Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

myBoard, the Mac OS X Dashboard on Vista

196 posts in this topic

Hi !

I don't know what you think, but for me, the Vista sidebar isn't that great as a gadgets host. It takes way to much space on my desktop, even if you don't need it. It's true you can hide it, but this solution still doesn't give me full satisfaction.

That's why I think the Mac OS X dashboard is way more handy. It is constantly hidden unless you need it. Just press the middle mouse button, and all your gadgets are displayed instantly in less than a second, and you make them go away as fast.

That's why I've decided to create my own dashboard for Vista, and to call it myBoard.

Here are a couple of screenshots.

My desktop without myBoard :

1.png

When I click the middle mouse button, the desktop gets darker, and all my gagdets come visible on top of it:

2.png

Just like the Mac OS dashboard, you can rotate gadgets on 180 °.

3.png

4.png

And as you can see I also integrated the dashboard widgets explorer explorer which shows up when you click on the little + button on myBoard bottom left corner :

5.png

Although myBoard shares many things with the Mac OS X Dashboard, it uses a different technology to handle gadgets.

As a matter of fact, all applications like this one uses Javascript based gadgets. myBoard is using real .NET 3.0/ 3.5 UserControls. So any developer willing to develop gadgets on myBoard (which are actually called magnets) will be using Visual Studio .NET and, de facto, have access to the entire .NET framework for his gadget. This is something really huge because we can then imagine all kind of incredible gadgets going from a simple mind game like Sudoku, to a Nintendo64 emulator.

Official website.

Official forum.

Edited by adysoft
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting. It's something, I believe MS has been missing.

Fingers crossed your building for XP and Vista.

Stick my name down as a beta tester when your ready.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's awesome,

ill put my name down as a beta tester too when its ready.... if you make it for XP too :)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry, but myBoard is Vista DWM for transparency which makes it runable only on this plateform.

Thanks for your support !

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a bit of a bummer....I'll not be upgrading to Vista any time soon. ;)

oh well good luck with your project.

I'm sure the guys here will give you plenty of support and help.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This project looks amazing hope u follow through you can put me down as a beta tester if you like.... i run vista :). Ill send you a mail ;).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool! Place my name in beta testers please... this project look cool :)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cool! Place my name in beta testers please... this project look cool :)

The style liked it

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice, put me up for beta testing. It looks like an interesting project

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

Thanks for your support, all of you !

I'm still working on myBoard and I wanted to know if any of you is (or know someone who is) experimented in .NET 3.0 WPF developpement ?

I'm asking because myBoard is basically just an empty application hosting gadgets.

I'm currently working on the hosting part, but it would be great if someone could start creating gadget meanwhile for myBoard.

If you can help, let me know.

PS : Only people sending me an email will be considered for beta testing.

Thanks !

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will this use it's own myboard gadgets or be compatible with windows vista gadgets? If possible support for AveDesk/Yahoo ones would be good but that would make the project much much bigger (and for all i know that could have already been done... I don't use vista)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, myBoard WILL NOT support any other gadget.

All other gadgets like vista's or mac os's are very limited because they are based on Javascript. myBoard gadgets allow developpers to use the .NET 3.0 framework which is much more powerfull than Javascript.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And less developers can make them.... perhaps have support for gadgets in different languages? I don't know if that's possible but it seems like a good idea to me. Javascript is fairly simple so it means people can just pick it up and start coding.

And I wouldn't exactly say the javascript gadgets are limited... There are some great ones out there... and you don't exactly need ones to replace programs and do big functions... just to make your life easier. What would be a useful gadget that could be done in .net 3 and not javascript?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well... if this will be popular, there is no problem (I think so) to make a gadget to handle JavaScript in .NET.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And less developers can make them.... perhaps have support for gadgets in different languages? I don't know if that's possible but it seems like a good idea to me. Javascript is fairly simple so it means people can just pick it up and start coding.

And I wouldn't exactly say the javascript gadgets are limited... There are some great ones out there... and you don't exactly need ones to replace programs and do big functions... just to make your life easier. What would be a useful gadget that could be done in .net 3 and not javascript?

That's a hard question to answer if you are not familiar with the .NET framework.

Simply putted the .NET framework is a huge library of classes and function developped by Microsoft to make developer life a lot easier. It as all kind of advance features such as web services support, database connection, advanced object oriented features, polymorphism ect ...

The third version of this framework (.NET 3.0) comes with WPF which has an other set of advanced feature allowing the developper to easily create visual effects we see all the times on Mac OS X (scaling, rotation, 3D support, databinding, ect ...). You can even have access to DirectX 10 through HwndHost and create a 3D video game with shaders and stuff inside a myBoard gadget.

And you can do all these things very quickly in .NET 3.0 using tools like Visual Studio and Expression Blend. It would take much longer (sometimes impossible) to do something like this in Javascript.

Well... if this will be popular, there is no problem (I think so) to make a gadget to handle JavaScript in .NET.

I'm still thinking about that but there is a problem ...

WPF can host HTML/javascript code and show it in a control called Frame. So it theorically possible to host a Javascript gadget in myBoard using a Frame. The problem is that frames doesn't support transparency, which means that if I host a gadget in it, it will have a solid squared white background all around it which is ugly !

I only have a limited experience working woth WPF frames so maybe there is a work around for this. If I find something, I may reconcider adding external gagets support in myBoard. But so far, I have so much to do with the current build, I will have no time to investagate on that any time soon...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I'm still working on myBoard and I just finished my first gadget.

It's a simple port of the MacOSX dashboard widget called calendar. Here is how it looks on OSX :

cal-osx.png

And now here is the myBoard version :

cal-small.png

As you can see, the font is not exactly the same, and I'm still looking for one which looks like the OSX version. But the gadget is 100% completed and operational.

It took me 8 hours to make it which gives you an idea of how fast an easy it is to create a gadget for myBoard.

Please feel free to make any comment on this, I'll be happy to answer.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

minor bug... you should use capital letters for your calendar..... nice btw.... too bad I don't have vista :(

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
minor bug... you should use capital letters for your calendar..... nice btw.... too bad I don't have vista :(

Humm that's strange, here is what the caldendar widget looks like on my Mac :

calendar.png

nothing is in capital letter.

It's a french OS X, I don't know how it looks on US version.

Can anyone post a screenshot where it looks different ?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't know but if you look at wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dashboard_%28software%29 or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Calendar_widget.png it's in capital letters... it's not really that important anyway... and I believe there's also a calendar in OSX that is colored red http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/dashboard/

Yep, you're right, I still have a lot of work to do on the engine, and the gadget dev kit.

I'll keep you updated.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is very interesting. So, are your gadgets running in separately identifiable processes like Y!Gadgets or similar to AveDesk?

Just wondering as it would be easier to identify problem gadgets.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is very interesting. So, are your gadgets running in separately identifiable processes like Y!Gadgets or similar to AveDesk?

Just wondering as it would be easier to identify problem gadgets.

I'm doing this exactly the same way it is done on Mac, and on Mac, the dashboard + widgets is represented by only one process...

Keep in mind that myBoard gadgets are .net 3.0 components, meaning that you can debug them using extremly powerfull tools like Visual Studio. So if a Gadget has memory leaks, or is buggy, it should be reasy to debug it and fix things.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might wish to consider using the CodeCompiler classes and allowing people to write them as plaintext scripts, which would keep them from having to compile each 'widget'.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0