Published on October 4, 2004 By _Martin_ In WinCustomize News
As we all get more sophisticated in creating DesktopX widgets we are setting parameters. The issue with this is that, if these parameters are not organised in a consistent manner then where several objects need the same kind of information we will find ourselves having to configure these each time.

Before this becomes too much of a problem I propose that we create some standards that users can set and developers can access.

For example:
Name information (title, forename, surname, suffix, nickname)
Address (Line 1, Line 2, City, State/Area, Zip/Postal Code, Country)
Measurements (imperial/metric)

etc, etc

Do people think this makes sense? If so, what information do you think would be useful?
Comments (Page 1)
on Oct 04, 2004
Definitely a good idea. From my point of view, what would be needed is :

- Shorcuts (shorcut 1, url / target of the shorcut 1 shorcut 2, url / target of the shorcut 2 ...) (eg. Wincustomize, Word, Winword.exe etc.)
- Weather settings (location (eg. FRXX0145) measurement units etc)
- Media Player settings (volume (eg. from 1 to 100) radio names and urls (eg. CNN, http://www.cnn.asx))
- Time zone
- Language (is this doable ?)

Thanx for the great idea Martin.
on Oct 04, 2004
Please read *shortcut*, not *shorcut*. Thanx.
on Oct 04, 2004
This would be nice for not having to enter the zip code to each new weather object again. I always thougt, I've told DesktopX my zip code so many times, but it keeps asking for it.
on Oct 04, 2004
I'd say its a good idea. By the way, where are persistent variables stored now?
on Oct 04, 2004
Look a great idea to me.
on Oct 04, 2004
As food for thought:
How much of the user information could come from a MS Passport profile? (or any of the other similar solutions)

The type of information collected in these solutions could be a good starting point for discussion.

Having the option to wrap around an existing profile solution would make some users happy as they would not need to re-enter their information again. Could be written in a way to have importers/translators for all kinds of sources...
on Oct 04, 2004

I agree that this is a good idea. I think it should be structured in two parts: 1) A "GlobalWidgetPreferences" key that contains the sort of information you describe, and then a subkey called "AppSpecific" where individual widgets can store their own proprietary information (each in its own subkey), but in this agreed-upon place, instead of spreading it all over in random registry entries of disk files.

That will be better than the semi-chaos that now exists in terms of widget data storage.


on Oct 04, 2004
I have yet to create anything on this site (or any site for that matter), but I guarantee you, if I ever do, I will NEVER give you my measurements!!
on Oct 04, 2004
In stead of using the registry, how about using XML? I think XML will be more manageble than using the registry. Say if I want to transfer my settings from one computer to antoher, I would much rather just copy an XML file or and directory of XML files containg my setting than having to roam around in the registry to get them.
And besides this is the sort of stuff where the power of XML comes to life.
Though it would be nice of there was a central site that contained a list of these XML template files. Preferable somewhat managed so unnessesary duplicates are created.
on Oct 04, 2004
I think this could be good for color settings. IE: If my desktop is using Green as its main color, and that is stored somewhere, then when my app loads (and happens to have a Green color) I can set it to use Green as its default (which could be overridden if wanted by the user).

The XML could work ok, but that would mean if i want YOUR settings you can just send me your XML Setting file. That could be interesting.

The ZIP is a major one for weather Apps, its so dumb for all of us to have multiple places for this info to be stored.
on Oct 04, 2004
Couldn't this be a page in SDC? Called (perhaps) "User Presets".
on Oct 05, 2004
Excellent idea. I'm tired of setting stuff after theme save again and again. I would also use it for my crystallized desktop stuff and etc.
on Oct 05, 2004
yes this is good
and a good widget to create that maybe is distributed with dx in later builds would be one that lets you specify all this information in one 'wizard' [like when you set up a program] (at least the global information eg zip, name , (some things could be imported originally from registry as default and changeable by the user))
if we use xml it would also have to be in a specified directory or whatever
maybe as a persistent object but i dont want the information disappearing due to uninstalling desktopx or updating a theme
on Oct 05, 2004
OK - What I'll do is start working on a draft object for this and a sample of how to use it.

What I can also do is create an object that can read certain registry information that may be of use such as custom folders for documents etc.

I know some of use might be able to dismantle the registry but this would make things easier for all.

I can also look at a way in which the settings could be exported to a file and therefore reimport them. I think this would be easier to manipulate than an XML file (good idea though that is).

Oh and Donna, good one, that got my morning off to a good start
on Oct 05, 2004
I have a working model of this somewhere in my archives of DesktopX code. But I havent worked with desktopX in a long time, i always ended up very frustrated.
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