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Some advice from a DF veteran?

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rscarrab
6 discussion posts
Hey all, first post. Don't hurt me... :lol: hehe...

I, like many other's; have been using Ultramon for a while now. It's functionality in Vista compliment's my Dual-Monitor needs for gaming and multi-tasking.

I'm considering switching to Win 7 as i have one license left on my family pack. After checking Win 7 compatibility against my most used program's i noticed that Ultramon (among others) isn't as "fleshed out" on Win 7 (re: what i need it for, mentioned below).

I instantly began to search for alternatives and read through a few threads, which brought me to an interesting discussion regarding Display Fusion, and it's ability to correctly render a second taskbar that sit's flush with the default window's taskbar (as is done in Vista with Ultramon). Most of the post's were from mid-2009. I looked around for more up-to-date information regarding Win 7 compatibility with Display Fusion & Ultramon but i couldn't locate the information i needed (possibly because i wasn't using the correct terminology).

Could anyone who is versed in Display Fusion --and can spare a moment :wink:-- please address these question's;

-Can you create game "shortcuts"? (ie. shortcut launches said .exe on the right screen, maximised and set to revert back to original display settings when exited)

-Is the Win 7 Taskbar (on the secondary monitor) rendered identically to that of the default one, AND is the functionality intact/the same?

-Are there 2 buttons added to the top of each window? (like that of Ultramon's, ie. Send to other screen, Span)(i believe there to be 3 w/ DF, though I mentioned it for clarification)

And if one feels finger-happy today; a nice straight-forward explanation as to where Win 7 and Multi-monitor support are at currently would be nice (though I'm sure my 3 main question's will suffice!).

I will be purchasing DF if my issues aren't... well, an issue. More importantly though is the fact that this is a deciding factor on whether or not i will upgrade my OS. Otherwise I'll stick with Vista till either UM or DF become more feature-rich in the Win 7 environment.

Cheers! :-D
Jan 25, 2010  • #1
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Cylon
36 discussion posts
Hi,

Im not a DF veteran but I can give you an advise, download the latest beta, you can use it with no serial key or download the last stable (non beta) version of DF and apply for a demo Pro version Key.

http://www.binaryfortress.com/displayfusion/trial/

In that address you can ask for a 30 days pro licence so you can have 30 days of all the features of DF so you can test all you need and answer all your questions by yourself.

I hope it helps.
Jan 25, 2010  • #2
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Habitats
46 discussion posts
Quote:
-Can you create game "shortcuts"? (ie. shortcut launches said .exe on the right screen, maximised and set to revert back to original display settings when exited)

Short answer; not yet. You can read more about it http://www.binaryfortress.com/Forum/index.php?topic=1485.0. The feature will, if everything goes as planned, be implemented in a future version.

Quote:
-Is the Win 7 Taskbar (on the secondary monitor) rendered identically to that of the default one, AND is the functionality intact/the same?

Pretty much. It looks identical, it support themes and the glass effect - only thing that is different is that the preview windows doesn't line up the same way, and the location of each task is a little different.

Quote:
-Are there 2 buttons added to the top of each window? (like that of Ultramon's, ie. Send to other screen, Span)(i believe there to be 3 w/ DF, though I mentioned it for clarification)

DF took this one to a whole new level. You can add a whole bunch (really big bunch as well) of icons up there, and you can customize every single one of em - as well as customize the amount of icons displayed. It's called titlebar-buttons.

Theoretically, you can add pretty much any function to a button up there - including those you mentioned.

Quote:
And if one feels finger-happy today; a nice straight-forward explanation as to where Win 7 and Multi-monitor support are at currently would be nice (though I'm sure my 3 main question's will suffice!).

The W7 support as today, it very good. No compatibility problems, however the OS is new and there's always bugs but the creator is very good, and fast when it comes to bugfixing etc.

Quote:
I will be purchasing DF if my issues aren't... well, an issue. More importantly though is the fact that this is a deciding factor on whether or not i will upgrade my OS. Otherwise I'll stick with Vista till either UM or DF become more feature-rich in the Win 7 environment.

If you purchase it you won't regret it. I've used ultramon myself, but I changed to DF when I moved over to W7. I usually try to use free apps, and well, this one is also partially free, but all the good features are let out in that version, obviously.

