Jump to content
Macro Express Forums

Text Box Display - erratic


Recommended Posts

Is anyone else seeing the following behaviour? Quite frequently a TBD fails to get displayed, despite having set the option 'Always on Top'. Yet I can see that the macro has generated the message, as it's shown in the system tray. And I can Alt+Tab to it and then display it. Frustratingly difficult to isolate the cause. Done the obvious things like re-starting MX Pro (4.7.1.1), Restore hooks, run with F9, etc.

 

Any ideas please?

 

--------------------

 

More generally, I do seem to be getting more quirks/freezes/slow-downs and crashes recently. Anyone have any evidence that 4.7.1.1 is less stable than its predecessor?

 

Maybe it's unrelated to MX and is down to my (XP) system, although I'm getting no significant problems with other applications, including my demanding video editor.

 

--

Terry, East Grinstead, UK

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't use MEP anymore due to the frequent molasses so I can't speak to the overall stability and such.

 

Regarding the thing with the window not being on top I have seen that long ago. And recently, without MEP, I've seen it in other places. EG I have a button my my keyboard that displays the calculator on top. But many times it ends up behind something else. My point is I think there's a chance it's not specifically an MEP issue but rather a more general issue.

 

Sorry that's not much to offer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was just reviewing some data I collected using ALT+TAB a bunch between two windows. I noticed something happening that I think is related to all this. I've seen it before but I didn't think to mention it. When I'm doing the ALT+TAB back and forth once in awhile I ended up in limbo. I then have to click the window I want to reset it's brain. It's my belief I have a program that's running hidden windows or something that disrupts the order of windows. I think there's a fair chance something like this is causing your problem. Some time ago I noticed something happening in one of my other apps at teh same time. I can't remember what it was now however. It seems like it was an app in the system tray however. Some notification or something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have seen applications that appear to go directly from one window to another, but in fact transition through an intermediate window.

In other words, the app might go from window A to B to C, then when you click a button to exit from C back to A, B is activated just for an instant. You never actually see B on the screen, but if there is a macro tied to B it will run and cause you all manner of confusion during debugging. Only way to see what is happening is to have each macro write to the ME log.

 

I guess that has little or nothing to do with your Text Box issue, I just wanted to share my pain. :P

I HAVE noticed that when I tell the Text Box to keep focus, it doesn't keep it if I Alt-Tab to another window.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks all, appreciate the feedback.

 

Alan: Yes, both options checked.

 

--------------------

 

Cory: Are you saying that you've completely stopped using ME Pro? Abandoned all of your investment in written macros? If so, presumably only after much discussion with Insight about your slow-down/freezing issues? No positive outcome to that?

 

Despite the sometimes exasperating quirks I get, I sure would hate to be without it. Even during those few minutes when I've sometimes forcefully had to close the program, I feel so handicapped!

 

Digressing a bit, I've just finally accepted the inevitable and ordered a new PC to move from XP to Win 10. ME Pro will be one of the first applications I install. But I'm dreading the prospect of editing hundreds of macros. Anyone here with any experience of that please?

 

--

Terry, East Grinstead, UK

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regarding Windows 10 I haven't found any problems running my macros developed on earlier versions on W10. But then again I like to keep up with the latest, fastest, and most secure versions of Windows so given how old, slow, and insecure XP is... Well It's been a long time since I've used it on any useful computer. It's almost 15 years old now. So most of mine had been moving forward as the versions have rolled out but I've never had to rewrite any of my macros to accommodate any change to Windows.

 

