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New Program Idea: Cheat Sheeter

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just an update: i've working on it..  i think it's looking quite nice, aesthetically speaking.

if there are any css experts out there..
this project could benefit from trying to figure out a set of styles and method of presenting information, such that
we could have the same html page of information, with dif style sheets that were suited for
a tall narrow sidebar docked to side of screen
a wide but short bar docked to top of screen
full screen

in other words, im interested in a way that the same info could be rendered using dif css styles, to make the same info look good in those different modes, so that we could use the same html info pages in dif modes of viewing.

does that make sense?

just playing with various interface ideas..

I've been thinking (yeah I know that's dangerous).  :)  The more I see us all wanting CS to do, & after seeing your picture, it dawned on me that maybe you don't want to have a whole interface & go with only a toolbar instead.

What I mean is having a toolbar that has menu buttons but nothing else.  When the page / tutorial is invoked you would invoke the file with the appropriate application.  This would make the program simpler to code, & give the user more versatility in what can be viewed.

You gave the example in the ScreenCast review that the way to show stuff was gravitating towards screen movies.  CS should be able to view these as well as show HTML pages of hotkeys, and maybe even MS help files.  Invoking the associated app. on a specified file gives CS this capability without you coding it directly into CS.  It also allows you to make the toolbar as small as possible & even maybe stick it into the titlebar of the active window (excepting dialog boxes & windows like that).  Thus keeping it in plain view all the time, not using up any extra screen space, not conflicting with other toolbar apps., & still expanding CS's capabilities by an order of magnitude.

Just my $.02 cents


i was going to at first reply in this way:

my intention is that you will be able to make cheat sheeter a very thin bar docked to side of screen or rolled up, or minimized on tray and it will open up into full window when you ask it to show you something.

so i already agree with 90% of what you are suggesting.

however your focus on the idea of it launching OTHER APPS, like movie player, mshelp file, etc. has some real merit to it, and would suggest a slightly different approach to the program than what i have been planning.  and i think your approach might have merit...

there are some advantages to having the main window part of the toolbar application, in taht you could dock the whole thing to edge of desktop, and various things, so i think i am going to find a way to leave that in place; i think its also quite possible that for many people, they will want just one little window, not 2 things floating around.

but i can definitely see the appeal of having a tiny thin bar at top of screen which opens child windows on demand that would show movies, help files, html pages, etc.  and so i will add support for this.

i thinkits just a matter of saying this:
the main program can run as a tiny thin toolbar.

the program will have a built in custom web browser which it can use to render html cheat sheets, and which it can control specially.

this html browser can be displayable EITHER as docked into the tool bar and shown on request, OR undocked as a separate little window.
additionally, the program will know how to launch other documents if the cheat sheet set wants to show movies/helpfiles/pdfs, etc, which are not embedded onto an html page.

in summary, cs will be runnable as a toolbar; it will beable to launch external windows exactly as you say to display arbitrary info.
it will also have a special built in html web browser which it will have extra special control over which will let me do some special things; you can use this special browser either as something docked into the toolbar, or as an external mini window, OR in fact you could choose to not use the built in browser panel at all and tell cs to use a separate external browser (though i supsect that will have some disadvantages such as cs not having good control over where that window appears on screen etc.)

i think this is going to be a really fun community project.. i am thinking that there are going to be tons of suggestions for features to add, etc., and i look forward to working with you guys to make it a fun and unique kind of app.


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