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Workbench enhancement project
Supreme Council
Joined:
2006/11/16 19:25
From Sweden
Posts: 3188
Just fishing after some developers that might be interested in enhancing the AmigaOS4 experience.

With Diropus Magellan seemingly never happening it might be an idea if the community itself started to build something that might some day be incorporated into os4 itself.

An open source project, using C/C++, with a license that would let Hyperion use the code in OS4.

It could start out small, with just a slim file lister that can be used to navigate the file system. And then add things like drag an drop between listers. Context sensitive menus. Direct browsing of archives like zip and lha, perhaps interfacing with xad. Archiving directories inside the lister. Scaling down the files' icon and displaying it on the same row. Integrating FTPMount like abilities so that you can just write "ftp://nick@host" in the address bar (and alsop sftp, samba and whatnot). Configuring which columns to show. Flat views. etc etc. The goal being that it should replace the current outdated lister system.

Other useful utilities besides listers could also be handled by the project.

Are there any developers in the os4 community that would be interested in participating in such an open source project?

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Re: Workbench enhancement project
Quite a regular
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2006/11/27 14:35
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Posts: 863
@orgin

On a french OS4 forum we recently also spoke about what OS4 needed. An improved WB was listed, and also with integration for FTP access I told that instead of "just" a simple FTP handler (like what FTPMount really is) I would rather see something like a NetworkHandler with some plugin capabilities then we could see an FTP plugin, a SAMBA plugin, an NFS plugin etc. I even got as far as saying that no need for OS4 Devs to do every of this plugins, "just" the NetworkHandler and one plugin with full source code and docs in the next SDK.

For those able to read french here is the thread with the list of improvements http://www.amiga-ng.org/viewtopic.php?topic=212&forum=6

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Re: Workbench enhancement project
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@abalaban

Spoke a bit on #amigans about it. The term virtual filesystem turned up. And an URL parser.

The virtual filesystem would have plugins, a bit like datatypes, that each can handle a specific protocol.

Existing applications would have no knowledge of what protocol is used, they are just using the virtual file system.

Seems like you came to the same conclusions.


Perhaps Amiga OS 4 could use something like "Open Amiga". Like what fedora is to redhat or OpenSuse is to Suse. An open source organisation that can contribute software and solutions to the main OS.

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Re: Workbench enhancement project
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@orgin

How would such a virtual file-system differ from haing a set of file-system handlers that operate the way that HTTP-handler does?

Hans

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Re: Workbench enhancement project
Supreme Council
Joined:
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@Hans

No idea.

One should not have to mount anything manually.

Example:
- The user enters an url or a local path in a lister application.
- The application requests a directory listing for the url from the virtual file system.
- The url is parsed by the virtual file system according to the rules defined by the current plugins to determine which plugin to use. (The plugin must have an api for pattern matching, like datatypes.)
- The virtual file system requests a directory listing of the corresponding plugin.
- The plugin returns a directory listing to the virtual file system.
- The virtual filesystem returns a directory listing to the application.
- The application renders the listing on screen.

The application itself has no idea what plugin was used.

This should work in any lister or file requester. For example; you want to save that pretty picture you just painted. You click save and a requester pops up. You decide to store it on your ftp site directly and enter ftp://login@mysite.com in the address bar. The contents of the ftp site is listed. The user enters a filename and presses save. The file is uploaded.

Again the paint program has no idea what an ftp site is.

If using a set of handlers can match that without any fuzz then it's all good.

Edit:
Of course you do need support function to ease the process for the user:

1. The system could remember the last urls you used so that you don't have to enter the url over and over again. The requester should have an option for both "devices" which works like the old way, displaying assigns and devices and a "recent" option that displays url's previously used.

2. You should still be able to mount a specific url as a device for easy selection. In an easy to use gui. (no icon editing or text file editing)

3. After entering an URL the requester and lister could have a menu option for permanently keeping the current URL in the device list.

