US Tray Menu 2

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Revision as of 17:43, 29 June 2010 by BobS (talk | contribs) (Minor grammatical corrections.)
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UniServer 5-Nano
US Tray Menu 2.
UniServer 6-Carbo

US Tray Menu 2


The previous tutorial concluded with a new UniTray. Other than UTF-8 support, it offered no new features. It mimics the original menu, hence menu items are static and control files are command line based. When running the menu on a dark background, a noticeable ghosting effect is produced.

This tutorial covers adding new features, making our menu more user-friendly. It also addresses that undesirable ghosting effect.

Due to a lack of interest for a plugin, there is an interesting final twist!

User feedback

To start and stop either of the individual servers or both, currently our menu uses individual buttons. This applies to running as a standard program or as a service. Other than looking pretty, the icon to the left of each button provides no real information.

There is no real reason why an icon should not indicate current server status (green running and red not running). Also, why use two buttons when a single toggle button will do? Unlike with a third party menu program, we have no constraints . This allows us to change anything we like.

Configuration file

The text displayed on each server button (menu item) toggles between start and stop, hence we need to supply these two pieces of text. Since they are user translatable (different language) they cannot be hard coded, so they are part of the configuration file. In addition our script needs to known what functionality a button is performing. Assigning a command to each button and letting the script decide its current state (in real time) accommodates the above.

Similarly there are menu items (buttons) that become active only when the servers are running. Assigning commands to these buttons allows for alternative text to be displayed. These again are defined in the configuration file.

Status Icon

The left icon of each button toggles showing the current server status (red stopped, green running). This can be difficult to achieve, however a feature inherent in our menu makes this very easy. Clicking any button automatically minimises our menu. On restoring, the whole menu is redrawn using data from the master array. This is used to great effect; before redrawing, we update master array with current server status (real time) and appropriate button text.

This technique can be applied to any menu item.


Our current architecture caters for the above additional commands. A menu item has the following format:

item[]      = "Start UniServer (Apache MySQL Program)"  ; display menu item
action[]    = "runh"                                    ; run, runh , sub, separator 
file[]      = "php.exe"                                 ; file name or sub-name
parameter[] = "-n ../main/start_servers.php 7"          ; parameters to pass
icon[]      = "7"                                       ; icon id number

Each menu item consists of five lines. Depending on the action (command) selected a line can have alternative functionality. Expanding this concept is key to adding our new features.

Actions run and runh are executed, as is however sub and separator are intercepted and manipulated according to their functionality. Applying the later to our new features gives the following generic command:

item[]      = "Optional text"  ; display menu item (Text 1 or Text2
action[]    = "xxxx"           ; run, runh , sub, separator (xxxx new command) 
file[]      = "Text 1"         ; Item inactive text
parameter[] = "Text 2"         ; Item active text
icon[]      = "Optional Id"    ; Optional icon id number

Converting the above gives:

item[]      = ""  ; Empty string
action[]    = "cmd_servers_pall"   ; run, runh , sub, separator (xxxx new command) 
file[]      = "Start UniServer (Apache MySQL Program)" ; Item inactive text 
parameter[] = "Stop  UniServer (Apache MySQLProgram)"  ; Item active text 
icon[]      = ""                                       ; Empty string

Note: A side effect some array names no longer perform what’s implied to avoid confusion these should be changed.


Generic menu naming

Using generic names removes any implied functionality.

men1[] = "Long text"      ; display menu item (Text 1 or Text2)
men2[] = "xxxx"           ; run, runh, sub, separator (xxxx new command) 
men3[] = "Text 1"         ; Item inactive text
men4[] = "Text 2"         ; Item active text
men5[] = "Optional Id"    ; Optional icon id number

Advantage, we can apply new functionality as we wish so long as it’s explained to an end user in the final release.

Note: men1[] Is a special case it is set to whichever text (Text1 or Text2) is the longest. This text is used for calculating width of main or sub-menu. Duplication applies only to commands xxxx.

Define commands

To serve as a reference its worth defining commands we intend to use.

cmd_servers_pall – Run both servers as a program
cmd_server_papache – Run Apache server as a program
cmd_server_pmysql – Run MySQL server as a program
cmd_servers_sall – Run both servers as a service
cmd_server_sapache – Run Apache server as a service
cmd_server_smysql – Run MySQL server as a service
cmd_apanel – Run Apanel
cmd_phpmyadmin – Run PHP MySQL Admin
cmd_www_root – Display root www in default browser
cmd_ssl_root – Display root ssl in default browser
cmd_server_information - Display Apache server info in default browser
cmd_server_status - Display Apache server ststus in default browser
cmd_php_info - Display PHP information in default browser

Note: Above list reflects current menu options depending on final requirements this may change.


The above introduced the concept of dynamic menu items and hinted at how these can be implemented.

Menu structure now includes additional predefined commands and a generic naming convention.

Next page takes one of these commands and details how to integrate it into our tray menu.