winPenPack Net Menu

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joby_toss
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winPenPack Net Menu

#1 Post by joby_toss » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:25 am

[Moderator note: this is the primary winPenPack Net Menu program thread. View database entry]

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http://www.winpenpack.com/en/download.php?view.1303

Category: Others - .NET Apps (4), Productivity - Program Launchers (52)

Synopsis: winPenPack Net Menu is the menu for launching applications collected in winPenPack, but it can also be configured to work with your own portable applications. It also supports temporary files associations and other features.

Writes settings to: Application folder

Dependencies: .Net Framework 2.0

How to extract: Download the ZIP package and extract to a folder of your choice. Launch winPenPackNet.exe.

Stealth [?]: Yes

Path portability: Automatic relative path (eg. ..\..\personal\work.doc)

Unicode support: Yes

License: winPenPack License Agreement

System Requirements: Win2K / WinXP / Vista / Win7

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http://www.portablefreeware.com/index.php?id=2264

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webfork
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Re: winPenPack Net Menu

#2 Post by webfork » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:05 pm

Going to give this a try despite the dotNET requirement and very long and unnecessary license agreement. Really want something other than Pstart.

Thanks for the post about it, Joby.

ZioZione
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Re: winPenPack Net Menu

#3 Post by ZioZione » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:07 am

Hi webfork,
webfork wrote:Going to give this a try despite the dotNET requirement
I know what you think about dotNet programs, so I appreciate even more that want to give it a try! 8)
webfork wrote:and very long and unnecessary license agreement.
Do you mean the agreement quoted just before the download? If so, how would you make it? I am really (and always) interested about "users" (sorry for the offense... :lol: ) opinion, because in winPenPack our typical user is a sorta, kinda, of "let me just download and do not bother me for nothing else" and very few have complained about this (they just click "Yes" and do not care or read nothing)... really not collaborative... :?
webfork wrote:Really want something other than Pstart.
I am a PStart (enthusiast) user too. winPenPackMenu.Net have been studied to seem as similar as possible to PStart, but with a bunch of additional features; the same features (I guess ;) ) that the author of PStart could have added, if he had the time...
joby_toss (that I publicly thank for the menu review :!: ) already discovered the file association (Cafe compatible... I have also studied a manual procedure to import the Cafe settings all at once) and the protocols association, that are two of the most interesting features, but you can find also the updates check, the X-Programs installation, the Expert Mode (that opens a new range of possibilities to the enhanced users), and so on.
I am, of course, available for any additional information you need. Have a nice try! :mrgreen:
Best Regards
ZioZione

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guinness
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Re: winPenPack Net Menu

#4 Post by guinness » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:30 am

What a great contender for PStart and I would even waive the .NET to use this. Quick question the XML layout looks similar to PStart, so can I just overwrite the winpenpack.xml with my PStart.xml so I don't have to worry about re-configuring all my files again. If not then I'll just create an AutoIt tool to do it for me by analysing the structure of your XML file.

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Re: winPenPack Net Menu

#5 Post by ZioZione » Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:31 am

Hi guiness,
guinness wrote:What a great contender for PStart and I would even waive the .NET to use this. Quick question the XML layout looks similar to PStart, so can I just overwrite the winpenpack.xml with my PStart.xml so I don't have to worry about re-configuring all my files again. If not then I'll just create an AutoIt tool to do it for me by analysing the structure of your XML file.
I have never tried to overwrite winpenpack.xml file with the PStart one (by the way, good idea! I will check...), but I think that this could need a little rearrangement (and, of course, a backup of the winpenpack.xml file before proceeding ;) ), because the XML structures of these two menus are (as I remember) quite different.
Unfortunately I use PStart ony at work, so now I cannot perform any test with a populated PStart menu structure, but you are absolutely welcome to test as deeply as you want, and let us know if there is some quick manner to switch between these two menus. This would be great!
Best Regards
ZioZione
P.S. by the way (sorry for not having mentioned before), as a "NotNet" ( :mrgreen: ) alternative , we have also a winPenPackMenu.Lite, written entirely in AutoIt (is just a programming exercise of the winPenpackMenu.Net author, written in just one week without having never seen AutoIt before... you can find it on winPenPack SourceForge Repository), that allow to deal with winPenPackMenu.Net xml structure in a read-only mode.
So you can configure your menu on a .Net machine and then use it anywhere as a program launcher, with just some basic additional features. Not a so bad compromise ;)

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Re: winPenPack Net Menu

#6 Post by guinness » Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:30 am

Cool, I'll check out the 'NotNet' version too and see what I can come up with as a converter, if not too difficult. Cheers.

