Welcome Guest.   Make a donation to an author on the site October 02, 2014, 09:38:19 AM  *

Please login or register.
Or did you miss your validation email?


Login with username and password (forgot your password?)
Why not become a lifetime supporting member of the site with a one-time donation of any amount? Your donation entitles you to a ton of additional benefits, including access to exclusive discounts and downloads, the ability to enter monthly free software drawings, and a single non-expiring license key for all of our programs.


You must sign up here before you can post and access some areas of the site. Registration is totally free and confidential.
 
Your Support Funds this Site: View the Supporter Yearbook.
   
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 Next   Go Down
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
Author Topic: What's your favorite launch bar? Your favorite features? Missing Features?  (Read 38404 times)
mouser
First Author
Administrator
*****
Posts: 33,435



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« on: January 06, 2006, 05:20:14 AM »

DonationCoder.com will be releasing a launch bar app soon, as a precursor to Context Menu Commander.
It will be focused mostly on functionality rather than slick appearance (ie nothing as visually fancy as the mac osx dock).

I'm interested in hearing what "launch bar" apps people use:

  • what's your favorite and why?
  • best feature?
  • things you'd like to see added or improved?

examples of some launch bar tools:
http://www.truelaunchbar.com/
http://www.freelaunchbar.com/
http://www.alentum.com/alaunch/index.htm
Logged
brotherS
Master of Good Ideas
Honorary Member
**
Posts: 2,105


To make a difference, be different.

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2006, 05:32:14 AM »

Well, looks great for sure.

I just wonder if such a launch bar is more for people that aren't yet using the keyboard a lot (which is a lot faster compared to mouse usage)?
Logged

Thank you.
mouser
First Author
Administrator
*****
Posts: 33,435



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2006, 05:39:20 AM »

i actually find myself using a launch bar a lot (i use advanced launch bar above).
mainly it offers me a quick visual choice of commonly used apps - and i find it sort of like a "reminder" of the tools i use the most.  without it on the screen i don't remember my available tools smiley
Logged
brotherS
Master of Good Ideas
Honorary Member
**
Posts: 2,105


To make a difference, be different.

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2006, 05:54:14 AM »

Well, the most often apps are in the Windows quick start bar (or whatever it is called), but I might try and like your new program too smiley
Logged

Thank you.
AbteriX
Charter Honorary Member
***
Posts: 1,050


Member #520

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2006, 06:49:04 AM »

Iam attempted a few launch bars 'cus i like to have my most used apps "by the hand" and most used .CPLs also.

Just now i use <MenuApp> , an EXE wich pop ups an folder structure of the folder the exe is in.
(or the working dir i have wrote in the shortcut.lnk)
Than i have an link to MenuApp.exe in my QuickFolder to see the icon of MenuApp in the quick launch bar.

MenuApp have nice feat like simple text files as shortcut, e.g. "!MA0001_Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}"
Quote
Well, you have to use the following filename syntax:

   !MAXXXX_-Y_The name as it appears on the menu

Where XXXX is whatever number you like, so that the entry appears on the menu
in your prefered location, and Y is the special folder code.

So, if you wanted to create a submenu displaying the current tasks,
you would first create a new text file and then change it's name to:

   !MA0000_-t_Current Tasks



Other bars i have used and use ofttimes:
LaunchMate
 http://launchmate.sourceforge.net/index.html


Systray+ - put an icon in the TNA
http://home.nikocity.de/stefan.schmitz/

TrayMenu by Wei Ke
with beta TrayBar
http://f2.org/archive/software/traymenu.html


lastly i found
H-Menu
http://home.planet.nl/~vrloohdv/homeEN.htm

and there is of course
PowerPro

and some more.

-

I like an tool like  LaunchMate most, its like MSs Off1ce Sh0rtCut Bar
you can have diff bars as layers of the main bar.
You can add single files, URL links, folders which pop ups like the WindowsStartMenu

Quote
LaunchMate ReadMe File:

Description:
------------
LaunchMate is the program launcher that will end your search.
It can dock to any edge of the screen just like the Windows taskbar.
You can organize your programs in up to 50 categories a sure a way to remove the clutter.
LaunchMate is one of the most customizable programs you'll find.
One of its standout features is the ability to set the display settings for each program so
that when it is launched the screen will change to those settings.
This takes away the hassle of having to remember to change your display setting every time
you want to play a game or use a program that works better in a specific display setting.
A few days with LaunchMate and you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.


