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LiteStep - The Mother And Father Of Rainmeter?

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iUnify
Posts: 66
Joined: August 10th, 2009, 11:52 pm

LiteStep - The Mother And Father Of Rainmeter?

iUnify » August 31st, 2009, 7:43 am

Is Rainmeter actually a child of LiteStep? Is Rainemter actually a Plugin for LiteStep? Does LiteStep actually have the capability to turn our Rainmeter creations into an actual Windows Desktop as if shipped out of the box-- and we, each one of us, had created it? :?: :?: :?:

These are all questions I have been asking myself since I began reading and researching LS more. The biggest issue I had up until early today was all the pictures of desktops I have seen that are made of LS... they all look... like they are for Win 3.1. Seriously. Some look a little more updated but they look like something else completely. It was not until I saw this http://chiwou.deviantart.com/art/VPR-LS-113179695 and this http://www.flickr.com/photos/11398192@N02/3318830777/ that I began to change my mind and essentially see the light. :!: :!: :!: :!:

Now, I may not be able to do close to even 1/10th of the things I'd like to in RM let alone begin to learn LS but I am starting to realize the possibilities of combining these two software.

Does anyone know why we have not seen more Rainmeter/LiteStep combination? :?:

Does anyone know where I can find several examples or (even better) a bunch of examples of LS & RM desktop pictures / themes to download? :?:

I mean does anyone realize how amazing this is? I may be wrong here but this basically means that we can single-handedly create out own OS Desktops... I don't know how to describe that - that's why I am saying "OS"... it is like we are creating our own Operating System (Obviously not the whole OS but it is a desktop that looks unique to the extent that it is another OS. It doesn't look like Windows...it doesn't look like Mac or any version of Unix, Linux... it doesn't look like like any of the other operating systems at all... it's unique, and it's ours.

Anyways, I guess that's more than enough from me- let me know what y'all thinking. :D
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Kaelri
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Posts: 1739
Joined: July 25th, 2009, 4:47 am

Re: LiteStep - The Mother And Father Of Rainmeter?

Kaelri » August 31st, 2009, 4:10 pm

When you talk about "our own operating system," I assume you're talking about the general appearance, layout and interface of the system: the taskbar, start menu, and context menu. These things constitute what is known as the "shell" of the operating system. In Windows, the shell is run as a single process, explorer.exe. LiteStep is a "shell replacement" program; it closes explorer.exe and replaces its function with its own. Most LiteStep themes keep the basic idea of the taskbar, but replace the desktop and the start menu with one comprehensive right-click context menu.

Much like Rainmeter, the code behind a LiteStep is text-based, modular and entirely customizable. The desktop area, taskbar size and dimensions (including whether it docks to the edges of the screen), button behaviors, context menu contents, etc. are all fairly easy to adjust. There are also a number of fairly-powerful specialized plugins available - virtual desktop managers and so on.

Rainmeter was first created as a LiteStep plugin. It still runs in basically the same way - instead of adding a tray icon, it just adds entries to the LiteStep menu. So any Rainmeter skins for the standalone version should be cross-compatible with a plugin installation. Moreover, it has the advantage of using LiteStep's "!bang" commands. These make it easier for Rainmeter to control other applications, and vice versa.

Compared to a Rainmeter skin, however, the LiteStep code tree is certainly on another level of complexity, and the consequences of making a mistake can be a bit more disastrous. I'm sure this is why it's not in very common use - it's a more drastic change, more difficult and less user-friendly, and for the average user, not really necessary.

As you can see in the comments on that screenshot, though, I was fairly excited to learn about LiteStep's capabilities, and I plan to release a new version of Enigma as an integrated LiteStep theme by the end of the year.
iUnify
Posts: 66
Joined: August 10th, 2009, 11:52 pm

Re: LiteStep - The Mother And Father Of Rainmeter?

iUnify » September 1st, 2009, 7:21 pm

Kaelri: Thank you very much for answering the questions so fully. It was very helpful and I think I finally understand. I know I finally understand and it is JUST what I want!! Now, just a few more questions. :?
Kaelri wrote:Compared to a Rainmeter skin, however, the LiteStep code tree is certainly on another level of complexity, and the consequences of making a mistake can be a bit more disastrous.
In what ways can making a mistake (I am assuming in the code you write?) be more disastrous? It can screw up your computer, how it runs, works and so on? Or will it just take more work to fix, figure out, etcetera? Hearing that it can screw my computer up scares me, how do people test things when they are learning, do you have any suggestions for me? I don't have a spare PC I can use it on (the new laptop I just got replaces the old which I must return in the next 2 days). :|

I do not recall seeing actual forums for LS like RM has. Do any exist and are they as helpful and community driven as these forums are?

Can you please suggest to me several websites that relate to LS? Such as a forums site, (more than one of each if there are), a themes site (I saw song on litestep.org but I'd like to see others, those were not so much to my style) a manual or 101 site (like Rainmeter has a wiki), a place to find code for LS and any other sites you can recommend to get me started.

Can you please explain to me how to install LS so that it will work with RM as intended? Maybe you can just send me the link to the correct version I need to download and tell me if I just follow the instructions of if there is something else I need to know to use it the way you've spoken of.

Finally, can I use RM the same why I am now when I have LS installed the way we spoke of? While I am using LS there may be times I just want to work on RM the way I know if but still be able to incorporate LS when needed/desired.

THANK YOU AGAIN! Your information has been exceptionally helpful and I look forward to your next response so I can get this app and begin to doodle! 8-) :lol: 8-)

Have a wonderful day, man.... later! :D
shiraz07
Posts: 68
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 3:00 pm

Re: LiteStep - The Mother And Father Of Rainmeter?

shiraz07 » September 6th, 2009, 8:11 pm

Plenty of LS themes on dA.com,some incorporating Rainmeter.

http://browse.deviantart.com/customization/skins/themes/litestep/