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A cross-platform implementation of the AutoIt language


How interested are you?  

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  1. 1. How interested are you?

    • I am willing to work on the code
    • I am willing to help with testing
    • I would love to see this becoming a reality
    • Nah mate, I don't think this is a good idea


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Hello everyone, it has been a while since I have been involved in a serious AutoIt-related project discussion in the forums here, so it feels good to be back at it :)

First a little backstory, a few months back (or a year ago) I made the switch to Linux from Windows... there were several reasons as to why I was motivated to do it, but the main things was Windows 10 was getting out of hand, it didn't offer enough freedom out of the box (restrictive settings, greedy defaults etc.) and had several issues with all kinds of software, many of them mysteriously hard to fix.

I did have Linux installed as my secondary operating system for few years at that point and I began to see me regularly use it more than Windows, so one day I went ahead and said "fork it", I have stuck to Linux from that point on as my primary operating system.

Windows is still installed in my computer and I also have a virtual machine with the latest version of Windows 10 on it, primarily because I still use Windows to write software using AutoIt as part of my job (freelance).

I was pretty sad about the fact that I could no longer use AutoIt to make stuff for myself (since it doesn't run on Linux), I missed sharing code with the community here, this was a great hobby for me as AutoIt is what got me start with programming (even though I had tried several times to get into other languages before, those attempts were never as successful as what I have done in AutoIt).

In Linux there is no language which is similar to AutoIt unfortunately, there are a few things which come close but are not on par with AutoIt's ease of use. As some of you may know, I have recently started working on other projects using the C language, it is a great step I have taken and I am learning a lot... but it is still not easy to create quick scripts or programs in C, due to the amount of configuration and dedication it takes to make a C program, also it is not ideal for sharing as multiple source files are involved. And on top of that you still have to deal with platform-specific APIs since C is a low-level language.

(Getting back to core of this topic's subject)

To solve this issue and to sharpen my programming skills, I could start working on an alternate cross-platform implementation of the AutoIt language which should be backwards compatible with the current AutoIt v3 on C

The primary aim in the beginning is to implement all the basic functions (File, String, Numbers etc.)  in AutoIt so that it is possible to make basic and fundamental scripts which would work in both Windows and Linux :)

The main features would be:

  1. Cross-platform (Linux and Windows with the possibility supporting of Mac)
  2. Backward compatible with AutoIt 3
  3. Byte-code based interpreter instead of source interpreter
  4. Easy to use (just like the current AutoIt)

The advantage of having a byte-code based interpreter is that it makes the interpreter lighter and faster since it doesn't have to deal with parsing the source code, this would also open the door for some compile time optimizations... another bonus thing for those who don't like their source code present inside the compiler binaries is that it should be impossible to get hands on the original source code, this of course does not mean that decompilation can be stopped... it merely means that anyone decompiling would have to reconstruct the code from the byte-code.

 

We can later on implement GUI related functions and maybe even automation related functions if the project gets enough traction :D

I am adding a poll to keep track of people who are willing to invest in this project or would like to see it come into existence. Welcome any comments, suggestions etc.

Obviously I will have a lot to learn and my work might interfere with this at times, but with enough interest I can see myself working on this to deliver a very basic prototype which could be used with basic scripts.

 

Edited by TheDcoder

EasyCodeIt - A cross-platform AutoIt implementation

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Interesting thread, somehow missed it before. For what it's worth, speaking from personal experience, I think it's worth pursuing (regardless of the merits of having a native AutoInux), because n

Come on folks, where is your heart, don't be so outright discouraging with your voting. Why so negative? Everything starts with a dream, and not all dreams come true, but allow him that one

Why not build your project using SQL alone? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPSMH8w7nfw  

it must exist dude, Jos and Friends work on it.... is Jon willing to let you port it? there would be libraries and stuff that would also need porting. otherwise i would not want you to spend your valuable time on it. .NET already runs perfectly on Mono, any language you like.

the editor work Jos does would also need to be ported to the Scite linux version I would imagine... TONS and TONS of work.

