Blog Splash

KO Approach 0.5 Is Released

by Kerido Saturday, October 2, 2010 5:58 PM

We are happy to announce the release of KO Approach version 0.5. It offers some cool improvements over the previous version.

Better Icon Handling

KO Approach now offers additional options that control icon handling. If you value speed over fancy look when browsing menus, you can now instruct KO Approach to display generic icons. These icons help identify item type (application, folder, or file) and consume the least possible amount of resources.

If you still want to see regular icons, similar to Windows Explorer, KO Approach now offers icon overlay support for shortcuts and items under version control. Plus, we have used sophisticated optimization techniques to speed up the process of retrieving icons.

Better Scrolling

Now you can see how many items are not visible in a menu. Scrolling arrows display a counter of remaining items to scroll in either direction. This also gives you an idea how many files there are in a folder. You can also control scroll arrow positioning. Scroll KO Approach menus faster, the way you want, by choosing one of three modes: both arrows at top, both arrows at bottom, or each arrow located at the respective menu edge.

Better Usability

We have improved the Options window to make it more friendly and more concept-oriented. It now consists of more intuitive categories: Features, Menus & Scrolling, Contents, Maintenance, Registration, and About. Everything is in place, although you may forget KO Approach is running as you get used to its handy features. We have made every visual aspect of the program compatible with scaled DPI modes. Should you choose 125%, 150%, 200% or even a custom DPI scaling ratio, KO Approach displays text and icons clear and sharp.

And, of course, there are other enhancements and bugfixes, so upgrade and have fun using KO Approach!

Approach Can Speak Hebrew

by Kerido Monday, April 19, 2010 3:56 PM

I have a relative in Israel who kindly agreed to translate KO Approach into Hebrew. As a matter of fact, I was very suspicious whether Approach will be able to "speak" Hebrew without any code modifications. After all, lack of support for right-to-left text direction was for a long time stated under the Known Issues section of the Help Documentation.

With these thoughts in mind, I warned him that I would be constantly bugging him with various development materials as we would be proceeding. He promised to take it all stoically and provide corrections all the time. So here's the result.

First off, we added a new Metric to the language file. The Metric is responsible for text direction:

<Metric id="IDM_GLOBAL_LANGRTL" factor="1">1</Metric>

Second, I had to implement mirroring for dialogs and message boxes:

General tab

Behavior tab

Settings tab

As you may have noticed, we've removed the question mark from the title bar. The reason is that under the mirrored layout the question mark looked absolutely awkward:

Mirrored question mark

Also, the whole functionality behind the question mark is cumbersome from the usability standpoint. Given that the user is most likely pointing at a control whose meaning is unclear, he or she has to move the mouse away from the control, point at the question mark, click it, then point back at the initial control, and, finally click it again – too many mouse movements for such a simple operation! After all, Approach is about reducing the number of mouse movements and clicks to help you do your day-to-day tasks faster.

Glitching help popups

The previous screenshot illustrates another bug. The HTML Help popups that we were previously using, don't work quite well with the Hebrew language. This is why the whole popup functionality has been replaced by more convenient Tooltips.

Tooltips replacing HTML Help popups

In the meantime, we will publish an update to KO Approach where all these modifications are in effect.