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xoblite bb5 RC4+ is now available! :D

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#41 lukefury

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 06:29 AM

some issues:

1) the toolbar can't auto hidden

2) my bbtray don't work,BB says "the plugin you are trying to load does not exist.or is not compatible with your operation system" when I load it.maybe there is new version i dont konw.

3) cant find the Dock

4) dont know what is the usage of the plugin xDesktopAnimation

 

to be continued



#42 molecube

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 04:45 PM

1) I mean almost every application. If I open notepad.exe I see it's window but it doesn't appear in the toolbar. Same with calc.exe or whatever. Interesting is that the window comes into the toolbar when you drag it onto another workspace. But when you open a second window there it will again not appear in the toolbar. First I thought it's the configuration of my toolbar. But, as I told, when I start blackbox.exe with already open windows I can see them all in the toolbar, the toolbar is configured right. The algorithm to recognize a new windows seems to be not good.

 

[...]

 

I'm not sure I get this right, but is by any chancce your taskbar set to hidden? (Rightclick on the desktop > xoblite > Toolbar > Taskbar > ) I have mine set to "Bars+Icon mode" and it works just fine, showing all active windows. And I'm using Win 10 Pro 2004 as well. The only thing I miss about the taskbar is the context menu which I can't manage to activate (if that's possible at all in xobBB5).


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#43 xoblite

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 10:03 PM

Hello all,

 

just dropping by to say that (1) I'm reading all your feedback continuously - thank you!!! :yes:  and (2) I'm busy with IRL stuff at the moment but will reply to you all as soon as I can. Given the many questions this may turn out to be a big dump of reply posts later, but you did ask for it...  :wink:

 

Oh, .exe and .dll updates incoming later as well of course. And maybe yet another plugin...  :whistling: (that is, if Pete actually starts cranking on a forum thing I've requested, preferably before the next ice age...  :wallbash: :wink:

 

Last but certainly not least: Someone asked about donations. While much appreciated, I don't need nor want them personally; this is a labour of love for me and your kind words and helping me spreading the word is enough. However, if you would still like to make a donation, it would mean a whole lot to me if you would consider donating instead to a worthy cause, and a global one that I am personally already supporting is the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) aka Doctors Without Borders, see https://www.msf.org/ (you'll find a link to their regional websites in the upper right hand corner). If you're in Sweden (my home country), you could also consider donating to Naturskyddsföreningen (the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation), see https://www.naturskyddsforeningen.se/ (for information in English, see https://www.natursky...n.se/in-english ). Together we can make the world a better place!!!  :yes:

 

Keep the faith

 

BR//Karl aka qwilk/@xoblite


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#44 T.M.

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 05:22 AM

I'm not sure I get this right, but is by any chancce your taskbar set to hidden? (Rightclick on the desktop > xoblite > Toolbar > Taskbar > ) I have mine set to "Bars+Icon mode" and it works just fine, showing all active windows. And I'm using Win 10 Pro 2004 as well. The only thing I miss about the taskbar is the context menu which I can't manage to activate (if that's possible at all in xobBB5).

Of course my taskbar is not hidden. As I already told two times the taskbar shows everything correctly when I start blackbox.exe when other windows from applications already exist. But from that moment on it doesn't show the most new opened windows.

 

BTW: this setting "Bars+Icon mode" is not persistent. Again and again it resets itself to "Bars", the icons disappear. And I never see real icons, I see only a symbol, darkgray on black.


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#45 molecube

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 12:13 PM

[...]
 
Last but certainly not least: Someone asked about donations. While much appreciated, I don't need nor want them personally; this is a labour of love for me and your kind words and helping me spreading the word is enough. However, if you would still like to make a donation, it would mean a whole lot to me if you would consider donating instead to a worthy cause, and a global one that I am personally already supporting is the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) aka Doctors Without Borders, see https://www.msf.org/ (you'll find a link to their regional websites in the upper right hand corner). If you're in Sweden (my home country), you could also consider donating to Naturskyddsföreningen (the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation), see https://www.naturskyddsforeningen.se/ (for information in English, see https://www.natursky...n.se/in-english ). Together we can make the world a better place!!!  :yes:
 
Keep the faith
 
BR//Karl aka qwilk/@xoblite

 
 Hi xoblite,

 

thanks for addressing my question about donations. It's very honorable of you to reject donations and instead ask us to donate to a good cause or institution (if we want to). I for one, tried to donate to Naturskyddsföreningen but failed due to the site not being translated properly. So I decided to spend the money I would've sent you to Doctors without Borders. I won't say how much it was because I don't want to make anybody who also donated look/feel greedy if they donate less than I did. :)

 

Looking forward to your replies to all our other questions but, please, take the time you need. We all got a live outside the blackbox ;)
 

[...]
 