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Re: Workbench enhancement project
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@orgin

Ah, ok.

The only issue that using handlers might have is that typing dir ftp: obviously wouldn't work, but Dir ftp:site@blah/ should work. I'm not sure if the file system is designed for that. Also, is ftp:// legal on Amiga OS? I guess that this would depend on the filesystem-handler API which I know nothing about.

Hans

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Re: Workbench enhancement project
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@Hans

And a directory listing request of a file instead of a location should also prompt the use of the correct plugin.

device://sys/banana.lha

Lists the contents of the lha file at the root level.

And it would be neat if it worked in cascades:

sftp://my.site.com/my/files/file.lha

the sftp plugin sees that it's a file and therefor first downloads the file and then itself requests a file listing of the file from the virtual filesystem.
the lha plugin is selected and it passes the directory listing to the sftp plugin
the sftp plugin passes the directory listing to the virtual file system
the virtual file system passes it to the application

Edit: Yes I know that cascading opens up a can of other issues, like do we store the file permanently is ram or do we delete it after returning the file list, can the host handle file listing itself without the need to download etc.


Edited by orgin on 2008/6/30 17:15:02
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Re: Workbench enhancement project
Supreme Council
Joined:
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From Sweden
Posts: 3188
Anyway, we're going a bit off topic here.

What I was asking for is if there are any developers out there that would be interested in participating in such an open source AmigaOS4 support function effort. Call it Open Amiga if you wish.

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Re: Workbench enhancement project
Quite a regular
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2006/11/27 14:35
From Nantes, France
Posts: 863
@orgin

I don't think I would have enough spare time to be a regular contributor but yes I would be interested in helping. I could even help for small "contracted" (not like in "payed contract" but like in "enough documented and well foreseen") works not necessarly open sourced.

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Re: Workbench enhancement project
Just can't stay away
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2007/2/23 13:49
From Finland, the land of Santa, sauna, sisu and salmiakki
Posts: 1103
@thread
Quote:
Workbench enhancement

YetAnotherDesk
SetDefPubscreen
AnotherWBFilter
FuelGauge
WBPreview

Quote:
simple FTP handler

What's wrong with simple FTP handlers ? You have a FTP server as icon and you just double click it to get access to it. Btw. Abalaban when do you plan to release a new version of the FTPmount ?

@abalaban
Quote:
french OS4 forum

What about making a list in English here ?

@thread
Quote:
NetworkHandler with some plugin capabilities

Nice idea.

Quote:
virtual filesystem

What is virtual filesystem and where do you need it ? Adding many layers between a file system and a user application is bloat and inefficient IMHO.

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Re: Workbench enhancement project
Quite a regular
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@TSK

Quote:
Abalaban when do you plan to release a new version of the FTPmount ?


I first want to release a new version of ftpd (the ftp server I ported to OS and then improved a bit to be more OS4 friendly). Then I will have to bugfix the new version of FTPMount I already have on my HD (currently I'm experiencing some unexplainable and not 100% reproducible crashs at startup ). But there will be a new version with many improvements (see thread here)

Quote:
What about making a list in English here ?


Yes that's a good idea, here is the summarized list done by Corto at the end of the thread (I only translate the post he did even if I don't agree with every point, remember also this is a resume of a discussion about the latest *publically available* OS4 version) :
* OS :
- USB : USB2 support
- Printing : improvement in the print system
- Datatypes : improvements in datatypes system (streaming, cross format saving, thumbnails, ...)
- Petunia : support of Classic Amiga custom chips
- Audio : AHI recording
- Network : IPv6 support in RoadShow
- Multiuser : minimal support for multi-user
- ReAction : classes improvement, higher level interface, ...
- Charsets, fonts : UTF-8 support
- GrimReaper : useable GDB that does not freeze the system one time of two when attaching a crashed process
- fix refresh problem in WB scrollbars
- Find : too simplist, don't manage to search into every drawers
- Multiview : add possibility to do a small diaporama, a small playlist, etc.
- integration of AmiUpdate into the system in order to update it, mode to install yet unstalled softwares
- Clock, PlayCD, Blanker modules : there are a bit outdated, aren't they ?
- PartionWizard : better SFS support
- Theme manager in the GUI preference
- Input : Handling of multimedia keys, joypads
- File systems : FAT32, NTFS
- Samba, OpenSSH : It would be better to make a network handler then plugins for Samba, FTP, SFTP, NFS etc... Advantage of this is that with a good documentation and a sample plugin it's not required that OS4 devs write all plugins themselves.
- A system monitor : task lists and possibility to kill those that are crashed, preview CPU usage
- PDF printer

