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Messages - peter.s [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / Re: Micro-review: Scapple
« on: April 05, 2014, 01:00 PM »
"Sorry, wraith808, I must have misunderstood you then. smiley"

No, please, it's the other way round: Your mentioning of "VUE (which I prefer) and CmapTools" was more than adequate since Scapple

(I wrote of its sub-standard import/export features in some other forum, but was reprimanded to look at these missing features in light of its more than generous price, which I totally acknowlege, whilst on the other hand being willing to pay a little bit more ;-) if import/export features were amended)

is right on spot, since either of those, is NOT a "mind map" (i.e. hierarchical-only) tool, and that "free-form" style cannot be over-estimated: Anybody who ever tried to do visually-assisted thinking with some mind-map tool will be deeply in love with Scapple and any other such non-straight-outlining tool.

BUT THEN, would you be so kind as to give as some "mini-review" or similar, WHY you prefer VUE or CmapTools? You seem to have some experience with both, and after all, that's something quite better than to just look at some screenshots, as most of us here will probably have done, so your sharing your experience with both, and especially in comparison with Scapple (i.e. exluding Scapple's import/export, that's a given fact for now), would be highly informative for many dc'lers, myself included.

Let's banish careless "which I prefer" remarks: Kindly ask for giving reasons, so that other users/prospects won't have to go all those trialling voyages again and again, every one of them on his own?

"and they have been pushing that line back in favor of profits for a while" - that is very, very true, and very unfortunate... well if MS had better developers, they could jump in with Bingo or they call it, but prob is, in its current state that's not an alternative, let alone "".

And yes, for a moment, I had forgotten that alternative form of advertizing on google, and there are indeed 3 of them, to my knowledge:

- ads to the right
- ads on top, but, as before, with proper indication
- "search" results preeminence, i.e. bought "search winners" positions, without telling the "customer", i.e. the pc user... who's well-advised to never forget it's not him the [user for] EDIT: customer in google's business model: his actions are the product! (I'm even a little bit ashamed to say this since ordinarily, I prefer to NOT repeat age-old knowledge. ;-) )

Just for the fun of it, have a look into bits TODAY, where "IObit Malware Fighter Pro 2" (cf. above) can be had for free... and read the comments there: Except for one frog's: devastating! They don't even want it for free, for once I'm not alone!!! ;-))))

Just a sidenote to this:

I've been looking out for better defrag sw. So of course there is Diskeeper, PerfectDisk and O&O Defrag, each 30$ (but per comp, I'm afraid, have to have another look at that prob). So I came to IObit Smart Defrag, NOW free, from being even more expensive (and slightly less good) than the aforementioned free (info from the toptenreview 2014).

I went to the IObit site, and indeed it was free - how can these people make some bucks out of their product now, I mused?

Well, you will have suspected what follows: I clicked on their download link... and was redirected to cnet, one of the most awful sites out there... Now I'm searching for some "honest" download site...

In the past, I got lots of crap from both cnet and Softonic, and on both sites / with both sites' installers, I had paid attention - in vain - to not download crapware, too, so I had avoided both sites whenever possible since...

Before reading this very informative thread today, I hadn't known that in the U.S. (= by U.S. law), if I understand well, it's perfectly legal to do what both cnet and Softonic do, vàv the respective developers? (That it's legal vàv the dumb customer, is another story, and better understable since on that side, the buggering is on purpose, given the respective small print accepted.)

So indeed, before today, I had thought that those developers wanted a max. market penetration (oops, that fits here!), and that thus, they "accepted" some of their "customers"/prospects (freeware vs. shareware) being buggered, instead of just limiting themselves to post their sw on "save" sites (= sites that also rectally feed you crapware, but only when you don't pay enough attention to uncheck their various checked buttons).

Cnet is "best", since there, you can find lots of often highly informative user reviews (whilst their editor reviews are the usual crap), and so, for getting information, I often go to cnet, just for reading; on the other hand, the often high information value of those user reviews there convey a very respectable image to that site, in the eyes of the uninitiated, so it's been a very smart move of them to have instigated such often high-quality user reviews, which on the other download sites, can NOT be found (or far from this quality)...

And lately, indeed, very often, those cnet user reviews have taken a weird virage: Users highly praise the given sw, but also just give 1 or 2 stars instead of 4 or 5, complaining about all the unwanted crapware that also had been shoved into their... with.

This perfectly illustrates what mouser said above, and what I had thought until yesterday: That the respective developer at least gave his consent for this sodomy.

Which brings us back to the possible illegality of that act, and I've got four ideas on possible action(s):

- What about another "shareware developers' org" which takes class action?

- We all think the people behind cnet et al. are multi-millionnaires now: What about their personal responsibility, even if their respective sites "own nothing"? What I want to say: If you introduce an action against some shitty site, if they lose, they simply vanish, so the cost will be on yourself, but with cnet et al., ain't they rich enough (and have too much to lose, too, by vanishing), in order to be always there after they lose the action, so your risk to sue them isn't that big after all, IF what they do is illegal, and at least when they shove unwanted crap behind the scenes (i.e. without any (pre-) checked check-box), and for which they did NOT get the developer's consent, I cannot imagine all this is perfectly legal?

- Alternative to the previous point: In Europe (= European Union), in some countries, there are quite harsh laws, so that not ANY multimillionnaire over here can do whatever he wants to do, and there possibly might be various ways to sue U.S. crap shovers over here in Europe, for their European wrongdoings at least (= shoving crap into European asses, too, I mean), and as far as I know, European rulings are executable in the U.S. (and vice versa), in many cases (i.e. if all the necessary conditions for that have been observed) - now you don't tell me they are in the Caribbean or in China/Congo, and cannot be effectively sued anywhere?

- Most such soiled sw has got more or less extended help files; don't fall these under copyright law? Or do they fall under copyright law only when they are to some extent, and/or of they've got a certain "style"? Cf. my posts, over multiple given names: It's clear as day, from European law (applicable in the U.S. as far as copyright infringement is concerned, too) that all my writings have a very personal style, by which they are perfectly protected any misuse (= any republication, other than by myself, in any other forum, etc., except the one to which I posted them (originally or afterwards), and a similar effect could apply to "your" respective help files: Whenever your personality shows in them (well, this would even apply to Ultra Recall's help, by omission so total it gets a style of its own! ;- ) ), your sw going with such a help file should be protected?

If you think I should replace some chars by asteriskes, please tell me, that's what the fine edit function's for. ;-) But then, look here, in order to see with your own eyes that even google/YT has got some sense of sensitive humour / outrage lately:

some three other versions of this, and then (this latter one with more than 2 million views) ;-)

And no, I'm not entirely into that sort of humor: (full length = abriged to latter half, i.e. the boys went down after the first quarter of an hour, offered help, were rebuked, THEN only took the 15 min. you can see here in the vid (I almost choked from laughing): EDIT: Here's a better version, without the black beams:

This one is politically incorrect, and only should be a treat for perverts (but then, almost 5 million of this mud film's lovers on YT!); I'm very happy though to have seen it straight to the end: Just see the very latest 5 seconds: incredible stunt!: (or is it a sw trick?)

EDIT 2 : And here's another VERY good one:

"Advanced SystemCare Ultimate - Ultimate Protection and Ultimate Performance - Protects you against viruses, spyware, hackers, phishing, botnets and more" - Well, the catch is that comes from IObit, via cnet, too...

EDIT 3 : Back to serious matter: Above, I forgot to ask, Why are cnet and then Softonic hits 1 and 2 on google for e.g. "smart defrag download", and for myriads of similar searches? Why doesn't google relegate such smock sites to page 3? What's the interest of google (or the nsa behind google???) in PUSHING such people? Just total absence of decency, or is there some other explanation I didn't get yet (if we leave out nsa paranoia)?


Jarte is the (free and paid) text processor for people who like Liberace. (But on that awful gui, you'll find 3 sets of icons; click on the left one in the central group, and then choose "Minimal design", and you will have got something far from beautiful, but perfectly palatable.)

Now even the free version has got a unique feature: By Alt-F7, you theoretically can trigger its "Hot Connect" command. For this to work, there's two steps:

Tools-Options-Hot Connect > dialog "Hot Connect Options", and there you first must check "Enable Hot Connect"

Then, it's important to know that the hotkey (Alt-F7, can be changed in that dialog) will not work within Jarte, for fetching the content of that other text window, but will work in that other text window, to duplicate its formatted (rtf) text into Jarte.


Now what is this feature good for?

Many 2-pane outliners just have got 1 text/content field (= the one of the currently selected item in your tree), very few have got 2 such panes (= a second one from some other item, not current any more from then on), by option, but even those almost never allow for concurrent editing in both panes.

Independently of this prob, many such outliners don't offer a good text/content pane, i.e. their respective component is primitive: just very basic rtf, but not much more. There are even former Ultra Recall users (or to be exact, at least one who told us so) who, for that reason of getting better text processing, switched to RightNote, an otherwise quite terrible applic which I wouldn't have for free (= so this proves the degree of suffering with substandard text panes).

Now there might be many other possible setups where "Main applic plus Jarte" could really and highly be useful, please list them if you find any (and yes, even writing such posts in Jarte, instead of the DC text entry field might be a not-that-bad one of an idea, especially when you live in the Congo and have frequent electricity breaks (Oops, I didn't find an automatic save all x minutes in Jarte, but I might have overlooked it, and then, you always can save manually, or so you think then...).


Again, what is it good for, finally?

Whenever you press Alt-F7 (see above), the rtf text will be replicated to Jarte (if it's running then), and instead of editing in the original applic, you do the editing in Jarte (and with Jarte's assumed better capabilities - of course, there will remain the question how many / which ones of Jarte's additional goodies will then translate back to (e.g.) Ultra Recall's content field.

In theory, you do this by saving the text in Jarte (control-s), by which it will (in its then current state) replicated back into the original applic: Brilliant!


And now for the probs:

This replication back into the original applic will put it back there, not trigger a SAVE there (which in the case of a browser would be not applicable anyway).

And your control-s does the replication into your original applic INSTEAD of saving in Jarte, not additionally to it (= so much for our Congo prob). (I then did Alt-F4 in Jarte, and it closed down without any warning, and when I reopened Jarte, among the recent files, there was no trace of this buffer possibly having been backed up somewhere, under perhaps some automatically-given name.)

