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Changing Desktop 'Pinboard' look "on-the-fly"
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richard.a


Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 510
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Tue 09 Oct 2007, 03:16    Post subject:  Changing Desktop 'Pinboard' look "on-the-fly"
Subject description: A Simple automated process
 

Changing Desktop 'Pinboard' look "on-the-fly"
A Simple automated process

During my re-engineering of PuppyPro v2.10 to look and feel more like the recent developments by WhoDo - this was because I discovered some older computers just will not run with v2.12 and later - I wanted to avoid the need for three separate ISOs, one for the original look, one for the 2.15ce look with its shiny silvery desktop icons and their layout around the periphery of the screen, and one for the 2.16 (and later) modified by the EZ-pup script - which, in turn, does not run on versions of Puppy earlier than 2.12



As you can see from the captures above, each is substantially different in pinboard layout, icon structure, et cetera.

Examination of the /root/Choices/ROX-Filer/ - please note the capitalisation - subdirectory content shows that this is where the configuration is stored which we need to access.


I discovered that by saving the ROX-Filer directory in each mode - including the one from the original 2.10pro - to a separately identified and named one, they could be stored together, and by copying / renaming them as needed, an "on-the-fly" change in look could be performed, once the X-Server was restarted. This worked beautifully using Rox's right click-copy-rename procedure. Looky here...



However we need to simultaneously restart the X-Server for ease of use, and I was wondering how to do this in one operation, accessible from any of several locations. True, a single line of command "lingo" worked well in the console, and also in the run dialogue Smile - but a restart of the X-Server was a chore... automation was needed.

So, I ended up with double the previous code - now all of two lines - that could be duplicated with slight modification for various "Choices" - which is also the name of the directory Smile

So, now how do we get it accessible? The most obvious and first attempt was to stick it on the menu, and here we have that option...



This is the code used in the menu calls...



... and the all-important code for my pinboard layouts for my installation are here - yours may be different. I don't guarantee it will work with all versions of PuppyLinux but while this concept of desktops continues, it should work well.

Notes on the project are on its own page here

What needs to be emphasised is that this procedure DOES NOT change desktop background image (aka "Wallpaper"). Because that is an unrelated operation to the pinboard layout, it is left for the user to do. There is also the momentary ominous blackscreen while the X-Server restarts

Having now got the syntax right, it is very simple to create a button menu that can be popped up from a desktop icon, from the main "Start" menu, or from another commands menu-bar such as discussed here

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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 6449
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu 11 Oct 2007, 05:55    Post subject:  

How does this cope with extra items someone might put on their desktop? Are they simply lost from the pinboard when they change style?
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richard.a


Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 510
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Thu 11 Oct 2007, 06:44    Post subject:  

disciple wrote:
How does this cope with extra items someone might put on their desktop? Are they simply lost from the pinboard when they change style?

A good question, and one which I asked myself when I approached the concept.

The aim was to create one distribution (instead of three), with the same home directory, same customisation, et cetera, and because the pinboard alterations that are done take place in the directory currently selected the saving of its configuration is of paramount importance.

It appears to work with my checking by changing one of the icons on one of the three views, and my adding one short cut on a second, and the same plus a second shortcut on the third. The slightly different desktop on each of the three were maintained through switching "on the fly", by rebooting, and by doing a cold reboot allowing a couple of minutes for voltages to decay (to prove a point) on a number of occasions.

I offer this concept as what appears to be a perfectly working model - but with no guarantees, because more than one tester is needed. If you can fault it, please post back here, and maybe together we can come up with a solution.

To date there does not appear to be a problem - but that is only over perhaps four or five days Smile

It is important to note that before switching "looks" the first time, after adding whatever other directories the script will switch from and to, that the current ROX-Filer directory be saved to whatever you have decided to call it (for example ROX-Filer-212), even if you are editing a copy the script has called ROX-Filer.

Otherwise any changes to the desktop you have made since the current boot will be lost. At least that was my experience during testing, and it was what I expected the outcome would be, from thinking logically about it.

Subsequent changes need also be updated in a similar way; I haven't yet thought of a way round that.

It is only the desktop icons and the launchers they are associated with, which are affected. Nothing else is. Even the wallpaper (background) is maintained across whatever choices you have implemented.

Richard

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Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 6270
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

PostPosted: Thu 11 Oct 2007, 22:13    Post subject:  

I haven't read everything, sorry. But I thought I'd mention that you don't need to run restartwm just to refresh the pinboard. You could just do this:
Code:
killall ROX-Filer
rox -p /root/Choices/ROX-Filer/PuppyPin


However, that still kills any rox windows that are open, which could be inconvenient. You might want to go to the ROX-Filer website and look up info on SOAP. I don't know for sure, but that might include a way to have the pinboard update without having to kill everything (I've already tried just killing the pinboard itself, but that also kills any other rox windows).

Maybe you can just run rox -p /root/Choices/ROX-Filer/PuppyPin without killing it first. I don't know if that would cause issues or not (like having two pinboards running at the same time).

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richard.a


Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 510
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Thu 18 Oct 2007, 00:50    Post subject:  

Pizzasgood wrote:
Maybe you can just run rox -p /root/Choices/ROX-Filer/PuppyPin without killing it first. I don't know if that would cause issues or not (like having two pinboards running at the same time).

I tried something like that initially, and can't remember what happened. I think absolutely nothing! It required a restart of X to see it. Certainly trying restarting JWM did absolutely nothing Smile

Thanks anyway. I think it's probably safer to restart X because then nothing gets left "undone", don't you think?

Richard.

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