* Workbench :
- A lister mode
- Possibility to iconify windows
- Icons : add 32bits and PNG support to IconEdit
- Possibility to create link
- Multi-desktop handling (a la linux)
- a "thumbnailer" (a la eastern) : I will even go further and propose (mybe via a preference) to do thumbnails of every file types having an appropriate datatype (yes I know I come back to the datatypes, but that is (was) a so innovative and clever concept that I find it scandalous that it was let apart for so long)...
- Screenshot function
- Dockies : possibility to choose which dock the dockies will be added, a true transparency mode
- Dockies : a dock with only dockies in it to monitor activites of running applications (cpu meter, equalizers for an audio player, indication of received mail for the mailer, progress bar of the burning software, etc.)
- Iconification in the dock itself
- Shell : improvements a la KingCON, addition of tabs, log for each console, settings (background color, ...)
- AISS yes I agree totally, it must be integrated in the OS, but it would be good to have a way of caching in order to prevent applications spend ages to launch...

* Hardware :
- USB : webcams support (isochronous mode) and scanners
- NVidia GFX-card support
- better profit of gfx-cards (tv and dvi -out, compositing, overlay, opengl etc)
- Bluetooth stack (file transfer, etc.)
- TV Tuner card support
- Firewire : for storage
- functionnal IDE ZIP drives support (not just in read-only mode)

Original post in french is here

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Re: Workbench enhancement project
Amigans Defender
Joined:
2006/11/17 22:40
From England
Posts: 3245
@Hans

Quote:

The only issue that using handlers might have is that typing dir ftp: obviously wouldn't work, but Dir ftp:site@blah/ should work. I'm not sure if the file system is designed for that.


That's something for the handler to sort out. FTPMount already manages to do this (maybe not user:pass@site things, not sure about that - http-handler supports this though, just about)

Quote:

Also, is ftp:// legal on Amiga OS? I guess that this would depend on the filesystem-handler API which I know nothing about.


Yes it is, it's the parent of the parent of the root directory (ie. it's the root directory). But, again, the handler can pretty much decide (which allows http-handler to support accept things like "http://www.hyperion-entertainment.biz:8080" which would normally be invalid)

FTPMount works with ftp:site and ftp://site, as does http-handler (although maybe not under every circumstance - can't remember)

If you're writing a handler you can do what you like with the path+filename string. If you're writing a proper filesystem, or trying to support ACTION_LOCK, then the path components get broken down and the OS loves creating locks on each bit.

I'm not sure what benefits a virtual filesystem will have that a real handler acting on filesystem-alike paths will have, I can't think of any.

I would like to see a little more flexibility in path structures for ACTION_LOCK purposes. I would also like to see a managed way of having a "virtual root" for a handler so the line between handlers and filesystems can be blurred somewhat. The virtual root would contain bookmarks, like FTPMount's root, that the user can add and delete from. Maybe it will remember past destinations. http-handler's virtual root would contain WebDAV destinations (if I could ever get it working properly), other URLs would be completely virtual or could be added as bookmarks to particular pages/files. [blah, blah, blah, rambling now]

We're quite lucky that the Amiga filesystem is largely the same as the syntax for URLs, meaning nothing major (or anything at all) has to be changed to support this scheme!