In short; this app is well worth 20 bucks, and you won't regret it - I assure you!
Jan 25, 2010  • #3
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Thanks Habitats, you've answered everything for me. :)

rscarrab, if you have any other questions please don't hesitate to ask.
Jan 26, 2010  • #4
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rscarrab
6 discussion posts
Cheers for the reply lads! :-D

Ye unfortunately I'll have to install Win 7 before i can tell whether it suit's me, Cylon. As tempted as I am to switch, i sure wouldn't do it for a beta; as I'm more a fan of stable releases (who isn't?). In essence; i'd hate to have to downgrade to Vista (oh yes i would...).

I checked the link that you posted Habitats; in regard to shortcut's. Jon states he'll be implementing it in the next 4-6 months if i read correctly.

"It looks identical, it support themes and the glass effect - only thing that is different is that the preview windows doesn't line up the same way, and the location of each task is a little different."

Hmmm... identical you say (grain of salt taken), any chance of a screen-shot? I've seen a few, just not sure whether it was from the latest build.
I would ask you to elaborate on the "location of each task [being] a little different", but i figure a screen-shot is better.

I'm very much on the fence, and my gut is telling me to wait, which i probably will do. If I am to part with "shortcuts" for the moment i need to be humbled by another aspect; which may be as simple as the look of the taskbar.

And thanks for dropping in Jon, It's a breathe of fresh air to see a dev with his finger constantly on the pulse. I believe your program has great potential, but most importantly can take advantage of a gap in the Win 7 market.
Jan 26, 2010  • #5
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
You can see what the taskbar looks like in this screenshot from the DisplayFusion download page:



It doesn't show you the motion of the hover colours, or the smoothly animated thumbnail preview windows though. :) You're best bet is to give it a try and see if it suits your needs.
Jan 26, 2010  • #6
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Kevin F.
438 discussion posts
well remember jon, he doesn't have 7 just yet.

contrary to that image, you can set DF to just display the icons, to rather perfectly match the windows taskbar. I really wish I had my cables for my second monitor right now, I would love to convince you to upgrade.

The win7 support is only really lacking the ability to pin taskbar programs...

Although it you plan on disabling transparency for your taskbar, that would put a nail in the converting coffin, as DF has an odd bug per the last version about that, I do not know if Jon has fixed it yet.
Jan 27, 2010  • #7
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Habitats
46 discussion posts
I recorded a little video comparing the DF taskbar and the W7 one.

Feel free to use the video for whatever.

http://www.habitats.no/files/dftaskbar.avi
(Colors got screwed over, I have no idea why, and uh, right-click + save as)
Jan 28, 2010  • #8
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rscarrab
6 discussion posts
@Kevin F, i presume one would disable transparency if it was causing performance issues? If so, i doubt I'll be disabling it. My system is well capable of running it without any expected performance hits.

"contrary to that image, you can set DF to just display the icons, to rather perfectly match the windows taskbar. I really wish I had my cables for my second monitor right now, I would love to convince you to upgrade."

Contrary to habitat's video as well (a sincere thanks, habitat, for uploading that btw); the programs in his taskbar are displayed similar to that of Vista. In Jon's picture above, it's look's nicer -more like Win7. Though i can't help but think that after a small run with Win7 on my gf's laptop, that the taskbar items are displayed differently to both Jon and Habitat's examples:


(Kevin, is this^^ what you mean by setting DF to just display the icons?)

Habitat, correct me if I'm wrong, but did you change your default Win7 taskbar? (is a vista style taskbar available in Win7?) And I'm going to assume that Jon's pic was of the second screen, which is meant to go with the default Win7 taskbar.

Compare the 'firefox item' in Jon's pic to the one in mine; is that literally how they will be displayed? (My pic; left, Jon's pic; right?)
Or if i feel like it i can set the taskbar to display just the icon rather than icon+text like in Jon's pic?

Well i have to say, I'm closer to switching now than i've ever been... Plus i want to use Digsby, but only with Win7.
Jan 28, 2010  • #9
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Habitats
46 discussion posts
Yes I do have vista look on my taskbar. I use this simply because I can't stand the W7 bar at all. I really hate it. You can get vista style by rightclicking the taskbar - properties - choose never combine under "taskbar buttons" and "use small icons".

