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Applidex (Beta)


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applidex128pxpf4.png

Applidex - Early Beta

Applidex is an application organizer / launcher. Instead of rummaging through menu after menu searching for a particular application, Applidex makes it easy to find any application you may be after.

Setup couldn't be easier. Simply drag the application on to the desired category and that's it. It's automatically added to the list including its icon. If you want to tidy things up, that's easy too. Right-click the application on the list and choose 'Edit Details...'. From there you can change just about anything. For an even easier way to add your applications, just let Applidex import all the shortcuts in your Start Menu. I've even included a list of application that Applidex will check to auto-sort the shortcuts.

If you'd like to help me expand on this list for future versions please get in touch with me.

Applications are opened by two ways. One from the system tray menu (featuring the same category sorting) or by double-clicking the application in the list. Opening files is just as easy. Drag and drop the file(s) on to the application and it'll open them.

Folders and bookmarks aren't forgotten either. Instead of having your desktop filled with folder shortcuts, add them to Applidex and they're just a click away. Also, if you want to move a file to that folder, hold Control while dragging the file and drop it on to the folder.

Screenshots

Applications list

applidexapplicationsez4.th.png

Folders list

applidexfoldersju4.th.png

Options window

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How to use quick search window

  • To search for an application type: App="Name of application"
  • To search for a folder type: Folder="Name of folder"
  • To search for a bookmark type: Bookmark="Name of bookmark"
  • To use a search engine type: "Name of search engine"="keyword"
  • To browse to a web page type: URL="address"

    Note: When using the above features, you don't have to include the quotation marks.

Things that aren't finished / enabled

  • Importing of Firefox bookmarks. This has been a pain in the you-know-what. Mozilla really needs to clean up the way they store bookmarks. It's just a plain mess.
  • Search engine management hasn't been finished. I have included a few (6) search engines to give you an idea on how it'll work.

Things that are buggy / annoying

  • When calling up the quick search window with the hotkey, it takes a few ticks for the textbox to register the typing. This doesn't not happen when you click on the system tray icon. Working on it.
  • The icons in the system tray menu are a bit wonky. Looking to change the way I do that.

Download from here. Thanks a lot and hope you enjoy.

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Looks awesome :). You're one of the hottest developers at Aqua-Soft now!

I don't quite understand what you mean when you say "If you'd like to help me expand on this list for future versions please get in touch with me." Would you rather have suggestions sent to you through private messaging or email, or do you want suggestions posted in the thread?

-NC

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Hi Sranshaft, this looks promising. :)

Might I ask what visual style theme you are using?

Also, I don't know if you have this planned yet, but would there be a search box similar to vista's startmenu where when you activate the systray menu by way of a hotkey, a search box is in focus to immediately start typing and filtering through your menu items highlighting automatically the most relevant result so you can simply hit 'enter' upon narrowing the search?

Would be a lovely addition.

But I understand the beta label and also would like to know how you would like future suggestions delivered to you as NC has pointed out. Looking forward to your clarification.

Regards,

fc

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Woah! Look at the response so far. Thanks for all the interest. :D Now to answer your questions.

yet another interesting idea Sranshaft. do you ever sleep ?

Only when I need to or when the the wife decides it's time to go to bed. Which ever comes first - it's usually the wife. :P

Looks awesome . You're one of the hottest developers at Aqua-Soft now!

Thanks for that. :D I'm sure there are many other programmers here that deserve that title more than I.

I don't quite understand what you mean when you say "If you'd like to help me expand on this list for future versions please get in touch with me." Would you rather have suggestions sent to you through private messaging or email, or do you want suggestions posted in the thread?

To answer your questions: Suggestion are more than welcome here. In fact, it's encouraged. I'm running out of ideas already here though I do ave few that weren't included in the screenshots - ie. google searching directly from the bookmark tab.

What I was referring to was that I'm compiling a database of programs readily used so that I can make importing programs from the Start Menu easier (ie. they are placed in the correct category automatically without the user needing to touch it). I guess I should have made that more clear.

Might I ask what visual style theme you are using?

That was amok VS. You can find it over at deviantArt.com. I switched back to GTK as always. The caption buttons were a pain in the ... with amok. I might do some modding of it in the future because, other than that, it's a great visual style.

Also, I don't know if you have this planned yet, but would there be a search box similar to vista's startmenu where when you activate the systray menu by way of a hotkey, a search box is in focus to immediately start typing and filtering through your menu items highlighting automatically the most relevant result so you can simply hit 'enter' upon narrowing the search?

I'm currently adding in search capabilities and will be available with the first public beta. :) It'll be an in-line search where the result list will be narrowed as you type. Thanks for the suggestion and I'm more than happy to hear any others you might have.

Its been a pleasure testing this mate, this will go so far

Just keep those bug lists coming in, eh? ;)

I should have a build ready for everyone to start testing in the next couple of days. Thanks again for the interest and keep those suggestions coming.

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Hi Sranshaft, thanks for the lead on the VS. I'm using Mint right now which looks very similar but with different 'tab' selected styles. I'll give Amok a whirl.

I'm glad to hear that realtime filter searching will be a part of this app. My only suggestion is design it with the principle: How can I get from thinking "I want to lauch App 'X'" to App 'X' launched with the fewest clicks (steps) as possible.

ie: 1 Click

1) Think of App

2) Click on systray icon (or hit hotkey)

3) type: A P P L I (since search box is already in focus, immediately typing works)

4) Applidex is hightlight so hit Enter on keyboard. (or arrow down on keyboard until app is highlighted, then hit enter)

5) focus goes back to search box (option to clear box can be given in app settings) so that it's ready for next app launch

as opposed to: a 4 click approach

1) Click on systray icon.