BTW: this setting "Bars+Icon mode" is not persistent. Again and again it resets itself to "Bars", the icons disappear. And I never see real icons, I see only a symbol, darkgray on black.

 
That's strange. For me it's persistent and I assume that it's meant to be. Does any option stay the way you set it or do the all get back to default after reboot? Sounds to me as if xoblite doesn't have all needed read/write rights on your system.

My suggestion is: Try starting it with Adminstrator rights just to see if having more right makes a difference.


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#46 unicorn

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 05:51 AM

In the next release can you add an option to completely hide the explorer taskbar, no matter what?

 

And an option to disable/hide the workspace indicator would also be nice. Thanks for your hard work!



#47 IceFog

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 08:07 AM

In the next release can you add an option to completely hide the explorer taskbar, no matter what?

 

And an option to disable/hide the workspace indicator would also be nice. Thanks for your hard work!

?
 

Attached Files


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#48 unicorn

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 06:21 PM

?
 

Unfortunately, when I hover over where the taskbar was, it shows and doesn't hide again. Could be a bug? My taskbar isn't on my primary monitor, maybe that has something to do with it.


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#49 pitkon

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 06:01 AM

Unfortunately, when I hover over where the taskbar was, it shows and doesn't hide again. Could be a bug? My taskbar isn't on my primary monitor, maybe that has something to do with it.

Off course, you can always use Window's Hide Toolbar option.


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#50 T.M.

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 05:34 AM

That's strange. For me it's persistent and I assume that it's meant to be. Does any option stay the way you set it or do the all get back to default after reboot? Sounds to me as if xoblite doesn't have all needed read/write rights on your system.

My suggestion is: Try starting it with Adminstrator rights just to see if having more right makes a difference.

I have write access on my own configuration files. Other options I set in the menu ARE persistent as expected. As far as I detected until now it's only this one which is not.

 

Administrator mode is a good suggestion. Of course I did not use it. But I know not having Administrator mode is a popular source of unexpected behavior.


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#51 xoblite

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 05:59 AM

Nothing in xoblite bb5 require it to be run with administrator privileges (nb. that was actually a key design choice overall, hence e.g. also the extended-instead-of-alternative shell focus).

 

Please check instead if you have accidentally enabled Write Protection in the Configuration/Global submenu? (enabling this blocks core+plugin writes to configuration files, but does not otherwise make any files read only)

BR//Karl aka qwilk/@xoblite


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#52 jeannibordelli

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 08:36 PM

Hello Xoblite and Pitkon. The new version of Xoblite BB5 looks very nice and interesting!

 

I have a few questions.

- In the past, I used the option to have a border of 1 pixel at the left/right side and top of my screen (to be able to open the menu anywhere) and 20 pixels or something at the bottom of my screen (for the taskbar). Is this option still available in Xoblite?

- There are no icons in my dock and the links don't work, is this normal? (bb5 out of the box)

 

Thanks again for your hard work and dedication.



#53 thylascene

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 04:16 AM

Hello. I hope it's ok to put this here

I've been waiting to try this for awhile. Overally my impressions with xoblite bb5 have suprisingly been pretty good so far! Especially that it supports high dpi.

However theres some things I've noticed about it as I try to learn more about it:

- When I try to switch workspaces the Blackbox Way it just makes the active windows inactive but otherwise it acts as though I'm still on the same desktop. I'll stick with windows's task view in the meantime.

- Trying to look around in the forums its apparently possible to reserve edges of the desktop so no windows overlap with them (a la Desktop Coral) but that involves a file called extensions.rc which doesn't seem to exist in xoblite bb5 so I tried to make one myself & it didn't do anything. But then I just realized the blackbox.rc and the extensions.rc got merged into xoblite.rc so creating another file wasn't necessary so I tried adding

xoblite.desktop.marginTop: 100
xoblite.desktop.marginLeft: 100

to it under 'Global' then reconfigured/restarted but that didn't work. I don't even know if I'm doing this correctly I'm pretty much doing all this blind

- Several plugins I'd like to try out keep resulting in the same "This isn't compatible with your operating system" dialog. These include BBEdgeHook as well as the system tray plugins I've tried (including bbtray) they all resulted in the same dialog window.

- Trying out the Glue plugin there's a specific app I want to remain on top at all times & I already have it added to the sticky list but it still won't sticky. When I set Glue to Learning Mode when I open up the app in question it just says "Do you want  to be sticky?" (there's an extra space where the name of the app is supposed to be)

- Another plugin, bbGimme, was able to load yet I can't get it to show up anywhere

- BBHook doesn't do anything. When I rightclick a given titlebar it still brings up the native Windows menus. Is this a function that requires the complete replacement of explorer?

