Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another Little Project Launch: Run Program

The box I used this summer to do all my BeOS development died Sunday. Kaput. For little apparent reason, the motherboard went. I had a feeling that it would, considering that it would randomly reboot without cause. By the grace of God I backed up all my files right before it went, so I lost nothing. I installed Max Edition 4 on a spare machine that I has mistakenly thought was dead and was intrigued by a little app in the Deskbar titled Run..., written by Luke A. Kanies, which is the BeOS counterpart to the Windows Run window. It's OK, but it lacks path information, so it requires you to type in everything. That's a lot of work. For some reason I thought, "You know, it wouldn't take much to add autocompletion to that." Sure enough, the autocompletion code I wrote for Capital Be was easily reused and Run Program was born.

I like Windows' Run window because you can hit Win+R and run explorer, regedit, and other apps. It certainly saves hunting the Start Menu. One of the few features that Vista introduced that I liked was the ability to search the Start Menu. Type in a few letters and you have the program you want. Run Program combines the two -- start typing and you can start a program in the Deskbar or do a quick Terminal command. I bound it to a quick key combination using SpicyKeys and now I can run just about any program (StyledEdit comes to mind) without using the mouse. Considering how twitchy my mouse is, that's a good thing. You can find this on BeBits and Haikuware. Who knows? Maybe someday I may extend it to act more like Enso.


  1. Enso-that looks pretty interesting. Most power users like to use the keyboard as it is much faster than the mouse. The problem is that they need to memorize a whole list of keyboard shortcuts that are not intuitive. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to type 'undo' to undo instead of having to remember control-z? And then there are the funky control-shift combinations, which require even more dexterity.

  2. also see (from one of the Enso developers who is now working for mozilla Labs)