[ANN] Actual Window Manager 5.3 beta 1 is available!

Dear John Smith,

First - Happy Holidays and all the best in the New Year! Then, I'm glad to inform you that our Beta-Testing section is alive again: we have released Actual Window Manager 5.3 beta 1.

This beta introduces some significant core improvements which should increase the work stability and system reliability so that we invite everyone to test this beta on as wide variety of system configurations as possible. Also, here is the list of other most noticeable updates (the full list of changes is available here):

  • Multi-monitor desktop profile manager

    This component develops further the support of multiple display configurations. Using it, you can create as many desktop profiles as you need. Each profile includes the relative monitors layout, characteristics of each display (resolution, color depth, refresh rate, primary/not primary, attached to Windows desktop or not). Also, there is an additional ability to set the multi-monitor background - either stretch a single large picture over all available displays or assign an individual background to each monitor. You can access the configuration dialog of this feature in the main Configuration window via "Actions -> Desktop Profiles..." main menu item. To save your changes made in this window, press its OK or Apply button; to make a particular profile's settings alive, press the Activate profile button near the Profile name edit box.

    Note. The functionality of this component and look of its configuration dialog is not final - we accept any ideas and suggestions on how it should work/look.

    Important note! Currently there is no way to roll back the display changes made in the profile configuration so use it with caution - do not specify display resolutions and refresh rates which your display units do not handle! If you are not sure what you do please don't proceed - premature actions may lead to loss of the picture on all available displays! If you though lost the picture on all your displays - please reboot your PC, press F8 before Windows begins to boot up and in the appeared Boot Up menu select the "VGA mode" item to reset your display settings to the basic supported mode, then wait until Windows loads and set the desired display settings in the Display Propreties system dialog.

  • Start Program feature

    This long-awaited ability allows starting any executable file or open any document at the particular moment (currently, at specific window's startup only - i.e. it's available in the At Window Startup list of actions on the Startup panel of any Specific settings item). This feature works in the manner similar to Windows shortcuts: you specify the fully qualified file name, the path to the work folder, the initial window presentation (normal, minimized, maximized, hidden, etc.) and the string of command line parameters which will be passed to the program being launched. Actual Window Manager allows including into the command line the special pre-defined macros which are substituted by actual values retrieved from the subject window:

    • %hwnd% - decimal value of subject window's handle
    • %hwndx% - hexadecimal value of subject window's handle
    • %caption% - actual subject window's caption string
    • %class% - actual subject window's class name
    • %filename% - fully qualified name of executable of the program to which the subject window belongs
    • %pid% - decimal value of subject window's process ID
    • %pidx% - hexadecimal value of subject window's process ID

    Thus, using the Start Program feature you can run the required helper program at desired window's startup. In addition, you can specify the "extended window context" if the helper program can handle it. This opens the wide area of different applications for this feature - from simple starting of tools at hand (such as Calculator or Notepad) to creating the sophisticated chains of sequential automatic launches of different command line utilities.

  • Some minor bugfixes

    - now the additional title buttons and system window menu items correctly work in Windows Live Mail
    - now the Multi-monitor Taskbar extension correctly restores after unlocking the workstation
    - the crash of Multi-monitor Task Switcher extension on Windows Vista x64, when using the Alt+Tab key combination, is fixed
    - now console windows are correctly extended in the zero user session on Windows XP SP3 and Windows 2003
    - the long unwanted pause, when closing console windows via Close title button, is removed
    - the incorrect behavior of Virtual Desktops on Windows Vista, when using the Alt+Tab key combination (the appearance of the Task Switcher window unintentionally activated the first virtual desktop), is fixed

Note. As usual, I would like to remind that due to our beta-testing policy our beta versions have an expiration date after which they can't be used. Also, due to their nature, beta versions can't be registered, even with a valid registration data: they are not final products but betas! So when the beta version expires you should either roll back to the last stable release, update your beta to a new one (if available), or upgrade to a new stable release (if available).
The beta 1 of Actual Window Manager 5.3 will expire on February 15, 2009.

Therefore, we invite you to visit our Beta-Testing section and check this new beta on your own. Please post your bug reports and new feature suggestions to our Beta-Testing forum, all your posts will be surely answered and considered. Many thanks in advance for your help!

Alex Fadeyev,
Actual Tools
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