I get that 'icons above windows' has been requested to death one way or another but I'm sure it's possible. The question is would it step outside the purpose that Fences was designed for, because coding for this would dramatically change its function from 'desktop icon organiser' to an app with Explorer-like functionality that provides a complete desktop replacement.
Fences already does the three main things that would be needed - (1) hides desktop icons, (2) adds additional views (folder portals), (3) knows that specific fences contain specific icons. Only changes to Fences would be needed, not Windows.
All that's needed is
- Hide all desktop icons on load (1), maybe still allow double click to show icons, for emergencies.
- Monitor desktop folder and be aware of changes to icons, which are now hidden.
- Make every fence a separate folder portal window (2) that can independently be displayed behind or in front of other windows.
- If it's a 'desktop fence' then it would still be a folder portal, only shows the icons that have been placed in it (3), always kept behind other windows.
- If it's a normal folder portal then it functions exactly like it does now, always kept behind other windows.
- When a fence is created, allow the user to select Always on Top for docked fences. In this case always keep the window in front.
- If desktop fence or docked fence without Always on Top is clicked then nothing happens, it always stays at the back.
- If docked fence with Always on Top is clicked then it slides down and always stays at the front.
- If Show Desktop is clicked then all windows except fences are minimised.
The main point being to implement the Fences as separate mini Explorer-like windows which would have a z-order, instead of just little containers that shift desktop icons around.
The benefits of doing this are:
A - the view options for every fence could be set to small icons / detailed, which is currently only possible for folder portals. But they would all be folder portals
B - Fences slow load time can be avoided by showing the normal desktop at login, while Fences is loading, and then have some nice transitions as each fence fades in and the respective desktop icons fade out.
If I'm able to code this from scratch then I'm sure it would be very easy for Stardock, with most of the code for the three main requirements having already been written. I don't even use docked fences so who knows why I'm getting involved.