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Author Topic: Feature idea: Don't open second instances  (Read 2648 times)

CWuestefeld

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Feature idea: Don't open second instances
« on: April 24, 2008, 04:09:39 PM »
I keep a lot of apps running on my desktop. Sometimes I don't see that I've already got one open, and accidentally open a second instance. I'd like to avoid that.

So I think it would be cool if I could tell FARR that it should just bring-to-front an existing instance if one exists, and change focus to it. It might do this through a global checkbox, or maybe via a shift-click combination or something.

But how would it know that there's already an instance running? That's the real hurdle here. I don't think there's any completely correct answer, but I can think of a couple of ways to approximate it.

It could remember what processes it has spawned as a result of what choices, and check to see if that process is still running when the user repeats the same request.

You could go a step farther, and after the child process has spawned, look for its window and remember something about that permanently (title, window class, etc.), so it could identify them in the future even if it wasn't the agent that started the instance. Of course, there's a bunch of headaches in this, most significantly that it takes some time for the new process' window to open, and it may show different titles in different circumstances, or have multiple windows.

jgpaiva

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Re: Feature idea: Don't open second instances
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2008, 04:21:35 PM »
I think that this raises another more important problem:
Sometimes, you don't want it to open the running instance, but create a new one.
Probably, this would only be feasable if there was a way to specify what apps you'd like it to open a new instance or focus the running instance.

Wouldn't farr altab do it for you?

CWuestefeld

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Re: Feature idea: Don't open second instances
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2008, 04:37:46 PM »
Wouldn't farr altab do it for you?
Well, obviously I've survived this long...  ;)

But no, it's way not the same thing. Using FARRAltTab depends on me knowing that there's a running instance, and my point is that I sometimes miss this. My idea was to have a way to let FARR check for me, so it can make the decision whether to focus an existing process or open a new one.

herojoker

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Re: Feature idea: Don't open second instances
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2008, 06:44:35 PM »
I think it will be sufficient if FARR would test that only for executables and for shortcuts. In this case one could just look up whether the .exe is running or not. I don't know much about C++/Windows API but I guess that's possible.

lanux128

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Re: Feature idea: Don't open second instances
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2008, 08:33:29 PM »
a good idea but i'd prefer a plugin to do this since not all would want this. anyway, there is a ProcessKill plugin, why not a ProcessList plugin as well? :) the selected item from search results could be checked against this ProcessList and bring forward the existing instance. maybe taichimaster would be interested?

ProcessKill 0.0.0.5