task enhancements

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task enhancements

Postby mortee » Mon Jul 12, 2004 9:41 am

I guess this wouldn't be trivial to enable, but I'll post it nevertheless...

So, the task scripts should support simple program flow concepts, like conditional branches and loops. This should possibly not be too emphasized, to keep things simple for non-programmers, but it'd be nice to have anyway. Loops should be possible to iterate a given number of times, or over a list of files.

Also, supporting simple named variables would be nice. Nothing fancy, just strings, maybe with a few numerical operations, which would work if the variable has a valid numeric string value. Those could be assigned static values, or the contents of the clipboard, or the current selection.

*Maybe* file lists obtained e.g. from a file open panel. Even better, if lists would just be a string with items separated by some special character, then it could function as a list for files, windows or other string-like things. Then loops could be had to iterate over the items in such a list. A few macro steps could be used to get some interesting things into such lists, like various kinds of windows (existing, visible, minimized etc.), or a file list from a file requestor, anything.

I know this is quite advanced, and I don't really expect it to be realized, but it'd be nice anyway (:
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Postby Marc G » Mon Jul 12, 2004 10:01 am

:shock:
This is a really really nice suggestion ...
... but really really advanced and certainly not easy to implement.
But maybe in one of the future versions ... ;)
Maybe I can implement this by using some kind of existing scripting language. Yes, this might be possible ... in any case this will take a long time to implement, so don't expect it anytime soon ;)
Last edited by Marc G on Mon Jul 12, 2004 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Marc G » Mon Jul 12, 2004 10:12 am

One little question: What would you use this for?
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Postby mortee » Mon Jul 12, 2004 10:20 am

Well, simple branches or fixed-number repeated blocks should not be that hard to implement.

As for an existing scripting language, I suggest you look at AutoIt, it's been really nice for Windows automation, from what I recall.
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Postby mortee » Mon Jul 12, 2004 10:27 am

Marc G wrote:One little question: What would you use this for?

For what? In general, for anything. Automation may require any level of programming constructs.

The first thing that immediately hit me was a really simple thing: I wanted to check if an URL is on the clipboard or selected, and launch the browser with that URL, otherwise just launch it. This check can't be done currently.

Aside from that, I'd have a great number of cases where branches/loops would be required. For example, why can't I make a task to iterate through all the files in a folder structure matching a given filter, and apply some operation to them? Or iterate through all the open windows with a given string in their title, and minimize/close them... I could cook up any number of such examples. The point is to *program* the GUI, instead of just a list of sequential steps.

Actually, I never understood why macro apps usually only allow for sequential operation, while there's nothing really different between an application program and a macro program...
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Postby Marc G » Mon Jul 12, 2004 11:27 am

I see.
The tasks in ShellEnhancer started out with just being able to launch an app with a hotkey. With time, new commands were added, but the sequential nature was kept.
But I see why it would be usefull. The tasks would be pretty powerfull with a scripting language.
I have added this to the todo list, but it will take time to implement and also keep in mind that I'm not working fulltime on ShellEnhancer because I have a few other programs in development to ;)
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Postby mortee » Mon Jul 12, 2004 2:27 pm

Marc G wrote:I have added this to the todo list, but it will take time to implement and also keep in mind that I'm not working fulltime on ShellEnhancer because I have a few other programs in development to ;)

Glad you added it to your schedule... And I haven't expected it to be done anytime soon either. Just mentioned the idea, in case you liked it, and there you go.
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Postby mortee » Mon Jul 12, 2004 2:37 pm

Ah, I forgot. For a few ideas regarding tasks in general, you should take a look at Iolo Macro Magic. It's a shareware, and it has a few nice things, like some macro trigger events, and the like. Just play around with it, look at what it can do, and if you find anything that could be useful for ShellEnhancer's tasks, but not too hard to implement, just go include it.

I have to admit that this is a bit biased suggestion, because one of the resident programs I'd like to replace with SE is Macro Magic - so the more MM features SE can mimic the better. But it's worth looking at anyway.
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Postby Marc G » Mon Jul 12, 2004 2:58 pm

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll take a look at it.
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