I suggest for your bar:

- docking on all edge
- drag and drop files and folder on the bar
- context menu entry on each bar item "explore"
- variable size of bar icon
- auto hide after n seconds
- auto hide if the mouse pointer is near
- show costum date and time on the bar  ------  Kiss
- lets users wrote plugins for advanced features like system resurces
- let use start other exe's and .CMD with parameters to expand the usebillity of your bar
- TNA icon should be optional pls
- maybe an shortcut to focus your bar and the possibility to use the arrow keys to launch an button
- and... i have to work now, if you want more later :-)
Logged

Greetings, Stefan.
nudone
Cody's Creator
Columnist
***
Posts: 4,116



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2006, 07:21:52 AM »

a little request if that's okay...

with the new launch bar, is it possible for it to also list which programs are currently running - like the taskbar - or is that not really what a launch bar should be for?

i just ask as i find that most of the time the windows taskbar is fine but when i'm running full screen programs like photoshop (in full screen mode) i lose the taskbar. no big problem of course i can use 'alt+tab' or the 'win' key to flick over to other running programs or get to the taskbar.

but you know what a lazy swine i can be - sometimes using the other hand is just too much for me - i'd love to be able to just hit the edge of the screen (or a corner) with the cursor and see a list of other programs that are running and then just click the one i want to bring forward.

i'm sure there must be something that does this already (i'm almost sure that i must have tried such a program in the past but i can't remember what they were) but if there isn't then i'm just asking if such a method could be included into the new launch bar?
Logged
tinyvillager
Charter Member
***
Posts: 444


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2006, 07:25:12 AM »

 Would object dock from stardock be considered in the launch bar catagory?Anyways i have Object dock.It's a little
iffy.I'm looking forward to seeing what DC's lauchbar will be like.It wouldn't take much for me to ditch Object dock.

I bought a whole suite of Stardock stuff like six months ago,windowsblinds,Object dock,uninstalled windowsblinds,
and from the looks of their forums i'm not gonna upgrade.You ever see a forum of a software product that's gone
bad,lynchings almost accure and effigies of software programmers are set ablaze... almost.Every front post
on stardock's forums are negatives.Divx went through the same thing when they fazed out Dr. Divx and replaced
it with a frills encoder.You rip a kid out of twenty bucks man you better change your address,lol.Dr. Divx is back
btw.



Logged
nudone
Cody's Creator
Columnist
***
Posts: 4,116



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2006, 08:00:56 AM »

interesting to read that about stardock, tinyvillager. i was on the verge of getting windowblinds - just to brighten things up a bit, but i'll definitely not bother now.
Logged
Ampa
Charter Member
***
Posts: 589


I am cute ;)

View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2006, 09:35:51 AM »

Since the release of Find&RunRobot all launchbars have gone from my PC, and I just can't see a need for them anymore.

Ampa
Logged
rjbull
Charter Member
***
Posts: 2,760

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2006, 09:45:21 AM »

Not sure it's quite the same thing but I use Horst Schaeffer's PopSel and QSel for quick launching programs

http://home.mnet-online.de/horst.muc/

then go to Launchers.  Tiny, fast and free.  I've been fascinated by Horst's programs for over ten years.

Logged
rkrause
Charter Member
***
Posts: 12


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2006, 12:07:31 PM »

I currently use PS Hot Launch ( http://www.pssoftlab.com/pshl_info.phtml ), which is not strictly speaking a launch bar, but a fully customizable and freeware menu program that sits in the System Tray and effectively replaces the Start Menu and Quick Launch. In addition to listing and grouping applications as you like, you can do the same with documents, folders, web pages, and email addresses. Configuration is easy with drag and drop. 

