LiteStep v. 0.24.6 documentation

written by the LiteStep Documentation Effort, August 2000

  .: introduction   .: configuration   .: installation   .: theme installation   .: theme creation   .: development   .: glossary   .: links  
  .: command   .: desktop   .: hotkey   .: litestep   .: lstime   .: popup   .: shortcut   .: systray   .: taskbar   .: vwm   .: wharf  

LiteStep...the Other Choice of the GNU Generation
Welcome to the Official Documentation for the latest Official Release of the longest living Windows Replacement Shell: LiteStep.
What is LiteStep?
LiteStep was originally written a few years back by LoneRunnr, who didn't want to do things "the Microsoft way". After some time he stopped working on the project and opened the source up under the General Public License.

Once LiteStep was released, the project was picked up by some programmers, who have made it to the software you have downloaded today. The LiteStep Development Team has gone through many changes since its creation. The application concept, however, is still the same: the main idea is to allow users to control the look, feel and even functioning of their Windows GUI in any manner they want - not something you can easily say about the Microsoft Explorer shell.

This major leap in beauty and functionality does not come without a price however. LiteStep users must be comfortable with text based configuration and have to accept the fact that Windows will not operate like they were used to (which is not necessarily a bad thing).

How does it work?
LiteStep's superiority and usefulness is based on a simple, yet powerful concept: modularity. LiteStep by itself does nothing except loading the modules you tell it to load. These modules provide a special function or set of functions, which you can use in your configuration file. The functions range from the very basic, like the look and feel of your popup menu, to the more frivolous, like putting a TV tuner or WinAmp controls on your desktop.

In the menu at the top of the page you will find a list of all of the LiteStep Core Modules. These modules are written and maintained by the LiteStep Development Team. They provide the basic functionality you may look for in a shell - and some more. These modules are complemented by several hundred LiteStep modules written by contributors outside of the Development Team.

I didn't understand one bit of that, but I want to start right away!
Even if it confuses you at first, bear in mind that you do not have to configure your own LiteStep theme yourself - you can always use one of the many themes other users have published. If, after some time of looking around, you want to tweak them or create your own theme, you can come back here and have a look at what the LiteStep Core Modules can do for you.

The power and total control of LiteStep's text based configuration has, until recently, limited its user base to Windows Power-Users only; hopefully the documentation on the following pages will make this wonderful shell accessible to everybody who wants to use it.