 

Edited by Earthshine

My resources are limited. You must ask the right questions

 

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AutoIt is closed source and Jos is part of the AutoIt Team, I doubt Jon would give me access to the code to port it... and I imagine it would be very hard to port the existing codebase.

What I want to do is port the bare minium first as I have mentioned, we can take things from there.

EasyCodeIt - A cross-platform AutoIt implementation

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Doesn't WINE let you use it, or at least some of AutoIt?

If I posted any code, assume that code was written using the latest release version unless stated otherwise. Also, if it doesn't work on XP I can't help with that because I don't have access to XP, and I'm not going to.
Give a programmer the correct code and he can do his work for a day. Teach a programmer to debug and he can do his work for a lifetime - by Chirag Gude
How to ask questions the smart way!

I hereby grant any person the right to use any code I post, that I am the original author of, on the autoitscript.com forums, unless I've specifically stated otherwise in the code or the thread post. If you do use my code all I ask, as a courtesy, is to make note of where you got it from.

Back up and restore Windows user files _Array.au3 - Modified array functions that include support for 2D arrays.  -  ColorChooser - An add-on for SciTE that pops up a color dialog so you can select and paste a color code into a script.  -  Customizable Splashscreen GUI w/Progress Bar - Create a custom "splash screen" GUI with a progress bar and custom label.  -  _FileGetProperty - Retrieve the properties of a file  -  SciTE Toolbar - A toolbar demo for use with the SciTE editor  -  GUIRegisterMsg demo - Demo script to show how to use the Windows messages to interact with controls and your GUI.  -   Latin Square password generator

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it's written in C or C++ most likely, right? how hard can it be.... lol, you're a C/C++ dude now after all. 🙂

anyway, there are a bunch of good tools for Linux automation

https://www.linuxtechi.com/top-7-tools-automate-linux-admin-task/

 

as well as python of course, always

Edited by Earthshine

My resources are limited. You must ask the right questions

 

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I thought Unix had a shell scripting language.  I used in Tech school about 20 years ago.  That seemed like AutoIt for Unix.

Edit: I almost completely forget the name of what I am talking about.

Edited by Xandy
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1 minute ago, BrewManNH said:

Doesn't WINE let you use it, or at least some of AutoIt? 

Yes, it does, however using it is not ideal... a native program will be heaps better and would be favoured by users who actually want to release a proper linux binary of their script :)

2 minutes ago, Earthshine said:

it's written in C or C++ most likely, right? how hard can it be.... lol

It is written in C++ (I am planning to do it in C), you are more than welcome to work on the code if you think it is easy ;)

3 minutes ago, Earthshine said:

anyway, there are a bunch of good tools for Linux automation

Right, but AutoIt is more than an automation tool... I never really used it for automation since the beginning, it is a great programming language above all for me!

EasyCodeIt - A cross-platform AutoIt implementation

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5 minutes ago, TheDcoder said:

I never really used it for automation since the beginning

Same here. I only go back to the automation part when I need a quick way to do something I'm too lazy to do for myself. ;)

 

If I posted any code, assume that code was written using the latest release version unless stated otherwise. Also, if it doesn't work on XP I can't help with that because I don't have access to XP, and I'm not going to.
Give a programmer the correct code and he can do his work for a day. Teach a programmer to debug and he can do his work for a lifetime - by Chirag Gude
How to ask questions the smart way!

I hereby grant any person the right to use any code I post, that I am the original author of, on the autoitscript.com forums, unless I've specifically stated otherwise in the code or the thread post. If you do use my code all I ask, as a courtesy, is to make note of where you got it from.