Yeah I did doublecheck these to see if they were xoblite compatible & according to the site's plugin page apparently they are? Hmm.

I'm pretty new to this whole thing I've never used Blackbox prior since I was nervous about trying out the other variants due to the inevitable weirdness with windows 10? Some guidance would be appreciated if anyone could lend a hand!

Windows 10 2004
Notes:
- I use an autotiler called Workspacer which creates its own workspaces & I can't seem to disable it. I wonder if that might have something to do with the workspace issue above.

 



#54 xoblite

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 01:50 PM

Hi all,

 

updated version xoblite bb5 RC3+ (0.20.10.4) is now available, see link in the original post. More information, replies, comments etc will follow later today (hopefully).

 

  • Plugins: All included plugins now support the option to "Toggle with plugins". This is also used extensively in the updated default theme. Try clicking that button!!!  :yes: (and check out the @Script that it triggers if you're interested in how it's pulled off).
  • Menu: Added support for keyboard search based on the *first* character of menu item titles (this can be useful when e.g. searching for a wallpaper in a very big folder == long menu).
  • Workspaces: Mousewheel changing is now configurable on/off via the Workspaces menu.
  • Desktop: The workspace indicator can now be hidden via the Configuration/Desktop menu.
  • Workarounds: Workspaces window enumeration now disregards Rainmeter widgets (cf. previous report on this thread).
  • Other: Miscellaneous polishing, small bug fixes and improvements.

 

Soon I will also add individual topic threads for each of the included plugins under the "New plugins" sub-forum here on BB4W - stay tuned.

Done - feel free to start posting in the individual per plugin topic threads in the New Plugins sub-forum!  :thumbsup: (nb. as xDesktopNowPlaying is still very much an early work-in-progress I haven't created a dedicated topic for it yet; maybe later on).

 

BR//Karl aka qwilk/@xoblite


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#55 xoblite

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 10:00 PM

Hello all,

 

here comes part 1 of the much dreaded catch-up post trying to reply to all questions asked (thanks all for the feedback in between btw!) while I've been too busy IRL... (note: I had to remove all emoticons - yours/mine - as the forum kept complaining about too many of them in a single post  :sad:)

 

will the source code be released?

Eventually it will be - it is mostly but not exclusively a matter of quite time-consuming logistics - but in order of priority it is behind core shell updates (as needed at the public RC stage), plugin updates (as needed at the public RC stage), a new plugin SDK for developers (always high priority, especially if there are actually active potential coders out there?!), documentation (ever important but seemingly always on my backburner, sigh), miscellaneous support including this forum and other channels, etc. And all the more mundane stuff... Anyway, if anyone out there has specific developer related questions, please post them here on this forum and I (or someone else maybe) will try to answer them and/or provide code snippets as applicable, within the time constraints as per above.

 

Another couple of quick mini issues/questions:

- setting notepad++ as preferred editor results in an error when opening paths with a space like "C:\Blackbox\themes\Simplest example\xoblite.rc"

- I cannot resist to stress test this new version loading the old plugins. BBinterface seems to run fine! I only noticed a slight delay opening the config menus with CTRL+RClick.

- opening a menu and then raising a window from the taskbar keeps the menu on top, any way to make the menu loose focus/close when interacting with explorer elements?

- I've seen here and there a rounded corners option for some elements, will we ever see an unholy rounded cornered menu?

- tried using the [include] (generic_menu.rc) syntax in menu.rc but it seems I can't find a way to make it work

 

Haven't tried Notepad++ so can not comment on that one myself. Is anyone else experiencing something similar? As for BBInterface, yes, opening plugins can feel a bit slower, the reason being that xoblite bb5 uses layered menu windows (i.e. more advanced windows supporting per pixel alpha transparency etc), and BBI creates a huge number of them due to its design; can't do all that much about this at this point I'm afraid. Don't think close menus on losing focus would work without negative side-effects, but would have to look into that more closely to know for sure. As for menus with rounded corners, it's pretty simple code-wise with xoblite's alpha API; the problem is more about making it actually look good (i.e. it may look nice with only a single solid-colour menu open, but once you start adding submenus or go crazy with styling etc then maybe not so much). If you're curious, you can experience it yourself in RC3+ by enable the experimental setting xoblite.toolbar.rounded: true in xoblite.rc. Regarding [include], I may actually have commented that part out as I figured no one was actually using it anymore nor could think of any immediate reason to do so. Care to elaborate?

