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 4)
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on May 19, 2004
How about a CallerID object? One that will display the Name and Number of a call coming in? Not sure if that could be done via scripting or not.
on May 19, 2004
I'm with you all the way Martin, this is a wonderful idea! I also like a lot of the ideas placed already, but one thing I haven't seen yet sub-tutorials on each of the sub-sections of the DX Objects. Not a generalisation, nor a "all encompassing" tutorial, but an example of each type alongside a working object with properly commented code.

Also, I'd be willing to help with coding objects, but need to know the abilities of each. A simple cross-referenced list of DX object properties, attributes, and/or default values would be wonderful too!

Let me know if I can help make anything or organise anything!

on May 19, 2004
It would be nice to have a screensaver run in a DX object. That way you could always have your photo slideshow, not only when you are away from the pc.

Just an idea.
on May 19, 2004
bottom line, DX in its current form is totally useless to me. i am running at 800*600, and i currently have 25 windows open.

a program on my desktop that i can only interact with via my mouse...

if i didnt know better i would say you are joking arent you?

give me a plugin that allows me to bind a keyboard hotkey, that will bring a given DX object, or set of DX objects to the top of all my windows (setting them to always on top) and then hiding them again when i press the same key a second time.

unless i have some way of finding the DX utils, then they are useless to me *shrug*. unable to use the keyboard to interact with DX, this is a major issue for me, since i am keyboard centric.

it is clear that i am not the only person with this experience.
on May 19, 2004
Only lately have i really got into trying to make a desktop object side menu bar that everything including the wather, calender etc will collapse too..almost finished and will post the theme soon.

DesktopX is really a good tool...once you get into it and take the time to get over the initial bewilderment. I found that the manual was a bit hard to get into (im a visial learner) and the idea of 'scripting' initially humbled me.

But after really is something that can be used really cooly. It can do everything Sysmetrix can and more...and I'm at a loss as to why there are such great Sysmetrix skins and hardly anything comparable in Desktop X.

I'd like to see a better manual for beginners, because alot of the stuff as to 'how' to get the effect u want wasnt in the one i got so i had to redo the manual with pics for it to make sense to me...and fumble around to find the setting and ways to put it all together.

Old habbits die hard I guess and those who use Sysmetrix are used to that progy, but Desktop X gets a really good rave from me (apart from the sometime crashes).

Id like to see more people take the challenge to do a Sysmetrix type desktopX object...I will post mine in the next week and hopefully generate some inspiration....glad this topic is here..just talking about this is going to hopefully create interest.
on May 19, 2004
Feline. The hotkey idea is good and is in todo list. However I suggest to use the widget concept more, i.e. make your objects widgets (export->Widget). Widgets are not bound to the desktop. They are accessed via taskbar or systray just like apps.
Object = desktop theme or desktop interfaces parts
Widgets = stand alone independent applications
on May 19, 2004
Hmm, about the new forum : This is the 4th forum I see being opened dealing with OD or components. I clearly think Stardock missed a chance 1-2 years ago to bundle all the information and interaction about OD and components in one place. Nowadays I have to go to at least to 4 different places to obtain information or do bug reports and the like. Stardock should have the ability to do a full clearly structered forum covering all the needs of its customers. I still think, newsgroups are not state of the art anymore for example. And WC forums are a mess, lets face it... Never understood the need to reinvent the wheel with selfmade forum software. Don't get me wrong, I still love Stardock, but not everything is perfect. This becomes clearer and clearer while all the OD programs functions become more and more and more complicated. A forum-software like Neowin has (Invisionboard) structured after the newsgroups would have been a good thing to begin with some time ago. And the new forums coming up dealing with OD show me that there is a need for that. I just wished there was a central place.
on May 19, 2004
Personally I see DX completely different than most people. I see it largely as a programming utility where you're not limited to making mundane grey rectangular programs. I try to make new and innovative items for it but I have two problems:

1. Thinking of cool (but doable) objects
2. Getting bogged down in the creation of the graphics.

What we need is a serious collaboration of the various elements.

Skinners (by this I mean the graphics experts)
Coders (those who can do scripts and have an idea about whether something is possible or not)
Ideas people (anybody who can think of a cool, functional object that has not been made yet)

I have realised that just lately I have been getting too commercial in my thinking. eg I made a wallpaper changer as a proof of concept object. This then rapidly grew into something much more with a customised listbox built entirely from DesktopX objects and I rapidly which I then started thinking about charging for it. But I realised that at the start of this skinning malarkey I was only in it to make cool stuff and share it. This is what I am attempting to get back to.

Some but probably not many will be aware of a website I created for submitting DesktopX bug reports and requesting Enhancements to DesktopX. This is at and is checked by the lead developer of DesktopX. Please drop by an report any bugs that have not already been reported there.

I will be releasing the wallpaper changer as a widget imminently.
on May 19, 2004
Sorry. Just realised I'm largely repeating what Martin said. Brain not fully in gear or something. Anyway I am wholeheartedly behind this project and will be available to help anyone with coding or other aspects of DX.
on May 19, 2004
An... If I had a desktopx copy I could think something else... but let's see...
How about and cd-or like that one in the glass project from Sun/Java?
on May 19, 2004
c42 it is desktopx stuff.
on May 19, 2004
Sorry if I seemed mean but I didnt realize my caps key was on and C42 you keep reffering to OD, and yes I know it sucks that WC doesnt have a good Board system but V2 shoul, at leas that is waht they say.
on May 22, 2004
Build REXX as an alternative scripting language into DesktopX. -)
Not kidding.
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