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Re: winPenPack Net Menu

#7 Post by webfork » Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:55 pm

ZioZione wrote:I know what you think about dotNet programs, so I appreciate even more that want to give it a try! 8)
To some extent the life and death of portable software for many of our users depends on a good launcher.
ZioZione wrote:
webfork wrote:and very long and unnecessary license agreement.
...how would you make it? I am really (and always) interested about "users" (sorry for the offense... :lol: ) opinion, because in winPenPack our typical user is a sorta, kinda, of "let me just download and do not bother me for nothing else" and very few have complained about this (they just click "Yes" and do not care or read nothing)
Licenses are not usually important to most users, but is important for wider adoption and acceptance. I'd recommend just making it GPL v3 and leaving it at that to encourage community involvement. Its a difference between your software and our software. In my bad Italian, its "il tuo" and "il nostro". Also, new licenses generally scare people, and I think much of the winPenPack license is unnecessary:
  • #9: the GPL already has a disclaimer of liability.
  • #3: the clause that talks about the Creative Commons license -- it need only be included in the documentation to apply.
  • #4: note about trademark can be left out as the GPL is compatible with trademark law. For example, you can't call something Linux unless it uses the Linux kernel and, as soon as you change it, you loose the right to call it Linux (e.g. Android).
  • I think the attribution clause in #7 is unnecessary. Good developers and good community members use attribution.
.

Also, #5 and #6: Different terms for distributing modified software (under the GPL) and unmodified (with conditions) seems unclear. It seems I can change a few characters in the distribution and now its "modified" and under the GPL?
ZioZione wrote:
webfork wrote:Really want something other than Pstart.
as similar as possible to PStart, but with a bunch of additional features ... that the author of PStart could have added, if he had the time...
All that sounds great. Look forward to trying it.
Last edited by webfork on Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: (bad wording)

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Re: winPenPack Net Menu

#8 Post by webfork » Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:25 pm

Some impressions of the software:

Definitely the closest to a Pstart replacement I've yet found. Nice work.

Good:
  • Supports drag and drop
  • Definitely like the virtual drives capability
  • Ability to run software as admin
  • Window state, On execution, and AutoExecute like Pstart
  • Added the ability to "hide this software from menu" (better than Pstart)
  • Cafe integration
Unclear:
  • Not sure what the "Protocols" bit is about also the "ToolWindow style". What's this?
Wishlist:
  • Like PortableApps, program requires users copy/move files into the WinPenPack\Bin folder. Really would like to just drag files in from wherever and have them stay in their original locations.
  • After you double-click an item on the menu, it turns to black on dark-blue, which means it more or less disappears. Can do a screenshot of this if you need.
  • The stats window lists Hotkeys, but no ability to create/modify them. Am I missing something?
  • The ability to remove the top 3 options "Config, Check Upgrades, winPenPack home" as well as "Recents". Would like the ability to move all those all under the options menu so like Pstart only the programs are visible.
  • Edit: Run as User capability

ZioZione
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Re: winPenPack Net Menu

#9 Post by ZioZione » Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:54 am

Hi webfork,
webfork wrote:Some impressions of the software:

Definitely the closest to a Pstart replacement I've yet found. Nice work.