In most? (very many) cases, you will not need the Jarte replica for better editing, but for editing an ALTERNATIVE text, i.e. you will want to switch the current text in your main applic to something else, for some combined source-and-target setup, including Jarte:

I've got really smart readers here, so I could end my little review here, but just in case google brings some additional readers to this one, I feel obliged to explain further:

Control-s in Jarte will (and of course I tried this, and no warnings / "Do you really want to..." dialogs whatsoever ever appear) overwrite the current text in your currently displayed item/file/tab/whatever in your main applic, and which in many a case (and in most cases in every workflow I could imagine) would be some of your "source" items/etc. (And totally independant of your using a 2-pane outliner as that source applic, or any more traditional sw.) (Ok, then you could try your luck with some control-z: best of British!

And in most outliners, if by chance focus is in the tree (or in some other pane) when you press control-s in Jarte, that Jarte text will be put into the tree, but not as a new item, but, e.g., as dozens of new tree entries, one tree entry for each Jarte text paragraph.


Now as you see, this INTERNAL Jarte "macro"/routine should have been done in a much more elaborate way, with lots of security sub-routines, checking the respective names of files/tabs/items, and then perhaps even switch over to those stored "names" defined as target in such a routine, then switching back to your current source (and also, triggering a save of that source-target applic).

But since the respective commands for such a thing highly depend on your respective main applic, you'll quickly that in Jarte, internally, this would only be possible for some standard applics (e.g. Word, and perhaps some), whilst done by an EXTERNAL macro, all this would be possible, more or less easily, depending on the respective accessibility of these "name" infos above, for AHK or other tools, and also on the respective accessibility of "go to" commands "from the outside", implying the (not always given) existence of such commands in that given applic.

E.g., not every outliner has got commands "go to item x", or "visited items' history", but even then alternative solutions are perfectly possible with tools like AHK, e.g. you make another file/tab, within the source applic, just to contain the target item (to be frequently updated from your secondary, editing applic, e.g. Jarte); then, your macro will just to have switch between applics, and between different tabs in one of them, and after the update there, it will shift back to your (then current) source tab - all this is easily possible in most applications "doing" tabs (i.e. for AHK, the respective file names at least, of those tabs will be accessible).

Of course, if you build such a macro yourself, you won't need Jarte as target-editing sw, but any other such word processor with formatting will do.


I don't have to say that such probs arise because you want to have source and target before your eyes, concurrently, but in applics that don't allow for a second window, and neither for a second instance to be loaded into memory. E.g. FF has got a very useful feature, which is accessible by right-click menu on a tab: "Move to new window", and voilà, FF windows on two screens, without even running a second instance for that (but which would be possible, too).

So we're speaking here of overcoming limitations of applics which at the end of the day are more or less inexcusable... but where for one reason or another, we're stuck with some bad prog since we rely on features not otherwise available (= in that particular combination, perhaps)...

But my point here is, with AHK (or similar), you can overcome such limitations rather easily... and now I'm going to write the macro... which will be around 50 lines, but just for the necessary (see above) security checks our Jarte routine evidently does NOT do. ;-)

P.S.: In rare cases, it helps to try to install the (crippled, but not time-restricted) trial version, too, of your respective main applic, or then, a former version of that, but from my experience, most progs don't allow for such "in-house combinations", registry-wise or for whatever reason.

Hello, JoTo,

Very Kind Greetings back!


PE macros are very complicated to create (just my opinion).

Calculating for Bartels media: 1 License + rude support + alternative program = 0 Euro for Bartels Media.

OH, i know Bartels media is a member of DC and reads the forum  (at least from time to time).

Oh, oh!

You see, my ordinary kind of expression is quite "plain English", whilst at bits, I pay very much attention to not being rude in the very slightest way, in order to not be censored over there... but as we can see, my strategy of self-censorship is plainly successful over there, since indeed, I do NOT get censovered (any more) there, i.e. I'm able to "transport my message", which is the core point... and yes, I'm aware I (very much, I hope) help pushing the really good sw's over there (cf. my post today), whilst I certainly harm some other sales over there (and not necessarily of really bad software, e.g. PhEx certainly does NOT belong to that kind of sw, it's just that the developer has got some kind of "manners"... I myself respect him a lot, he's a very good programmer, that's for sure...

but for one, programming and marketing (incl. customer service!!!) are two pairs of shoes, and, very unfortunately, gui (= understood from both the graphical AND the functional pov) is a third one...

In fact, the combination of several/multiple sets of "hotstrings" (= to replicate AHK's terminology here) in PhEx triggered me, years ago, to ask a question over there, just to got the answer that I should have to buy the prog first, THEN would be allowed for asking question, and for me, THAT WAS IT with B. Gmbh, buying-wise, and a similar reaction, years later, re some other of their offerings, just fortified my stance vàv B. Gmbh... ;-)

"PE macros are very complicated to create (just my opinion)." - That's what I said - in very weighted terms - on bits: As said before, my "credentials" comprise some 60,000 or 70,000 lines of code for a prog of which then I sold 5 "lite" versions (= abysmal marketing at my time, among other aspects), and then, AHK appeared very easy to me, whilst, in-between, the "macro" language of PhEx (= NOT its text expanding) had appeared something not really "evident"...

I fully back your musings re "AI vs. AHK": Initially, I had tried out AI (= much longer list of commands than in AHK, to begin with, and scripting language tremendously similar to VB6 (but which I didn't, and do "speak"), whilst AHK is a "chaos" between "command style" and "function style", and a single comma, left-out, in the former, will tear the whole thing down... (I then quickly left AI, both for its weird keyboard assignments (= let alone text expanding), and for some Dutch a**h*** (expert but a**h**** altogether) who, on my first day there, answered to my (stupid) question re AI syntax by calling me an idiot; whilst later on, (both dumb and smart) questions within the AHK forum were answered both with kindness and with expertise, and yes, here on DC, there's an outright AHK specialist who answered some of my smarter questions over there in the best possible way! ;-) BUT: face it: I advocate that AHK is for "beginners", too, and then, something like the AHK forum is 1,000 times better than the AI forum, where beginners ain't welcome at all)

BUT... that's a real prob of the transposition tool between .txt script and executable, i.e. much too few error messages between scripting and "reloading"... and most of the time, such error messages would be simple, since from one "comma" entry to the next in such "command-style" commands in AHK, even the "format" isn't quite similar, hence the very easiness of possible (but inexistant) debugging.

That's why I tell people in my intro, use function style whenever possible (i.e. whenever you will have a choice), all the more so since that's the style that will survive... and that's the reason why most of my mistakes, today, after having done 6,000 or 7,000 lines within AHK, always are in connection with "variable with, or without percent symbols?" - terrible!

But since I now KNOW about that recurring prob, whenever something does not work, I insert those msgbox'es to check if my variables have been "read" by AHK or not, and yes, I've finally "got a feeling" for where does AHK "asks for" (= without really asking, just wanting them, without telling me!) those %%, and where does it not...

As for weird syntax, well, I only knew "traditional" programming languages where it was

end if

and such, but in the meanwhile, I've got acquainted with some more "modern" languages where it's now

else if
and then NO end if (and similar)

but braces instead, and so, today, these missing "end" constructs ain't a prob for me anymore

(but I always do

instead of the possible

if {

, quand même! - terrible constructs, in those "modern" prog/script. languages!

This being said, I STAY advocate of "AHK even is for blunt beginners", and I would have been (and will be) happy to answer " beginners' " questions over there, in order to see where my intro was incomplete/not evident/equivocal, in order to amend it, accordingly.

At the end of the day, most of "your" commands will be quite similar, so it's a good idea to have "templates" (= also for some of those unavoidable, awful "command-style" commands, in order to not do the same ""how many comma" mistakes" again and again), and from that point on, AHK really *IS* easy, I SWEAR!

Just two more points:

- I fully backup your decision to install Pulover's AHK "key pressing grasping" tool instead of anything else; I had been aware of it, but never tried it, since from day 1 on, I had "outgrown" it, so I didn't know that it was that easy to use: kudos to Pulover! And of course, it's so much preferable to have the resulting scripts in AHK format, than in some proprietary, otherwise possible unusable format... not speaking of people getting eager, from Pulover's "intro", to then use the "real AHK", for "more complicated things than that""!!!!! So of course, this is the very, very best solution for your prob... and perhaps for many a prob real-beginners (= not you, obviously) might start with, and THEN, quite naturally, and with my intro (and then, better accessibility of further intros to be found in the web), could "grow into" "real AHK", after some weeks of just using Pulover's "key replication" tool - but NOT starting anew then, but using the little scripts Pulover's tool has been created in the meanwhile for them, and amending those!

- And allow for my saying anew that those commands that are missing in AHK, but which are present in AI, are all available, at the end of the day, to AHK users, too, whenever they lose their initial anxiety to address, from the relevant AHK commands, Windows' "insides/entrails", and in fact, both AHK and AI ain't nothing more than a subset of these, in order to get over that initial anxiety to access "Core Windows", or in other words, they just replicate a subset of those commands, in their respective proprietary, transposed flavor. BUT THEY DO, AND then give access to more... which not every one of those paid, "commercial" macro tools also does...

-- But let's be honest honest here: Both AI and AHK are for those (to which I belong) who neither do real Python or Windows system programming all day long: they both are access-to-all-giving-subsets-of-better-out-there... but then, they're so much superior to most "macro applications" you can buy... or then, buy that U.S. 1,000 dollar macro applic: it'll be as good as both AI and AHK are... but it'll set you back 1,000 $... per seat (if I remember well)... ;-)

And a last thing: mouse administration: It's not only text expanding and macroing that will have to be made compliant or better, to to fully integrated, it's also your mouse for which an optimized system will have to be responsible.

I, having mouse arm, had done a lot of web search in order to find a prof. "mouse-click" tool, some years ago, and ended up with "Nib", from the maker of some special, but seemingly very debatable mouse...

Well, I quickly discovered that everything-out-there-for-the-disabled is way overpriced, and Nib prices here in Europe are outrageous. Finally, I found some alternative supplier in the U.S. where Nib didn't cost me "but" about 50$.

Now, in AHK, I was able to replicate that functionality (and better than with original Nib, cf. applic scope in AHK (and yes, scope is realized in Nib, too, but in not an easy way)), for free, and with any additional goodie I would ever want in this particular applic, or that one (cf. AHK "timers" - and with no possible prob arising from interaction from 3 different tools (all with their own intercepting routines), paid or not).

So, my POINT here is, with AHK, you'll do more and more, over time (and if not, well, it's easy and free, at the very least, so no harm done to have chose AHK), whilst with really proprietary tools (be them free or paid), you'll be, more or less, stuck, at some time in your computer life, and that's why they would be to be avoided from start on, from my very humble pov.

