SwiftKit MS – Initial Stages

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It’s been awhile since we announced that we would be developing a toolkit for MechScape so i thought it was about time for the first dev blog post regarding SwiftKit MS. Even though MechScape hasn’t been released, we’ve still been able to work on the non-MechScape related tools and functionality. We’ve also decided that the development of SwiftKit MS will be public, this means that you won’t have to wait till it’s finished to download it. You’ll be able to download ALPHA and BETA versions all the way throughout the development. For now though let’s get into the blog post, you’ll find out more about downloads in a week or two.

Docking Tool Windows:
The first feature I want to talk about, and probably the most important is the ability to dock tool windows. In SwiftKit RS you can sort of do this, by moving the tabs about. In SwiftKit MS though, we wanted to implement it properly. You will have the ability to dock, undock, add, remove, resize, autohide and detach all internal tool windows. You can see an example of this in the screenshots below, when you grab a tool and drag it you are presented with a number of placement options.

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This gives you a lot more freedom, there are so many placement options we’re certain you will find a way for it to suit you. The first screenshot above shows you what tools are currently in SwiftKit MS, all of which are more or less fully functional. For those with a keen eye, yes the IRC Client from SwiftKit RS is in and running very smoothly. Here’s a few more screenshots of placement examples.

Click to view full size. Click to view full size.

Something else we’re also excited about is the option to select the Gecko(Firefox) webbrowser, instead of the normal Internet Explorer. This has always been a popular suggestion for SwiftKit RS but we just couldn’t do it as the gecko control for VB6 is outdated and unstable. This will be completely optional though, Internet Explorer will be used by default for SK MS with the option of downloading the Gecko plugin via Settings.

We’ve spiced up SwiftBrowse a bit for SK MS, as you can see from the screenshot below we’ve added tabs. The bookmarks are also a lot better this time around. SwiftBrowse will also utilize the Gecko(Firefox) webbrowser control if you have that option enabled.

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Quick Links
The Quick Links tool has received a number of enhancements compared to the version in SwiftKit RS. You have the ability to create folders and also edit your quick links. Two new options have been added which are Open Websites Internally and Open Notes Internally, with these enabled when you click on a notes link or website in the Quick Links it will open them in a new tab internally.

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That just about wraps things up for now, the above should hopefully give you an idea for the direction we’re heading in. As mentioned earlier, you’ll be able to download SwiftKit MS in a week or two. Keep an eye on the SwiftKit MS forums for news on that. If you have any comments, suggestions or questions please don’t hesitate to post them on the forums.

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