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.NET WinForm add-on for MEP


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I've read many posts here in the forum that indicate that I'm not the only one who wishes we had the ability in MEP to create and use proper WinForms in MEP. I was thinking about it just now and I realized a very cool solution. I could write a executable program in .NET that is a blank WinForm. And when it starts it would be passed a bunch of parameters as string. And this string could be 'built' in MEP so there would be no need for external files besides the executable.

 

I imagine the first line would be the form parameters itself. So when it initially loads it would take things like title, width, and height and modify the form itself. Then each subsequent line would represent a different control. As it processes this it would build the form by adding all of these controls with the provided parameters. EG a TextBox at a position and of a certain dimension. And I could keep it simple so we could have the standard set of controls like Label, TextBox, ComboBox, Dropdown box, DatePicker, et al. Then when the button, who we could modify it's display text, would plow through each control and save the relevant values back to text that then could be processed by MEP.

 

It sounds like a fun project but I'm super busy and behind at the moment and I don't see how this would make me any money. So I thought I'd poll the forum to see if there was any interest in something like this. Because if it were just for me I can't justify the time. But if there was enough demand maybe I'd be encouraged to at least make a small demo with only multiple TextBox.

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Two other ideas:

  1. It could have buttons controls as well that we could use to fire macros. IE a person could essentially create a simple control panel for series of MEP macros.
  2. I would include a build mode that would have a second window that would have an interface to create the parameter string and preview it in real time. So controls like buttons and text boxes where you could select the control type, type in parameters and hit the "add" button. IE an interface that would eliminate the need to remember all the syntax and display the results as you play with the values.
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Hi Cory

 

I just published a preliminary video on my pgmacros website. It's about an MXPro multiple field utility close to its initial release.

 

Something that was done by myself and good 'ol Floyd way way way back when was not really suitable for today, so it is something new and completely different from what we did for MX3. Maybe there would be some good ideas in it for your .net project.

 

Joe

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That's pretty cool. I like the interactivity of it. I didn't listen through the whole thing but I was wondering, is this simply building an HTA? Nice thing about that would be no need for a compiled program.

 

It doesn't sound like there's any interest in this sort of thing given you were the only one o respond and already have this capability so I doubt I can justify putting any work into it now. I'm disappointed. I really wanted to start this project for the community. It seems strange how so many users seem to crave this capability and yet no one is interested in a solution.

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I didn't listen through the whole thing but I was wondering, is this simply building an HTA?

 

Yes, in the end it creates a VBScript HTA to run from MXPro to receive multiple field input from a formatted string. It may be run either from the External Script or the Launch Program commands, the latter using mshta.exe with a fullpath HTA file parameter.

 

I have some changes that need to be made. IE (release 11) accepts only JavaScript in the <script></script> tags. So those functions will need to be changed from VBScript to JavaScript.

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Well no need for me to reinvent the wheel then. I was hoping to extend the capabilities of MEP by making some utilities in .NET but it appears that A) there's no real interest, and B) you have already met the need. Oh well. Would have been fun.

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Heh. I'm just not feeling the love here. I'll spend my limited time finishing my Craigslist RSS scraper instead. Though I suppose on could argue that will only lead to me spending more money ;-)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm new to this forum and have been lurking(read 'reading' in the background) for a month or two and appreciate the massive amount of support this software has garnered.... i watched the vid and have read posts about all kinds of scenarios and again, am greatly appreciative of you folks who put in the time and effort to create what I consider 'masterpieces'. Since I've developed a bit of CTS from years/decades of manipulating a keyboard and mouse, creating macro's/applications to streamline my work flow has become an obsession in an effort to reduce those symptoms.

thank you very much for your contributions!

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