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ViroMan's Beta Application - AutoPatcher Forum

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ViroMan's Beta Application


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#1 ViroMan

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 01:54 AM

long time ago I ran into a problem using autopatcher on a 64x computer and basically was told that it wasn't supported. I had worked on a c++ program that downloaded the scripts and parsed them for instructions. I didn't take it past that since I found another project to work on but, I think I might pick it back up if there is still time to keep the site alive, well that is if I can still find the code.

#2 _def_x_

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 02:26 AM

That's a nice offer ViroMan, the project needs an updated AutoPatcher or a new tool altogether. The site is going fine for now but by years end I have no idea if the owner will renew.

The last few years we had asked many times if users would like to contribute to the project, a programmer was a paramount need, we made some progress but it has stalled once again. I'm sure if you get something going you will find beta testers. We'll leave it up to you, just touch base and let the community know if you have plans to move forward or not :)

#3 ViroMan

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 04:17 AM

I would be glad to help with what I can. I found a much older version of the code before I got the parsing ability finished. I think I will redo the code anyways.. it was just thrown together at the time to see how some of the scripts you guys have were made.

Well as I said... it would use the scripts you guys already have so that there wouldn't need to be any changes. We will need to get the scripts updated as you have said that no one is keeping them up. Ill throw another alpha program together just to get things to "work" then I will cruse the suggestions area to see what I might want to put in.

Later once that is finished we will see about scripts and if we can make them more streamlined. From what I read I can see the scripts can get complicated to read. They read like an ini file. Some things are intuitive others are not. Modules have extra txt that is not necessary .. such as

[OfficeComponents]
Word=ANY
Excel=ANY
PowerPoint=ANY
Outlook=ANY
Publisher=ANY
Visio=ANY
Project=ANY
OneNote=ANY
FrontPage=ANY
InfoPath=ANY
Access=ANY
SharePointDesigner=ANY
Groove=ANY

and

[Installation]


[Removal]


[Slipstream]

these lines are not needed if they are not needed. I mean that if there is nothing there or it is not applicable to that module there is no reason for it to be there.

hmm..
after thought, What happened to the other programmers... I remember there being like 4-5 of them. I sure people would drift in and out as interest is lost but, to loose the main author too?

further addendum:
ha there seems to be a few dos commands in the scripts... lolz.

Edited by ViroMan, 02 June 2011 - 04:46 AM.


#4 ViroMan

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 05:08 AM

hmm... I already have an idea on how to streamline the scripts and modules my making a separate program to upkeep them with some user intervention. That is much further down the line but, it would make a simple change MUCH easier to do.

#5 _def_x_

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 01:52 PM

Here's the only documentation we have, it's old but usable, should explain a bit more - nova.zip.

Quote

We will need to get the scripts updated
Recently a few scripts have been updated - releases.list - I use Firefox, 'Find', 'Highlight all', and search for a string like 201105, or simply run APUP and check date. Adding new updates, removing old updates, and testing the detections is time consuming to say the least.

Quote

Ill throw another alpha program together just to get things to "work" then I will cruse the suggestions area to see what I might want to put in.
OK :) One thing that may help down the road is to have the app run locally. Right now autopatcher.net is written into APUP but like I said when it will come to an end is out of my hands. By the way, what development environment are you using?

Quote

Some things are intuitive others are not. Modules have extra txt that is not necessary
There has to be a way to detect components that are prerequisites for the update - a particular version of .NET, IE, or an Office component, otherwise updates wont be properly selected for installation, or ignored. The [Installation] section is where the install commands go, [Removal] and [Slipstream] could be dropped I suppose.

Quote

What happened to the other programmers... I remember there being like 4-5 of them.
We've had many release maintainers handling the many scripts based on the OS and language, as far as programmers, the most recent team member had a baby so he dropped out. Early on members would retire from the project with a bit of warning, the new approach is simply to fade away without much explanation.

I'm confident the user base will look forward to anything you have to contribute :) and it will be appreciated. I don't want to jump the gun, you may not care to join but, if it makes sense and your idea moves forward we can update your account to BetaTeam and then Developer. Again, we'll take it a step at a time, there's no pressure here.

#6 ViroMan

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 07:31 PM

Quote

By the way, what development environment are you using?
Currently im using borland builder 6. Its a tad old but its not like these damn things are cheap you know. I might download movies but, im not gana pirate IDEs.

