Well, a mixed bag of comments which is what I expected. Let’s go through the general issues before getting onto any specifics.

My initial feelings were one of dismay. Why did the first response just have to point to a bunch of Konfabulator widgets? Now don’t get me wrong, these widgets are great, but the fact is that there is nothing on that page that doesn’t already exist on numerous forms in the DesktopX libraries. OK, so the to-do list isn’t quite the same, but we have DX NoteIt which performs a similar task. Same goes for things like the Photo frame mentioned. Maybe it’s time people just reminded themselves about what already exists for DesktopX.

Imagery is superficial. Most people will acknowledge that my DX objects are not the best visually unless I have graphical assistance from others, but that doesn’t matter because people can easily change the graphics. There was a time when there was nothing appearing on the libraries but variations of calendars and weather objects and it drove me nuts!

As for “Official skinz” as one comment called them, for movie and game releases. Now there is one big issue on this – copyrighting. This realistically puts this out of bounds for those who care about such things. Believe me – obtaining copyrights is a nightmare!

Color changing. This is a good point and I welcome the opportunity to go into this. It is very easy to implement this in scripting so I too would be glad if developers would do this more. I will upload a generic color changer that people can use in their objects.
If developers don’t provide this then as a user the main issue is typically a “background” or “frame”. Therefore, look at the properties for that object, and go to the “States” tab. The “Color” subtab of this lets you adjust the hue and other colorization elements. Have a play with these until the developers catch up.

Documentation PDFs. Yep – there was a minor glitch in which the PDFs were actually installed as DOCs by mistake. The latest are here: http://www.desktopx.net/resources.asp

Another issue is that some of the requests are very hardware or software specific. This in turn raises two issues. The first is the developer having access to the hardware. I don’t have anything with Bluetooth, I don’t work behind a proxy, I don’t have a TV card and that makes things difficult to develop such apps. The second issue is the size of the audience. I have even restrained working on some really cool Outlook stuff on the grounds that not everyone can use it. The proxy issue is being looked at again however. My understanding was that as long as IE is set up to work with the proxy then DX should have no problems, but as I say, it’s being looked at again.

Scripting lessons – well I’m no expert, but I can help with most things DX related. Do people have ideas of what they’d like to see? I don’t really want to do a “How to use vbscript” as this can be found elsewhere, but I can try with other stuff if I know what you want.

OK now on to the specifics.

DX Functionality Ideas

Ability to change label backgrounds. This is relatively easy to do via script, but yes, I’d like this as a feature in DX for tooltip background images and the ability to colorise them.

Place an image behind IconX images, yes I think that’s quite a cool idea.

ObjectDock functionality? Never going to be possible to replicate in DX, but I really would like it is there was a DX class that could call upon OD+ functionality assuming it is running – like a flyout menu etc.

Menu builder. Yes, I’d kind of like this functionality, especially if we could use it to edit the right click menu too.

DX Object Ideas.

Mail checkers. Yes, I acknowledge that the current checker is limited. I’ll see what I can do. It may require a third party OCX if I can find a free one.

More dramatic weather on the desktop – keep watching for an upcoming premium theme

Address Book – Yep, I like this – this is something I’ll definitely take a look at. It will be Outlook based, because that’s what I have!

Sound gauge & visualisation – not sure if this is possible without a dedicated plugin, but I can certainly have a look at it.

Speech recognition – yeah this is definitely doable assuming the right MS Speech components are installed. I’ll see what I can do on this.

Chat etc - IRC – Definitely doable. Will look at this. MS Messenger – I did something for this for v4.6 of Messenger, but after that they really locked it down so you can’t access contact info etc via scripting. As such this is unlikely to happen. As for other chat clients I don’t really use them.

Countdown – easy to do. Will create soon.

Framed video clip – yes easily done. Coming soon.

Framed Image slideshow – yep, I’ll do this based on the contents of a specified folder.

Invisible screensaver – not really dx territory, but a Lock PC object should be easy.

Send to – Yep, should be easy enough too.

Magnifying glass – this is plugin territory – beyond me

Stardate calendar – is this Trekkie stuff? If so how would this work as it appears that dates are relative to the year 23somethingorother?

Alarm clock – yes I can do this.

Task Managers/Expose clones – This isn’t really that practical, especially as a lot of it would be repetition of the WindowFX “Tiles” functionality. There ARE limits as to what DX can hook into. Remember it’s not designed as a shell replacement.

Media Players – there are already comprehensive solutions out there for WMP and iTunes. What more is needed other than some different graphics?

Zoomers – What is meant by “zoomer calendars, clocks, media players”? Do people just want an object that zooms and then pops up these objects when clicked?

Forum/Newsgroup watchers. Not sure how practical this is, but I will look into it. The biggest difficulty is trying not to make the object too specific and inflexible.

Sports fan desktop – yep – possible – it’s just a case of finding a source for the data for the specific team. Any suggestions?

