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26 Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: FARR version 2 - discuss the best way to handle 'actions' on: February 03, 2006, 02:32:21 AM
One cool thing that QuickSilver does (as you can see in is that it "stacks" every selection that the user does, from left to right, which shows very clearly what the user is doing and what the outcome of the action will be.

For instance, if you look at this:

you can see how the user selected a zip file, then selected the action "Move To..." and then it selected the folder called "Archive". After pressing ENTER the zip file will be moved to the "Archive" folder. All of this without using the mouse at all. I don't think that it can get more intuitive than that! cheesy

This interface is extremely cool because it shows VERY clearly the current selections and actions (as they are shown with bigger icons). The results of the search will be shown below, smaller, and only when the user selects something it gets added to the action "stack". This is shown in this other picture:

Mouser, you may want to have a look at which explains the general principle of actions in QuickSilver and also at which has several pictures and a good explanation as well.

I already said that I don't think that Mercury Runner ( cheesy ) should become QuickSilver for windows, but there are many good ideas to take from how QuickSilver does things (and it looks very good too!  embarassed).

As Mouser said, this is a difficult but interesting interface puzzle. But I think that QuickSilver found a pretty good solution for the puzzle. What Mercury Runner can do is add its own things, like aliases, super-configurable search procedure and expand that basic interface concept.


27 Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: A unified FARR / Launcher Interface Proposal on: February 02, 2006, 04:58:24 PM
I like the way Firefox handles options. The way the use images for the tabs is very nice.

28  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: "Mail and/or RSS reader" screensaver? on: February 02, 2006, 04:57:13 PM
I tried the MSN one, and actually it's quite nice, and you don't need the Toolbar anymore either.  If only you could have it check gmail instead of hotmail...
I think that it is possible to set an RSS feed to your Gmail account...

29 Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: FARR version 2 - discuss the best way to handle 'actions' on: February 02, 2006, 04:44:45 PM
here's another theoretical, consistent solution that would have the benefit of clarity and ease of use.

what if you ALWAYS got a second prompt.

so you type "et." and up come the results as nontroppo shows.
you hit enter or alt+1 or whatever you currently use in FARR to "launch" the app, but
in this new approach,
that doesnt trigger immedate launching.
instead it progresses you to stage 2, action selection mode,
where the textbox is cleared and you see the prompt
"With do:"
If I am not mistaken this is almost what QuickSilver does. Once you select a document and hit Tab, it shows the list of actions below the document name. If that action requires a second document you can hit tab and the process continues until the whole command is reado to be executed (when ENTER is pressed).

I think Colibry does a similar think. Mouser, have you tried it? If you do, type "Col" -> this will show "Colibry", hit Tab then type "Set" -> this shows the Setup options, etc.

I think this could work really well.

I also liked the mockup by nontroppo, but I still prefer to "clear" the non selected elements on the list and just show the actions or options that you can perform.
30 Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: A unified FARR / Launcher Interface Proposal on: February 01, 2006, 08:57:44 PM
If you want a launcher (something that is as good or better than RocketDock, for instance), you need to be able to access it without using the keyboard. Otherwise, what would be the point? You'd first need to access the keyboard and then use the mouse to select the button that you want...

At least that's what I think!

Also, I hope mouser does not get distracted by this idea (which I think has merits and it is very woth considering! smiley ) and does not delay the release of the next version of FARR. And I hope that even with these new features FARR stays as small and fast as it is right now.

What I like about your idea is that basically FARR is already almost launcher, as you can add apps to its toolbar. The only thing that is missing is the ability of having "submenus" and the dock/autohide capabilities. But for that very reason (that you can already configure the toolbar) I think that things like the already discussed frequency sorting, QuickSilver-like program controls, task management, control panel indexing and search optimization should be addressed first, in my opinion.


31 Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: A unified FARR / Launcher Interface Proposal on: February 01, 2006, 08:04:07 PM

if you ever do this, you will have to make sure that the "launchbar" does not require hitting any key to be shown. For instance you should be able to dock it to the border of the screen and then, after a delay, it would show. If then you start typing the text should be put in the launch text and FARR should start a search. Then it would need to be able to auto-hide if you take the mouse from it AND you have not typed anything, but stay open if you typed something.

