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Author Topic: BrowserTraySwitch V2 BETA  (Read 11998 times)
mouser
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« on: July 08, 2009, 03:41:43 PM »

V2 Beta of BrowserTraySwitch is now available for the brave:

The beta should be fully functional with all features working. BUT.. this stuff is inherently weird and i advise people who are really scared of registry to not mess around with this.

If you don't have a need for this program, don't use it.  It's only for people who really want to be able to switch their default browser very frequently (e.g. multiple times per day), and don't want to have to go through the normal processes.



I should have done it this way to begin with.. i would have if i had known how weird all these different browsers and registry settings would be.

Let me explain a bit about how the old way worked, and how the new way will work.

OLD WAY:
  • It turns out there are more than a dozen various registry values that are set differently when the default browser is changed.  These are not fully documented anywhere, and are a mishmash of strange items.  Most of the dif registry values point to the browser exe, but some specify the icon to display, some specify a commandline to invoke the browser exe, and some are just weird.  They used to be in LOCAL_MACHINE section of registry, now it seems they are in CURRENT_USER mostly.
  • The old(current) version of BrowserTraySwitch takes the browser exe path as specified in the its config file, and tries to set all of these values.  [It stopped working for you because BTS sets HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and it seems the new use of HKEY_CURRENT_USER was overiding that, rendering BTS settings ignored].
  • Setting all of these values correctly is tricky -- especially when it comes to a browser deciding if it needs to ask the user if it should make itself default -- even a change in the uppercase/lowercase value of any registry key could make a browser think its not the default and offer to set it for you on startup.
  • So what is the better way?

The New Way:
  • BrowserTraySwitch knows which set of registry values are affected by the default browser.
  • The new version lets you take a "snapshot" of these values and save them to different browser config files.
  • Then it lets you restore these when you choose.
  • The GUI for the user is unchanged.
  • The main difference now is: You dont have to configure a settings file with your different browsers, but you DO have to take "snapshots" of each different browser you use after it is set to default.


Make sense?
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 10:33:29 PM by mouser » Logged
VsUK
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2009, 05:45:17 PM »

So, in staid of editing the config file, id have to set each of my browsers as default & then take a snapshot of it so it then can change my default browser from just a click or click, click?

So if i have lets say 5 browsers installed, id make a snapshot of each browser when ive set it as default & then those browsers will then show up in the list in the GUI so i can just click like i did before to change browser defaults?

As i switch quite often between 4 or 5 browsers that all perform better at something than the others..
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mouser
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2009, 07:03:12 PM »

yes you have it exactly right.

only modification to that is that BTS2 will actually automatically detect if you pull up the menu and you have a not-yet-snapshotted browser set as your new default and will take a new snapshot.

so the procedure is:
  • start BTS2.
  • for each of your browsers, run them and set them as default, then Click on the BTS menu to have it snapshot it.

after that you can select browsers from the BTS menu as normally.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 10:31:34 PM by mouser » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2009, 07:08:02 PM »

Tips and Tricks:

Advanced users can manually add additional registry values to change when switching browsers by editing the btsregfile files .. this should let you change default identities in Firefox, etc.

Rename shapshot .btsregfile files to have them say what you want in the BTS menu.

In previous versions, if you left clicked on tray icon to bring up the menu, it launched the browser without setting it as default, which i think confused people.
In v2, it doesnt matter if you left or right click on the tray icon to bring up the menu -- but if you RIGHT click on the actual browser name instead of the normal left click, it will launch it without setting it as default.

The new v2 understands the ConfigDir.ini mechanism for specifying custom/portable config directories, and will default to docs+settings if run under Vista/Win7.
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mouser
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2009, 07:08:43 PM »

Looking forward to hearing how the beta works for you..
There is no help file yet, or install file, its just a zip with the new files.  You can overwrite your existing copy or run it from any location.
Download url is a full setup program which can also be manually unzipped.

Note:
unlike BrowserTraySwitch v1, this one is built with visual studio runtime libraries, which means if you have an older version of windows it will complain about missing dlls or libs or some such nonsense.  After testing i'll probably go back and compile it with visual studio 2003, which i think was the last one that had sane options for static compilation for win9x stuff.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 09:31:54 PM by mouser » Logged
lujomu
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2009, 01:43:01 AM »

I think using snapshots is a great idea! I will definitely check it out and test it in the next couple of days.

Not to offend anyone, I am just curious: How many people out there are still surfing the web using win9x?!?
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VsUK
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2009, 08:00:55 AM »

win9x users should be shot  Angry

My nan & grandad was using win98se 2 yrs ago & they was riddled with virus's & bugs so much, it took up more room than the windows installation.. So winxp for them & so far it works sweet & i dont think theres going to be a better windows that xp for a long time to come..
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VsUK
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2009, 09:06:46 AM »

Well, ive tested it & works great until i add the Avant browser to the list 8 then my normal shortcuts or bookmarks keep opening with Avant browser, even if i manually change the default browser within the browser settings they still keep opening up in avant tongue.. But if i dont include it in the list, works great cheesy
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mouser
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2009, 09:10:00 AM »

i don't really understand what you're saying happens.

i tested with avant, ff, ie, and seemed to work fine.

maybe mail me (mouser@donationcoder.com) and we can figure out what is wrong.
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VsUK
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2009, 10:10:56 AM »

nah its fine, i didnt really like avant anyways, but i think it might be because i didnt install it, i copied & pasted the installation folder from a previous installation.

