Good news, the home site for one of the most skinned programs is back: ColorPad!
Tonight I got an e-mail from the original author that the site for ColorPad was back on-line. I checked the link, tested the download, and sure enough it was back. Now, this isn't a new version, but hearing from a long lost coder is never a bad sign. My hope is that Val will continue development, and think I speak for the community when I say that.
For those wondering: "Why did he contact this guy out of the blue?" It just was so that I could update the archive at skinnables.org, which has long provided a mirror for the app. A warm "thank you" was extended to skinnables.org, and we appreciate the app and the gratitude.
Home Page: [link]
Hurray! Still use ColorPad on a daily basis. Still need to make a decent skin for it.
I've even released a new version that adds support for the foating point color format (0.00 - 1.00 for each red, green and blue channel.) Glad to be back :)
Better watch out or we might start making requests.
Please do! I have CMYK and HSB support that I'm considering adding, so I might do that next. Requests are always welcome :)
CMYK and HSB support would be awesome.
If you really want to go overboard:
- History of last X picked colours would be very welcome.
- When HSB is implemented would it be possible to shift the hue/saturati
- This doesn't really fit into a simple app like ColorPad, but using ColorPad to generate colour schemes... Nah, forget about that one. Way too complex and really not fitting.
Ack, I wrote a long post but it didn't get logged :( I'll try to recap:
Thanks for the ideas, it's good to see you are still around btw.
All of them are doable, the history should be easy to do, I'm thinking keep track of the last 1000 colors, possibly write these to the registry so they are sticky. Ctrl-Z/Ctrl-Y for undo/redo
The color scheme thing is a good one, I had thought of this a loooong time ago. I could write a separate app that just has cells that keep track of and show colors. They could work like the ColorPad screen (right click to copy, double click to paste) for fast editing. Maybe drag-drop too. (save to file etc)
Weird, it's not letting me post about HSB!
Maybe it's because I used greater than and smaller than chars... At any rate:
For HSB, there are mainly two problems I can see, one being that I could not find a standard way to convert RGB to/from HSB, plus this is a lossy conversion so it may be slightly buggy/inaccu
Adding CMYK in that case would mean I'd need to add a readout somewhere.
A while ago, my thoughts on this were to allow users to make a skin that has the HSB/CMYK readouts. I'm not sure what the best way to go is while keeping the app simple. :(
I was going to post my new article on the forum here, but I think Val has it covered. 8)
One of the nastiest filters on this site runs on word frequency. If you talk like a spammmer, like Casper ^^^, it tends to think you're a spammer. Anyway, I'll see if I can drag up your posts when I get back. Got to run, got to run.
It just dawned upon me, like you said, that CMYK has four colour values and all the rest has just three. That's, umm, troublesome.
/me performs post necromancy
"Thanks for the ideas, Craeonics (btw good to see you're still around with most of the gang ;) )
Adding the history can be done pretty easily, I'll do that next. Ctrl-Z/Ctrl-Y style for undo/redo should work out nicely. Guess I'll set an arbitrary limit of 1000 colors to keep track of, or is that not enough? Should I keep this in the registry so you can recall colors after the fact (everything else is in the registry)?
HSB is a little more tricky since there is no direct conversion from RGB/HSB that is not lossy, and there are different algos for doing it, I guess that's one issue. I was going to allow skins to have HSB readout/input as separate fields, I guess the second issue is that ColorPad was originally meant for hex/decimal/
The color scheme idea is not a bad one, I was thinking a loooong time ago of writing a separate app that could work in conjunction with ColorPad so you could do something like:
-open up both apps
-Make/Select a color in colorpad
-right click the colorpad screen to copy the color to the clipboard.
-double-click in a cell of the other app to keep track of your new color, and allow right-clicking these cells to copy the color. Not sure if that would be entirely helpful,
I suppose you can keep colors in text files but that's not as nice. Writing this app wouldn't be too hard either."
I think it were indeed the angled brackets that messed things up. Strange, need to look into that when I have time.
Now for the response. I'd say a thousand colours is more than enough. Much more than one would need in one session. As for where to save it. *gasp* *horror* I thought ColorPad stored things in an .ini file? "Green" apps are a big plus if you ask me.
I am aware that HSB isn't an exact conversion of RGB, but then again, neither is CMYK, is it? Wouldn't it suffice if ColorPad would give a reading using a similar algoritm as in PhotoShop and othe graphics apps?
With "colour scheme", I meant something different actually. I just need to generate syntax highlighting schemes. I was thinking of picking a start colour and then generating derivative colours by both shifting one of the HSB scales and at the same time picking opposing colours on the other end of the wheel.
Hmm, this is hard to explain. Say you have three groups in a programming language. Group A consists of keywords, operators and the like, group B would consist of literals, be it strings, numbers or whatever. And group C would be comments (I tend to use all three types of commenting in PHP).
The app would start with one colour, say red. I would tell it there are three groups, A with 5 members, B 7 and C 3 (just picking numbers). The app would then pick three start positions on the Hue scale (the first being red) and generate adjacent colours for each member of each group. So one group would have red shades, the other purple and the third blues.
I really need to write a script like that myself one day, but I always get side-tracked by the best way to pick an initial colour.
Thanks for finding the lost submit, Craeonics.
The registry isn't that bad. I guess the only downside is that it's hard to migrate settings over (and lots of apps tend to abuse it). I can probably move stuff over to an ini file easy enough though. (Most of my new apps are using ini files anyways)
You're also right that CMYK is lossy like HSB. I haven't seen any info on how PhotoShop does it's conversion. I remember looking at that a long time ago to see if I could duplicate it, but no luck. MS also does a conversion that differs from PhotoShop's. I just need to go digging around the net some more.
