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Author Topic: NANY 2009 Release: JustCloseSomeTasks 1.21  (Read 61313 times)
justice
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« on: December 04, 2008, 06:07:09 AM »

NANY 2009 Entry Information
Application Name JustCloseSomeTasks
Version1.21 [July 08, 2009]
Short Description An utility to let you easily close inactive tasks.
Supported OSes Windows XP/Vista
Download Link* NANY Release - See end of post
* Latest Version
* or inside the program Help >check for updates
Author Link to Author's Profile page
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Description
JustCloseSomeTasks is an utility to let you easily close inactive tasks. It saves taskbar space by offering you to close the stuff you've not used for a while. Tasks are automatically marked for closing when they're not used for a certain time period (expiry time). The program will learn your behaviour and adjust this expiry time.

I use a lot of programs, and many at the same time. Because of this when a lot of windows are open the taskbar becomes cluttered  and I lose the overview required. JustCloseSomeTasks knows which programs I've not used and helps me manage.

Screenshots


Usage
Installation
Portable installation, DcUpdater support via help menu

Using the Application
Press the hotkey button (Ctrl-[ by default - change via system tray -> preferences) and all windows are listed with the ones older than 120 seconds checked. press the close button to close these tasks. The program will learn and adjust the auto-marking period based on your usage.

Known Issues
* If installing under windows vista to the Program Files folder, please be aware that the program might not be able to read it settings file. Run it once as an administrator to have the settings.ini created.
* Applications that don't communicate their window title or ID are hidden from the list for safety reasons. If you know any please let me know as I'd like to add support for the most vocal missing ones.

Download Page

* JustCloseSomeTasks.zip (372.79 KB - downloaded 4762 times.)
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 07:29:51 AM by justice » Logged

deviantopian
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2008, 08:34:33 AM »

I just tried it out briefly and have one small criticism - when I press the hotkey or double click the tray icon, I get a balloon notification from the tray icon which says "Closing older tasks...". I think that's a little confusing as it suggest the program is taking action immediately, rather than allowing you to choose which tasks to close.

Richard
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justice
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2008, 08:56:57 AM »

I was just going to answer this with a 'thanks it needs a bit of cleaning up the message was left in unintentionally' but with the list of known issues I think it's better to take the application offline just now until a more developed version is ready. If you want to test it and give feedback in the meantime just ask and i'll send you a link.
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deviantopian
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2008, 09:17:57 AM »

It's probably best if I wait until you add the program back here Cool
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2008, 05:42:54 AM »

Justice: If you're after testers, how about putting the link back up and requesting testers?
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justice
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2008, 05:45:15 AM »

Ok well let's just see what you come up with then, I readded the link Wink Please don't be discouraged when the list clears but if you can help me find out when it clears that would help a great deal.

version 1.01
* Wording fixed
* removed traytip
* menu no longer adds seperators
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 05:52:22 AM by justice » Logged

Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2008, 08:12:12 AM »

I've made some changes to your script, and it's ceased clearing the Log.

I added the following to the Timed: Procedure (if that's what it's called)
Formatted for C with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1. if (TitleNew="")
  2.  return

as a lot of "hidden" windows were being picked up when accessing the TaskBar etc.

I'm not sure why that works, but I just thought "If it aint titled I don't want to know..."

Sometimes an empty Title had an ID and sometimes not.

I also moved the lines:
Formatted for C with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1. Log:=NewLog
  2. TitleOld=%TitleNew%
  3. active_id_old := active_id

Inside the If active_id<>%active_id_old% block (but that doesn't make any difference.
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2008, 08:40:17 AM »

Tiny issue:

The "Close Tasks" button is not anchored to the bottom of the window so does not move when the window resizes.
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justice
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2008, 08:52:10 AM »

hmm well the TitleNew fix doesn't fix it for me. I'll have to rework the script again on monday or so, I just spent the last 2 hours debugging without avail Wink
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 08:54:44 AM by justice » Logged

Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2008, 08:59:25 AM »

Well it sort of did for me (my list was disappearing much more frequently), but I've just been sitting here opening and minimizing and closing windows, and the minimized windows get lost:

They become active to minimize them, which means that they are not included in your list, then when minimized they never get back on unless you unminimize them then make a different window active.

So if you've got lots of windows open, they should all show up, but after minimizing them, the list will be empty. Is that the way it's meant to work?
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 09:01:49 AM by Perry Mowbray » Logged

justice
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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2008, 09:11:16 AM »

Aha! excellent cheesy great work Perry
That's not how it's meant to work but I'll be able to fix it now.
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2008, 08:18:17 PM »

 embarassed I've not really programmed in AutoHotKey, I'm more used to AutoIt3, but that function was the only area I could see that things could go wrong, so I added a check for when the active window was skipped over (removed from the list).

The other small point is that I thought that I saw a line of code that should have brought in all the currently open windows (at least that's what the comment suggested I think). I'm not sure that was working: but I think it'd be an idea to get a list of currently open (minimized or not) windows and use the start time as the last active time.

BTW: I think this is a great idea  cheesy
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justice
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« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2008, 08:41:04 AM »

I keep thinking it is easy to keep a list of windows, by time of last activity, but I find it a really hard problem! Mostly this is because autohotkey makes it so hard to keep an multi-field listing, so I'm considering to use sqllite just so i can use the sql syntax, which is ridiculous.

