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Author Topic: IDEA (Concept Follow through): Small program that Show/Hides Desktop Stuff +  (Read 2317 times)
sgtevmckay
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« on: June 15, 2011, 01:42:52 PM »

Greetings folks.

I come to you humble and frustrated  embarassed

Some years ago, a programmer developed a neat little piece of software (albeit needing additional work) that would show and hide desktop icons with a simple Shortcut and command line. This program worked famously in Windows XP, and failed (partially) in Vista.....you can imagine the headache in Windows 7.
More information on that program at How-To-Geek: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/create-a-shortcut-or-hotkey-to-turn-the-desktop-icons-on-or-off/

Over the years I have contact many programmers to re-create an update to this, by creating a similar program that would work in Windows Vista and higher, in both 32 and 64 bit flavors.
I have had several serious attempts to tackle this issue, to include folks that would be paid upon completion of program.
Many have outright given up or have created bloated/failed attempts.
Two have come so close.
A former programmer here (that I will not mention by name) came the closest, with Clean Desktop
Can be downloaded here: http://www.mediafire.com/file/cs2z6ilfj3etanm/Clean%20Desktop.zip

Clean desktop will Show/Hide Desktop Icons, Side Bar Gadgets, and the Menu Bar

The problem (that seems to be at issue) is hiding the Menu Bar and then making the space available.
In Vista and 7 it is easy to hide and show the menu bar, but typically the area seems to be "reserved" and no application expanded to full screen can make use of this area.
As shown in the following image:


This is the single area of frustration that apparently can not be overcome in Vista and 7!!!  huh

That being said; this should be do-able!
Object Dock has successfully done this for many years now, where the Menu Bar can be locked in a down position (or made to disappear) and the Menu Bar area made usable.
So, as far as I know, this goal is obtainable.

I like the structure and small program of Clean desktop, and would see that continued/re-created, so users can identify what and when "X" desktop Items Show/Hide.
The program is universal in that it works in 32 and 64 bit arenas.
The two big things to overcome is Hiding/Showing the Menu Bar, while making the Menu Bar area usable, and creating a system where the last state is remembered (?).
Doing this and wrapping it up into a small .exe controlled by Command Line through End User created shortcuts.

I would see this program posted as a DC Community program, and made available here, If Mouser approves Wink

NOTE:
Yes there is a way that the Desktop Icons can be hidden in all Windows Platforms. This has been available since Windows 95, and Side Bar can simply be shut off, but this does not address the Menu Bar, nor make Desktop Icons, side Bar gadgets, or the Menu Bar easily accessible to instant access. Which is where this small program comes in very handy.

If there are any programmers here willing to tackle this project, I would be very grateful.

Thanks in Advance
Regards
The Sarge

« Last Edit: June 15, 2011, 01:45:53 PM by sgtevmckay » Logged
justice
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2011, 06:07:29 PM »

Do you know fences? http://www.stardock.com/products/fences/
Double click on the desktop to hide/show icons
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sgtevmckay
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2011, 06:18:59 PM »

Indeed I do Wink

Not exactly what I am looking for.
Fences does not like Virtual Desktop Environments, where as the tool I am suggesting is not environment dependent, but rather manipulating (possible???) existing Windows elements.
Also, as far as I know, Fences is not controllable via command line elements that can be manipulated into shortcuts, or used in programs such as Rainmeter or Samurize and the like
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mitzevo
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2011, 11:43:05 AM »

Why don't ya just make an autohotkey script to mimic/toggle the right-click on desktop > [untick] show *, and also autohide the taskbar, etc. You could even make it accept params and all for uses in other scripts/shortcuts.

 smiley
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sgtevmckay
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« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2011, 04:09:43 PM »

 have a couple of friends that have been looking into this as a solution as well as AutoIT.
So far, apparently, not all of the required functionality can be carried by these programs  Sad
So the Autohotkey and AutoIT concepts were abandoned some time ago.
I must defer to their findings as I am no programmer  embarassed
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rjbull
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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2011, 04:34:49 PM »

Hide and Show Desktop Icons are functions built into the hotkey program HotKeyz, but I don't think it solves the Menu Bar problem.
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2011, 06:11:56 PM »

have a couple of friends that have been looking into this as a solution as well as AutoIT.
So far, apparently, not all of the required functionality can be carried by these programs� Sad
So the Autohotkey and AutoIT concepts were abandoned some time ago.
I must defer to their findings as I am no programmer� embarassed

I'm a bit confused.  When you say MenuBar do you mean the Taskbar? If so and programs maximize leaving that space uncovered then the desktop work area is probably set the same as if the Taskbar was showing and locked.  You can try my utilty Adjust Work Area and set it to the screen resolution after hiding the Taskbar to see what happens.

http://www.favessoft.com/downloads.html

edit: btw, run awa.exe on the command line with no params and it will show the current work area numbers, left, top, right, bottom.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2011, 08:26:30 PM by MilesAhead » Logged

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