D&Do provides a GUI-based drag and drop, and system clipboard services to non-GUI and non-interactive command line programs and scripts. Through these services, it increases the usability of command line programs in a window-based desktop environment and increases the user's productivity. For example, with D&Do you can reduce the amount of typing (and related errors) and you can even bridge between non-integrated desktop applications by making the clipboard more intelligent.
Once a configuration file known as a metascript is loaded, D&Do associates itself with a specific program/script. That metascript provides a mapping of each argument of the program/script with either a drop object or the system clipboard. A trigger from D&Do (usually a click from the mouse cursor) activates the program/script that might do some IO of its own and writes messages at its normal output, then ends its activity with an exit code. D&Do collects the normal output and may redirect it to the system clipboard that will be available for other desktop applications. It also collects the exit-code that it uses for generating a feedback message on its status line. See the figure below:
- Legacy and simple-to-create command line programs/scripts become useful in a window-based environment (indeed a high-school-level programming skill is often enough for creating such programs/scripts)
- You don't need to type those long lists of arguments when using a command line program/script; you just drop the argument values into a single target area
- Neither do you need to transfer the result from the program's normal output (i.e.. the DOS/Shell box text outputted by the program/script); it is already put into the clipboard (if you enable it).
- You can efficiently fill in the functions that are required by corporate or personal specifications/policies, but are not provided by your software tool set.
D&Do is a time-saver. With it, you can save at least 15 minutes a day, every day, per person, for accomplishing your computer-based tasks while reducing human errors. Think about it. You save money and you can deliver faster and more reliably. In a corporate environment, multiply this by the number of employees using a computer: secretaries Web designers, sales persons, CAD users, accountants and even your busy computer-savvy programmers.
- It has an uncluttered minimalist user interface:
- A title bar
- A license label
- A prominent integrated drop target and button (the target area)
- A status line
- A popup menu (activated when you right click the target area).
- An about dialog box (activated through the "About" popup menu item)
- A help display frame (activated through the "Help" popup menu item)
- An open file dialog box (activated through the "Load Metascript" popup menu item)
- It accepts arguments from:
- Dropped desktop objects
- The system clipboard
- A text file known as a metascript file containing many argument list templates that can be used by the program/script. This file also defines the D&Do behavior
- An optional one-character key input to select one of the argument list templates (a variant)
There can be up to eleven (11) specified variants
- The normal output of the program/script may be saved directly into the clipboard
Note: The normal output is also known as the system output or print output.
- It accepts none, one, many or tagged drops (a desktop drop object that is associated with a metascript tag)
Note: The tagged drops feature is not available in the freeware version (the non-registered version)
- It can accept the following type of drops: Directory, File, Text and URL (a sub-type of text). Note: URL type is a new v1.1 feature).
- You can specify which type (and extension) of drop D&Do will accept (with a specific tag or for the untagged ones). For example, if a directory drop is specified to be accepted, D&Do will refuse any text or file drop
- The D&Do activity starts either from a click on the target area, from a drop that is associated with the last tag, or from any drop
- It alerts you visually if there is an error in a non-disruptive way (no popup window; with just a yellow flash)
- You can specify that the program/script executes for each drop, or once for the collection of drops
- It can display the program error code either numerically or with an associated meaningful message
- It provides a timeout service
- It contains command line parser(s) for a precise control of command segmentation. One of which is active (New in v1.1). Note: The freeware version provides one internal parser only.
- It can host many metascripts simultaneously; the active one is selected through a one key input or a menu command (New in v1.1). Note: This feature is available for the commercial version only.
- It displays in English or in French
- The D&Do can be set to one of the eight (8) basic behaviors.
Note: Three of them are not fully functional in the freeware version of D&Do
- The D&Do package is provided with example programs that may be used as templates for your own programs/scripts, in Python, VBA, JScript, Java.
