Is there a good dashboard-like app for Windows?
I mean the functionality that exists in for example MacOS or KDE, where you press a button, and a fullscreen window appears, on which you can manually define gadgets/elements. When you press the button again, the window dissapears, and you return to the exact state you were before.
You can kind-of achieve the same functionality by simply placing gadgets on the desktop and then Win+D each time you want to get to it, but seems way too slow (if there are many programs open that will require swapping when minimizing them). Also, it automatically displays the desktop icons, which might not always be desirable (you can hide them completely with a desktop option, but what if you want to see them when you do open the desktop?), and having a dedicated dashboard would be the best anyway.
Also it would be very nice if this dashboard program would support showing a contents of a specific directory (I know for example KDE can do that). (Not the shortcut to the directory, which can be done on the desktop.)
Some options that I have discovered: (maybe there are plugins to them which will make the needed functionality?)
Stardock Fences: It only modifies the desktop, you still have to minimize all windows to get to it. It lets you group your shortcuts into rectangles, but there isn't even an option to have a rectangle that will display a certain directory. You have to place shortucts into the rectangle one by one then.
Rainmeter: A great app for widgets, but 1) you still have to minimize everything to get to it and 2) there does not seem to be a plugin/skin to display a directory's contents... UPD: There is a way fix 1). You can run the rainmeter .exe with some command line options (while the host rainmeter app already running), which will cause all the existing rainmeter gadgets to become always-on-top, effectively making them into a dashboard. With a shortcut app one could make a keyboard shortcut which would call the rainmeter .exe with those parameters, achieving the exact needed functionality. (There are other parameters to un-always-on-top them of course.) Now if only there was a clickable directory list plugin...
Simply going with native Windows Gadgets. But there are no gadgets to display specific directory contents either?
update: new info: there are some command line commands in rain meter which can be used to bring all the widgets to top, and they will display on top of everthing. So that's good, but I still don't know how to display a directory listing.