Feature Request: Frequently Used Programs

  • Sachin Thomas

    Sachin Thomas - 2012-04-22

    The current list of recently used programs in the Classic Start Menu is
    useful but it would be better to replace it with a list of frequently used
    programs. The problem with recently used progams is that even if I click on an
    uninstaller shortcut on the start menu, it appears on the top of the recently
    used list, and must be manually removed. Also, even shortcuts to non-
    executable files are included in the recently used list.

    Classic Shell is great. Keep up the good work.

  • Anonymous - 2012-04-22

    Alternatively, there can be an "Exclude items with following terms in the file
    name from appearing in the MRU list" setting where there can be pre-defined
    words which should never appear on the MRU list. The Windows Taskbar, Start
    Menu and Start Screen do have such settings in the registry. Classic Shell can
    ship with a long list of pre-defined excluded words, or users should be able
    to specify these.

    Examples of such words include:
    ReadMe, Read Me, Uninstall, Release, Notes, Support, on the Web, Website,
    Help, Buy, Purchase, Changelog, log, Register, Order, Ordering, Forum, Online,
    Documentation, Update, Manual, Guide, License, EULA, FAQ, Homepage, Home page,
    Upgrade, Setup, Activate, Samples, Source, About, Started, Reference, Step-by-

  • Sachin Thomas

    Sachin Thomas - 2012-04-22

    That's a nice and simple idea. An exclude list is easier to implement. Can we
    expect this feature in the next version?

  • Rand

    Rand - 2012-04-22

    I'd find this useful too, a list of applications I use regularly is more
    likely to be needed then just a list of applications that have been launched

  • Ivo Beltchev

    Ivo Beltchev - 2012-04-22

    Applications that you use frequently do not change often. You can easily put
    them on the main menu yourself. Simply drag the shortcut there. Recent
    programs list is much more useful in that regard, because it is not something
    you can maintain manually.

    On the technical side a MFU list is much more expensive to maintain, because
    it needs to track every program ever launched. It uses more memory and takes
    longer to process over time. Imagine you start program A 100 times a year ago,
    then start 1000 other programs once or twice. I still need to keep the
    information that A was used 100 times, even though it was a year ago. It is
    still the most frequently used program. On the other hand MRU list is much
    cheaper (takes less time to process and less space of your registry). All I
    need is store the last 20 programs.

    So given the choice of implementing something that's cheap and quite useful,
    vs something that's expensive and replaces a process that can easily be done
    manually, I choose the cheap/useful.

  • Anonymous - 2012-04-23

    MRU list is okay, but why not an exclude list?

  • Anonymous - 2012-05-19

    @Deathterrapin, read this thread: http://sourceforge.net/projects/classicshel

    The problems with uning that MFU list are:
    1) The list is not updated when a program is launched from the Classic Shell
    Start Menu. So there will have to be a way to update the list every time you
    click on a program. The data format is not documented and some of the data is
    not fully understood. So it is very difficult to update it. The data format is
    also different between Vista and Win7.
    2) The list contains ONLY exe names, not the command line parameters or the
    lnk that was used. The Start Menu has to look through all shortcuts to find
    the one that links to the EXE. This is very error-prone. The Windows Start
    Menu has some heirustics in place that somewhat work, but they are probably
    very complex and hard to reverse-engineer. (it looks like the algorithm is
    also patented).

    @Ivo, why not an exclude list as proposed above? So people can define their
    own list of words to exclude which should never appear in the MRU list.

  • Ivo Beltchev

    Ivo Beltchev - 2012-05-19

    I hate to pull "a Microsoft" on you, but I think you are using it wrong. The
    MRU list is not intended to be a poor man's substitute for a MFU list. Its
    purpose is "hey, I just closed that program, let me run it again", or "hey, I
    just closed that readme doc that I had to dig through 3 sub-menus to open, let
    me look at it again".

  • james mitch

    james mitch - 2012-11-23

    I couldnt find this feature.. so I went as far as googling and reading this whole page. I'm really disappointed.

    I know you don't want to implement it but frequently used is the classic behavior. Windows never had recently used behavior. That deviates from the app's primary purpose. At least implement the option for the intended audience. The users want it. Even if you dont share the opinion; we rely on you and it's something feasible.

    Take it as a development challenge to make it light weight :P

  • Maza

    Maza - 2012-11-23

    I would like this feature too if possible. I know I can pin my frequently pinned programs but it's not automatic. MFU was intelligent as it did the work of figuring out for me what my frequently used programs were.

  • xpclient

    xpclient - 2012-11-23

    I wanted this too initially since we have had this feature since Windows XP and suddenly it's taken away on Windows 8 but I don't miss it terribly if performance is going to be affected. I mean it will be nice if Ivo can implement it without affecting performance but keep in mind that as Windows stores EXE names in the registry, not shortcut names, going through the entire Start menu list of shortcuts, resolving them, matching them to EXE names and picking the correct shortcut may not be terribly fast.

  • james mitch

    james mitch - 2012-11-24

    If you're worried about ten cpu cycles you dont have to use it :)
    Even windows had the option to disable it.. and no one cared

  • xpclient

    xpclient - 2012-11-24

    Hmm. I want it too if it's not going to slow down. :) On Windows 7 and later, the UserAssist data is updated automatically if even a program is launched from Classic Start Menu (but not on Vista). I even made a mock-up if it would have both - Recent and Frequent like jumplists: http://i.imgur.com/hCJGl.png


    Last edit: xpclient 2012-11-24
  • xpclient

    xpclient - 2013-07-24

    @Sachin Thomas, you will be delighted to know that the latest Classic Shell beta has a frequently used programs list.


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