Monday, December 3, 2012

Indulging in Chocolate Bar - A Bar Broker Add-On

I was thinking the other day that a lot of people talk about add-ons. What they like, what they use, and what they recommend. Rarely if ever do I discuss my UI because I think I'm a bit cluttered.

That being said I do try to pare it down as much as possible and I would like to share with you one of my favorite anti-cluttering add-ons. One that I realized recently I nearly never think about, but use every single time I log in.

If you couldn't guess from the title it's called Chocolate Bar. It is a UI bar broker add-on. A broker is an add-on that you use to handle or manage other add-ons.
First, here is a picture for you. This bar sits along the very top of my screen and pushes everything down slightly so it fits neatly.

Chocolate bar can be configured into multiple bars anywhere on your screen. The most common are top and bottom, but you can create many small bars and locate them around your screen if you're so inclined. I changed to Chocolate bar from Titan Panel when Titan Panel became too difficult to manage. This particular broker allows you to drag and drop items around on the bar if you don't like where they're located. When I found this add-on I was only looking for something to put across the top of my screen and this fits the bill wonderfully.

I chose this particular type of add-on because of the over abundance of add-on buttons that began to surround my mini map. I needed to get them off and into a manageable state. So in the top right hand corner you will see all my add-ons that used to be around my mini-map. They are still available to open on one click. 
Just to the left of those is my volume control and next to that is my actual time. Since my realm time is different from my actual time I leave the clock on the mini map for realm and the one on the bar is local time.

On the left hand side are the other random brokers. There is a gold broker which when moused over drops down and tells me how much gold is on each toon. It will also tell me how much I've made and can be configured to show daily weekly or monthly income. It can also be configured to include other types of currency such as  JP.  Next to that I have my current repair status. 

In the center where you see the latency and frames per second information, when I mouse over that it becomes the mini bar drop down. That is where I select my dungeons, customer service, mounts and pets. Generally anything that you'd find in that box that used to be at the bottom of the screen by the bags. Right next to that is my location coordinates. The coordinates can be expanded to show the name of the location (city) and the zone you are in.

Once I started using this type of add-on I began to explore other features. Any add-on that says its a broker can be used with Chocolate Bar as well as many other add-ons can be managed with it. 

 I have seen many UI's that are very minimalistic. I don't like things where I can't see them so I have chosen this route. It keeps everything there and one click away but it keeps it manageable.

If you like to have things handy but need to de-clutter I would seriously recommend a bar broker add-on. 

Chocolate Bar can be found at Curse. Click here to check it out.

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