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What Rainmeter isn't...

General topics related to Rainmeter.
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jsmorley
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What Rainmeter isn't...

jsmorley » July 1st, 2013, 10:49 pm

This topic comes up from time to time, and I'm sure the folks that closely follow the forums are getting sick of me explaining this again and again. So I thought I would try to lay it all out here so I can just link to this post when it comes up again...

Although I think there is general agreement within the entire Rainmeter team, this reflects only my opinion on the matter.

It might help to talk a little bit about what Rainmeter IS. We see Rainmeter as a toolkit for customizing your Windows desktop. When I say desktop, I mean the part of the screen that you set with some interesting wallpaper, where you normally can put icons and folders and shortcuts, and where your applications run in their own windows.

What we offer is a way to create very personalized objects that sit on that desktop, and are capable of doing basically two things. One, collect a wide and ever-growing range of information from your system. Information from your Windows installation, from your hardware, from your files and folders, from the internet. Two, display this information in custom "skins" that you create. The goal there is to offer as much support for your personal imagination and creativity as we possibly can. We work hard to keep adding more and more functionality in how you can make skins look.

We also offer a lot of ways you can "interact" with these skins. Lots of mouse actions and triggers for actions you have skins take based on the values collected from your system. We are constantly striving to improve and add to these capabilities as well.

We consider that the desktop is really designed and intended as a playground for the end-user. We give you the shovel and bucket.

However, what Rainmeter isn't is a tool to replace or enhance core Windows functionality outside of that desktop. We have no interest in, nor any intention to try, wresting control of functions that in the nature of things belongs to to the operating system. We don't offer functions that can allow you to replace or enhance the Windows Taskbar, Start menu, Notification area, Login screen, Task Manager, Explorer, or anything else that would be considered part of the Windows user interface "shell".

The other thing that Rainmeter isn't is an application development environment. As I said above, we offer and continue to improve ways you can interact with skins, and there is a lot you can do that certainly can give your skins a "application" feel to them, but no, you can't use Rainmeter to create a web browser, or an irc client, or a word processor, or a media player, or a DVD burner, or a photo editor, or an email client.

You might ask why we look at things this way, and fair enough. The most basic reason is pretty simple. We are very proud that Rainmeter is far and away the best at what it does. Nothing else is even in the game.

At the same time, we have no interest in adding functionality that would at best be crippled compared to what it is replacing, acting in some "heavy-handed" way and changing the way users interact with their Windows system, causing Windows instability and making it harder to upgrade the OS or apply Windows Updates, or focus a large part of our very limited developer resources and time on things that Rainmeter really has no business getting involved in. We don't want or need to compete with other dedicated utilities like WindowBlinds, DesktopCoral, UltraMon, Start8, or any of the million other applications that DO play in this arena. We have nothing against them, it's just not where we think our focus should be. The last thing we want is to be bloated, half-baked and unstable.
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Krainz
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Re: What Rainmeter isn't...

Krainz » July 8th, 2013, 8:48 pm

I'm confused about your position regarding the use of rainmeter to build front-end launchers and interface switcher, pretty much like what I've shown there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mwl7uGfDHDg&t=2m10s.

Because I plan on making more and more interactive "full-screen hubs" (idea originally presented by the Omnimo group), and I fear that being away from what Rainmeter is first intended to be.

Sorry for bad use of English, projecting a map atm
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jsmorley
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Re: What Rainmeter isn't...

jsmorley » July 8th, 2013, 9:21 pm

I don't have any particular position or opinion on anything anybody wants to do with Rainmeter. There are things I probably wouldn't use it for, and things I would, but to each his own. I only have a position about what kind of functionality is included in Rainmeter, and what should be the efforts going forward when we look to add or enhance functionality.

My only point was that Rainmeter is not intended to replace core Windows functionality, and that it is currently not our intention that it should do so. This is not intended to say that shell replacements, or Windows taskbar replacements, or Start menu replacements are a bad thing. Just that Rainmeter isn't, and likely won't be, one of them.

BTW, I'm actually a big fan of "launchers" or "docks" and things like that, and while I wouldn't use the interface in that video myself, I can't help but admire the creativity, artistry and effort.