But then, let's face it, it's from such kind, constructive discussion that people share their respective knowledge... and not from being told they are idiots, from experienced programmers, when asking questions or sharing some intermediate findings, as I had the "pleasure" here, some months ago:

In fact, I do elaborate task M (including delegation) just with .lnk files and with coloring and entries in any file manager of my choice, just by 1- or 2-key commands from AHK, when other people buy (expensive or not, but getting-into-your-way in any case) tools for "virtual folders" and/or for file system entries' coloring, and the reason for not sharing my findings here had been a very unpleasant aggression from a certainly very experienced long-time, prof. programmer here re those subjects: condescendance from programming professionals vàv highly-motivated "amateurs" is seldom a good idea... but often to be met with in the AI forum, hence my being an AHK advocate now. ;-)

Btw, lately, I searched for screen recording sw (<> screenshot sw), in order to share some workflow on YT, and to abbreviate your possible search (you see, Joto, I'm switching forth and back between direct addressing and subjects of hopefully general interest: sorry for that!) on those: There's Active Presenter Free, there's BlueBerry FlashBack Express Recorder... and yes, there's Camtasia Studio... but for everybody willing (or in need) to pay for sw, the former two should be trialled, in their paid versions, BEFORE buying Camtasia Studio, as far as my inquiries have informed me... And yes, I could list some 25 or 30 other such sw offerings here in order to prove I spent 5 hours with searching/weighting them all. ;-) )

Why "Oh, oh"? Some people out there have got scripts making jump warning into their face whenever they see mentioned their name...

But then, and I'm serious here, most of us learn, and the above-mentioned developers seems to have learned some things, too, and he's a very fine programmer, that's for sure. So even when he gets his name mentioned here, I'm quite hopeful he'll react professionally, this time, as he did on bits (my bits post was NOT censored, against all odds, remember!), and one thing's for sure, 90 p.c. of possible AHK users will never ever come over to AHK, despite all my multiple efforts, so his business, and that of macro tool developers, will not really be harmed, and whenever I can contribute to make better good sw, I'm eager to do so... even when there's even MUCH better competing, but oh so select sw out there!

And yes, his multi-monitor administration sw is the best there is, and that's a fact, so it'll not be AHK but B.'s Media offering I'd happily recommend for whenever you need a shared setup of several montors/keyboards AND several pc's at the same time. As far as I'm concerned, I currently use 2 monitors from 1 pc, and a 3rd one, from another pc, NOT connected to the web/nsa... and current problem for such setups is, how to share some things, other than by usb stick at the end of your work day, from 1/2 to 3, since any network between 1/2 and 3 would make available everything you've got on 3, to anybody having access to your 1/2 - if B.'s Media also had a 100 % reliable solution to that prob, they'd make a real, billion $$ fortune within the corporate biz.

Sorry for mixing up so many different subjects into one post, but then, being able to differenciate so many remote different meal components, blind-folded in case, in world class restaurants, my ultimate treat is just stew from some Red Cross stand. Sorry again, for such outrageous taste! ;-)

(And don't overlook to buy Syncovery, half-price, at bits today, if you don't already own it!)

repub of http://www.bitsdujou...ry-pro#comments82213 :

S(yncovery, ex VeryComplicatedAncientNameIDon'tEvenRemember), has been on offer here quite some times; in the past, I refrained from buying, since even half-price was "too much" for me, considering the "competition", which was half-price of that - obviously, that was a big, big mistake of mine, and I'll happily buy today.

Above, that was the executive summary, here's the longer story:


Most users do a lot of renaming of folders, and of moving files into other (sub-) folders (renamed beforehand, or not). Then again, they synch (if they are smart; years ago, I was foolish enough to NOT synch, an booh, some day I lost some data I very much cherished, and which I never ever then could replicate).

Now there are quite some synch tools out there, some even for free, and for years, I have been using Vice Versa Free, which, graphically, is the most beautiful, and the most "functional" (= by immediate "acting about things", i.e. by actiong about subsets of files, manually, by right-click menu, and this implies the graphical presentation of folders and files there which is absolutely outstanding), not overall, see below) synch tool I ever encountered, and I trialled them all (= between 0 and some 200$, that is).

Now, why didn't I just BUY VV Prof., for living happily ever after? (= Is 60 bucks for the perfect synch tool too much? OF COURSE NOT!)

Bec that folks simply refuse to implement monitoring renames and moves of files, or renames and moves of folders (which from the programming pov is NOT that difficult to implement; I did some 80,000 lines of code in my amateur-programmer's life, so I've got at least some MINIMAL credentials to speak out here).

Two (or three) effects arise from this refusal:

- wear-out of your hdd's (= of course, it makes a difference if your synch tool is "smart" enough to just rename/reassign 30,000 pics in the target directory, or if it insists on copying/deleting 30,000 files, for hours, as will do my (graphically beloved) VV and 90 p.c. of S' competitors out there

- NO synch tool of my knowledge does verification of source file and target file (i.e. by check sums et al), so when S just really synchs perhaps 200 really new files, instead of doing idiotic "synching" of 30,000 files of which in fact 28,800 are already there in the target directory, your risk of getting broken files, in your "safe" repository, with S, will be divided by 1,000 (or by several hundred, to be exact ;-) )

- As I say here, I've done a lot of manual work within VV Free - why? Simply bec of my wanting to minimize those two aforementioned probs with synching - but anytime I do so, I'll do, for multiple minutes, completely unnecessary, manual work, by having VV Free on one screen, and my file manager on the other, in order to replicate, at least, all possible folder renames in my target (parent) folder/target hdd/stick/whatever, in order to then minimize the real synching: THIS IS CRAZY LABOUR! And which S will from now on spare me if it functions well!


Similar effects (i.e. for points 1 and 2, no means to avoid point 3 above) arise from VV's (and most other competitors') refusal to do delta copying, i.e. if you've got a 1 giga OL (Outlook) db file, it WILL make a difference if the synch tool of your choice just replicates the changed parts of that file (= which is "delta copying"), or if it will replace that 1 giga file, as a whole, again and again and again.

And yes, S DOES delta copying... and very few competitors out there do (a partial/"easy" synonym for delta copying would be "incremental synching, but a correct use of that term would apply to backup tools only).


And now it's time to share my experience with "GoodSync", bought here, some time ago, half-price. Well, I don't want to do diffamation, so I'm obliged to tell you that it was "GoodSync2Go" (i.e. so there's a chance the original "GoodSync" is any better), BUT I had installed "GS2Go" on my main usb stick from which I run my 6,000 (or is it now 7,000?) lines of code of AHK macroing, without that stick never ever failing me: So why it fails my, every other minute, with "GS2Go"?!

In fact, I paid "GS2Go" here 15$ plus VAT, which is "nothing", BUT I *GOT* NOTHING, too!

In fact, GS is another one of those, very rare, synching offerings that claim to monitor file/folder renames/moves, for synching.

Well, sue me, "GoodSync", but I call you "BadSync" now - in fact, here and there (i.e. less than 10 p.c. of such files), such a folder rename/move was tracked indeed by "GS2G", and my files to be synched got a mention "renamed to xyz" when then I started the GS synch (and were then, I suppose, properly processed), but about 90 p.c. or more of my "moved" files - most of the time, not really moved, but just within a renamed/moved folder/sub-folder - were faithfully copied anew by GS, and which then were faithfully deleted in their respective folder of origin (as said, about 29,800 out of 30,000, or make it 10 p.c., i.e. 27.000 - all this abysmal).

And for such a "result", I had been prepared to live with with GS's gui, which is, from my humble pov, the worst I ever encountered (not just graphically: also, have a look at their not "opening" any other folder (= not even by option), above just 1,000 files listed, and which could you cause much probs, incl. data loss and all, within their source files' listing)...

And yes, I tried to discuss those probs with that people... without any success... they did not even answer me anymore...

And that explains why, being "proud" (in fact, ashamed: I'd been a fool by buying!) owner of GS, I had reverted to VV Free, and then I did all my necessary synch work, about 1 times a month (whilst it should be done every 2 or 3 days, let alone advocates of doing it daily, which of course is best!), within VV Free, for hours each time...


So why didn't I buy S not full-price, between bits offerings? Bec, after my experience with "GoodSync", I lost my faith, partially, in developers' claims: Better lose 30€ (= 30$ plus VAT) with anything, than 60€, with some other offering that possibly doesn't live up to those claims, right?

This being said, I rate the risk, with S, to not fulfill its claims at about 5-10 p.c., not more, and I'll happily:

- buy upgrades then, full price (i.e. about same price as half-price here, today, for the full product), and

- will tell you that S will have entirely lived up to its feature claims, next time it will appear here on bits,

if, and that's my 90-95% very strong expectation, S is capable of faithfully monitor my folder renames and all that.

And yes, I just would be entirely happy if S tried to optimize its GUI... just have a look at VV in order to get brilliant ideas. ;-)

Btw, aforementioned VV probs are replicated with SyncBack, another commercial (and otherwise "renowned") synch tool, but which is worthless for me bec of these probs it comes with.


There's another aspect to consider in synching, which is "versioning". Well, of course, real versioning is quite another task, but some sort of "simili-versioning" should be possible with every paid, good synch tool: Not just "overwriting" of previous "saves", but replicating those, either by an automatic numbering system within the original target folder, or by automatic shifting of those previously "saved files" into an automatically created sub-folder within the target folder.

No need to say that this is the core difference between most free synch sw tools, and the paid ones, and it seems that S executes this task in the very possible optimized way (i.e. sub-folders, upon request). Such a feature only is really important for really important files (and will "eat" lots of unnecessary hdd space on your target medium of it's done "either-or, globally", so my wish for S, to become really perfect, would indeed be, allow users to specify, within a synch job, to specify which ones of your multiple folders/sub-folders will be replicated-with-replication-of-the-previous-saves, and which ones will just overwrite the previous savings - if S introduced such a individualisation of target folder treatment within the same synch job, it would be something really perfect - outstanding from the "competitors' crowd" it is even today (if, by all chance, it processes renames/moves correctly)).

So you see, Syncovery will be the very best "individual" synch tool there is (i.e. in the non-corporate range, for individual users and with affordable prices) if both its delta copying and its renames/moves monitoring will function as advertized, and so 30 bucks for this will be an absolute treat.

In every sw category out there, we've got a "winner", and we've got all chances that Tobias' offering here is very well the winner in t(his) categoy.

