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!