Idea - Taskbar Replacement


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:whistle:

The app you speak of makes the taskbar transparent while keeping the icons opaque? I searched google for 'taskbar transparent' but it was too vague. can you provide a link please? :)

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Thanks a lot :rofl:

But ... All this Stuff also make the Icons transparent . that suckZs , a Taskbar without background is very nice'er

Edited by alex1986
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I always thought minimize to icon would be cool, since I usually use my desktop as a work surface (drag and drop open documents to it).

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Do u mean like have it minimize to like a small panel taking up almost nothing of the screen, and then when you click it it can slide out? Kinda like linux... cos if so yes thats an awsome idea and should be implemented.

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i use a program that does this on my work pc but i'll be damned if i can remember what its called.

when i boot into windows i just kill explorer and use the menus which slide up from the tabs on the side of my screen...... bbiab when i remote into work

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Do u mean like have it minimize to like a small panel taking up almost nothing of the screen, and then when you click it it can slide out? Kinda like linux... cos if so yes thats an awsome idea and should be implemented.

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Nope, I mean minimzed programs go straight to the desktop as an icon, best if as an icon with a little screenshot. Move them around like normal icons, click on them again to remaximize.

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Nope, I mean minimzed programs go straight to the desktop as an icon, best if as an icon with a little screenshot. Move them around like normal icons, click on them again to remaximize.

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Could be done mate, however thats not really part of the taskbar, but this is however our interface and so possibilities are limitless :p, although we'd still need a coder :s anyone willing to try *nudge*menge*nudge*menge*nudge

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For some reason I don't see your idea as being very practical or make navigating programs any easier. What's the difference between this and seeing all the open windows, or trasktray items, WITHOUT having to click a button to see them? Sort of seems like more clicks and less productivity to me...

I would prefer a design like the sidebar that is in Longhorn. Now that could add some more productivity, especially on a widescreen monitor. I already span my taskbar to take up double width so I can fit more open windows and also more Quick Launch items. Now if there was something that could somehow make that even more efficient... eye candy always comes less, and the more stuff you can see on the screen at once without having to click a button to open a list of open programs the better. That's whats good about the Windows taskbar, and not so good about the OS X bar.

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For some reason I don't see your idea as being very practical or make navigating programs any easier. What's the difference between this and seeing all the open windows, or trasktray items, WITHOUT having to click a button to see them? Sort of seems like more clicks and less productivity to me...

I would prefer a design like the sidebar that is in Longhorn. Now that could add some more productivity, especially on a widescreen monitor. I already span my taskbar to take up double width so I can fit more open windows and also more Quick Launch items. Now if there was something that could somehow make that even more efficient... eye candy always comes less, and the more stuff you can see on the screen at once without having to click a button to open a list of open programs the better. That's whats good about the Windows taskbar, and not so good about the OS X bar.

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I think you're missing the point of this. At least, if my interpretation of what DayleRees wants is right. I think it basically comes down to better, more efficient grouping. This is one of my favourite features of XP, but it makes sense to have the menu drop down from a single, clear icon, without the window title being displayed too.

Especially when using things such as web browsers. Having "Neowin.net -> Replying..." doesn't really help me identify that yes, that is my browser there, any more than the little Opera icon already does. Even more so with tabbed browsing.

Now, the person who suggested having tiles, as in larger, more visible icons to represent programs, is onto a winner. If they could expand to show details about open windows of that application etc. on a mouseover, that'd be a permanent fixture for me. If it could be done with a smooth animation too, I'd be even happier.

As for your comments about the OS X bar not being so good, thats a design feature. Its called the Menu Bar for a reason- it only shows the menus relevant to the application in focus. You can quite easily see what apps are running by taking a glance at your dock, where the icons are quickly identifiable. Once you've disabled the unnecessary zooming effects and made the placement a little more accessible of course.

But thats what it comes down to really. Whats usable for you. You say yourself that you have the taskbar double-width with loads of quicklaunch icons. I personally can't stand having my taskbar use that much screen space, and I find quicklaunch a useless eyesore. But thats just me.

Anyway, if this idea can be realised, with D3D hardware acceleration, it'll be an improvement to a feature not even available yet- DWM for Longhorn. By the community. And I think that's great.

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toastyghost thanks for that, nicely written :), yes thats almost exactly what I mean, but also this is the customization thread, i feel so much more eye candy could be put into this bar without losing usability. BTW with the desktop tiles thing you were talking about, how would you see them with windows maximized? I had an idea to fix this which would be a tiny button on the dock which brings them all to front.

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I always thought minimize to icon would be cool, since I usually use my desktop as a work surface (drag and drop open documents to it). I guess the mac bar is like that, sort of, but I'd like to be able to put the icons anywhere.

Oh, and the litestep right-click menus are the way to go. Taskbars + start panels suck.