Good:
  • Supports drag and drop
  • Definitely like the virtual drives capability
  • Ability to run software as admin
  • Window state, On execution, and AutoExecute like Pstart
  • Added the ability to "hide this software from menu" (better than Pstart)
  • Cafe integration
Thank you very much! Your opinion, for me, is really important.
webfork wrote: Unclear:
  • Not sure what the "Protocols" bit is about also the "ToolWindow style". What's this?
With "Protocols", we mean the ability of the menu to intercept the calls to (internet, web, call them as you want) protocols http/https, mailto, ftp, and redirect each of them to a program of your choice. These actions are triggered by clicking on an hyperlink of type "http:/https:" (web pages), "mailto:" (email addresses), "ftp:" (ftp sites). Then you can define, into the Properties of a program, that it must intercept a particular protocol (is enough to check the corresponding checkbox, and the command line is populated consistently). Of course, the program must be able to manage these protocols. As an example, you can instruct X-Firefox (or Opera, or any other portable browser) to intercept "http/https" protocols, X-Thunderbird (or equivalent) to intercept "mailto" protocol, FileZilla (or equivalent) to intercept "ftp" protocol. From this moment on, every time you click a link of type "http/https" (also from a mail into X-Thunderbird ;) ), X-Firefox opens it, and so on...
TooWindowStyle is a first, rough attempt to manage some window styles. If this option is checked, you can act on the "Configuration" window transparency. That's all.
webfork wrote: Like PortableApps, program requires users copy/move files into the WinPenPack\Bin folder. Really would like to just drag files in from wherever and have them stay in their original locations.
To have all programs "under control" is a must for a menu that must work also from a portable device. While you can drag your files on the menu structure, in the next executions it tries to resolve the programs path (this is one of the features of wPPMenu.Net, so you can have always the correct paths wherever you execute it from). I understand your point of view, but I also think that you can take advantage of this feature, that allow to bring the structure of your folders under winPenPack\Bin, with a simple drag&drop, plus "move" option... ;)
webfork wrote: After you double-click an item on the menu, it turns to black on dark-blue, which means it more or less disappears. Can do a screenshot of this if you need.
Since this happens only from the "Configuration" window, that is not the main place to launch the programs from, maybe this can be delayed a little? The Configuration window appears by default when executing the menu, but I think that a more realistic setting is to uncheck this option, using the tray icon for launching programs, as with PStart...
webfork wrote: The stats window lists Hotkeys, but no ability to create/modify them. Am I missing something?
The Hotkeys list is a summary of all hotkeys assigned to the menu for launching single programs; these hotkeys can be defined in the Properties window (tab Advanced) of each program. By the way, from the Stats panel, clicking the blue ruler on the left border, you can view many other interesting informations about the menu settings.
webfork wrote: The ability to remove the top 3 options "Config, Check Upgrades, winPenPack home" as well as "Recents". Would like the ability to move all those all under the options menu so like Pstart only the programs are visible.
At this moment is only possible to hide the Recents (unchecking both the advanced menu options "Active MRU" and "MRU on trayicon submenu"). This action, indeed, does not prevent the menu to register the recents, so you can enable/disable it at any time, being sure that all the Recents are preserved.
"Configuration", if the option "Show window on startup" is unchecked (strongly suggested ;) ), represents the only way to reach the configuration window, so it cannot be deleted; there is another menu option (Various|TrayIcon|Left Click action) that allow you to open the Configuration window double left-clicking the tray icon; this behavior is the equivalent of "Show panel" manu item of PStart (that, AFAIK, cannot be hidden too).
"Check Upgrades", if hidden from tray menu, is only triggered at startup and from the Configuration window contextual menu; we found useful to have it available also from tray menu, but at this moment cannot be completely hidden from there, sorry...
"winPenPack Home" allow to have wPP site just one click away... ;) Please do not ask me to delete this item! :D
webfork wrote: Edit: Run as User capability
The Expert Mode activate the X Expert contextual menu item in the Configuration window, and is mainly useful just to act on the installed X-Programs, so you can perform various activities on them. All the settings I depicted above are available also to "normal" menu users.

There are still many features we have not yet spoken, so if you have any question, you are welcome to ask!

Best Regards
ZioZione

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Re: winPenPack Net Menu

#10 Post by webfork » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:40 pm

ZioZione wrote:With "Protocols", we mean the ability of the menu to intercept the calls to (internet, web, call them as you want) protocols http/https, mailto, ftp, and redirect each of them to a program of your choice.
ZioZione wrote:The Hotkeys list is a summary of all hotkeys assigned to the menu for launching single programs; these hotkeys can be defined in the Properties window (tab Advanced) of each program. By the way, from the Stats panel, clicking the blue ruler on the left border, you can view many other interesting informations about the menu settings.
Cool, thanks. If you can put in some kind of explanation in the program (help file or some kind of note) that would resolve questions like this about the protocols and hotkeys windows. If there is a help file and I just didn't read it, I apologize.
webfork wrote:The ability to remove the top 3 options "Config, Check Upgrades, winPenPack home" as well as "Recents". Would like the ability to move all those all under the options menu so like Pstart only the programs are visible.
"Check Upgrades", if hidden from tray menu, is only triggered at startup and from the Configuration window contextual menu; we found useful to have it available also from tray menu, but at this moment cannot be completely hidden from there, sorry... "winPenPack Home" allow to have wPP site just one click away... ;) Please do not ask me to delete this item! :D
I realize some of these are complex, but a launcher that's minimalistic is very valuable: my computer is already overloaded with distractions and stuff I don't use -- I need my launcher to present me with the absolute minimum of information necessary to get work done. Pstart, despite its flaws, is really intuitive and clean.
ZioZione wrote:I understand your point of view, but I also think that you can take advantage of this feature, that allow to bring the structure of your folders under winPenPack\Bin, with a simple drag&drop, plus "move" option... ;)
Its not critical. Most users won't have an issue with this, but by writing software to appeal to power users like Pstart folks here on the site, its something we look for.