I should mention that since I've started using Find & Run Robot, I use PS Hot Launch more for inventory, categorization, and memory-jogging purposes than for actually launching programs. F&RR has also replaced AppRocket and SlickRun on my system. What a fantastic program! Really looking forward to v.2, mouser.

Rick
Logged
Edvard
Coding Snacks Author
Charter Honorary Member
***
Posts: 2,561



View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2006, 01:24:20 PM »

I run PowerPro as a launch bar. Since PP does a gajillion other things I don't use/want/need a lighter launch thingie that is similarly configurable would be great. Some things mentioned that PowerPro can do that a replacement would ideally do:
Sit in system tray and popup a menu.
Hide at an edge and show (bar, menu, whatever) when edge is hit.
Use multiple methods for launching- shortcut buttons, menus, hotkeys, ?...
Group shortcuts or menu items visually by selectable criteria: category, type, alphabetical, whatever.

I have my PowerPro bar set up much like the launch panel from  XFCE( a linux window manager app ) where there are icons which represent my most-used app in that category and are activated by a left-click. Right-click on the same icon gets me a menu of other apps in that category. For example, my Firefox button of course opens Firefox when I click it. A right-click pops up a menu of the category "internet" that includes IE, Filezilla, Opera, and may also include Instant Message and IRC apps, Upload links, etc.

Two cents and all that.
Logged

All children left unattended will be given a mocha and a puppy.
Darwin
Charter Member
***
Posts: 6,979



see users location on a map View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2006, 06:36:39 PM »

Stardock's ObjectBar is pretty configureable, (though I can't in honesty be bothered with it!) and completely replaces the windows taskbar.

Nudone: I purchased WB 5 and it's worth the $19.95. I liked it so much I upgraded to ObjectDesktop but probably should have stopped at WB... OD comes with a raft of apps that you can use to tweak the appearance of your entire system but I find that I don't use many of them. Amongst them is an app called Enhance Dialog, which allows you to modify your open/close, save, etc. dialogs a la File-Ex and XFilesDialog.

Anyway, give WindowBlinds 5 a try - the glass effects are really something. Of course, I might just be easily impressed having religiously stuck with Windows Classic and the themes service disabled for the last three years! Note, my system actually seems more responsive with Windows skinned under WindowBlinds. Maybe that's just me trying to rationalize the expense, though!
Logged

"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
tinyvillager
Charter Member
***
Posts: 444


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2006, 07:04:31 PM »



 Yeah i could be wrong about windowblinds,never did upgrade to 5,all the forum posts over there tends to spook one.
Maybe it's just fud from those with cracked versions,i might give it ago,i still have upgrade privileges.

Now that this thread has gone totally off
subject,has anyone tried https://secure.tgtsoft.com/ ?

It's only 20 bucks aswell.
Logged
Rover
Master of Smilies
Charter Member
***
Posts: 628



see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2006, 11:27:08 PM »

I use free launch bar just because it's easy and does what I want.  It goes vertical along the left of my screen and allows me to add folders of one click apps.  I don't need much smiley

Go Mouser!
Logged

Insert Brilliant Sig line here
nudone
Cody's Creator
Columnist
***
Posts: 4,116



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2006, 02:48:28 AM »

f0dder and tinyvillager, i had installed the trial version of windowblinds 5 - using the noire skin - it was almost the perfect 'look' for my new new 'black' machine. but, there were a few things i wanted to tweak - just so i could see the text better on some menus and there was a rather chubby border around the windows that wasn't really necessary.

i tried to edit the skin using 'skinstudio' but the 'noire' skin that it picked up appeared to be slightly different than the one i actually had running in front of me - strange. anyway, i didn't edit the skin and it just made me wonder - if i upgraded to the full windowblinds would i then find myself with other version of 'noire' - the one that i actually don't like (it's less pollished).

this, along with your comments about many people complaining, just made me think that i was destined to become another unhappy customer.

i'll give it some thought and then maybe just take the gamble and buy it - looks to me like it's a 50:50 chance of winning.
Logged
Hirudin
Charter Member
***
Posts: 542


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2006, 04:48:18 AM »

Quote
Right-click on the same icon gets me a menu of other apps in that category. For example, my Firefox button of course opens Firefox when I click it. A right-click pops up a menu of the category "internet" that includes IE, Filezilla, Opera, and may also include Instant Message and IRC apps, Upload links, etc.

