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New Launcher app with automation feature: Blaze

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I use FARR, I like FARR a lot, and I really, really hate to say this, but I just read about a new app launcher + called Blaze which looks highly intriguing. It is hosted on SourceForge, and as well as launching apps (FARR does that more than well enough, thanks!) it observes what you are doing, and offers to automate those tasks it "thinks" can be automated.

Has anyone tried this? At least in theory, it is an incredibly interesting idea. (I'm planning on trying it out, so I'll post my thoughts here once I discover anything worth sharing. It may be a while; as far as I can tell, a lot of what I do can't easily be automated. I just hate doing the stuff that can be. ;D And there's a point where it takes just a bit more time creating an AHK routine to do it for me than it takes just to slog through. That's where I'm hoping this tool can help. Well, of course, if it can save me setting up routines manually for the big jobs, too, I won't object.)

Then again, it is in beta. One good bug might wipe out all the savings in time and annoyance. Well, if it does, I guess I'll have only myself to blame. ;) I just can't resist trying it out...

let us know how it is -- i'll add it to the list of related apps in the farr help file in the meantime.


At first it just looks like YAL (Yet Another Launcher), but it does have a few neat ideas. For one, it can work around typos. But what it really brings to the table is automation of repetitive tasks. Other apps do similar things (file renaming etc), but Blaze "watches" your activities then offers suggestions when you seem to be doing a repetitive tasks. It looks like it analyses keyboard and other input anytime it's running then springs into action when it notices a pattern of work you're engaging in.

Nonetheless, on what Blaze really stands out is automating recurrent tasks. Blaze is continuously monitoring your activity and is aware of what you are doing. Whenever you are doing a repetitive task, he will have a suggestion for you that you can accept or just ignore. Accepting this suggestion will make Blaze fulfill the remainder of the task in your place.

So... What can Blaze do for me?

For instance, imagine that you took around fifty photos on a summer party. You digital camera, by default, assigns weird names to those photos and you really want to give them meaningful names. How would you achieve such a goal?

Spend 5 minutes doing it by hand...
Spend more than 5 minutes learning how to use a dedicated tool.
Do it in 20 seconds with Blaze.
With Blaze, you just have to rename the first three photos on the folder and Blaze will detect what you are doing. The suggestion would be the following:

They are still in early development, so documentation is sparse, but here is their quick guide

Features, Screenshots and Docs

Doesn't look like much dev docs yet, but plugins can be done with IronPython by the looks of it.

Now, my question is can the same feature become a part of FARR? I am doing data entry as a research assistant at my University and this looks to be a Godsend. Since this is something always watching, I'm not sure if an alias or a plugin could do something similar since they still need to be triggered. Maybe a part of the core? (doubt it). This feature is nice, but not enough to make me leave everything else FARR has. Might have to use both if it's not possible.

it has some of the features from Farr, even adaptive search. let's see how development picks up.

there's already another thread here on this topic. maybe we can continue over there? :)

edit: topic already merged. :up:


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