New version! - Emerge Desktop is a replacement windows "shell" (the desktop environment normally provided by Windows Explorer) for Windows 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, and 7 (both x86 and x64 builds, since XP). In order to replace Windows Explorer as a shell, it provides a system tray (the area that collects the icons collected at the lower right corner in Explorer), called emergeTray. It will also provide access to the users programs (normally accessed with the windows "Start" button) via a right-click on the desktop, via emergeCore.
Emerge Desktop is implemented with MinGW (MinGW-w64 for the 64-bit version), an OpenSource implementation of the GNU C compiler and utilities. Up to this point, closed source commercial projects have mainly been used (Microsoft Visual C++, Borland Delphi) to develop alternate shells as they use proprietary Microsoft API features. With Microsoft releasing more detailed information about these API calls, the MinGW win32api is now quite complete. Additionally, several web sites on the internet have started to include documentation and code that illustrate how to access and use these functions.
Emerge Desktop has an open API, which allows for applets to be coded with compilers other than MinGW if someone wishes to do so. In fact Microsoft Visual C++ project and workspace files are available in the Mercurial Repository and Source files in case someone wants to use them.
Emerge Desktop is written in C++, primarily developed with MinGW and is licensed as OpenSource (under the GPL). All the source is available in Mercurial at Sourceforge. Project files for Emerge Desktop developement using Code::Blocks or CodeLite, both of which are IDEs for MinGW, are available in the Mercurial Repository and the Source archives.
From a design point of view, Emerge Desktop applets are capable of being run as both standalone as well as being integrated. In order for Emerge Desktop applets to communicate with each other, emergeCore must be running. Without emergeCore, each applet will run independently (if, for example, you wish to use them in conjunction with another desktop shell).
Emerge Desktop - 64bit software