The ability to browse files as if they were directories needs to be added at a different level - as a "dos plugin". dos.library would then handle translating files that look like archives into directories. This could even be as hardcoded XAD support in dos.library, as I can't think of any other file types that could usefully be browsed in this way. But, I suppose, it's nice to have the option to add things later.


Edited by Chris on 2008/6/30 20:18:56
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Re: Workbench enhancement project
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@Origin

Unfortunately, I'm too busy with other stuff, but I do think that it's a good idea.

@abalaban

That looks like a pretty complete list there.

Quote:

abalaban wrote:

Yes that's a good idea, here is the summarized list done by Corto at the end of the thread (I only translate the post he did even if I don't agree with every point, remember also this is a resume of a discussion about the latest *publically available* OS4 version) :
* OS :
- USB : USB2 support
- Printing : improvement in the print system
- Datatypes : improvements in datatypes system (streaming, cross format saving, thumbnails, ...)
...


@all

Could any developers interested in working on improving the datatypes system (highlighed above) please contact me. I've been hoping to get a group together for this task for a while and have already done some preliminary work on this.

Hans

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Re: Workbench enhancement project
Amigans Defender
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2006/11/17 22:40
From England
Posts: 3245
@Chris

Odd, it keeps creating a new post everytime I try to edit in the text "although FTPMount supports ACTION_LOCK and may be a bit more restricted" after the bit about :8080.

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Re: Workbench enhancement project
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Joined:
2006/11/20 16:26
From Norway
Posts: 2809
@abalaban

What I can deride the list in two group agree and disagree

The stuff I agree on:

OS:
- USB : USB2 support
- USB : webcams support (isochronous mode) and scanners
- Printing : improvement in the print system
- ReAction : classes improvement, higher level interface, ...
- Charsets, fonts : UTF-8 support
- Clock, PlayCD, Blanker modules : there are a bit outdated, aren't they ?
- PartionWizard : better SFS support
- NTFS

Workbench:
- A lister mode
- Possibility to iconify windows
- Icons : add 32bits and PNG support to IconEdit
- Shell : improvements a la KingCON, addition of tabs, log for each console, settings (background color, ...)

Hardware:
- USB : webcams support (isochronous mode) and scanners
- Bluetooth stack (file transfer, etc.)
- Firewire : for storage




The stuff I disagree on

- Datatypes : improvements in datatypes system (streaming, cross format saving, thumbnails, ...)

Maybe not nessery if programs supported the Netscape plugin API (IB2.4 API).

- Petunia : support of Classic Amiga custom chips

No point, classic software is to buggy and they will not work in none multitask mode anyway, you have EUAE for that kind of stuff.

- Audio : AHI recording

I think its supported.

- Network : IPv6 support in RoadShow

It not a requirement on any OS.

- Multiuser : minimal support for multi-user

Optional!

- GrimReaper : usable GDB that does not freeze the system one time of two when attaching a crashed process

Not whit out better memory protection, you can recover crash logs after warm reboot.

- fix refresh problem in WB scrollbars

I have not noticed any refresh problems!

- Find : too simplest, don't manage to search into every drawers

I use it every day and I have not notice any problem whit it.

- Multiview : add possibility to do a small diaporama, a small playlist, etc.

I think its fine as it is.

- integration of AmiUpdate into the system in order to update it, mode to install yet unstalled softwares

No thanks, me like control.

- Theme manager in the GUI preference

cool but who cares.

- Input : Handling of multimedia keys, joypads

already supported,

- File systems : FAT32

CrossDOS supports that already.
Easyer to use crossdos yes please!

- Samba, OpenSSH : It would be better to make a network handler then plugins for Samba, FTP, SFTP, NFS etc... Advantage of this is that with a good documentation and a sample plugin it's not required that OS4 devs write all plugins themselves.

We need network sharing but Samba is not the right one, SFTP based network sharing maybe.

