Transparent PuTTY Question

Got this question today:

I just downloaded your transparent putty program. It is great and it is just what I was looking for. I have a tranparent version of “aterm”, but was experiencing refresh issues with it. Anyway my reason for writing to you is that whenever I run the transparent putty program with “Desktop” selected in the Background option and Opacity set to 0, my putty cursor disappears. I think that the cursor transparency also depends on the opacity value you set. Would you know of a way that I might be missing to make the cursor independent of the opacity value? Thanks

His analysis is correct: the cursor transparency uses the opacity. That was a consequence of the way PuTTY draws the cursor. I never really experienced that as a problem b/c I always use an opacity of about 50 or 75. I am mostly posting this as a way to remind myself to try check out whether this will be easy to fix, the next time I’m able to work on my PuTTY transparency patch. (Which probably will be at least a few months still…being employee #2 at a new company and, more importantly, having a 3-month-old son, tends to eat up all of one’s time).

SSML 0.5.5

SSML 0.5.5 is out. It includes some minor mods to gcccollect to allow it to parse GCC 3.4.4’s output and a few other improvements. The size of the distribution is down to about 7 megs (from 14 megs for 0.5.4) because I removed a number of debug files (so if you want to debug, you’ll have to rebuild from source now — as always, source is included in the distro).

Some deficiencies in the documentation have been brought to my attention recently, and have not been fixed yet in this release. I’ll get them as soon as I can.

PFC 0.1.0

Since 2001, I’ve been accruing utility functions and classes for doing PalmOS programming, and the library has reached the point where I believe it may be useful to other people and functional enough for an initial public release. This is an inaspicious time to be releasing PalmOS development tools, since the future of the OS is in so much doubt after Palm’s recent move to Windows Mobile on its Treo line and PalmSource’s acquisition by a Chinese company, but there may still be people in a boat similar to mine, building new applications that must work on devices running OS 5 and below.

So, with no further ado, I present the very first release of the Palm Foundation Classes, available at the PFC project page.

Transparent Terminal on Windows

Several months back, I hacked PuTTY to draw a bitmap instead of a solid color as its background. One of the options I added is to match the Windows Desktop wallpaper, so that the terminal window appears to be transparent. This is something that most Unix terminals have these days, but which can’t be done with a Windows console window.

I’ve been using my hacked terminal nearly every day for several months now and it’s been pretty stable. There are a few quirks left to work out, but what it really needs is testing on other people’s hardware, to bring out the bugs that my limited uses don’t bring to light.

Those interested can find source and binaries here: Transparent PuTTY.