 

lets start bug reports then? When you have second screen below the first: 2.png

 

Yes, multiple monitors with different resolutions and free positioning of them, while providing automatic relative and adaptive placement of core UI elements and plugins... Tricky issue. So far, I've found no good solution without drawbacks and/or added complexity here, however assuming you're on a fixed multi monitor setup, you could of course adjust the relative placements of individual elements/plugins to match your physical screens and placement of them (e.g. using a bigger negative Y offset for the stuff in the lower left hand corner on your leftmost screen iirc).

 

https://winaero.com/...-in-windows-10/

 

for pp to tweak xDesktopLauncher actions and menu.rc

 

Ah, good reference, many I wasn't aware of there too. Thanks!

 

Thanks for bringing xoblite back to life. This is awesome news and a huge step forward. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

 

Of course I immediately downloaded the new version and now am using it as a daily driver already. It's way more stable than bbZero 1.18 which I used before. From what I've seen and tested to so far, it has improved very much and I'm glad I registered in this forum.

 

Now I want to give a little more detailed feedback:

 

Pro:

- Super stable in contrast to the other BB I used. Didn't have one crash yet.

- Very fast (startup, menus, editing, reconfiguration/restart)

- Cool new features (Double DPI for example - even though I don't use it)

- Pretty clean xoblite configuration menu. It's very easy to find all the options. It's built logical.

- Extremely easy to re-use the contents of the menu.rc from my old bbZero installation

- My style I created for bbZero works like a charm with xoblite. Thanks for not forcing me/us to create our style-files from scratch again.

- More to come the longer I'm going to use it, I guess.

 

Contra:

- When just launching instead of installing it (I used the bbsetshell.exe from bbZero 1.18 and it worked quite well) xoblite doesn't cover the desktop icons of my Windows 10. I don't know if it's just a setting or meant to be that way but I knew blackboxes to always work like a layer above the desktop so I don't see the icons. It's no big contra though because Win10 offers an option to hide desktop icons which did the trick for me.

- I didn't like the sound effects - not because they are bad but I don't want my shell to make any sounds. I like it quiet so that's a very personal "contra".

- I for one didn't need the plugins that created all the desktop "widgets". Took me a while to get rid of them. So that's also a very personal "contra" and probably doesn't apply to many people, I guess. I'm just a rather minimalistic type.

- I can't find an option to hide the desktop "widget" which shows what desktop I'm on. Is there a way to hide it? I never used the multi-desktop feature of Blackbox because I got a 32:9 format monitor with 5120x1440px so It's like two displays regarding space. So this is also very personal and certainly doesn't apply to many because 32:9 is rather rare. That's why I don't list the stretched wallpaper on my screen here.

- Nothing else so far

 

Super happy about the Pros of course! As for the Cons, the first one about the Explorer desktop icons I mention in the README (the new lighter-weight desktop introduced in xoblite bb5 is actually "only" an almost fully transparent window hovering at the bottom of the z-order, i.e. just above the Windows desktop, while allowing for *box mouse clicks, file drops, etc anywhere as per usual, responding automatically to related screen / work area changes such as updating itself dynamically on e.g. screen resolution changes or when the Explorer taskbar placement changes, making it possible to super-impose things like the desktop clock/weekday/date and workspace indicators, etc). Sound effects can be disabled in the Configuration/Global submenu. As for the many plugins part of the default RC3 theme, I hear you of course, but sometimes a showcase is warranted too. This said, I think you'll find the updated default theme in the newly release RC3+ to be more to your liking then (see my previous post on this above). Ditto for the workspace indicators which can now be hidden from the Configuration/Desktop submenu (bottom line, if you want a fully empty desktop, you can now have it in RC3+). I hear you about ultrawide... I'm on one myself but have chosen to include 4K resolution 16:9 wallpapers in the .zip as a trade-off common denominator... (i.e. then you're at least getting high resolution stretched wallpapers wider displays, and if you like any of the included wallpapers, see CREDITS.txt for the sources, possibly then including other resolutions).

