new launcher just released -
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Author Topic: new launcher just released  (Read 17248 times)
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« Reply #50 on: July 25, 2007, 10:56:22 AM »

Umm, I'm going to jump in the FARR looks bashing bandwagon! (Wahey!)

Armadawn is right regarding looks. Skins sometimes doesn't look like part of the interface (that is, not native) but a bit 'hacked' onto it. 'slender' skin, for example, looks good most of the time, and the transparencies sure help, but some of the other skins doesn't look very nice when you compare FARR against other launchers or skinned apps. Other thing that bothers me is that the skinned interface also extends to other parts of the app, like the 'About' box and the 'Customize toolbar' panel, where, sadly, some skinned buttons look like crap.

Another thing regarding looks is icons. The two icons in the 'launch' window are shouting "redesign me!", as they're envious of the nice tray icon designed by Hamradio (now that's a welcome change). Those search icons also demand higher resolution versions.

I know that most of you demand responsive software, but it's a fact that good looking (heck, even amazing looking) is compatible with performance (XMPlay coming to mind). I have the feeling that, somehow, C++ Builder is a obstacle in this, but could be easily overcome (mouser, change to Qt and release FARR source under the GPL immediately!! cheesy)

Something should be done with the 'Preferences' panel as well, it's flooding with options, but so far, I didn't devise a possible solution.

Perhaps all of this (FARR looks) should be discussed in a separate thread, as this one was, originally, about another launcher. And it's possible that all of these ideas should be disccussed towards FARR 3, as FARR 2 release is imminent? (hey, look, we're like Apple zealots, talking about the next big thing, when the former one wasn't released Wink)

*mouser bans user 'Lashiec' permanently*
« Last Edit: July 25, 2007, 12:45:35 PM by Lashiec » Logged
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« Reply #51 on: July 25, 2007, 11:54:26 AM »


just a quick comment. I think that as long as you do not have fuzzy matching, that new heuristic were you'd boost the score of items based on the key combination used to launch them would probably not give you many benefits. As in the current FARR search you need to type the letters of the beginning of one of the words in the filename, you are very likely to score them highly anyway. Once you add fuzzy matching, it will become much more useful.

I understand your reluctance to make the software too smart. All of us probably remember with horror the "smart menus" in Office. But to a certain extent, FARRs incredibly flexible scoring rules make it already one of the smartests launchers on any platform. In my experience, this particular type of smarts, when properly implemented (as in Launchy) makes a lot of sense and I have yet to find someone who did not find them logical after a short time using it.

I am also very glad that you see the value of a stack based approach. Hopefully you'll explore this possibility in a future version. In my opinion it could be a pretty interesting GUI design exercise and it would definitely open a lot of possibilities for FARR.


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« Reply #52 on: July 25, 2007, 12:46:39 PM »

i want to emphasize that FARR has a unique feature (correct me if i'm wrong....)

regular expressions !
with FARR i can type and it brings a menu of actions to take (open the url in my default browser, in opera, firefox..., save it to delicious -thank you cURL....)

i can type a phone number (10 numbers in france the first one being 0) and launch a search to find out who called me

i can type an email and FARR will offer to open my default mail client...

that (regex aliases) + the fact that the result list displays sometimes files/folders, sometimes aliases results
make ergonomic decisions very difficult

if you removed these amazing features (now that would be a GIGANTIC ERROR  cheesy), it would be much easier to go all the way down to the stack based approach of Dash or Quicksilver (which are amazing apps btw)
Some kind of stack based approach is a good way but there are maybe others... maybe different modes...
[thinking out loud]
file mode
one when you select files and folders through search or through the explorer (to perform zip, image resizing, emailing, ...)
files and folders would be displayed in the result list, then you would be able to select them one by one... (checkbox ? highlight ?)
then you would choose the action you want to perform... in the same list ? in a new one like QT ? in an action tooltip a bit like Candylabs' Skylight ?

alias mode
if i type ""
the result list displays the action to perform on ""
no need to have a stack...

browser mode
which would sort files alphabetically... (approcket is the best at that)
you could navigate with the arrows...
all of that display in the current result list...

