a2 – the first humble steps

My wannabe ac’tivAid replacement script framework a2 is finally getting some momentum!:

Still heavily wip! But at least now it actually does something!!
I also made an animated diagram to show how the a2 cycle rolls:
a2_layoutBut well, that’s probably not too obvious, is it? So first things first. Since I never posted about this:
What is this about!? ac’tivAid was already some kind of framework to put together Autohotkey scripts.

AutoHotkey (AHK) is a free, open-source macro-creation and automation software for Windows that allows users to automate repetitive tasks. It is driven by a scripting language that was initially aimed at providing keyboard shortcuts, otherwise known as hotkeys, that over time evolved into a full-fledged scripting language.

ac’tivAid bundled a whole bunch of those in one Autohotkey runtime and you could enable/disable them, make settings and all that. Why am I talking in past tense? You can still download latest ac’tivAid dev version from Michael Telgkamps homepage. It’s still kinda nice but things start to break and really nobody is maintaining it.

But fear not: I’m about to present you the future! :] on the github wiki I put together some of the goals:

  1. decoupled ui and runtime
  2. use of latest Autohotkey_L
  3. active open source development
  4. easier contributing, setup, better flexibility

And actually I tackled all of those points already to some extent. The ones that recently make me jump in circles out of coding excitement are the following:

  • new script creation (with meta data) and editing
  • support for global and context sensitive hotkeys
  • instant change of hotkeys

Next up: some improvements to the scope and hotkey setup, making sure there’s only one ui and one ahk-runtime at a time, implement setting variables (fields, checkboxes) and a looooot of security checks. Currently it’s super easy to blow yourself up. So it will take a wile until this can go puplic.

I’m really looking forward to making some videos on how to use and how to develop for it.

scripting me

Yes! A scripting post. I could apologize (via) but I rather don’t ;]

First the most recent stuff! 2 tiny tiny micro nano releases:

You know, creativity comes from when not satisfied with the present. And this time I again was unsatisfied with the game page of minecraft. When playing on a widesceen display this 8xx width is just too tiny and fullscreen is inapropriate either when you cannot focus on the game entirely… (having these blocky graphics on 1920×1080 doesn’t cut it anyway)

So, I started Firebug over again, stretched minecrafts java applet plus the surrounding layout manually. But this time I thought: “Darn someone must have done this before!” And I was right! Now all the snippets on userscripts.org didn’t seem to work for me. I read some of the code and seems I fixed what was missing:

before / after:

Hooray! And as I browsed through the handful actually installed scripts I’ve seen another stub that seemed to not work so far. First was easy, so lets do another round I thought! This time it was a little more complicated. On golem.de the center column can only found by a class name. But there are functions for that: dustindiaz.com/getelementsbyclass.

before / after:

So I managed to shed a little more light on my JavaScript insight. I don’t know if the ice is already broken and if there will be more now.. But as I read mr.doob already JS was interesting to me already for long.

On the other hand I made huge progress on the Python side. Maya-toolwise that is so far. But I guess I’m far from releasing something. Not to forget that is out now! That means I maybe tinker around with Qt via Python soon 😀

Before I forget!: There is more scripting news! It’s already a little late but important to say: Autohotkey is now Autohotkey_L. Meaning the main developer chris turned away from it and handed over to the really ambitious guy Lexicos. The L version supports objects, arrays, 64bit support and Unicode! うん!

I don’t know what that means for ac’tivAid so far. I’m still willing to support it however and whenever (more importantly 🙁 ) I can. But could be quite some work to finally port it from basic to L.

