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Author Topic: New Launcher app with automation feature: Blaze  (Read 9260 times)

raybeere

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New Launcher app with automation feature: Blaze
« on: August 28, 2009, 02:13:42 PM »
I use FARR, I like FARR a lot, and I really, really hate to say this, but I just read about a new app launcher + called Blaze which looks highly intriguing. It is hosted on SourceForge http://blaze-wins.sourceforge.net/index.php, and as well as launching apps (FARR does that more than well enough, thanks!) it observes what you are doing, and offers to automate those tasks it "thinks" can be automated.

Has anyone tried this? At least in theory, it is an incredibly interesting idea. (I'm planning on trying it out, so I'll post my thoughts here once I discover anything worth sharing. It may be a while; as far as I can tell, a lot of what I do can't easily be automated. I just hate doing the stuff that can be. ;D And there's a point where it takes just a bit more time creating an AHK routine to do it for me than it takes just to slog through. That's where I'm hoping this tool can help. Well, of course, if it can save me setting up routines manually for the big jobs, too, I won't object.)

Then again, it is in beta. One good bug might wipe out all the savings in time and annoyance. Well, if it does, I guess I'll have only myself to blame. ;) I just can't resist trying it out...

mouser

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Re: New Launcher app with automation feature: Blaze
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2009, 02:17:30 PM »
let us know how it is -- i'll add it to the list of related apps in the farr help file in the meantime.

skyhopper88

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Re: New Launcher app with automation feature: Blaze
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2009, 02:59:12 PM »
http://blaze-wins.so...eforge.net/index.php

At first it just looks like YAL (Yet Another Launcher), but it does have a few neat ideas. For one, it can work around typos. But what it really brings to the table is automation of repetitive tasks. Other apps do similar things (file renaming etc), but Blaze "watches" your activities then offers suggestions when you seem to be doing a repetitive tasks. It looks like it analyses keyboard and other input anytime it's running then springs into action when it notices a pattern of work you're engaging in.

Nonetheless, on what Blaze really stands out is automating recurrent tasks. Blaze is continuously monitoring your activity and is aware of what you are doing. Whenever you are doing a repetitive task, he will have a suggestion for you that you can accept or just ignore. Accepting this suggestion will make Blaze fulfill the remainder of the task in your place.

So... What can Blaze do for me?

For instance, imagine that you took around fifty photos on a summer party. You digital camera, by default, assigns weird names to those photos and you really want to give them meaningful names. How would you achieve such a goal?

Spend 5 minutes doing it by hand...
Spend more than 5 minutes learning how to use a dedicated tool.
Do it in 20 seconds with Blaze.
With Blaze, you just have to rename the first three photos on the folder and Blaze will detect what you are doing. The suggestion would be the following:
http://blaze-wins.so...shots/assistant3.jpg


They are still in early development, so documentation is sparse, but here is their quick guide

http://blaze-wins.so...es/Quick%20Guide.pdf

Features, Screenshots and Docs
http://blaze-wins.so...ex.php?page=features
http://blaze-wins.so...php?page=screenshots
http://blaze-wins.so...p?page=documentation

Doesn't look like much dev docs yet, but plugins can be done with IronPython by the looks of it.

Now, my question is can the same feature become a part of FARR? I am doing data entry as a research assistant at my University and this looks to be a Godsend. Since this is something always watching, I'm not sure if an alias or a plugin could do something similar since they still need to be triggered. Maybe a part of the core? (doubt it). This feature is nice, but not enough to make me leave everything else FARR has. Might have to use both if it's not possible.



lanux128

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Re: New Launcher app with automation feature: Blaze
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2009, 05:08:36 PM »
it has some of the features from Farr, even adaptive search. let's see how development picks up.

lanux128

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Re: New Launcher app with automation feature: Blaze
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2009, 05:13:11 PM »
there's already another thread here on this topic. maybe we can continue over there? :)

edit: topic already merged. :up:
« Last Edit: August 28, 2009, 09:23:16 PM by lanux128 »

cranioscopical

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Re: New Launcher app with automation feature: Blaze
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2009, 06:09:54 PM »
Took a look out of curiosity.
It doesn't work for me. Its indexer crashes.

mouser

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Re: New Launcher app with automation feature: Blaze
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2009, 06:18:28 PM »
topics merged!