Quote

There has to be a way to detect components that are prerequisites for the update - a particular version of .NET, IE, or an Office component, otherwise updates wont be properly selected for installation, or ignored. The [Installation] section is where the install commands go, [Removal] and [Slipstream] could be dropped I suppose.

well what I meant were that they were empty areas. If an area is empty... it doesn't need to be there. I might as well have made a [I love cats] area and it would have been just as useful. :)

the link you gave me for that file just brings me back to the main forum page.

Edited by ViroMan, 02 June 2011 - 07:33 PM.


#7 _def_x_

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 08:14 PM

Quote

the link you gave me for that file just brings me back to the main forum page.
Try it now, it's a small 50K zip with a few html pages - it's all the devs put together way back when to help new release maintainers, it's got nothing about the source code of AutoPatcher and APUP which by the way I believe is VB6.

Also, if you should get something going with your app and you want to post screenshots, there is an issue with image attachments, they wont load, so I would suggest an external site like KwikPiks or imgFTW.

#8 Cristiano

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 09:58 PM

> it's got nothing about the source code of AutoPatcher and APUP which by the way I believe is VB6
it is. if required, i still have the full sources for both, but it is/was at autopatcher ftp. i don't remember right now, but it was in a folder with my name. i've lost the password for it in an hd crash, so i don't have it anymore to check

> [Removal]
this one was added when antonis had one of the dumbests ideas that i ever saw: remove the /nobackup option, that was helping a lot to decrease the install time in slow computers. this could be removed, but one problem: the tweaks. the removal will work only if the .apf are renamed to .reg. also, i bet that certain users will freeze just because that

> [Slipstream]
this surely was the dumbest idea above all. this feature works, but everything remains uncompressed. also, antonis retired from the project at that time and never had updated the code to fix that issue. also, none documentation was done about it and i'm sure that this works only because i've tested it in try and error mode. the result? due the size of the updates for xp, the usage of this feature creates an folder bigger than an cd if you select only the critical updates. with all of them it becomes a lot worst and doesn't work for all updates

[]s

#9 ViroMan

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 10:02 PM

ahh the link worked this time... hmm some of the info there I already figured out however, I had no idea that the date determines the way things are ordered. There are also a bit more to the format then some of the scripts I downloaded shows. This will help thanx.

I already started some work on the new code... got a basic interface to choose things to download(nothing to choose yet since parsing code isn't complete), some of the parsing code is done, the link you gave me tells me I got more code to add tho. :(

Think I will include an auto 7zip option to store the downloads into 7z files at cd or dvd size for portability.

Also

Quote

One thing that may help down the road is to have the app run locally.
I get where your going with this I think. This is easy to account for since I have added an edit box for people to place an alternate download location for "releases.list". I will make sure that it can also point to a local/net dir. all that it would take to make it work would be to modify each script to point to another local/net file. not to hard if I eventually finish this to a point and work on that separate program to manage the modules/scripts.

testing Some images of the basic GUI

Posted Image

Posted Image

I think they fixed your image problem unless it is only visible to the owner...

Edited by ViroMan, 02 June 2011 - 10:17 PM.


#10 _def_x_

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:00 PM

Looks good so far :) just need to get some info (when you're ready) to better understand the apps functionality.

You have the images hosted which works, if you were to add the images to your post, the created thumbnail would do nothing when clicked. As far as I know this has not been fixed yet - See Here!

BTW, have you used the latest AutoPatcher and APUP, and what is your primary OS?

Right now most of the work is in the scripts and modules, building the folder structure, and the ability to combine multiple releases and have them appear in AutoPatcher in a nice organized manner. I'm not sure if some of this functionality could be hard coded in the app making the need for an apm file a thing of the past.

Anyway, looks good :)

#11 ViroMan

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:37 PM

ok here goes... sometimes I have a hard time getting my ideas across to others so ask if your confused.

Current Plans:
Get the program to download the scripts and follow its directions to the letter. Basically a replacement of the current downloader.

Future Plans:
Replace/Fix AutoPatcher... if need be.
Create a program to manage modules for the dev team or advanced user.
Update downloader to be more intelligent instead of blindly following the scripts.

I will probably remove the the folder structures and combining of releases due to the module manager handling the combining and the downloader creating the directory structure. I would still probably leave the code in there to support the commands though for what ever reason we might need them.

Appearing in AutoPatcher in a nice organized manner shouldn't be hard to do.

if Cristiano could get the source for the programs it would greatly speed things along. If I remember right, I have VB somewhere, I could load the source in and see what I can do. Didn't really like the VB IDE.

