Tag: windows

Entries for tag "windows", ordered from most recent. Entry count: 42.

Warning! Some information on this page is older than 5 years now. I keep it for reference, but it probably doesn't reflect my current knowledge and beliefs.

Pages: > 1 2 3 4 ... 6 >

# How to Run Windows Command with Given Working Directory?

23:03
Sun
27
May 2012

The concept of "working directory" during program startup or "current directory" of the running process is an interesting topic in itself. Maybe I'll write another time about how to manipulate it in different programming languages. This time enough to say that some programs look for auxilliary files in working directory, some in the directory where own EXE file is located and some in other places like user's profile directory.

Problems begin when a program needs auxilliary files located in same directory as executable, but uses working directory to locate it. Apparently such program expects to always be ran with working directory equal to path of its EXE. It happened to me yesterday while using Windows port of Bison (parser generator). Error was:

win_bison: cannot open file `data/m4sugar/m4sugar.m4': No such file or directory

I can't just run the program with another working directory because I execute it from Visual C++, as a Custom Build Tool associated with my ".y" file. There is only place to enter a command in file property page, no place to change working directory, which is by default the directory of Visual C++ project I think.

The solution I found to be able to run a console command with given parameters and also with given working directory is to do it indirectly, using system "start" command, like this:

start /B /WAIT /D <WorkingDir> <ExePath> <Parameters>

Update 2012-11-29: I was informed that the problem in win_bison is now fixed so it can be used without such workaround.

Comments | #visual studio #windows Share

# jEdit Doesn't Start

13:53
Sun
30
Oct 2011

jEdit is a free, multi-platform and my favorite text editor intended for programmers. Some time ago I encountered a problem with it, which repeated again today. So in case you also use this editor or found this post by searching Google, here is the solution:

Problem: jEdit (on Windows) doesn't start. Process is created and exists in memory, but it does nothing and shows no windows, so the only thing you can do is terminating it.

Solution: Terminate the jEdit process and the process of Java virtual machine, then browse to your user directory (like "C:\Users\Adam Sawicki" on my Windows 7) and delete the following small file in a sudirectory: ".jedit\server". After that you will be able to successfully start jEdit.

Comments | #java #tools #windows Share

# Handling Ctrl+C in Windows Console Application

09:23
Wed
28
Sep 2011

Just a small code snippet: Let's say you write a console application in native C++ for Windows. Closing the console by pressing Ctrl+C, Ctrl+Break or clicking on close window button [X] kills the process. Is there any way to handle such event and close the program gracefully? The answer is calling SetConsoleCtrlHandler() WinAPI function and implementing your own HandlerRoutine callback function. The template looks like this:

// Handler function will be called on separate thread!
static BOOL WINAPI console_ctrl_handler(DWORD dwCtrlType)
{
  switch (dwCtrlType)
  {
  case CTRL_C_EVENT: // Ctrl+C
    break;
  case CTRL_BREAK_EVENT: // Ctrl+Break
    break;
  case CTRL_CLOSE_EVENT: // Closing the console window
    break;
  case CTRL_LOGOFF_EVENT: // User logs off. Passed only to services!
    break;
  case CTRL_SHUTDOWN_EVENT: // System is shutting down. Passed only to services!
    break;
  }

  // Return TRUE if handled this message, further handler functions won't be called.
  // Return FALSE to pass this message to further handlers until default handler calls ExitProcess().
  return FALSE;
}

int main(int argc, char **argv)
{
  SetConsoleCtrlHandler(console_ctrl_handler, TRUE);
  ...
}

If your program performs some loop and you want the user to be able to break it by closing the console or pressing Ctrl+C, you can solve it this way:

static volatile bool g_exit = false;

static BOOL WINAPI console_ctrl_handler(DWORD dwCtrlType)
{
  g_exit = true;
  return TRUE;
}

int main(int argc, char **argv)
{
  SetConsoleCtrlHandler(console_ctrl_handler, TRUE);
  initialize();
  while (!g_exit)
    do_a_piece_of_work();
  finalize();
}