As said, I'll buy this presumably in-a-class-of-its-own tool today (and my given name "Schleifer" stands for burying bad sw), and I'll be eager to give S a rave review whenever it just does what it pretends to to, next time it'll appear here! ;-)

(And yes, I understand that for some users, compatibility with this online storage offering of that might be important, too, but then, CORE functionality and its perfect realization is my subject, and it very well appears that Syncovery Pro is the leader of the pack, for that core functionality every paid synch tool should have in the year of 2014 - bec in the year of 2525, we'll all be dead, and we've got a right NOW to profit from what's have been technically possible even years ago... and Syncovery Pro seems to be the only offering out there that really delivers. So what's 30$... even plus VAT? ;-) )

Some things on macro tools:

- when then (= after the link here) I looked into, I read "published 30 min. ago", so previous posters hadn't a chance to look into that list when answering

- so either it was by pure chance, or mouser has a script running telling him whenever raymond adds a new article to his site

- just for fun: in that article, AHK was rated first, and TinyTask second, so r had come to my conclusions, too

- now back to serious: "Powerful if a little complicated for amateurs like me." - OP did NOT ask for paid sw, and not for sw where on other seats than the developer's just executables were to run, so MEP is certainly not a good solution

- but why bothering with MEP, and finding it "a little complicated", when, for NOT MORE complication than there, AHK will be much MORE powerful, for beginners, and will have become so easy for longtime users ("Have done for years.")? As I have explained in length in the AHK tutorial here, right at the very beginning, crap like MEP just brings you sweetly over the very first days, and then the need to click together it all becomes more and more cumbersome, i.e. in such crap tools, even simple things get complicated (or at the very, very best, you'll have available a scripting window, where you then will use their proprietary scripting language), which in AHK are done with some simple lines of code - and I know what I'm speaking about: For years, I had been crazy-lazy enough to click together macros with such a crap tool (= lots of unnecessary work, little solutions), instead of investing one Sunday into the basics of AHK... well, my aforementioned tutorial hadn't been there, so those very first steps did neither seem easy, nor did they seem evident to begin with. Now, nobody ever asked for clarification/help with that tutorial, out of 5,000 readers or more, and I'm sure MEP sales will not have suffered by a iota: This world's a really crazy one!

- This being said, OP did not ask for a scripting thing, but just for simple key logging-and-replay, but without a price (MEP is a staggering 60$ per seat) and multiple licence issues, so I, then mouser answered accordingly

- But people who know my AHK intro, and then go and buy crap like MEP, must be considered to be plain nuts. Again, this is not your case ("Have done it for years.")... but to you my other remark over there applies: Once you will have clicked together lots of macros, it'll become more and more difficult to leave such tools... MEP's a good-looking trap... but ain't most traps rather good-looking then? Also, the financial investment will be lost, and even when the proprietary scripts (triggered internally by all the clicking-together) are exportable: The intermediate step will be to have to learn regex replace. As we see here, there's two viable solutions, AHK and then, raymond's list; everything in-between (MEP et al.) will just retain you in some inappropriate half-way solution... and where's the text-expanding part in MEP? Right, you'll need some text expander, too, then (and which hopefully will not interfere with your macro tool, or vice versa). And speaking of retaining users in tools of which they might have grown out of, after some time:

- Just some days ago, somebody asked, on bits, if for a half-priced text expander over there, no even partial export was possible, and that question was met by some "Thank you for asking again", by the developer, and I couldn't refrain from some comment, which certainly applies to quite a bunch of those commercial macro tools of which you mentioned MEP, so it couldn't do any harm to republish my musings here:

I've read the above with much interest.

"ask the same question again", especially in combination with "misconception", is condescendancy and should be avoided here imo ( ;-) ), at least with regards to subjects of real interest.

PE is a text expander, but of the very sophisticated (and thus, expensive) kind; Phrase Expander (PhEx) is another one in that range, also with a price way over 100$ if you want to bells and whistles.

It seems that PhEx has got a very smart text expansion feature in its Prof. version, a little list for other possible replacements of what you will have typed at a given time, and which is not present (yet) in PE, and from findings in the web, it appears that some commentators judge PhEx "superior" to PE in light of that feature (and their respective experience with it, so its practical value appears to be hight); some commentators even own both programs, or more precisely say they switched from PE to PhEx for that reason.

So this is a fine example of the "need" or at least the high interest in having an import/export function for abbreviations/shortstrings, both ways, in both programs, instead of retaining the respective clientele within the original tool, for fear of too much manual work when leaving (Just imagine thousands of such abbrevs). I personally miss the experience with both programs in order to pretend to judge which one might be "better" or preferable, but I noted, with much interest, from the above, that PE "does" formatting and appears to be compatible with MS Word formatting (So what about compatibility in/out with Word shortstrings, too? And perhaps that might be/become a common transfer format, then?)

From just some light experience with PE, years ago, and from screenshots of PhEx, I can say that both programs offer partition of your abbrevs into numerous collections, but that within PhEx (today), this has been realized in a very handy way, and you can freely combine those (Imagine somebody writing in several languages, and in several areas (private mails, business, to name just the most general ones); both aspects were not realized with that quality in PE at the time (yet); see the screenshots for PhEx in this respect where this combination has been realized in clickable tree structure: very neat.

Now it's evident that beyond being a text expander, PE has become, over the years, quite a "complete solution", also for various "macroing needs", and its "macroing power" is impressive indeed; it's just that (from my testing years ago at least) PE's macroing capabilities had been realized in a quite non-traditional way, i.e. most dedicated macro tools out there let you do macros more or less in a similar way, but which is quite different from what I then saw in PE, and I clearly preferred the general way of doing macros then, not as presented by PE then.

In the meanwhile, I've become acquainted with AHK (Auto Hotkey), in which I both have scripted numerous (often quite elaborate) macros, and have been doing all my text expansion needs, together with combining (or switching between) various abbrevs collections by shortkeys (whilst menus for this would be possible, too) - I have to admit that these don't include formatting, i.e. neither my needs, nor my possibilties with AHK include those... and above, we learn that PhEx doesn't cover them either (?).

So I'm very happy with AHK and its scripting capabilities, personally, but I admit that extensive scripting might not be for everyone as they say, your mileage may vary; perhaps of interest in this respect: Trying to script with PE had been beyond my means, some years ago, whilst then, scripting in AHK has been easy and "natural" for me, but I'm sure there has been some development re "accessibility" in PE on that matter, in the meanwhile.

Now back to the "argument" (which makes more than 2/3 of the developer's post above) that PE offers so much additional functionality beyond "just text expansion" (which is undeniable, independently of the respective utility or benefit of every such "goodie" and which will depend on your respective personal preferences) that export (what about import, then?) of even just the bare, naked plain text abbrevs-plus-expansion lists would cause too many support probs.

Well, this is a false argument imho, and here's why: First, the developer could clearly communicate that export is possible, but will be confined to numerous plain-text word lists (= one text file for each abbrevs collection), e.g. in the form abbrev tab expansion newline abbrev tab expansion and so on. Second, in most cases, users WOULD THEN LEAVE, be it for PhEx, for AHK, for any other text expander, or even for dictating sw, so no further "support" would then be necessary.

Third, even continuous users of PE might feel the necessity of sharing some of their abbrevs collections with somebody who doesn't own PE but who owns a competing text expander or just MS Word (and who could not install PE free instead, because the "personal" version of PE claims " business use" even in cases where you don't do business with it, but simply address letters to other people's biz, which is the case for anybody today - at least that had been my experience with PE some years ago, and which had me quickly discard the free version then).

Here again, point 1 would apply, i.e. PE users sharing their collections with users not owning PE themselves (or just PE users who would like to use their collections on pc's they don't have an additional PE licence for!) would know beforehand that all they could export would be the bare plain text "resolutions", nothing more, and anybody would clearly understand that all those bells and whistles PE offers on top of that, would NOT be transferable on top (and even when the "receiving application" had some similar functionality), so here again, no support needed, especially if PE's export wasn't "from PE straight into competitor x" (and which possible probs on THAT side), but just to the above-described plain-text lists, from which then (current or ex-PE) users would be on their own to either import into that other tool (or as THAT tool's developer to make it possible to import such lists).

The same principle of making basic-but-robust export possible applies to so-called "outliners" (of which many are on offer regularly in this forum). Some of them make available "clones", i.e. items in the tree that can be replicated on other positions in that same tree, but all outliners offer some sort of export, whilst it's clear as day that such "clones" will NOT be exported then, but just the original items will; the same goes for cross-references and other specific strengths of some outliner or the other. (There are even some ancient askSam users who accepted to lose formatting of content, by switching to MyInfo; both progs have been often here and thus are both known to bitsters.)

So, "careless" users will use all their program will have to offer, and then either will be stuck with it, or will have to abandon parts of their work when they switch to something other, and users wary of such possible switching will just use "exportable" core functionality, refraining from using (or from "abusing") additional functionality whose loss-on-export would not be acceptable to them; in PE, this would apply to formatting of abbrev "resolutions", and it's safe to assume that users would use their PE, together with formatting, within PE, but without those, whenever they don't have PE available (anymore, or on other machines).

So, the above "support argument" falls flat, imho, and as it stands, the (real? total?) absence of export of PE abbrevs works as a hindrance to ever switching to any competition, might this effect be intentional or not.

( just for the record: http://www.bitsdujou...professional-edition )

Thus, buying some macro tool, and hoping it will "grow with your needs" is illusionary and is to be avoided, from my humble pov. Get TinyTask or similar, and for anything "real" sacrify some rainy Sunday. (And it'll be lotsa cheaper, too, just see the new update policy of the text expander in question for an example!)

Best Text Editor / Re: best text editor was killed by Borland
« on: March 24, 2014, 09:54 PM »
My original post from the SlickEdit thread, transferred here:

But I'm very sorry, again I'll have another aspect to mention. SlickEdit is an expensive editor that is deemed to be a replacement for the also high-priced (and high-praised) CodeWright (which is not further developed, but not "defunct" either, and which is deemed the very best editor there ever has been), so the "original", the "real thing", here, would be CW, not SE.

That's why I contacted CW, in order to get a trial (all relevant links to CW trials are dead), OR to get a help file, at least, in order to see for myself (and if I was willing to spend 300 bucks plus VAT).

They (CW) very kindly told me there wasn't any trial, but they would be happy to sell me the application (and no mention of a help file).

So now this is really gross (from CW), and I don't consider buying some mythic sw, just by hearsay, but then, I'm not willing to buy the "replacement" either, especially since I would never lose that nagging feeling that I would have been so much better off by buying the "original", the "real thing". (I even considered buying CW (! not SE!) in spite of their attitude. which says it all.)

Thus, at the end of the day, I have to cope with my TSE, KEdit, and emEditor (for which I own a lifetime license (bought for a pittance, the last day that "lifetime" was available at the regular price: compare with today...), which is under constant development, and they are nice people.

But then, I really wonder if I should have bought CW, anyway - whilst SE is just good and expensive, but nothing extraordinary.

Just my 2 cents. (And yes, I trialled SE before making that statement.)


