Q-Dock


Dock    

Last updated: 26/11/2014

A new program dock system

Q-Dock is an example of a program dock system, which is a kind of "tray" in which programs are parked and represented by icons. You can just click on these icons to start a program - it makes life so much easier than having to manually type in EXEC commands.
Q-Dock sample picture

The dock panel itself is a simple graphics file, which looks like a shelf, a tray, or similar item. Q-Dock uses standard QL sprite graphic files of a given size. A selection is included withthe program, many more can be downloaded from this page free of charge, and of course you can design your own if you have a QL sprite editor able to create sprites of the required size (512x64 pixels).
Q-Dock sample picture
Sample alpha-mask translucent menu

The icons used to represent programs are also standard QL sprites of size 32x32 pixels. You can use bitmap or alpha-mask sprites if your system supports them (most GD2 systems do nowadays). Alpha-mask sprites allow a kind of 'see-through' effect where you can see some of the background through the graphics, in a way very similar to looking through tinted glass.
Q-Dock sample picture

Requirements

Desirable (but not essential)

Features

Q-Dock with transparent dock

Sample fully transparent menu, without the command buttons

Availability

Can be supplied as an email attachment or on disk for just 10 pounds. I can take payment by cheque or by PayPal - contact me for the PayPal payment details.

Sample Menus

Here are some sample menus from the program, to show the extent to which the program can be customised and the options and settings available.
Q-Dock sample picture
Sample translucent dock without command icons

Q-Dock commands menu
Q-Dock action (right click) menu for the program icons

Q-Dock settings menu
Q-Dock settings menu

Q-Dock program icon settings form
Q-Dock programicons settings form, here showing an icon for Quill being set up

SPRV Sprite Viewer

Hundreds of icons are supplied with Q-Dock - you may find a sprite viewer useful. Here's a free one called SPRV (did I mention I wrote it?). Includes a tiled view mode (click on the chequerboard icon at the top), directory list individual fiel click-to-view and can view quite large sprites. Facilities to stuff filenames of sprites, view their details and make use of the Scrap system if your QL-compatible includes that.
Download SPRV (60K)

Screen dump from SPRV

Extra Docks and Icons to Download

Coming soon - extra packs of  public domain dock graphics and program icons to download free! Here's those supplied with Q-Dock itself in case they prove useful for use with other QL programs. All of these are standard 32x32 QL sprites, mostly in mode 32, with a few mode 4 ones included. All can be viewed in SPRV or any other QL sprite viewer able to display high colour icons. Note that as they stand, they can't be used with my other front end program Launchpad simply because Launchpad uses 32x24 sprites - you would need ot resize these to allow them to be used. The original public domain .PNG graphics are available - I doubt they will be useful but can be supplied as an emailed zip file on request to anyone really wanting them!
Download Q-Dock icon sprites (454K) - all in QL sprite 32x32 pixel format.
Sample Q-Dock program icons

Icons for Launchpad

Ian Burkinshaw has kindly converted the above icons into 32x24 pixel GD2 sprites for use with Launchpad version 2.02 or later (earlier versions of Launchpad do not support GD2 sprites). Launchpad can add up to 126 sprites to its third page of icons, and the procedure for adding such icons is described in the history_txt file supplied on Launchpad disk 1 under the notes for v2.02. Basically, create a plain text file called LP2SPRITES_dat, make the first line contain the 4 characters "LP2S" (without the quotes) then add the filenames of up to 126 of these sprites (you will have to choose no more than 126 of the 500 supplied!), one per line. You will need to include the full drive name, directory name and filename for each one - the easiest way probably is to put the sprites into a directory somewhere on the hard disk, and create the text file with a command such as DIR \RAM1_LP2SPRITES_DAT,win1_dir_ (change win1_dir_ to the location where you stored the sprites). Load the LP2SPRITES_DAT file into a QL plain text editor (programs like QD or S-Edit or QED will do fine) and add LP2S as the first line. Then, save the LP2SPRITES_dat file in the directory where you have installed Launchpad and Launchpad should (famous last words!) find and load the content next time it starts.
Launchpad2spr.zip (387K) - 500 32x24 pixel GD2 sprites for Launchpad, _spr format
32x24Sprites.zip (602K) - .png versions for anyone wanting to use these sprites on a PC.


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