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Last post Author Topic: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around  (Read 37860 times)

Darwin

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2007, 02:28:25 PM »
I'm trying out Dexpot now. I'm really not feeling the love... I don't know if it's just me or if it is the way I have grown as a computer user, but I find that virtual desktops get in my way - it's an additional layer of complexity that, rather than making me more productive, hinders my productivity. Perhaps I am simply so stuck in my own way of doing things that I can't see past them. I'm glimpsing its power, and can appreciate why people who need to switch between different desktop resolutions might be attracted to it, but for my usage I don't find it particularly compelling. I'll keep playing with it and see if I can change that...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

nudone

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2007, 04:08:06 PM »
i think the only way to use a virtual screen is to treat it as something completely different to a secondary hardware screen.

as i way of laying out out a specific arrangement of several windows that you want to use and keep referring back to, then they are useful. as a way of pretending that they are a real secondary (or more) monitor then they are pretty pointless.

if you don't need to have several program windows running alongside each other on the screen then there's little point to a virtual screen - using the alt-tab key is better. but if you want something like all your code editing programs open next to each other whilst you work with them AND all your internet programs open in a nice side by side arrangement kind of thing - then using a virtual screen would be just right. you'd be able to quickly swap between the two layouts.

if you find concentrating on a single program window at a time is more than enough then there's no use in using virtual screens.

i often find myself trying virtual screen/desktop managers as they seem like a useful idea and then within a couple of days i'm back to using just my normal single screen. so, although i can contrive the benefit of why they are good - i don't find them good enough to use.

perhaps, it just requires education. there is a benefit to them - but you have to make them work for you. i'm probably more inclined to treat them as a gimmick device (though i really wish to be able to find my work so incredible complex that i need virtual screens to help me).

i will try dexpot again soon - maybe.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2007, 04:10:51 PM by nudone »

Edvard

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2007, 06:02:20 PM »
jgpaiva: Thank you for giving Dexpot a thorough run-down. It was too complex for what i use virtual spaces for. I'm going to link to this thread from my mini-review.

Curt: see my Virtual Window Manager mini-review here: http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=2485.0
Maybe that will help. Here's some screenshots of my favorite, JsPager.
This is my screen. Taskbar to the right side, PowerPro launch bar at the bottom, and a curious rectangular thing at the top:
screen.jpg
What is that thing? It's a Virtual Desktop program called JSPager. Just FYI, a "pager" is the graphical interface to the concept of Virtual Desktops, or Virtual Window Managers as some call them. Not all virtual desktops utilize pagers (some put numbered buttons or arrows in the Tray for view switching), but I prefer the ones that do.
Here's a close up of the pager:
jspager1.jpg
JSPager happens to be skinnable, and could just as easily look like this:
jspager2.jpg
or this:
jspager3.jpg
But I digress...

Here's what I do with it:
It shows four squares with some miniature representations of the windows I currently have open. Each of those squares is a "virtual window" and each of them has certain windows open in them. I can switch to any of them by simply clicking on the relevant square. If I click a taskbar item, it switches to the desktop that is currently holding the window of the program I selected.

Imagine you are sitting in a chair in front of 4 desks:
--On Desk 1 are a few paperback books.
--On Desk 2 are some business papers, a stapler and a pen.
--On Desk 3 is a stereo system with a few CD's lying about.
--On Desk 4 is a pad of watercolor paper, a few paint tubes and some paint brushes.

Depending on what sort of task you are doing at the time, you may slide your chair to the relevant desk, while keeping aware of the other tasks waiting to be experienced on the other desks, and the separate tasks do not overlap each other.
THAT is why I keep virtual desktops. When I am doing emails, I have the window up with Outlook and the File Manager. When I am on the internet, I have the windo with Firefox on full screen up, etc. etc. etc.

I hope our enthusiasm has not confused you, I can definitely see where a single screen is elegant in it's simplicity but it's just not enough for me.

