© 2000-2010 dwalin


   this page can tell you everything about plaunch you wanted to know but were afraid to ask. :)


   well, for starters plaunch is a convenient (for me, at least) putty launching and session manager utility. it is brand new, started not even month ago and yet it already has some features i consider too good to live without (how could i live without it before?!) and more yet to come. :)

   historical note: this page was first written in september 2004.

for now, it can do the following:

  • sit right there in system notification area (known also as a "tray") and show its icon. :)
  • respond on the right-click at the icon, showing menu with a list of putty saved sessions, now with pretty icons.
  • respond on the double-click at the icon, showing launch dialog box again with a list of sessions in tree control (later about why the tree).
  • respond on the hotkey (default win-p), showing the same dialog.
  • respond on the hotkey (default win-w), showing the list of running putty/puttytel sessions, allowing to hide a session, show it back or close it. this list can be also activated through right-click menu. also in the list of sessions one can use 'h' key to hide session, 's' to show it and 'del' to close it. :)
  • show about/license dialogs, again through menu.
  • show options dialog, which allows you to define a path to putty/puttytel executable, change default hotkeys and enable/disable autostart, drag&drop in session manager and saving cursor position again in session manager.
  • session manager now can create, delete, rename, cut/copy/paste and drag&drop any folder or session within the tree. nice, eh? :)
  • also a killer app: in session manager, it is now possible to set a separate system-wide hotkeys for launching or editing any session except 'default settings'.

   not much? yes, but the program itself is not much waste of space itself: at the time of writing this, its size is about 15 kilobytes. :)

   (small voice) well, this time is long gone, but i'm still able to keep it under 30 kilobytes...

   now, about the tree view of sessions. why tree and not a list? that's because plaunch already can use the feature that will become my SESSION_FOLDERS patch for putty. the patch is already in development, but i cannot release it yet (it's not working :).

   of course, one can ask, why bother at all? there's QuickPutty that does the same! first, it doesn't. second, i don't like the way it is written. QuickPutty's executable size is about 600 kb, and for no good reason. i don't like bloatware. plaunch's size, as i said, is about 15 kb and when it will have all features i want, it might be 30 or 40 kb max, a difference about an order of magnitude with QuickPutty. doesn't it matter? i think it does.

   why separate application at all, why not just adding some code to pageant? well, firstly it's because pageant is not mine. secondly, because pageant, as a security-related software, has some restrictions to where it can be imported. plaunch doesn't, because it is not aware of any security at all. and finally, pageant's main task is not launching putty sessions, it's in hosting security keys. i don't think it's a good idea to mix these tasks in one application.

   and, of course, plaunch is an open source software, distributed under MIT licence.