like to be more creative, But I find that a lot of the information I would like to have isn't readily available. I took the advice that was given and tore apart other creators work, But some information can't be found that way. I have read the articals on how to make faders and dials and such, And they were informative, But along with the how to, It would be nice if you were to give us some suggestions as to how they could be used. Not all of us are techies, Some of us need more help than others. I know that you can't answer every guestion, And I wouldn't expect it. What would work though is a list of creators that would answer questions, and help us with scripts or other ideas that we need help with. Martins dock was a great idea, I like the way you can compact a lot of information in a small space. I have ideas that I have wanted to use in my themes but I just can't find a way to do it. All said a done what we need is a page with a list of ideas and people willing to help out. Its a great program, But can be fustrating at times.
on May 18, 2004
the cpu moniter would be able to go below its line too which would make it different from a histogram
on May 18, 2004
yeah ive been looking round for about a day and have taken a good look at all the DX objects, maybe a nice interactive trash bin would be cool. Like if you started with a pot and every time you stuck trash in it it would grow( it could be a bonsai tree ). That would be awsome
on May 18, 2004
Here are a couple of things that I would like to see in DesktopX:

1) An easy way to re-size themes for use on different resolutions. Gef's theme's for example are beautiful, but useless to me, since I don't run at the same resolution that he does.

2) A more configurable right-click menu (as others have stated, like the one in LiteStep).

DesktopX and Objectbar are two of the main reasons (along with WB) that I bought OD, but are rarely used, since for me at least they seem to be more form than function.
on May 18, 2004
The one object I've always wanted to have...a small bar the stretches across the top of the screen that acts as VERY configurable program launcher. Have buttons that trigger animated drop-down trays, with the links to all the shortcuts. Another feature is along the same lines, a customized menu from right-clicking the desktop, they way Litestep and Nextstart work.

I've been using DX quite regularly since the beta's of DX2, the one setback I've noticed is the lack of "coolness" about the objects. I don't really know how to describe it, but when you compare it to some of the Samurize objects...or even Konfabulator, they all seem to have that look about them. Like this for example... There are some really good artists creating DX objects, but there are also a lot of famous names missing. Most of the uploads are ports of other coders objects with new graphics, maybe if it were easier for a skinner to just skin something, rather than worry about writing code. If you could setup a way for people to submit working coded objects for people to skin them, one person can submit an object, and another takes it, and re-submits it skinned. A lot of this has already been said, but if DX made it easier for coders to code...and for skinners to skin...we would see the creativity go up. Just my personal opinion...
on May 18, 2004
Most of the Samurize configs I have seen that are cool are ones ported from Konfabulator.
on May 18, 2004
Which reminds me...I just wanted to add to my post, that it could work both ways. Skinners can submit skinned objects...which coders then download and put them to use. Perfect example would be
on May 18, 2004
I'm thinking along exactly the same lines as Hus...

I originally got DesktopX because I was sick and tired of all of those icons cluttering up my desktop, and DesktopX saved my sanity with those fadein or dropdown menus! Now, that's all I use on my desktop, and it's been a real lifesaver! BUT...

I had to go out and buy a large monitor, 'cause most of the themes are in 1280x1024, and I haven't mastered building themes. So I wind up installing ready made themes, and deleting all of the objects except for the menus, and using those with a WB skin that matches, and almost always a different wallpaper. Having the menus available starting at 600x800 would be great for a lot of users, I'm sure... as well as being something I could use on our second PC... Funny thing is, I've actually looked through the DesktopX objects archives for just exactly this, and there's nothing I ever found. I always wind up disassembling someone's theme... but the results are wonderful, and that's why I plan to continue to be a DesktopX user forever!!!

Hope This Helps, BK.
on May 18, 2004

The Desktop X Project, as I am calling it now has forums. No website though, I am looking for a designer and for moderators and other thigns. Look at the post in the news if you wnat to become a moderator. Please register. If anyone wnats to design a PHPBB skin for the forums please contact me and I will give you details on what skin requirements are. Hope you guys enjoy, again the link
on May 18, 2004
A lot of the problem seems to be that we're used to working with things in specific ways, so, for instance, if we want to access a word document, we either go to our document folder or open up word and open it from the most recent documents or navigate to wherever the document is directly. There's really only so much functionality a desktop needs unless you're replacing the windows UI interface paradigm.

Some ideas, though:

A full-featured script that easily takes a music play list (.mp3, .wma, whatever) and consolidates them into virtual albums which are readily available from the desktop. If I want to work, for instance, I highlight the object, rest the mouse on the shuffle-through-lists button, and stop on my "Work Music" icon, which automatically launches and plays the playlist. Being able to nest playlists ("All Day Work") would also be useful.

Similarly, an object which acted as a virtual document file cabinet would be useful as well. Something where I could hit a couple of toggles and open up the file cabinet for "Project 1" and be faced with either: All the files for project 1, all the .doc files for project 1, all the .xls files for project 1, etc. The ability to make new directories from this object, to copy/paste, etc would also be crucial. How does this differ from shortcuts and the native filesystem? Simple: It allows me to easily shortcircuit through as many directory paths as necessary. I don't want to have to build a web of shortcut links to have easy, multi-heirarchical access to my files. I like a clean heirarchy (I manage a lot of data), but I hate drilling down through 7 layers of directories to get places. Especially for reasonably infrequently used things. It's a great method of archival storage, but pretty lousy for access, and I switch between one mode and the other reasonably often.
on May 19, 2004
I have to agree with "Shakey (the Original)", Fully Agree! "An easy way to re-size themes for use on different resolutions." I woiuld Just like to be able to use some of the great themes already available.

or maybe a kind of Skin Studio for DX.
on May 19, 2004
I would have made some more complicated objects and updated themes but I am tired of DX crashing on me with every other build and losing all my work I have done before. See ? So I converted to user only.

Oh and thanks for ponting out that calendar and weather flood I have complaining about for months now... There are nice neutral onjects out there to use with every given configuration, no need to have a cut-and-paste background for every new skin one's using... But as long as wb-skinners give permission for that, the 'problem' will exist.
on May 19, 2004
My only wish for DX is that You, Martin keep up the great work and Mormegil would proceed with his great AlienBone concept along with doing new zoomers again.
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