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Author Topic: Scripting utility suggestions?  (Read 8317 times)

zridling

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Scripting utility suggestions?
« on: June 27, 2005, 08:33:03 PM »
Can anyone recommend a robust scripting utility? Here are two I've used over the past 20 months, one of which I've rejected:
__(1) AutoHotkey
__(2) AutoIt

I'm considering buying PrimalScript later this year when the 4.0 version comes out, but it's a full-fledged scripting editor unlike the two above.

mouser

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Re: Scripting utility suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2005, 11:25:24 PM »
i'd like to hear the answer to this as well.
i've tried autopilot in the past and liked it.  Automate and WinTask seem quite powerful.

primalscript is really for writing full scripts as in javascript, vb, etc.

my experience is that there isn't much of an overlap in the application of these tools beyond that that both talk about working with "scripts".  if you want to write a mini program, as a programmer, then primalscript is good.  but for automating stuff without having to sit in front of a book for a few hours to learn how to do something with vbs or javascript, then these automation tools are the way to go.

if anyone feels like they are competent to do a serious review of scripting/automation tools, i'd love to sign you up for a guest review; not going to be an easy review since there are some deep features to explore and several serious contenders, but it would be a great review to have.  you'd definitely get a reward of one of the screencasting tools :)

zridling

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Re: Scripting utility suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2005, 01:18:08 AM »
Thanks for the clarification, mouser. I agree, it's a deep topic to mine, but wow, the rewards for diving deep into scripting software is great indeed. The forum activity of AutoHotkey alone is astounding. Sometimes I think you coders are mutant freaks who could decipher anything thrown in front of you.
But I don't mean that in a bad-freak way, just the normal, good-freak way. ;)
« Last Edit: June 28, 2005, 01:20:11 AM by zridling »

jpfx

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Re: Scripting utility suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2005, 06:06:23 PM »
I use automate at work and it's solid. To my mind they've priced themselves out of most individuals budgets. I bought v4/5 for $320 or so, to upgrade to 6 is $395 and a new license is $795!.
I think unisyn were bought out by 'network automation', hence the current ridiculous pricing. I think they ought to fail miserably for gouging their user base.
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mouser

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Re: Scripting utility suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2005, 11:45:46 PM »
that kind of pricing really upsets me.
it's a conscious decision to completely ignore individual users and only sell to businesses.

zridling

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Re: Scripting utility suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2005, 04:00:38 PM »
Given how cost-conscious many businesses are, I'm surprised they buy it! Ouch. Upgrading my software from Europe and outside the States is killing me now that the USDollar is almost not worth the paper its printed on anymore. Most programs have gone up 40-50% in the past year and that hurts.

Sentinel

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Re: Scripting utility suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2005, 01:09:23 PM »
I can confirm that both Automate and 4NT (my personal choice) are very good scripting utilities (though rather different uses).  Python is also meant to be rather good and is free.  Wintasks is massively overpriced and overrated in my opinion - A product without a real purpose.

Ultimately I guess it depends on exactly what you are trying to script.  ;)

Designated "proofreading free" zone.

dnm

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Re: Scripting utility suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2005, 07:36:11 PM »
I use AutoIt (v3) on a daily basis. It's a lot more work to make AutoIt scripts than to use something like AutoMate, which I tried out (but ran away from after finding out about the price, and the fact that it leaves a server/scheduler app running continuously by default, which I didn't need), but it has enough of the features I want at the right price.

Having found out about AppRocket (see <http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=561.0>), I use it to launch my AutoIt scripts, which is a huge win. I do this rather than assign a key macro to each script with KeyText because there are more than just a few AutoIt scripts I want to run fairly often and having too many key macros is a pain.

zridling

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Re: Scripting utility suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2005, 12:24:42 AM »
Good tips on launching scripts through another app. I'll try that with AutoHotkey, thanks.

Edvard

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Re: Scripting utility suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2005, 06:54:12 PM »
I also use AutoIt quite a bit, so I may be biased. If your looking for an editor, many script editors have AutoIt syntaxes you can use, but AutoIt has a version of SciTE that build-checks your scripts and gives you hint boxes as you type, compile from the editor, etc. as well as the rest of the features you might expect (syntax coloring, etc.). Also, a character by the name of Rob van der Woude has a page full of scripting resources from good ol' batch to VBScript, Kixtart, Perl, Rexx and WSH. Other than that, I've tiddled around with Kixtart and I only have VBScript experience writing tables for Visual Pinball (0wnZ!!) so can't speak for any others.

mouser

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Re: Scripting utility suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2005, 08:05:11 PM »
I'm just blown away with skrommel's results with AutoHotKey in the coding snacks section; it's free and clearly has a kick ass community behind it, who are clearly skilled and willing to help.  AutoIt similarly.

kfitting

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Re: Scripting utility suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2005, 08:24:56 PM »
Yeah I've just recently gotten into AutoIt... did some programs for work that left me astounded as to just how much can be done with it.   Echoing mouser, from skrommel's scripts it appears that AutoHotKey has just as valid a "program."  These types of programs allow even non coders like me make programs to do things that we've only dreamed about.  At work, scripting (VBA and AutoIt) allow me to focus on engineering rather than on running the associated programs (well, once I get done programming and scripting of course!). 

