Desktops 1.0

For anyone looking for a virtual desktop manager, the SysInternals guys have now got one;

I find it a little bit comforting that even MarkR/BryceC hit the same problem that I hit here;

when writing a simple multiple-desktop manager that uses real Windows Desktop objects ( like the SysInternals one ) to manage my desktops – i.e. you can’t close a desktop once you’ve created it.

I ran the SysInternals tool and it’s a bit nicer than mine in 2 ways;

  1. It lets you see a bitmap of the other desktops when you’re switching.
  2. It lets you configure what keys you want to use for switching desktops without having to recompile the code 😉 A bit of a failing there on my part 🙂

It’s interesting that (1) is a bitmap of what’s going on with your other desktops rather than a live preview. One of the features of DWM in Vista is to be able to give you a live preview of one window painted into another so, theoretically, this should be really easy.

However, two problems hit that – one is that DWM only runs on your main desktop, not your other desktops ( you’ll see no Glass when you switch to desktop 2 using the SysInternals tool ) and also you hit a problem of trying to share those HWNDs across desktops. Hence….bitmap previews.