But, got it with chrome, IE, ff, netscape (yeye i know but i like it) opera & maxathon if thats how its spelt & it works perfectly dude.. Brava cheesy tongue
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mouser
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2009, 10:37:11 AM »

Ok, so it's working! yay!
i guess i'll release this to public in a day or so.

ps.
regarding it not working on your non-installed avant.. keep in mind that because of the snapshot functionality, it relies on the browser to be able to set itself as the default, and just restores that state.  so you have to be able to set the browser as default first, before BTS can memorize it.  But if you can do that, then BTS should be able to restore it to default -- if not let me know.
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VsUK
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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2009, 01:38:10 PM »

Well, i set each of my web browsers as default & the clicked the BTS & it prompted me to save the new snapshot. I did this with all my web browsers & all worked fine. However, i just realised something so i tested again.. I use Desktop Sidebar with urls organized in tabs within it & its only those that stick with avant. I opened up another link on my desktop & it worked fine so, ive no idea really. But avant is a weird browser to start with so i doubt anyone would really be using it as a main browser.

But, if i hadnt of used avant i would of said it worked perfectly.
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mouser
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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2009, 02:59:10 PM »

i noticed something strange about Avant.. depending on the shortcut link that you use to launch it, you can confuse it about its "set-as-default" status, even though all will launch it.

So that if one shortcut points to a LOWERCASE (or short) version of the filename, and another doesn't (or if BTS sets one and the shortcut is different), i'm guessing that's the cause of your problem.  I hope that's enough of a clue to track down and solve your problem.
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« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2009, 04:17:16 PM »

oh ye i fixed it, i just deleted avent then rebooted & the system corrected itself but i couldnt find a way to fix it other than a reboot. Was weird to, after deleting avent, i was prompted to open url shortcuts with whatever program & even though i selected always use this with this file type, i closed the browser n reloaded & it persisted to ask me to select program..

I think a notice to AVOID using Avant browser is in order cheesy
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lujomu
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« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2009, 01:11:35 AM »

I was just about to send the following problem description, when I suddenly could fix the problem myself. I decided to keep the original post, in case someone else has similar issues, or it's a bug in BTS. But I think the crux is on my end.

Quote from: lujomu
I have a problem ... I cannot even start BTS! Everytime I try, it prompts the following to message boxes:

"In order to modify the default web browser, this program must make several changes to your system registry.
However, because the backup file could not be saved, this program will not continue and will exit now."

"Because the backup procedure failed, no changes are being made to your default browser/registry."

And then it just closes. I tried to run the exe after extracting the setup file, and also from a regular installation. I am running Vista Business 64Bit with administrator privileges.

It seems BTS does not have the rights to write to docs+settings on my system, because when adding "CONFIGDIR = ." to ConfigDir.ini it works fine. But as I never changed any access rights for the docs+settings folder (nor any subfolder), I quite wonder about this behaviour.

And finally I also have a little feature request: I would like to be able to provide the CONFIGDIR as a command line argument. Would that be possible?
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mouser
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« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2009, 01:20:18 AM »

what operating system do you use lujomu?

edit: i see now: Vista Business 64Bit

let me try to test under vista..
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mouser
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« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2009, 01:22:19 AM »

you are right!
this is a bug -- it must not be creating the directory it needs, trying to fix now -- thank you for reporting it so quickly.
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mouser
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« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2009, 01:27:41 AM »

new version is up which should fix the problem (it wasn't creating the BrowserBackup directory when saving stuff to a folder other than the app directory).
at least we know now that the backup safety feature is working.
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« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2009, 01:41:44 AM »

Man, you are quick! I am really, really sorry, I think I have to report the next problem right away ...

I have saved the configurations of three browsers now (Firefox, IExplorer, Opera), but when I try to switch to another broswer, I get the following message:

"Failed to open registry key Software\Classes\InternetShortcut\shell\open\command for writing(create stage) (retval=5)"

Here is my Opera.btsregfile, in case it is of any help:
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mouser
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« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2009, 01:49:16 AM »

ok.. that could be something simple.. probably attempt to set local machine key that it has no permissions for, and doesnt need to set.. working on fix now.
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mouser
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« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2009, 02:40:22 PM »

Quote
ok.. that could be something simple..


hahahahahahahahha...  cheesy Angry cheesy Angry cheesy Angry cheesy Angry cheesy Angry cheesy Angry cheesy
12 hours of unbearable pain and frustration later, i think i may have lost my mind.

can you try the new version i just uploaded, see if it works on Vista now?

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mouser
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« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2009, 10:16:10 PM »

As of today, V2.03.01 has been tested to work properly on Xp64, Vista, Win7 -- with Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome.  Any more reports?
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« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2009, 02:36:51 AM »

Yesss, now everything works as advertised! Thmbsup

Did you maybe consider my feature proposal?
  • Possibility to provide the CONFIGDIR as a command line argument
  • Possibility to set a specific browser as default by command line argument
E.g.: C:\Program Files\BTS\BrowserTraySwitch.exe -configdir="D:\Program Data\BTS" -profile="Opera 10"
That would start BTS, load the file "D:\Program Data\BTS\BrowserFiles\Opera 10.btsregfile" and close BTS again.

I use VirtuaWin (a virtual deskop manager) in conjunction with the Module VirtuaPlus, which enables you to execute a program or command line, every time you switch to another desktop. So with the proposed command line arguments you could set a different default browser, for every single virtual desktop!
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mouser
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« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2009, 02:48:49 AM »

can i just make it so you pass the full path filename to the configuration file?
i can add that very easily.
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lujomu
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« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2009, 03:05:32 AM »

Sure, that would make even more sense! Sometimes I just think too complicated...
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