Just a quick question mouser; how does a "real coder" like you feel about these types of languages?  They make it relatively easy to make programs, though the programs they produce tend to be a tad bloated do to their ease of use (eg, 4 meg of memory for a simple script).  In other words, do you feel like they are dumbing down the coder base?  I think all areas have this type of thing... film photographers decry the digital because digital makes taking pictures so easy, etc.  Interested to hear your thoughts, and anyone else's for that matter.

Kevin

mouser

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Re: Scripting utility suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2005, 10:47:42 PM »
there is definitely some snobber in programming circles regarding the hierarchy of programming languages.

the RAD languages like delphi and the scripting/macro languages can sometimes cause hardcore programmers to roll their eyes.

much of it is just jelousy - a feeling of frustration that if it takes us 1 month to make a proper text editor, you shouldn't be able to just drop an icon on a form and having a fully functioning program.

my feeling is that you use the right tool for the job, but have some concern for the underlying structure of the solution.

i tend to use Borland C++ Builder for big gui windows projects (its like delphi), just because its so much faster to build GUI stuff.  it would take 10x longer to write some of this stuff in windows MFC stuff.

the fair complaint that can be lodged against such scripting/RAD languages, and you see it leveled against VB programmers all the time, is not so much that the language itself is inherently bad, but that the people who use it tend to have a very shallow grasp of programming.  and this is sometimes true.  because these tools make it so easy to jump right in and make a program that looks real, it allows less experienced programmer to play in the same arena as the big boys, and sometimes that results in programs that look ok at first glance but are horrible messy and buggy, etc.

there are also languages like perl which are super powerful but which some programmers like me thing are evil just because they seem to promote horrible habits (its funny because this is the complaint usually lodged against BASIC, but perl has a much better reputation).

bottom line: use the right tool for the job and don't let people convince you you're not doing real programming.  it's just a matter of scale.

jpfx

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Re: Scripting utility suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2005, 06:40:19 PM »
I'll see your evil (perl) programing and raise you a 'un-normalised'relational database!
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Edvard

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Re: Scripting utility suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2005, 03:51:27 PM »
I fold.
(found holding a pair of Jacks- Euphoria and L.in.oleum)

mouser

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Re: Scripting utility suggestions?
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2005, 03:55:40 PM »
i'll raise you this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainfuck

"Brainfuck is a computer programming language noted for its extreme minimalism. It was designed to challenge and amuse programmers.."

Edvard

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Re: Scripting utility suggestions?
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2005, 05:53:08 PM »
Personally, I am quite respectful of the art that 'real' programmers are able to pull off, despite the "power" of the latest scripting languages. I remember when I was a wee little buck pounding out BASIC code on apple ][e's and TRS-80's and Commodore.... you get the idea... I thought I was quite the little programmer (do you remember PEEK and POKE?... READ/DATA loops?? Well DO YOU?!?) 
I ventured into machine code when I hand-coded shape tables for a couple of games I wrote for the apple ][e because the shape table editor we all *ahem* 'shared' was commercial software. (the computer lab teacher busted all of us who had a copy, and then let me use his copy anyway...)
Needless to say, I was a tad shocked to see examples of Fortran and Cobol code and what could be done. Then came the rest of High School, long hair loud guitars and the pursuit of female companionship and computers seemed another universe away, though I never quite forgot...
Anyways, here I am again because you can't get away from these blinking boxes and I need to make things happen whether at work or home. So roll your eyes if you must, but I quite enjoy the wonderful scripting languages which let me automate mundane tasks and make pretty front ends for my favorite command-line utilities...
 (Which, of course are written by 'real' programmers with their 'real' languages.:))

BTW, I couldn't resist...
http://www.flatassembler.net
http://www.visualassembler.com
 

« Last Edit: July 29, 2005, 10:48:18 AM by Edvard »

kfitting

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Re: Scripting utility suggestions?
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2005, 08:39:58 PM »
Yeah, I think it's cool how "easy" it is to code using scripting languages.  Makes it more accessible to the layperson or young people, to get them into coding.  Sort of like the electronics kits my dad talks about... back in the 50's and 60's electronics kits were almost as good quality as the stuff you could buy.  You could buy a kit, get a decent quality product, AND have the fun of burning your fingures with solder!  Scripting gives the same type of idea. 

I agree with mouser... use the tool that fits the job.  We have about 30 software guys working on the project at work and it amazes me at how much of an art coding really is.  I have a lot of respect for the guys who do more than just write fileexists(c:\genericfile).  All the higher levels and interfaces... blah blah.  To go one step further, there are guys like Steve Gibson of www.grc.com who writes in assembly language.  Yeah, that's nuts!  I know cause I had a class in assembly in college.  We didn' t write anything special, just moved bits around and toggled lights, but it gave an appreciation for coding at that level. 

I'm glad I don't have to worry about all the background stuff.  I'm also glad people like mouser, grc, etc are around to make apps that are clean, efficient, and coded correctly (bugs aside ;) 

Kevin

Edvard

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Re: Scripting utility suggestions?
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2005, 07:25:16 PM »
Brainf***k looked pretty funny until I saw this on thefreecountry.com's page of weird compilers.

Quote
However, before you write it off as a totally useless endeavour, you should be aware that the DeCSS algorithm (which decrypts the system used to protect DVDs) has been ported to this language.