 

Pros:

- Actually, you do have to rethink your style authoring. I mean xob replaces the old, silly color/colorsplitto with color 1, 2, 3, 4. AND we now have colors 5, 6, 7 and 8 to work with :)

Cons:

- [...] And, something which I consider very important: Karl thinks of xoblite 5 as an extended shell. For me, an "extended" shell (which means running it on top of Explorer) beats a shell's purpose. So, I'm using it like you do, as a native shell, with the help of bsetshell and a registry little hack. It's super stable and works just as well, if not better, than an extended shell. AND you don't taxi the system this way, although the point is mute with today's super computers and cheap memory chips. (Still remember the fire in that chip factory in Taiwan which sent memory chip prices rocketing back in the 1990s :) )

Actually, xoblite supports both the fugly .splitTo syntax (i.e. specifically for such 4-colour gradients), but also the way more logical .color1-8 syntax, so both the odd legacy backwards compatibility as well as future proofing is included. As for extended vs alternative shell, my view is that it would be a fool's errand for any developer to keep investing time into largely obsolete and poorly documented things like the system tray or battling the tide with regards to administrator privileges (cf. registry editing, further enforced corporate security strategies, etc) and the like, especially when so many other things (e.g. Windows settings) are now hooking into Explorer on various levels. So, while it may still work just fine as a shell, it comes with too many caveats in today's Windows environments, and hence also why I opted to focus on optimizing bb5 towards the "extended shell" angle. I am of course also happy that so many of you seem to agree with me on the merits of the extended shell approach! Last but not least... xoblite and all included plugins (read: 1+8+1+3+1 = 14 instances in total) combined are still only ~1.2 MB, which would have been relatively small already back in the days, and nowadays... very much so. This said, to each his/her own, as long as it's understood that this is no longer officially supported and that certain Windows functionality will no longer work this way. Finally, it would of course be possible to recreate some of the old legacy functionality (e.g. running startup items, system tray functionality in plugins; in fact I've done that too but didn't think it was worth pursuing further given the overall shortcomings).

 

- You're right, style authoring is been pushed to a new level. I'm going to create a new style with this again. But I have to learn how to do it again because we got new commands/colors and the new Designer Mode which I'm not familiar with yet. To be honest, I have no idea what to do with it... (We can blame my laziness and that I probably didn't read any readme-files or documentation)

Nah, you can blame my lack of time and preference for coding new stuff vs writing documentation... I will try to write some basic notes in the not too distant future though (iirc I've summarized it in various emails prior to the public release so with a little luck I may be able to compile so of that to save some time...).

 

----- Stay tuned for part 2 -----

 

BR//Karl aka qwilk/@xoblite


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#56 xoblite

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 10:04 PM

Hello all,

 

here comes part 2 of the much dreaded catch-up post trying to reply to all questions asked (thanks all for the feedback in between btw!) while I've been too busy IRL... (note: I had to remove all emoticons - yours/mine - as the forum kept complaining about too many of them in a single post :sad:)

 

I discovered xoblite bb5, and just started to adapt it to my needs. I also use Rainmeter, and, It happens regularly that the placements of my skins are changed. Is there a solution? Also, is there a tool to export a Theme and a Style?
[...] The rainmeter skins moved; apparently, this is caused when changing Wallpaper and/or workspace (i dont need workspaces, but i dont like a problem unsolved... )

Yes, it seems Rainmeter widget positioning and the classic bb4win Workspaces approach don't play well together, so in the newly released RC3+ I have excluded Rainmeter widgets from said handling (i.e. xoblite ignores them). As for exports, there is the xoblite Designer Mode (see the Configuration/Global submenu) and its related GUI for style authoring. Themes however can be in all kinds of forms, from very simple (e.g. not much more than just another xoblite.rc in a separate theme folder) to very complex, which necessitates manual compiling and some tuning of related resources. For now, you'll find a "Simple example" theme bundled with bb5 RC3+ that will show you the basics; in the future I'll need to work on the documentation of this too of course. One little hint for all of you though is to use *box/xoblite environment variables like $Blackbox$ and $CurrentTheme$ in paths and/or main folder relative paths where applicable; this will make your themes, configuration etc more portable (cf. also how you may unzip the xoblite .zip to any path and it will still work).

 

Speaking of bbInterface... Is there an option to integrate this plugin into the BB menu? I'd like to keep my screen clean and empty and would like to place bbInterfaces in the menu. Would be awesome to do that. And perhaps I can. I just didn't find a way yet. Thanks in advance.
[...] I thought that, perhaps it was possible to create interfaces that can be shown in the menu (as a sub-menu). The idea is that I don't have the bbInterface-panels/buttons, etc. on my desktop all the time but instead place them in a sub-menu (for example: I open a sub-menu and instead of different menu items I do have on/off-buttons, sliders, etc. right in the menu). This would help the desktop remain clean and simple but still provide us with the power of bbInterface.

