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Author Topic: IDEA: Capture windows of various programs into one window with tabs  (Read 5169 times)

app103

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This sounded like a great idea when I was thinking it up...maybe it really isn't. (I don't know)

Imagine if you had an application where you could open other applications with it and they all be tabbed like browser windows are in some popular browsers, like firefox.

So that way I could have a tab for my IRC client, a tab for my browser, a tab for my rss reader, a tab for notepad, a tab for a game, a tab for some MS Office application, a tab for just about anything I would want to run...all in one window.

It would have a button that would open a dialog to browse for the .exe file.

It would keep a sorted list of used applications or maybe have a way to add favorite programs to a menu to make them easier to run next time.

And a feature where you could drag a tab to reposition it to change the order.

Not sure if this qualifies as a coding snack or if it would be too complicated.

Either way, it's something I would love to have.

Ampa

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Re: IDEA: Capture windows of various programs into one window with tabs
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2006, 08:51:41 AM »
OK take this reply with a pinch of salt but...

On my desktop right now i have The Bat!, Opera, and various files in notepad... all maximised, and the taskbar gives me handy 'tabs' that I can use to switch between them.

I am also running Taskbar Shuffle which allows me to simple drag the tabs / buttons into any order that I like.

As for easily launching applications, FRR does a superlative job, and if that isn't your style there are 1001 other launchers and docks available.

Perhaps I didn't 'get' what you were suggesting, or perhaps what you are suggesting already exists... as the operating system / GUI?

JavaJones

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Re: IDEA: Capture windows of various programs into one window with tabs
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2006, 01:35:13 AM »
I don't think this is something you'd want to use for every app - after all that's what a task bar is far - but it *could* be handy for creating custom "groups" of apps, if you want, sort of like custom desktops (except I find those more cumbersome than I'm imagining this to be). This would be similar to XP's default "group similar taskbar items" I suppose, except I hate that. This would at least be customizable - only the apps you chose would end up in a given container. So for example let's say I'm working on coding a web page. I have my design app open (Nvu), 3 or more browsers for testing (Firefox, Opera, IE), a graphics app for doing my web images (ImageReady perhaps), and at least one and probably several folders open for quick file access. Now I also have my email app, Winamp, IM client (with multiple chat windows - could be tabbed, but I prefer not), 2 VNC windows, and a Word file open. A good half of the icons on my taskbar could be "collapsed" into one with a system like that suggested. It would be my "web design workspace" so to speak.

Now in itself that doesn't sound all *that* cool. Here's where it gets more interesting though. What if you could save the "sessions", just like Opera (or any other competent tabbed browser)? So let's say I have the previously mentioned "Working on a web page" workspace. I save it, and then I can just re-open it at any time and it brings up all the same apps, so I'm immediately ready to work on a web page again. Super cool! It would be very useful just to launch the apps all together in a neutral state, but even better if it could actually re-load previously loaded data. And along those lines let's see if we can go a step further - could such an app literally "save state", sort of like a workspace-specific "Hibernate" mode (Windows 2000/XP)? That would truly be awesome! With lots of HD space you could temporarily shut down memory-intensive apps to do something else, like play a game for example when you had just been working in Photoshop, and then just jump right back to where you were after you're done by loading the session. Obviously loading the session would take a little while, but not *that* long - coming back from hibernation doesn't even take that long on a 3GB machine (my main system here).

So, now does this sound more promising? :D Ok yes it's probably well beyond the scope of a coding snack now, but even the first idea, if possible, could be useful for some, especially those who don't like working with multi-desktop systems.

- Oshyan

jgpaiva

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Re: IDEA: Capture windows of various programs into one window with tabs
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2006, 04:52:43 AM »
I think this is similar to the virtual desktops concept. You also should look at one of microsoft's projects in taskbars, already mentioned here on DC, called groupbar, i think. The latter is quite similar to the group similar tasks in xp, with the difference that it can group whatever apps you want, can group and ungroup, etc. It's quite a brilliant idea, and it even can save "snapshots" although i didn't manage to work out how that works.
The only problem is that it makes some render problems in some apps. (namelly msnmessenger, when you use windows without title bar).
Definitelly worth a look.

JavaJones

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Re: IDEA: Capture windows of various programs into one window with tabs
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2006, 04:57:00 AM »
Yes, it's similar to virtual desktops, although as I said I don't like those (at least not from my experiences so far). Here are the links for Groupbar if anyone else wants to try it: http://research.micr...m/vibe/groupbar.aspx http://www.patrickba.../groupbar/index.html I'll check it out ASAP as it does sound very interesting.

