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Last post Author Topic: NANY 2011 Release: NetLaunch  (Read 33099 times)

kamahl

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NANY 2011 Release: NetLaunch
« on: June 06, 2010, 03:23:25 AM »
NANY 2011 Entry Information

Application Name NetLaunch
Version 1.0
Short Description Netlaunch is a program to launch applications based on Network status.   It functions in both Agent (GUI) and command-line form.
Supported OSes Windows (XP+)
Web Page None yet
Download Link * NetLaunch 1.0.1.zip (461.49 kB - downloaded 1627 times.)
System Requirements
  • .NET Framework 4
  • Windows XP or higher
  • A network interface (preferably not always connected)
Version History
  • 16 July 2010 - PreAlpha: * 0.0.0.zip (41.51 kB - downloaded 938 times.)
  • 2 August 2010 - PreAlpha: * 0.0.1.zip (42.96 kB - downloaded 842 times.)
  • 6 August 2010  - Alpha: * 0.1.0.zip (11.86 kB - downloaded 869 times.)
  • 1st January - 1.0 Release! * NetLaunch 1.0.zip (50.7 kB - downloaded 959 times.)
Author Kamahl


Description
NetLauncher is designed for use on a computer (probably a netbook), which is often going in and out of wireless access.

The idea is that NetLaunch will sit as a background agent, and check network status.  On status change, the program will launch/quit programs depending on user-defined rules.

Sample Configuration
Network activated:
  • Launch Pidgin
  • Launch Windows Live Sync
Network deactivated:
  • Kill Windows Live Sync process
  • Gracefully close pidgin
  • Prompt user whether to close Firefox


While this app will not be useful while sitting in a flaky wireless area, it is perfect for people who travel between areas with wi-fi, and those without wi-fi (or just none that you have access to :P).

Features
  • Command-line arguments for once-off launch checking.
  • Agent mode

Planned Features
Per-interface rules (possible, not yet sure whether it's worth it.)

Screenshots
Screenshot.PNGNANY 2011 Release: NetLaunch

Usage
Installation
Extract zip into a folder.  Not much of an install process yet.

Using the Application
Using the Command-line Interface is best done with a shortcut, or FARR item.
NetLaunch.exe -u "C:\Program Files\pidgin\pidgin.exe" -u "C:\Program Files\Windows Live\SyncUX\wlsync.exe" -d pskill.exe [pidgin.exe] -d pskill [wlsync.exe]

Uninstallation
Delete Files.

Known Issues
  • Can't launch apps with command line arguments, as NetLaunch eats them.
  • Still no GUI.
  • Cannot edit or delete tasks.
  • Adaptor Blacklist may be wrong in places.  If someone finds an adaptor that is incorrectly allowed/blocked, please tell me.


Original Post
NetLauncher is a piece of software I'm designing for use on a computer (probably a netbook), which is often going in and out of wireless access.

The idea is that NetLauncher will sit as a background agent, and check network status.  On status change, the program will launch/quit programs depending on user-defined rules.

Sample configuration (my netbook):
Network activated:
  • Launch Pidgin
  • Launch Windows Live Sync
Network deactivated:
  • Kill Windows Live Sync process
  • Gracefully close pidgin
  • Prompt user whether to close Firefox

While this app will not be useful while sitting in a flakey wireless area, it is perfect for people who travel between areas with wifi, and those without.

It will also have a command line interface, to allow users to run actions without the use of an agent.
IE: NetLaunch.exe -u "C:\Program Files\Pidgin\Pidgin.exe"
or: NetLaunch.exe -d "pskill.exe Pidgin.exe"

It will be a Windows-only application.

« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 09:51:41 PM by kamahl »

Perry Mowbray

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Re: NANY 2011 Pledge: NetLauncher
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2010, 06:57:52 AM »
Welcome! This looks like a nifty idea  :Thmbsup:

-- which reminds me... I must get a netbook...  ;)

lanux128

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Re: NANY 2011 Pledge: NetLauncher
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2010, 07:09:06 AM »
nice, this will come in handy for those on the move..

sgtevmckay

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Re: NANY 2011 Pledge: NetLauncher
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2010, 07:11:43 PM »
Greetings kamahl   :D
Welcome to DonationCoder.com

This is truly a concept who's time is well past due.
I see the potential in such a piece of software that could potentially grow into something huge.

Look forward to your builds.

Have fun  ;)

Regards
The Sarge

kamahl

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Re: NANY 2011 Pledge: NetLauncher
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2010, 10:20:39 AM »
Hey guys, I've got a question for you.