Paul Keith

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News: Could open source Blaze be the best Windows application launcher ever?
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2009, 03:12:43 PM »
Just a heads up on what the competition is cooking:

http://www.downloads...pplication-launcher/

Quote
For starters, it's smart enough to find what you're looking for even if you should happen to stumble over your keys a bit (e.g. the butchered Photoshop entry above).

Quote
The automator watches silently in the background, waiting to observe you performing repetitive tasks. When it spots something, Blaze will alert you and offer to create an action to handle the task next time. On the project page, the author demonstrates this functionality by renaming a directory full of photos. Blaze can also record macros -- so you can just press record, start doing what you need to do, and presto! You've got a new action.




mouser

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everyone has different preferences, enough room for all of us :)

njrick

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I installed Blaze and its an amazing product! I love the ability to correct my mis-spelled program names!  The application watch feature is brilliant !  How many times have I done something over and over in Excel simply because it wasnt worth the effort to create a macro?  Now, Blaze does this for me !

Have to say this is really a great product, completely free, no license key renewals needed.

Fast, lightweight, no bloated features, innovative concept.

Gets my vote as my new launcher.

y0himba

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Re: News: Could open source Blaze be the best Windows application launcher ever?
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2009, 09:03:46 AM »
Hmmm...I am wondering if this thread is contrived?
My Web Site:  http://www.y0himba.net

njrick

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Re: News: Could open source Blaze be the best Windows application launcher ever?
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2009, 09:08:30 AM »
Sorry to pop the conspiracy bubble :)

I have no affiliation with either product.  Since both are freeware, its always good to consider alternatives that may have some feature differences.  I would love to see FRR add the typo correction feature, that alone is a real winner.  I certainly appreciate the efforts of this site and the FRR product and will watch for new versions in the future.

mouser

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Re: News: Could open source Blaze be the best Windows application launcher ever?
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2009, 09:51:56 AM »
Like i said, lot's of room for different tools for different tastes.  i'm also always happy to hear when people find features they like that they would like to see added to mine (for those stumbling onto this thread from a search: Find and Run Robot).

However, I am skeptical about correcting for typos -- as i've written about here, i find that when programs try to be "smart" and guess what you mean when you make a mistake, the results can often be problematic.  Not to say it's not a useful feature just that i'm always wary about such things.

skwire

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Re: News: Could open source Blaze be the best Windows application launcher ever?
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2009, 10:06:22 AM »
However, I am skeptical about correcting for typos

As well you should be.  For the record, I just tried a simple "notpead" in Blaze and it didn't guess "notepad" as the proper match.  Several other intentional simple typos resulted in the wrong guess, too.  I know this sounds like I'm coming to mouser and FARR's defense, but, I'm just sayin'...   ;)

rgdot

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Re: News: Could open source Blaze be the best Windows application launcher ever?
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2009, 01:08:05 PM »
Been trying Blaze with interest. Just a comment, I really don't see a need to have a setting that updates the index and is in minute increments. In days would be more like it if you ask me.

mouser

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Re: News: Could open source Blaze be the best Windows application launcher ever?
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2009, 01:13:34 PM »
well you could imagine wanting to update the index that rapidly for some period of time while you were installing stuff, etc.

rgdot

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Re: News: Could open source Blaze be the best Windows application launcher ever?
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2009, 01:24:25 PM »
Yes that's true, there is definitely use for - what I would say is very - frequent indexing.

Armando

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Re: News: Could open source Blaze be the best Windows application launcher ever?
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2009, 08:45:57 PM »
well you could imagine wanting to update the index that rapidly for some period of time while you were installing stuff, etc.

That's why Farr should meet Everything ... in a more integrated way.

jgpaiva

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Re: New Launcher app with automation feature: Blaze
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2009, 07:03:47 AM »
AhAhAh... I just found out Blaze is actually the work of an MsC student from my year in my university :)
Ok, now I really must try it.

james777

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Re: New Launcher app with automation feature: Blaze
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2009, 11:32:00 PM »
i tried it and still prefer FARR, as it is much easier to work with, highly configurable and FAST

delwoode

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Re: New Launcher app with automation feature: Blaze
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2009, 05:36:02 AM »
pretty limited compared to FARR, also dont like the way you have to have .net framework 3 installed