- Oshyan

app103

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Re: IDEA: Capture windows of various programs into one window with tabs
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2006, 08:24:00 AM »
I don't think this is something you'd want to use for every app - after all that's what a task bar is far - but it *could* be handy for creating custom "groups" of apps, if you want, sort of like custom desktops (except I find those more cumbersome than I'm imagining this to be). This would be similar to XP's default "group similar taskbar items" I suppose, except I hate that. This would at least be customizable - only the apps you chose would end up in a given container. So for example let's say I'm working on coding a web page. I have my design app open (Nvu), 3 or more browsers for testing (Firefox, Opera, IE), a graphics app for doing my web images (ImageReady perhaps), and at least one and probably several folders open for quick file access. Now I also have my email app, Winamp, IM client (with multiple chat windows - could be tabbed, but I prefer not), 2 VNC windows, and a Word file open. A good half of the icons on my taskbar could be "collapsed" into one with a system like that suggested. It would be my "web design workspace" so to speak.

That is precisely what I had in mind.

I'd love to have all my chat clients in one window (ares/irc/mx),
web design project in another (PSP, browsers, folders, notepad2, etc),
browser windows in another (I have an odd way of utilizing tabs...all related pages are in one window...but I have multiple instances open with different subjects in each: 1 for email, 1 dc forum, one for the current topic I am researching, etc)

You should see what a disorganized mess of taskbar buttons I have when I am really busy multitasking.

It gets worse when stuff likes to minimize to the tray like the chat clients do...I start to forget which I have open.

A long time ago (2001) there was a browser called Crystalport AppCapture 5.1 that allowed you to do exactly what I described. Unfortunately the company that released it disappeared and you can no longer purchase a full version, nor are there any updates/upgrades/tech support any more.  And I can't seem to get that version to run on my PC. I can only seem to get the older version without the AppCapture, that I paid for, to work. (4.6.5 standard)

kfitting

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Re: IDEA: Capture windows of various programs into one window with tabs
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2006, 12:00:28 PM »
I know many people here read ShellCity so I may be repeating what people already know, but they have a small app that appears (I have NOT tried it yet) to do what is requested here.  Alpha so beware!

http://redllar.virtu....net/fungustabs.html

Kevin

app103

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Re: IDEA: Capture windows of various programs into one window with tabs
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2006, 02:18:19 PM »
I am going to give this FungusTabs a try...seems like it would be perfect.

JavaJones

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Re: IDEA: Capture windows of various programs into one window with tabs
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2006, 03:51:57 PM »
FungusTabs seems pretty cool. Is it being actively developed? I saw no dates on the website (cursory glance). Let us know how it is app!

- Oshyan

app103

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Re: IDEA: Capture windows of various programs into one window with tabs
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2006, 09:11:36 AM »
The idea of FungusTabs seems to be much better than the actual software.

It is very buggy.

The following is just one instance of bugginess:

My daughter stuck all her AIM conversations together with it and the very first XP lockup on this pc occurred when she tried to separate one from the group. (can you say 'reset button'?)

She doesn't want to forgive me for losing the entire text of an IM from her boyfriend in the Navy, that was lost during the reset. She has saved every IM conversation she has ever had with him up until now. She uses an older version of AIM that doesn't have automatic logging because she hates the newer versions. (they confuse her)

To have this conversation, she kicked me out of the chair while I had much going on, many open windows which I minimized so she could have the conversation with him. Everything I was doing at the time was also lost.

I have also had a few problems with windows that minimize to tray while the tabs are locked with other windows.

Right now, with the current version of FungusTabs, you are risking losing work in progress.

I think I will wait and see if they update it before I run it again. But this will be perfect for me if they manage to get the bugs out.

Definitely a program to keep your eyes on.

imtrobin

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Re: IDEA: Capture windows of various programs into one window with tabs
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2006, 01:24:22 AM »
I tried FungusTab, it's nice but it doesn't implement the tabbed container yet. I mailed to the author about this idea and he replied he's quite busy so I don't we will see any updates in a while.

nite_monkey

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Re: IDEA: Capture windows of various programs into one window with tabs
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2006, 09:17:32 PM »
on a side note, put the tabs at the bottom when using fungustab, and then dl desktop coral, and put it at the bottom, right above your start bar, and the tabs will still show up when you hit the maximize button, tho one thing I would like is to have 2 coral bars, so I can put one on my second monitor also.
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