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BB5 on the way


Best Answer xoblite , 08 May 2020 - 04:00 PM

Hello all,

 

first of all, let me emphasize how happy I am to discover that there is still some interest out there for *box in general and obviously xoblite in particular!  :smile:

 

When I picked up the then roughly 8-year-old (!) xoblite bb4 RC3 codebase back in early October last year, it was more like a just for fun, revisiting an old love kind of thing. However, some of the foundations I had worked on for bb4 before losing interest (read: after having been at *box in a leading role for almost 10 years) turned out to be pretty solid foundations for further development, and I also had a pretty clear vision for what I thought a new xoblite release and shell for 2020 and (hopefully) beyond should be, and not be - often the more important prioritization in any form of product management. I will tell you more about everything in xoblite bb5 later, but at least in my own opinion it has turned out really well so far, and also way beyond what I was envisioning back then. I hope when I manage to wrap everything up that you will like it too, but the message is still the same as it was back in October:

xoblite will return. Expect different. Switching to bb5 mode, stay tuned... :D

 

With that I mean you should expect great things, but also something different compared to maybe what you're used to. For those of you who haven't been along for the entire journey, the xoblite and bb©Lean(Mod)(Zero) codebases have very little in common, so don't expect full feature parity with every little nitty gritty feature of those shells. Expect the old xoblite extra-large-supercharged and then some, with a long list of features not supported by any of the other branches - some of which you've seen hinted about in my various screenshots here and on boxshots. All in all, it's a pretty massive release - probably one of the biggest I've worked on at least. But again, more on this some other time.

 

So, apart from the many tens of thousands of lines of code of a project the size of xoblite, what else keeps a guy like me busy?

 

  • Hey, I'm 48 years old nowadays, and I have a wife and two kids. They probably (ahem) think (ahem) I am a bit geeky polishing pixels again, but obviously they deserve some love still...  :wink:
  • I have quite a lot to do at work, which with the covid-19 situation on top means being at home, in front of a screen, 40-50 hours a week, even before considering additional "in front of a screen" pet projects like these.
  • A good shell developer needs to properly eat his own dogfood, and I do that by working on plugins to test/harden various aspects of the shell as well as the plugin API. Last I counted (hehe), I had 6 new plugins lined up for release with or shortly after the release xoblite bb5; I will tell you more about these later too. But as a small teaser (in addition to my previous screenshots that is), they are called xDesignerGUI, xDesktopLauncher, xDesktopMeter, xDesktopAnimation, xDesktopNowPlaying, and BBCorsairCUE. Guess away!  :tongue: (and no, these are not half-assed efforts either, I don't do that really :blush2:).
  • The more mundane stuff: Packaging (read: I don't outsource anything, so I need to create some nice styles/themes/etc to go with any release), documentation especially, but also website (and later some GitHub) updating, miscellaneous logistics, suitable grassroots marketing, etc - they all need at least some level of attention. With regards to documentation, keep in mind that not all users are equal, even though everyone in this thread are of course 1337 *box die-hards. Just sayin'...  :cool:
  • Keeping a certain Greek guy with an endless list of feature requests at bay. This is probably the toughest of them all...  :wallbash: :wink:. The rest of you are peanuts by comparison...  :thumbsup:
  • Finally, maintaining the fun is key as always - without the fun it's simply not worth the hard work, and as you can understand by now, it's a LOT of work. Taking pauses and time-outs every now and then is simply necessary - in all walks of life.

Last but not least - mea culpa, I'm a bit perfectionist, and my "Release Candidates" are typically pretty solid. But though sometimes slow, I am making great progress, even though I don't want to commit to a certain release date. So, when it's done. Keep the faith!  :yes:

 

Over and out

 

BR//KHH (qwilk/@xoblite)

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#1 lukefury

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 04:03 AM

Attached File  TIM截图20200131115720.png   31.37KB   14 downloads


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#2 pitkon

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 06:27 AM

Yes, indeed, as already reported here http://blackbox4wind...-been-too-long/ and here  http://blackbox4wind...h-us/#entry4212 Rounded corners just... well, around the corner, guys :)


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#3 lukefury

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 06:41 AM

bblean works still well on my win10 64,looking forward. :tongue:


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#4 Zero Senki

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 06:59 AM

Can't wait to see what the 5th iteration of Blackbox will bring to the table.


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#5 pitkon

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 09:19 AM

bblean works still well on my win10 64,looking forward. :tongue:

You mean Grischka's original one?



#6 lukefury

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 02:59 AM

You mean Grischka's original one?

 

likely

 

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#7 pitkon

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 09:04 AM

Yes, this is the original one, an improvement over his earlier 1.16. Obsolete now, imho. Newer builds offer so much more.



#8 lukefury

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 12:19 AM

waiting BB5, :lol:


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#9 lukefury

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 05:20 AM

Yes, this is the original one, an improvement over his earlier 1.16. Obsolete now, imho. Newer builds offer so much more.

is there any new information?



#10 pitkon

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 05:44 AM

Yes, looks like qwilk is implementing 8-color gradients to his new build. VERY exciting. Will upload a screenie the soonest possible.


