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Author Topic: IDEA: Program Linker (sort of)  (Read 5657 times)

dmiranda

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IDEA: Program Linker (sort of)
« on: May 01, 2005, 02:47:38 AM »
I would like a program that:

a) runs in the background and can recognize specific "associated" programs
b) programs can be "associated" to this program, throuhg a tray icon
c) once an "association" is started, this program will ask you:

1- what program should be linked - browse box, saving final selection
2- offer "is that it?" or "save macro of specific actions"
3- if "save macro.." is chosen, enter in record mode
4- once the action is saved, offer "is that it?" ""save macro of specific actions" and "select new program"
5- loop until "is that it?" is selected

d) with the above info, the program should generate a small window in, say, the bottom left corner
of the "associated" program, with as many bottoms as associations were created in (c).  That is it!

How to use this? For example, on opening firefox, I would like to have the choice to launch a "one click" printscreen program of my choice, taking that particular format of screenshot I often use.  Or I could like to have a "clean cache+cookies" thingie.  Or would like to launch url-snooper in record mode, you name it.  The point is to reduce the number of clicks to one.  If you find that you use a program in association to another very often, and that you perform only a limited number of tasks with that application, then this linker thing would do the trick.

To make this writtable in a few hours, use autohotkey http://www.autohotkey.com/, but not necessary

Make my day! :)

« Last Edit: May 01, 2005, 02:52:03 AM by dmiranda »

mouser

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Re: IDEA: Program Linker (sort of)
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2005, 05:18:38 AM »
i think this is a great idea, let me try to paraphrase what you want.
basically you want to be able to add a menu of commands to existing applications.

so that, to Opera, you could add commands x,y,z.

im pretty sure that sucha utility already exists.  there are lots of programs that add buttons to each window, and my memory is that there are programs that can add arbitrary menus.  it's not a 5 hour job, but it's something worth looking into i think..

anyone can find that program that already does this?

frogblast

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Re: IDEA: Program Linker (sort of)
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2005, 07:02:45 AM »
With a little effort you could use PowerPro (http://powerpro.webeddie.com/) to do anything you want along those lines. It's by far the most versatile toolbar/macro utility out there, and it's freeware. You could create any number of program-specific toolbars, each with any number of buttons to do run simple macros or execute complicated scripts. A toolbar can be made to only appear when a certain program's window is frontmost, or it can be global, and there are many options for positioning a toolbar, such as on top of a program's title bar or in an exclusive area on an edge of the screen, like the Windows taskbar. Toolbar buttons can be text-only, icons, or bitmaps.

PowerPro is able to emulate both keystrokes and mouse actions, plus it has a huge number of built-in functions to do things like launch programs, run if-then-else scripts, read and write files, etc. The only thing it won't do for you is record a combination of keystrokes and mouse actions. It can record a series of keystrokes, but it can't record mouse actions--you have to specify them using commands like "leftclick" and "move x y". All the same, it's an incredibly powerful tool that greatly rewards you for the time you spend to learn how to use it.

mouser

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Re: IDEA: Program Linker (sort of)
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2005, 07:36:25 AM »
i really love how this section has become both a place to suggest new apps to code, but a place where people can discover existing apps they never knew existed.  much thanks to those who are helping out by suggesting existing tools - it helps both the requesters and coders alike.

cheers!


dmiranda

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Re: IDEA: Program Linker (sort of)
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2005, 11:23:38 AM »
I will try powerpro... again.  I did a year or two ago, and gave up for it was extremely complicated to use.  Even though powerpro can (I am taking your words for granted) do this, it can do lots more, for what I recall.  My thoughts at the time were: I do not want to have to take a course to use a program!.  I will check it, nonetheless.   But mouser, please do not kill this one yet!  I will report back in a week or so.

mouser

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Re: IDEA: Program Linker (sort of)
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2005, 11:40:44 AM »
well, this is actually a program i would like to write one day if i get some time.. so i do look forward to your report on powerpro, and also like i said i know there is another freeware that does something like this, so keep looking.

mouser

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Re: IDEA: Program Linker (sort of)
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2005, 11:41:34 AM »
by the way, i dont close any of these threads, i just mark them with thumbs down when i think its clear that the program is not codeable as a "snack".  people should still discuss existing programs and possible developments.

dmiranda

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Re: IDEA: Program Linker (sort of)
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2005, 01:55:39 PM »
Powerpro.  I downloaded it, installed it, played with it for two hours.   No need to wait for a week: still a pain in the neck.  I feel like I could spend days playing with it, but I do not really have that time.  It takes half an hour just to figure out how to setup the traybar!  To configure a bar as the one described above, program by program in powerpro... well, if a power pro expert is reading this, s/he may write a "one clcik" pluggin for a program linker, that would be great.  I'd rather have a small footprint thinguie, though.   

Anyway, I will keep searching.  thanks for your time! :) 

mouser

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Re: IDEA: Program Linker (sort of)
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2005, 06:11:44 PM »
I encourage you to look for other programs that do this, and report back to us..
i've been wanting to write a program that does this kind of thing for a while and i'd be very interested in discussing more various features of other window-button-adding tools, like open/save dialogs, and adding new menus, etc.

dmiranda

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Re: IDEA: Program Linker (sort of)
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2005, 11:50:45 PM »
I encourage you to look for other programs that do this, and report back to us..
i've been wanting to write a program that does this kind of thing for a while and i'd be very interested in discussing more various features of other window-button-adding tools, like open/save dialogs, and adding new menus, etc.

Will do. I am a freeware junkie, though, and dont remember having seen anything like it. Just for the sake of argument (and at times repeating what was said before):

A- double clicking the tray icon should bring up a window with all running exes (processes too?  maybe, but separated by dashes? dont see its use, but who knows).  At the bottom of this window there should be a bottom [select] telling the user: select the program to which you want to add associations.  There should also be a "browse for application" button.

b- Upon selecting an application, a new window should appear,  with two options: "is that it?" and "start macro for more specific actions."  If "is that it?" is chosen, a button will be created in the associations bar.  Pressing the button will start the associated application.  Each button should have a given name, and a popup description.

c- if "start macro of specific actions" is chosen, the program should start recording.  If possible, both keystrokes and mouse movements (but mose movements are somewhat of a problem, maybe tell the user to use keystrokes, if possible).  So, lets imagine that the associated program is url snooper. urlsnooper is started, and the click (or tab-selection) on sniff network is pressed. There should be a visible [end macro recording] button, somewhere.  On pressing [end macro recording], a save as window should pop up, defaulted to the linker program's location.  Maybe this location could be configurable, see (e).

d- Upon saving the macro in the chosrn location,  a new window should appear,  with three options: "is that it?" "start macro for more specific actions" and "select new program." If "start macro" is chosen, repeat (c).  If "select new program" is chosen, repeat (a).  If "is that it" is chosen, that is it, do (b).

e- So now the linker program should monitor when an associated program is started, and put a small bar with the linked functions somewhere in the bottom or upper bar of the associated program.  This bar may or may not have a link to the linker program configuration.  In any case,  right clickng the tray icon should let you open a basic ini-based config gui.  In this config you could define: place to save macros, to appear in save as for (c); a start with windows option; a "check every x seconds" function, and perhaps a  set priority thing.

The reason I thought you could do it in autohotkey is that it may facilitate the coding.  I am aware of certain limitation of autohotkey (I chose your find and run robot over AHK equivalent scripts, for example), but it may make programming much easier.  Just in case you are asking yourself the question: I am not a coder.  I simply know my way around things.  This forum's idea is extremely useful. All the best!



« Last Edit: May 02, 2005, 12:02:40 AM by dmiranda »