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AmigaOS 4.0 - About OS4 - Commands

AMIDOCK Commodity
Purpose: To display custom on-screen program menus.
Format: AMIDOCK
Template: (none)
Path: SYS:Utilities/Commodities or SYS:WBStartup
AMIDOCK is a tool which maintains a menu bar at the bottom of the Workbench screen that can be used to execute other programs from a selection of icons, either in the main Dock or in sub-Docks as specified by the AmiDock preferences.

If not used, the program will be found in SYS:Utilities/Commodities, while by default it will be found in SYS:WBStartup and therefore runs automatically at startup.

Example:

3.OS4:> AMIDOCK
Running AMIDOCK by itself will start the process, and by default will display the following menu at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen:

Double-clicking on the laddered button on the right-hand side of the menu bar will shrink the menu bar. Double-click on it again to re-display the menu bar.

Subsequent attempts to run AmiDock, or selecting Edit... from the button at the bottom right-hand corner, will open the AMIDOCK Preferences editor and display the following screen.

To shutdown AmiDock, select Quit from the menu bar.

Docks
The left-most panel shows all of the Docks currently defined. The default entry is always Maindock (main dock) as shown.

At the bottom of this panel is a requester which shows the name of the dock highlighted in the panel, and this can be used to change the name of the dock as necessary. Below this are two buttons, Add and Remove.

Add will create a new dock called 'New dock' and this will also appear in the requester discussed above. A new dock, as shown on the right, will also appear on the screen. Click on the requester and change the name to a suitable value and press Enter to effect the change. You can either click and drag the new dock using the drag bar (the portion above the popup button) to wherever you want it to appear on the screen - its location is saved automatically or set its location using the "Snap to" option from the Layout window.

Remove will remove the highlighted dock immediately, no questions asked, so take care. However. all is not lost if you select the Cancel button, although any other changes you have made will also be lost.

General
The bottom section of the window provides a number of general options which apply to all docks.

Autosave preferences: specifies ??. The default is ticked.

Respect titlebar: specifies ??. The default is ticked.

Flashing icons: specifies ??. The default is ticked.

Dock
The remainder of the window provides various options for editing the preferences relating to the highlighted dock, comprising Contents, Layout, Appearance and Misc, each one with its own editing window accessed from the tabs across the top.

Contents
The preferences associated with this tab enable you to specify the categories and objects for the highlighted dock.

Categories
This option enables you to specify multiple sub-docks within a dock. For example you may wish to have a dock for games, and within this you may want to classify you games into groups, such as Action, FPS, Platform, etc. You can Add or Remove categories just as with Docks, while clicking on the up and down arrows will reposition the selected category within the list. In this example we have used the Default category but the following discussions apply to whichever category is highlighted.

Objects
These options enable you to specify the objects that you want to define for each category. Highlighting an object will activate the fields below the object list as shown.

File: specifies the file location of the object that you wish to define. You can either enter the object details directly into the requester or you can use the file gadget to open a requester and locate the required object. The default icon will be that associated with the specified object. In addition to specifying program files, AmiDock also provides a number of special objects which are discussed here.

Alt. icon: specifies an alternate icon to be used for the file specified above, rather than the default.

Name: is the name to appear for the selected file in the dock, and will default to the selected file name.

Hotkey: is an optional hotkey combination that can use to invoke the program rather than having to select it from the dock. If you are in doubt what to enter, simply click on the Learn button and the key combination you require. It will only permit valid key combinations to be used and if an unacceptable combination is attempted an error message will be displayed. The default is no hotkey.

As with categories, you can Add or Remove objects, use the up and down arrows to reposition the selected object within the list, or simply Sort the objects alphabetically.

Layout
The preferences associated with this tab enable you to specify the layout characteristics for the highlighted dock.

Dock Type: specifies what you want to appear to identify objects in the highlighted dock. The options are:

Icons

Names

Buttons

Orientation: specifies the orientation of the dock and its drag bar. The options are:

Horizontal
(drag bar left)

Horizontal
(drag bar right)

Vertical
(drag bar top)

Vertical
(drag bar bottom)

Placement: specifies the priority of the dock in relation to other windows. The options are:
Normal Always in background Always on top

Snap to: specifies whereabouts on the screen the dock should be positioned. The options are:
None
Locked
Top
Top left
Top (centered)
Top right
Left
Left (centered)
Right
Right (centered)
Bottom
Bottom left
Bottom (centered)
Bottom right

Popup size: specifies the size of the popup button for the dock. The options are:

Tiny

Small

Medium

Big

Icon names: specifies how the icon names should be displayed. The options are:
Full (one line) 1 line 2 lines 3 lines Full (multiple lines) None

Icon alignment: specifies how the icons should be aligned. The options are:
Centered Bottom

Dock has drag bar: specifies whether or not the dock has a drag bar. The default is ticked.

Dock is borderless: specifies whether or not the dock has a border. The default is unticked.

Appearance
The preferences associated with this tab enable you to specify the backgrounds and texts for the highlighted dock.

Backgrounds
These options enable you to specify the backgrounds for the Drag bar and Icon area.

Drag bar: specifies the type of background to be used for the Drag bar. The options are:
Picture Transparent Picture and
transparency
Transp. picture
(color-keying) and
transparency
For all options except 'Transparent' the associated requester enables you to specify the image to be used. The default is 'def_bar', but other options are supplied. New ones can also be created or added in SYS:Prefs/Presets/AmiDock.