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#11 pitkon

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 07:37 AM

Here's a Xoblite 5 8-color gradient as promised...

 

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#12 crowmag

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 04:12 PM

Interesting...

Question 1: Will this be available across all gradient types?

crossdiagonal | rectangle | pyramid | pipecross |  elliptic | horizontal | vertical | diagonal

Question 2: Will this be stipulated in the style file as:

<name>.color1: #xxxxxx
<name>.color2: #xxxxxx
<name>.color3: #xxxxxx
<name>.color4: #xxxxxx
<name>.color5: #xxxxxx etc.?

...

I guess this also means that virtually ALL plugins will have to be rebuilt, that's a pretty hefty task!


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#13 pitkon

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 05:24 AM

Interesting...

Question 1: Will this be available across all gradient types?

crossdiagonal | rectangle | pyramid | pipecross |  elliptic | horizontal | vertical | diagonal

Question 2: Will this be stipulated in the style file as:

<name>.color1: #xxxxxx
<name>.color2: #xxxxxx
<name>.color3: #xxxxxx
<name>.color4: #xxxxxx
<name>.color5: #xxxxxx etc.?

...

I guess this also means that virtually ALL plugins will have to be rebuilt, that's a pretty hefty task!

First of all, soooooo good to see you again, my friend!

1) You are forgetting split and mirror graphics. :) I am sure the answer will be (finally) yes.

2) I don't see why not.

3) Not necessarily. But we do know that Xob didn't always work with some BBLean plugins, right?

I am sure qwilk will answer all these questions more precisely :)


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#14 lukefury

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 01:38 AM

when bb5 will be avalible,any schedule released? can't wait. :laugh:


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#15 Zero Senki

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 06:30 AM

when bb5 will be avalible,any schedule released? can't wait. :laugh:

I'm on the same boat as Luke.


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#16 xoblite

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 05:50 PM

lukefury, pitkon, Zero Senki, crowmag:

 

Sorry about the radio silence; I've been down with flu+pneumonia for a couple of weeks so I had to prioritize other things, but I'm delighted to hear about your interest in the upcoming xoblite bb5!  :)

 

As for the release schedule... well, code-wise it's getting closer by the day, but there are many additional things that I - yeah still the one man show sorry  :wink: - also need to wrap up as part of the release process, such as website updating, new documentation, new example content (styles, themes...), etc, and in the end I don't want to promise something I will not be able to keep, but rest assured I'm working as hard as time+life allows at the moment; I will of course keep you posted about any developments!  :thumbsup:

 

Regarding crowmag's Q1 and Q2:

 

"Question 1: Will this be available across all gradient types?"

 

Sorry, no; as with the 4-colour split gradients before them this would require extensive changes (read: likely a complete rewrite) to the legacy drawing code to support gradients the beyond horizontal/vertical variants. This said, the new 8-colour SuperHorizontal/SuperVertical gradients will be supported for all applicable style elements, and especially the former is really nice IMHO...  :yes:

 

"Question 2: Will this be stipulated in the style file as color1..8?"

 
Yes.
 
BR//KHH (qwilk/@xoblite)

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#17 lukefury

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 12:56 AM

sorry for hearing flu and pneumonia , :ohmy: ,it would be hard time ,especially for now,please keep health and safe first.


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#18 molecube

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Posted 09 March 2020 - 04:59 PM

Those gradients are a very nice addition. That will be helpul to create even more beautiful styles.

 

Though there's a feature I'd wish for even more. It's the systray which I can't use in bbZero 1.18 and as far as I remember Xoblite (at least the old version) had the same problem. If the tool's installed I see the full systray and can use it but there are things I can't use anymore (like the Windows 10 settings panel which is part of the Windows Explorer). But if I don't install it and just run it, the systray is kinda useless because it doesn't show all symbols. Since I use Win10 Pro I'm sticking to the latter option because that's the only way to have a systray (in the original Windows taskbar) and all the elements/tools which are part of the Explorer at the same time.

So I'd wish for a feature that enables BB to either use the complete systray when not installed or to run explorer.exe in the background so I can use the elements which are part of the Explorer.

 

I hope you understand. English isn't my mother language :)

 

Thanks for reading, considering and perhaps even fixing.

Anyway looking forward to any new version/feature.


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#19 pitkon

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 06:08 AM

Actually, you don't need systray if it doesn't serve you well. Use bbtray, works fine with BBZero 1.8 and other builds.



#20 molecube

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 10:17 PM

Actually, you don't need systray if it doesn't serve you well. Use bbtray, works fine with BBZero 1.8 and other builds.

Following your suggestion I tried BBtray, BBAltTray and BBTrayMenu and all of them gave me the following message:

 

Error: plugins\<plugin path>\<filename>.dll

The plugin cannot be loaded. Possible reasons:

- The plugin requires another dll that is not there

- The plugin is incompatible with the windows version.

- The plugin is incompatible with this blackbox version.

 

I'm running bbZero 1.18.0-dirty on Windows 10 v1909 on top of explorer. It's not installed.

 

Any ideas what might be wrong?

 

Thanks in advance.


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