I've set up two different methods for identifying an 'active' network, both with pros and cons, and I'm wondering which should be default

Method 1: Adapter Status
Check the status of the computer's network interfaces.
Pros
  • Instantaneous
  • Uses no bandwidth
Cons
  • Fooled by VMware-like adapters (will create a adapter blacklist to combat this bug)
  • Fooled by down-the-line failures
Method 2: Ping
Send a ping to an online server
Pros
  • Not fooled by VMware or dead connections (see above)
Cons
  • Uses bandwidth (bad if on a 3G connection)
  • Fooled by honeypots (but then, so is the other method)
  • Relies on target server being alive (I'd go for something like the Google public DNS, as it has near-perfect uptime)
  • Will have minor (~10ms) latency

I plan on implementing both (Method 2 is done, and method 1 is 90% complete), however I would like your opinion on which to implement as the default method.
Once I get method 1 completed, I plan on releasing a command-line only build for public testing - This should be in a week or so.

ewemoa

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Re: NANY 2011 Pledge: NetLauncher
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2010, 04:19:56 PM »
I don't have an answer for you but in the process of looking into it, I came across:

  http://stackoverflow...cal-network-adapters

May be that will be of some help as part of this venture...

Perry Mowbray

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Re: NANY 2011 Pledge: NetLauncher
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2010, 04:08:44 AM »
Should you use both? Like use Method 1 and if necessary use Method 2 (say on Method 1 failures)?? Or have I got that wrong?

steeladept

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Re: NANY 2011 Pledge: NetLauncher
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2010, 08:12:48 AM »
I was going to suggest method 1 default but use filters to identify only the currently used adapter.  I know I have 2 physical adapters and several virtual adapters on my laptop.  If I were to use version 1, which adapter would it bind to?  This is a very common setup so you would need to identify which one you bind to.  This would negate the first con in method 1 and, for the second identified con, well, a down the line failure is going to be an issue regardless.  They are very rare and shouldn't affect the NetLauncher app any more than a down the line failure would affect any other app.  In fact, it would be a simple troubleshooting tool (not unlike a trace tool) to help you isolate the failure to being down-line and not local.

kamahl

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Re: NANY 2011 Pledge: NetLauncher
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2010, 01:37:36 AM »
I was going to suggest method 1 default but use filters to identify only the currently used adapter.  I know I have 2 physical adapters and several virtual adapters on my laptop.  If I were to use version 1, which adapter would it bind to?

In my own situation, I use wifi on campus and wired at home (my house isn't wifi friendly).  As such, I've chosen to check all adaptors except the blacklisted ones.

Should you use both? Like use Method 1 and if necessary use Method 2 (say on Method 1 failures)?? Or have I got that wrong?
It is very hard to identify what a failure is, as both possible values are valid.

May be that will be of some help as part of this venture...
Thanks, that is definitely useful.

kamahl

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Re: NANY 2011 Teaser: NetLaunch
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2010, 10:07:44 AM »
So, I switched to C#, rewrote the majority of the code, and published it. (Staying up for two days straight playing video games, then eating lots of sugar and staying up for a third night is apparently great for productivity :huh:)  I don't remember much of the recode, but it's done now.  And neater :-\

I have published version 0.0.0 It's the C# version, and is relatively untested.  Please give feedback - VPN and VM connections will probably still cause trouble, although I have blocked a total of 13 MAC prefixes, and the bluetooth adapter.  (if anyone actually uses bluetooth PAN for internet access, I'll add an option for it).

Oh, and method 2 is completely untouched at the moment.

steeladept

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Re: NANY 2011 Teaser: NetLaunch
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2010, 09:30:37 AM »
Cool.  I will check it out and try making a screencast of my trial if that is okay with you (since I am trying to learn how to screencast for the NANY project in general anyway  :Thmbsup:).  I will send you a copy of the screencast if it is sucessful.  Don't expect it right away, though.  I have a lot of work on my plate right now and will be out of town on business for two weeks - so it probably will be at least a month before I have anything to show.

BTW:  I will keep up with the updates as best I can, I just won't necessarily have anything to show for it before then.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 09:33:35 AM by steeladept »

kamahl

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Re: NANY 2011 Teaser: NetLaunch
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2010, 12:43:07 AM »
New version up.
0.0.1 Changelog:
  • Fixed bug where -d wasn't implemented.
  • Added functionality to allow launching with command line arguments.
  • Removed update functionality for now.  it will still work if you put dcuhelper.exe into the folder.
  • more behind the scenes work on the GUI
  • added --agent command line argument, for those who wish to see a nonfunctional interface.

Edit: Realized I didn't actually document the new features...
NetLaunch.exe -u program.exe [--arguments are -awesome!]

A redundant but useful command is this:  Netlaunch.exe -u Netlaunch.exe [--update]
Because I haven't put my network checks into the update code.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2010, 07:56:45 AM by kamahl »

kamahl

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Re: NANY 2011 Teaser: NetLaunch (Now with GUI!)
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2010, 09:33:20 AM »
I've just uploaded version 0.1.0 (You'll notice that's an entire 0.1 higher than previously :D)

New in this version
  • A GUI
  • the ability to add tasks
  • a few settings.
  • a completely horrible tray icon - something I just grabbed from my mydocs folder - just to check that the tray icon would work.
  • A bunch of buttons that do nothing.
  • The ability to manually update network status - No timed events yet.
  • Both timed checks, and a button to do manual checks.  Interval can be changed in the settings window - defaults at 60 seconds.
  • Four possible actions (Launch, Quit, Kill, Do Nothing) for each state (Up or Down)
  • Persistent Settings. "%localsettings%\Application Data\Kamahl\Netlaunch\Settings.xml" for those who wish to prod at it.

