stevetabler

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Archive for December, 2012

SELECT program

Posted by stevetabler on December 7, 2012

The SELECT program has received the most work of all my projects so far, and in the past I have offered it up for sale as a download from my online store site (currently offline). The project started simply enough out of my need for a glue-program for a specific situation.

Background info: the groupware environment (some people call it a game) knows as ‘Second Life’ has a very unique and extensive scripting (programming) environment built into it. Naturally, it uses a proprietary language, called LSL or Linden Scripting Language. To write scripts, one had to be logged-in to Second Life using a program called a ‘viewer’. Originally, the only compatible viewers were provided by Linden Labs. Eventually, they started a formalized 3rd-party viewer program, and open-sourced the viewer for the most part, and several other developers started working on new viewer features. To write scripts inside the viewer, one had to use the script editor. Sounds simple enough, but there were a few drawbacks: there was no easy way of working on scripts off-line. Scripts could only be stored at the server and accessed using the tools in the viewer. The only way to work on a script while offline was to use the copy/paste features in Windows and other operating systems to transfer the contents of a script. This works but can be quite tedious. With a 3rd party viewer, hooks were put in to allow one to specify their own favorite editor and allow script editing with it. This worked fairly well, but there are some shortcomings with it. In particular, I found that if I wanted to change the script editor I had defined, I could do it just on the fly: I had to go through a few levels of config-menu in the viewer and specify a different editor.

The SELECT program was designed as a bridge between the viewer and the editor I use. Essentually, the viewer would invoke SELECT, and pass the filename for the script being edited as a command line argument. Then, SELECT, assuming it has been appropriately installed and configured, opens a small window. In the window is a collection of buttons, with each button representing a specific editor. One button could be for Notepad. Another button might be for Wordpad. Still another might be for LSL Editor (another 3rd party editor). So, one has the intermediate step of pressing a button on SELECT to invoke the current editor of choice to use. All functions within that editor will function on the current script. One thing that can very easily be done at this point is to save a copy of the script locally on the hard drive. Another thing is printing a hard-copy. You could be working on editing the script in Notepad, and simply use the print pulldown in Notepad. Another option might be to briefly open Word, do a little formatting (without saving), and print from it.

SELECT also became a bit complex for a simple glue-program: I wasn’t satisfied with default buttons, and I added the ability to edit various aspects of the buttons to control the appearance of a button. In the end, I ended up with a very handy program that I could use to re-organize all the icons scattered across the Windows desktop.

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Email client

Posted by stevetabler on December 7, 2012

I’ve used several email clients. Pine, Outlook, Outlook Express, and Eudora. Although dated, I keep going bac to Eudora despite some aspects of it being annoying. There hasn’t been any new work done on the original Eudora for a few years now. I’m not sure any is planned.

I am currently working on an Email client of my own, to replace Eudora on my system. I’m concentrating on the parts of an Email client I currently use. I want something I can just drop-in and directly use with my existing Eudora email files without having to do an import operation…..importing 10+ years of email can take a lot of time. I also want to keep my email folder structure intact. Finally, I want to continue to use filters that are at least equal to the filters I can setup on Eudora.

Problems with other email programs I’ve tried:

  • Hard limit to the total size of accumulated messages.
  • Storing the filters, and other key parameters, in the registry, and then having to recreate them manually due to a registery error, or a re-install of Windows.
  • Sudden changes in focus due to a background activity within the email client i.e. polling a server.
  • Eudora currently suffers from some initial start-up problems when running in Windows 7. It works all right once the problem times-out, but it would be nice for it to just work.
  • Finer control of email polling is desired. Currently, I can set Eudora to poll for email once every 10 minutes. However, I use multiple email servers from and some of them I think that polling hourly or daily would be sufficient.

Current work on this project is just beginning. Work is being done in C#. I plan to share the results of this project once I have something to share. This may become a shareware/freeware/donationware project.

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