The problem with all this, as you can see, is that it seems that a launchbar is "mouse oriented" and while a launcher (such as FARR) is "keyboard oriented". Stricking the perfect balance between the two will be hard!

32  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Automatically sort the windows "All programs" menu on: January 31, 2006, 01:18:23 AM
Yes, but I think that you have to erase it all the time, it is not a permanent solution, or so I believe  undecided
33  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Automatically sort the windows "All programs" menu on: January 30, 2006, 09:48:05 PM
Perhaps this would be a good candidate for a Coding Snack request, but I wonder if someone knows of a program or a way to keep the "All programs" menu on windows XP sorted (alphabetically) automatically. It drives me nuts how every time that a new program is installed it is added to the bottom of the list.

Any ideas?


34  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: "Mail and/or RSS reader" screensaver? on: January 30, 2006, 09:33:35 PM
Thanks allen.

I tried nuparadigm in the past but it did not work for me because I am behind a firewall. I'll check if the others work! Thanks!

35  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: AutoIt3 versus AutoHotKey on: January 30, 2006, 09:31:56 PM
GPIB Huh? Do you deal with satellite commo by chance? My job in the army deals with lots of spec any's o-scopes, Scalar Network Analyzers, Signal Sweep Gens, etc. Perhaps you could pm me a link to your library.

I am a Telecommunications System Engineer, working on 3G wireless algorithms, but I've done a lot of automated system testing as well. I normally would use LabWindows/CVI but for smaller projects I wanted to use AutoIt3, and that is why I made my little VISA library.

The VISA/GPIB library that I made is integrated with the current release of AutoIt3. That is, you just need to download and install AutoIt3 and use the library functions on your scripts (which you can compile).

The library is based on VISA and I've only tested with National Instruments GPIB cards (but I would expect it to work with HPIB cards as well, as long as they come with VISA drivers).

To find out which functions are available open the AutoIt3 helpfile and search for VISA or for _viExecCommand (which is the main GPIB/VISA function). I've tried to be pretty thourough on the documentation so I hope you will not have many problems using it.

In particular, the help for the _viExecCommand command contains a pretty simple but clear (I hope!) example at the end of the help entry which should get you up and running in no time. If you have any problems just PM OK? I'd love to hear if you've successfully used it (I know of others that have and have told me so on the AutoIt forums).


36  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / "Mail and/or RSS reader" screensaver? on: January 30, 2006, 08:03:14 PM

I've been looking for a screen saver that would be able to connect to my mailbox (Outlook Exchange) and perhaps tell me if I have some new mail on it. I'd also like one that could show RSS feeds and one that could show a clock/calendar. Hopefully free/donationware, so that I can test it before. Does someone know about such a program?

Thanks in advance!

37 Software / Post New Requests Here / A little AutoIt3 utility to enhance the Windows Desktop Search on: January 29, 2006, 11:26:43 PM
OK, here you have a little utility that I made the Windows Desktop Search whichh I use and which I call WDSToggle. In the zip file I provide the executable, the AutoIt3 source code and a pretty detailed README and INSTALLATION instructions text file. I hope some of you find it useful. I made a similar tool for enhancing the Google Desktop Search. The problem is that GDS uses a specific key for each user and thus I cannot make a general executable that everyone can use. If someone finds out a solution for that I could give you that version too.

From the README, this is what it does:

WDSToggle is a little utility (or enhancement) for Windows Desktop Search (WDS). It lets you hide/show the WDS search window with the click of a single hotkey (F8 by default, but you can change it).

If you are like me you do not want to have your computer screen cluttered with unnecessary windows and programs. Although I like Windows Desktop Search a lot and I use it very often I don't need it all the time. Windows Desktop Search lets you put a toolbar on the Windows Taskbar or have floating window on your desktop. I don't like the toolbar because it takes permanently a lot of space
from my taskbar, and I don't like the floating window because there is no way to hide it when you don't need it or to  bring it to the front when you want it. That is why I created WDSToggle.