And yes, you can get the DF bar to show only icons, like the picture you pasted. It supports pretty much any built in configuration in the W7 taskbar - and they all look, and perform, just like the W7 version.

I would upload a new video if I wasn't heading for bed - to show you the icon only - but I don't have time right now.

Either way, an upgrade to W7 wouldn't be something you would regret. The OS is simply _amazing_.
Jan 29, 2010  • #10
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rscarrab
6 discussion posts
Hehe, no need to upload a new vid, thanks!
Jon, you should consider making habitats your official PR person! He sold me.

Ye, so I'm gonna go ahead and make the switch, grab a pro trial of DF and --fingers crossed-- love it all enough not to downgrade (cause I'm a picky bastard).

I really do hope that Jon stay's on course with the "shortcuts" feature, as this suits my setup perfectly for gaming (22" LCD + 32" HDTV - RTS's set to left, FPS's & Driving games set to right)(HDTV is wall-mounted at one end of the room; connected with a 10m cable and LCD is located on the left of the recliner which faces the HDTV)(so not really next to each other per-say, but extended not cloned obviously) - the whole point of that is to illustrate how "shortcuts" can compliment a set-up like mine. It's very useful.
Jan 29, 2010  • #11
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benway
342 discussion posts
Another point that's not been made: Display fusion is half the price of ultramon.
Jan 29, 2010  • #12
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NetMage
232 discussion posts
I think DisplayFusion is far more functional than UltraMon on Windows 7 and it is in current development but I strongly disagree that it's secondary taskbar is comparable to the Windows 7 taskbar.

Besides the inability to pin applications, it also lacks the ability to combine icons, and lacks the ability to show IE or FireFox tab previews. Its animation of previews is lacking a lot of the polish and feel of the Windows 7 taskbar, and doesn't look nearly as good, and lack the Windows 7 highlighting of the active window, and the Windows 7 provision of the close button on previews.

In addition it doesn't support the click shortcuts of Win 7, such as Shift-Click to launch another instance of an application (pinned or not), right-click to get the jump list for an application, or shift-right-click for the Arrange Window menu.

It also doesn't support aero-peek.

It is better than UltraMon, and better than nothing, but a constant disappointment to me when I am comparing it to the Win7 taskbar one monitor over.
Jan 29, 2010  • #13
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rscarrab
6 discussion posts
@Netmage
Ah i see... Ye i've been tinkering with Win7 on my gf's laptop since i just upgraded it with one of the family pack licenses, I must say I really like what they've done with the new taskbar! Could i ask you (assuming you've been with DF through a few revision's); about the functionality that HAS been added to DF, is it getting closer through the updates? Or are other feature's (that i care not for, bar shortcuts) being added which in-turn is causing the potential increase in functionality of the Win7 taskbar to remain stagnant?

Regardless, I really do appreciate you mentioning this before i decided to go ahead and upgrade, as i would have been fairly disappointed. I'm only willing to pay $$$ if the Win7 taskbar functionality carries over, rather than having a slightly-gimped right screen. As i said it would have to take something of that magnitude to humble me away from my shortcut functionality, to begin with.

I sent off for a pro-trial license thingy by e-mail last night, but i think I'll leave it. I don't necessarily need to change OS right now, i just have the opportunity to. What i will do is check back regularly; and if DF or any of it competitors manage to get it right, than I'll hop on-board.

Full Win7 taskbar functionality would be a strong selling point, if i was you Jon i would have that at the top of my to-do list (maybe it is, no offense meant)... then again if i was you; Display Fusion would be a half-assed forgotten project residing on my spare HDD. :-D
Jan 30, 2010  • #14
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Barleyman
4 discussion posts
I have to agree. I do love the DF taskbar for the secondary monitor, but I am a bit dissapointed in the lack of Windows 7 taskbar duplication to the DF added taskbar. Any word on when/if this will be added? Again, though, thank you for this product! It by far has the best feature set I have seen as of yet (compared to UltraMon)!!

Adam
Jan 31, 2010  • #15
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Habitats
46 discussion posts
I really think you guys are being a little harsh on the stick here. Remember that W7 is still a young OS, and if you look at Jon's changelogs, it is one hell of a massive list every update. There's a lot of stuff involved in this. If you look just a few releases back the DF bar didn't even support themes, and looked like a default blackish nontransparent vista-bar, but hell, it's still getting better with every release.