- It is compatible with almost all types of program languages
- It is fully documented (In English and in French)
- Its status line displays the list of drops and the list of report messages (right-click swap-able)
- A local URL to a help file is automatically associated with each metascript file
- Its target area can be enlarged or reduced at will
- It can stay on top of the desktop screen area (through the use of an external utility, see Note below)
Note: The Java version does not provide a Stay on Top feature natively. However, you can use a freeware that enables any desktop form (including D&Do) to stay on top. One such freeware is PowerMenu and is authored by Thong Nguyen; the Web page is at: http://www.veridicus.com/tummy/programming/powermenu/. Another freeware is WinOnTop and is authored by Detlev Schaefer; the Web page is at http://www.freewarehits.de/ToolsPackage.htm. The latter one is included with the D&Do package.
The freeware version is identical to the registered version except for the following:
- The freeware version is simply the unregistered version of D&Do.
- The tagged-drops feature (and other commercial features) are disabled in the freeware version
- The License label displays NOT FOR COMMERCIAL USE in red instead of the name of the computer in black color
- The freeware version cannot be used for any commercial purpose.
D&Do main window at start (normal size, unregistered-freeware)
D&Do main window at start (with a free valid anonymous registration key)
Example of D&Do main window with the "Joliet" Metascript loaded
D&Do Help window.for the loaded Metascript shown above..
- Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000, XP or a recent Linux.
- Installed Java JRE 1.4 or a more recent version.
- Download ddo1.zip.
- Select a directory that will receive the application files
- Unzip the ddo1.zip file into your selected directory; a "DDo" sub-directory will be created where all D&Do-related files will be installed.
In a Windows system, two anonymous registration keys (one for English usage and one for French usage) are automatically installed and allow commercial usage (and access of the commercial features of D&Do) for anyone. In a Linux system, you have to rename either "rootLicense_en.txt" or "admLicense_en.txt" as "License_en.txt", if you are logged either as root or adm. In a Linux system, only the root or adm users are allowed to use D&Do for commercial purposes and who have access of the commercial features of D&Do.
These four anonymous registration keys are free.
This is it! Double-click the dragdo.jar file to start the application.
D&Do is a shareware and there are two available licenses:
- Freeware License: The unregistered version of D&Do (also known as the freeware version) is permitted only for non-commercial use. The commercial features of D&Do are not accessible.
- Commercial License: A valid registration key file will unlock the tagged drops and other commercial features and will allow you or your company to use D&Do in a commercial/institutional environment. Note: 4 free registration keys are included with D&Do.
20040201: version 1.1 (but released in public on 20070214)
- New: D&Do can run on a Linux system (it has been tested on SuSE version 9). The Gnome desktop system provides the best support since D&Do can accept drops from many Gnome applications. This has not been tested on the KDE desktop system but it might work on a recent version of KDE.
- New: An internal command line argument parser can be selected (only the implicit parser is available in the freeware version).
- New: The registered version of D&Do can host many metascripts simultaneously. One of which can be selected rapidly as the active metascript, with the help of just one key.
- New: The target area can display an icon that is specified in a metascript file. This way, you can provide a graphic distinctive logo for each of your metascripts.
- New: The target area tool-tip can display a context-related help information (specified in a metascript file). You can provide a detailed information about the type of drop that is expected by the metascript.
- New: The script execution timeout can also be specified for the metascript. The metascript timeout overrides the timeout specified in the dragdo.ini file.
- New: The accepted file extension(s) can be specified for each tagged drop and for the untagged drops. For example, you can specify that only a ".gif" file drop is accepted.
- New: URL drop types. The URL type is a specialized TXT type; you can also specify the set of acceptable protocols (ex. file, http, ftp, etc).
- New: Selectable display styles of various labels, tool-tips, target area, etc.
- Improved: The drop type is now always displayed
20031007: version 1.0, first public release
Bugs and Limitations
Plans and Wishes
Marcel St-Amant email@example.com