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wuerthne: Thanks, Martin, but there's no need to apologise; I wasn't in any way offended by your comments, and I do understand the frustration you must have felt in the past because of support queries etc. caused by SpecialFX. The content of your post (and others), though, made me feel that I should say something positive in favour of SpecialFX! I acknowledge that it can cause problems, but it /is/ very useful.

Anyway, I'm delighted to hear that you've found a way of fixing the underlying problem, and will be incorporating background blending 'properly' in ArtWorks, because a native solution is obviouly far preferable to one imposed by other software, and background blending is something I've wanted in ArtWorks for a long time.

demondb: In fact, SpecialFX is supplied not just on the Iyonix, but also with RISC OS Select/Adjust. However, in both cases it is (as Martin says) supplied as an optional extra for you to install yourself if you want to use it. I guess it would be helpful for my online HTML document about SpecialFX to be bundled with the software itself... the only reason it hasn't been included to date is that I produced it relatively recently (i.e. the bundled versions with RISC OS 4 and 5 predate the online downloadable version). I'll probably send a new, updated archive to RISCOS Ltd and Castle soon, for use with subsequent issues. However, the HTML document is only really a 'friendlier' version of the text-based documentation that's provided already.

blahsnr: a widget in window furniture would, I suspect, be hideously complicated to implement, assuming it's possible at all. Something could possibly be done via the nested Wimp (though that would break compatibility with RISC OS 3), but I don't think it's possible to put a new tool up in the title bar area (unless my memory is failing me, it'd have to be associated with the horizontal scroll bar). So it'd be a rather ugly solution, and it would add clutter to lots of windows and interfere with the standard appearance of window furniture, almost certainly creating more confusion than it would remove. So no, I don't see that as a practical answer.

However, your other idea, of a simple icon bar icon, is not only feasible but already possible! SpecialFX comprises two components: the module itself (SpecialFX, written by David Pilling) and the setup utility that controls it (SFXSetup, which I wrote). SFXSetup is actually slightly unusual in that it's designed to be used both as a plug-in for Configure and as a stand-alone utility. It's particularly useful to have it as a stand-alone utility on RISC OS 3 systems, because of course the plug-in based Configure isn't available on those machines. Anyway, if run directly with a double-click on its icon (or via an application launcher or whatever), SFXSetup installs an icon on the icon bar and behaves exactly like any other regular desktop utility. If run through Configure, it behaves slightly differently (observing certain Configure behavioural guidelines and refraining from installing an icon on the icon bar).

So, if you want to have some visible indication that SpecialFX is present, all you have to do is to run SFXSetup manually, or indeed add it to your boot sequence. You'll then get an icon on the icon bar, which has the added benefit of giving you quick and easy access to the setup window without having to go through Configure.

 is a RISC OS UserRichardHallas on 08/03/05 4:19PM
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