Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's that time again.

That season is once again upon us and I just want to take the time to wish everyone all the best for the holidays and the upcoming new year.

Also; for those of you anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new release version.
I suspect that Jon intends to make a Christmas gift of it so check the forums over the holidays.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Congratulations Steve.

I just returned home from a forced hiatus and noticed that we have a new Moderator.  Melba 23.  This is great news and I'm sure he will do a good job.  My most heartfelt congrats to both Steve and whoever it was that decided he should be promoted into that position.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Online Help pages

For those of you who have been linking to my online help pages; Thank you very much.
Several months ago Valik asked for the code I used to create those pages.  I sent him a version that was slightly modified to bring it more in line with what he wanted to do.  The idea was to update the look of the official online docs page.
I have no idea if that project is still in the works or not; nor does it matter any longer.
With a new release version of AutoIt due out anytime now I felt it was an appropriate time to discontinue my online help instead of updating it again.  Today being one of the few days when I have the time available to work at a few things I decided to do it now as opposed to doing it somedays after the new release.  Anyone going to that site will now be redirected to the official docs page.  I'll be leaving that redirect in place for a few months so people have the opportunity to change their links.
Again, thanks to everyone for thier support over the last few years that the site has been active.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tip about @ScriptDir

You may someday find yourself in the situation I was in not too long ago.  It's a script where I was working with several directories and having to use FileChangeDir() quite a bit.  Of course that changes the working directory from it's normal location which is @ScriptDir.  That also meant that in order to use a couple of exe files that were stored in the scripts folder I would either have to use a FileCopy or FileMove to put those files in a folder that is in the path environment; for example the Windows folder.  If I didn't do that it meant that everytime I wanted to call one of those files I had to specify it with @ScriptDir & "\somefile.exe".  Since those files had to be called quite often I chose another route.
Near the top of your script just add the following line.
EnvSet("path", EnvGet("path") & ";" & @ScriptDir)  That adds the script directory to the path environment but only so long as the script is running.  It's not a permanent change unless you use EnvSave("path").  That means I can then call the file without a path and without worrying about what my current working dir is.
ShellExecute("myfile.exe") would be the same as using ShellExecute(@ScriptDir & "\myfile.exe") but with a lot less typing involved.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Developer with too many privileges.

The forums are getting totally out of hand at times.
If you look at the thread in Developer Chat regarding updateing the StringRegExp GUI you will see that it is now locked.  That comes from someone who has recently become a Developer.  Unfortunatly that also gives said person Moderator priveledges.  It was locked simply because I answered that I wouldn't be doing any changes to it.  That reply was in response to the question in this thread.
It had nothing to do at all with the person who locked it.  Now we have a Developer who gets into a huff and decides that the RegEx GUI will not be part of the next release.  While I personally don't think it should be part of the AutoIt install that does not mean that everyone will feel the same way.  That was a personal statement and was placed in the post as a reason that I wouldn't be working on that code at all.  In my opinion, that old GUI needs too much work to bring it up to what is really needed for an effective tool.  That is one that will test everything properly and be easy for beginners to use.
While it is no major loss since there are a few other scripts/apps that do the job and do it better in my opinion that is no reason for the attitude shown in the last post of the thread.