As an aside I sometimes pop open a XP VM or fix a friend's XP machine and every time I find the user interface very limited and frustrating. It make me appreciate how useful things like the new taskbar is. But you need to make a positive effort to learn these new methods, EG pinning apps and documents. 95% of what I need is a click away now. But you have to make the mental switch. Get on board with it and be positive. I know some of us old guys hate change. But remember this. There can be no improvement without change.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regarding MEP use you have to understand that most of my MEP use was stand alone macros that don't use the GUI. Scraper, file management, et al. And I also discovered that if it's application specific then it's better to use the built in facilities. EG I use Outlook a lot and I can do so much more in Outlook and more reliably that I can in MEP. And a lot were scheduled things. Like opening a collections of web pages at 0700. But i use the Windows Scheduler for that now. So once I decided to get back into proper programming all of my non-GUI marcos became .NET programs. Now they all run with 100% reliability and several orders of magnitude faster. And that's no slight to MEP. I was using it for something it really isn't designed to do. And for lightweight use it's easy to use. No need to learn any heavy OOP concepts. And when you reale the power of the dark side, errr... .NET and it's library it's irresistible. I spent hundreds of hours developing some incredibly complex macros to do a function that is only line in .NET. Like some of my date macros. I realized that it's all been done before, use their free code. So even early on I was writing many macros that would use parts of .NET. For instance I wanted to send HTML formatted emails so I made a simple program that I could control from MEP.

 

In the end I had about a half dozen macros I used and I was getting molasses frequently so it was no longer worth it to me. And I don't hold it against ISS for not fixing my problem. They put a lot of time into it but it seems I'm the only one that's reporting the problem and it seems to be more a compatability issue with my other programs or the DWM. Not an easy one to reproduce and therefore very difficult to troubleshoot. I would rather they fix problems that effect more users before mine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would also like to point out that once I got into programming and realized the tools available my whole way of thinking about accomplishing tasks changes. EG I had a macro that commanded Irfanview to crop a large number of photos a certain way. I, like most people, go to the tool we use to manually do that and try and command it with MEP. But doing thousands of photos like that makes a big complex macro what is slow and unreliable. But in .NET there's a bitmap object class that allows one to do all kinds of manipulations. So it's a simple, reliable program now. Or like a lot of people I would write macros to work from a list. Maybe it went and typed something into a web page form. Well as soon as you learn SQL you will NEVER use Excel for lists of things again in your life. And it's easy to learn. And once you learn how to POST HTTP requests directly you will never use a web browser again for such tasks. Ever! So once you learn that you can do things like these without applications like Excel, Irfanview, and web browser you won't. Now you're writing programs to do the same tasks much better. Out of all the macros I see people discussing here it's very rare that I ever see one where I would use other applications to accomplish the task. In almost every case I can write my own program to do it now. And it wasn't hard to learn. But still MEP is very good for a lot of users who have lightweight tasks and don't have the time to learn to program. I would still be using it daily if it wasn't for molasses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot for those thorough replies Cory, on both subjects.

 

I envy you your programming skills! Apart from a little Excel VBA all my programming was decades ago when I worked for IBM and I can't really face the learning curves for the stuff you describe.

 

--

Terry, East Grinstead, UK

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's actually easier than ever. I remember writing bubble sorts for arrays in high school and now it's "Array.Sort". Done. There is so much in the .NET Framework. Additionally we have so much free code and samples, friendly forums. Easier than ever to learn to program with all the free stuff and online resources.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

I read through these posts and am not sure if it helps with my situation... my work recently switched from using a stand-alone application to a similar one that runs as a Java application in IE. I hate it. My macros require a lot of text box displays and user prompts to enter variable values, and even though I have the "always on top" and "keep focus" focus checked, it's like the Java app DEMANDS attention and retakes focus. I should note that the prompt does stay on top, it's just that it loses focus. Very annoying... any ideas on how to change this behavior?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe a second macro to focus the window you just launched. Maybe after a short delay. It would be a kludge but but I but it might remedy the problem.

 

And any program can demand focus at any time. No one can stop them.

 

I've also noticed that some application is momentarily stealing focus without being on top. For instance I can be typing and 'poof' my keystrokes are going into the either. I suspect it's Outlook 2016. And this is without MEP so it's my belif this really isn't an MEP issue.

 

Maybe ISS could add some code to check a few mS later to see if it's focused and if not, attempt again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing that I think is weird is that the background application predictably takes focus or brings itself to the front. For example, when a certain box pops up to prompt the user to enter a value, I will input the value and press enter, but the background window will predictably bring itself to the front, forcing me to alt+tab and the press enter on the pop up box in order to continue the macro process.

 

While I initially thought that this issue was caused by the background Java app randomly (random to me anyway) wanting focus, now I am thinking that there is something else at the root of the issue... still not sure what that would be, but I feel as though it is fixable somehow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...