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 Post subject: XVA Assistant
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:25 pm 
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Synopsis
XVA Assistant is a simple launcher for programs and web-links that resides in task-bar next to Start menu and can be called by a hot key.

Features
  • Two view modes- "View as Pad" and "View as Phone"
  • Multiple panels
  • Shortcuts can be organized in folders
  • Shortcuts can be added via drag&drop and via browse/select
  • One-click switch between programs/web-links windows
  • Customizable hot key
  • Start with system
  • Always on top
  • Check for updates
  • Skins

Links
http://www.idesktop.me/ - web-site
http://www.idesktop.me/pad/developer.html - developer
http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Launchers-Shutdown-Tools/XVA-Assistant.shtml - XVA Assistant at Softpedia

Images

Program Window:

Image

Program Window - "Enter Edit Mode":

Image

Folder - "Add Shortcut":

Image

Web-links Launcher:

Image

Program Options:

Image

Portability
XVA Assistant is portable and stealth by design:
  • Download the archive (xva.zip)
  • Extract the archive to a folder of your choice
  • Launch XVA.exe
  • All data and settings are stored in a sub-folder (DAT) inside program folder
  • A log file (XVA.log) is stored in program folder

Requirements
I could not find any specific requirements- I tested XVA Assistant under Windows 8 x64 and it was working fine.

License
XVA Assistant is freeware without any limitations, I couldn't find further information about its license.

Note
XVA Assistant insists on sitting next to Start menu, while running it cannot be moved in the task-bar.
The screen-shots above show the program running in "Pad" mode ("View as Pad").
The default hot-key is "Alt+Shift+D".
The program supports animations which (as far as I know) cannot be disabled.
Launching a web-link does not open the default browser but Internet Explorer which is a pity and this grave security risk makes the web-launcher useless.
On my system XVA Assistant was using about 26 MB of RAM.

Details
XVA Assistant current version (as of 2016.09.14) - 0.3.2016.0910
Name: xva.zip
File Size: 5121548 Byte(s) (4.88 MB)
Modified Date: 2016-09-14 05:29
MD5: c41108ee937a58c9e22aba99cce17d83
SHA1: 26687bb699909136d61066438fffa19f72e140ba
SHA256: 3f1ead36db9339c88af6962937b6ee54a6534daf918de9ddf80f80aaec0abd21
CRC32: db9abcce
VirusTotal analysis - Detection ratio: 1 / 54


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 Post subject: Re: XVA Assistant
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:38 pm 
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Great find, smaragdus -- at least for me. Thanks. :)

I have been making do with XLaunchpad, which yet again doesn't fulfill my needs (for one it defaults to full screen display, although it can be switched to "Window Mode", which then accommodates dragging and dropping new items; XVA makes it all way more simple).

After brief testing, here's my wishlist:
- optional compact layout (see below)
- optional system tray placement
- the positioning of the phone/pad overlay should be memorisable
- URLs should be launched with the default system browser, not with IE
(better yet, browser choice should be customizable and accept relative paths for portability)
- more info on making/modifying skins along with an easy procedures to do it
- menu animations are slow on my system but there's no option to disable them
- general animations are always on and the effects randomized -- they should also be optional and customizable
- the big plus sign to enter edit mode and have the ready-made list of shortcuts display would be better moved to the title-bar, along with the other little icons already there
- I'm guessing the list of ready-made shortcuts comes from auto-parsing the %ProgramFiles% hierarchy, but here again it should be customizable
(there are lots of redundant and unneeded items there)

About the layout, it looks like XVA looks like it was designed for touch interfaces with the liberal spacing and large icons. For the sake of conventional Windows mouse driven environments, options to customize icon size, caption display and permanent bottom links would be very welcome.


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 Post subject: Re: XVA Assistant
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:42 am 
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@Midas
Some time ago I contacted the developer with some suggestions and he responded. I hope that I am not revealing a secret. The developer promised an option to close XVA Assistant to tray and a different way of launching browsers and some other changes/new features in the next version. Since I think that all your ideas will make XVA Assistant more flexible and handier to use and since I doubt that the developer is following this thread I suggest that you contact him directly with your suggestions when you have time to do that.


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 Post subject: Re: XVA Assistant
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:22 am 
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@smaragdus: OK, will do. 8)

EDIT: email sent.


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 Post subject: Re: XVA Assistant 0.3.2016.1007
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:32 am 
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XVA Assistant at version 0.3.2016.1007, changes:
Quote:
0.3.2016.1007 2016-10-07
----------------------------
[*] Fix UserAssist bug. (32-bits multiplication overflow, resulting in incorrect sorting.)
[+] Support "Order by name".
[+] Support disable "Animation effects"
[+] Support disable "Cool XVA-Button"
[+] Launche URLs use the default browser.
Note that if Cool XVA-Button is disabled:

Image

XVA Assistant will not appear in task bar but only in system tray. More, now XVA Assistant will remember the size and position of its window when maximized from tray.