Now would be a good time to do a shout-out to those of you who are decent with the graphics side of things;  Could someone design a nice Icon for NetLaunch?  :)

EDIT: released a new version, which fixes most the errors that existed in 0.1.0.  Given that nobody has downloaded 0.1.0 yet, I just re-uploaded it, and didn't change the version number.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 07:13:19 AM by kamahl »

kamahl

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Re: NANY 2011 Teaser: NetLaunch (Now with GUI!)
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2010, 07:44:13 AM »
Cool.  I will check it out and try making a screencast of my trial if that is okay with you (since I am trying to learn how to screencast for the NANY project in general anyway  :Thmbsup:).  I will send you a copy of the screencast if it is sucessful.  Don't expect it right away, though.  I have a lot of work on my plate right now and will be out of town on business for two weeks - so it probably will be at least a month before I have anything to show.

BTW:  I will keep up with the updates as best I can, I just won't necessarily have anything to show for it before then.

Forgot to post this earlier, but Thanks  :Thmbsup:.  I'm very interested in seeing your results.

kunkel321

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Re: NANY 2011 Teaser: NetLaunch (Now with GUI!)
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2010, 05:30:53 PM »
The NANY newsletter says, "Icon Help Wanted."  What icon-assistance do you need?  -steve

Perry Mowbray

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Re: NANY 2011 Teaser: NetLaunch (Now with GUI!)
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2010, 09:27:55 PM »
The NANY newsletter says, "Icon Help Wanted."  What icon-assistance do you need?  -steve

See here:

Now would be a good time to do a shout-out to those of you who are decent with the graphics side of things;  Could someone design a nice Icon for NetLaunch?  :)

I think PM kamahl directly if you'd like to help... and thanks!!  :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: September 22, 2010, 09:30:31 PM by Perry Mowbray »

kamahl

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Re: NANY 2011 Teaser: NetLaunch (Now with GUI!)
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2011, 09:11:15 PM »
Remind me never to do post-deadline coding marathons again.  I just spent the last three hours reworking a large chunk of the program to use VirtualMode on the ListView, all to fix a small tiny bug.

Not to hope that I can get a hold of the icon file from kunkel in the next 10 minutes  :D

steeladept

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Re: NANY 2011 Release: NetLaunch
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2011, 12:27:36 AM »
Yea.  Final release 1.0. is done(ish?)!  Okay, so none are as happy as you.   :P

Sorry the screencast results were never posted.  I lost my Hard Drive to a corruption sometime around the end of November and had to rebuild the PC and start over.  Not all is lost, though, and this final release lets me make a new screencast with what I learned from the original.  I will try to have it up tomorrow or the next day here.

worstje

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Re: NANY 2011 Release: NetLaunch
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2011, 05:08:06 AM »
It looks like this app was featured on ghacks.net: NetLaunch, Start, Stop Programs If Internet Connection Drops, Becomes Available

Congrats! :)

kunkel321

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Re: NANY 2011 Release: NetLaunch
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2011, 11:48:51 AM »
How to share an .ico file??
I made Kamahl an icon, but I can't figure out how to send it to him. The PM email form thing has a button to "Attach File (use browse button below)." But there is no browse button!  Also, imgur doesn't allow .ico files...  
What's the best way to handle this?  Thanks...
=======
EDIT: 
Thanks Mouser!  When editing this post, I see the [Choose File] button below.  Hopefully it attached correctly...
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 12:17:12 PM by kunkel321 »

mouser

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Re: NANY 2011 Release: NetLaunch
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2011, 11:50:37 AM »
You could always zip it up and attach it to your post here.

kunkel321

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Re: NANY 2011 Release: NetLaunch
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2011, 04:56:28 PM »
Here, icon v2 is better :)

mouser

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Re: NANY 2011 Release: NetLaunch
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2011, 04:58:32 PM »
v2 icon is nice!

kamahl

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Re: NANY 2011 Release: NetLaunch
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2011, 09:47:18 PM »
Ooh, I like it  :Thmbsup:

Updated first post with new version :D

kunkel321

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Re: NANY 2011 Release: NetLaunch
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2011, 03:50:01 PM »
Hey thanks for the feedback :)
For proper citation, I got the globe from OpenClipart, and added the shading an transparency/reflection.  The stoplight was built from scratch.
Here you go, if you want you can use this for the webpage, About dialog, or etc...
(got tired of working on it... will make a cleaner version later)
http://imgur.com/0dVi5
NetLaunchANI3.gif

(still learning to attach things :)
« Last Edit: January 04, 2011, 03:51:48 PM by kunkel321 »