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Developing a "New User Orientation - FAQ - What is

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Developing a "New User Orientation - FAQ - What is ?"

Request to Developers for Comments

Caveat to anyone reading this post

... it is a Work in Progress

... much of it is based on supposition rather than fact. :iamstupid:

... the purpose of the post is to gather feedback from those with

the facts in order to create a meaningful new user orientation guide

so they won't have to spend days figuring this stuff out... like me.

Preamble to developers:

Outstanding stuff guys, now I can start driving the GUI the way I drive DOS

back in 84!! Anyone remember KEYIT ?? but as a new AutoIt user its really

hard to get one's arms around all the great activity going on with AutoIt.

I've tried to do this over the last few days and my hope is that by putting

this out to you, I will get back your comments to help me enhance this document.

Yes ... A real RFC! :(

Perhaps once it is accurate, this topic can be deleted and the result posted

in the "General" section under "New User Orientation - FAQ - What is ?"

As best as I have been able to figure....


AUTOIT Overview


What is: (in order descriped below)

***The Official Release

AutoIt3 - AutoIt Script Interpreter

Aut2Exe - AutoIt Script Compiler

Au3Spy - AutoIt GUI Internals Spy Utility

AutoItX - Future ActiveX/dll integration version of AutoIt

***User Developed Utilities

AU3ScriptWriter - Keyboard/Mouse Macro Recorder Script generator

AU3Record - Beta Version of AU3ScriptWriter

AU3GUI - Early AutoIt3 GUI Add-on

AU3GUIXP - Early AutoIt3 GUI Add-on exploiting XP function (guessing!)

AutoBuilder - GUI Script generator

Main - Window Element (Control) Picker

Helper - Window Element (Control) Locator-move/size

AU3Check - Script Syntax Checker

SciTe for AutoIt- Integrated Script Development/Test Environment

***Formal AutoIt Development

Exe2Aut - AutoIt Exe DeCompiler

The Official Release


AutoIt's current released version is V3, as described in the AutoItV3 Help file.

Its primary function is to drive functionality through the Windows GUI interface

including simulated keystrokes and mouse actions, as specified in AutoIt Scripts

(.au3), which are executed by the AutoIt interpreter AutoIt3.exe .

Since AutoIt is an interpretive language its execution can be speeded up by

compiling the scripts into more efficient executable programs. (.exe)

This compiler is provided as part the AutoItV3 release as AUT2EXE.Exe

In order to fully use the AutoIt functionality, it is often useful to examine

internal Windows GUI information. The utility to do this program to do this

is provided as part the AutoItV3 release as AU3Spy.Exe

Users of other Scripting or Programming languages may also access AutoIt functionality by using the ActiveX and .dll Version of AutoIt which will be released in the future as AutoItX3

User Developed Utilities


Since AutoIt can drive the GUI with simulated keystrokes and mouse actions

it makes sense to have a Keyboard/Mouse (macro) recorder whose output can be

saved as an AutoIt script in order to repeat these actions in the future.

Such a recorder is available as AU3ScriptWriter (ASW.exe) and a Beta version

is available as AU3Record (AU3Record.exe).



It also makes sense to extend the function of AutoIt to be able to create

GUI windows for use as part of an AutoIt Script. These extensions were first

introduced as AU3GUI in 2 flavors (AU3GUI.exe and AU3GUIXP.exe)

*** QUESTION: (What is the difference between these please? Are they now frozen?) ***

This functionality is currently being integrated into a future AutoIt release.



Since GUI development is complex, it further makes sense to have a graphical tool

to by which one can define and position on the GUI the windows elements to be

used in the AutoIt GUI script. This tool is available as AutoBuilder in two parts

(Main.exe and Helper.exe). Note that these were developed using AutoIt as Main.au3

and Helper.au3 and Compiled by Aut2Exe.Exe


Another useful tool in developing Scripts is a Syntax Checker used to verify the

correctness of your written code prior to running it. This tool is available as

AU3Check (AU3Check.exe)


AutoIt functionality can also be extended through to inclusion of User Developed

Functions(UDFs), (which are provided as part the AutoItV3 release in the "Include"

subdirectory) through #include statements in the user script. These functions can

be enhanced by adding UDF's copied from the AutoIt forum or developed personally.

The path to these functions maybe easily maintained with the "Include Manager"

utility (Include Manager.au3) ***QUESTION: (What is the mechanism for getting

new UDF's added to the distributed Include library ? I have completed a set of

"file name / URL" parser functions that I would like to submit for inclusion. )***


Finally the development of Scripts is greatly enhanced through the use of a

development environment which integrates a Script editor, statement generator,

script formatter, syntax assister, language helper, syntax checker,

script interpreter, debug facility and script compiler. Such a tool is available

as SciTe for AutoIt (SciTe.exe).


Formal AutoIt Development


AutoIt development of new versions is a continuing collaborative effort with

development versions referred to as "beta" or "unstable" available for testing.

The current package includes the GUI creation referenced above, fixes and other

functional enhancements. Some or all of these may be available in the next official

release of AutoIt.






and a new "decompile" program:


***Question: What User Utilities above are targeted for inclusion? Will Scite be a wrapper for the whole along with Syntax Checking and Tidy etc? I'd like to say some thing about intent and direction rather than "commitments"...

As we used to say you'll get it when we get:





Edited by Larry
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Good job jhbell! :ph34r:

I was waiting to see if the SciTe stuff that JdeB did would somehow get incorporated into the final autoit product.

I'd like to know if there's any place for a repository for the UDFs. Searching through the forums is great for now. But as AI blossoms it's going to get ridiculous to have to search the forums for a UDF that you may or may not know the name. Can't we get some kind of peer review for inclusion in a udf folder in the main distribution? I'm not sure how hard it would be to maintain that along with the normal code stuff that has to be done. Perhaps someone can be "volunteered" for that. :( Add a couple lines to the install packaging routine and it's done. (Ok, so it's probably not that easy.)

Hopefully the "powers that be" will post here (if time permits). So far they seem like a really helpful group.

Raoul S. Duke: Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop. Your normal speeder will panic and immediately pull over to the side. This is wrong. It arouses contempt in the cop-heart. Make the bastard chase you. He will follow.
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