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Welcome to the Iconbar Home Page

Iconbar is a desktop utility for managing icon windows. It is intended to be a drop-in replacement for the (OSF/Motif) standard iconbox application that is included as part of the 4dwm window manager running under the IRIX 6.5 operating system. It uses OSF/Motif, X Toolkit Intrinsics and Xlib functions to manipulate windows on the desktop.

Iconbar creates an unmanaged window at the bottom of the screen that contains iconic representation of the applications (programs with top level shell windows) currently running on the desktop. Some of the currently supported features are:

bullet auto-hide after the cursor leaves the window / auto-grow when it enters
bullet anti-aliased magnification / demagnification of icons
bullet "always-on-top" window auto-raising
bullet sculptured icon windows using the X-SHAPE extension
bullet customization through Xresource manager
bullet remote application icon indicators/tinting
bullet optional toolchest management

A more complete description can be found in the iconbar man page. The project is currently in it's early stages, please examine the man page entry for known BUGS.


Here's what Iconbar (beta) looks like running under IRIX 6.5.21f.

Iconbar v0.1 with smoothed icon resizing, transparent backgrounds, shaped icons and borders.
 screenshot v0.1

Iconbar v0.8 with "translucent" border
Screenshot v0.8


27 May 2006 This is the third anniversary of the project and two years since my last web update (shame on me!), so I thought it was long-past time to get the stable CVS snapshot rolled into a new packaged release. Iconbar continues to function reliably on my desktop almost continuously and bug reports have trickled down to nil (but hopefully not the user base!). As a result, I'm bumping up the release number to 0.8 with the expectation that only a few more improvements will be required before it's an "official" 1.0 release.

Along the lines of tighter integration with the IRIX Desktop, I've (finally)  included in the package the beautiful vector-icon (fti) and file-type rule (ftr) created by masaomi, the owner of Irix Don site, as we discussed on this Nekochan thread. Iconbar now tags itself as application 0x100018, a number not offically registered with SGI since my emails on this topic were never answered. This is done so that the fti icon is recognized in the IRIX file manager and icon catalog (see the tag(1) man page for more info). Also, a link now is created so that Iconbar appears on the Applications tab of the IRIX Icon Catalog.

Another change is the default location is now /usr/nekoware instead of /usr/local. This adjustment was made to reflect the enormous success and acceptance of the Nekoware Project on IRIX systems over that past two years. A neko_iconbar tardist package will also be available from that site as well as the current SourceForge mirrors.

Lastly, some functional improvements since the last release include: miscellaneous bug fixes, ABGR graphics systems support (e.g. Infinite Reality graphics systems), improved (but not perfect) remote hosts application  tinting (-tint true|false command line option), and horizontal placement adjustments for multi-channel displays (-horzshift,-horzmin,-horzmax).
26 Aug 2004 Iconbar version pre0.2 released! This "testers" release adds improved border code with a new default look, experimental remote client icon tinting and toolchest management.
25 Aug 2004 A new option has been added that instructs iconbar to manage the IRIX toolchest(1X). By setting the *toolchestManage resource to true, iconbar will attempt to keep the toolchest window from becoming obsured. Additionally, it will snap it to the root window coordinates specified by the *toolchestX and *toolchestY resources. See the updated man page for more details. This feature is currently only available in the CVS version, and is disabled by default.
24 June 2004 Non-default visuals! The CVS version of iconbar is now able to request a 24 bit-per-pixel, TrueColor, X visual independent of the depth of the root window. Many thanks to vegac for correcting this long standing short-coming.
27 May 2004 In commemoration of the anniversary of the project, the first stable version v0.1 has been released. The code has been available on the CVS repository for a few months now and has been running on my desktop solidly for even longer.  Congradulations to all involved! The next step is to add more features and functionality.
10 Mar 2004 The CVS version now has an elementary "grab & drag" feature.

Left mouse clicking on an icon with the CONTROL key held down. Next, drag the pointer over top another icon and release the mouse button. This should cause the two participants to be swapped.
29 Dec 2003
New pop-up menu and shaped border code on CVS server, plus miscellaneous bug fixes.
5 Dec 2003
Bryan (vegac) joins the developement team and contributes fantastic smooth scaling algorithms for the icon pixmaps as well as a fix for icons with transparent backgrounds. In celebration I thought it would be worthwhile to release an updated package which is called (for lack of a better name) pre0.1. This package also incorporates the event driven model that the beta release lacked.
21 Nov 2003
The lastest CVS update removes the reliance on a cyclic timer to: check for new windows; remove icon windows from the desktop after minimization; delete icons; and keep the iconbar at the top of the stacking order. A customized Xevent loop has been added that monitors in true X fashion the changes in the substructure of the root window. The result is greatly improved stability and an elimination of the iconbar always-on-top behavior conflicting with full-window applications (especially with locking screen savers).
19 Nov 2003
Project moved to http://sourceforge.net/projects/iconbar/!
20 Oct 2003
beta test version uploaded to http://www.nekochan.net with source code under GPL.
30 Jul 2003
alpha test version uploaded to http://www.nekochan.net and announced in forum thread.
10 Jun 2003
Icon (Ximage) resizing routines provided by OSF/Motif guru Antony Fountain.
27 May 2003
Project started.


Get the latest packaged releases here (including an IRIX SoftwareManager/inst installable tardist), or use the SourceForge CVS server to get the bleeding edge.

CVS access for those who already have CVS installed on their system (if not, get it for IRIX from Nekoware or  SGI Freeware) can be obtained from the command line by entering:

cvs -z3 -d:pserver:anonymous@iconbar.cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/iconbar co -P iconbar
cvs -z3 -d:ext:developername@iconbar.cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/iconbar co -P iconbar
This will place all of the project files in a /iconbar directory below the current working directory. Next, just follow the instructions in the INSTALL file to build. There are MIPS4 (the default) and MIPS3 architecture built options. For more help see the Basic Introduction to CVS and SourceForge.net (SF.net) Project CVS Services.

this website nor the Iconbar software is endorsed by or affiliated with Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI). IRIX, toolchest and 4dwm are trademarks of SGI.

The Iconbar source code is © by Steven Queen, Antony Fountain and Bryan Sawler under the GNU General Public License.

Last Updated: May 27, 2006 sf-logo