I hope someone finds this useful!  Grin


Amadawn (a proud new charter member of  cheesy)
38  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: AutoIt3 versus AutoHotKey on: January 29, 2006, 06:31:42 PM
Wow, I went through some of those threads and I really did not realize how emotionally loaded was this issue! It was not my intention to mix into some problem between the two communities. As I said, I just wanted to let people know about AutoIt3 which I use all the time.

So sorry about this guys! No more posts on this issue from me smiley. I just hope you give AutoIt3 a try and see if you like it or if it can do something for you.

39  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: AutoIt3 versus AutoHotKey on: January 29, 2006, 05:53:08 PM
because they felt that their code was being stolen from them without the proper credit

There are a quite some threads in the Autohotkey forum about this topic. Here's what I learned: Almost all of Authotkey is own code. Some commands use or are based on source code of AutoIt (back then Open Source, so it's no stealing). The author of Autohotkey lists all these few commands somewhere in the forum and gives proper credit. Some external tools, like the compiler, are almost unmodified from AutoIt. Again, proper credit is given. Heck, if I launch the Autohotkey compiler I see a huge "AutoIt" logo...  Wink

What to use? Which one is the better program to use? You decide. Just use what you want.

FWIW, if you want to advertise for AutoIt, code some Coding Snacks. Because of Skrommel's coding snacks I got interested in Autohotkey and now I can't live without this program...

wr975 I did not intend to give AutoHotKey bad press or something like that as I do not know what happened exactly between the two groups of developpers. There is not much talk about it on the AutoIt forums anymore. From what I've been able to learn I think that although the AutoHotKey guys gave AutoIt the proper credit they did not feel that they were getting anything in return for their work (i.e. the AutoHotKey devs did not really contribute much back to AutoIt3). I suspect that perhaps some people felt betrayed when not everyone jumped into the AutoIt3 bandwago. Anyway, that is an old story and as mouser said in the end it is nice that there are two similar tools so that people can choose the one that is best for them. I really like AutoIt3 and I wanted to let you guys know about it smiley.

I agree that the best way to advertise AutoIt3 is to contribute some code or some programs. The problem is that most of the code I write is very specific to my work and would not be useful for most other people.

But, I can contribute with two guys. If some of you use GPIB for their work, that is, if some of you need to remotelly control from a PC instruments like osciloscopes, signal generators, spectrum analyzers, etc, you can use the "VISA" library that I created for AutoIt3 (and which is included with the default AutoIt installation).

Also, I have a little program that I use to hide/show the Windows Desktop Search floating toolbar by clicking a hotkey. If you are interested I can put it here (mouser, can you tell me how to do that)?
40  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What's your favorite launch bar? Your favorite features? Missing Features? on: January 29, 2006, 05:41:33 PM
Isn't there another program similar to GroupBar? (one that really works? Wink )

Well, there is a free program called DeskLoops ( which is somehow similar (in that it lets you remember open windows). It is actually a strange but interesting concept (you can see a demo on their website).

Also, there is also a little free program that allows you to reorder the programs in the windows taskbar, called TaskBar++ ( The website is in Japanese but I've seen this program recommended in downloadsquad, I believe. It is not directly related to the "launchbar" but I thought it might interst you guys as well.

The thing that I really like about GroupBar is that you can put windows together and treat them as a unit. The thing I dislike the most is that it does not integrate the system tray, and thus you cannot get rid of the default windows task bar. But the concept is very neat.
41  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What's your favorite launch bar? Your favorite features? Missing Features? on: January 29, 2006, 04:35:12 AM
Mouser, I already mentioned RocketDock earlier but have you heard of Microsoft Research's GroupBar ( It is not really an app launcher, it is more of a task manager (a replacement of the default windows taskbar). The cool thing about it is that it can "remember" the documents that you had open and it can reopen them later. It is quite cool, although it is only a proof of concept and not really useful as it is.
42  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: AutoIt3 versus AutoHotKey on: January 29, 2006, 04:32:58 AM
The biggest flaw with AutoIt, IMHO, is that "compiling" doesn't actually compile (and thus, syntax check) the scripts - this sucks if you're 20 minutes into an unattended install, before you realize that your script misses a single string quote character...

