µShell Desktop 0.0.2.6 Screenshot
A screenshot of the latest µShell build (as of this writing).

My hobby shell replacement project, µShell, is improving a lot. It is still far from being finished, and it has a few glitches, but it is still a useable, but limited, shell replacement.

Originally, I was seriously concerened with its high memory usage, but I realized that it seemed to run slowly only because it was being compiled and executed from my USB backup drive. After unplugging the drive and executing the program from my desktop, it ran like a dream. Lately, I have managed to implement some new features during the past few months:

  • A proof-of-concept taskbar. It currently has only two functional buttons:
    1. iTunes Hide: This button will check to see if iTunes is running. If it is, it will hide it.
    2. iTunes Show: The exact opposite of the other button. I’m sure you can guess what it does.
  • Filled the code up to the brim with useful comments. You don’t really need extensive documentation (you will need to read the SOURCEMAP file, though) as the comments serve this purpose well enough.
  • Improved the looks of the program (added translucency and new icons from the Elementary Project’s icon set for Linux).
  • The beginnings of a unified settings manager. It barely has any controls on it, but it’s starting to make use of C#’s Properties.Settings.Default plumbing under the hood. There is still much room for improvement, though.
  • Virtual Desktops! It took me so long to implement this. I feel my head gained weight with all of that reading. It is still limited, though: it only supports two desktops, and there seems to be a severe glitch where µShell doesn’t always start on the second desktop, so when you switch to the second one, you are stuck there.

I understand this shell may be sub-par in its present state, but please remember that although I have been working on it since 2010 (not counting the VB 2008 “Altershell” prototype made in 2009), but only one to six hours a day and with five-month breaks in between. I believe that if I could find a way to effectively juggle high school, summer camps, and my free time, I could really exploit its potential and make something great out of it.

If you wish, please check out my new YouTube video that I have uploaded, which showcases the latest nightly Git build of µShell, which can be found here. Also, if you wish to see the three new & recently added shell screenshots, you can find them in the Pictures page.

Sorry that this post is kind of short in comparison to others (or maybe you are happy that it isn’t a big lecture), but I just wanted to promote my project a bit, after so many long months of no status updates.

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