I looked into their sales page, in order to check if, considering the outdated character of that software, they had perhaps lowered the price (they had asked 299 euro in 2013, the "official" price was 299$ then):


= now it's 458.98$ plus VAT, = 546.19$, now this is outrageous...

All the more so since that very old 7.5 version gets really old, have a look here, for a little regex comparison of some editors:;highlight=folding (second post there, by noman9607)

Very instructive, as far as I'm concerned...


Ok, later on in that linked thread, there's another link, to

and which is the real find here...

Well, trying to cope with Friedl's classic, for the time being...

"If they wont be able to handle the mightyness of Pulovers Macro Recorder, i will have a look at the payware suggestions as well."

If they ain't able to handle the mightyness of Pulover's Macro Recorder, have a look at TinyTask.

As for what I think is best programming/scripting style in AHK, please refer to this thread:


Also, you might be interested in my musings on macro tools in general, here:


And especially, you will be interested in what I've got to say about "interaction" of your macros, with native shortkeys of the respective applications, over there:


This is part of my AHK tutorial here,


but since GK will be on bits in some days, I searched for a review of that tool, not finding any though. Even here, the search term "karnaugh" just brings "You may have meant to search for Karna." So... but please, do NOT read on if you think it's a crime to treat two related subjects in one post.

Now, have a look into the wikipedia article on Karnaugh Map: http://en.wikipedia....rg/wiki/Karnaugh_map

Then, perhaps, follow some of its links: to the overview, of course:


But especiall to Venn Diagram, since that's the really useful thing here, in many cases:


And you can do this (and also 0/1 = Yes/No tables, etc., so-called "truth tables", but variants of them are also very useful for numerical variables, see below) on squared paper...

But following the link to the Quine-McCluskey algorithm will be instructive too,


since that's the more specific thing, for programmers/scripters, but we'll come back to K-maps' more general (or more specifically: rather deviant) scope in a moment.

First, have a look here, http://gorgeous-karn...ugh-for-programmers/

and try to understand the examples the developers gives there. (It is understood that the professional programmers will look upon all my posts with deep repulsion, but that we poor non-professionals have to find ways to get by, too, and that's why I think my posts can be helpful; so my invitation to "try to understand" addresses people like myself.)

You will see that the K-map enormously facilitates combinations of conditions... but of conditions, only, and that's the prob, for programmers/scripters.

So have a look into the "Gorgeous" developer's site in general, and you will quickly see that not only the K-map was invented for electrical engineers (circuitry), but that department is where it clearly excells.

Now, the prob is, K-maps greatly refine input, but what about output - it's not by accident that the "Gorgeous" developer made up his examples (on the linked page above) with just a true-false = if/else structure, and here we are back at my second subject (I've written some 70,000 or more lines of code, so I had ample occasion to make architectural and construction mistakes, and then ample occasion to amend).

In many "longer" routines (i.e. spanning over 1 or 2 pages; remind yourself: you should do a sensible max of subroutines in order to not repeat code, but see below), the first part is the "gathering" part, the second part being the "executive" one. In reality, that's not entirely true, but in so many cases, that first part has a very evident penchant to gathering data and to making decisions, whilst the second part more or less "DOES DO things", and that's why you should not totally mix up these more or less "natural" parts of a routine.

Of course, when there is a "check" result that will discard the routine, more or less, in two lines of code, do it at once, no prob: e.g.

else if blahblah
   aCertainGlobalVariable = 0 ; = you do e.g. a variable reset to default value
   return ; you leave the routine
else if blahblahblah ; etc, etc.

But if a certain condition will trigger 5 or 10 or many lines of code, perhaps with sub-routine calls, returns from there, etc. you should do a GOTO; goto x, goto y, goto z..., i.e. you combine the elements of the trigger part, and then, you combine the elements of the execute part.

"But my prog language does not allow goto's!" (whining, whining)

No prob! That's what are variables for, among other things. (Have a look at the truth table above again, and bear in mind I said it's also great for numerical variables.) So, without goto, have it exactly as stated, but instead of goto x, goto y, goto z, have a variable jumpto (or whatever you name it, but have it local!), and then write

if blahblah
   jumpto = 1
else if blablabla
   jumpto = 2
etc., etc.

And then, for the execute part, have a similar conditions structure

if jumpto = 1
   your 20 lines of code
else if jumpto = 2
   another 5 lines of code
etc., etc.

And bear in mind, if the code of such a part is too many lines, triggering your routine flowing over more than 2 pages or so, call subroutines, on other "pages" (= when printed out, or other screen "pages" / outliner items).

But now for the "see below" above, re "use subroutines". Well, there could be some subroutines, for code you will use again and again, on many occasions, but which ask for much specific data: If you can use global variables for that data, and/or if that data is within such variables anyway, very good: use the subroutines. But I have had many cases where I would have had to write many lines of data/variables, just for the subroutine to get that data, whilst the subroutine itself, without that part, would only have been 2 or 3 lines of code. In such cases, it's not useful to multiply these subroutines, and this is only logical: Whenever you get many lines out of your routine, by calling a subroutine, do it; but if such a call does not straigthen out your code, don't use a subroutine, and hold your code - repeated or not - together. (Of course, a very good solution to such a prob would be a function, and indeed, you should use functions (instead of subroutines) whenever "applicable", i.e. whenever that's possible.)

A related remark: Even when you need code that will NOT be re-used for other routines, write a subroutine notwithstanding, whenever your routine "becomes too long", and then why not replace 10 or 20 lines of code by just two lines: the subroutine call, and a comment line; and even if that call will need 5 or 6 lines (because of data to be transferred, i.e. because now you need variables that without breaking up your code you would not have needed): if you can put 20 lines within a subroutine, that will have "got" you 14 lines less (in our example).

Also, don't make the "advanced beginner's" mistake to think that just a min of lines of code "will be best": Of course, there are some high-brow algorithms "no one" understands, except real professionals, but you see, these have been created by more-or-less-geniuses, and then they are used again and again, on multiple occasions, by many programmers, but within strict application scope, i.e. it is known (from high-brow books) how to put which data into them, and what then to except where as the outcome... but those algorithms function as blackboxes: No need to try to do the same, and by this to create algorithms that look elegant but then give faulty results... ;-)

Now back to truth tables, with their above-mentioned numeric variants (= technically, they are not truth tables then anymore, but they are really helpful indeed, whatever you name them, and all you need is one leaf of quared paper from the exercice book of your girl or boy).

In the above example I gave, i.e. several conditions "in", then several distinct procedures "out", in the second "half", well: In real life, it's quite a little bit more complicated, and that's why I can't see the utility of K-maps here, not even for the "input", i.e. for the "first half" of the task... and in the second part, it's the same: programming is all about variants.

Which means, you will not have, as in the above link, dozens of factors, and then, there is a yes, or a no, but with many of the main factors/elements, there will be secondary, subordinate factors, and which will NOT influence the true/false outcome, as in the linked example, and they will not determine which one of several main "outcomes" in the "execute" part will be triggered, but they will determine variants, WITHIN these main "outcomes", and whilst some of these factors will apply to just one main outcome, and trigger a switch within there, other such factors will trigger similar variants within, or FOR (i.e. execution afterwards, another "goto" FROM there), SEVERAL such main outcomes, or even for all, or most, of them.

Now, how to manage such complexity? Very simple, by just "encoding" those variants, within both the first, and the second part, by numeric variables, INSTEAD OF CODING the processes: First, do the right construction; then, in a copy of your code, write the real coding lines - but don't mix up the thinking about structure, and the real coding, whenever it gets a little bit complicated.

Now, how many such variables? There are, let's say, 4 main outcomes, so var_a will get the value 1, 2, 3 or 4. Then, you will have a certain variant in some cases, wherever that might be, and you do var_b with its values 0,1 (if it's no/yes), or 1, 2, 3... for several possibilities (and by defaulting the value to 0 beforehand), and again with var_c, etc.

So, your point of departure, in your code structure, is simply building up the logical structure. Then, "on arrival", you will not replicate the building-up structure from above, but you will build a logical structure

if var_a = a
else if var_a = b
else if var_a = c

and for each if var_a = xyz, you think about possible variants, and then you either include them there, or you just "call" them there, i.e. some of these var_b = xyz should not be integrated within the main if's, but should be processed afterwards, i.e. you will not leave the else if var_a = c part with a "leave routine" command (= in AHK: return), but with a goto xyz command (or just with "nothing" if the goto is positioned immediately beneath the main var_a structure), where then var_b will be checked.

And so on, i.e. you will have to understand (and then to construct, accordingly) that var_b is NOT (necessarily) "subordinated under" the var_a structure (but perhaps dependent from it, i.e. without any "hit" within the var_a structure, the var_b will become irrelevant... but not necessarily so), it's just another logical category, different from the "var_a range" (with its respective values), and then, perhaps, var_c is clearly subordinated, logically, to the var_a range, whilst var_d is perhaps subordinated, too, but will only apply to 3 of 5 values in the var_a range, and var_e will only apply in one special var_d case, etc., etc.

As for the input structure, write this output structure down on squared paper, in order to not overlook possible combinations... but then, as said, not every possible permutation will make sense, so do your thinking "over" your squared paper, over your "adapted truth tables" (and yes, use several colors here). And then, when you write the code outline (see above), do it strictly from your paper design, and whenever you have doubts about structure, don't mess up your code, but refer to your paper again: Be sure before rearranging code lines.

You might call my style of coding the "variable-driven" style, meaning variable values as pointers; you multiply such values, instead of "doing things", and then, you check for these values again... but by this, you'll be able to structure your programs' actions in perfect logic, which greatly reduces construction probs. Professionals might have other programming styles, but then, they might even understand Quine-McKluskey: do you? I don't. But so what: We've got a right to write elaborate code, too, don't we? (And yes, doctors hate the web, and no lawyer's happy when you will have read some relevant pages before consulting him - it's all about "expertise" and laymen's challenging of that.)

And finally, in languages like AHK, you then can even replace some of the guide variables with goto's, again, before writing (in order to save the "if/else if lines "on arrival"); and no, don't call execute-part sub-routines from the first, the "gathering" part: prefer to write some unnecessary lines, and then put those calls deep into the second part, precisely at that position there, might it be deep down, where that call logically belongs:

Program in perfect, understandable, VISUAL LOGIC, even if that means lots of "unnecessary" lines.

And yes, there might be even 1,000 programmers worldwide who really need Gorgeous Karnaugh (and legions of electrical engineers), but for the rest of us, it's the same problem as with the Warnier system: It cannot guide us all the way long. (And yes, I know you can apply the K-map to conditional structures, to multiple else-if's, etc., but that doesn't resolve the inherent prob: it's too confined into a minute part of the structural prob: as said, similar to Warnier: it's a step beyond the chaos it left behind, but then you'll become aware of its limitations). And yes, try Venn diagrams if you like them visually; I prefer squared paper, and then the combination of a "checklist" with an outline, and then "manual thinking work upon that". (And yes, you should keep and reference your paperwork.)

