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Circle Dock 1.5 Now Available


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Greetings folks.

I am here this to promote a little something different.

Circle Dock

The project died over a year ago, but we are a live and running now, with new programmers, and an even better presentation.

While Maintaining what Circle Dock does best, and that is a Circular Dock app launcher.

The list of what is capable is extensive:

Screenshot%20-%202_6_2010%20%2C%207_07_08%20PM.jpg

* Launch your programs from a circular dock.

* Drag and drop your files, folders, and shortcuts onto a circular dock that you can re-size.

* Rotate the dock with either your mouse wheel or the keyboard arrow keys.

* Change the image shown for the icons and change the skins (compatible with icons and skins for Rocket Dock, Object Dock, etc.)

* The dock appears where your mouse is by pressing a hotkey (default is F1) or your middle mouse button, other options available.

* Tested on computers with multiple monitors, Windows XP/Vista/7, 32-bit & 64-bit, and requires only .Net Framework 2.0.

* Automatically works on all Windows Vista and 7 computers and most Windows XP computers.

* A new settings panel that allows you to customize many options. It updates your dock as you make changes. See it change in real time! No need to press an OK button.

* Multi-language capable. Just translate the English.ini file to the language of your choice. 50+ Languages currently available

* Change the image used for the dock icons with the easiest method out there: Just set the program to "Icon Replacement Mode" in the right-click menu of the center icon and you can change all the icon images by just dragging and dropping new PNG images onto them! Huge time saver when you are customizing your dock!

* Built in support for Windows HD Icons. Vector and detailed PNG's come through with great clarity

* toggle the visibility of the dock by moving your mouse to any edge of your screen. By default, the left and right edges are used for toggling. No need to press a button!

* Rotate the dock with your mouse wheel or arrow keys (customizable).

* Reorder and Organize the dock items with new adjustment interface. Located via right click on an item

* By default, clicking on the center button does not open the start menu. You can enable this in the settings panel.

* New easy method of upgrading from older versions.

* Access help files from almost every setting window. Get the help you need immediately without having to search

* Standalone Stacks 2 are now integrate and access directly by left clicking and selecting a stack option (Additional Options added v1.5.)

* Portability creation has never been easier. Now with an improved Circle Dock Portable Maker for Back up and distribution, and excellent Individual and corporate solution!

New Tracking system in place:

Circle Dock Code and Bug Site

Markham is maintaining this site and it is the place to see about Bugs, changes and code release information

A help file system to drool over

Take a look for yourself.

* Additional access to what you need, just click teh help button on settings pages, and you will be taken to what you require!

* Help access expanded, look for the help buttons in almost every panel to be taken to the subject material you require

* Kiosk Mode now integrated

* Many bug fixes and some new features have been added for Version 1.0. See the Change Log

* Has the ability to run from a USB key on computers with the .Net Framework 2.0 or above.

* Massive Language update…Added so many that I can not relate here

* Ability to run docklets, live synchronization of the dock icons, and more will be added later on.**

I feel remiss that I have not posted at these forums sooner...My apologies.

Between Circle Dock and Rainmeter I have a full plate and them some.

Swing by and give it a try

Thanks in advance

The Sarge

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Congrats on the progress of this dock. And thanks for posting an announcement here.

One question, does the dock require installation before setting up as a portable application? Or can you simply extract the download to a USB thumb drive and run it as a portable app right from the start?

The direct answer is:

You are correct there is only a full installer package, and that Circle Dock must be set as a standalone after install or a self contained Package must be made (Portability Creator)

The complete install is required.

Once installed there are a few options:

1.) Set Portability Mode: This will make the installed Dock "Standalone"

2.) Create a portable Package: This will create a portable (zipped) application of all items in the core folders

Markham Is looking into a standalone (zipped) Package for the next major release.

It was thought at he time that the current method may be adequate, but we have learned a hard lesson, we have found that there as many folks as likely to want a standalone package in a zipped file initially.

We were thinking of folks with Windows Vista and 7. So we opted in for a complete install. We did not realize the number of folks that have either turned off their UAC or are using Alternative folders to run programs

Also: Have my way, and we will have Circle Dock be detectable by PortableApp installer packages as well.

We are looking to maintain and enhance portability, so a self contained package will probably be in the future, or and updated installer, that will give the option to install a portable (self contained) package or complete installer (with read write files located in the Appdata to accommodate Windows users)

If any one has any questions, let me know :)

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firecracker6, I must say you have inspired me with an excellent set of concepts.

Due to your comments, I am proposing the following installer changes:

Reconfigure the installer to install by option:

1.) Full Install (this places core files per user choice and XML and any additional R/W files to AppData

2.) Install a stand alone package (This would install a Self contained package of all needed files to single directory)

3.) Install as Portable Application (Similar to option 2, But this would include and "Autorun.inf" Packaged appropriately to operate similar to PortableApps Setup...This will also go along with the next concept which we have discussed.)

This can be followed along here for those interested:

http://redmine.dcmembers.com/issues/82

Thanks for your assistance :D

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sgtevmckay, your replies were a pleasure to read and answered my questions thoroughly. I'm glad to hear that the project is open minded to consider multiple approaches.

