ARSEObservant souls may have noticed I've been messing about with AutoIt recently, and getting quite impressed. If you looked at AutoIt v2 and like me thought, "pfff", and quickly went back to Macro Express, then take a look at v3. Now THAT is progress! While nothing beats Macro Express for pure Windoze automation, imho, AutoIt has transformed itself into something quite different.
Thanks to RichE for once again stirring my interest in the beast. Turns out that AutoIt has become almost a complete scripting language in itself, with functions and arrays and all that jazz, and importantly sports a nice BASIC-like language. I always liked BASIC, ever since I got my hands on a ZX-81, circa '1981. As far as computing languages are concered, my opinion is that the higher-level the better. Less coding = more time for programming!
It's a RAID tool now, and all manner of wee things I've conceived are not only very possible with AutoIt, but very easy. Did I mention the ease of coding? An example: You want your appplication to draw a progress bar? What about this handy ProgressOn() command, just like that!
As well as the usual nuts and bolts, the new Beta adds loads of great features, like socket functions, and a growing library of user-contributed functions - for arrays, at least, you'll need probably 'em! - though I haven't succumbed yet, finding pleasurable novelty in having to do stuff like redim. It gives me that warm 8-bit feeling
So anyway, my first project was a rewrite of the old RAD script (the one that deletes all those pesky built-in rules on our beloved Voyager205 router), mainly I wanted to get rid of that ugly (and quite dangerous) sendkeys business, and code in some sort of background telnet facility.
That turned out to be simple, so it evolved into RAH, an application to send arbitrary hacks to your router, which evolved into what we have now, the..
Automatic Router Scripting EngineOr ARSE, for short. This wee application can operate in dialog-driven or command-line (and drag-and-drop) modes, and makes hacking your router a piece of cake.
Of course I needed an installer. So that was project two. And before you know it, there's this fully-featured installer in-front of you with all the bells and whistles, but very little code indeed.
My installer adds multiple registry entires (remembers install options, etc), start menu items, shortcuts, explorer file-associations, right-click actions, the works! It also (once the app is installed) acts as an uninstaller/reinstaller and even deletes itself when it's done! Quite cute. Run it!
There's still things I'd like it to do with it, use a manifest perhaps, and maybe an archive of files, rather than the current "files" folder, and some sort of inflate facility. Though I quite like the files folder approach, too.
I'm hoping to "finish" it some time over the weekend, though I plan to thoroughly review the manual before attempting to code anything tricky. I spent over an hour the other day trying to figure out how to hook into Winsock.dll to get some DNS resolution, only to later realize that AutoIt has a TCPNameToIP() function! I swear, I searched loads of terms in the manual, googled, you name it! I found it later, looking for something completely different!
Ahh.. re-use of body text, almost as much fun as re-usable code!
Already there are loads of scripts for ARSE, port-forwarding setups for games, servers, p2p apps, some router tweaks and tricks. If you're interested, rake about.
Where was I? Ah right, devblog. You know, that's the trouble with developing, when you are in the mode, you're just too busy developing to write about developing, but I did promise I would do just that.
We have a lot of catching up to do.