Comments | #windows #winapi #c++ Share

# Windows 8 Developer Preview

22:45
Thu
15
Sep 2011

News about upcoming Windows 8 appear for some time. Information about the new Windows version directly from Microsoft, including technical details for developers, can be found in this PDF: Windows Developer Preview - Windows 8 guide. Recently Microsoft shared a full, development version of this system to download, install and test on your computer for free. It's a developer preview - it contains the new operating system along with new Visual Studio 11. You can download it as ISO image from Windows Developer Preview downloads. The system works in VirtualBox virtual machine. You can see my first gallery of screenshots here:

My first impressions after testing Windows 8 are... quite weird. Apparently they try to make desktop OS looking like a cellphone, with big fonts and all apps working in fullscreen. But that's only a half-truth. I feel that in Microsoft they always do it this way: a boss comes and tells that "we do it again from scratch only better, redefine everything, but we have to preserve backward compatibility", then a developer thinks how to implement it the simplest possible way and it ends in a new flashy UI containing several shortcuts to the most important commands with the old, good windows hiding somewhere under "Advanced" button. It was the same with Control Panel, with formatting functions in MS Office and now it's the same with the whole Desktop. You are presented a new screen full of colourful rectangles, but as soon as you move your cursor to the bottom-left corner of the screen and click "Start", you are teleported to the normal desktop with a wallpaper, taskbar and the Recycle Bin :)

Other things that attracted my attention: You now login to Windows using your Windows Live ID account. System is integrated with Facebook by providing some application to browse it. Explorer now uses the new Ribbon toolbar, just like new versions of MS Office, Paint or WordPad do for some time. There are lots of new games. New Task Manager is great because it now shows four columns with all most important statistics of every running program: the usage of CPU time, RAM memory, disk transfer and network transfer. Finally the new UI style: flat, colourful, minimalistic, full of solid filled rectangles.

Comments | #windows #visual studio #gui Share

# Hotkey for Macro Inserting Text

15:42
Wed
03
Aug 2011

I recently code in C - an ancient language with no support for namespaces. To code a bigger system and not create name conflicts, prefixes for all public identifiers must be used. But they not only make the code less readable, but also take lots of time to type. I thought that at least the second issue can be minimized by setting up some macro that would insert predefined text (like "rendering_"), whenever I press a hotkey button (like Pause/Break).

I couldn't find such feature in my Visual C++ 2010 Express, so I decided to look for some general tool for Windows that can trigger a script when a hotkey is pressed. I found AutoHotkey - a free application with its own scripting language that claims to be successor of AutoIt, which I used some time ago. After reading some documentation, I coded following script:

Pause::
SetKeyDelay -1
send rendering_
return

+Pause::
SetKeyDelay -1
send RENDERING_
return

If you have AutoHotkey installed, just save this code to a file, give it "ahk" extension and double-click to run it. Program will create a system tray icon for this script indicating that it's running in the background. From now on you can just press Pause key to insert text "rendering_" to whatever input control you are focused, or Shift+Pause to insert "RENDERING_". It really speeds up coding in C :)

Comments | #windows #tools #c Share

# Pointing to DLL Files in Visual CPP

18:35
Tue
12
Apr 2011

When coding in Visual C++, we sometimes need to use some DLL libraries like FMOD, wxWidgets, Intel TBB etc. We download or build the library, setup directories to include and library files, finally #include <header.h>, #pragma comment(lib, "library.lib"), compile, run and...

Certainly our program also needs DLL file at runtime. Sure we have to attach it to the program when we distribute it, but do we really need to copy all these libraries to the Debug and Release subdirectories in our project? For a project run from Visual C++ to find required DLL files, they must be placed either in:

or in the PATH environmental variable. That's an option I've discovered yesterday. To use it in Visual C++, navigate to project properties / Configuration Properties / Debugging / Environment and set it to something like: PATH=$(PATH)$;C:\my_libraries\library_1\DLL_dir

If you do it correctly, your program launched from Visual C++ (with or without debugger - F5 or Ctrl+F5) will now be able to find required DLL libraries without need to copy them to your project directory.

