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Messages - Arjen [ switch to compact view ]

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N.A.N.Y. Challenge 2007 / Re: WorkCoach - v0.8.0 - January 24, 2007
« on: January 31, 2008, 09:44 AM »
It was just reported that the 0.8.0 version doesn't work... Anyone know anything about it?
I'm not sure if I understand you... What doesn't work and who reported it?

Hi Armando,

The short answer: no.

The long answer:

The PlainTextWiki tool is a simple command line program that searches for a wiki link in your text file and opens it in your editor.

As such, you need a text editor that supports external tools and can pass the required parameters to PlainTextWiki. (See the readme file for more info.)

MS Word or most other word processors won't be able to use this tool, because:

  • They don't use regular text files.
  • They don't support external tools.


Living Room / Re: Looking for email SERVER
« on: December 03, 2007, 03:42 AM »
hMailServer seems like a very good option for a Windows mail server.

Good luck!

arjen a suggestion (actually this suggestion might be useful for everyone):
grab a screencasting tool (camtasia old v3 -- free, wink -- free, bb flashback express -- cheap), and make a screencast showing how to use it.  I suggest it for plaintextwiki mainly just because its a cool idea that people might need to see in action to understand.

Video added! Simple and without audio, but hopefully makes things clearer!

I think the fundraiser month should be a month full of activity on DC, with contests etc., that will (hopefully) inspire people to donate. Not just a month where we ask "please donate". I think publicly setting a goal amount is not necessary or even harmful. App's idea of a survey sounds nice.

If the month will include coding contests, these should be announced well in time. Personally I would like to see an announcement about two months before the deadline so I can plan enough time to work on it.

Don't know if December is a good month. In a way it's great because you can also do a "year in review". On the other hand, people may be busy or short on cash, as was said. For me personally it's a busy month so for a contest, I'd prefer another month. On the other hand, NANY worked out fine last year because there was more time before the deadline.

Maybe it's a good idea to set a DC "calendar" each year (maybe only visible to people who are interested) with deadlines, contests etc. to make things easier to plan.

Here's my entry:

PlainTextWiki Toolkit 0.1 PREVIEW


I was inspired for this program by the PlainTextWiki bundle by Matt Webb for the MacOS editor Textmate. I've never used it but liked the idea very much.

The idea of a PlainTextWiki is to bring (some) wiki functionality to your text editor. The most important function is that you can include wiki links in your text file. When you move your cursor to that link and press a keyboard shortcut, that link will be opened in your editor.

The PlainTextWiki bundle works only in TextMate. My intention with the PlainTextWiki Toolkit is to make a small program that gives you this function in any text editor that has decent support for external tools. (See what I mean by "decent" below!)

I've called this version a "preview version" because it has only basic functionality: it only allows you to "follow a wiki link" in a text file. In my opinion should have some more functions for a "real" release.

How to install

The program is a command line utility that you can just copy anywhere on your harddrive. It requires the .NET Framework 2.0 to run.

You plug it into your editor by defining it as an external tool. How to do this depends on your editor. Below, I have described how to do this for EditPlus and TextPad.

How to use

In your text editor, you define a wiki link as follows: [[My document]]. Essentially, the link is the name of another text file enclosed by double square brackets. Now, when you "follow this link" (i.e. put your cursor on it and call the PlainTextWiki tool), your editor should open the document "My document.txt". (Note that the extension is always .txt and is not included in the link.)

Command line options

The PlainTextWiki tool should be called as follows:

  plaintextwiki -f <filename> -L <line> -C <column> -e <editor-path> -p <editor-parameters>


  <filename>: name of the file you're currently editing.
  <line>, <column>: position in the file.
  <editor-path>: path to your editor.
  <editor-parameters>: command line paramaters for your editor to open a new file (in the same instance). The string "$f" in this path will be replaced by the filename to open (the file the wiki link points to).

As you can see, this imposes the following requirements on your editor (at least for this version):

  • It has to be able to pass the filename and the current line and column of the cursor to an external tool.
  • It has to support opening a file from the command line in the same instance of the editor.

Installation details



Open the menu Tools > Preferences and go to Tools > User Tools.

Define a new tool with the following options:

  • Command: path to plaintextwiki.exe
  • Argument: -f "$(FilePath)" -L $(CurLine) -C $(CurCol) -e "C:\Program Files\EditPlus 3\editplus.exe" -p "-e $f" (Adjust path to editor as needed.)
  • Check the following options: Capture output, save open files.