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I'm not familiar with litestep. Care to elaborate on these right click menus?

BTW, you guys are talking about creating a shell replacement. Explorer is Windows' default shell. It includes the desktop and taskbar. Kill explorer and there goes your desktop and taskbar.

So if you ever make a replacement taskbar, you need a replacement desktop as well. And then all the programs that use "pin to desktop" options may not work because the hWnd of the desktop used by explorer would not be the same as the hwnd of the desktop of whatever app you create.

Also, here's something to keep in mind. If you have a, lets call it "task management bar", and its on any side (for reference, we'll say its on the bottom), it would look ugly if it didn't span the entire length of the screen. Why? If you have a program maximized, it still has all the borders, they are just off parts of the screen you can't see. So where the task management bar wasn't, you would see a tiny bit of border of the maximized window, and then some of the desktop wallpaper. It wouldn't look too good.

I like the idea of having a system tray that expands outward from the taskbar, rather than having it take up space in the taskbar. As for ideas involving actual switching between tasks, I feel this thread is lacking ideas for such, and I have none to contribute either. What we need is something truly innovative.

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I'm not familiar with litestep. Care to elaborate on these right click menus?

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Being a heavy litestep user for many years, I can do the elaboration you request.

Basically, litestep is a full shell replacement. And its barebones - you have to install user created themes to show anything, be it icons, taskbars, etc.

Because of the immense flexibility it offers, its entirely up to the theme creator whether or not to put in a graphic or piece of text that initiates the "popup". This being the menu where you can access settings, programs, whatever. It's totally customizable. Because there's nothing to force a theme creator to insert a start button ripoff (and rightly so), this menu is spawned by a right-click on the desktop area. And custom popups can be spawned by modifier keys, for example, in my themes, I set the colour changing and item toggling options to be on a seperate menu, created by shift+right-clicking.

The right-click menu feature is the one I miss most when using explorer. There are third-party programs that add a similar function to middle-clicking in explorer, but they never seemed fast or flexible or attractive enough for me to use daily.

I'm actually coming around to the idea of trying to code this, or something like it, for litestep. I'm an experienced themer, and if anyone is good at programming, they could modify the module taskbar3.dll to support .png transparency, and much of what's requested could be done. But without D3D support, sadly.

Even so, it'd save a hell of a lot of work. And if AveShell can get away with using Samurize as a base, then I don't see why this project couldn't use a well-established and stable shell replacement.

Any takers?

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The right-click menu feature is the one I miss most when using explorer. There are third-party programs that add a similar function to middle-clicking in explorer, but they never seemed fast or flexible or attractive enough for me to use daily.

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Too true. What Step themes have you done?

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Ok so here is my rendition. The programs are shown as icons, when hovered over the title appears next to the my programs bar. The programs are scrollable through (thus saving space from large start menus). Next there is the media task bar button, when clicked it slides out and it's kinda of like y's dock ish with the buttons (for example i have my music and my photos folders). Finally for running programs, they are also stored as icons to save space and when hovered over a tooltip says the name :p...that's about it... sorry about the bad photoshopping hahha i suck at this. But i think it would be an improvement to the already taskbar (mind you i have an apple skin on) -- Tell me what you think.

post-96127-1108525988_thumb.jpg

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all these ideas are just eyecandy. It doesn't really improve functions of the taskbar. With quicklaunch and button grouping, its pretty much there in terms of practicality. If you want eyecandy, just use a dock, especially objectjock plus, giving you all sorts of ways to access your icons or shortcuts.

What I like to see is customization for the start menu and the system tray, which currently you can't do much about. I would like options to put the start button in different locations, like on the right hand side. And ways to rearrange the items on it. As for system tray, it needs to do more, like allow any app to dock in it, without having the developer adding it in as a feature. Like if I want to have Outlook or Windows media player or Photoshop to be in the system tray only, I should have the option to do so.

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Ok so here is my rendition. The programs are shown as icons, when hovered over the title appears next to the my programs bar. The programs are scrollable through (thus saving space from large start menus). Next there is the media task bar button, when clicked it slides out and it's kinda of like y's dock ish with the buttons (for example i have my music and my photos folders). Finally for running programs, they are also stored as icons to save space and when hovered over a tooltip says the name :p...that's about it... sorry about the bad photoshopping hahha i suck at this. But i think it would be an improvement to the already taskbar (mind you i have an apple skin on) -- Tell me what you think.

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looks easy to do in litestep, and you wouldnt even need to use scripting.

xlabel, xpopup and xtaskbar make it easy to get all the effect and options you want (alpha maps, scroll the icons, separated taskbar for running applications, etc)

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Truelaunchbar can pretty well do this.. and a systray plugin is on its way too.

Try the free version of TLB.. FreeLaunchBar at www.freelaunchbar.com

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