Comments | #windows #c++ #visual studio Share

# Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 Released Yesterday

20:14
Fri
11
Mar 2011

Yesterday Microsoft publicly released Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1. It is big (1.48 GB) and the installation takes quite long. It applies to all Visual Studio 2010 versions and components, including C++ Express, C# Express etc. Here is the list of changes and here is download link (you can find link to ISO file with offline installer at the bottom of that page). There are lots of fixes and improvements, but most of them apply to managed or web technologies like Silverlight. What's interesting for a C++ programmer is the addition of intrinsics to enable the extensions on the AMD and Intel new microprocessors that will be released next year - Intel AVX and AMD Bulldozer. Microsoft also claims to optimize and fix C++ compiler. Changelist mentions fixing lots of IDE crashes, including incompatibility with AMD CodeAnalyst.

Overall I think the new SP1 for VS2010 is worth installing, unless you have "Windows SDK for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 4" installed in your system. In that case an unsolved issue would happen so you should NOT install the Service Pack.

By the way: MSDN Library - the extensive documentation of C, C++, WinAPI, OpenGL, .NET and lots of other technologies - is available for free in form of an offline application for some time, but the latest version is MSDN Library for Visual Studio 2008 SP1. Do you know how to download some newer release? Or maybe that "Windows SDK" ships with it?

Comments | #c++ #visual studio #windows Share

# New jEdit Launcher - How to Install

20:12
Mon
17
Jan 2011

Writing programs in some managed technologies like Java or .NET instead of native C/C++ has many disadvantages. First and the most obvious one is smaller efficiency and greater memory consumption. That's why, for example, I prefer uTorrent over Azureus as BitTorrent client. Second flaw is harder access to native system API. That's why my friend Przemek created libraries for accessing new Windows 7 taskbar features from Java, Python and Qt code and sells them as his startup Strix Code.

Finally it's sometimes harder to integrate such programs with system shell. With .NET it's not the case because it creates EXE files so they can work as normal programs and even system services (I'm not sure about shell extensions and device drivers). With Java it's more difficult because there program is a JAR file. As jEdit is still my favourite text editor (second after Visual C++ of course), I was looking for a way to integrate it with Windows so it was my default editor for TXT and other text files. Recently I've found New jEdit Launcher - a package that serves this purpose very well, but unfortunately it's quite hard to setup. So in case you also use jEdit and look for a way to do it, here are the steps, checked under Windows XP as well as 7:

  1. Unpack New jEdit Launcher to some directory. Windows 7 causes lots of problems with Program Files so I prefer some other places, let's say "h:\Program_Files\New jEdit Launcher".
  2. Run command prompt ("cmd.exe"). On Windows 7 you must do it as Administrator, so open Start menu, type "cmd", right-click on the black "cmd.exe" icon and select "Run as administrator".
  3. From the command prompt, enter the "bin" subdirectory of New jEdit Launcher like this:
    > h:
    > cd "\Program_Files\New jEdit Launcher\bin"
  4. Call the magic command to register DLL file:
    > regsvr32 jeditext.dll
  5. Now launch registery editor through Start > Run > "regedit" and create entries as decribed in "New jEdit Launcher\README.html" documentation in "Installing" section.
  6. Second bunch of required registry entries (described in "Configuration" section) can be entered more conveniently, through "New jEdit Launcher\config\launcher.reg" file. Open this file in some text editor (Notepad or... jEdit :) and fix the paths to your Java JRE and jEdit directories. Enter path to "javaw.exe" not "java.exe" as the "Java Executable", because you don't want system console to be shown along with jEdit window. Values "jEdit Target" and "jEdit Working Directory" must point to the place where you have jEdit installed. Don't forget that all backslashes in these paths must be doubled, like "h:\\Program_Files\\jEdit 4.3.2\jedit.jar"!!!
  7. Now run this "launcher.reg" file through double-clicking on it. After confirming the warning/question, the registry entries should be created.
  8. Check if it works by running "New jEdit Launcher\bin\jedit.exe" file. jEdit should be started if it wasn't already running.
  9. You can create a shortcut to this "jedit.exe" file in your Start menu. This way you have a shortcut to jEdit with pretty icon instead of default Java one, as when linking directly to the "jedit.jar" file.
  10. Associate TXT and possibly other file types (extensions) with this "jedit.exe" program. It's done differently in Windows XP and 7 but generally you can find the appropriate configuration window it in the Control Panel. This way all text files will be opened by jEdit and they also (unfortunately) get jEdit icon.

Comments | #windows Share

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