- A system monitor : task lists and possibility to kill those that are crashed, preview CPU usage

You can't because of the current Intuition system in use, GUI gets stuck until major changes has been done, Grim does it anyway.

- PDF printer
?

* Workbench :
- Possibility to create link

links are for dummies!

- Multi-desktop handling (a la linux)

multi screen support maybe, multi desktop no thanks.

- a "thumbnailer" (a la eastern) : I will even go further and propose (maybe via a preference) to do thumbnails of every file types having an appropriate datatype (yes I know I come back to the datatypes, but that is (was) a so innovative and clever concept that I find it scandalous that it was let apart for so long)...

Yes cool but slow, maybe as view option.

- Screenshot function

Yes in the utility drawer.

- Dockies : possibility to choose which dock the dockies will be added, a true transparency mode

Not whit out a new Intuition system first, too heavy in sw rendering mode!

- Dockies : a dock with only dockies in it to monitor activites of running applications (cpu meter, equalizers for an audio player, indication of received mail for the mailer, progress bar of the burning software, etc.)

if Program supported AmiDook then they will do, look at TuneNet mini dock thing, anyway I hate it because Icons move around if I have it enabled in TuneNet.

- Iconification in the dock itself

I think it better to iconinfy to menus like old MacOS9, icons on desktop or on toolbar is hard to get too.

- AISS yes I agree totally, it must be integrated in the OS, but it would be good to have a way of caching in order to prevent applications spend ages to launch...

I think AISS is slow, takes for every to load simple AISS application, way is that!

* Hardware :
- NVidia GFX-card support

They do not provide documentation so its not possible.

- better profit of gfx-cards (tv and dvi -out, compositing, overlay, opengl etc)

dvi-out is coming,
overlay is supported already.
MiniGL2.0 is coming.

- Bluetooth stack (file transfer, etc.)

Not so important.

- TV Tuner card support

We just need an updated SDK! we just need a DVI-in support, new Digital TV broadcast does not work whit old TV tuner cards anyway.

- Firewire : for storage

USB2.0 is more important.

- functional IDE ZIP drives support (not just in read-only mode)

Out dated, use USB sticks!


Edited by LiveForIt on 2008/7/1 8:06:09
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Re: Workbench enhancement project
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Posts: 138
@orgin

It's incredible the amigans' attitude to re-invent the wheel for everything.
There are two Workbench replacement open source: Ambient and Wanderer.
Ambient is more advanced than Workbench and in the latest betas it's even more advanced than Dopus Magellan.
At this point the only two reasons for not choosing Ambient are its licence, GPL, and its monolithic nature. Of course, there are some MUI4 dependencies, but I don't believe that it's something of impossible adapt it to MUI3.9.
The two Ambient's reasons are not-existent on Wanderer, APL (so you can create your Wanderer commercial version, to add your Wanderer to a commercial product without any problem, and you olny must release your modifies), and its modular nature.
Wanderer is less advanced than Workbench, but it's potentially extensible, and of course, I've just done an initial port on OS4, so we would would need of help from some others programmers to make it work and usable on OS4.

I believe that amigans are enough mature to understand advantages of just ready opensource solutions and to not reopened stupid religion wars against MUI/Reaction.

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Re: Workbench enhancement project
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Posts: 3188
@LiveForIt

Well one person agreeing or not, if an Open Amiga project was created I don't think it would be a good idea to limit what kind of projects it would entail, bar fitting with the overall goal of the project (being an open source source for amigaOS4). If someone wants to do, say "multi desktop", then let them do it. That doesn't mean that it have to end up in the OS. At the very least it could be seen as a research project giving insight to others.

AROS is plagued by the "it's better to" mentality, holding it down. And I wouldn't want to copy that for an 'Open Amiga' project.

Edit:
One could implement a priority system. To guide developers to certain projects, but not actually hinder anyone from doing what they want to do. If someone wants to work on a low priority project then let them do that, at least they know that it's not a prioritized one.