Have you heard of "Au3Check"? You can find info about it and the download link in the following AutoIt3 forum post: Basically it fixes what you mention. It performs the actual syntax check on any script and it tells you where are the syntax errors (if any). I think that you should give it a try, as I've had the same problem that you mention before I knew about this little tool. I agree with you that they could put use the bytecode instead. The only advantage of their approach is that you can extract the actual script code from a compiled script, which might come handy (you can avoid this by checking the right option on the AutoIt3 compiler though). However I'd prefer that you had at least the option of using bytecode instead as you say.

By the way, if you install the Scite4AutoIt3 package that I mentioned earlier, you'll get this Au3Check as well (it is fully integrated into the editor).

Thanks for the info on LUA. that seems very promising. I didn't know that that was what WoW uses.


43  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: AutoIt3 versus AutoHotKey on: January 29, 2006, 04:11:04 AM
I think the AutoIt exes are kind of bloated though, and the language could have been nicer. I'm almost tempted to do something of my own based on LUA, but... well... AI3 does the job and I can live with the exe sizes.

Bloated? They hardly are bigger than 150 KB, and I've never seen a compiled script bigger than 200 KB! That is small enough for me! smiley Although I must recognize that the size has gone up since the last version, since the GUI stuff was added, as it used to be smaller than 100 KB. The reason is that a compiled AutoIt script includes the actual AutoIt scripting engine. But is that different from AutoHotKey? I believe that both are based on the same code (I think that the AutoIt 3 team is even credited for it in the AutoHotKey web page) although perhaps the AutoHotKey scripts are smaller if they do not have some of the newer stuff (like COM support)?

But I do not want to sound like a fanboy (although I fear that I probably am Wink). In the AutoIt3 forum there have been a lot of requests for an updated compiler that is able to leave out the functions that are not used from the compiled script. The problem is that the function "Eval" which allows you to execute any arbitrary code requires to include all the functions and the devs fear that it would be cause for a lot of problems if some functions were removed.

The things that I miss most in AutoIt3 is a debugger and being able to create proper structs (which would be handy for XML parsing, and for some COM programming, for instance).

I don't know about LUA but you made me curious. Can you give me more info on it? Basic was the first language that I ever learned and that is perhaps why I find AutoIt3's syntax so natural but I understand that some people might prefer a more C like or BAT like language.
44  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: AutoIt3 versus AutoHotKey on: January 29, 2006, 03:58:25 AM
i always thought autoit was more user friendly but less powerful, but maybe i need to re-evaluate the idea that its less powerful.

I think that is true for AutoIt2 (i.e. AutoHotKey is like AutoIt2++), as I believe that AutoHotKey was born because one of the devs wanted to expand AutoIt2 with new functions while the rest of the devs were focusing on AutoIt3. But AutoIt3 has gone way beyond what you could do with AutoIt2 (GUIs, tray icons, even with their own right click menus, calling COM objects directly from the AutoIt scripts and a lot more stuff) so I think that now it is more powerful than AutoHotKey.

I think that you should download the latest beta and check the help file. You'll see there all the new functionality and then you can make up your mind.

Of course there might be some new stuff that has been put into AutoHotKey that is missing in AutoIt3, but I am not aware of it myself (but I'd love to know about it if someone here knows).

I also find the new syntax much better, but that might be just me smiley
45  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: AutoIt3 versus AutoHotKey on: January 29, 2006, 03:53:17 AM
this might also be a good time to state my view (and a view talked about on this forum in the past with regard to paying for software), that there are a lot of issues that go into deciding which program to use besides just the actual program itself.  ie. support, community, documentation, etc.
You are totally right. For me the support on the AutoIt forums plus the really good documentation that comes with AutoIt were 2 of the most important factors that really made me start using AutoIt3 for a lot of my projects. That and the power of the scripting language itself, which I find amazing cheesy

Did you know that there is a version of the text editor Scite which has been totally customized for AutoIt3? It is called Scite4AutoIt3. It has code completion and a code explorer and it is integrated with the tools that come with AutoIt3 (like the script compiler and more). You can find the latest version in There is also a very cool (although not fully finished yet) GUI designer tool called Koda Form Designer which lets you make GUIs with AutoIt3 code in a snap (find it in

As you can see I really like AutoIt3. It has been incredibly useful for my job in the past year smiley
46  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / AutoIt3 versus AutoHotKey on: January 28, 2006, 08:30:57 PM
Hi guys,