Open the menu Configure > Preferences and go to Tools.

Define a new tool with the following options:

  • Command: path to plaintextwiki.exe
  • Parameters: -f $File -L $Line -C $Col -e "C:\Program Files\TextPad 5\TextPad.exe" -p "$f" (Adjust path to editor as needed.)
  • Check the following options: Run minimized, Close DOS window on exit.

Make sure you have the option "Allow multiple instances to run" turned OFF under Configure > Preferences > General, otherwise files will be opened in a new instance of TextPad.

Your Favorite Editor

If you've configured your editor for the PlainTextWiki Toolkit, please share with others by posting below!

Video demo

Here's a short video where you can see how to configure and use the PlainTextWiki Toolkit.


Some ideas for the future

  • Add more features. :-) E.g. wiki search.
  • Rewrite in e.g. Ruby so the program will be platform independent.

Have fun and please let me know your comments and suggestions!


I'm in with a little tool for people who like to edit in plaintext. This tool helps you navigate between documents more easily and you should be able to plug it into most decent text editors.

FARR Plugins and Aliases / Re: Plugins in C#
« on: November 12, 2007, 02:16 PM »
I am interested in this as well. Time allowing I'm willing to help create a wrapper like this. I had a short look at the SDK but have chickened out so far. :-) If I understand correctly, a FARR plugin is a DLL that must expose certain functions. One of the hard things I think will be to map the data types from C++ to C#. Mouser, can you give a short overview of what a plugin should look like?

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: "Days since" program
« on: November 12, 2007, 05:44 AM »
I'm going to give this one a try for the Get Organized Challenge...!

Unless someone else has already started of course, so if that's the case please let me know.

I got a better idea and am going for that! Sorry if I disappointed anyone...!

Hey mouser,

Long time no see!

If I would adjust WorkCoach so you can also manually switch projects (instead of matching active program and title), would that be what you're looking for?


Hi all,

Thanks a lot for all your comments and suggestions. I haven't done any work on WorkCoach lately nor have I been active on this forum, so my apologies for the late reply. I would like to make some improvements to WorkCoach in the future, so I guess you could say the project is asleep but still alive. :-)

We'll keep in touch...


Arjen, can you check what version # it says you are running in your about box?

hmm.. what on earth have i done.. and why aren't these things happening for me..
sounds like an issue with my autoshrink timer - ill have another look.
now we know why these are still alphas  :-\
Here is what happened after some more testing:

  • I restarted FARR without changing any options - the problem was still there.
  • I turned off "Auto shrink", restarted FARR and turned it on again and it worked fine!
  • When I restarted FARR, the problem came back.

So it seems to be some startup issue, maybe?

Also, when I turn the "auto shrink" option OFF, it seems that the FARR window stays the same size no matter what. So if the window is really small (because there were no results) when you turn the option off, it stays that way and you can't see the search results anymore.

Macromedia Flash / Re: What is needed?
« on: January 31, 2007, 03:07 AM »
You can use all the "basic" ActionScript classes with MTASC.

If you want to use the MX components (GUI components etc.) you need to have a license. If you want to build a GUI in Flash you could use an open source alternative like AsWing.

You can view or download all the Flash documentation here. I recommend downloading the ActionScript language reference!

Macromedia Flash / Re: What is needed?
« on: January 30, 2007, 11:12 AM »
This article gives a nice introduction on how to get started with programming in Flash with open source tools (Eclipse IDE, MTASC compiler and others).

I just installed it myself yesterday. I promised mouser a while ago to post something on the MTASC compiler, so maybe this is the right occassion? :-}

I just had the following when starting FARR 2.00.39:

When it started up, it showed a results window that was completely blank.

After I started typing it looked like this:


I have the "Auto shrink window" and "Blank search shows launch history" options on.

N.A.N.Y. Challenge 2007 / Re: WorkCoach - v0.8.0 - January 24, 2007
« on: January 24, 2007, 04:08 PM »
Scores! YES!!! Wonderful wonderfull wonderfull  :up:

Nice to hear you're so excited. :-) Actually I was thinking about the scores as I've built them now and I'm not sure if I'm happy about it. But I will definitely keep some kind of score in the program.

When is this program going to get it's own web page?

Real Soon...! :-)

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: application sensitive pop-up notes
« on: January 24, 2007, 10:46 AM »
May I promote my own program WorkCoach?

Although what is described here is not the main purpose of the program, you can use it to keep notes with programs. (As a matter of fact: notes with projects, that are linked to programs.)