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Re: Workbench enhancement project
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@LiveForIt

Quote:

The stuff I disagree on

- Datatypes : improvements in datatypes system (streaming, cross format saving, thumbnails, ...)

Maybe not nessery if programs supported the Netscape plugin API (IB2.4 API).

What advantage does using a browser API actually have in this case? That might be good enough for display in a browser, but datatypes was meant to be more than that. Saving files in different formats was also supposed to be part of datatypes (a part that is only partially supported at present).

Quote:

- Network : IPv6 support in RoadShow

It not a requirement on any OS.


The transition to IPv6 is happening now. This will become a necessity.

Quote:

- Multiuser : minimal support for multi-user

Optional!

I would put this low down on the priorities, but I do think that we need it eventually.

Quote:

- Find : too simplest, don't manage to search into every drawers

I use it every day and I have not notice any problem whit it.

If I right-click on a window and select find, I have to de-select all other volumes before doing a search. I think that this could use some improvement.

Quote:

- Multiview : add possibility to do a small diaporama, a small playlist, etc.

I think its fine as it is.

It's functional right now, but something a little more advanced would be nice.

Quote:

- integration of AmiUpdate into the system in order to update it, mode to install yet unstalled softwares

No thanks, me like control.


AmiUpdate gives you a huge amount of control. It won't install or update anything that you don't want.

Quote:

- Samba, OpenSSH : It would be better to make a network handler then plugins for Samba, FTP, SFTP, NFS etc... Advantage of this is that with a good documentation and a sample plugin it's not required that OS4 devs write all plugins themselves.

We need network sharing but Samba is not the right one, SFTP based network sharing maybe.

Like it or not, sooner or later your Amiga will have to be able to interface with the windows world. I have Samba installed and I use it regularly. It's awful to set up and bloated though, so a made-for-Amiga alternative would be great.

- A system monitor : task lists and possibility to kill those that are crashed, preview CPU usage

You can't because of the current Intuition system in use, GUI gets stuck until major changes has been done, Grim does it anyway.

Quote:

- PDF printer
?


This would allow Amiga users to create PDF files from any program that can print. IMHO, very useful. IIRC, Ghostscript should already be able to do this. All that is required is a shell of a postscript-based printer driver.

Quote:

- a "thumbnailer" (a la eastern) : I will even go further and propose (maybe via a preference) to do thumbnails of every file types having an appropriate datatype (yes I know I come back to the datatypes, but that is (was) a so innovative and clever concept that I find it scandalous that it was let apart for so long)...

Yes cool but slow, maybe as view option.


Not necessarily. We could make this pretty quick. A caching system would make it even faster.

Quote:

- Dockies : a dock with only dockies in it to monitor activites of running applications (cpu meter, equalizers for an audio player, indication of received mail for the mailer, progress bar of the burning software, etc.)

if Program supported AmiDook then they will do, look at TuneNet mini dock thing, anyway I hate it because Icons move around if I have it enabled in TuneNet.

That's why I have a separate dock for dockies and keep my main icons elsewhere.

Quote:

- Bluetooth stack (file transfer, etc.)

Not so important.

... for now. I would have definite uses for this.


Ok, now back on topic. Are there any devs with the time for working on enhancing Workbench?

Hans

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Re: Workbench enhancement project
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@ShInKurO

There's also Scalos. Sometimes it's not really inventing the wheel. Different projects have different advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes a complete redesign is better than continuing with an old design.

In this case I have never seen Ambient in action, and I only used Wanderer a few times, years ago. I don't remember it being particularly advanced.

Hans

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Re: Workbench enhancement project
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Posts: 3188
@ShInKurO

Quote:
It's incredible the amigans' attitude to re-invent the wheel for everything.


Yes it is isn't it. It's the very reason that keeps us from just scrapping it all and moving on to windows.

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Vacca foeda. Sum, ergo edo

Mr Bobo Cornwater
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