2) Click on the category desired

3) Click into Search box to get focus

4) type A P P L I (list narrows down but none are highlighted by default)

5) Click on the desired Applidex app.

The above is a gross exaggeration for examples sake of course :)

Can't wait to see the first beta.

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Another great looking program by you. I'm looking forward to adding it into C:Program FilesSranshaft ;)

Also, I've decided to start studying your program language, what is it?

EDIT: Someone around here was working on something similar to this, but for Mac and Windows. Where's that thread at?

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EDIT: Someone around here was working on something similar to this, but for Mac and Windows. Where's that thread at?

TiG4 and alilm had started working on a Sherlock clone, but that was some time ago :P.

To answer your questions: Suggestion are more than welcome here. In fact, it's encouraged. I'm running out of ideas already here though I do ave few that weren't included in the screenshots - ie. google searching directly from the bookmark tab.

What I was referring to was that I'm compiling a database of programs readily used so that I can make importing programs from the Start Menu easier (ie. they are placed in the correct category automatically without the user needing to touch it). I guess I should have made that more clear.

If you already have a Google search, you could implement similar other "web searches" a la Firefox and Quicksilver for Mac. Simply have the user enter in a "web search" URL into a preference pane such as

www.google.com/search?q=***

and then the *** can be replaced by whatever they enter into the input field. To try and explain it more would only confuse you--I'm sure you know what I mean.

This is probably too much to ask, but you could also look into trying to import bookmarks from popular browsers, or a specific browser for which this is easy to do.

I'd also strongly suggest an option where one can "show all" applications so that they don't always have to be subdivided into categories.

It's looking good!

-NC

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@Firecracker: I could have sworn I replied to you again but the message isn't there. *shrugs* One of those mysteries...

Anyway, the search feature is finished, or at least until the public gets their hands on it and says they hate it ;). Searching is done from the window, the search pane has focus immediately so you hit the hotkey and start typing. When you've narrowed the search down enough, press down and select. Hit 'enter' and it's up and running. I hope this is easy enough. Seems pretty quick to me at least.

@alpha2zulu: The language I'm using is C#. You can pick yourself up a free copy of the Express Edition - basically Visual Studio stripped down for C# use only - through Microsoft. It's been fun learning but I'm still pulling rookie mistakes. :P Using = instead of ==, things like that that I picked up in my VB days. I'm getting there though. :D

@Nightcrawler: Good idea on adding a 'Show All' options. I actually done that with the search bar but hadn't added in an actual button on the left - will do now.

Searching through other search engines is easily done and yeah, I got what you meant. ;) I'll probably make it either drop down or append at the beginning of search: Google="whatever". Deciding...

Bookmark imports shouldn't be too much of a hassle - I don't think. I know Firefox hides all there bookmarks in an xml file. Internet Explorer, I believe has a folder for them. I'll have a look-see and try and get that going. I'm not 100% complete on the Bookmark tab either. Still need to figure out how to pull the web page title and icon. That's what I'm striving for at least. What's there at the moment is a simple proof-of concept.

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This does seem like a great idea - always seemed like a fairly obvious and basic implementation that was missing from Windows. And of course, as Sranshaft made it you know it's going to look great!

thanks!

PS...[to Sranshaft] any news on that email?

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Wow, this app looks really awesome and it works well with Vista. Good job so far!

For future releases: Can you implement an option to use default icons instead of your icons? I really like your icons, but with default icons, the app would fit better to the current OS.

Edit: Okay, I quit the application and wanted to restart it again and it crashes every single time on my Vista OS. There's no error or something like that. Vista just says that the app doesn't work.

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To those getting errors, please send me the error report found in the folder (it's a text folder called Error Report).

@theaulddubliner: Sorry, I don't have .net 3 Framework installed so I cannot test possible causes to the errors you're experiencing. I will say, you do need .net 2 installed as this was the framework Applidex was built upon.

@DZGH: When used in Vista, you will probably need to run Applidex in Administrator mode(?) as it needs to be able to read/write to files. I don't have Vista and have not been able to test this on Vista so I cannot offer any further support regarding this.

Program icons can be changed to whatever you like replacing them manually in the Icon folder or by changing them through the 'Edit details' window.

Category icons can be changed by manually replacing the ones found in the Icons/Category folder. They should be 24x24 pixels.

I am working on adding an 'Appearance' tab to the Options window that will help make this easier.

@AirFourceOnes: Can you copy and paste the error code you get when you try to start Applidex? Also, please make sure you have .net 2 Framework installed. I should have probably mentioned that this is required for Applidex to work properly.

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Finally got around to testing this. It's looking very promising indeed.

Having a few inconsistent crashes. I'll keep on eye out for anything that occurs repeatedly.

One thing I've noticed. I'm running two versions of MS Office in separate folders. So, I've put all Office 97 apps in but, it won't allow me to add the Office2000 apps even though the path is different. I take it that Applidex analyzes the exe file only?

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How is it tedious? You're still clicking something to get a menu. Perhaps it's not as intuitive because for years (since Windows 95) the start menu has always been in the same place. Give it a few days and it'll become second nature.

Also, if you don't want to use the menu, there's always the quick search window just a hotkey away.

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Sranshaft, I think the issue is the icon naming. When I added the link in the xml file then pointed the icon to a "Word2000" image then it appears.

Since this is a beta I realize you're still implementing some features. Just a quick question. I've added a couple categories but, they don't appear in the System Tray menu. Is there a specific setting within one of the xml files that I missed?

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No, you're not overlooking any settings. At the moment they're simply hard coded (I know, really bad habit). The next version will include dynamic additions to the system tray menu. I hope to have a new, stable version available some time in the next week.

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