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windowfx and the importance of customizability

published (27.05.2024)

i've been messing with windowfx for few minutes now, had no idea it was still somewhat recently updated, one feature that caught my eye is friction-based window movement, as you release your mouse buttton while moving, you can send your window off to the other part of galaxy, also known as the end of your 2nd monitor. you can't say that it doesn't look fun but it does, look at the exmaple below:

you might have noticed that my operating system has the looks of windows 7, but (sadly) it is not, it's just heavily customized windows 10 with a bunch of tweaks to bring back some of win7's features, like the explorer style, aero blur and the theme, alongside icons and what not. with minimal tweaks, your windows could've looked like a frickin one huge xbox ad, as seen here:

...ok sure, maybe it's not official (turns out it is official, my bad), but you could do that, whenever if it was using windowblinds (another stardock product, one that has put them on the map) and just dll patchers like ultimateuxthemepatcher (which is still being updated for latest versions of windows, and will still work under xp no problem), you had a wide variety of themes to choose from. of course, you could stay with luna and call it a day, or you could have aqua ui on your puny celeron, or have make it look like beos.

having customizability software included in your cd/dvd that was included in your favorite tech magazine was a norm (alongside those discs, cuz not everyone had internet and besides, it gave you some paid programs for far cheaper, like full versions of that ashampoo program that you keep using it despite windows already having that feature for you included, for free, like uno with your xbox). speaking of magazine cds, one of tech magazines in my country (poland) has offered cds with the main focus of customizing windows xp. it had packs of themes not only for your system, but for your apps as well, such as winamp and gadu-gadu.

your pc could fit so much apple in it

but as time went on, less and less people became that invested into customizing their systems that much, as software companies began to offer you less and less to customize, often limiting on what you can do to outright not being able to move your taskbar (i'm looking at you, microsoft). this is not limited to just your system, chromium browsers are known to be very limiting on what you can change in it, except for some themes (and vivaldi for being able to let you customize it more). firefox on the other hand, is experiencing a massive themeing boom. on that fox globe you stubbornly refuse to live in (i can't blame you, have you seen how much the mozilla ceo has giving theirself the money that's needed for other projects, as well as google basically giving them money to keep making google their primary search engine) you can absolutely change the look to make it look like another browser (the example gif showing windowfx window glinding thing is featuring firefox esr with beautyfox theme, an ie9-11 theme for firefox), or make it look like an older version of itself. the best part? only one theme that i know can make your browsing experience worse, and it's beautyfox (where's my "restore previous session" button? i can give out some accuracy for this), other ones work just fine and you don't lose anything on.

the other issue is that it can take time to customize your os or program, only to get reverted or broken by the time you update it (even as something as customizable as kde has had some issues, with move from kde 5 to 6, some addons broke mainly due to creators either having really busy life, or abandoning them), and it's pain in the ass to re-do what you've done. for that reason, people who modify their programs or systems do not upgrade (exemption of it is the linux side, but i'm mainly talking about windows here). and the fact that software developers can abandon your favorite propietary shell replacement like that means there's less and less to do.

now yes, i could switch to linux and forget about modding windows ever again, but like, i like challenge that's given onto me for doing what i am doing. and yes, i might've broken the eula so many times i might be a number 15 on the blacklist at their offices (or at someone's garage, ready to beat the number one with their golf). and of course, i would not be rambling about this if every piece of software that i have would just easily let me customize them to however i want them to look (that'd be awesome) but all i'm saying that if you want to do it, then go ahead and do it. just make sure you ask people on how to do it, otherwise i'm not responsible to what has happened on your office pc at work.

(also do stuff that other people are telling you not to because otherwise it's "stupid" or "useless", if you like it, then do it)