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6x7 App Launcher Testing

 
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Garrett
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:41 pm    Post subject: 6x7 App Launcher Testing Reply with quote

Wrought with pains of trying to find a simple and easy program launcher, I finally decided to make the most simple as possible program launcher.

Going on some basic principles and taking in many considerations, I believe I've come with the most obvious form of a launcher.... Maybe it doesn't follow the standard rules of things, but I think this will server it's purpose.

It ain't pretty, it ain't fancy, it ain't got any frills to it, no skins, no flashy this or that, no fade this and that, no bounching, no animations... It's simply in your face, launch the program, and get it out of the way.

Ok, description of it is that it's a program launcher that allows you as quick and easy as possible access to launching your most frequently used programs.

You have 6 rows of 7 buttons to assign programs too... Each row can be named by the user.

There is a launcher button which can be placed any one of the 4 sides of your screen, top, bottom, left or right. It's only about 48x48 in size, so it's not in the way. Clicking this button will bring out the launcher window with the 6 rows 7 buttons.

To add programs to the buttons, open the launcher window, pin it using the "Pin" button, move it to one side, then drag and drop an .exe file to a button you want to use to launch that program all the time from then on. That button now has the path and name of that program and assigns it to that button. If the name is too big, or you don't like the name and want to change it, you can open the settings window, select the tab that corresponds to that row, and edit the title of that button.

If you decide you want a different program in that buttons place, simply drag the new program to that button and it will overwrite the current one.

Or, if you don't like using the drag and drop way of adding programs, you can add program via the settings window on each tab that represents a row. As well, you can edit or delete programs from there.

Interaction and program responses and actions...... Clicking the remote button on one of the sides of the screen opens the launcher window. The window then stays open until either you hide it, exit it, or move the mouse away from the window. Also, if you launch a program, the window will close it self within a short period of time, or you can launch more programs before the window hides itself... If you launch another program, the timer starts over before it closes itself, or it will close itself if you move your mouse away from the window after launching a program, or again, by clicking the hide button.

here's some screen shots that hopefully convey what I'm going for here:

Here's the remote button that is used to open the launch window.. Sitting at the top of the screen, being just a size of a large button, it's unobtrusive and does not interfere much with the title bar of a program, nor does it interfere much with scroll bars if you place it on the right side.


Here is the launcher window itself, which opens dead center of your screen once it's launched


Here is the initial settings


And the tab for the first row of buttons


I'd really like some input if anyone is interested in such a program. Any bugs, any suggestions, anything I forgot? My whole intent and point is to make this the most simple to use program launcher possible. I'm so tired of sifting through menus, trying to aim and hit freaking tray icons, autohide bars that pop up and screw up a full screen game when you move your mouse to where the autohide bar is etc.... I want a program launcher that's easy to get to, easy to find what I need quickly, and then get the hell outta my way!

Anyway, here's the download:
http://www.paraboliclogic.com/6x7applauncher/6x7AppLauncher-2007.10.01-windows-installer.exe

Complete with uninstaller, but! It doesn't uninstall one file, and that's the ini file used which is located at in the "Application Data" directory and is named "6x7 App Launcher.ini" and you'll need to manually delete that. Sorry, but still fumbling with this darn installer thing I use here. They updated it and changed the interface and now I can't figure out how to get it to delete files created after the install.

Files installed are all in the "Program Files" directory. No files are installed into your Windows directory or the System directory.

Last notes..... The remote button has no loops or timers so uses barely any memory or resources. The launcher window of course does use some loops and timers, but shouldn't even register much at all on any cpu, even on an older cpu. So the program is light and easy on memory and cpu.

Thanks to anyone who gives it a whirl here.
~Garrett

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Tdk161
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice Very Happy
I found this




but I like very much your Idea
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Garrett
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Button doesn't work for anyone, sorry 'bout that. Not sure how I missed that one, but seems I did. Sad

Thanks for checking out my program Smile
~Garrett

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Rebel49
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree Garrett, a good launcher is hard to find.

Heaven knows I have been looking for years.
I'll try to find some time to give your app a "whirl"


REB

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Serge
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey garrett,

i have no need for such a program but i like the idea, the simplicity and the design Smile Smile Smile

serge

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PGWARE
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could add more programs by using a small mouseover arrow (back and forward), it then scrolls the icons to the left/right to display more programs. This allows a clean interface while allowing more than 7 programs per category.

Also you could allow the categories to be user definable, also adding and up/down arrow to show/hide more categories.
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Serge
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Also you could allow the categories to be user definable


aren't they already under 'section title'? Smile

serge

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Garrett
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, row titles are user defined.

I specifically chose to have only 6 rows and 7 buttons for each row. My hunch is that nobody has more than 7 frequently used programs for any specific category of software, except maybe for games. And there are about 6 general categories of software. Anything not frequently used, well, no need for uber quick access to those, so Start Menu for those. At least that's what I'm thinking at this time.

I've been using this myself for a few months now, and for me at least, this has held true. But now that I've asked for some others to try it, I'll see if other people's needs are near mine or not.

My main goal of course is speed and ease of use. My only concern at the moment is if the remote button is quickly enough accessible or not. Slinging the mouse and hitting a target too small can be a pain, but if the target is too big, then it's going to be in the way of something else. I'm considering adding some code that will enlarge the remote button when the mouse get's near it, say within a 50 pixel range, and then enlarge the button to maybe 60x60ish.... Any thoughts on that?

Thanks everyone,
~Garrett

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PGWARE
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could actually make it dock at the top of the screen or any of the other sides of the screen, when the mouse is placed there for 2 or more seconds and has not moved then slide out and display the panel.
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uvedese
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrett!! Thumbs Up

Hi! A cool application. Shocked I like, overcoat, the graphical design. It's very useful. A great idea

I hope for new versions with improvements and extension of possibilities...

... I will add a link in my web about "6x7 App Launcher"
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Skit3000
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gave it a go and here are my two (three) cents Smile
  • The ability to drop shortcuts on the screen and maybe complete folders (like My Music or My Documents?) would be real nice! Smile Also, I know a lot of people have documents they edit real much (like for their finances or a diary), so maybe that might be something to consider as well? Smile
  • A way to move the Remote button, for example by right clicking on it?
  • When holding the mouse over a program's button which has a name which is too big for the button, you might want to show a tooltip?
I get an "List index out of bounds"-error every time I exit the application if I changed/removed/edited a button.

Other then that, it's a pretty little program Smile

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Garrett
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you are getting the list error, what portions of the program do you have open? Settings only? Both main window and settings window?

And thanks for the input everyone. Along with some other input on another forum, I've already been making fixes and will consider the suggestions given.

~Garrett

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Skit3000
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrett wrote:
When you are getting the list error, what portions of the program do you have open? Settings only? Both main window and settings window?


I get it when I have got the main window open. I do have Vista running so I don't know if it can have anything to do with that?

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