Anyway I uploaded v1.02 which improves the listing of windows, stops the list from emptying, but the active window doesn't get updated again when you revisit it so it's still useless except for helping me. Wink
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 08:44:36 AM by justice » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2008, 10:19:10 AM »

Version 1.03
Date: 16:11:39, 09 December 2008
Message:
* Loop now shoes newest first, oldest at bottom
* Finally sorted out most loop bugs
* Checking for updates now runs without visible commandbox.

Ok this is the first version that can be tested for realworld use; I think I got the listing issues sorted mostly now.
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« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2008, 06:13:53 AM »

I'm wondering what I can add further to this app, so if you have ideas and suggestions please post them!

I've been thinking about finding answers to central questions that affect the effectiveness of this app:
1. When does a task become inactive?
2. When is your taskbar organised?
3. Are these two problems or are we talking about the same problem?
4. how much control do people want over this?

At the moment I define inactive that a task isn't used for a certain time period. So when JCST is activated, all tasks that have not been active for X seconds get marked. With testing i'm changing the value of this setting a lot and have come to realize the optimal setting might be different for everyone depending on how you use your pc.

If however the goal is to have your taskbar organised, why not specify a maximum number of tasks you want running (the human brain finds it harder to distinguish between 8 or more items) and when activated JustCloseSomeTasks would mark all windows that have been inactive longer than task number 7 + when less then this number, any tasks that have been inactive for an long period of time (say 2x the average time for all tasks that were closed in the past). That way hopefully a better selection of tasks would be checked.

Perhaps I could bring this 'training' factor to the regular setting by having no tasks marked by default and letting the program learn from the user's action. That way no configuration is required. It could know how many tasks you have running normally and when activated either mark the surplus tasks or mark tasks as described in the previous paragraph.

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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2008, 06:48:56 AM »

Training is a great idea! So JCST would remember the InactiveSeconds of closed windows and the TotalWindowsLeft and average them over time? Or the minimum? You'd need an option to reset the "training", or maybe that should be "forget" the training.

The ability to check which ones to delete give ultimate control!

A WhiteList might be a good idea. I often leave the browser open to get back to it later, and I don't really want it closed.

 smiley I also appreciate the feedback for the doubleClicks!

I'd also use a minimize window as well (I tend to have my screens a little cluttered).
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« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2008, 07:17:01 AM »

Thanks again Perry you really help me with your comments! Not sure if how I would compute the time, I think i have to just try different strategies and see what happens. Whitelist will be added, as well as a forget training button.

I'd also use a minimize window as well (I tend to have my screens a little cluttered).
What do you mean with this though?
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2008, 07:42:13 AM »

The current option is to close the window. I think I'd also use minimize window. I have two monitors and with all that real estate you get lazy (ask anyone living on acres).

The whole training thing is an interesting question (you've got me wondering). I guess having various criteria that will calculate a point score. A little like spam, so that you could weight the different aspects differently.

  • Age is greater than AbsoluteMinimumAge = 1 point
  • Age is greater than AbsoluteMaximumAge = 10 points
  • Age is greater than MeanAge = 5 points
  • WindowNumber is greater than AbsouluteMinimumWindowsLeft = 3 points
  • ???

I wonder about an option to automatically open the window when a certain number of windows get to be a certain age?

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« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2008, 10:30:31 AM »

Version 1.04
Date: 16:29:13, 10 December 2008
Message:
* Exclude start menu, program manager from the list
* Context menu to Switch to, Minimize, and Exit tasks
* FIX: No longer forgetting to close some tasks when several tasks are checked
* Icon added

Help -> Check for Updates to update
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« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2008, 05:30:30 AM »

Version 1.05
* beta woo
* statistics (under file menu)
* training mode after first 10 items where checks are set against average time for inactive closed apps
* reset training data option added to preferences
* interface now correctly shows expiry time
* exe is now portable by itself, on first run it will extract all required files


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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2008, 06:05:57 AM »

 Thmbsup Cool: can't wait to have a look...
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« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2008, 04:57:57 PM »

the one set of features that inevitably gets requested in programs that go back as far as a program called "TrayKiller" is the ability to save "Profiles" which list programs to close en mass.  So that you can say basically "switch into game mode" which tells the program to close a big set of optional programs.
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justice
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« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2008, 03:13:55 AM »

Thanks mouser!
It's one that people ask for but does anyone ever use it? I never used multiple profiles in anything to be honest so I need to be convinced I think smiley. If you'd like to see profiles could you point me to a program that has a good implementation? As maybe there's an easier way to achieve the same way (implement close all for example).

I'll still have to add in the whitelist idea that definately gets in.
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2008, 05:22:32 AM »

Hey justice: works great!

Though... I'd like to see all the current non-hidden windows added on startup (otherwise they'd never get added unless they are activated).

I thought that mouser's profiles were like adding windows to groups, and closing windows by group? A little like a black list?  undecided
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« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2008, 09:46:30 AM »

Neat. Could you add "bring window/task to front" and "move window/task to second monitor" feature?.
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