Remember, this isn't a MS project, and coding functionality from the bottom and up is a hell of a lot more complicated process than most people are aware of.

Ultramon hit a dead end at the release of the W7 beta, simply because the development dropped dead - which is where DF caught my eye, and I bought it right away.

Even though I'd like to see more features, Jon's excellent customer support on this forum keeps ensuring me that I wasted no money buying it.
Jan 31, 2010  • #16
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rscarrab
6 discussion posts
In fairness now i did ask if the Win7 taskbar is "rendered identically to that of the default one, AND is the functionality intact/the same?"

Your answer being;
"Pretty much. It looks identical, it support themes and the glass effect - only thing that is different is that the preview windows doesn't line up the same way, and the location of each task is a little different."

To me, that seem's like a far-cry from what Netmage describes; lack of firefox + ie previews (!) without close button/same animation's, aero peek, no pinning (!), no jump-lists (!) and no shift-click arrange. "Pretty much?" More like not-so-much, dont you think?

Netmage was more concise in the sense that he knew what i was getting at, either you didn't or due to you using the Vista taskbar (as opposed to Win7) you weren't aware of how many features weren't available.

At the end of the day, I'm not here to make Jon feel better nor am i here to give any charity credit. I'd say he works his butt off, but realistically speaking this is a product which I am to pay money for and the bottomline is I am a potential customer. It's not my job to give him praise, that's his wife's job.

What I am here for is to find out whether DF suit's my need's, objectively. Until Netmage appeared i was under the illusion that Win7 taskbar functionality would carry over completely except for the positioning of preview windows & task location's being "different"; which came across as quite vague btw.

Look at it like this, if full Win7 taskbar functionality get's done soon than good, I'll pay and sincerely congratulate Jon for his work. I'd rather do that than lurk in the forum's waiting for an update and reading through changelog's all while thinking "why did i pay for this? It doesn't have anything that I want at the moment!".

I'm afraid that because Jon implements so many requested features, that the one thing that everyone want's get's put on the back-burner; a fully fleshed out Win7 taskbar.
Jan 31, 2010  • #17
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Barleyman
4 discussion posts
@Habitats:

My post was a simple question on the status of the features I found were lacking, and that is my opinion as DF is not my product (I wasn't chewing anybody out, wasn't complaining, just wanted to know if these were features I could be looking forward to in the future - that's it). And yes, I do realize what goes into software development, as I do it for a living:). So again, if this wasn't clear before, I genuinely appreciate this product and everything that is put into the development of it!!
Jan 31, 2010  • #18
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Wow, it looks like I missed some action in the Forum this weekend while I was traveling. I do plan on adding more Windows 7 goodies to the DF taskbar, but like Habitats mentioned, it's a very involved process. Windows doesn't always make it easy to do all the tricks that it does, but I try my best.
Feb 1, 2010  • #19
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Barleyman
4 discussion posts
Sounds great Jon and THANK YOU for all your hard work! It is much appreciated!!
Feb 1, 2010  • #20
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Kevin F.
438 discussion posts
Uh, what was that about not rendering FF previews? Have I missed something? Completely?
Feb 2, 2010  • #21
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
@Kevin: I assume he was talking about not showing each FF/IE tab in it's own thumbnail. Currently DF can only display the focused tab in the thumbnail preview.
Feb 4, 2010  • #22
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Kevin F.
438 discussion posts
And how is that any different than windows? I seriously must be missing something here, the preview support is near perfect as far as I am concerned.
Feb 4, 2010  • #23
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Habitats
46 discussion posts
How exactly is the thumbnail supposed to show multiple tabs in the preview?

I'm with Kevin on that one. I don't get this.
Feb 6, 2010  • #24
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benway
342 discussion posts
Quote:
I think DisplayFusion is far more functional than UltraMon on Windows 7 and it is in current development but I strongly disagree that it's secondary taskbar is comparable to the Windows 7 taskbar.

Besides the inability to pin applications, it also lacks the ability to combine icons, and lacks the ability to show IE or FireFox tab previews. Its animation of previews is lacking a lot of the polish and feel of the Windows 7 taskbar, and doesn't look nearly as good, and lack the Windows 7 highlighting of the active window, and the Windows 7 provision of the close button on previews.