Even professionals who laugh about such structural devices, should consider the possibility that their customer, in some years, will have to put lesser people on the code they will have left for them to understand, and with which they then will have to cope with. It is evident that a more "primitive" style but which is highly recognizable in its actions, will be preferred both by the customer, and by his poor coder-for-rent then. And yes I know I explained my style of procedural scripting here, object orientation being something else yet.


I forgot, above: You can further "simplify" your variable encoding (and shorten your code), whenever var_x is really and unequivocally subordinated to some other, or to just one/some value(s) of a specific other, by changing regular values of the "priority variable" to intermediate values, and in some cases, this is even useful - but in most, it's not...

Example: var_a can have values 1, 2, 3, normally. But in its value 2 case, there is var_k with values 0 and 1, or var_m with values 1, 2 and 3. Now you can change the values of var_a to 1, 2/3, 4 instead, 2 being original-2 with var_k 0, and 3 being 2 but with vark_k = 1; 4 being original-3 of course; 1-5 for var_m values 1, 2, 3 instead.

As you can see, this structure flattens out your if / else if (in your routine, you would ask for if var_a = 1, else if var_a = 2 or 3 (and then, within that code it, if var_a = 2 / else), but it also complicates the logical structure, so for most cases (where originally I happily used it again and again), I would never ever touch this anymore.

On the other hand, there are specific cases where I really love this encoding, and where I use it even today, to best effect, and without it getting my structural thinking mixed up: It's indeed where two factors are deeply "interwoven", to the effect that none of them is "superior" to the other, and where, in an outline, I would have a hard time to decide if it's element-of-kind-1 as multiple parents, and then element-of-kind-2 as its child, or the other way round.

Here, I systematically do just ONE var_a, and then the odd numbers (1, 3, 5...) are aspect 1 without aspect 2, and the even numbers would be aspect 1 with some value, and with aspect 2 present, too, but this is a valid construction only, I think, when aspect 2 is a toggle only: to have ranges 1,2,3, then 4,5,6, then 7,8,9 would again be chaotic.

But as said, even today, I love such structures 1,2, then 3,4, then 5,6..., whilst I would not redo these above-mentioned "truth tables" with entries of 8, 9 or higher numbers, generated by my previous, too excessive combining of several such variables into just one, and then counting their values higher and higher.

As said, "more elegant" style can be less readable, and "multiplication" of such "pointer variables" might not be high-brow, but assures perfect readability, so today I do it in a more "primitive" way than earlier, and since this is another one of those multiple, counterproductive "I'll do it in a more sophistaced way" traps, it's worth mentioning that I today, from experience, refrain from it, except in those even-odd cases, and even those are debatable.

Oh, and I forgot some explanation: In the curse of my programming and scripting, I discovered that (always in non-evident, i.e. a little bit longer routines) the "gathering" stage ("what is the "is" state? if, else, multiple else if's") usually has a "logic" that is totally different from the "natural execute logic" thereafter ("do this if, do that if..."), and my above-described system completely CUTS those two logical structures, or in other words, it enables you to build the "ToDo" structure as natural as possible, without undue consideration for the status quo.

So my system - other systems might do the same, so we're not speaking about superiority on other ways of coding, just about superiority on spontaneous coding - puts a level of ABSTRACTION between "real conditions", and then the execute part, with its "procedure conditions", which in most cases do not have that much (if anything) to do with the former. Whilst constructs like "if x, do y (= "all in one")" mix it all up.

And perhaps I should more clearly indicate what's the "status quo", what's the "gathering". In fact, it comprises the "what do we want to do?" part, the DECISIONAL part, but that's - and that's the "news" here if I dare say, "news" for beginners in programming/scripting at least - NOT identical with the "how is it to be done" part, and that part will then have a logical structure all to its own, hence the "necessity" for abstraction between the two, and real necessity, without any quotes, whenever you aim at producing highly readable code... whatever means you apply to that aim; mine, described here, is just one of some ways to realize that necessary abstraction.

And also, I forgot to specify that in fact, the "check list" is about the "what is, what should be done" = part 1, and the logical structure (= with more or less "truth table") which is checked to the checklist, in most cases, is part 2 = "which way do we do it", or in complicated cases, we need that, in a formalized manner, for both parts. In real life, you'll do it not that much formalized in most instances, and even when it is necessary, you'll do it just for the parts that really need observation and thorough checking if any possibility has been dealt with - the "message" in my description being, keep "task" (= together with the analysis what the task will be) separated from the execution of the task, and in most cases this means multiple crossings of the "lines" from a certain element in part 1, and then the "treatment", the "addressing" of that very same element in part 2 (where in most cases, it's become something very different anyway), or in other words: the logical grouping in part 1 is very different from the "steps to be done"-grouping in part 2, or at least should be: hence the necessity to build up some TWO logical structures, for just one (compound) task, and to coordinate them, without making logical errors, and without leaving "blanks" = dead ends = cases not treated. And in this coordination work, squared papers helps enormously, whilst "input simplification tools" are not really helpful, in most cases, since they counteract your need to realize variants in part 2, from variants in part 1: You will need those variants there, again (but in other constellations), instead of having them straightened in-between. In this respect, it's of interest to know that K-maps are the tool of choice for actors' signals' processing in alarm systems and such, since here, multiple combinations of different signals will trigger standardized reactions = transmission of other, "higher-level" signals, but only in combinations, and this is a task quite different from traditional programming, where we don't have "complicated input, and then standardized output", but "complicated input, and even more complicated output".

General Software Discussion / Re: Directory Opus 11 Released!
« on: March 06, 2014, 03:11 PM »
"I purchased the product in a state where those updates had already occurred."

I explained this above, with the blatant example of FPV, and which has withheld me from bying for YEARS now, because at any given moment within those YEARS, I had thought the next major upgrade is imminent (1.95 > 2.0).

I'm critical vàv DO, but their update scheme is known, and quite stable, so whenever you buy (it was on bits, half-price, no? since that would have been the moment it appeared there...!) 2 years after a major release, you KNOW the next major release will not take ages, don't you? (And their bit offering, then, is for squeezing out some more drops, out of the soon-previous version.) So you know, or you should know, what you're doing, by buying at such an untimely moment.

And finally, "Would be nice" - har, har, har: Anybody knows that DO stuff does good stuff (compared...), but that they never have been "nice" in their life, and they never will be: Worldwide, I only know of TWO fora where mentioning "competitors' " product will get you heavily reprimanded, censored, then thrown out, theirs, and then that of the German text expanding sw producer I will not name here, in order to not deviate the discussion unlawfully by getting him in to stante pede intervene.

So, in this context, expecting them to give sw away for free (= from their pov), is naïve/aberrant (since we know them, i.e. whatever you could say, you cannot say they do clearly state their stance on subjects regarding them).

Most people are like us, and would like to "make their customers happy" - not so with some, blatantly "I'm a hard businessman" types out there, but again, their stance is to be respected whenever they state it clearly, from start on, and that's what they do: Even by installing their trials, you'll quickly realize how "business-like" (vs. "customer-centred") they are, with their incredible "security" routines even for your daring to use the trial. So before buying (except in a bits case, without trialling), you'll perfectly know, from them, how they will treat you as a customer: blatantly authority-like, no kindness whatsoever to be expected.

This is to be respected, then, since it doesn't come as a surprise. Sorry to be blant here, but their "business model" is known, because they display it in the open. As far as I'm concerned, I prefer to not being treated like I would be on the police station, as a suspect, but then, there are people out there who LOVE to be treated that way. But don't enter a police station, convincing yourself you're entering a theme park: THEN, indeed, you might be in for some surprise.

Community Giveaways / Re: Scrivener at 50% off
« on: March 06, 2014, 11:12 AM »
"I took it, but gave it back smiley"

Now THIS is interesting stuff!

Would you condescend to comment?

Good for SE.

See my post in the CodeWright thread.

General Software Discussion / Re: Beyond Compare v4 Open Beta
« on: March 06, 2014, 10:29 AM »
I'm hating to spit into the soup again, but I'm very, deeply sorry:

I'm a user of 3 Prof., and I will NOT upgrade, I'm too deeply disappointed with this sw.

First, the developers are kind people, who really try to be helpful as it gets, and who always treat you like a welcome human being, not a nuisance, after having bought, that's one BIG argument for this sw.

But then, very unfortunately, they don't do real development work for BC, in spite of MANY users asking for such development.

Let alone development into the direction of doing "file synch" - much (and brilliant) folder compare functionality is there yet, but they refrain from introducing the according automation of synching, you would have to do it all by hand - and if you use some synch sw anyway, all that elaborate comparison done within BC doesn't serve you anything.

No, let's speak of the core functionality, of text comparison. Here, two manques make this applic almost useless for me (and there would certainly be other points I forget in the meanwhile, or which I'd discover DID I ever use this applic anymore, which is not the case; I'm currently looking for something better, and no, Araxis "is NOT it", Araxis is just pleasant to look at, and overpriced for what it really does).

First, BC is unable to treat new lines as "no change", e.g.

§ 210
paragraph's text here


§ 210 - paragraph's text here

are mandatorily treated as "not identical"; this is catastrophical for re-comparing, again and again, consolidated laws from the web, with those versions / excerpts you will have downloaded into your IMS; of course, the same remark is valid for any other "new line" probs.

Second, and much worse, BC is unable to "detect" - in fact, let be "un-detected" - changes in paragraph order. Thus,

para 1

para 2

para 3

will always be detected as different from

para 2

para 1

para 3

text compounds, and even though this is a common prob for most differs, in real life, it's one of the most important features any differ should have, so the absence of BC's development here (and yes, it's a little bit complicated to conceive, but then, coding would be rather simple) is really annoying, since they force you to find something "better", i.e., in fact, something otherwise inferior BUT which offers that feature you're in absolute need of.

For all three aspects, I spoke, in length, to them, also with regards to the respective market share considerations, and even their big chances to then serve a largely extended market, far from the original market of "just" developers, for just SOME needs:

- break into the synch market

- version control (even for developers)

- contract M (lawyers, managers, every corporation out there, big or small).

No way, this version 4 - and I waited YEARS for it, so I really HAD lotsa patience with them - is a big, big disappointment.

Well, posting general considerations in a DO fanboy thread was naïve, since it could only be met there with admirers' blah-blah, not addressing the underlying conceptional considerations. So I take the liberty to open a new thread for those, be there some arguments to come or not.