 

It is not possible to integrate regular plugins into the menu in xoblite (bb5 or prior releases) or any other *box variant as far as I know. Reading your question though I started wondering if it'd be possible to add a "Menu item relative" placement mode for the Dock (nb. previously known as the "Slit" in *box, being a container-like window which certain plugins can "dock" to), i.e. something along the lines of hovering over a [dock] menu item showing the Dock window to the right of the menu just like a submenu (or perhaps more like the image preview functionality) would. Might be too much work/complexity to be worth it though, given the (nowadays) relative scarcity of still working, dockable plugins, so don't expect it any time soon at least.

 

Hmm, I wonder if it'd be possible to pass similar dynamically generated x/y values to a plugin via a smart bro@m parsing adaptation though...(e.g. adding support for e.g. a dynamic "$Position$" environment variable as part of the bro@m or something like that). Requires some further thought for sure.

 

That reminds me I have to check if I can manage to make bbtcl work on xoblite5.

 

I never used bbtcl myself - what would you and are you using it for?

 

Does [insertpath] not work in the menu?

See my comment wrt [include] above. I must admit I don't recall exactly what [insertpath] did differently, if anything? (as said, I never used and didn't quite see the need for any of them tbh, but maybe I've missed something cool here considering that two people have asked about them?)

 

The question is interesting. In the days of bblean There was a command in extension rc where you could asign a broam/link/?? to the desktop right click. I used that to trigger a bbinterce windows xp like menu or a bbinterface menu of a litestep theme that I liked particularly (hear rounded corners). I never really excelled in that department. The only person I know that can simulate almost anything in bbinterface is Pete of course but the concept worked. I don't know if it can be done in xoblite bb5. I'd suggest you to dive into the xoblite rc. If I can spare an hour or so I may have a look into it too.

 

For the sake of standardization and ease of access to key xoblite/bb4win functionality (e.g. main menu, styles/themes menu, etc), all desktop mouse click (L/R/M/X1/X2) actions are currently pre-configured i.e. statically assigned, and for people with only 2- or 3-button mice, there are modifier+button variants to accomplish the same as well; see a brief overview in the yet-to-be-finalized documentation in the "Desktop" section at http://xoblite.net/docs/ . Due to the aforementioned reasons, I don't think I'd want to make L/R/M user configurable, but maybe X1/X2 could be optionally configurable with fallback to the default actions. Or maybe some of the modifier+button ones? Maybe you can describe some of your use cases to provide me some further input? Also, this said, it should of course be mentioned that many modern mice and their related SW supports re-assigning mouse buttons (nb. including extra ones beyond X2, i.e. buttons not otherwise visible through the Windows API) to e.g. trigger keyboard commands. This could in turn then be mapped to xoblite hotkeys, and then you'd have more or less the equivalent functionality already today. So, if you're sitting on a mighty 17-button MOBA/MMO mouse that get's no gaming love, you now know what to do...

 

Some thoughts and questions: (W10 19041.508 if it matters)

  • Any way to change or disable the keybind (insert) for pinning menus?
  • Any way to change or disable the keybind (mouse wheel) for workspace switching?
  • Been a while since I used (a)bb4win but workspaces don't seem to work? Windows seem to just follow when switching instead of staying put etc. Names also seem broken, xoblite.rc names are ignored.
  • The toolbar and workspaces seem to ignore a couple programs. Discord mainly but foobar2k and VSCode also seems to show up and disappear sometimes.
  • On the topic of workspaces I also had the same question as molecube, Anyway to disable the workspace "widget"?

Also any chance the source will be available at some point? Will test plugin compatibility another day, thanks again.

I opted for insert to pin/unpin as typically nearby keys (delete, home, end... plus arrow keys) are also used for keyboard navigation tasks. As a sidenote, I also added first-letter search in RC3+, see my previous post. With regards to mousewheel changing of workspace, this can be disabled from the Workspaces menu in RC3+, as can the showing of the workspace indicator widget from the Configuration/Desktop submenu. With regards to the xoblite/bb4win Workspaces handling, note that this is not the same as similar functionality nowadays (read: I think, I don't use either much tbh) provided by Windows itself, however it does have the benefit of the broader bb4win ecosystem, including flexible control (e.g. bro@ms, @Script...) etc. Configuring xoblite.workspaces.names: works, but please note that this is a universal setting i.e. it needs to be configured in the xoblite.rc of the Default theme (i.e. the xoblite.rc in the same folder as the .exe), which in addition to the theme settings as such also hold all universal (i.e. non theme-specific) settings.

 

Seems to be very stable, fast and does also render a lot of programs I had problems until now. My issues are as follows:

  • The title of a new window does not always appear in the toolbar. This is currently not reliable at all. In many cases my toolbar doesn't show a single window, it's just empty while I have several windows open.

Reliable is it only when I close blackbox.exe completely while I have other windows open and then I start blackbox.exe again (this is different from Restart in the menu). In this case I see indeed three or four windows in the toolbar.

