What Are Droplets?

Disclaimer: This page is under construction and may still need correction. Use with care or come back soon!


After getting to know Phatch, the PHoto & bATCH! Processor, I have really fallen in love with its innovative Droplet features. I'd like to tell you about the Droplet features so you can use them to speed up YOUR workflow like I have done with mine.

Lets start off with the basics. Phatch has multiple modes by which you can interact with the program.

You can use the standard Window-Dialog-Panel application interface that you will be most familiar with. This interface is just like any other GUI application on any of the Operating Systems of Desktop Environments you may be familiar with.

Additionally there is a modus of interactivity called the Droplet.

What's a "Droplet"?

Phatch implements a mode called the Droplet where you can drag-and-drop files or folders on to an Applet-style or Screenlet-style iconic representation of the application to process your photos.

What's and "Applet"? What's a "Screenlet"?

An Applet is an icon that sits in a Panel and performs various tasks. You will find Applets in Desktop Environments such as GNOME, KDE, and Xfce on Linux/Unix Operating Systems. On Mac OS X you may find multifunction Dock icons, and on Windows you may find System Tray icons.

What Applets, Dock icons, and System Tray icons do is allow a bundle of functionality other than that of a simple application launcher in a smaller, space-saving representation of the application.

Perhaps you haven't heard of Screenlets before. Or have you? Depending on the Operating System or Desktop Environment you may have heard this type of program interface called Desklets, Gadgets, Plasmoids, Screenlets, Widgets, etc. They are all basically the same thing, though the underlying technology powering them may be different.

These "Screenlets" offer, like Panel Applets, a bundle of functionality wrapped up in an object that is in the form of a shaped window with a little more personality than a cut-and-dried "boring" icon sitting in a Panel.

This is a relatively new interface technology with "cute" objects that help you by allowing you to perform focused tasks easily.

Phatch offers both of these modes for its Droplet technology.

You can choose to export fully-functioning mini-programs from Phatch.

You can choose to export a Droplet that will perform a batch action on your photos based on a single Action List.

You can choose to export a Droplet that will allow you to select from a list of recently used Action Lists to for batch processing your photos.

You can also choose to export a Droplet Image Inspector that will display the properties of your photos.

You can also choose to export these Droplet types' corresponding commands to the clipboard for embedding in a Launcher to use as a Panel Applet. (Tested on Ubuntu/GNOME, and Xubuntu/Xfce).

Or you can choose to simply reduce your full-sized windowed Phatch application down to a "Screenlet" you can grab and place anywhere on-screen.

With any of these Droplets, be they tucked away in a Folder, sitting on your Desktop, or a Panel, or floating above your Desktop as a Screenlet, you can easily access the functionality of the Action List loaded in Phatch by simple and intuitive Drag-and-Drop.

More to come, with Platform-Specific instructions to follow!

This documentation will be corrected before the Ubuntu Hardy-Release.

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