Hope this helps,
-edvard

Curt

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2007, 04:07:04 PM »
Thank you, Edvard, you cleared my mind:   :Thmbsup:


--
BTW: Some'll say Virtual Desktop Toolbox is the thing.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2007, 04:09:50 PM by Curt »

steeladept

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2007, 07:34:44 AM »
I would just like to add that using Linux has given me a great deal of respect for virtual desktops.  Ever since GNOME and KDE desktops have been available, they have utilized them and I have missed them on Windows machines ever since.  I agree that the MS powertoy just doesn't work well, though I have used it a lot trying to force it to work.  It just keeps causing issues.

To answer the purpose of such a program, I will just explain how and why I use it and maybe it will help clear a few points.  My main purpose, as most have already explained, is to help organize things.  For example, I use one desktop to write code; another to view the results in a browser; another for running my entertainment (music, video, etc.).  This can, of course, be done by multiple windows, but by doing it this way, I am not searching through 19 windows on the window bar for the correct program.  This is doubly true when you have multiple versions of the same program open.  I know a few programs here help with that, but it is difficult sometimes to change what you are used to.  Even more so in my case, because I am a desktop technician.  Because I deal with so many different computers, I get used to the lowest common denominator - i.e. Windows basic interface.  With virtual desktops, I have X number of Windows basic interfaces that each have their own purpose.  Well, on my personal machine anyway... :D

Don't know if that helps, but that is my use.

MrCrispy

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2007, 01:05:10 PM »
Dexpot has 1 big flaw for me - lets say I am on desktop #2 and in the system tray I double click an icon for a program which is on a desktop #1 - Dexpot does not switch the desktops and I get no indication that something has happened.

This is unnacceptable. I am going to try the other managers to see how they do.

btw, I have not seen the source code for these programs but I wonder how many are using virtual desktop support which is built into XP. Like many other things, XP and Win32 fully support virtual desktops, its just not exposed as a feature in explorer - its pretty unfortunate as MS has chosen in the interests of simplicity to make XP far less capable than it really is (and the trend continues with Vista).

Curt

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2007, 03:22:27 PM »

virtual desktop support ... is built into XP. Like many other things, XP and Win32 fully support virtual desktops, its just not exposed as a feature in explorer -

Could you tell a lot more about this, MrCrispy?

f0dder

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2007, 04:54:07 PM »
Perhaps PlatformSDK::CreateDesktop and PlatformSDK::SwitchDesktop? Dunno if any of the switchers use these APIs, the ones I've looked at have done tricks like just moving windows off-screen when they're not on the currently active (virtual) "desktop".
- carpe noctem

Edvard

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2007, 07:05:56 PM »
MrCrispy: The feature you are looking for is usually called "Active Window Switching" Look for it or something similar in the configs.

f0dder: They all use different ways. I assume those APIs are rather new, XP-centric? So they're available for newer apps to use. All the virtual desk apps previously either used the  "hide" function or moved windows off the visible space, and at least one I tried a while ago (that failed miserably) simply minimize/maximize sets of windows automatically. I know that the more "intelligent" ones will allow different hiding methods for different apps because some "child-window" type things like older versions of Photoshop tool windows didn't play well with some methods.

f0dder

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #34 on: January 31, 2007, 01:02:30 AM »
Those APIs have been there since NT3.5, but are unavailable on 9x...
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Curt

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #35 on: February 03, 2007, 07:30:35 AM »
Stumbled unto yet another Russian: Aston - $30

« Last Edit: February 03, 2007, 07:33:52 AM by Curt »

f0dder

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #36 on: February 03, 2007, 07:43:40 AM »
Fix your link, it points to http://aston :)
- carpe noctem

tinjaw

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2007, 06:23:00 AM »
Dexpot looks nice. I installed it and found out that it cannot handle my destop setup. I run a laptop with an external monitor.

12-8-2007 6-19-55 AM.png

Dexpot treats it like a 1280x800 screen and apps will all show up on top of each other.

tinjaw

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2008, 10:52:55 AM »
I am revisiting Dexpot and I am not getting the behavior I was before. Maybe it had something to do with the way the screens were in relation to each other. Currently I have them like this...

2-17-2008 10-50-00 AM.pngDexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around

I am interested to hear from some of the longterm users of Dexpot how stable it has been for them. What's been your longterm usage of it like?

yksyks

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2008, 11:54:55 AM »
I ceased to use it for the reason explained here. I realized that it doesn't bring much to my style of work, but the taskbar reordering is an obstruction.

nontroppo

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2008, 06:01:23 PM »
I am interested to hear from some of the longterm users of Dexpot how stable it has been for them. What's been your longterm usage of it like?

