Welcome, Sit down, and make yourself comfortable.
Published on February 12, 2007 By RomanDA In OS Customization
If someone was to take the time to make a Good starter guide as well as a more in-depth guide to DX, what would you want to see?

Ex:
How do i make a simple clock?
How do you make a Folder Object?
What is a Group?
How do you store settings in DX?
Etc?

Please be detailed, it can help.

Comments (Page 2)
on Feb 15, 2007
This might be too much or off topic with what you have in mind...but I would really like to learn and/or understand HOW to write the scripts...in whatever language is best...Java, etc. I think if I had a general understanding I could go from there, kinda of like when I learned how to do html for geocities back in the day.

If you weren't planning on getting into this, could you recomend a good place to learn for a beginner...or even a good book on it. I have seen a lot of books on scripting at the bookstore, but not sure which code to focus on that DX uses.

Thanks Roman!

And thanks for all the help you have given me already!
on Feb 15, 2007
Either VBScript or JavaScript. You'll find more examples of VBScript used in DesktopX though.
However, if you also plan to do some webdeveloping as well you might find JavaScript to be your language as you then only have to focus on one script language.
on Feb 15, 2007
If I were you I'd stick to instructions/tutorials surrounding the most popular widgets. Obviously those are what people want to know how to do.

Many people seem to want instruction in general scripting but, excellent resources exist elsewhere including an excellent SDK from Microsoft. I'll try to post some more links to the DesktopX wiki of my personal favorites. Varying off into this direction most likely will confuse and frustrate many.

The possibilities within DesktopX using dxscripts alone are amazing. The other night I wrote an animated wallpaper strictly within desktopX without looking at any examples. Sure it uses more code than if I used some sort of array and/or loop but, it was quick and easy. I'll comment and upload it later.

Hi, Iwould like to see if you could make a tutorial on how to use "read, write, create, edit, etc." databases.


What type of database? Access, Excel, XML, CSV, etc etc
on Feb 15, 2007

Hi, Iwould like to see if you could make a tutorial on how to use "read, write, create, edit, etc." databases.

Like the one he did here: http://www.wincustomize.com/articles.aspx?aid=133860

on Feb 15, 2007
Hi, Iwould like to see if you could make a tutorial on how to use "read, write, create, edit, etc." databases.


Here is something i did a while ago:
View Article
on Feb 15, 2007
Although I have some of the basics down thanks to reverse-engineering Martin's scripts. I would really like to figure out how to do a graph. How do you control the images of the bars to get them to be the correct height and position them correctly?

I'm a very bar graph kind of guy, and I want to pull info from my web server so I can display it in a bar graph on my Desktop - I think that would be a cool and useful application of DX. But the first step would be to learn how to do the graph - after that would be the reading external values to display the graph.

Maybe I'm all alone in this one - if so, could someone point me to where I could do some reading to try and muddle through? Any help is gratefully appreciated.
on Feb 15, 2007
If I were you I'd stick to instructions/tutorials surrounding the most popular widgets. Obviously those are what people want to know how to do.

I disagree. There's enough examples of the common widgets. The widget gallery is nowhere near to represent the true power of DX. I think more uncommon tutorials will be better and hopefully spark some new creations.
on Feb 15, 2007

There's enough examples of the common widgets.
I agree.  If you want a weather widget that looks like X, reverse engineer one of the ones out there.  Same with clocks.

It's the difference between feeding a fish or teaching TO fish.

on Feb 15, 2007
There's enough examples of the common widgets.


While I agree with you and truthfully enough entry level tutorials exist between the manual and articles. Maybe the direction should be more focused on intermediate/advanced scripting tutorials?

reverse engineer one of the ones out there


You know that's simple enough yet people still ask how to accomplish things that are demonstrated in already existing scripts.
on Feb 16, 2007
1. Start small: A "Hello World" widget... Basically, just a widget that says (in text and/or graphics, "Hello World").

2. Next, a widget with a little interactivity: Two or three buttons that you can click to make a message window appear.

3. How to incorporate coding/scripting into the widget, so it can do more complex things.

4. How to store settings, such as configuration settings and user input.

5. How to retrieve info from your computer (system settings, resources, etc.)

6. How to retrieve info from internet sources.

7. How to interact with Windows and programs (e.g., Outlook).


Sample applications:
- Clock
- Weather
- Calculator
- Color chooser
- System monitoring tools
- Post-It notes
- Simple games (Centipede, etc.)
- RSS readers
- Search boxes


This is an excellent guide!
on Feb 16, 2007
Hi Dave, I might be the second most downloaded DX author on Wincustomize, but I ALWAYS have trouble making themes Resolution independant. I think this is an important feature and I would really like to know the best way to go about making themes that will resize to any resolution on installation.

Thanks....... Bry.
on Feb 16, 2007
You know that's simple enough yet people still ask how to accomplish things that are demonstrated in already existing scripts

That's because they don't really want to touch any scripting them self. Which is fully understandable. But there is only that many ways of describing how to make a weather gadget. What they need isn't a tutorial on making a gadget, but scripting it self.
I'll be interesting with this new Gadget type SD will come out with where they apparently are skinable. Sounds like they are separating function and form.

Hi Dave, I might be the second most downloaded DX author on Wincustomize, but I ALWAYS have trouble making themes Resolution independant. I think this is an important feature and I would really like to know the best way to go about making themes that will resize to any resolution on installation.

This sounds like a good idea. I see questions about resolutions frequently.
on Feb 16, 2007
I appreciate all the tips, but...lol

I don't wanna keep 'adapting' other peoples scripts or regurgitating the same widgets over and over. I have some idea for stuff I haven't seen yet. I guess I am looking for a good source reference or tutorial that actually will, or can, 'teach' me all the basics of Java (that seems to be the most popular) as it would apply to widgets and such so I can create the things I have stuck in my head.
on Feb 16, 2007
There are a LOT of Java/VBSCRIPT references out there, but i was planning (and have) on having scripting tutorials that would cover the BASICS of scripts.

I believe there are a LOT of ideas out there... its making them a reality that is not the easiest.

I had thoughts a while ago of working on a "DX Service Site" that would allow people who want something built for them to go and request a quote, and maybe partner up with them on sales. IE: Holiday Countdown was the idea of Zubaz, and he and i worked together on that, he ripped it a new one, and i complained that i couldn't do what he thought it needed, then i made it do it, then he ripped THAT apart, etc. LOL

I do think that post#10 has the best approach to these tutorials, we can add more as we go, but its a good starting place.

All we need now is a dedicated web site to do this on.... wonder if stardock will give me space on a server? www.dxtutorials.com?
on Feb 16, 2007
All we need now is a dedicated web site to do this on.... wonder if stardock will give me space on a server? www.dxtutorials.com?


That would be awesome.
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