maybe graphics/colors/etc. could help show what is the active mode
[/thinking out loud]

Cheers, Nitrix
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« Reply #53 on: July 28, 2007, 11:19:01 PM »

Just to add my .02 i have also been following launchers for quite some time now and have tried pretty much everything out there. I even setup a mac to use quicksilver which was quite a treat. One thing i really loved about QS and potentially dash is their workflow or stacked approach as mentioned above. I think the idea of "creating a sentence" as QS puts it is an amazingly efficient, natural,  and powerful idea. Unfortunately i couldnt migrate to OSX completely so im back on the pc waiting for something to fill the void. Being able to create/walkthrough a multi step action is imo dash's most powerful and exciting feature and if executed properly could be a revolutionary new way to interface with your pc.

Anyway i just dl'ed the latest alpha of farr and cant wait to try out some of the new features. Great Stuff!!
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« Reply #54 on: July 29, 2007, 04:18:25 PM »

I think the biggest "weakness" of FARR is that none of the clever magic is obvious when you install it, so out of the box it looks like it can do less than some of the other tools.

There is no easy way to get a "how to think in FARR" tutorial to help people get around to applying the clever tricks to make it do its magic for you. Some parts of this forum have examples and ideas, but even after reading them I am not sure where I would start to do something which would integrate with my browser or mail client or anything...

As a result, FARR has joined Wirekeys as a software which i use a lot and appreciate a lot just as a simple launcher but know I am not scratching the surface of what it could do, because I just havent taken the time to dig in the forum and help files to try to make it work with my other toys....

PS: the phone number trick i am curious about, as i cant type 011 in farr without it launching something
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« Reply #55 on: August 02, 2007, 07:49:20 PM »

PS: the phone number trick i am curious about, as i cant type 011 in farr without it launching something
There's an option in farr, to not have the numbers launch the items but get typed in to the editbox instead.
Uncheck options -> interface -> digit keys launch results from search window Wink

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« Reply #56 on: August 03, 2007, 05:40:25 PM »

Interesting launcher. I think the only thing I really liked (that may make me want to try it) is Google calendar. Though I do have rainlendar which doubles as calendar on my desktop (it has the ability to sync both ways to Google Calendar). The only thing is I setup my calendar so it's more specific then that (with recurrence or location, etc..).

Though it would be interesting to see something like that in Farr.  Wink
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« Reply #57 on: September 10, 2007, 08:40:54 AM »

Dash is a nice launcher and shows some real promise (especially the stackbased approach). It has a long way to go though.
I got frustrated with it really quickly. The search method they used was really terrible. I was used to using Launchy and
could type "<program> <database>" for instance to start application "<program> <longname> <database>". This was impossible in Dash.
Dash only matched multiple words next to eachother. They just released a better matching algorithm for testing though, that might
have improved things.

Also the indexing had serious problems. First of all I really dislike indexing for instance every 20min or so. If I install a program for instance
I want it to be available right now. This is a problem with all index based launchers I believe, launchy included. The biggest problem was that
it only ADDED programs/files for indexing. It didn't remove them. Imagine moving a directory with 1000 mp3's and the old location keeps popping
up because it isn't removed. You could remove records manually but this isn't doable by any means.

By the way, looks really do matter a lot to me. When I'm using a program very very often I definitely want it to look good. Of course functionality
is more important but if I have the choice between a little less functionality but better looks I'll seriously be looking into the fact if I am going to
miss the functionality much. Keybreeze for instance I wouldn't even use (or maybe to see what it could do), it just looks ugly. When something
still looks like a win 3.11 or dos program these days then I'm really wondering if it's still up to date. It's one reason I looked into Dash as well,
it looks really good. Mouser did a great job with Farr 2 though. I actually like the looks better than Dash with some of the skins that are included
with Farr 2 now.

The best part of Farr is definitely the community though. Everyone is very helpful and open to suggestions  cheesy

PS: All in all Dash looks to be one of the better launchers in the future. I believe it just isn't there yet. Definitely an app to keep an eye out for though.
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