New Development: ModHelper and Utilities

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Mystical Panda
Posts: 750
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:02 pm

[GenericInterfaceUtility]

Post by Mystical Panda » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:14 pm

[GenericInterfaceUtility] Added a configurable 'banner' to the top of the form (going to make this a 'standard' for all other forms applications. All textbox values can now be specified either at the command prompt or from the argument file. This allows another app to start GFU and supply the 'default' parameters, including the files to process. This will be standard for all  FORM  applications




I'm currently working out a very basic standard 'theme' system for all the relevant forms (as a 'background' project). It'll allow, at first, simple things like image, font and text color changes. It'll be a self contained file will all the data necessary to set the theme, and have all the necessary code to use it compiled in.



Mystical Panda
Posts: 750
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:02 pm

I should be finishing up on

Post by Mystical Panda » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:26 pm

I should be finishing up on the 'theme' code base here shortly, then I can get back to the 'stepper' utility and other coding. It won't be too much longer and I'll be caught up enough to circle back to ModHelper.


I'm mostly using BugReporter to keep track of programming tasks and ideas- things start getting crazy after a few dozen programs, and I need a way to help organize it. Yesterday I added custom rendering for the listbox and a few other useful things.


Just some basic skinning to help with the color balance...



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jlf65
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:10 pm

Those look very nice. Of

Post by jlf65 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:58 pm

Those look very nice. Of course, some people might complain that there's no skin with dripping blood or something. laugh



Mystical Panda
Posts: 750
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:02 pm

jlf65 wrote:

Post by Mystical Panda » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:21 pm

[quote=jlf65]


 


Those look very nice. Of course, some people might complain that there's no skin with dripping blood or something.


[/quote]


My bloodshot eyes sometimes beg to differ... laugh



Mystical Panda
Posts: 750
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:02 pm

Just finished working on the

Post by Mystical Panda » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:25 pm

Just finished working on the modular "gra" library; this will let some programs transparently get files they need from a .gra archive, if the file specified is type "GRA\0".


Lot's of RETRO fitting of code into the existing utility base; bugfixes and expanding on existing function features, this parts going to take awhile...



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jlf65
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From the flight simulator,

Post by jlf65 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:40 pm

From the flight simulator, graphic novels, or the MS Graph application files? laugh



Mystical Panda
Posts: 750
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:02 pm

jlf65 wrote:

Post by Mystical Panda » Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:43 am

[quote=jlf65]


 


From the flight simulator, graphic novels, or the MS Graph application files?


[/quote]


Probably all the above... lol! 


[v0.0.0.25] Worked on a new pre-release version, which should be ready for testing; added 'transparent' text file loading which checks to see of the file is a "gra", if so, it will auto-extract and load the decompressed version (deleting the extracted file in most cases- depends on what the "gra" file is used for). This way really large files can be compressed and automatically handled; uses ExtractGenericArchive as a backend. That was a 25 application marathon.


Large 'catalogs' that were 11mb in size, can now be compressed to 1.7mb using CreateCenericArchive and used in that state. Plus it'll lend itself to better integration into the 'steps' program I'll be updating next.


New 'theme' command line parameters that are usable from the usual places were added; command line, startup tag and argsf input file. This allows just setting specific 'theme' parameters at run time without the use of a 'theme' file ("gra" files are supported as the compressed 'format'). I also integrated the 'basic' theme code into all windows forms utilities.


[BugReporter] Added a CRITICAL 'status' option for things that need attention ASAP; these are sorted at the top using a stronger color scheme.


I also wrapped an additional check around certain 'process' calls to hopefully catch executables masquerading as pdf, html and other 'document' type files. It's just another 'sanity' type check and doesn't preclude the use of a good Antivirus program.



Mystical Panda
Posts: 750
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:02 pm

[Themes] Here's a quick shot

Post by Mystical Panda » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:08 am

[Themes] Here's a quick shot at a simple theme that's applied to three utilities; 'greenish.theme' is the theme file applied using the "-theme=greenish.theme" keyword. To make it a default, either add the parameter to the utilities icon, or add it to the <startup> tag in the utilities ini file.


<start>


-theme=greenish.theme


</>


The 'theme' is just a collection of files and settings (themeconfig.ini) stored in a compressed archive (the format is "gra" created with CreateGenericArchive. I can only code 'basic' stuff for now since I need to finish upgrading the remaining utilities with the newest library code; though some will require a small re-write to bring up to how I think they should work (it's open for change though, if needed).



Mystical Panda
Posts: 750
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:02 pm

[CreateGenericArchive] Now

Post by Mystical Panda » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:54 am

[CreateGenericArchive] Now supports compressing files from multiple folders and either allowing them to be extracted relative to the current folder ExtractGenericArchive is start from, the root folder or back to their original location; two additional switches "-usefullpath", "-deletewhenadded". The former forces the compressed files to be extracted back to their original locations- useful to restore files from a "gra" 'backup'.



Mystical Panda
Posts: 750
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:02 pm

Added a new 'overhead'

Post by Mystical Panda » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:40 pm

Added a new 'overhead' parameter to CreateGenericArchive, and ExtractGenericArchive. This increases the working overhead for the zlib compression routines, and allows it to be specified at run time. I'm pretty sure it has enough to compress just about anything now. The problem with some types of files being compressed is, they're already compressed with something else. And compressing them again, could cause the compressed file to be larger, not smaller, than the original. Though by not much, it has to be accounted for. Overall there's still an ~10% decrease in original vs. compressed size over the 150 or so image files (button faces, icons, the default 'set'...), so it'll still be useful.


[Utilities DLL] Just started breaking the code library from ModHelper and it's associated utilities and compiling them into the first of the dlls. This should reduce programming time quite a bit, and help to move away from (though it's still there to be used if needed) firing off back-ends to simply using the same function in a loadable library. Since this will be the 'core' functions of pretty much the entire set, I need to prioritize this first, then finish the utilities that are still open (at least to the point of having the new dll libraries in place with the updated code base), then work that back into ModHelper.


[ModHelper] Working out some new ideas to add new features and improve the overall functionality. It'll be a bit before I can get back to it though; just have to keep taking notes. I still want to have most of the features broken out into separate utilities over time; that's still a design and implementation goal. 



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