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Author Topic: which programming language is most powerful in automating/interacting with MS Wi  (Read 2148 times)
kalos
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« on: June 02, 2012, 06:15:32 PM »

hello!

which programming language is most powerful in automating/interacting with MS Windows applications' GUI?

I mean to get info from third-party GUI controls, edit them, etc

thanks!
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barney
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2012, 07:17:49 PM »

That question may be unanswerable as stated.

Most any answer you get is going to be highly subjective, methinks.  And I suspect you're looking for versatility, rather than power. 

When I was using VB, it was the most versatile. 

Then when I used Turbo Pascal or Delphi, they were, in turn, the most versatile.

As far as raw power, C/C++ will likely take the lead, but there will be differences of opinion even there.

Power/versatility, other than really hard core programming, are mostly going to depend upon what you are trying to do at the moment.  Each language has degrees of weakness and strength, and each has differing ways of dealing with GUIs.

I'd suggest that you pick a language, then really learn it.  That's the only way you're going to discover whether it will perform according to your needs.  If it doesn't try another one (1).  Sooner or later, you'll find the one (1) that truly suits your needs and purposes.  Yes, it's an arduous process, but the only one (1) that works in the long run, at least in my experience.  There really aren't any shortcuts  Sad.
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mouser
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2012, 03:16:53 AM »

Kalos is asking a specific question, about interacting and manipulating the gui controls of other applications.

I'm guessing your answer is going to be something like: AHK/AutoIt, or Microsoft Powershell, or C#.

People who are more familiar with Powershell may be able to chime in on how it compares to AHK/AutoIt for such purposes, as I'm really not sure.
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kalos
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2012, 02:11:00 AM »

okay, I am between powershell or vb or c#

which would be best? definately for this task described in the first post, but also for other tasks as well (eg create a GUI)
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Ath
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2012, 02:22:56 AM »

I'd go for AutoIt (my personal preference) or AHK (select the AHK_L variant), PowerShell is more a "cmd.exe on steroids" kinda tool, not so easy in interacting with 'foreign' UI controls, while AutoIt and AHK are actually specialized in that.
VB and C# do offer ways to interact with 'foreign' controls, but not quite as easy and seamless as AutoIt or AHK.
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JoTo
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2012, 02:42:44 AM »

Hi there,

+1 from me for AutoIt. You can get your hands on windows and controls of every standard GUI app. You can modify it or send messages to interact. You can simulate keypresses and mouseclicks. You can also use ever WINAPI function or 3rd party DLL functions too.

AHK can do the same too.

Why i prefer AutoIt? Because AutoIt is a "real programming language" and not a syntax mess like AHK. Sorry, AHK lovers. But maintainability of AHK scripts are a real pain with that cryptic syntax, while AutoIt looks more like a standard programming language.

Where AHK shows its strength is, when it comes to do really geeky things. I saw a few things done in AHK i was not able to reproduce very easily (without using WinAPI or whatever) in AutoIt. But still i prefer readabilty and easy syntax over geekiness.

Just my 2ct.
JoTo
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Shades
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2012, 12:34:13 PM »

Don't go for PowerShell. it is indeed awesome to stuff with in the background without (too much) user interaction. That is where PS really shines. If you still want to go the PS way you can download an IDE for PowerShell from DevFarm software (both a free and a pay version).

I used the free version for a pet project of mine and it made my life quite a lot easier. Having said that, the PS environment is not the most user friendly i.e. you have to get used to it.

Hence I would concur with previous posters, think about AutoIt and AHK first before considering PowerShell.
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robinsiebler
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2012, 05:32:31 PM »

AutoIt has a Graphical Debugger, which is awesome!  smiley
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