I've seen several mentions of AutoHotKey here at donationcoder. I just wanted to mention also AutoIt3 ( which is kind of the "older brother" of AutoHotKey. AutoHotKey was originally a fork (or a clone) of version 2 of AutoIt and has expanded some of the capabilities of AutoIt2. But AutoIt3 is a newer, much more powerful version of the AutoIt scripting language, with a much nicer "basic-like" syntax and a lot of improvements (COM support, very powerful GUI capabilities, regular expressions, etc). So I thought that you guys might want to check it out.  Grin

I've been using AutoIt3 for more than a year now and it is quite frankly the best procedural language that I've ever used. Someone was talking yesterday about programs that changed the way they work, and AutoIt3 is one of those programs for me.  Kiss

By the way, the developper of AutoHotKey was originally on the AutoIt2 developper team (although he was not the creator of the program) and I believe that there were some sour grapes between the two "brother" projects (I think that some of the AutoIt3 developers were unhappy of how AutoHotKey "rode upon" the fame of AutoIt) to the point that AutoIt3 stopped being GPL because they felt that their code was being stolen from them without the proper credit (now their code is semi-closed, where you have access to an older version and can ask for the newest version once you show your commitment to the project). I don't know much about these problems and I don't want to get anybody angry. I just want to let people now about an alternative to AutoHotKey, AutoIt3, which I think is better for most cases (unless you have a lot of AutoIt2 code which you do not want to update to the new syntax).



P.S.- mouser, this is really not meant to be any advertisement for AutoIt3 or anything like that. I did not know if this is the right forum to post this. As this is the forum where I normally write this is where I posted this. Please feel free to change it to the relevant forum if you think that is necessary.
47 Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: All these F+R ideas are wonderful on: January 28, 2006, 07:52:28 PM
Yeah, it is true that RocketDock really looks good (and it works really well)  embarassed. They are even able to load "Docklets" that were made for other docks (like ObjectDock). Their only current limitation is that they do not support icons very well (if you want to change the icon of a shortcut that you add to the doc you should normally use a PNG. They can use icons too but it is a bit buggy in the current version) and that they don't fully support drag and drop, but these two limitations will be fixed soon (according to the developers).

So what is your plan? What do you want to do differently that RocketDock does not do? I'm sure that you have some idea of what you want to do so I'm curious! Grin
48 Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: More V2 feedback on: January 28, 2006, 12:00:41 PM

I keep seeing lots of interesting suggestions for V2. I hope that V2 does not end up getting bloated. The main reason I prefer FAR to other launchers (approcket comes to mind) is its simplicity, speed and low resource overhead. An app like far I mainly want to use very quickly and just as quickly have it get out of the way. I do have some ideas but they mostly have to do with the mechanics of how it runs and not all that much with wanting new whiz bang features.


1. somehow precache stuff so that when I do a search it does not acutely go searching.

2. I don't like that as it searches it changes the order of found items. If 1 is what I want I don't want 1 to become 3 before I press the button. I cant think of a case where this happened but I do think it changes the list order as it finds new items?

3. Look at the UI of colibri of quicksilver for a nicer way of presenting choices.

I totally agree with you, although some of the suggested new features will be very useful.
For #2 mouser already agreed to have an option for the update delay which would fix that, I believe.
49 Software / LaunchBar Commander / Re: Similar apps for collecting ideas thread on: January 28, 2006, 11:57:50 AM
I think that YzDock also is qualified to enter this thread.
I think it has been discontinued, but for some information, check here

There is also RocketDock, which is even better (IMHO) than YzDock, it is free, and it is being actively developed by PunkSoftware ( It is really cool.

As YzDock, RocketDock is an OSX dock clone, with emphasis on speed and responsiveness (without the bloat of StarDock's ObjectDock, for instance).

Mouser, can you add it to the list?
50 Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: Integrate into taskbar on: January 28, 2006, 11:37:48 AM
Some of us have experienced (and reported) this same problem, and it is even in the bugtracking system. It is related to the font size. If you are using some non-standard font size (like 120 dpi for instance) FARR does scale the size of the menus accordingly. I believe that mouser is working on that.


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