Sketch pad – I think you’re looking for a TabletPC

Screen capture – looked into this a while back. Think someone would need to write a plugin.

Clipboard manager – not sure it’s possible

Search bar diversity – not sure I understand this – what’s the problem with the existing search objects?

Media Centre Theme – yes definitely doable. Just requires some expansion of the media player objects as basically WMP could be used to control all of this.
Comments (Page 2)
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on Aug 14, 2004
I would like to see a desktop that was like a commercial beehive.

When you click on a comb (frame) it would slide up with an application on it such as Word, Excel - whatever the user wanted. On the order of cascaded windows.

It would be set up as a perspective view and the comb could be brougnt forward to increase the size or moved back to decrease the size.

Probably would be comlicated to code but that is just an idea.
on Aug 14, 2004
on Aug 14, 2004
If obtaining copyrights is a nightmare, and as far as I am aware this may or may not apply to a lot of stuff on your site, why not have anyone who submits widgets, objects, skins etc. indicate if they are willing to have their submission ( complete or part of ) copied, changed, revised etc. and turned into another object or widget for posting. I have played arround with several Desktop X Objects with bits n pices from all over the place and have hesitated to post them because of possible problems - - a statement such as " Please feel free to change ..... etc " would be OK and might even promote some very interesting results.

Also, some indication of what is and is not acceptable as far as copying, revising, changing skins, objects Etc would be useful.
For example is it OK to make changes to scripts, graphics Etc. and build a Widget from several sources. The basic concept of Desktop X allows this to happen
on Aug 14, 2004
How about accesing something similar to Cursor XP Special effects ( but resizeable ) from DesktopX objects. I am dreaming of the Fireball effect on mouse down and about 1/8 a screen max.

Also ... On the subject of dreaming How about a Wish List heading in the Library so that everyone can see what us users are dreaming about.

I used to have a nice little ap that threw up Subliminal Messages and Images to help others give up nasty habits such as drinking excess Coke and coffee, Basic examples were included which could be edited .... I think that this would be very popular and healthy.
on Aug 14, 2004
"Media Centre Theme"

I wonder if Microsoft will have issues with this, since they make people pay for Plus, and now you can get the equivalent of it for less.

Looks like a ton of good ideas though!
on Aug 14, 2004
What I really would like to see is a separate WinCustomize library where interesting, original, and useful scripts can be isolated from the gazillion of calendar, cpu meter, weather, and such objects. This will be done by the moderator. When a new object is submitted, if it is deemed original, it will be added to the new library instead. I think that would make DX object library much more useful.

on Aug 16, 2004
a scripts library?

people have told me before that to solve a certain problem, search the library for a similar object then look at the code.. but do you guys think there are enough odds and ends floating around out therethat arn't attached to objectsto make a library? that could be good, in my opinion.

on Aug 16, 2004
There's already a scripts category in the DX objects area. Scripts are always attached to objects. But that's how you can see the templates from which to start from.
on Aug 17, 2004
I've only just come back from holidays to jump in at this late point, but one of the biggest things I'd like to see for DX is the ability to have "hotspots" on the desktop in which you could place the cursor and automatically run a program, jump to a bookmark/url, etc. More like "invisible" or partially hidden (on mouseover be visible maybe?) This may be easily done, but when you're laying in a tent with your computer 100's of miles away, you can't try things out! What do you all think?

Also, Martin, could there be a change to the weather objects where the location ISN'T displayed on the main graphic, but placed deeper like the second location on some of the ones available or on a sub-screen? I guess it's more because since I know where I live and when I change the visibility of the string in most of the objects I've tried I get either script errors or more text starts to disappear? I can elaborate further, just get in touch via email and we'll chat!

Cheers all!
on Aug 28, 2004
"Sketch pad – I think you’re looking for a Tablet PC "

Martin & Design Caddy please note :-

Design Caddy,s Comments re. drawing on the desktop have some merit I believe, In fact I used to have an a Japanese freeware app that did just that, it seemed that you drew on a transparent overlay ( Over whatever was on your desktop at the time ) The app was about MS Paint standard and used a floating toolbar, you could save your drawing work and the background ( Wallpaper or whatever is running at the time ) in say BMP, Jpeg etc.

I don’t have the freeware anymore but after some searching found it at :-


The above is a link to the English version of the site.

However it’s now shareware. . . 30 Day Trial Then $20 ish.
The interface is a bit dated , ( could do with a nice skin & icons ) but it works.

How difficult would it be I wonder to make a widget/object to give similar results, It wouldn’t be as simple as a souped up Post It note I suppose ? - - - - - I don’t think all the features of MS paint are necessary and certainly no handwriting recognition would be required , as in Tablet PC, but a palette of colors and a few different line thickness would be enough to make notes and quick revisions on say either a resizeable‘whiteboard’ or the desktop itself with the ability to save, send etc.

Anyway thanks for the great work you are producing over there, it's so nice to see a constantly evolving site where there is something new & different every day

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