  • I have no tray icons. And I don't see how to achieve this. Is this concept gone?
  • In many cases the menu remains open (even with open submenus) while I thought it should have been closed now. Again and again I see myself closing the menu by ESC.
  • I miss a menu on the middle mouse button (or similar) showing the current tasks on the actual workspace. This is especially needed as long as the toolbar doesn't show all the windows. And the way to the Workspace submenu is long ...
  • Common Windows keys like Alt-Tab and Alt-F4 seem not to work at all. Do I have to configure them as a hot key?
  • bbZero had an option "Focus follows mouse", I used this normally. The window where you put the mouse on gets the focus whitout clicking. I miss this a lot.
  • bbZero had an option which allowed the user to maximize a window without occupying the toolbar, at the moment maximizing a window either overwrites the toolbar completely or the toolbar overwrites the window's title bar which is also problematic
  • bbZero allowed the user to move a window on the same position in another workspace by a context menu entry in the toolbar or on the window title bar, at the moment neither the toolbar nor the window title bar do provide this context menu, the only way to move a window is dragging by mouse

Sorry for the long list, don't want to crab.

 

No worries, better to ask in case someone out there has answers! I think others or I have explicitly or implicitly answered most of your questions above or in previous posts (if not, and if you haven't discovered solutions yourself, feel free to ask again). Regarding "opaque window moving", "focus follows mouse" and other similar legacy functions, I got rid of them a while back as at least some of them are nowadays more easily configurable in Windows settings. To be honest I don't recall if there's an equivalent Windows setting for focusing nowadays too though? (nb. it'd be easy to add it back, but I don't want to preserve bloated/overlapping functions if already covered by other means). As for moving a window to another workspace, I believe there is a bro@m to do that (can't check atm unfortunately), which you could then map to a hotkey (no btw, xoblite doesn't have any taskbar item context menus). More on maximizing windows vs "work area" further below.

 

----- Stay tuned for part 3 -----

 

BR//Karl aka qwilk/@xoblite


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#57 xoblite

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 10:05 PM

Hello all,

 

here comes part 3 of the much dreaded catch-up post trying to reply to all questions asked (thanks all for the feedback in between btw!) while I've been too busy IRL... (note: I had to remove all emoticons - yours/mine - as the forum kept complaining about too many of them in a single post  :sad:)

 

bbtray works fine for me.

 

Actually, while it may perhaps still load (I haven't tested, lukefury said it doesn't), the old BBTray would anyway turn up empty, as while the old related BBAPI functions can still be called, they return zero, as the core shell no longer provide systray handling due to being refocused as an "extended shell" alongside Explorer.

(This said, being one of my closed beta testers, I believe you were actually referring to older functionality to run system startup items as per the related registry settings, and not the systray as such, but pointing out the above as well just in case.)

 

3) cant find the Dock

 

See above - the "Dock" is the core element formerly known as the (less appropriately named) "Slit", which is a kind of like a container window for certain "dockable" plugins (nb. none of the included plugins are intended for or support docking, but other ones like the good old Boxanoid 2.x do).

It seems its new name rings other bells for some people though - please elaborate? What were your preconceptions of a "dock" prior to using xoblite bb5? (nb. I'm asking also because there might perhaps be an existing plugin to replicate such use cases).

 

In the next release can you add an option to completely hide the explorer taskbar, no matter what?

 

And an option to disable/hide the workspace indicator would also be nice. Thanks for your hard work!

See above and prior posts by others.

 

- In the past, I used the option to have a border of 1 pixel at the left/right side and top of my screen (to be able to open the menu anywhere) and 20 pixels or something at the bottom of my screen (for the taskbar). Is this option still available in Xoblite?

- There are no icons in my dock and the links don't work, is this normal? (bb5 out of the box)

 

Your first question is wrt the desktop work area (i.e. left/top/right/bottom margins as in legacy bb4win) question also touched upon by TM as per above and more recently also thylascene as per below.

Short version: This is no longer supported... or at least it is not currently supported in bb5 RC3+, the reason being (iirc, it was a while ago since I looked at it) various aspects related to how Explorer controls the work area (i.e. following the placement/size/etc of the Explorer taskbar) while xoblite provides an extended shell with multi monitor support etc. All in all, I recall there being issues with it in this context and hence I didn't focus on it more back then at least. Maybe later I could try looking at it again, but don't hold your breath on that being anytime soon. I the meanwhile, maybe you could map a hotkey (or mouse button, see above!) to the related @xoblite Menu Show instead? Why move the mouse pointer if you don't have to???