Primary OS is XP x64 sp3 but I also have XP x86 SP3 installed.

I havn't used the latest autopatcher since... last year I believe. I was gana use it recently when I noticed the forum died and then posted about helping.

Anything else you need to know?

ps.
obviously the pics are the work in progress for the gui it probably wont look like that towards the end of alpha. If you have comments on what you see... please post them.

Edited by ViroMan, 02 June 2011 - 11:41 PM.


#12 Cristiano

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 01:00 AM

> it would greatly speed things along
so please, check your pms and have fun :)

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#13 _def_x_

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 11:02 PM

ViroMan said:

Anything else you need to know?
I don't need to know much at this point, I would say that you need to understand how AutoPatcher and APUP function and build to a minimum those features and more :)

Now that Cristiano has given over the source (thanks for letting me know) you can refactor that code and maybe add additional features. If you can, recompile this time and add the manifest files so the buttons look nicer than the old ugly square style.

#14 Cristiano

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 11:46 PM

well, i'm unsure if i've sent the .manifest file... anyway, it's attached

[]s

Attached Files



#15 ViroMan

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 12:22 AM

ha it says 3 other people downloaded this file?

anyways... been back for a few hours. I looked around the house before I left and I still can't seem to find my VB hmm... Im tempted to download a copy since I know I had a legit copy.
anyways looking at some of the source I see its not all that complicated actually. It seems that it can be ported to Borland and compiled with a little bit of rework.

Thankfully borland allows me to compile most dependencies into the executables so we could get rid of a few files since borland has its own functions of them(which will compile into the executable). I could even get rid of the need for the 7z executable but I think ill keep that in. the 3.4mb in the bin location can go away since all of that would be wasted space... in essence I can reduce the update program to 2-4 files while saving space.
Apup2.exe (The executable)
7za.exe (7z I actually could compile it into the program using (7zip source) if we want but, ehh)
aamd532.dll (this is nice. I could use this instead of making my own and testing over and over)
Apup.ini (I like to store info in ini files rather then in win registry)

Edited by ViroMan, 07 June 2011 - 12:38 AM.


#16 _def_x_

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 01:24 AM

Sounds good so far. We definitely need the functionality of 7Za.exe and aamd532.dll. Also, since it looks like a user will update the 2K script, see if Win2k - Win7 (x86 & x64 versions) can possibly be supported.

I hate to mention this but I better now rather than wait. I know you're kidding when you mention 'pirate IDE' and 'I'm tempted to download a copy...' but we have a 'zero tolerance' policy about warez, and the project expects team members to have Genuine tools. I would say at this point make it work with Borland since you have a license. I hope you understand, Microsoft already hassled the project once, we don't need a second fight :)

#17 ViroMan

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 02:17 AM

Ahh tempted I am.. but as I said above

Quote

I might download movies but, im not gana pirate IDEs.
IDE's being Integrated Development Environment.(err if I remember the acronym correctly that is.)

As for supporting any version of windows it should be easy. All I have to do so find the appropriate registry keys and api calls.

Edited by ViroMan, 07 June 2011 - 02:20 AM.


#18 _def_x_

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 02:47 AM

VB is an IDE:

Wikipedia said:

<snip> Visual Basic (VB) is the third-generation event-driven programming language and integrated development environment (IDE) from Microsoft...
I'm not wanting to moralize, only trying to keep the project alive, the issue of 'piracy' is a serious distraction, we don't need it.

Anyway, we're all looking forward to what you come up with :) it will surely move the project forward and hopefully give it new life.

#19 ViroMan

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 08:14 AM

roger roger... anyways, I couldn't find my VB and im giving up the search.(I didn't like it anyways, I might have given it away) I have already converted a few pages of VB into C++. It will take time but, I have already seen areas to improve however, I shall not do so until I get a working port of the old code.

<venting frustration>
grr... why did they make it in VB anyways.. its crap... VB not the code... well I guess by extension the code too... :(

Edited by ViroMan, 07 June 2011 - 08:16 AM.


#20 Cristiano

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 11:16 AM

i think that i have an explanation for that... most of people doesn't realize that, but i bet that most of the original team wasn't more than teenagers when the project started and at that time, vb was an idea to start. also, if yours look into an recent picture of antonis, yours could have the same idea than i once had (he has age enough to be my young brother, but surely isn't older than me. and i'm just 35...)

[]s





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