Icon area: specifies the type of background to be used for the Icon area. The options are:
Picture Transparent Picture and
transparency
Transp. picture
(color-keying) and
transparency
For all options except 'Transparent' the associated requester enables you to specify the image to be used. The default is 'def_background', but other options are supplied. New ones can also be created or added in SYS:Prefs/Presets/AmiDock.

Transparency: specifies the degree of transparency to be used for the 'Picture and transparency' and 'Transp. picture (color-keying) and transparency' options above. The default is 50% but this can altered by dragging the level higher or lower.

Texts
These options enable you to specify the texts to be used for icon text.

Font: specifies the font, size, style and color to be used for icon text. The default is Bitstream Vera Sans Oblique/13 in white.

Texts have drop-shadow: specifies whether or not the texts have a contrasting drop shadow. The default is ticked.

Misc
The preferences associated with this tab enable you to specify additional properties and a hotkey for the highlighted dock.

Additional properties
These options enable you to specify some additional properties for the highlighted dock.

Dock is minimizeable: specifies whether or not the Dock is minimizeable. The default is ticked.

Dock is hidden: specifies whether or not the Dock is hidden until it is requested. The default is unticked.

Hotkey
These options enable you to specify a hotkey and the corresponding action for the highlighted dock.

Dock hotkey: specifies whether a hotkey is to be assigned for the dock and if so what key combination should be used. If you are in doubt what to enter, simply click on the Learn button and the key combination you require. It will only permit valid key combinations to be used and if an unacceptable combination is attempted an error message will be displayed. The default is no hotkey.

Hotkey action: specifies whether or not the Dock is hidden until it is requested. The default is unticked.

Special Objects
In addition to specifying program files within a dock, AmiDock also provides a number of special objects which can be used. These can be specified using the File: option from the Contents Window. They are:

  • Access (Sys:Tools/Dockies/Access.docky) - can be used to create an Dock icon which displays all active windows which you can then use to bring the appropriate window to the front.
  • Anim (Sys:Tools/Dockies/Anim.docky) - can be used to define an animated Dock icon for any program. When the Anim object is first defined, it will be called 'No Anim'. The next step requires you to click on the Dock icon thus created using the right mouse button to select Choose Tool... to specify the program associated with the icon, and Choose Animation... to select the animation to be used for the icon.
  • Button (Sys:Tools/Dockies/Button.docky) - can be used to define an button Dock icon using a specific image for any program. When the Button object is first defined, it will be called 'No Image'. The next step requires you to click on the Dock icon thus created using the right mouse button to select Choose Tool... to specify the program associated with the icon, and Choose Picture... to select the image to be used for the button.
  • Clock (Sys:Tools/Dockies/Clock.docky) - can be used to create an realtime Clock icon which displays on the selected dock.
  • Debugger (Sys:Tools/Dockies/Debugger.docky) - can be used to create a debugger session for a specific Dock or all defined Docks.
  • Fancy (Sys:Tools/Dockies/Fancy.docky) - can be used to screen-blanker type image with a dock but apart from that it appears to have no practical application.
  • Lens (Sys:Tools/Dockies/Lens.docky) - will create an icon that is a magnified image of whatever is under the cursor. The right mouse button can be used to change the degree of magnification, the size of the lens, show the screen coordinates, or whether a grid or crosshair should be used.
  • Minimizer (Sys:Tools/Dockies/Minimizer.docky) - when added to a dock it will cause the dock to automatically minimize after a Short, Middle or Long delay as selected using the right mouse button.
  • Online (Sys:Tools/Dockies/Online.docky) - can be used to create an Online/Offline icon which displays on the selected dock but apart from that we are unsure how it can be used.
  • Rainbow (Sys:Tools/Dockies/Rainbow.docky) - can be used to create an constantly color-changing icon which displays on the selected dock, but it appears to have no practical application.
  • Separator (Sys:Tools/Dockies/Separator.docky) - can be used to create an separator bar between icons on the selected dock.
  • SubDock (Sys:Tools/Dockies/SubDock.docky) - can be used to create a sub-dock as an icon on the selected dock, see Further discussion below for more details.
  • Test (Sys:Tools/Dockies/Test.docky) - can be used to create a test icon which displays on the selected dock and responds to the cursor and can be used to test AmiDock, but has no application.

Further discussion
One option that is often requested is how to invoke docks from the maindock by double clicking on a icon, which may not be immediately obvious, from the information above, so here is one solution:

  1. Highlight the dock that you want to invoke the new dock from.
  2. Click on Add
  3. Using the file requester locate 'Sys:Tools/Dockies/SubDock.docky' and click on OK.
  4. This will create a new dock called SubDock which will appear in Docks and as an object within the previously highlighted dock.
  5. Rename it as appropriate.
  6. The icon will default to the sub-dock icon. To change it, right-click on the sub-dock icon and select 'Choose icon...' from the menu, and using the file requester select a new icon.
  7. Continue to define categories and/or objects for the new dock in the normal way.
  8. You may need to tick the 'Dock is hidden' option from the Misc panel for the new dock.
  9. Double-clicking on the icon will display the dock, while double-clicking again will close the dock.


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Disclaimer: Amiga Auckland have prepared the above information for the use of its members based on our experiences and as such is subject to revision at any time. Amiga Auckland cannot guarantee any of the information and cannot be held accountable for any issues that may result from using it.


Copyright 2006 Amiga Auckland Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: December 24, 2006.