 

With regards to the Dock, see above. Note that if not plugins are docked, the Dock window will show a simple "---" to indicate this being the case (yeah I could've made it say something more elaborate but that would also have made it unattractively big-while-empty).

 

- When I try to switch workspaces the Blackbox Way it just makes the active windows inactive but otherwise it acts as though I'm still on the same desktop. I'll stick with windows's task view in the meantime.

- Trying to look around in the forums its apparently possible to reserve edges of the desktop so no windows overlap with them (a la Desktop Coral) but that involves a file called extensions.rc which doesn't seem to exist in xoblite bb5 so I tried to make one myself & it didn't do anything. But then I just realized the blackbox.rc and the extensions.rc got merged into xoblite.rc so creating another file wasn't necessary so I tried adding

xoblite.desktop.marginTop: 100
xoblite.desktop.marginLeft: 100

to it under 'Global' then reconfigured/restarted but that didn't work. I don't even know if I'm doing this correctly I'm pretty much doing all this blind

- Several plugins I'd like to try out keep resulting in the same "This isn't compatible with your operating system" dialog. These include BBEdgeHook as well as the system tray plugins I've tried (including bbtray) they all resulted in the same dialog window.

- Trying out the Glue plugin there's a specific app I want to remain on top at all times & I already have it added to the sticky list but it still won't sticky. When I set Glue to Learning Mode when I open up the app in question it just says "Do you want  to be sticky?" (there's an extra space where the name of the app is supposed to be)

- Another plugin, bbGimme, was able to load yet I can't get it to show up anywhere

- BBHook doesn't do anything. When I rightclick a given titlebar it still brings up the native Windows menus. Is this a function that requires the complete replacement of explorer?

Yeah I did doublecheck these to see if they were xoblite compatible & according to the site's plugin page apparently they are? Hmm.

I'm pretty new to this whole thing I've never used Blackbox prior since I was nervous about trying out the other variants due to the inevitable weirdness with windows 10? Some guidance would be appreciated if anyone could lend a hand!

 

Unfortunately, lots of old plugins have become incompatible with later versions of Windows and/or newer shell versions, for reasons XYZ. Also unfortunately, I don't have time (nor significant enough own interest in most cases tbh) to properly go through them all again (read: not just load but also check actual functional regressions; iirc my old Glue plugin had issues last time I checked for example), so most likely I will later just keep a reference to the old plugin page (read: where "xoblite compatible" refers to bb3 etc in the pre-2011 or so days of Windows) in the new documentation or something like that; it's not high on my to-do-list amongst so many other things to do though. Also, please note that xoblite bb5 - even though I guess it may not be immediately obvious at first glance (maybe I need to point that out somehow?) - now actually provides equivalent functionality built in as provided by quite a long list of legacy plugins, so my general advice would be to start with just the shell and try to found out whether you actually need a legacy plugin or not (YMMV perhaps). Last but not least, if something is indeed missing in today's *box ecosystem, perhaps you could try to ask somewhere else on these forums in case some other aspiring developer out there would like to give said challenge a try?

 

Phew - I think that was it. Hopefully. And if not, feel free to ask again maybe... (and no, I didn't stomach proofreading all of the above, so please apologize any typos, grammar errors, weirdly assembled sentences or whatever...)

 

BR//Karl aka qwilk/@xoblite


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#58 xoblite

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 10:11 PM

PS. As already posted but possibly somewhat drowned by the lengthy catch-up posts above, xoblite bb5 RC3+ (0.20.10.4) is now available, see this post.

 

BR//Karl aka qwilk/@xoblite


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#59 tordenflesk

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 04:18 AM

See my comment wrt [include] above. I must admit I don't recall exactly what [insertpath] did differently, if anything? (as said, I never used and didn't quite see the need for any of them tbh, but maybe I've missed something cool here considering that two people have asked about them?)

With BBZero It inserts a path at the "root" of the menu, instead of a sub-menu. I also noticed if you want to include two folders (current user & all users for example) duplicates (like the startup folder) aren't merged.



#60 eclectic-tech

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 04:58 PM

sitalk, on 14 Sept 2020 - 7:11 PM, said:

- setting notepad++ as preferred editor results in an error when opening paths with a space like "C:\Blackbox\themes\Simplest example\xoblite.rc"

 

xoblite: "Haven't tried Notepad++ so can not comment on that one myself. Is anyone else experiencing something similar?"

 

I can verified if the selected filename sent by xoblite to be edited in Notepad++ contains a 'space', the filename sent to Notepad++ is truncated at the first 'space' character. This causes Notepad++ to display an error message that the truncated filename does not exist.







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