Whoops I tagged it MEL too…. hmm what can I say about that? Nothing new.. Work still involves a lot of Maya and so Mel but there is no real progression. Mel is dead already. And thats good that way. I still does a lot of workload but it deserves to rest 🙂

say HERE on google maps

Short Story: Want a short link to a spot on google maps? Without a url-shortener service?

look it up at gmaps, get an about 200digit “link” from the upper right, throw away anything but http://maps.google.com/? the ll= and the z=-tags:

http://maps.google.com/?ll=40.662404,-73.972113&z=20

want a marker? Rightklick on a map and say “What’s here?”, get the link from upper right and do the same but with the q=-tag included:

http://maps.google.com/?q=40.662434,-73.972099&ll=40.662487,-73.972113&z=20

For that I made a small Autohotkey script to use with ac’tivAid.:

gmapURLShortener.ahk

If you are Autohotkey-able you could easily add an own hotkey to the script.. but … ;]

if you want the whole rant…: Continue reading “say HERE on google maps”

usability stuff: findWhenTyping manifest

I love “findWhenTyping”-stuff: You know the new (sllloooooow-ass) search bar in windows vista in the start-menu and in every explorer? (Yes the thing they somehow borrowed from osx..)
In Firefox for instance there is Tools>Options>Advanced>”Search for text when I start typing“. So on any website you can just hit some letter-keys and it finds the occurence.

And they have it in the Options>Application tab as well as in the about:config. Just like it should be: If there is an interface with a list: You just never ever know how long the list can be. Will it be 10 entries or 7000? … I just made this a paradigm myself:

It’s a list? Offer findWhenTyping!

because manual scrolling and seeking just sucks.

Finally I had a little time to build such a thing myself. In our companys Maya-Toolkit (sorry no link, seems offline now) we have a lot of list-dialogs. Actually we have loads of list-dialogs all over the place. But the Maya toolkit is the only spot (thanks to my lame-ass scripting only skills) where I can put my hands on.

exept from the obvious things:

  • on keystroke: list content automatically shows matches only
  • entering nothing shows all entries
  • matching is non-case-sensitive
  • completely keyboard driven – you “can” handle the dialog without the mouse.

I have some additions that I haven’t seen in other similar dialogs:

  • a phrase that does not match anything still shows the last matches – so if you have a spelling mistake the list doesn’t go empty. An empty list would be just useless.
  • first entry is always selected – so you don’t have to extra select something if you already typed the right letters – just hit enter
  • when entering an asterisk * the default asterisks around the *phrase* will be omitted – so you can write start* and it matches everything that begins with start but not with start somewhere within.

What I need to implement in the future because its so useful in the AwesomeBar from firefox:

  • hitting space starts a new search withing the current hits – this means you can combine keywords just with space. For example in your image-folder “cat cap” would find all pictures with “cat” in the name or tag but within this list only the ones with a “caption”-name or tag.

Ok. As I’m unable to finish this right now. I gonna just amend it with a video when I have something to show. :]

do-what-I-mean-shit with Autohotkey

Hehe :]

Technical director floh wasn’t thrilled.. But I actually was looking for a way to do this long time:

If you script code sometimes you define stuff, a variable e.g. at the point where you finally want to use this variable you need to go back to the definition somehow (via mouse or cursor) copy it and return to the point where you felt like having that variable available. A word-autocomplete might help in that case as well. But if your var has a long prefix and … nah!

What I actually was looking for:

  • you get the idea: Oh I need this from over there
  • I press a hotkey to remember the position
  • you move to the thing you need and select it
  • you press another hotkey

then its finished: The piece you where looking for is at the spot.
Ok now chill the fuck out: I got this:

This has nothing to do with the code editor: Its all Autohotkey:

  • on Ctrl+Ins it figures out the typing-cursor/caret-position (does not always work FF e.g.)
  • places a tooltip and waits for you to press enter
  • you make a selection somewhere else
  • If you press Enter: It gets the selection
  • clicks the mouse to the old position
  • inserts the selection
  • restores clipboard and mouse position

Thats actually it! If you want to take a look at my puny source code:
or even want to test it out without having Autohotkey try the .exe:

http://goodsoul.de/ahk/rememberPosTool.ahk
http://goodsoul.de/ahk/rememberPosTool.exe
(virus total online check link: suspicios file… well it waits for your keystroke.. 😉 )

First I had an ac’tivAid UserHotkey-snippet without the hotkey on/off crap… but somehow UserHotkeys somehow deselects the current window. Need to look into this later… This example works much better. So it doesn’t matter if you click via mouse or select with keyboard.

