Enigma 3.0

Download Enigma 3.0

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This one was a long time coming. For those of you who’ve been waiting since December, I really appreciate your patience, and I hope it was worth the wait.

This is a milestone release of Enigma, designed to encourage modding and future expansion. Among the long list of changes:

Stylesheets. All of the formatting information – including not only colors, fonts and images, but also sizes and positions – have been moved out of the skin files and into a separate set of files, which I call "stylesheets." Users can switch between different stylesheets by changing a single setting in the Enigma Options panel. This means it’s now possible for myself (and other designers) to release new styles that completely changes Enigma’s look and layout, without changing any of the fundamental code. All the user has to do is install the stylesheet and change an option.

In the near future, I hope to release one or two example stylesheets to demonstrate the kind of dramatic modification that is now possible.

Rotating skin modes. Instead of having separate skin files for minor variations – text vs. graphic, left-aligned vs. right-aligned, that sort of thing – Enigma’s individual skins now switch between up to 6 different layout modes when middle-clicked. This layout information is also contained in the stylesheet files, so modders will have a lot of freedom to redefine skin layouts.

New Options panel. The old configuration addon was a big jump forward, but it also had a lot of problems, especially in Windows Vista and 7, which don’t play nicely with strange executables. Thanks to the new InputText plugin, Enigma’s user preferences can be managed entirely from within Rainmeter.

Website. Enigma now has an official website at enigma.kaelri.com. As of now, this is where you can always go to download the latest versions of Enigma’s code (both stable and beta), documentation, support links, credits, and all of the bonus addons that used to be part of this package. (The suite will also be mirrored here, and on Rainmeter.net. You’ll get the same Enigma from any of those locations.)

In addition, the Enigma Home skin now has an update checker, which will either inform you that your version is up to date, or, if an upgrade is available, link you directly to the download page. New releases and patches are going to be really easy from here on out.

Music. Thanks to the heroic efforts of the Rainmeter dev team, Enigma’s music skin will now work seamlessly with AIMP, foobar2000, iTunes, MediaMonkey, MusicBee, Winamp, Windows Media Player, and even, with a few limitations, Spotify. This has been the single most-requested feature in the last six months, and I’m delighted and relieved to say that it’s now a reality. The Rainmeter guys have really outdone themselves with this one.

• Got a few brand-new skins here, including search skins, using the new InputText capabilities. At the moment, they come in Google, Wikipedia and Windows Run flavors, but are trivially easy to modify. We also have a simple photo slideshow skin (another frequent request).

• Old favorites have also been significantly improved. The Google Calendar reader is finally functional again, after many hours of skirmishing with Google’s feed format. The skin also rotates between up to three of your calendars, and is accompanied by a miniature version for the taskbar, showing your primary calendar’s next event. The general Reader skins have also been streamlined, and no longer need to be separated between Atom and RSS – you can now toggle the format with one click in the Options panel. The App Launcher buttons have also been separated into individual skins with several layout options, although the old menu bar is still around for those who like it.

• The Sidebar and Taskbar skins, which form the backbone of any Enigma desktop, now have adjustable width and height options. Not only that, but all of your other skins will automatically adapt to the new dimensions and snap right into place! (Thanks to dragonmage for this innovation.) For Windows Vista/7 users, the bars have also been juiced up with a little Aero Blur.

• You can now double-click to refresh any skin. A small thing, but it really comes in handy.

• And with all of these additions and expansions, the whole suite package is now 40% smaller, down to a slim 1.3 MB.

I’m really proud of Enigma 3.0. It’s a whole new breed of Rainmeter skin, and I really believe that some of the innovations we’ve put into it will continue Enigma’s long tradition of proving what Rainmeter is capable of being.

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Wallpaper: Ageeba

Posted by Kaelri on 2011-06-07 14:54:31

Tagged: , transparency , technology , screenshot , rainmeter , lifehacker , launchy , google , enigma , ecqlipse2 , desktop , customization , arcs