SyncWall

  • Created by xbee on Dec 20, 2011
  • Last update by xbee on Jun 14, 2014










Presentation
Current Features
Current Supported Platforms
Known limitations
Downloads
Todo list
Contacts
Support
Snapshots
Usage
Available command line arguments
Tips
Special effects gallery


Presentation

Yet Another Wallpaper Manager but I didn't call it Yawm because :
  • It's not very sexy
  • I've already found SyncWall !
SyncWall is quite a basic wallpaper changer with a special feature, it is the ability to synchronize wallpaper change between several workstations with a basic (and unsecured) client/server protocol. Each workstation must share the same pool of files, there is no FTP or Internet download. Another interesting feature is a simple multi-monitor support. Because SyncWall is written with Qt, it runs on Windows and Linux (MacOSX isn't tested yet).

Current Features

  • Scheduling : you can change wallpaper at start-up, by interval or at fixed time
  • Ability to use/define system hot-keys to change wallpaper manually.
  • Basic multi-monitor support in order to share the wallpaper across screens
  • Ability to add some special effects (emboss, edge, blur, ...) to the displayed wallpaper.
  • Ability to rate images in order to display them more often (if random order is selected)
  • Several resizing methods and background filling
  • Network synchronization of wallpaper change by defining a server and clients. Display parameters are shared across the network (same resizing type on all the desktops)
  • Supported files :SyncWall uses Qt plugins to load image, so by default it can read basic formats as BMP, PNG, JPG. You can add more formats if needed by using bridge plugins to the FreeImage or the Devil libraries.
  • For linux platform, the common windows managers are supported (Gnome, Gnome3, KDE3, KDE4, XFCE, ...).

Current Supported Plaforms

  • Windows XP, Vista, Seven, 8 (with provided installer)
  • Linux (with recompilation).

Known limitations

Syncwall has been tested on several platforms (XP, XP64, Seven x64, Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian) with Gnome2, Gnome3, KDE3 and KDE4 window managers. Currently for KDE4, you have to use a workaround to use syncwall by selecting the updated image file ($HOME/.SyncWall folder) in the plasma configuration and set to "center" the positionning parameter.
Multi monitor support has been tested only on windows platform.
Mac OSX will works with some corrections in the building files but the author hasn't the ability to test this configuration (Help wanted !!).
Thumbnail view isn't perfect yet.

Downloads

SyncWall is available on SourceForge in setup.exe for windows and source archive for other platforms (qmake and cmake configurations included).

SyncWall review

Todo list

  • more translations (help wanted !!)
  • MAC OSX effective support (help wanted !!)
  • .deb, .rpm, .dmg delivery
  • Theading of network
  • Threading of image computation
  • more features ?

Contacts

If you have suggestions, problems or questions about this tool, you can:

  • send me directly a mail at xbee at xbee dot net
  • use the SourceForge forum here
  • create a ticket on SourceForge (here)

Don't hesitate to send me your creation, I will create a specific gallery for that soon.

If you want to help with translation, you can send me the translated Qt Linguist file (*.ts) or use the Transifex website (you need to create a free account as translator).

Support

If you find this tool helpful and want support its development, you can pay what you want.

Your donation

Snapshots

Main Interface
Main Interface with thumbnail view
Startup parameters panel



Sheduling parameters panel



Image parameters panel


Network panel

Integrated image viewer

Usage


SyncWall isn't very complicated but you can find here some explanations about the interface.
The main interface is shown below with:
  1. The Quit button. Parameters are save during the close process, so if you want to be sure to save your current configuration, you can quit the application for that. This tool is also designed to work as a background task available in the system tray so to minimize it use the close button of the window manager, not the quit button !
  2. Launch the Online Help (this documentation).
  3. You can add directory or files to the pool of files by clicking these icons. For the directory choice, you can choose to search recursively for files and to monitor these directories (re-check at start-up).
  4. Delete selected input file. These files are only deleted from the list, not physically. If you have choose to monitor a directory, the file-list is reconstructed automatically at the program start-up, so if you delete a file from a monitored directory, it will reappear at the next launch (sorry !).
  5. Refresh the file-list. All the unavailable files are deleted and all the new files in the monitored directories are added.
  6. Set the first selected file as wallpaper. You can also double click on the list for that or right click with the mouse
  7. You can preview in a simple previewer the first selected files.
  8. Preview of the desktop with the first selected file. This preview is made according to the image parameters (multi-monitor support, ...).
  9. You can display a detail list for the files but you can also display a thumbnail view.
  10. Network state status
  11. If multi-monitor is selected and the resizing method is "Fill proportionally", user can edit manually the position of current image is order to display only the best part.
  12. Wallpaper are displayed in a random order.
  13. Rate of the image. User can change this by pressing or by double clicking with the mouse on the stars. Only useful if random order is selected. In this case, the image with a higher score is displayed more often.
  14. Access to other parameters (network, image, start-up, ...)


