I'm starting to write a simple tool that will add group of tiles similar to the new Windows 10's Start Menu, that will be pinned to our taskbar using their own icons (multiple icons in taskbar).
So far, I've been doing some research related to detecting the taskbar's icon locations, it was not easy, back in Windows XP times, was easier with that taskbar's structure it had back then, with the arrival of Windows 7 (maybe Vista) and newer Windows versions, that taskbar has changed offering a different structure access using MSAA (Microsoft Active Accessibility), so I finally could find the way to get each taskbar's icon location (coordinates, size) however, no icon nor executable information was possible to obtain, but with the name of the icon and its position in the taskbar/screen should be enough, I've been testing it these days in my spare time, just now on two monitors, and found some issues there, hopefully fixable.
TileDock is the name for my new project, and it will be for Windows 10 only, I'm not sure if I can add support for Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, since I got rid of those versions of Windows from my computers at home.
— Ideas that I'm considering to add
- Translucent background pictures for each Tile, as you can see, on mouse cursor's over a tile, it will load its background picture in this group of tiles for some games.
- Animated GIF files, but it might slow it down
Status of the development :
Still in early stages, I switched to Lazarus - FreePascal since C# loads very slow on cold start, even though it might be easier I find it faster a native binary, I don't trust JIT (IL) but Micro$oft just added the .Net Native but only for Windows Store apps.
Currently planned for development:
— Aero Glass support on Windows 10 (like start menu with accent color support)
— Reading Tile groups from JSON files
— Detects its pinned icon in the taskbar, to align correctly
— Settings Dialog Window to create new Tile Groups that we can Pin to the taskbar
— Each group of tiles will be pinned with its own icon
Issues: High DPI support, Touch Support, Multimonitor, Windows 10's TabletMode
Here is a video of the very first approach, it was the one written in C#, as I mentioned, I'm switching to Pascal, my favorite language.
Screen Capture Demo [Video]
If you have any ideas to add, please share it in the comments, I will add them if I consider them feasible, it is always welcome different ideas. But as I mentioned, it is already planned a very basic version, and that will be the starting point, so, just wish me luck for this new project.