This is an idea I had a while back, and blogged about, back when I cared about blogs: http://doctorfrog.bl...lector-software.html
Basically, I want a function similar to the way Windows will sometimes change folder icons based on what's inside them, except I want the .ico or .exe icons present inside the folder to be used instead of icons of stock images of music notes or flowers. This is one of those things that sounds
simple to a non-programmer, lucky me if it actually ends up being simple to execute.
There are a few (somewhat more complicated) extensions to this idea as well (consider them nice-to-haves):
- if the resources within the folder are image files, auto-pick one of them and create an .ico from it, then apply as custom folder icon
- offer ability to create rules to apply stock icons based on the majority file types within the folder (ie. if the folder contains mainly .mp3s, apply a certain icon image)
- ability to recurse and apply icons for subdirectories, or only apply to the top tier of directories the application is aimed at
- support for creating/scaling very large icon files, for those persons who pump up their icon sizes beyond 32x32
Here's a copy of my original blog post blatherings:I wasted some time late last week picking custom icons for some folders on my Windows XP box:
Avoiding actual work, I headed over to my games folder and started doing the same:
And I noticed something. Mostly, to pick an icon, you go to the only .exe in the folder, or the only .exe with an embedded icon, or the only .ico in the folder, and select it as your folder icon. It is a repeated, mechanical process, something that can be handled with a fairly simple program.
Such a program can be sent to crawl among a top-layer collection of folders, crib the most likely icons to be used for the folders, and present them to the user for approval, similar to Album Cover Art Downloader. If no appropriate icons are found, the program can offer a standard selection of icons from a specified .icl or folder full of icons (I'm partial to foood's delicious icons, as shown above).
All of the icons in the second image above exist in their respective folders, and are, in most cases, the only icons in the folder. They'd be ideal for this program, since they can be automatically assigned. If there are other icons in the folders, the program can just pick one and present it, along with alternate icons, for approaval, similar to Album Cover Art Downloader. I keep a bunch of general-purpose icons in a folder, and Windows of course has its Shell32.dll. If no icons are found to autopimp the folder (hey, hey! great software name!), these resources can be presented to the user to hand-pick an icon.
The following logic can be applied to automatically pick the 'correct' icon:
If there is only one icon available (.ico, .icl, .exe), use it. Otherwise: Use the icon with the highest resolution, most colors, etc. (This avoids picking an icon from a .exe that isn't the main program in the folder, since icons designed to represent a program usually contain multiple resolution and color depth versions, and 'helper'programs are often given a more generic icon.)
Does something like this exist? And, am I the only one who thinks it should?