I have written a program — ASK_Palette — which is free to download on my website:
It is the further evolution of an earlier application — KM_GridPalettes. Basically, the app allows you to design a grid of buttons and link those buttons to Keyboard Maestro macros. You click on a button and the corresponding Keyboard Maestro script launches.
This basically provides the functionality of a StreamDeck. It is cheaper (free) and does not take up any desk space! A palette can be designed with 100 buttons which is more than the biggest of the StreamDecks.
A manual, downloadable on the website, explains how the program works and how to design a palette. It is possible to create up to 100 palettes and move easily between them. The application allows the user to provide tips and other information about the individual buttons and palettes which is useful when engaging with Keyboard Maestro macros you might have that are important but used infrequently.
I recently was faced with the task of entering into an Excel spreadsheet the degree of indentation (0 to 3) of 7,000 lines in a picture of text that I had been provided. I designed the palette above to make this excruciating task a little more doable. The buttons with little microphones included have Keyboard Maestro speak out loud which line I was currently dealing with to help me keep my place. Occasionally there are long runs of no indentation that the bottom row helps me deal with.
Yes and no. No, because the big advantage of a Stream Deck are the physical keys with an icon on it. The finger goes to the icon and triggers an action. This is the most intuitive way. With your palettes, the mouse pointer goes to the icon. Unless your Mac has a touchscreen
And yes, you might actually be able to imitate a stream deck. As I see it, it needs what you in your tutorial call "Single row of buttons".
If this palette is positioned at the bottom of the screen exactly above the F-Keys, then you pretty much have the Stream Deck feeling. The finger goes to the icon and presses a physical button. Is that graphically possible with your app?
Of course, that's still not enough. This palette must be navigable and needs dynamically changing sub-palettes (groups, folders), showing additional icons whose actions can all be activated with a finger. I tried to do this with KM, but I failed. I do it with BTT.
No, because the size of the buttons does not correspond in size exactly with the size of the F-Keys. You can have buttons that have shortcuts on them triggered by the keyboard. The program only accepts alphabetical keys to fire off buttons (not the F keys). But you could utilize the top row of alphabetical keys. (qwertyuiop) to fire off the top ten keys of an ASK_Palette palette.
This palette must be navigable and needs dynamically changing sub-palettes (groups, folders), showing additional icons whose actions can all be activated with a finger.
Activated with a finger, obviously not. You can have something like "dynamically changing sub-palettes" in that a button can change the current palette. But this would in general not be the way to handle this kind of situation. A static palette with lots of buttons (up to 100) would presumably be designed to handle the scenario you describe if I understand what you are saying.
The finger goes to the icon and triggers an action. This is the most intuitive way. With your palettes, the mouse pointer goes to the icon.
I do not agree that a finger going to a physical button is more intuitive than a mouse pointer going to an icon. That might depend on one's comfort level and dexterity with a mouse. Apple has decided that touchscreens are not an optimal interface for a computer which is why Macs do not have them. I, personally, liked the Touchbar for certain things but Apple never really embraced even that finger touch icon interface.
So instead of scratching your nose with your finger, you would rather reach for the mouse and click the button that will scratch your nose. Just kidding. But it shows what it's all about.
Apple is right, in my opinion.
That's why others have done it. And they've done it so well that the Touchbar actually almost works like a stream deck. What remains is the drawback of non-physical buttons. This is solved by the physical F-Keys and the right software.