Having a program to automatically pick lighter/dark
Another way of generating a colour scheme would be to feed an app an image and it would generate a scheme by counting pixels really. Counting the colours, grouping and summing them and so on.
Another great idea. :)
I actually remember this app as well (and even used it myself) but never knew who was behind it, nice to see you over here Val and g'luck w/ updating it...
Thanks Doreen, it's always a pleasure to hear from peope that use the app. :)
Craeonics, I'm close to wrapping up the next version of ColorPad that will have a 1024 color history buffer that is saved up, along with tooltips (finally!). I wanted to thank you in the readme for the idea and was just going to say "thanks to Craeonics.." or would you like me to use another name/nick?
Small "c" my man, small "c". It's not really a name but more a combination of characters that looks good (at least to my eyes). And it only looks good when written in lowercase.
Ofcourse, if I were modest, I'd decline the mention.
Small c it is. ColorPad 2.6 has been released with color history buffer and tooltips (which you can turn off)!
2.7 will be able to snap to other windows (Should I make colorpad try to follow a window that it's been snapped to.. ie dock to windows?)
Also, I plan to fix up the code so if you accidentally drop a skin's mask instead of the skin image file, colorpad will still load the skin correctly instead of trying to load the mask as a legacy skin.
Thanks for the ideas/support!
If it snaps to the window, I would assume that it would also move when the window is moved. But I see the difference: snapping as a positioning tool and snapping as a means of docking. Perhaps the "follow around" bit should be an option.
What would be very cool is if you could dock it to the titlebar. This ofcourse depends on the dimensions of the skin used, but sticking it in the titlebar would be very inobtrusive.
That's doable, though, would you want it to show up on whatever the active window was? That may be a bit hard to acomplish correctly.
I think being able to dock either on the outside or inside of a window edge shouldn't be too hard to do. Also, once docked, I suppose moving the colorpad app should also move the window it's docked to :)
The idea comes from WinAmp. It used to have a "dock shade more to active title bar" plugin. Worked quite well.
I have some other ideas, but I should try the new improvements first. And I'm supposed to be working now.
I'll just drop 'em:
- Alpha transparency. This is the 21st century, baby!
- Two additional buttons to cycle through the previous and next skins in the folder. That way you can have different skins represent different modes, like full, shaded and so on.
- While I'm added, buttons to cycle through previous colours selected. I really should check the new build first to see how it's implemented now.
Hmm, I just typed it, but don't know what that "while I'm added" was supposed to mean. Need... more... sleep...
You can currently cycle through the colors in the history buffer using Ctrl-Z and Ctrl-Shift-Z.
Alpha transparency would be cool, though I'm not sure you can do this with BMPs? (need to look into it)... I suppose another file format can be used TGA or something.
Being able to keep track of skins is something I want to fix but I think that's mostly on the back burner for now. Though it shouldn't be too hard... get a list of files in the directory of the currently selected skin, ignore the non-bmp files and ignore _mask.bmp files and then based on the current skin name, select the next/prev in the list.
Thanks for more great ideas! :)
P.S. "while I'm at it"?
Riiiight. My mind must have been wandering.
The format to use for alpha is PNG. 24 bit colour depth with an 8 bit alpha layer. I believe in Vista Microsoft introduced some sort of mutant BMP variant with transparency. They use it in their icons. Then again, no Vista here.
Hehe I don't see myself adding support for mutant alpha BMPs any time soon. PNG makes sense, looks like I could even use Lode's pico PNG loader:
I'll have to see how alpha works when drawing to windows since last time I checked, you could give an overall window % transparency, along with a hard (100%) transparent clip area, but not % transparency for particular parts of the window, but I'm sure things have changed.
Maybe this is of use: [link]. The magic words to search for are "per pixel alpha". First time I saw it was on XP and I think it's possible under 9x as well if you have GDI+ installed.
The nice thing about it is not so much the glass effects it allows you to create, but the ability to have aliased curves without getting jaggies.
Thanks, that'll work quite well. Too bad about win 9x, though. I've added the info for my todo on next versions of colorpad. I guess this would change the drawing code quite a bit so I'll most likely add this as a feature for ver3.0 when I get to it.
ColorPad 2.7 is up on the site and supports snapping to windows (no docking yet), and allows you to drop the skin's _mask.bmp and it'll load the skin correctly instead of trying to load the mask as a skin itself.
Window Docking next then maybe a little break, maybe not in that order :)
I'll post some news soon. Remind me if I forget, Val. 8)
Ooh, finally "installed" the new 2.7 and look boys and girls, I found a bug! Alright, a small one. Perhaps not even a real bug.
If you use X-mouse behaviour on Windows, windows get auto focus when you mouse over them (saves a click). But it seems ColorPad's about window automatically closes whenever it loses focus, so I can click "about" or hit F2, but as soon as I move the mouse over another program window, the splash screen disappears.
Yeah, the about window closes itself when it loses focus. I guess I can take that out, thought I didn't like leaving the window open when focus is lost due to more voluntary means.
Well, if that's the worst bug I encountered. The Ctrl-Z thing works well, by the way.
Here's another suggestion: copy to clipboard on select. Or in other words, whenever a colour is picked it gets copied without having to click on the ColorPad window again.
That's a good idea, saves you from right-clicking the screen. I could add that option pretty easily. I smell 2.8 before Christmas!
Yeah, it would definitely speed things up.
I call it incestuous.