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New Feature - Opinions Wanted

Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
I'm thinking of pushing the v2.3 release back another couple of weeks in order to add a new feature. The new feature is called "window caption buttons". It will let you have custom button on every window that map to HotKeys for window management. I'm looking for feedback on a few things:

1. Does this feature warrant a release date push, and as a result, more testing?
2. Free version would be limited to 1 button, where Pro can have as many as you want - is this fair?

This is something I have been tinkering with on the side in an experimental version of DisplayFusion, and I think it's ready for prime time. This feature is something I have wanted for quite some time, and I think now is the right time to introduce it.

Also, with the significant interface re-design and the huge addition of features I'm also thinking about bumping this release to v3.0 instead of v2.3. There really isn't any set rules for bumping the major version number, I usually only do it when the application changes significantly enough. If you are a current Pro user you don't have to worry - your license is a lifetime license, and is valid for any major versions.

What are your thoughts on all of this?
Feb 2, 2009  • #1
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Kevin F.
438 discussion posts
I feel that it doesn't warrant a push, the current version seems to be inches from done. This can present major issues and many unforeseen consequences....

Another question: What exactly do these custom buttons do? They map to hotkeys which do what? Bring it to the foreground? Or what does it do?
I would comment on the fairness of the free vs. pro but I don't really see what the idea does...
Pushing the version to 3 seems worth it, the new settings GUI makes it feel like a new major version.

And you never added the move all windows to one monitor hotkey .
Feb 2, 2009  • #2
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Carsten Franke
99 discussion posts
Hi Jon,

if I understood you correctly, you want to integrate something like offered by sizer:
-- http://www.brianapps.net/sizer.html
And I like this implementation much more than more buttons in my caption bar.

The idea itself is quite nice (that's why I'm using sizer...) but I have to agree flamingbob: delay this feature to v3. The current release took lots of time and contains lots of improvements.

Carsten
Feb 3, 2009  • #3
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
@Carsten: It would operate something like that, except the caption buttons would make it more UltraMon-ish... and this is a feature that has been often requested. As I am waiting for some language translations I am basically sitting on my hands, and have already started working on the next version of DisplayFusion. However, this caption bar feature is getting quite stable and I'm thinking of rolling it into this version, pushing the release date a couple more weeks and calling this whole thing v3.0. As far as my "roadmap" goes this makes the most sense, I just hate the idea of having over 20 betas. But, I guess that's what you get when you "release early, release often".
Feb 3, 2009  • #4
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Carsten Franke
99 discussion posts
Okay, Ultramon seems to be very equal to sizer. Also if it can do much more.
In this case I would appreciate to make the buttons / the menu entries optional.

You are sitting on your hands? Interesting expression. In German we would say "my hands are bound". Just a little language excursion. :)

It seems to make sense to decouple the language files from the binaries. Maybe you should think about a dynamic config window within the settings which checks for newer language files, downloads and includes them with one click. In a most ideal case: without restarting.

Carsten
Feb 3, 2009  • #5
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
The DisplayFusion implementation of the windows caption buttons will be much more configurable than UltraMon, but it's been a long time since I've used UltraMon so it may have improved. When you edit a HotKey you can assign it a window caption button image (from 18 pre-defined buttons) and then it will show up in the caption bar. This way you can create a custom HotKey, like one that sizes a window to 800x600 for example, and bind that HotKey to a window caption button for easy access.

That is an interesting difference in the languages, but "my hands are bound" is also a common expression in English as well. I'm not exactly sitting here twiddling my thumbs either, I work for hours every night on the next DisplayFusion Beta. It's just that I seem to have more time lately, and as a result the caption button feature has gained quite a bit of stability.

The language file suggestion is very good, and is something that was actually in an alpha (non-public) version of DisplayFusion v2.2. The reason I ended up taking it out was (at the time) the lack of free time for testing/localizing/stabilizing a new feature like that. Perhaps this is something I can look at adding back in for DisplayFusion v2.4 (or v3.1, whichever is next). :)
Feb 3, 2009  • #6
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Oh, on a side note, I hate the name "Window Caption Buttons". If anyone has a better name for this feature I am definitely open to suggestions. :) Here are my uncreative ideas so far:

