Magic Formation

Submit portable freeware that you find here. It helps if you include information like description, extraction instruction, Unicode support, whether it writes to the registry, and so on.
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Baas
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:26 pm

Magic Formation

#1 Post by Baas » Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:43 pm

Magic Formation is a cool, free, and highly customizable, dock like program that can be invoked anywhere by a circular mouse gesture (or assigned hotkeys).

Image

It doesn't write to the registry (settings are saved in an .ini file in the application folder)

A few good tweaking tips @ http://www.aqua-soft.org/board/showthread.php?t=45974

garbanzo
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#2 Post by garbanzo » Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:03 am

ooooh i like this! you can bring it up by hitting CTRL twice, then each app in the menu can have its own hotkey. so CTRL-CTRL-F gives me Firefox, while CTRL-CTRL-U gives me UniExtract. or, if my hand is on the mouse instead of the keyboard it still works nicely with the gesture.

even better, hit up and it switches to task mode, then hit a letter to switch to that window.

sweet :)

ashghost
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Location: South Carolina

#3 Post by ashghost » Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:47 am

This may be my favorite dock-style launcher, if only because it makes it so easy to use either the mouse or the keyboard or both.

Be aware that the default is to store "per-machine" settings. It prepends the ini file with the computer name, so that the settings are portable inasmuch as they're stored in the same folder as the executable, but they won't get used when you run it on another machine. To make the settings get used on any computer you can either disable this in the options ("Other"), or just delete the computer name from your ini to make it "MagicFormation.ini".

That's an nifty feature, something I haven't seen in any portable app, but it's too bad that you can't have both: if MagicFormation.ini exists, those are the settings it uses, even if MACHINEMagicFormation.ini exists and you're on MACHINE. It'd be nice to have generic settings for most computers and specific settings for the machines you use most often.

Since it wasn't mentioned here, it does support portable paths (as well as passing arguments and setting working directories).

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maxworks
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This application rocks

#4 Post by maxworks » Sat Jul 12, 2008 11:49 am

The title says it all :D

One really crazy thing though. Am using Vista, and when I do the twiddly thing with my mouse (or the double shift/CTRL) over Internet Explorer nothing happens. I don't have the same problem with any other programme showing... (BTW, was only on IE because I was backing up my PortApps - including Firefox! so it won't be a problem... but it's a strange thing...)

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Lupo73
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#5 Post by Lupo73 » Sat Jul 19, 2008 10:52 am

Someone know how to contact the author? I can't find an email nor a contact form.. I would like to collaborate with he to improve this app.

Baas
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#6 Post by Baas » Sat Jul 19, 2008 5:53 pm

Lupo73 wrote:Someone know how to contact the author?
Try to contact Koji - the developer of MagicFormation, through the MagicFormation Feature Suggestions Forum @ http://winflip.stylekings.de/board/inde ... sg125.html

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Lupo73
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#7 Post by Lupo73 » Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:26 am

Thanks.. :wink:

Onesimus Prime
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relative paths how?

#8 Post by Onesimus Prime » Sun Aug 24, 2008 4:46 pm

Ashghost (or whomever else can answer), how do you get this to work with relative paths? It's probably my favorite launcher so far, I'm using on my laptop extensively, but I haven't succeeded with relative paths at all yet.

When I do:
\Program Files (portable)\subpad\subpad.exe (trying from the root of the drive)
it just plain doesn't work. No icon, no nothing. When I try:
..\subpad\subpad.exe (Magic Formation is in its own directory under the "Program Files (portable)" one)
it apparently finds the .exe, since it displays the correct icon, but when I click on it, it does NOTHING. And this is the case for every program, I just picked Subpad as an example.

Oh, and apparently no support for standard environment variables like %USERPROFILE% either?

ashghost
Posts: 383
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Location: South Carolina

#9 Post by ashghost » Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:25 pm

I don't know about the %USERPROFILE% variable.

However, the relative path you gave in your second example works fine for me, and is similar to how I have mine set up:

F:\
--Apps\
----ActiveIsoBurner\
----FreeCommander\
--------FreeCommander.exe
----MagicFormation\
--------MagicFormation.exe
etc.

The path ..\FreeCommander\FreeCommander.exe works just fine for me, but your other example does not. Have you tried using quotes, since you have spaces in your path?

Onesimus Prime
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#10 Post by Onesimus Prime » Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:02 pm

Hmm, interesting - it actually removes quotes! No, that didn't help. I also tried putting into a temp. directory structure where none of the folders had spaces. In all cases, the correct icon's showing, so it found the .exe, but it just won't execute for some reason.

I'm changing both ITEM_PATH and WORK_PATH to be relative (identical, except for the addition of \prog-name.exe at the end of ITEM_PATH) and doing so by editing in Notepad. Any difference from what you're doing?

Thanks for the help!

ashghost
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#11 Post by ashghost » Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:22 pm

I just tried setting a working directory and had the same problem, but then removed the trailing backslash, and it worked.

There aren't many portable apps for which I bother setting the working directory anyway - of several hundred I have configured to launch with PStart, I have a working directory set for only 3.

Onesimus Prime
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 8:42 pm

#12 Post by Onesimus Prime » Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:49 pm

So ..\subpad\ wouldn't work, but ..\subpad did? (as a working directory).
Completely removing the WORK_PATH worked for the program I tried, but neither of the above variants of WORK_PATH did...
Come to think of it, I've never had a trailing backslash (assuming I understood you right, as above), yet it didn't work either.

BTW, I just went and looked up "working directory" on Wikipedia. Not sure I entirely understand it all. What apps/types of apps require working directories?

ashghost
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#13 Post by ashghost » Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:16 pm

The programs I have that need a working directory are:

PCOrd and R: statistical programs, which use a working directory to determine where to find/save temporary (and sometimes non-temporary project files) that they necessarily create during operation.

Mnemosyne: rather than just looking for configuration and data files in the directory where the application is stored, it relies on having a working directory set.

Most of the portable applications in the database either automatically store settings in the application directory, look for configuration settings in the application directory before looking in user directories, or store nothing.

appsuser
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#14 Post by appsuser » Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:15 am

There definitely seems to be a bug in this program processing relative paths where the working directory is the same as the application directory. I thought I might have had this fixed a few times, but realized the garbled pop-up message I couldn't read was telling me I was setting my working directory to be different from my application directory. However, for icon options, relative paths where the path is relative to the root directory appear to work fine.

Dayrider
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#15 Post by Dayrider » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:26 pm

I think (i hope) i found an answer:
Just like old times in dos the name can only be 8 digits. So if you have something like clean after me.exe you should change it in
cleana~1.exe. (six digits, a tilde and a 1)
The whole thing looks like ..\cleana~1.exe.
Just the same for the path
Hope it works for you

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