In addition it doesn't support the click shortcuts of Win 7, such as Shift-Click to launch another instance of an application (pinned or not), right-click to get the jump list for an application, or shift-right-click for the Arrange Window menu.

It also doesn't support aero-peek.

It is better than UltraMon, and better than nothing, but a constant disappointment to me when I am comparing it to the Win7 taskbar one monitor over.

NetMage, I have to take issue with your attitude. One thing you should understand is that Windows7 is new and seriously different from XP. It takes time for independent developers to 'crack' its code to add mods like a secondary taskbar. Look around and see how many others are out there. Dang few, and the one or two you do find don't have half the polish and functionality Displayfusion has. Jon is the most hardworking, responsive developer I've ever run across. You can bet, if it's feasible, he'll pull it off. Just don't expect miracles over night (or for 20 bucks).
Feb 7, 2010  • #25
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Thanks for the defense benway. I do plan on supporting many more Windows 7 features, but these things take time.
Feb 8, 2010  • #26
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helmutjd
15 discussion posts
Just my $0.02 -- the Win7 taskbar on secondary monitors is not identical to the Windows taskbar in terms of functionality, but at a glance it *looks* identical (so it doesn't kill the aesthetics of your desktop), and the functionality it does offer is rock-solid and lightyears ahead of any competing product.

I'm a former UM fanatic myself, but I've gotta say that in terms of features, customization flexibility, overall "polish", and developer responsiveness, DF has the competition beat. I moved from UM to DF back when I was using Vista (now Win7) and for me it was a better solution then, and (particularly given UM's lack of Win7 support) it's definitely a better solution now.

The fact that it's just over 1/2 the cost of UM doesn't hurt either. :) It's by far the best $20 (now $25) I've spent in the past year.

Finally, two quick notes about earlier comments in this thread: Firefox and Chrome don't support tab previews on the Windows taskbar either, so that's a moot point unless you use IE. As for Aero Peek, does anyone really use the taskbar for that? Win+Space is your friend. :)
Feb 9, 2010  • #27
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
@helmutjd: Excellent points, and thank you for your support! I completely forgot about the Win + Space HotKey, always good to have the memory refreshed once and a while.
Feb 10, 2010  • #28
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b00bie
33 discussion posts
BTW

You can enable previews of multiple tabs in the latest version of Firefox. Type about:config in the URL bar and navigate down to "browser.taskbar.previews.enable" and double click on it to set it to true. Enjoy

Tom

P.S. DF is a hell of a program, thanks Jon
Feb 10, 2010  • #29
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
@b00bie: Excellent! I'm learning too much from this thread.
Feb 10, 2010  • #30
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NetMage
232 discussion posts
While I appreciate the difficulties involved, I am all about the honesty in reporting, the perfection in coding, Delicious design, and the Cluetrain.

I develop and support free software for hundreds of thousands of users. I appreciate the need to ship versus the final product (I have been developing software for 30 years). But being the best available doesn't excuse a product to me. Win7 has been available since January 2009 and written about before that. The release candidate has been available since May 2009. The taskbar improvements have been published about since November 2008, even by Microsoft.

I had hoped that UM would have seen this coming, and realized the potential. They didn't and I am know a DF customer, but one that cares nothing about wallpaper features. Secondary monitor taskbars and titlebar buttons are why I purchased DF, and I'll keep waiting for someone to provide a Win7 work-alike.

Jon's support is excellent, and I appreciate all he does.

PS I've been using the multiple tab preview feature in FireFox since it was made available.
Mar 10, 2010  • #31
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Kevin F.
438 discussion posts
Nice necro. Just be glad Jon does his best and leave it at that. If you stick with DF long enough it will be the closest clone of the taskbar that is possible, but you HAVE to realize that it is next to impossible to implement some features. And Jon doesn't expect an excuse form a user for being the best, the mere fact that he has continued on after surpassing UM shows this. There has been more than 3 betas in the last week alone.
Mar 10, 2010  • #32
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b00bie
33 discussion posts
NetMage

Would you care to share some of your other Firefox tips with the rest of us :laugh:

Tom
Mar 11, 2010  • #33
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