Several of the recent developments both in the forums and in AutoIt itself already have me considering whether or not I should even continue with updating AutoIt as new versions become available.  Again this is personal.  I know that others think that functionality should continually be expanded but as far as I'm concerned it has already far surpassed it's primary goals.  Do we need all of the extras?  That depends on what you are using AutoIt for.  I don't.  If the Developers want to go down this road then perhaps it's time for them to start working on AutoIt4.  That way they won't be breaking any existing code because it won't be compatable at all anyway.  They will also have the advantage of being able to restart with well written code based on experience instead of constantly having to either modify base code (that's taking a chance) or having to use clumsy workarounds because of the short comings of the current base.  By the Developers own admission, if they had to do it all over again, the base code would not be the mess it is now.  Take all the GUI code as an example.  The primary developer doesn't want to touch it because of the mess it's in.  That being the case, starting from scratch would seem reasonable.  Throw the old code out the Window.
AutoIt3 is in no way compatable with AutoIt2 so why would anyone worry about  AutoIt4 being compatable with AutoIt3?  There is no need for that and new goals can be set at the time development is started so they know what will have to be done.  Take the new COM code as an example.  It broke a lot of UDF's which had to be fixed.  As far as I remember I only have one UDF using COM at all so it's no big deal.  I don't use or support that UDF anymore so I'll just remove it from my site.
Speaking of my AutoIt site(s) stay tuned for major changes.  The way I'm looking at it right now is this.
My AutoIt online help site will be taken down and temporarily replaced with a re-direct to the official online help site so you won't have the navigation abilities any longer.  That will probably happen within the next couple of days.  The main AutoIt site will undergo major changes.  All that will remain is a list of links to the actual script files and any compiled apps including the PCRE Toolkit.

I still don't have enough time for much forum activity (see the previous post on this blog) and I think with the way things are going right now there is a good chance that I won't be bothered even signing in for much longer.  I have too many things on the go to be worrying about other peoples attitudes and whether or not I might be stepping on thier toes.
Remove a Developers moderator priveledges and I might reconsider, remove the developer and I will probably reconsider.  For now that's all I intend to say about the subject.
Feel free to comment; you won't hurt my feelings at all and it won't change my feelings towards you if I have any.  Here, unlike the AutoIt forums we do have freedom of speech and I'm always willing to listen to a reasonable argument.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My absence from the forum

Many of you have noticed that I have not been very active in the forums recently and a couple have speculated that it has something to do with a couple of  other forum members.  That is totally incorrect.  I've been absent for personal reasons and simply don't have the time to spend there these days.

Those members that I'm close to already know the gory details and the others don't need to know.

I will return to my former posting frequency as time and circumstances permit.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Forum activity

You may have noticed that I have not been quite as active in the forums recently and that all boils down to the following.
Life has simply gotten way to busy again and yes I did that to myself.  I'm officially retired but since that happened I've opened what was to be a small company that would keep me busy for a few hours a week.  The idea being that I could take off whatever time I felt like taking off.  Telling customers "Sorry; I wont be doing any work for the next week or month."  It just didn't work out that way.  The small company now has 3 divisions and the only part of retirement that I have is no employees to manage.
Therefore I have found it necessary to curtail my forum activity a bit.  I usually just do a fast drive-by and perhaps answer a post or two.  The only reason I even get the time to do that is because the forums are set as one of my home pages so everytime I have to use the internet for any reason the forum page will open so I do a quick browse of some of them.  I usually just mark the rest off as read.
I will hopefully get back to my previous participation levels but it is going to take a while to get caught up with my current load.

Things are moving along very nicely now.

As you may have noticed the Dev group has really stepped up to the plate since they got restarted back in May.  There are some nice things happening that should be in the next Beta.  I know Jon wanted to have a new release out before this but there were some new developments that were causing issues and they want that all worked out before the next release.  The last time I looked it appeared that the small issues that remained were pretty much solved with just a couple of minor irritations left.
I still maintain that there should not be any new release version until there has been thorough testing done in the Beta stage.  When a release version comes out buggy then many employers will not allow thier employees to use AutoIt in the workplace and it has a negative impact on the reputation of AutoIt so please don't push for a release before the devs feel comfotable with it.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Back under development

After a (rather lengthy) hiatus the Dev group appears to be back on track with 3 new Beta versions in the last week. There have been a few bug fixes and some changes to DLL structures. Only one script I tested failed and as it turned out the problem was not with the Beta per se, The beta did however break one of someone elses UDFs that I was using. I think it's probably related to the way DLL Structs are now handled but I will let the person who wrote it figure that one out.
All I can say right now is it's nice to be rolling again even if it means the odd broken script.

If you run into any bugs using the Beta version; be sure to report them since that is the only way they can be fixed.