Main Interface description
The startup parameters panel is shown below with:
  1. Start the application only in notification tray
  2. Enable application auto start with system. Only available on Windows platform.
  3. If something wrong with the saved config, you can reset all the saved parameters to their default value.
  4. Reset image cache information. Be careful, all the image parameters will be deleted (rating, user positioning) !!
  5. You can set global hot-keys in order to change the current wallpaper at the system level (without opening explicitly the application).
  6. Language choice. By default, automatic detection is the best choice.
  7. Access  to other parameter panel.


The startup parameters panel
The scheduling parameters panel is shown below with:
  1. You can change the current wallpaper at launch time
  2. You can also quit automatically application  after the start-up change in order to keep your system with the minimum of running process.
  3. If you want to change periodically, enable the change interval check-box and choose between simple interval or a time of day list. Set the change interval in the form HH:MM:SS (here 30 min)
  4. You can add a time of day to the list
  5. Delete selected ToD.


Scheduling parameters panel
The basic image parameters panel is shown below with:
  1. If you have several monitors, you can share (extend) the wallpaper to all your monitors. the view (5) reflect the detected configuration.
  2. For some window managers, you have to change this parameter to allow (or not) multi-monitor support. Mostly set to "Extend image".
  3. Resize options. Four methods :
    1. No resize.
    2. Stretch the image without taking account of the image aspect ratio
    3. Stretch the image with taking account of the image aspect ratio (the entire image is on the screen)
    4. Stretch the image with taking account of the image aspect ratio (image with screen overflow)
  4. Image alignment (in case of resizing).
  5. If you share your wallpaper across monitors, you can change the monitor order by selecting a monitor and dragging and dropping it at the correct place. here, if your second monitor is at the left of the first, select the second monitor and drag it to the left.
  6. Change advanced parameters (see below)

Basic Image parameters panel
The "expert"image parameters panel is shown below with:
  1. If you have a client/server installation, you can export the image parameters to the client if the current workstation is a server.
  2. In Client/Server configuration, you can ignore the image parameters send from the server if the current workstation is a client.
  3. Too small images are skipped in order to avoid ugly display.
  4. If image has Exif tags for rotation, you can read them.
  5. If the image don't fill all the screen, you can choose a background filling method and the start/end colors:
    1. Fill by a fixed color
    2. Fill by a color extract from the image (smart color)
    3. Fill by an expanded blurred image
    4. Fill by a gradient (vertical, horizontal or radial)
  6. After all, you can add a special effect (blur, oil paint, ...) to the final image as described in a following paragraph.
  7. The up-sampling method can be changed according to your wallpaper image and your perception of the image degradation. The best choice are for me "Qt Default" or "Mitchell".

Advanced Image parameters panel

The Network parameter panel is quite simple. You have just :

  1. The name of the "server" (or his IP number)
  2. The UDP port to use
  3. You can also test the connection (no proxy or firewall take into account)


Network parameters panel

The systray menu is displayed below. You can :

  1. Show the user interface (UI) is minimized.
  2. Change the current wallpaer to the next one.
  3. Change the current wallpaer to the previous one.
  4. Open the UI and change the offset (alignment) of the current wallpaper.
  5. Quit the program.

Remark: the next/previous wallpaper action is only available on the current session. A new list of images is computed at each startup according to parameters (random, image rating, ...), so you can't retrieve the same succession from a session to another.



Available command line arguments

Syncwall have some options available with the command line. Following options are known:

Usage: syncwall [options]
--help: displays this help.
--reset-config: clear the saved preference parameters.
--no-singleinstance: enable the use of multiple instance of program (not recommended).

Tips

With the 1.7.0 release, you can choose the best part of the image displayed as wallpaper. Imagine that you have a wallpaper like this (dual monitors):



The image has been resized and top aligned, but the character isn't well centered. So, I can press <CTRL-F9> (or the keys you have chosen for "Change Image offset" action) and the  main interface pops up:



Now, you can move the background image to display the correct part of the image:



Then apply the change:



The offset are stored in a database, so your image will be displayed with the correct position.




Special effects gallery

SyncWall allows user to set a special effect to the computed wallpaper. Below you can find somes examples:

blur effect

Here is the blur effect, which use a simple (and fast) blurring algorithm
Charcoal effect

The charcoal effect
Invert colors effect

The Invert  colors effect

Desature effect

The desaturate effect

Emboss effect

The Emboss effect

Flatten effect

The flatten effect. This effect uses the background gradient colors as input.

Gaussian blur

Gaussian blur effect; A more sophiticated blur technique, which gives better results as simple blur but more expensive in CPU load.
Gaussian sharpen

The Gaussian sharpen effect
Glow effect

The Glow effect

Grayscale effect

The grayscale effct

Oilpaint effect

The oilpaint effect.. The parameter control the size of the brush.

Progressive blur

The progressive blur. A pseudo lens effect, the image is progressively blurred from center to edge.
Sepia effect

The Sepia effect.

Swirl effect

The swirl effect; the parameter is the angle of rotation.