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Topic: «Actual Window Manager 5.4 beta 1 is available! , Core engine improvements, Aero Snap feature, new Configuration layout » on forum: Beta Testing   Views: 11002
 
Alexey Fadeyev
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Posts: 1427
Joined: 09/30/2005
Posted: 05/09/2009 03:53:23
 
 
Hello, everyone!

I've got some news for you! Our Beta-Testing section is open again: the 1st beta of the upcoming Actual Window Manager 5.4 is available there now.

We constantly try to improve the overall quality of our software not only implementing new useful features but also making the existing functions more usable and attractive. This beta is the best illustrative example of this principle: here we are introducing the core engine improvements which result in applying the actions at window's startup before the window becomes visible. This must remove the annoying blink effect when changing window placement at startup and therefore make the work more smooth and natural.

Other improvements consider the recently added re-ordering buttons on the primary Taskbar feature:
  • now it works under Windows 2000;
  • now it works even if the main taskbar's Group similar taskbar buttons option is turned on;
  • and the last but not least - now it can be turned off! :) (see the Multiple Monitors property sheet in the Options window).

As you possibly noted, it's very seldom we issue a beta version without new functions - and this beta is not an exclusion: this time we (as many other users) were very impressed by the upcoming Windows 7 and its user interface improvements so that we decided to bring some of those "sevenish" tricks to the users of previous Windows versions (we call this "justice for all" ;) ). The first thing adopted is the quite usable Aero Snap facility. Those who already know the subject may skip the following description, others may find it useful. When enabled (you can do it on the Window Snapping property sheet in the Options window), the Aero Snap facility allows you quickly do the following things while dragging a window with the mouse:
  • auto-maximize the dragged window when it touches the top edge of desktop;
  • auto-span the left/right half of desktop with the dragged window when it touches the left/right edge of desktop, correspondingly;
  • auto-maximize the dragged window just vertically when it touches the bottom edge of desktop;
  • and the most simple (and the most useful, in my opinion) - auto-restore the maximized window when you are about to drag it! In other words, now you don't need to restore the maximized window first to drag it somewhere - you can simply begin drag it as any normal window, it will be restored automatically (and then you can maximize it back using the above-mentioned Aero Snap auto-maximizing).

Also, we have fixed some compatibility issues with some popular pieces of software, such as:

And the final touch: please check out the slightly changed design of the main Configuration window - now it contains 3 main AWM facilities (such as Window Settings, Virtual Desktops and Desktop Profiles) as separate tabs accessible immediately. We consider such layout more clear and straightforward but would like to know your opinion on it.

Note. As usual, I would like to remind the basic principles of our beta-testing policy:
  • beta versions have an expiration date after which they can't be used.
    The beta 1 of Actual Window Manager 5.4 will expire on June 15, 2009.
  • 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).

I strongly recommend to install this beta into a separate folder (for example, "C:\Program Files\Actual Window Manager 5.4 beta 1") so you could easily roll back to any previous version.
 
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