Back up and restore Windows user files _Array.au3 - Modified array functions that include support for 2D arrays.  -  ColorChooser - An add-on for SciTE that pops up a color dialog so you can select and paste a color code into a script.  -  Customizable Splashscreen GUI w/Progress Bar - Create a custom "splash screen" GUI with a progress bar and custom label.  -  _FileGetProperty - Retrieve the properties of a file  -  SciTE Toolbar - A toolbar demo for use with the SciTE editor  -  GUIRegisterMsg demo - Demo script to show how to use the Windows messages to interact with controls and your GUI.  -   Latin Square password generator

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8 hours ago, TheDcoder said:

In Linux there is no language which is similar to AutoIt unfortunately,

thats a tad myopic

 

what about ruby

https://smthngsmwhr.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/gentle-introduction-to-routine-tasks-automation-with-ruby/

 

or python

https://automatetheboringstuff.com/

 

or powershell

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/scripting/install/installing-powershell-core-on-linux?view=powershell-6

 

Using autoit to run cmd to run bash to run the ruby 'puts' command to evaluate a regular expression, graceful like an elephant.

 

 

 

Edited by iamtheky

,-. .--. ________ .-. .-. ,---. ,-. .-. .-. .-.
|(| / /\ \ |\ /| |__ __||| | | || .-' | |/ / \ \_/ )/
(_) / /__\ \ |(\ / | )| | | `-' | | `-. | | / __ \ (_)
| | | __ | (_)\/ | (_) | | .-. | | .-' | | \ |__| ) (
| | | | |)| | \ / | | | | | |)| | `--. | |) \ | |
`-' |_| (_) | |\/| | `-' /( (_)/( __.' |((_)-' /(_|
'-' '-' (__) (__) (_) (__)

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@iamtheky While we are at it, lets not forget about the other languages which are also usable for automation... bash scripting seems to be the popular choice. You can even use NodeJS and JavaScript! :)

That is not the point, as I have mentioned automation is not the primary goal... but rather the AutoIt language itself, there is no language which is as simple and self-contained as AutoIt on Linux... Sure, there are languages which are usable and maybe even better suited for making programs, but none of them has AutoIt's syntax and the approach towards programming, I believe this is what attracted me towards AutoIt :D

5 hours ago, iamtheky said:

thats a tad myopic 

I have myopia, but I have my glasses which allow me to clearly see what I am searching for... and those are not rose-tinted by the way:muttley:

EasyCodeIt - A cross-platform AutoIt implementation

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I voted no because it’s a waste of time when he could be learning python a ruby or any number of languages that will run cross platform. Why reinvent the wheel? and there’s a lot of stuff in auto IT that’s not applicable to Linux. There is a plethora of programming and automation tools already

Edited by Earthshine

My resources are limited. You must ask the right questions

 

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@Earthshine I have already tried a good amount of those new languages, I don't want to deal with their own intricacies while using the language... each and every one of one them tries to be more than a simple programming language, I personally prefer to stick with simpler and more independent languages as you can see.

I can go by just using AutoIt or C, I don't have a need for other languages at the moment.

1 hour ago, Earthshine said:

Why reinvent the wheel?

There is no language which is simpler to use than AutoIt in Linux... both syntax-wise and usability-wise. AutoIt is just a single executable and will happily work without any dependencies, that is what makes me love it :)

1 hour ago, Earthshine said:

there’s a lot of stuff in auto IT that’s not applicable to Linux.

That is true in a sense if you are only using it for automation, but there are many here who also use it as a programming tool which barely touches automation.

EasyCodeIt - A cross-platform AutoIt implementation

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@Earthshine - I don't think you are appreciating why he wants to do it, and the likely benefits to him at least.

Since when do smart people just accept the current status quo?

Life is a journey and about pushing boundaries and learning while growing.

It's not like he isn't aware of those other options etc.

Edited by TheSaint

Make sure brain is in gear before opening mouth!
Remember, what is not said, can be just as important as what is said.

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If I put effort into communication, I expect you to read properly & fully, or just not comment.
Ignoring those who try to divert conversation with irrelevancies.
If I'm intent on insulting you or being rude, I will be obvious, not ambiguous about it.
I'm only big and bad, to those who have an over-active imagination.

I may have the Artistic Liesense ;) to disagree with you. TheSaint's Toolbox (be advised many downloads are not working due to ISP screwup with my storage)

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