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Plugin to display arbitrary text
09-29-2017, 09:10 PM
Post: #1
Lightbulb Plugin to display arbitrary text
I've started getting back into TLB a lot recently (I originally used it way back in 2003!). I'm loving all that it can do but there are a few small things that I wished it could do.

I've been wanting a plugin that can just show the Date (not the time) as plain text. I've also wanted to be able to show uptime in plain text. I know I can make custom skins with the exact font/color/size that I want but that is a pain. And there are a number of other random bits of info that I'd like visible on my taskbar. I've recently started using the Web Scraper tool pointing at html files hosted on my machine. That has worked well but it's a bit awkward since it scrapes the page with images (so if the text gets too big, it's cut off...plus the text can look a little blurry with a transparent background).

Anyway, that's just a long intro to say that what I think I'd really like is a plug that can be pointed at an exe and will just grab whatever output it prints and show it (with customizable font/color/size). It would be similar to the Web Scraper plugin, but instead of a URL you give it a path to an exe. And then instead of grabbing a screenshot of the page, it just looks for the text output.

With a plugin like that, I'd be able to do all kinds of cool things!

If that doesn't seem like a good idea for a plugin, some other ideas would be to add a text mode to the web scraper plugin so it could grab text instead of an image. I think that could help with the crispness of things and save me from having to worry about my image getting cut off with long text. Or maybe just a plugin that reads a text file and displays it (I could always have a background process update the text file with exactly what I want displayed).

I tried getting the plugin SDK to make something like this myself. I spend most of my work days in Visual Studio so I thought I'd have a chance. Sadly, my C# skills don't help me much in the C++ world and I could never figure out how to get it to work.

Thanks for the awesome app!
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