Sort by name:

Image

is very handy too.

@Midas
Thank you for your contribution by contacting the developer who seems to be helpful and responsive. For me this release is a huge improvement in terms of customization and flexibility.

Edit
The developer of XVA Assistant told me that:
Quote:
XVA supports from Win2000 to Win10 all OS, doesn't need anythings.


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 Post subject: Re: XVA Assistant
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:34 pm 
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Cool. Will be testing it ASAP. :)


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 Post subject: Re: XVA Assistant 0.4.2016.1024
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:37 am 
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XVA Assistant at version 0.4.2016.1024, changes:
Quote:
0.4.2016.1024 2016-10-24
----------------------------
[+] Optimize the drag icons on WinXP.
[+] Optimize the rendering of using large image as background.
[+] Support filter target of shortcut when building recommended shortcuts list.


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 Post subject: Re: XVA Assistant
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:51 pm 
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Very nice program. Not quite but somewhat similar to the non-freeware "Fences" program.

Wishlist

* Program associations so you can pick what programs to launch what files (especially the web browser).
* On the opaque view, ability to modify the transparency.
* Ability to drag-and-drop items *onto* icons (e.g. drag a text file onto a text editor). This could be accomplished a few ways, but maybe while holding the CTRL key or by hovering the icon over the program for .5 seconds.

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 Post subject: Re: XVA Assistant
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:05 pm 
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Posts: 244
Fondly reminds me of Qsel with a bit more eye-candy. Another similar program is MaxLauncher (mentioned here and here).

Loving the skins and taskbar button. I agree that the program is a lot better in "Pad" viewing mode. This one's a keeper!

A suggestion would be an option to automatically minimise XVA to taskbar/tray again when clicking somewhere else. Alternatively, an option to not minimise XVA after a program is launched.


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 Post subject: Re: XVA Assistant 0.4.2017.0102
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:36 pm 
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XVA Assistant at version 0.4.2017.0102, changes:

Quote:
0.4.2017.0102 2017-01-02
----------------------------
[+] Support drag-and-drop items *onto* icons. (e.g. drag a text file onto a text editor)
[+] Support "Minimize when losing focus" option.
[+] Support "Minimize after launch" option.

Screens:

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: XVA Assistant
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:59 pm 
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I added XVA Assistant to the database.


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 Post subject: Re: XVA Assistant
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:40 am 
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Voted! 8)


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 Post subject: Re: XVA Assistant
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:46 pm 
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@Midas

Thank you for your vote, it made the database entry public and visible to anyone.

Anyway, I am beginning to find it meaningless to add programs to the database and to post about programs in the forum- Windows is a dying platform and this site is dying too- it seems no one is interested any more- there are no discussions any longer, there are 3 to 5 regular posters left (even I am Baas has stopped posting).


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 Post subject: Re: XVA Assistant
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:04 am 
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smaragdus wrote:
Anyway, I am beginning to find it meaningless to add programs to the database and to post about programs in the forum- Windows is a dying platform and this site is dying too- it seems no one is interested any more- there are no discussions any longer, there are 3 to 5 regular posters left (even I am Baas has stopped posting).

    You shouldn't be so discouraged. The prospects for Windows haven't been very bright for quite some time (especially since MS decided to go full dork with 10) but TPFC has always been a low traffic resource -- which in fact did increase markedly with your own contribution. E.g., there were 130 anonymous users here just now.

    As for IamBaas, I'm sure he has other matters to attend now, being satisfied that the site will not wither for lack of input (I know he still keeps a watch over us, though :wink:) and updating (and may kudos to billon for the last part).


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 Post subject: Re: XVA Assistant 0.5.2017.0511
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 2:42 pm 
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XVA Assistant at version 0.5.2017.0511, changes:

Quote:
  • Support access to URLs through different browsers. (chrome, firefox, ie, safari, opera)
  • Support Russian. <thank pismonet@gmail.com>
  • Support user defined languages.
    • XVA\RES\en-US.lang is a tarball.
    • unpack the tarball, there will be a XLanguage.xml. (tar -xvf en-US.lang)
    • translate XLanguage.xml. (NOTE, please use UTF-8 file format for the new XLanguage.xml)
    • pack the new XLanguage.xml to a tarball. (tar -cvf <LANG>-<CTRY>.lang XLanguage.xml)
    • copy the tarball into XVA\RES


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