Unchanged, that other post:

Features, not benefits

Andus is right, and I want to spit in the soup anyway, or so it might seem to some.

- Update scheme: I think 2007, 2011, 2014 (full 3 years between 2011 and 2014) is acceptable. It's just that people buying on bits (or worse, paying full price whenever the current major version has been on the market for some time then) are a little bit fuc**** up, since asking price is high, update price is high, accordingly, and on bits (that's my impression at least), this prog tends to be offered whenever next major update, without being imminent, is not THAT far away: was it spring / early summer 2013, last time, i.e. 2/3 into the "life span" of the then current major release? And this means, if you want to profit from this prog, release of a major update is the time the buy (full price, unfortunately, but full price for 3 years' it being up-to-date is better than paying half-price or more just for 10 months, right?).

- Scriptability: Well, that's been offered before, and also from XY, SC and some others. As I said before, I don't see the real value in a given file commander's scriptability, since I've got an AHK macro system which gives me access to almost any "command" I am in need, or just in want, of, from ANY file manager today, and also (here I have got some more work to do, though), from "anywhere where it applies", i.e. it's possible to access the respective file M functions from within another applic, from within there would be an "interest" of having access to the respective file M function, i.e. without switching to your file manager, and then triggering the relevant commands from within there.

So this is a common prob of all those scriptable file managers: Finally, they let you do lots of elaborate macroing, but from within that given file M, and I prefer it light, smooth: Why would I have to bother with a file manager, or worse, with a specific file manager, when I can do the work in a much more elegant way? (= Any file manager is an additional access gui to what you want to do, under the hood, so being able to have it done under the hood, without getting by a file manager for that specific task that arises within your REAL task, the one you are doing in your main prog at that time, IS a much more elegant way to do things, with no file manager coming into your way.)

And as said, I do such things from ANY file manager even today, so for me, even FC XE does not have any limitation, e.g. compared with X2 (I don't own DO but don't see any additional functionality in there): from both (and several others), I trigger the same AHK commands, instead of relying upon what one file manager might be able to do, and another, not.

- As said before, there is additional functionality both with XY and with DO, for pic browsing, and I use XY extensively for this, but at the end of the day, hadn't I my license to it, I'd do it with XN or other freeware, and Fast Picture Viewer is also there, as the superior prog to anything else (I've been extensively using the free version for years, because the version has been 1.95 for years now (or so it seems to me), and I'd be happy to buy 2.0 (but would have been extremely unhappy to buy 1.95, just some months before 2.0 came out. In other words, the developer will have prevented many prospects from buying, by having upheld his 1.95 version number for years or so now, and I very much hope this will change soon, i.e. he will bring out 2.0, finally.)

I also said this before, general preview, both with XY and DO (i.e. not only for pics), seems to be superior to their competition, but then, in order to be fully functional (and unparalleled), DO's preview pane has to be spiced up with an external add-in that costs (if I remember well) 40 euro, i.e. some 55 dollar. Also, and even if you're willing to pay for that upgrade, too, you'll realize that most of those additional formats you just bought are legacy formats, often from the VERY early days of personal computing...

So here is a viable concept but which lacks in realization quality for today's needs - many current file formats you would be eager to have preview access to in your file manager, are simply not available here (and I don't have the impression that there is much development going on on that subject, either).

- Also, in both DO and X2 (not XY, as before: they have their own, proprietary format for that, and in TC, it's even more weird, with their maintaining the venerable descript.ion format), the ADS-NTFS-format meta data concept (which has been dumped by MS) has been upheld (and probably, it's even fully interchangeable from X2 to DO and vice versa, but that's not for sure in every possible circumstances), but both are unwilling to discuss specifics: Whilst XY just isn't helpful, DO's lapdogs, in their usual style, even become rude when some paying user (not me) dares to bring up the subject. So, at the end of the day, it's more than doubtful that ADS file attributes could ever be an argument pro DO or pro X2, since you will never know what are their respective intentions with that, let alone those of MS.

- I said this before: File managers like XY, X2, DO, SC, etc. try to justify their price by integrating some additional functionality into them, e.g. batch rename, file search, and even some file synch, duplicate search, etc.: As said before, most of the time, there are (even free) tools available that do this even better (= with more options to choose from, e.g., i.e. more fine-tuning allowed), and so what really remains from this, is their argument that it's more convenient to have it all in one applic. Well, I don't share this pov, for a double reason: I prefer having the very best tool available for any given task, not some tool from the file manager but which more or less limits what I want to achieve; and even those tools "integrated" into those file managers are often just triggered by the file manager in question, appearing then in their own, additional window, which means they are not as fully integrated into the file manager as they try to make you believe, and then, if there is no full integration anyway, why not trigger, by a shortkey, the additional tool of your choice to do the work in question? Here, the promised convenience seems to lie in the fact that most users don't have immediate access to anything, by simple shortcut and/or custom menus (AHK again), but would have to fiddle with opening those additional tools, instead of them being instantly available. So, for me, this argument of "convenience of having all (???) needed tools in one tool box" falls flat, all the more so since, again, at least in some cases, non-file-manager-dependant tools of the same kind are MUCH more sophisticated than the (more or less) "integrated" ones.

- So, from my pov, it's just looks, and yes, DO's pretty, and from that, perhaps it's not that bad an idea to buy DO 11 LITE on bits when it reappears there, since that would add another file manager to your collection that might be a pleasant-looking replacement for FC XE (or anything else), for triggering your AHK commands from there, like you would do it from any other such file manager. Just don't expect file managers to be "complete" in any way, since even the most expensive ones are just compromises for anything they do. I did buy that bunch of file managers over the time for lack of understanding then that even by being willing to buy them "all", and at any price, I would NOT get real good stuff, and not even by combining their respective highlights, by switching between them. And in conclusion, I seriously think that expecially fervent DO advocates did not yet see this evidence:

You will have to build up your own toolbox; by waiting for some perfect toolbox, comprising it all, and delivered to you, at any price you're willing to pay, you'll just grow old - and that includes DO, notwithstanding their snooty pretending otherwise.

And now some additional remarks, re that 1001st DO thread:

"just a pint of beer frequently cost >= $15 USD"

As we all know, Norway (the country of the poster of that "argument"), as well as Switzerland, has highly inflated prices, AND highly inflated wages, so almost ANY price will be considered "cheap", in direct comparison with local prices, and with local wages, in those countries (and in Oil countries: Kuweit, etc.). BUT THAT IS NOT THE POINT. The point is, what does a 100 bucks sw does MORE for you, than, say, a 0 bucks sw? I.e. it's all about comparing apples with apples, not with the purse of your Lady.

"Auto filters on folders?  That's just plain cool."

Of course it is, but then, again, this automatic filtering of files should be accessible from within your main application, automatically presenting you a dataset reflecting what you're doing in your real work environment: Any file commander is just INTERFERING, badly or slightly, but interfering, with that "natural workflow" which in most cases, today, has NOT yet been realized for most people.

Of course, for people JUST doing file M, the "mileage" varies, but for most of us, a file manager is something that gives us access to some "material TO" our real work, and for this task, today's file manager do NOT "deliver", or in a way no manager who's in optimization of business processes, could ever find even reasonably satisfying. (Developers are more or less aware of the fact, so they invent "virtual folders/collections/whatever", but they lack the imagination to do this in any real useful way.)


We've got a similar prob with MS Excel, which is misused by legions of managers for "data crunching", "data analysis", as a data BASE, and so on, more appropriate sw not being (financially, organizationally or intellectually) available (for most people), à la différence près que in file M, there does not even exist such an ideal solution... because here, the ideal solution would be complete integration of all relevant file M functionality into what you're REALLY DOING. And it seems that this paradigm is more than most people's minds can cope with, conceptually, hence the blatant absence of relevant solutions.

Thus, DO might be "best" or "among the best ones" within very low confines, within a real flat world.

"Code Browser" (freeware) has some good explanations on different folding paradigms.

But I doubt ANY editor is perfect for managing text snippets (and even for coding) since they all seem to present that common prob that you have not only to code / mark up the folding point (begin=not hidden title of the hidden text part), but also the end point of that hidden structure, again and again, and it does NOT seem to be possible in any of them to define ANY "begin new part (hidden except for its title line)" code (= begin), as the END of the previous hidden structure, so there is a lot of (imo) unnecessary "hide mark-up" to do here.

On the other hand, most 2-pane outliners perfectly export to plain-text .txt files, so why not manage your code within such an outliner and have the exported text file compiled then; this makes available rtf formatting within the "work copy" of your code, which I find extremely helpful.

All the more so with text notes: Almost any dedicated 2-pane outliner does the M of text notes in a perfect way; why bother with the very limited capabilities of editors (folding or not) instead?

Of course, a 1-pane outliner would often be the worst solution: It lacks many capabilities of editors, and it doesn't offer the clarity of a 2-pane outliner either (which will become very important if you have hundreds or thousands of such items (or folded text bodies within your .txt file).

Again, a capable pc can export thousands of items of a 2-pane outliner into the corresponding .txt files within a second, and with a macro, you can automate this transition from outlining to file-for-compilation (which is not even necessary for text notes, compared with source code), so why clinging to bad editor solutions when there are better, i.e. more appropriate ones?

This being said, I'd be interested in knowing a folding editor in which you would just do some special char before title lines, and which would then fold anything else (folding editor, I said, i.e. not speaking of KEdit and such here, bec there is a prob with those whenever you then want to see the text underneath such a title line, and just that part).

More info would be more than welcome.

General Software Discussion / Re: Are Tables Required Or Not?
« on: February 27, 2014, 02:33 PM »
"After reading superboyac's excellent treatise on "information collectors""

Could you share the link please?

"how does one handle the data normally contained in tables"

Well, that would depend both on the origin of the data you normally would have put into the table, and on the USE you ideally would have made of that data (if it were stored in a table) - from that point on valid advice would be possible, not without that knowledge.

I'll give two examples:

- some IMS come with "columns"; unfortunately, it's a trap to put data into those "columns" = item attributes, in most cases, bec such data will not be exportable ever after, or with difficulty

- if you don't need "live", frequent writing access to your data, why not link an item containing a .jpg of the table, to the original table? (of course, broken links probs could then occur, without proper planning: If you don't have hundreds of such external tables, putting them all together in just one directory would be preferable to splicing them up into numerous folders-by-context (= you would organize context within your IMS, not try to double it within the file system, for these)) (also, for memory/fast display reasons, is Excel mandatory, in such a coupling, e.g. for need of elaborate data processing, or is it simply a set of un-touched values, where tiny MS Works or other simple spreadsheets could be linked instead? There might be free offerings for very simple tables) (Also, a short macro could automatically load the respective original file, whenever you then display such a "special" item, even for frequent writing access, if needed; in such cases, even the copying of the "pic" of the table into the item would be counterproductive, since most of the time, the pic would be out of sync (or synching would be too much fuss) - here, just the item's title, in the tree, could contain the link, which would omit the intermediate step of first going to the content field of the item, then to trigger the link only)

As said, it all depends on the origin (and extent) of the data, and your typical access to it; just for reading of seldomly changed data, a pic of the original file, plus the link to it, would be best.


