A downloadable Floating Desktop for Windows

FloDee is a productivity tool that keeps your icons close to your mouse. It is an application launcher and task manager. FloDee is compiled in .NET 4.7 and has no hooks and no unsafe code.

FloDee reduces 'mouse miles'. Mouse miles is the distance you move your mouse across the screen. It is measured in pixels. Reducing mouse miles has a direct relationship with reducing carpal tunnel syndrome and other mouse related physical inflictions due to prolonged mouse usage.

FloDee lets you open, close, switch, minimize, and maximize programs with minimal mouse movement because your icons and the task manager are near your mouse at all times.


Usage...

FloDee Button:

   Left click to toggle the desktop.

   Right click for FloDee menu.

   Ctrl + Scroll Wheel: Resize FloDee icon.


User Panel:

    File: Left click to open.

   Folder: Left click for Quick View. Right click to open.  Right click again to place folder next to FloDee.

    Middle Click to delete icons.


Folder Panel:
   File: Left click to open.
   Folder: Left click to open.


Task Panel:
   Left click: Selects task. Toggles minimized/normal.
   Right click: Selects task. Toggles maximized/normal.
   Middle click: Closes task.
   Mouse Wheel: Zoom in/out task thumbnail.


Hold Ctrl while scrolling the mouse wheel to resize icons.
Hold Ctrl to reorder icons in the User Panel.


Menu Options:
   Shut Down Computer.
   Restart Computer.
   Tile Side-by-Side. (experimental)
   Save Desktop Layout. (experimental)
   Load Desktop Layout. (experimental)
   Start Windows Task Manager.
   FloDee Settings.


FloDee Settings:

Click to Open: FloDee will only open if you click on the FloDee icon.

Stay Visible: The FloDee icon will maintain visibility.

Disappear When Stopped: The FloDee icon will disappear if the mouse stops moving.  

Hover Mode:  Hovering over folder icons in the User Panel will open the folder panel.  

Load On Windows Start: Starts FloDee when Windows Starts.

Open Timer: How long it takes the panels to appear when you hover over the FloDee icon.
   
Close Timer:  How long it takes the panels to disappear when you move the mouse       away from any open panels.
   
Distance To Open: How close the mouse has to be to the FloDee icon before the FloDee icon appears.
   
Follow Distance: How far away the FloDee icon follows the mouse.
   
Courtesy Border: Courtesy Border size. (Invisible border around the panels that closes the panels when you go out of them).
   
Opacity: Controls the transparency of FloDee.
   


Auto-Layout: (experimental)

Save all: Saves desktop window sizes and positions (but does not save the name of the files being operated on by the window). It does however save all folder locations. So your folders will at least reopen where you left off.

Save FloDee Loaded:  If you open a file or folder using FloDee, then FloDee will save the name of that file so your program will load it when running Auto-Layout.

Both of these are experimental. 'Save All' mostly works.  'Save FloDee Loaded' barely works. But since I hate having to load and resize every window I open to work on, I will be putting extra effort into making these options work correctly.



FloDee is still in development. The version attached to this page is a alpha prototype tester with a expiration date of 12/31/20.  It was a guess to know what was needed. And so it's gone as far as I can take it without a re-write.  I'm kicking  it out as a minimum viable product while I figure out how to restructure it for more capabilities. FloDee will be a for-sale program when completed. Price has yet to be decided.


Optimizations and additions forthcoming in the near future:

   A more efficient indexing method for populating the folder panel.

   Progress bar when indexing folders.Ability to sort/reorder the folder panel.

   Ability to sort/reorder the task panel. Ability to name and revert FloDee settings.

   Ability to handle multiple instances of common browsers.Settings presets.

   Additional colors.

Optimizations and additions forthcoming in the distant future:


Limitations:

Does not handle multiple browsers yet. Browsers now run multiple processes. A browser enumerator to find and sort those processes is in the works.   At the moment, you can run one of each kind of browser, but if you run multiple instances of any one browser, the enumerations the task panel needs get jumbled and the task panel will not pick the correct browser in most cases. All other icons will work correctly.    

Programs in Windows 10 have a privilege level. Notepad for instance has a 'basic' privilege level. If you run FloDee as administrator, Notepad will not drag and drop into FloDee because Notepad does not have elevated privileges. Run FloDee as a normal user if you want to drag and drop programs such as Notepad.
    
By the same token, some icons won't drag and drop because FloDee will need to run in administrator mode for those drag and drop operations to occur. Once dragged and dropped, the icons will remain in the User Panel regardless of what mode you run FloDee in.
        
Because FloDee uses no hooks, not all processes will show up in the task panel. This will usually be due to their privilege level being too high (Windows won't grant access to FloDee). Start FloDee as administrator to see if those icons appear.

Also, some programs have a launcher but do not have the same icon as the program itself, or have no icon at all. These programs can give mixed results of not seeing the expected icon, or the icon not showing up at all.

FlowDee uses 'irregular forms'. It's much like a 'skin' in that it's not a standard rectangle.  For that reason, at the moment, boundary checking is minimal. If a panel goes offscreen, you will need to move FloDee inwards on the screen to bring the panels back into view.

FloDee has no progress indicator when indexing folders yet. When you first run FloDee, it will index a variety of folders (desktop, documents, etc) with no indication that it is doing so. And although FloDee is not designed to index large folders, it will. Those folders may take a few seconds with no indication of progress. A progress bar is in the works.


Known Bugs:

Ctrl key get stuck once in a while.  Press Ctrl again to unstick. Although it only happens once in a while, it is on the priority list of fixes. I just found it and, well, we can't have that.

If you move FloDee while the settings options are open, it will annoyingly 'jump lag' behind your mouse movements. It's was a quick fix for the lack of boundary checking.

Refreshing the task panel thumbnail does not scale correctly on some programs and some programs need a static image when minimized. I'm working on it.


As a companion validator to FloDee, a program that records how many 'mouse miles' you use is also attached. It's a thrown together kludge I wrote because I was amazed at how much less you move your mouse with FloDee. So you can test it yourself by working for a few hours without FloDee, and then do similar work while using FloDee. I don't even have a name for it, so I'll list it as Record Mouse Movements.

I will upload a vid of how to use both programs soon.

Install instructions

Has only been tested on Windows 10.

Requires a graphics card shader of 2.0 or greater.

Requires Windows Aero to be enabled.

On it's first run, it will index your desktop and a few other system folders without any indication that it is doing so. Give it a few seconds to complete the operation.

All data is stored in the users 'Roaming\FloDee' folder. Until I add 'Revert Settings', you will need to delete the 'settings.txt' file to reset the settings. 

Download

Download
FloDee 64bit prototype2 expires Jan.1.2024.exe 103 kB
Download
FloDee 32bit prototype2 expires Jan.1.2024.exe 103 kB
Download
Record Mouse Movements.exe 187 kB

Development log

Comments

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it's awesome