You can read some more about editing notes in this post I just made. (Scroll down to "Edit projects notes from the status window".)

Hope this helps.

N.A.N.Y. Challenge 2007 / Re: WorkCoach - v0.8.0 - January 24, 2007
« on: January 24, 2007, 10:22 AM »
I've uploaded a new version of WorkCoach (version 0.8.0); see above.

Here are some highlights of the new things I've added:

There are two extra options you can set for each project:


Daily time budgets

You can set a daily time budget for each project. If a time budget is set, the time left is shown in the status window. Projects that have a time budget set are shown in bold.

"Count idle time as project time"

If you check the option "Count idle time as project time" for a project and the user becomes idle while the project is active, time will be counted towards that project instead of towards the "Idle" project. This is useful when for example watching a movie on the computer - you aren't active on the computer, but you would probably want the time spent to be counted towards the project "Watch movies" instead of towards "Idle".

There is now a new tab "Options" in the Settings window:


New options

You can set the following options:

  • You can define after how much time the program starts counting idle time. E.g., if this value is 60 seconds (the default value), time will be counted as "Idle" after you haven't touched the keyboard or mouse for one minute.
  • You can define the hotkey that shows and hides the WorkCoach status window. By default is Win+W.
  • You can have WorkCoach startup automatically with Windows, or not. You could define this already when installing the program, but you couldn't change it afterwards. Now you can!
  • You can set the time at which WorkCoach rolls over to the next day. For example, if this time is set to 3:00 (a.m.), everything you do between 0:00 and 2:59 is counted towards the previous day. The default value is 0:00 (midnight).

There are also some changes in the main (status) window:


Edit projects notes from the status window

You can now properly edit projects notes from the status window. If the status window does not have focus, the notes for the active project are shown. If it does have focus, the notes of the project you select with the mouse are shown! See the screenshot above for an example.

Total work time

Total work time is shown in the status window. This is the total time that WorkCoach has been active, including idle time, i.e. the sum of all the items in the status window.

Score to tell you how you're doing

If you have a daily budget set for one or more projects, a nifty score/percentage is shown as well. This score is an indication of how well you're doing and has a value between 0% and 100%. It is the product of efficiency and effectiveness, i.e. efficiency * effectiveness, where efficiency = (time spent on planned projects) / (total time spent) and effectiveness = (time spent on planned projects) / (total time budget set). I think an example to explain this is in place: :-)

Say you have set a budget of one hour for one project and that you have worked for fifty minutes of which thirty minutes on the planned project. Then your efficiency is 30 / 50 = 0.6, and your effectiveness is 30 / 60 = 0.5. This means the score that is displayed is efficiency * effectiveness = 0.6 * 0.5 = 0.3 = 30%. I hope this all makes sense - any comments are welcome.

For all the changes, see the change log in the first message in this topic.

Thanks to everyone who has made suggestions and provided other feedback!

N.A.N.Y. Challenge 2007 / Re: Cody Mug for NANY Participants
« on: January 24, 2007, 07:31 AM »
Hi, it's me.  :-)


Developer's Corner / Re: Advanced C# Programmers?
« on: January 22, 2007, 03:24 AM »
Do you have any specific questions? In that case, it's probably easier to post a part of your code and ask the question you have about it. It hard to know where to start if you just get a bunch of code to see if something's wrong with it.

I don't have any experience with it myself, but KnowledgebasePublisher seems to be a popular open source solution for this, and after exploring the website a bit, it seems to me it looks good and has nice features.

N.A.N.Y. Challenge 2007 / Re: WorkCoach - v0.7.7 - December 30, 2006
« on: January 13, 2007, 05:46 AM »
Mojomuse, tomos,

Thanks for the info. So far, I don't know what can cause the CPU load of WorkCoach to be so high. If anyone has the same problems and/or has an idea what the cause might be, please let me know.

Living Room / Re: Blogging platform for enterprise?
« on: January 12, 2007, 04:48 AM »
Arjen: I don't see how CMS like Drupal, Joomla can be of any relevance here.

Don't know about Joomla!, but Drupal offers blogging functionality. It might be "too much of a CMS'' to your taste. Also, I might have gotten carried away a bit too much towards the CMS side. :-)

Living Room / Re: Blogging platform for enterprise?
« on: January 12, 2007, 04:19 AM »
You might want to consider the open source CMS's Drupal or Joomla!.

You can try out lots of open source CMS's at (The CMS's are all installed as a demo and you can access them with admin rights.)

You can compare the features of CMS's at

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