That sounds like a GREAT feature! I used something similar when I customized my Rhino 3D interface. It is SO convienient to have ONE button that does the most common task when left-clicked, but gives access to similar tasks when right clicked!


I know this isn't exactly what you're looking for, but I actually use Windows Toolbars. I used to hate the "Quick Launch Bar" but, with some tweeking, I hate to be without it! Pretty much what I've done, is created folders that contain the shortcuts that I use, then created custom Toolbars that display the contents of those folders. The cool thing is, you can drag the toolbars off the Task Bar onto the Desktop, then drag them off the Desktop to create a new docked window on the side/top of the screen.



As you can see: I have a new bar on the left side, the top is a toolbar pointing to my "!Shortcuts" directory, it has pretty much all the shortcuts that I ever use, all in one place. To access the shortcuts I have to press the little "»" to open the submenu.

Below that I have a toolbar pointing to my "!Shortcuts\Common" folder, in there I keep copies of shortcuts that I use all the time, or shortcuts to programs that I don't want to forget about.

Then on the bottom I have a toolbar that displays the contents of the Desktop. I download everything to the desktop first, then decide if I want to keep it or delete it. With the handy left toolbar I can open the newly downloaded program/file as soon as it's done downloading. I can also grab newly downloaded documents and drag them onto open programs without having to minimize any windows! It works very well!

A feature I would request of a dockable toolbar: a pause before it opens (even if it's 200 ms). The one bad aspect of the left toolbar is that it opens instantly, so it'll open sometimes when I'm trying to select something on the left of the screen (be it a button, or just trying to highlight text...).

Another feature that might be cool, is to make it possible to only display files created/modified within a settable amount of time. With this feature you could have an easily accessable list of newly downloaded/created files, without having to sort through all your old files...

Also, it seems like a lot of people have shortcuts on their toolbar "just as a reminder." Having a dedicated "reminder" feature of some kind might be helpful.

And on a side note, this is the way I have firefox layed out (with the back, forward, refresh, and stop buttons, the address bar, and the google search box in the same line as the File, Edit, View, etc menus). It saves a decient amount of space...

« Last Edit: January 07, 2006, 04:57:19 AM by Hirudin » Logged
mouser
First Author
Administrator
*****
Posts: 33,435



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2006, 06:21:33 AM »

thats a useful picture hirudin - i hadn't thought of combining big and small icons on one toolbar.. i'll have to consider that.

i know there are a lot of application launchbars out there - hopefully ours will find a little niche and be able to implement some useful features.  i suspect that over time we'll all be able to think think of enough new features that will make it something special.
Logged
Innuendo
Charter Member
***
Posts: 1,923

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2006, 01:40:23 PM »

When it comes to launch bars there are two kinds...There's TrueLaunchBar....and there's everything else. Grin

Seriously, if anyone is looking to program a launch bar program then TrueLaunchBar is truly the one app above all others that needs to be studied very closely. What it can do out of the box is amazing. What it can do coupled with the plugins that have been written for it is nothing short of mind-staggering. TLB is the best of show in this category of apps and is the one to beat. It's greatest strength, IMHO, is that it starts with what is familiar to everyone (Quick Launch) and builds upon it with tons of functionality without becoming intrusive or obstructive. It's so good that even my stinginess had to relent and purchase a license the last time it was on sale.

I really love the projects that Stardock put out...in spirit. However, in practice, when I install one of their apps it always starts making other stuff act weirdly. I don't know if I would call it bugs, but more along the lines of oddities. For example, I installed WindowBlinds 5 and then I lost the ability to minimize Firefox to the system tray. Uninstalled WB 5 and I got my minimize functionality back. Stardock specializes in programming nifty ground-breaking apps that are perpetually "almost there."