- Window Caption Buttons
- Window Title Bar Buttons
Feb 3, 2009  • #7
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benway
342 discussion posts
I'm still not too clear on what these buttons would do. "Sizer", while cool, may not appeal to your average DF user. I'm up for macro's and such tho... What specifically would you be able to do with the buttons?
Feb 3, 2009  • #8
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
A picture is worth 1,000 words. In this image, you can see an extra button in the caption bar. This button maps to a HotKey, so clicking it will perform the same action as the HotKey.
• Attachment: CaptionBar.jpg [11,132 bytes]
CaptionBar.jpg
CaptionBar.jpg
Feb 3, 2009  • #9
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benway
342 discussion posts
Ah, I see. Looks very cool. So would the "HotKeys" be the ones in the Settings HotKeys dialog?
Feb 4, 2009  • #10
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
That's correct. This new feature is, of course, completely optionally and can be disabled as well. I know there are people who prefer to use only keyboard shortcuts, but there is another group of people who want visible buttons and don't want to memorize keyboard shortcuts. I'd like to cater to both sides, with the option to enable/disable any features you don't want.
Feb 4, 2009  • #11
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Carsten Franke
99 discussion posts
Quote:
I'd like to cater to both sides, with the option to enable/disable any features you don't want.
Also if I prefer to disable these buttons, you should take care of the settings window. There are already enough applications with totally overloaded interfaces (e.g. Miranda, Toad, Eclipse) out there.

Maybe it makes sense to include a select box "Show expert/extended options" or similar.

Carsten
Feb 4, 2009  • #12
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Very good point. One thing I have always tried to avoid is interface bloat. That is one reason why I can't implement everything that everyone suggests. This new feature will only add 1 checkbox to the settings window, and a listbox for adding "excluded" applications (ones that won't use this feature). This shouldn't add too much, as I already left space on the "Window Management" tab for this feature. That's why the tab is currently 90% empty - I was planning to implement this in a later version.
Feb 4, 2009  • #13
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Kevin F.
438 discussion posts
AhI see the functionality now. Definitly a great idea, but pushing back to v3 is still my take.

For the name? Hotclicks!
O yea... Sounds sexy.

And carsten: Why flamingbob?
Feb 4, 2009  • #14
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Carsten Franke
99 discussion posts
Quote:
And carsten: Why flamingbob?
"flaming" in terms of "flame" not "spamming in a forum". It was just a temporary inspiration to the word "pyro". It wasn't intended to be defamation or something like this.

About "Hotclicks". It's not really sexy (I am what I would call sexy (scnr) :-D) but it sounds good and suitable.

Carsten
Feb 5, 2009  • #15
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benway
342 discussion posts
Considering I was confused as to what the button even does, I'd name it something to the point.

Titlebar Macro Pack
Feb 5, 2009  • #16
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PeterDackers
44 discussion posts
Although I really like the idea, and if you use nice looking icons (like you did in the screenshot you gave us) it would be awesome.

But I agree with the others here saying you should hold on to this for a future release. My reason is thinking about all the people who bought DFP, who'd like to use a 2nd taskbar too. I mean, the current Beta has so many new features and changes that it's time to release it to the public (when everything is sorted out of course). When that's done, you can immediately start working on all those cool new features we beta-testers love to see :)
Feb 8, 2009  • #17
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Thanks guys - I really appreciate your feedback. I have come to my senses and will push this new feature to the next release of DisplayFusion. I have also decided that this release is so substantially different from the previous versions (both in layout and features) that the version we are currently testing will be released as v3.0. Thanks again!
Feb 8, 2009  • #18
John L. Galt's profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Just to put in my $.02:

When using the previous multiple monitor app, Ultramon, it had the ability to allow for those buttons as well. While I saw that the feature was popular, I personally disabled it every time. I am a KB jockey, and I prefer moving things via the KB as opposed to the mouse. Hence, I have to say "Thanks!" for moving back to the taskbar support instead of this feature :evil:
I am I.
Feb 8, 2009  • #19
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
I was never going to offer any less support for the taskbar feature, it just meant a delayed release date. However, now I am fully focused on releasing the final version ASAP. I'm just trying to clear up a few last bugs.
Feb 9, 2009  • #20
John L. Galt's profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Honestly, I have a semi functioning taskbar - to have a fully functioning one that is W7 compliant is more than I could ask for - you are doing some great things here.

On a side note - any plans to compile a 64bit specific version?
I am I.
Feb 9, 2009  • #21
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Full Windows 7 is what I will be working towards with v3.1. As for a 64bit version, it is already there. Because it is a .NET application it can target whatever CPU architecture it is running on. If you look in the installation folder you will also see a compiled 64bit DLL that contains specific 64bit system calls.
Feb 9, 2009  • #22
John L. Galt's profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Nice!

I amd going ot get the F# CTP here very soon and start playing with it - and using DreamSpark, I have the rest of everything already - so I am about ready to start learning how to build via crash courses....

Hope to be able to start making my own apps soon.
I am I.
Feb 10, 2009  • #23
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Have fun John - software development is definitely a great hobby (I might be biased though), if you've got the patience.
Feb 10, 2009  • #24
John L. Galt's profile on WallpaperFusion.com
I have patience - sometimes
I am I.
Feb 11, 2009  • #25
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