BUT: now the downsides:

  • I made it cancel when you scroll with the mouseWheel
  • but if you scroll somehow else its broken of course! Works only on screenspace!
  • some apps do not support the caret-position. Like Firefox for instance.

try on your own risk of course ;]

nice site: Lifehacker

Why shouldn’t I post about when adding a new link. Nice Idea huh? :]

Lifehacker.com is a real cool glog! There is almost everything I’m interested in besides 3D-Stuff, electronic music, games and demoscene and even more of topics that I really should take a deeper look into:

  • handy tools for every Operating system, even online and very likely free and Open Source
  • customization-stuff and scripts for all sorts of things: Browser, OS, Gadgets
  • helpful Tips & Tricks & Tutorials for OS and tools
  • collections and polls for “Best 5 things for …”

but even stuff like that:

  • DIY (Do-It-Yourself)- and CheapAss-instructions for all kinds of things
  • tips for concentration and sorting tasks (getting things done stuff)
  • simple and comprehensible environment tips
  • fitness for nerds

Of course there is always crappy stuff flooding in e.g. Apple-news … *yawwwn*. But you get to know things beside your everyday round and if you are not happy with anything 100% (Texteditor, Calendar, Notestool..) might be there is already an alternative discussed at lifehacker.

If I finally get to release something Autohotkey-related I’ll definitely try to get it on Lifehacker! There isn’t even a dedicated ac’tivAid-Post! OKok, it lacks a cool presentation… My ac’tivAid-Vidcast is still long time coming ;] nah it will it will..

First I gonna get melDrop going. But thats a quite Maya-kind thing. More about that another time … (hopefully soon :D)

schöne seite: Lifehacker

Warum sollte ich nicht mal einfach darüber schreiben, wenn ich ne Seite mit in die Links mitaufnehmen? :] gute Idee was?

Lifehacker.com ist eine echt großartiger Blog. Dort findet sich fast alles was mich neben 3D-Kram, elektronischer Music, Games und Demoszene noch so interessiert und noch so Zeug wo ich mich eigentlich auch gern noch mehr beschäftigen würde:

  • hilfreiche Tools für alle Betriebssysteme auch online und gern kostenlos und Open Source
  • Customization-Kram und Scripte für alles Mögliche: Browser, OS, Gadgets
  • hilfreiche Tips & Tricks & Tutorials fürs OS und Tools
  • Sammlungen und Abstimmungen für “was ist das beste zum …”

aber halt auch so Sachen wie:

  • DIY (Do-It-Yourself)- und Billigheimer-Anleitungen für alles Mögliche
  • Tips zum besser aufs Arbeiten konzentrieren, Aufgaben sortieren
  • einfache und verständliche Umwelttips
  • Fitness für Nerds

Klar jaucht auch machmal ganz schön viel Mist rein zB über Apple-Kram. Aber man kriegt echt mit was sonst noch so geht wenn man mit irgendwas noch nicht so 100%ig zufrieden ist (Texteditor, Kalender, Notiztool..) kanns gut sein, daß bei Lifehacker schon mal ne Alternative diskutiert wurde.

Wenn ich mal wieder dazu kommen sollte was Autohotkey-mäßiges zu releasen werd ich das definitiv auch versuchen bei Lifehacker an den Mann zu bringen. Nen dedizierten ac’tivAid-Artikel gabs da auch noch nicht. Naja.. mit meinem Vidcast dazu lässt es ja auch noch ein wenig auf sich warten ;] kommt schon noch.

Ersma will ich melDrop auf die Beine kriegen. Aber das is was ziemlich speziell Maya-mäßiges. Dazu nen andermal mehr… (hoffe mal bald 😀 )