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hidden killa :: meanmechanics User meanmechanics
the only other shell that i use is lightstep, there's a theme that i like that's call : autohide. I like the idea of complete minimalism where the desktop is use for the wallpaper only. Upper left corner there's bbiconbox pager on autohide. Upper right there's the task and bottom left there's bbtray+slit clock in the slit  
Shell BBLC\BBLean
Style hiden killa by meanmechanics
Wallpaper On_the_lane_of_fire-1280x800.jpg 

cthu1hu I'd like to skin litestep, and I'm tired of the limitations of blackbox, but it's maddening to use, and doesn't work on Vista that I'm aware. But, a skinnable bb4win is coming out. Eventually. I think.
doctorfrog I'll probably never go back to litestep, but it does seem to have a somewhat more active dev community last I looked. Bitmap skinning though? I'd be more interested in newer ways to generate skins by adding to bb's current capabilities. Which would shred any remaining cross-platform compatibility, of course.
meanmechanics It's worst than maddening!!!! I've tried and I'm still trying to understand the concept of modules (?) I won't say that I'm tired of BB limitations but it's true that changing colors only make me feel like a 3 yr old. But on the other hand I'm not ready for a lightstep like bb. May be some added skinning like samurai would be nicer and challenging. In the past I've used Emerge desktop with samurai and rainmeter, the skinning possibilities seemed endless though buggy. In this I completely agree with Drfrog. Some sort of super bb stylemaker.
cthu1hu I don't know about cross-platform compatibility, but new skinning methods for bb4win are currently being worked on. But it's only by one guy, and he's run into some major problems. The rest of the principle devs have abandoned the shell years ago, except for the vanilla bbLean branch, which gets worked on every three years or so, and xoblite, which gets worked on infrequently, but whose updates aren't released to the public. I don't know where bb could go, other than bitmap skinning, if it's even necessary for bb to progress, but the community is rather sparse to non existent.
meanmechanics It's sad to have such a nice project with such a little community. In terms of skinning I think there's no limit, but we once again we fall in community involvement. Look at that hoax call Cairo!! or look at Emerge desktop or Rainmeter+Enigma... Generally I see the shell devlopment on a decline. Good shells like Geoshell or others from the same timeline are not "evoluting". Recently I've been trying Cameo and the guy has a nice approach though it's not in the direction we are talking. I mean before him nobody thought of including portable apps in bb. It's nice to click on explore and discover the clean cubicexplorer ui. What I see in the shell dev sad me everyday a little more, no one cares to create new shell for two possible reasons: time is money and the great OS's have great shells. windows 7, mac os x and gnome (or kde)... But bb can go a little further in the department of candy without losing it's simplicity.
synorgy A large portion of the problem is that everyone is looking only for updates to the visuals, becuase that's something that the end user can see. There's plenty of room for development in bb4win in general, but it's largely based in optimizations and improving behaviors. For instance, bblean's handling of multiple monitors is horrid - at best (unusable at worst). I appreciate everything that the devs have done, especially the forks and the like that have kept bb4win up to date, but the focus of the project is scattered. Some developers wanted splitVertical gradients - so they implemented them. Some developers wanted text effects (shadows etc.) so they implemented them. Still others wanted icons in menus etc - so they did that. Not one branch of bb4win can be called THE branch, because none of the developers thought to set up a central repository with their code in it. Everyone simply modified the code till it did what they wanted and released it into the wild. If there existed some central repository (such as a GIT or HG repo) that all bblean releases came from, and the developers were willing to accept patches - I think we'd be in a much better situation right now. This does mean though that someone would need to step up and define exactly what bbLean / bb4win is intended to be and enforce that openly.
doctorfrog What it boils down to is pretty simple: bb development has no clear leader, no clear center, and fairly stagnate community growth. On the other hand, it's basically feature complete as far as I'm concerned, and has been, for years. Other than some niggling issues and possibly x64 compatibility, there isn't much I'd do to improve it. Too bad that this means 'stagnation,' as even existing users either gravitate to default shells or move on to newer, shinier things. What bothers me most is that the lead dev on bblean is essentially unreachable and whether he remains interested or dedicated to maintaining the shell is unknowable. Gotta have faith, I guess. In the meantime, I'm still discovering interesting things to do with bblean, and it's solid as a rock, so I'm not too worried. Just don't want to feel like a dinosaur.
meanmechanics I've got one question...Apart from giving a unified direction what's a leader? I don't have any aptitude in coding or else I would be the dev that modify what I want and release it as such. I agree on the concept of repository but isn't such a project base on community involvement, not just the dev but everyone that want to contribute? Besides I see this situation as symptomatic since the advent of Win xp there's no real interest in developing shells. I use both Ubuntu and windows, and everytime I make a search for shell replacement or window managers for x I stumble on old projects that the dev have considered as "complete", often those projects dates back to the 90's for the oldest. When I read the history of these museum pieces I see that around 1990 to 2003 there was many enthusiastic dev that were working on exciting projects. I think if we can answer this curiosity then we may be able to have a real community. Why is there such a disinterest in the shell or the WM? As an end user with little power (not many want to change shell as they change shirt) I like the idea that I have a choice and not force to resign to the beautiful Seven that every one is so proud to show.
cthu1hu An example is how plugin development for bb4win has completely died, and has been on life support for a year or more, and that we few on this site are pretty much all that's going on with the shell. Blackbox is dead. Long live blackbox.
cthu1hu I agree doctorfrog, but I admit that I'm a sucker for eye candy, and I'd like us to at least get some of the things common in the latest bb4nix branches. qwilk had rounded corners with per pixel anti aliasing with, I believe, five lines of code about two years ago, but that may never see the light of day. I wasn't supposed to talk about that, but I think the statute of limitations has expired.

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