Enso Launcher Comments

Comment by lebaux
about Enso Launcher · Jun 2011 · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

This launcher is very good, but the development stopped long time ago.


You can download a portable binary from here: https://github.com/GChristensen/enso-portable . It's working fine on my Windows 8.1 Pro system.

It is working, but it is not being developed :) It is annoying to always type "open" and other commands. I switched to Small SlickRun iconSlickRun and never been happeier.

@lebaux I tried SlickRun many years ago but for some reason(s) I can't remember I ended up uninstalling it. Please refresh my memory -- can SlickRun do something like this:

  • select some text
  • toggle command mode (e.g., Caps Lock for Enso)
  • type "uppercase" and press Enter to convert the selected text to lower case

Also, what do you think about FARR?

10basetom, well it does not do everything like Enso. But I customized it in a lot of ways, and I suggested on slickrun forum to actually mimic some of the Enso functions. You can join the discussion and post your suggestions there.

FARR is good, but like launchy and all those launchers it is not appealing to me, design wise. Slickrun looks ugly, but you can customize it to be almost like enso looking - huge text, your own colors.

lebaux, thanks for the reply -- I'll give SR another shot. As you've done with SR, I have also made many changes to Enso since discovering it, in some ways significant, to make it work better within my own workflow. For example, I added the ability to type all standard symbols on the Enso command line (what they call "quasimode"), so now I can use Enso as my main calculator and currency/unit converter in addition to text formatter :-). I also added support for the numeric keypad because my wife can type on the keypad faster than I can use a handheld calculator! This is just the beginning of my personal journey to enhance and prolong Enso. One big feature that I plan to add to Enso is to turn it into an information retrieval system by using its built-in overlay window (you can see a sample overlay by doing a calculation). To give you an idea, here is a typical scenario:

  • You see a word you don't understand in any application that allows you to select the text. If you cannot select the word for some reason, then you can always fall back to manually typing 'define <fancy word>'.
  • You select the word and press Caps Lock.
  • You type 'define' and press Enter.
  • Enso will retrieve the definition for this word using a web service and display it in the overlay. This sure beats Enso's old way of doing things, which was to open a new browser tab and go to ninjawords.com (or launch a new browser process if one isn't already running). Since it will use a web service that only returns JSON instead of full HTML, it should be both faster and less resource intensive than opening a new tab to load an entire web page.

In addition to 'define', I plan to add additional web service commands to retrieve lowest price, stock ticker data, metacritic ratings, and anything else that can be useful and has a web service to retrieve the information. Anyway, you can see my fork here:


Regarding the command prefix annoyance that you brought up, for the time being you can work around that by creating custom commands, e.g.:

def cmd_firefox(ensoapi):

You can even write a batch script that will go through your Start Menu and create these custom commands for you. In the distant future, I plan to enhance Enso's autocomplete system so that you'd be able to open Firefox by typing two characters: 'o f' (OK, three if you count the space ;)). This would match the command '[o]pen [f]irefox' and act as its proxy. If you have another program that begins with the letter "F", then you could enter 'o ff' instead, which would match '[o]pen [f]ire[f]ox'. The original developers actually added some advanced autocomplete prediction algorithm to Enso, but it was eventually scrapped. You can read more about that under the "Autocomplete" section here:


In theory, we can overcome the issue that convinced them to drop this idea by requiring the user to type that extra space character as a sort of word boundary hint. Another idea that never made it into production was Enso's adaptive learning behavior. You can read more about it in the "The Learning Algorithm" section by following the link above. I also plan to implement this feature sometime down the road. The longer you use Enso, the more it would learn and adapt to your habits. My ultimate aim is that after you use Enso for awhile, the autocomplete + learning algorithms would be so effective that sometimes it feels like magic.

You put a lot of time and thinking in your launchers, very impressive :) I am going to try your fork, and I will give you feedback after some time.

Hi lebaux, please keep in mind it's still very much a work in progress. I just discovered that enterng symbols works fine in Windows 7 32-bit, but not so fine in Windows 8.1 64-bit. If you have any burning feature requests, please drop me a note (on here or GitHub as an "issue").

UPDATE: The symbols input issue on Windows 8.1 has been fixed.

Hi there, I am not able to run this on windows 10. Are you still mainlining the project? :) Thanks man :)

Sorry, I'm still on Windows 8.1. Once I update to 10 I'll let you know.

Let me know when you do! :)

Comment by bchhun
about Enso Launcher · Jun 2011 · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

The best launcher ever. The response is snappy and I love how it gets out of my way once it does its deeds.


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