Ultimately, if there isn't really any technical reason to go otherwise, why not just keep it simple and standardize the dock on a portable configuration? How it's then presented to a user could be pondered as a separate item. For instance: Have an .exe (defines: default install location or allows the user to specify, creates shortcuts, etc.) and .zip file (extract and ready) as download links on the website. Maybe the website could provide a 3rd link: "Place Circle Dock on your portable device & add to autorun." Beyond that the user wouldn't need to be bothered with knowing whether the dock's non-portable or otherwise, but the site can indicate in the FAQ and readme, that the dock is indeed portable (for those who care.)

The above approach would keep redundancy and distractions to a minimum, and appeals in the very least, to me :P (out of curiosity, is there any substantive reason to need to maintain an option for the dock to do a 'full install'? Does Windows7 have R/W restrictions to the 'Program files' folder? Is there any functional benefit to a full install beyond what the portable configuration would see? Besides optimizations for flash memory use, read/write frequency mitigation, etc.)

I must confess a preference for running portable apps from a user definable local directory (with the freedom to, at any time, migrate the directory to a different system, or onto an external drive, etc., but I am willing to work with what's out there. ;) I hadn't really considered the possibilities raised by your 3rd option~ It'll be interesting follow this per your link

By the way, the under-the-hood details you provided... good stuff

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We are definitely beating up ideas as I post this, to include your latest thoughts.

Unfortunately there are XML Files that must be Read/Write so there is the restriction.

So the XML is placed in the AppData in Windows Vista and 7 by default.

The XML Files handle a lot better than ini files, and can allow Circle Dock to handle more options, settings, and Icons with out the 64k limit.

Making Circle Dock portable, or self contained is very easy

I run my UAC: ON, but I also maintain a self developed File; "Program Files (Alternative"

This helps facilitate those applications, that are self contained, Portable, or have write back issues.

This is where I run Circle Dock from, as a self contained folder, so that upgrading my flash drive becomes as easy as copy and paste ;)

As I mentioned I have the same preference, and rightly so...way too many advantages

But, ultimately because of these UAC R/W limitations, the installer was created, and two options to make a Portable were added in the settings.

1.) Enabled Portability Mode

2.) Create portable zip package (very good for corporate use.)

Direct answer: The full installer was strictly created to address the UAC Issues in Current Windows OS!

During the install process you may specify any available Folder or drive to install.

Once the install is complete, you can then right click on Circle Dock, go into settings>General>Other and the third check box down on the left, check "Enable Portability Mode". Then restart Circle Dock.

This will move the current XML files from the AppData files into a core folder.

You can then Copy/Cut and paste the file to an directory you see fit. Avoiding UAC monitored drives of course.

To update my Flash Drive, I just copy and Paste over the current Install

Screenshot%20-%202_16_2010%20%2C%205_49_55%20PM.jpg

The other advantage is greatly dependent on how your Anti-virus cooperates with External drives. If your AV checks every little thing, then an install to your system, and then a copy and paste of Portable Circle Dock is an excellent solution, as you will not hit the extreme slow down that most AV's cause while building your Dock.

At the moment the consideration is for a second download of a zip package, but ultimately this will be Markham's call, and he is definitely an installer guru, so we will go with his final decision.

So we shall see

Oof...I am blathering again...apologies

If you have anything else let me know :)

Edited by sgtevmckay
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Before I forget again.

Sig. Luciano inspired me to create a Background skins gallery, as he was suggesting to his user of CianoDock: To download Circle Dock for the skins....Ack...what a waste.

Anyways the new gallery is up and running at the Circle Dock main site:

I also started instituting Tutorial, Quick tips and Tips and Tricks at the Circle Dock Main site today as well...so I suspect this will grow :P

More information here:

http://circledock.wikidot.com/start

Bare with me as these pages have been dormant for over a year, and I have just recently been made Admin for the Main site...so I am doing everything I can to get it up to snuff.

It was just so "Blah" before :rolleyes: and there may be some minor discrepancies I have yet to tackle at the site.

Before I forget again.

Sig. Luciano inspired me to create a Background skins gallery, as he was suggesting to his user of CianoDock: To download Circle Dock for the skins....Ack...what a waste.

Anyways the new gallery is up and running at the Circle Dock main site:

I also started instituting Tutorial, Quick tips and Tips and Tricks at the Circle Dock Main site today as well...so I suspect this will grow :P

More information here:

http://circledock.wikidot.com/start

Bare with me as these pages have been dormant for over a year, and I have just recently been made Admin for the Main site...so I am doing everything I can to get it up to snuff.

It was just so "Blah" before :rolleyes: and there may be some minor discrepancies I have yet to tackle at the site.

I guess you could say that Circle Dock is getting a complete make over, updated site, new programmers, Code site, and a support forum that does not quit.

I could not be happier

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I really can see your enthusiasm for this process. Such energy can be contagious :)

When I have time, I'll certainly give this dock a whirl.

The last time I used a circular dock was with magic formation. I loved that app. But development waned on it and a few re-formats later and I lost energy keeping up. Great launcher in it's day and still good for XP. http://tokyodownstairs.blogspot.com/2008/03/magic-formation.html

Sounds like you guys have the installer/portable approach on the right path. Gambare!

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