Logged
Darwin
Charter Member
***
Posts: 6,979



see users location on a map View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2006, 05:44:09 PM »

I use Truelaunchbar Pro, too... I love it. My only complaint, and the developer is looking into this, is that the "show desktop" icon is infinitely slower in switching to the desktop than it is using the QuickLaunchBar. For the record, the same behaviour occurs when I have ObjectBar loaded (installed for that matter...) instead of the default taskbar.

Innuendo, I actually agree with you about Stardock. I like their ideas/apps in principle but there is always something that doesn't quite work right. Currently, I only have Window Blinds 5 installed (latest beta), though I have access to the entire ObjectDesktop suite and also own ObjectDock. I just don't find that, in the case of ObjectDock, there is enough there that isn't available using the taskbar. I *do* like window blinds though...
« Last Edit: January 08, 2006, 12:04:13 AM by Darwin » Logged

"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
mouser
First Author
Administrator
*****
Posts: 33,435



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2006, 06:00:32 PM »

id love to hear a description of the essential features of tlb that you guys like the most.
Logged
Innuendo
Charter Member
***
Posts: 1,923

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2006, 09:17:46 PM »

Darwin,
Time for an upgrade! WindowBlinds came out of beta some time ago. You need to install the final v5.0.

mouser,
I'll mull that request over and get back to you.
Logged
Darwin
Charter Member
***
Posts: 6,979



see users location on a map View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2006, 12:03:00 AM »

Innuendo: I purchased the released version of WB 5 at the end of November, but two beta releases subsequent to that have been made available via the Stardock Central program...

Mouser: hmmm.... I think that the MOST important/attractive thing about TLB for me is, as Innuendo has already noted, that it works flawlessly "out of the box" (the aforementioned "show desktop" quibble excepted. Given that I am more likely to hit win-d this is a very minor consideration). In addition, there are about 20 plugins that extend the functionality, many of which are ACTUALLY really useful and well executed. There are calendars, battery monitors, a memory optimizer, to do lists, etc. Finally, and my favourite feature, there is the menu/virtual folders feature. This lets you define a folder to link to and TLB turns it into a navigable menu - you just click on it and select the file you want opened. It's EXTREMELY convenient for me in accessing files relating to my PhD and to work (teaching intro university classes - bonus points to anyone who can figure out what my specialty is from my avatar Wink) quickly and naturally. To contrast this, I've tried using ObjectDock's flyout menus feature to do the same thing and while it LOOKS interesting it's pretty annoying!

Sidenote: I've *just* reinstalled TLB this evening after leaving it off my system while I played around with ObjectBar and the show desktop "thing" seems to have vanished... I can't think what I've changed on my system in the last two weeks that might explain this, which is a pity as I'd like to be able to let the developer know. Sigh... Still, it's early in the installation and if memory serves the behaviour came on gradually.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2006, 12:11:20 AM by Darwin » Logged

"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
mouser
First Author
Administrator
*****
Posts: 33,435



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2006, 04:47:13 AM »

well one idea comes up right away when you combine what darwin and hirudin have mentioned about virtual folders as menus - which would be some sophisticated virtual folder menu support.  like being able to say that a menu should show files from certain directories that meet certain criteria, etc.
Logged
jdd
Charter Member
***
Posts: 214


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2006, 10:31:46 AM »

I live and die by launchers and find them to be incredible time savers once they are set up properly.

I intend to try out some of the programs mentioned in this posting but I have been very pleased with the previously mentioned Free Launch Bar at http://www.freelaunchbar.com/.  One feature that I would like is an ability to more easily store and save the launcher set up so they can be moved to another computer or reinstalled at a later date.

I also use another freeware program called Micro-Sys Launcher 1.46 available at http://www.micro-sys.dk/products/launcher/ .  This is an older program that could use some updating but it has some good features.  I installed before Free Launch Bar and since I spent so much time setting up the launches I couldn’t bear to trash it. 

jdd

« Last Edit: January 08, 2006, 10:38:49 AM by jdd » Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 Next   Go Up
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  

DonationCoder.com | About Us
DonationCoder.com Forum | Powered by SMF
[ Page time: 0.052s | Server load: 0.22 ]