I still use it, but I wish deeply for bug fixes for key bindings and more consistent behaviour.
FARR Wishes: Performance TweaksTask ControlAdaptive History
[url=http://opera.com/]

Target

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2008, 08:48:58 PM »
Aston is actually an alternative shell, rather than a virtual desktop manager (perhaps it includes that functionality?)



MikeMcLoughlin

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #42 on: February 18, 2008, 05:47:18 AM »
I use AstonShell (and Menu) and yes it is a shell replacement, there are some hideous skins available for it but also some great ones. They also do a desktop manager called AltDesk which I haven't tried but if it's as good as their other products it will be superb. http://www.astonshell.com/altdesk/

The reason I haven't tried AltDesk is that I already use DeskSpace by Otaku Software. It may be a memory hog and it may not have some of the features of others but I love it - it has never caused me any problems and the visual appearance to me is the killer.
http://www.otakusoftware.com/
I also use their task switching tool, TopDesk, which again I love for it's visual appearance.


mwfuss

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #43 on: February 18, 2008, 06:25:15 AM »
I am interested to hear from some of the longterm users of Dexpot how stable it has been for them. What's been your longterm usage of it like?

I have been using Dexpot for several years now without any difficulties. In fact, I find the program to be indispensable in my work.

tinjaw

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #44 on: February 18, 2008, 09:50:07 PM »
yksyks, nontroppo, mwfuss,

Thanks for your reports.

Anybody else?

Target

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #45 on: February 19, 2008, 05:08:58 PM »
ran across this one this morning and it may be of interest to others

<a href=http://update.docs.kr/entry/Products-Shock-4Way3D-en>Shock 4way desktop - 3D</a>

it's a aero (?) style 4 pane virtual desktop manager (there is also a 2D version)

info on the site is pretty sparse, but it's listed as freeware...

Target

EDIT - registration (free) required...the effect is quite cool, whether or not it's useful is another (YMMV)

« Last Edit: February 19, 2008, 05:57:59 PM by Target »

nontroppo

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #46 on: September 07, 2008, 09:39:25 AM »
Dexpot has just got a small update:

Quote
Features
Support for 64-bit operating systems
Dexpot Portable
More languages supported

Improved support for Windows Vista
[Bug 59] Desktop Preview in Vista (Auot-hide)
Show start button und Sidebar on every desktop
Autorun Dexpot using the Task Scheduler
JPEG wallpaper support
Run Dexpot as administrator (.manifest)

Bugs
[Bug 52] Dexpot starts twice after being registered
[Bug 54] Hide protected desktops in the fullscreen preview
[Bug 55] Password prompt concealed by fullscreen preview
[Bug 58] Disabling full screen preview causes desktop preview malfunction
Sticky menu shadows fixed
Reordering of taskbar buttons improved
Don't close windows that are present on the current desktop on shutdown
Hide fullscreen preview from context menu in preview when fullscreen preview is disabled
Automatically show content of a protected desktop in the preview after switching to this desktop
Adjust size of the desktop preview when showing/hiding its title bar
http://dexpot.de/index.php?id=history
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superboyac

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #47 on: November 04, 2008, 03:58:06 PM »
What was the name of that one software that was mentioned on DC somewhere, that was like a virtual desktop manager, but had things that you can autohide on the edges of the screen and stuff?  I don't remember much about it, I think mouser mentioned it.  It was freeware, and kind of a poweruser thing, where it had a lot of settings and stuff.  I just remember the autohide around the screen thing.

Darwin

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #48 on: November 04, 2008, 04:15:04 PM »
You're not thinking of PowerPro, are you?
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

superboyac

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Re: Dexpot: Probably the best virtual desktop manager around
« Reply #49 on: November 04, 2008, 06:26:54 PM »
No, not powerpro.  Something more like a virtual desktop application, except there was stuff that you configure to go autohide on the sides of the screen.  I don't know, it's at the tip of my tongue.