Sticky *windows* (not just programs)

Topics: Idea Requests, Problems
Mar 23, 2012 at 5:27 AM

Hi there!

(Win7-64, Finestra 2.5.4501)

I'm playing with Finestra after using nVidia's nView for about a decade (it's just not stable enough in Win7-64). Finestra is almost perfect, but seems to be missing the capability to make a particular window sticky - not just a program.

For example, my IM client, Trillian, like most has a contact window and multiple chat windows. I want my contact window to be sticky across all desktops, but the chat windows should stay on a single desktop.

Is there a way to do this with the current version? On other window managers I've used this feature can be assigned to a hotkey, which would be a good-enough alternative to a permanently sticky window.

Oh, and speaking of hotkeys, I can't get the current version to leave any of the hotkeys unchecked.

Thanks for a great program so far!

Coordinator
Mar 23, 2012 at 8:19 AM

I remember that old nView program, haha. They stopped packaging it with the GeForce cards after XP in order to help differentiate their Quadro cards.

As a matter of fact, the ability to make a particular window sticky does exist. Simply focus the window and press the "Window Menu" hotkey, which is Win + W by default. A menu should pop up, and you can select "Make this window sticky" from the options. There are a bunch of other useful options there too, such as pinning processes to desktops without setting up a rule, and more.

As far as the bug in the options window where unchecking hotkeys does not leave them unchecked, that's a known issue I had forgotten about before the last release. I'll get it fixed for the next release. In the meantime, if you want to disable a hotkey, simply uncheck the Win, Shift, Control, and Alt checkboxes for it.

Mar 23, 2012 at 3:32 PM
zhuman wrote:

I remember that old nView program, haha. They stopped packaging it with the GeForce cards after XP in order to help differentiate their Quadro cards.

I heard that it was due to an OS incompatibility - it would take a full rewrite. But you're right: they do still package it w/the Quadras. And FWIW, you can add a "/force" to the nView installer and get it to install for any nVidia card. I'd still be thrilled with it but it causes Windows Explorer to go wonky after about a day of normal use.

Hence my hunt for a new desk manager.

As a matter of fact, the ability to make a particular window sticky does exist. Simply focus the window and press the "Window Menu" hotkey, which is Win + W by default. A menu should pop up, and you can select "Make this window sticky" from the options. There are a bunch of other useful options there too, such as pinning processes to desktops without setting up a rule, and more.

Ah. Didn't even try the window menu until just now. That seems to work so far - thanks.

Any chance to get sticky windows saved across reboots? Maybe a window menu option to "Permanently stick this window" once it's sticky?

As far as the bug in the options window where unchecking hotkeys does not leave them unchecked, that's a known issue I had forgotten about before the last release. I'll get it fixed for the next release. In the meantime, if you want to disable a hotkey, simply uncheck the Win, Shift, Control, and Alt checkboxes for it.

Yeah, it's not a huge deal; more of an annoyance. Also, when Finestra restarts after a config change, I always get the hotkey complaint, even if I haven't changed hot keys. Dunno if it's related.

When's the next version due out?

Coordinator
Mar 25, 2012 at 9:15 PM
Edited Mar 25, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Unfortunately, there is no way to identify windows across application restarts. I might add more types of rules, which would allow you to match windows by title or window class, but those aren't really great controls for the average user, and they aren't really a reliable way of detecting the same windows.

I'm exactly not sure when I'll release another version, but it will probably be in the next couple of weeks.

May 28, 2013 at 10:04 PM
zhuman wrote:
I'm exactly not sure when I'll release another version, but it will probably be in the next couple of weeks.
So, um...it's been a bit more than a couple of weeks.

/me grins

Is this still alive? Is there still active development going on?
Coordinator
May 29, 2013 at 8:44 AM
Haha, yeah it's been a while. I'm still alive and I still plan on continuing development, but I haven't had much time in the last year between other projects, school, work, etc. There are a number of things on the table for improving its support for Windows 8 that I want to address, along with bugs and feature requests accrued in the last couple of releases. I wish I could give a solid prediction of the next release, but it will depend heavily on when I can find time to complete it. I'm open to other contributors though and patches are welcome.
Jan 28 at 3:35 PM
I know I'm resurrecting a dead horse, but I've worked with Win API just a smidge and was thinking of a couple useful window identification techniques for window rules that would help. I think a RegEx/Wildcard match on the Caption of the window might be the easiest. There might also be some merit to allowing Window Class to be a matching feature as well, though unless a person has Spy++ it might not be that easy for average users. Just throwing some ideas in the pool as I was hoping to find this functionality as well. For now I'll just have to pin Outlook manually on start-up.

Thanks for your great work! Expect a donation soon.
Aug 3 at 4:39 AM
Just my annual (or bi-annual, as the case may be) ping. A few touch-ups and this program would be perfect.
Coordinator
Aug 3 at 8:27 AM
Thanks for being so supportive of the project over the years. With the release of Windows 10's new virtual desktops, I have to admit that it probably reduces the audience for this project substantially. There are lots of things this project offers that the built-in Win10 implementation doesn't, but I imagine that most people will no longer be willing to go for a third party solution that has 10% more features, especially if it's kind of awkward with the built-in version. If MS opens up the built-in implementation a bit with some sort of API, I think that would be the optimal direction for this project. During the last releases I still catered to older versions of Windows (through XP), but at this point the only possible past releases to target are Win7 and 8.1. I expect most/all of the people that care about things like virtual desktops will likely upgrade to Win10 ASAP.

If people have suggestions about how this tool could evolve in Win10, I'd love to hear them. This was a really fun project when I was working on it more actively, with reviews on lots of websites. It even got featured in some German computer magzines a couple of times. I think lots of code in the app is still super useful for others to see and play with. I wouldn't bet, however, that there will be any real updates on it from me until I can think of a way to really integrate it well with Win10 (and that probably means a public API for the built-in virtual desktops). That said, I'm still as open to patches as ever, so if anyone submits something that could be beneficial I will try to accommodate that.

I should probably mention that for the last two years I've actually been working full-time at Microsoft on Windows, although not close to the teams working on shell or UI at all for that matter. My views are not always those of my employer, etc. etc.