We're also by nature tweakers so we're never going to quite be satisfied. Please don't feel unappreciated. :)
Last edited by webfork on Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: bad wording, bad syntax, bad moderator!

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Re: winPenPack Net Menu

#11 Post by ZioZione » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:01 am

Hi webfork,
webfork wrote:Cool, thanks. If you can put in some kind of explanation in the program (help file or some kind of note) that would resolve questions like this about the protocols and hotkeys windows. If there is a help file and I just didn't read it, I apologize.
You are right, at this moment the menu does not have a help file. The ReadMe\wpp_menu_net_en.txt is more a changelog than a help... At this moment, the only guide worthy of its name is available into the Documentation section of our forum http://www.winpenpack.com/en/page.php?46 . As you can see there, it refers to the previous menu, so some new or enhanced features have not yet been added. Much of these informations are "sparse" in wPP forum (unfortunately, most of them in italian). We hope to have, in the future, some time (and help from collaborators) to complete the guide. Documentation is very important for the usability of a program, and we are aware of this!
webfork wrote:The ability to remove the top 3 options "Config, Check Upgrades, winPenPack home" as well as "Recents". Would like the ability to move all those all under the options menu so like Pstart only the programs are visible.
"Check Upgrades", if hidden from tray menu, is only triggered at startup and from the Configuration window contextual menu; we found useful to have it available also from tray menu, but at this moment cannot be completely hidden from there, sorry... "winPenPack Home" allow to have wPP site just one click away... ;) Please do not ask me to delete this item! :D
I realize some of these are complex, but a launcher that's minimalistic is very valuable: my computer is already overloaded with distractions and stuff I don't use -- I need my launcher to present me with the absolute minimum of information necessary to get work done. Pstart, despite its flaws, is really intuitive and clean.
Agree. Anyway, I hope that you find our menu a little more minimalistic than others... ;)
webfork wrote:Its not critical. Most users won't have an issue with this, but by writing software to appeal to power users like Pstart folks here on the site, its something we look for.
We're also by nature tweakers so we're never going to quite be satisfied. Please don't feel unappreciated. :)
If you were not appreciated, at least partially, wPP Menu, I believe that this conversation would have never occurred... :roll:
For me, this mean to appreciate something! So I have just to thank you for all your hints and improvement suggestions... ;)
Best Regards
ZioZione

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Re: winPenPack Net Menu

#12 Post by webfork » Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:16 pm

Old topic update:

Was looking at the WinPenPack license that governs their launcher and, as near as I can tell (IANAL), they've basically just packed an attribution feature inside the GPL license:
...authors of derivative works based on winPenPack, on winPenPack menu Launcher, on X-Software or X-Launcher, to clearly referring to winPenPack project and to his authors, adding always a link to winpenpack.com into source files and documents included into software packs
There's also a note about how:
  • They really don't know if redistribution is really allowed or not for every program on the site
  • If redistribution IS allowed, it should be in an unmodified form
I understand the need for this (license stuff is bloody complicated) but it's annoying and unnecessary to spell out in a separate license statement. Individual pages and individual programs can have their own license statement along with any other details (how source code is to be used, personal use only, etc). Additionally, the copyright, trademark, disclaimer of warranty/libaility, and requirements to distribute the source code are all covered by the GPL, a license that has been tested in court. Really wish they'd switch over but I probably can't make a convincing case in English.

Side note: evidently I think reading licenses in my spare time is fun. I may need to get out more.

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Re: winPenPack Net Menu

#13 Post by Midas » Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:49 am

webfork wrote:Side note: evidently I think reading licenses in my spare time is fun. I may need to get out more.
  • :D

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Re: winPenPack Net Menu

#14 Post by webfork » Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:27 pm

Midas wrote:
webfork wrote:Side note: evidently I think reading licenses in my spare time is fun. I may need to get out more.
  • :D
I really need to get out ... I already covered this more than 2 years ago and in the entry above it no less. I thought I'd put this off. Ugh.

Anyway, it's ultimately still an open license and my objection to dotNET has diminished since the retirement of XP.

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