Quite naturally, I'm very interested in this type of projects. Unfortunately, your,

"Most who use English, do it unsuccessfully."

applies to yourself, and for a native speaking English writer, that's hard to beat.

Perhaps you should not write in 5 languages but in 3 only, like I do? It's all about preserving that at least your native language continues to sound right. (For the really gifted, even 10 tongues might not be a prob, but that's not us, obviously.)

Just my 2 cents.


As for AHK's ListView, there are some alternatives available within the AHK framework, written by excellent programmers. But then, I don't see the necessity for any list views here, it would all be about text processing by replace functions, and for this, heavy duty, AHK is not ideal to begin with. And then, translation tools have been on the market for a very long time now, and with astonishing little success, results-wise: So, before speaking of most income being given to charity, and before some programmer willing to script the needed function set for free, there should be some evidence why, all the more so with very little scripting work said to be necessary, the product would be able to surpass what sw houses with sometimes big manpower have tried to succeed in, more or less in vain.

Just my 2 cents, again.

General Software Discussion / Re: What's your preferred File Manager
« on: February 12, 2014, 09:23 AM »
Re XY: Its memory M doesn't seem to be really on the ace side, since after some hours (= that's acceptable, imo) of moving around pics, it (or more specifically, its special, rather new preview pane) is a real burden on my system, and closing down XY, and then re-opening XY will not do away with the prob, only closing down Win (XP) will solve the prob.

This being said, this floating preview pane (which I look upon on my second screen, tree and thumbs being on my main screen) is a BIG, BIG factor in my having chosen XY (of which I own a lifetime license, as for some others) for my pic M (but amended with some AHK scripting for this) - I like it a lot for that task.

This being said (again), I heavily suppose that DO would not be any "worse" than XY in this respect (but most dedicated pic viewers are!!!)...

As for traditional file M, ALL file managers are rather dumb, independently of them being free, or paid, and I kindly invite you to have another look at FreeCommander XE, which is a quite wonderful piece of (free, as the name indicates) sw, and which I prefer to use, again and again and again, in my daily file M - again, with some AHK scripting (but which would apply to any of my 6 or 7 file managers as well)...

In other words, I own several paid file managers, but 95 p.c. of my time (and except for pic M), I use this free one of which I'm more than fond.

I've said it before, and I say it again: Most file managers include SOME level of "additional (more or less integrated) functionality" to justify their respective price, but in ANY, EVERY case, there is at least ONE (even free!!!) tool that's FAR BETTER than the one having been included into your paid file manager, and which makes (or should make) you look from another, different perspective to these (sometimes rather preposterous) offerings.

ANY ONE of these paid file managers suffer(s) from them clinging to the old, outdated 2-pane NC concept, and I had been called a fool/idiot/lunatic in ANY of these fora, and by ANY of those developers, when I begged for MORE than 2 panes (and very unfortunately, Q-Dir is buggy like hell, whilst FileBoss comes with LOTSA probs of its own), whilst, for paying for a file manager, IT'S THE THIRD PANE that would justify almost any price (in an otherwise really good, stable, robust file manager), but that third pane only.

Re X2 (and of which I also own "lifetime"), it's one of the most HYPED applics out there, especially with a developer who, just like XY's (but with the difference that XY's sometimes comes with real good ideas of his own), does NOT listen to "ace users"... well, that's what I'd call myself in this respect, wanting to express that those "power users" would HAVE been a gold mine of good ideas for the respective developer, in order to very quickly propulse that particular file manager onto top of the bunch...

So, for "doing additional things from within your file manager", both XY and DO seem to be of some additional value (but could easily be replaced by more dedicated tools, in those respects), whilst "traditional, paid file managers", be them called X2, SC, TC, whatever, ain't worth their respective asking price - I'm speaking here from years-long, sometimes very intimate experience with (paid versions of) those; so some fine craft like FreeCommander XE, for "regular, standard use" is far from negligeable.

This being said (again), there are "alternative solutions", or more precisely, offerings that TRY at least, to offer some alternative, and I lately wrote about them here:


File M IS different from IM, so you simply cannot mix up possible approaches, but it's undeniable that even FM cul-de-sacs are of high conceptual interest to what we're all striving at at the end of the day, and which is IM as a whole.

General Software Discussion / Re: Mind mapping software
« on: February 12, 2014, 08:45 AM »
Such discussions would be more fruitful, weren't it for people who steal ideas in one forum and present them as their own in other ones.


Tomorrow or after tomorrow, "Quick Macros" ( will be on, half-price, 20 bucks instead of 40.

So let's have a look on their screenshots since they are highly instructive because they illustrate why at the end of the day, it's not really in your interest of having some (even rather very good) proprietary macro tool.

Those screenshots clearly indicate that such (more elaborate = the better ones of them) tool come with real scripts BUT permit you to "click together" the respective command lines (and they group them together in "related command groups") so that you don't "have" to "learn" those: They simply spare you to look into the command list and then apply the syntax of the command in question correctly, whilst in AHK, you have to "look them up", AND then often have a real chance to do lotsa wrong: with or without %%? with or without parentheses? (in function-style AHK commands) with how many "empty" commata? (in "command-style" AHK commands, e.g. dothis, somevalue,,,someothervalue,,andsomeothervalueagain).

As you can see from this example, the problems with AHK lie in its "historically grown-up" chaos syntax, which would be perfectly avoidable, had the developers NON-programmers in mind, but no, they have it their way, as some sort of a combined IQ-and-physical-and-psychological-resilience test: Instead of making it "available to everyone", they insist on it "staying select", for fellow programmers (but as you will have grasped before, I'm not on their side with this policy).

On the other hand, you will need the "same" commands (in fact, more or less the same sub-group of all of those available commands, except for some rare exceptional cases), again and again, so you will be interested in copying those commands into some subset of your own, with your own comments "what is what", so as not being forced to look up the "how many commata in this command-style command or that", every single time.

The big advantage of tools like AHK (or AI) is certainly not the savings of 20 (or 40) bucks, but the fact that you'll quickly write quite large scripts, once you'll have set up such a "tamed subset" of commands, instead of "clicking your script together, line by line"... and there are many such commands in AHK, even for very special cases, incl. low-level Win access things.


This being said, some things are really, really weird in AHK; just read the (again, not totally helpful) help on

"Variables and Expressions" http://www.autohotke...m/docs/Variables.htm or especially on

"if (expression)" http://www.autohotke...nds/IfExpression.htm :

Where you look out for something more obvious, it's where they further blur things.

If fact, it's very simple (my explanation might be a simplification, but which will get you along here, and that is the relevant aspect here):

abc = 120 ; numerical variable assignment
xyz := "blahblah" ; non-numerical variable assignment

if abc = 120 ; numerical comparison
if ( xyz = "blahblah" ) ; non-numerical comparison


if abc = 1
   do this
and go on in your script


if abc = 1
   do this
   do that ; more than one command line or even complicated substructures here
go on with your script

(In the above example, if you forget the braces, the "do that" line will be executed anyway, independently of abc being 1 or whatever; that's a common mistake in a "just 2 lines after an if" structure.)

As for numerical comparisons
if a = 45
you could write them in the form
if ( a = 45 )
, too, but why should you, since you'll use such numerical comparisons (and also for true/false/status variables/toggles = 1/0) again and again, it's just very important to always remember this style cannot be applied to non-numerical comparisons.


As said above, it's these totally unnecessary syntax probs in AHK that make the day for click-together-tools like Quick Macros, and that's why it's important, in AHK, to very early adopt some consistent but visually easy (= no parentheses but where they are needed) programming style (nitpickers will replace "programming" by "scripting" individually, please).

And make plenty of use of
msgbox, yes; (= yes, this part of the script has been attained) for structural probs, or even use
msgbox, yes1
msgbox, yes2 ; etc. for checking several possible probs at once, and of
msgbox, %nameofvariabletobechecked% ; whenever it's not entirely certain (yet) your script has properly assigned the variable in question.

At the end of the day, it's the STRUCTURAL possibilities of macro languages which will give you so many new ways to ease up your work, and those you will encounter in click-it-all-together tools as well - they cannot help you with structure, but only with the syntax of the respective single commands - and that makes their appeal:

They enormously help you within those very first 3 weeks in macroing, but afterwards they more or less are an obstacle to further progress - and even if they allow for your real scripting there, alternatively to just clicking-together, you'll be stuck then with their respective, proprietary command syntax...

from which consideration ensues that some tool like "Quick Macros" but which entirely relied upon AHK would be an enormously useful thing, for the AHK beginner... (and for the developer of such a tool if he sold it without the usual 30 days trial period...)

General Software Discussion / Re: RightNote version 3.0.0 released
« on: January 27, 2014, 01:31 PM »
Hi tomos,

You see, Pierre Paul has got sw that for any mention of his prog, wherever that might be, he's informed of it, and pronto! Neville should have similar, so no prob for discussing sw within threads named for different sw. ;-)

Hi Pierre Paul,

I tried to discuss recursion some months ago with you, but you didn't answer.

Let's just continue our discussion over there.

For the casual reader here:
- whenever recursion occurs, you must cut it off on export/print (and the routine could add some info there re the cut, e.g. reference to the item number ("e.g.") in the exported subtree
- data replication (e.g. a cloned heading with some general info, at several places in the hierarchy) is not recursion (and thus is without prob)
- I've never seen any IMS in which recursion would have been "advisable", let alone "necessary" for any of its content, hence:
- You could even implement a routine that will prevent recursion, your data construct only gaining in clarity by this
- We're speaking of IM here, not of code libraries
- But even those, incl. their recursive parts, can be put in a non-recursive tree structure

- In fact, we're discussing main frame spaghetti code for information... but then came Jean-Dominique Warnier...
- And what was missing in his system, we do it by cross-referencing

- Could we have a (short, schematized, but nethertheless) real-life example of where recursion in IM would really be useful?
- Sloppy programming has been exterminated; why incite "information managers" to do sloppy IM?

My points for IM are:
1 - Recursion can (but must) be handled when it occurs
2 - Recursion can be prevented (as can "go to")
3 - Recursion should be avoided for clarity reasons
4 - I'm open to rethink point 3 if I'm given a real-life example where recursion might be helpful

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