Use with caution.
These public beta programs contain new fixes and new features that haven't been fully tested. I need you to tell me if you find any problems with these program or even if the changes listed work as you expect.
joejoe Oct-20-13 7:43 PM CDT
Better Situational Defaults
ArsClip ultimately is a collections of hacks and dirty tricks. It provides many features that aren't possible in Windows, so these tricks are needed. For example, the program can simulate a CLTR+V keystroke in almost all windows to trigger a paste. This fails for UAC protected windows and for the Command Prompt.
The program is being updated to be less intrusive and to automatically work around known issues. Since the popup now displays a "Clipboard Only" message when pasting into problem programs, it doesn't need show as many warning dialogs. ArsClip will now only display a single warning per-program, per-session. For the Command Prompt (cmd.exe), no warning dialog is shown when displaying the popup. ArsClip will also default to Clipboard Only mode for this program, unless Mimic Typing is already used by default or in the per-program settings.
Explorer is also a known problem. Since the popup requires keyboard focus by default, Explorer removes edit boxes for filenames and removes the text box for the breadcrumb address bar when it loses focus. ArsClip has been updated to when this situation. The "fix" is to use a compatibility mode. The reasoning is that it seems better to present a limited functionality popup than to make the popup non-functional in this case.
Explorer compatibility modes activates when two criteria are met. First, it detects if the name of the foreground window is "explorer.exe". Second, it detects that the control with keyboard focus is likely an edit control. When in this mode, the popup does not receive focus. As a side effect, shortcut keys are not assigned and keyboard focus remains in Explorer. Also, if you want to close the popup without pasting a clip, the Cancel button must be pressed. Clicking on another program (changing focus) doesn't affect the popup in this mode.
Technically, this compatibility mode is the same as configuring the popup to not use shortcut keys. This settings behavior had been updated to act as it did in much older versions. I'll be looking into more "dirty tricks" to make compatibility mode less restricted.
joejoe Oct-13-13 8:57 PM CDT
More Clipboard Bar
There were some Clipboard Bar features not quite ready for the last release. Something I learned when dogfooding the Clipboard Bar is that it is can annoying to have it blocking part of the screen. A workaround is to make the bar small, but this limits the functionality.
The Clipboard Bar now has a visibility settings. When idle, the window can be set to be transparent. This makes it less intrusive when using a full screen window (like a video) and doesn't obscure parts of the current foreground program. The bar becomes fully visible when the mouse enters the window.
Similarly, using a small Clipboard Bar means toggling the Toolbar will make the current clip almost unreadable. The fix for this is to grow or shrink the entire window when toggling the Toolbar's visibility.
joejoe Oct-11-13 1:01 AM CDT
ArsClip Known Bugs
For the recent lucky version 13 of ArsClip, these following bugs are currently known:
- icon load issue or "Bitmap image is not valid" error
I've not reproduced this error myself, but a converted clip can sometimes have an invalid icon. Once I get one of these clips sent to me, I'll be able to work around this issue.
- cache issue after reindexing
The listed items can sometimes show old cached data after the queue size is changed.
- visibility issues
I've worked around an issue when the Clipboard Bar can sometimes re-shown when another window is shown.
joejoe Oct-09-13 7:15 PM CDT
I'll be waiting a few days to address any important bugs before beginning on more new features. There were too many features for the Clipboard Bar for a single release. These features will be implemented first in the next Public Beta.
I'm planning on releasing the current small beta as a maintenance release soon. The plans for this program are currently sparse.
joejoe Oct-08-13 4:02 PM CDT
I was planning on releasing v4.13 last week. I've one last issue that I need to address before that happens. There's a bug in Windows where an always-on-top window stops working after showing a full screen program a few time. I was able to finally replicate his behavior using Task Manager and showing a Youtube video full screen 3 times, so even MS programs are affected.
I've had more Clipboard Bar feedback in the last 2 weeks than I've had in years. The only problem is that there's too much to fit into a single release.
joejoe Sep-19-13 9:37 PM CDT
More Format Stuff
Storing the icon in the clip file proved to be more efficient and less complicated than the current icon cache system. So, it's now officially part of the format.
Unicode clips (plaintext clips) now use less resources with the new format. The old format always had two versions of every clip, even when the plaintext version was identical to the original clip. The new format allows for getting rid of this duplication in file and in memory.
I've not made up my mind about compressing in-memory large clips. With the default settings, most users won't trigger the code. Those working in large clips (graphics editors and office type programs) and change the settings aren't likely running on a system that's starved for memory. It's a very small group of users that would benefit for the setting. The code also has some unresolved issues, so I'll likely be delaying this feature for the next version.
This beta version will soon enter feature freeze.
joejoe Sep-19-13 12:50 AM CDT
Using the Clipboard Bar as a popup trigger, I've been running into an old problem: submenus near the edge of the screen. When the popup shifts make room for the submenu, it's basically impossible to keep the submenu open when moving the mouse. I've updated this behavior so that doesn't happen by using a small dead space on the submenu.
At this point, this is the last of the planned changes for the Clipboard Bar. The only thing left on my list is to redo some of the icons on the toolbar.
I've been putting it off for a long time, but the file format for saving clips needed a complete rework. Adding features to the file over the years made it complicated and scattered. The newer format makes it easier to cache extra data and optionally load only the most important data. This means the program has to do less work to prepare a clip to display on the popup. The net result is much less file access required.
The problem with this change is that it effects 3 parts of the program. The Popup Clips, Removed Clips, and some Permanent Clips use this format. To make things invisible, the program will load the old data and then save it in the new format. Currently, the Permanent Clips are not converted but do use the new format for newly added. This will likely be changed in the next beta. I'm not a fan of such large-scale changes, but the benefits are worth it in this case.
The new clip format also has reserved spots for icons. I've not made up my mind if I'm going to replace the icon cache scheme in place. The current scheme works well and is nicely optimized for efficiency. I'll surely test the idea out before I make any final decision.
joejoe Sep-14-13 6:49 PM CDT
There are 4 button on the new toolbar of the Clipboard bar. Three are grouped together to signify that they all show dropdown lists. I should probably change the icons to use standard cues (like arrows), but these icons are currently just place-holders. Each button will trigger a hint tooltip when hovered.
The first quick button is Edit. This triggers the routine that edits the current clip in an associated editor (notepad, paint, wordpad, etc.).
The "Alter Clip" dropdown menu on the is the second unique feature for the Clipboard Bar. It basically executes commands found in a Permanent Clip that edit the contents of the clipboard. The "Make Permanenent" dropdown menu is just another place were you can save a clip to a Permanent Group. The "System Menu" is the odd-ball. It doesn't have anything to do with the clip on the clipboard and is just a utility menu.
One feature that I'm using frequently really doesn't fit the purpose of the Clipboard Bar. That feature is the ability to show the popup when clicked. It's, however, too nice a feature to remove so I make this an optional feature.
joejoe Sep-13-13 9:36 PM CDT
The current toolbar prototype shown above.
I'm replacing the right-click action so that it toggles the toolbar on the Clipboard Bar. The spirit of the right-click context is still preserved, but it much more flexible than a single popup menu.