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[Dev] User PM Archive Manager

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  • 05-09-2006 1:42pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 14,148 ✭✭✭✭


    Hi folks,

    I'm in the process of developing a PM archive reader so that people can view their pm's that have been saved to XML/CSV/TXT format as is currently possible using boards.ie

    Current Status:
    • XML Archives: Completed
    • CSV Archives: To be implemented
    • TXT Archives: To be implemented
    • User Interface: In development
    • User Search: To be implemented

    Development as of this writing is for a win32 application, although I'd like to get a *nix release seen to as well. Once I've finished the UI presentation, I will release the beta for user testing with issued updates for each feature as it becomes available to test.

    What I'd like to ask of boards members is the following:

    1. A volunteer to port the existing code (C#.NET 2.0) to Mono
    2. Volunteers to test the application (read below)


    Test criteria:
    1. Operating System (O/S) compatability: This _should_ be able to run on any windows O/S from 98 and up provided that you have the .NET 2.0 runtime library installed
    2. Functional Bugs: Any and all bugs that users can find (and more importantly, repeat). I'll have to ask the admins if they'll sticky this and allow me to create a second thread for bugs (stickified)
    3. Performance Metrics: Performance metrics. If this is causing people's machines to grind, I'd like to know about it with whatever information you can give me, such as memory usage, CPU time, etc.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,421 ✭✭✭Steveire


    Interesting project. I'm willing to help, but I think you're going about it all wrong. I reckon you should focus on one format (xml) and get that right, because there's really no point in supporting them all just because they're available. Using xml and a web browser you don't actually need anything else to be cross-platform. I'm sure you can use javascript to search. I've just started looking into this xml stuff. All we need is a xsl file to format the xml file in a readable format.
    http://www.w3schools.com/xml/xml_xsl.asp

    For bug tracking I recommend the biki. I'm going to use it for a project soon. It is used by adverts.ie for bug tracking, and I think it's a handy format. Threads get long and full of chit-chat. And you can't easily search a thread at the moment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,762 ✭✭✭WizZard


    I half started a similar project earlier this year but haven't had time to go back to it. Best of luck with it.
    [strike]I presume that the XML is the main format and you use XPath/XSL or similar to convert to CSV etc?[/strike]

    I would advise using XML as the main format too, and perhaps a smaller convertor app that can convert older CSV/TXT to the correct XML, if required


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,148 ✭✭✭✭Lemming


    Of course you'll need to edit any xml files to attach the XSLT schema file. Whether you or I will agree on it, other people will simply either be too lazy or not knowledgeable on the HOW-TO of editing an XML file in such fashion (despite it being pretty straight forward).

    Hence the application route

    Click menu. Open File. Select PM Folder. Read. Search if needed (when implemented).

    Blindingly straight-forward for a user. I'll post a screenie of the UI later, because it really is idiotically intuitive.

    Another thing to note is that if people have downloaded pm messages in either CSV or TXT format already and then cleared those messages, they're stuck without an ability to read them in a meaningful fashion (well CSV anyway).

    This project was also half-borne out of my wanting to mess about with the .NET framework. Along the way I realised what I was doing might actually be of use to people, hence this thread.

    The XML/XSLT solution has its merits, but in this case I think the outcome smacks far too much of "People serving technology" and not the other way around


    Edit: for WizZard

    I would imagine most people would download in XML format given its rather handy versatility. Hence I've actually finished work on the XML side of things. I'm just working on presenting it.

    The converter app. isn't a bad idea. Might file that one away for later. It also opens up the question of amalgamating archives


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,049 ✭✭✭Cloud


    Stuck! Great idea Lemming, it could also be an application that could be promoted on the vBulletin.org developers site.


  • Registered Users Posts: 35,524 ✭✭✭✭Gordon


    Lemming wrote:
    I would imagine most people would download in XML format given its rather handy versatility.
    I can't be sure but I would imagine they would download in .txt first and then csv then xml. Txt is more well known and csv are known for opening up easily in Excel.

    Personally I use all three just in case some handy program gets made by some cool dude, but only makes it for a specific format. Fair play Lemmers.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 68,317 ✭✭✭✭seamus


    How about a web application - you upload your XML/CSV/Whatever format to the script, and it formats the PMs in a readable and browseable format. Saves the need to try and make it cross-platform.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,148 ✭✭✭✭Lemming


    Update:

    The application is about ready for initial user testing of XML archives, pending my fixing a bug which causes problems for the PM-folder drop down menu list if two consecutive files are opened.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,148 ✭✭✭✭Lemming


    Version 1.2 is available: Click here

    Note: Only XML format is supported right now.

    Please leave bug reports or suggestions here


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,148 ✭✭✭✭Lemming


    Version 1.2.0.1

    Fixes the following bugs:


  • Registered Users Posts: 22,231 ✭✭✭✭Sparky


    All's working well for me.

    I don't see aidan_walsh's bug on your first release though.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,148 ✭✭✭✭Lemming


    Sparky-s wrote:
    All's working well for me.

    I don't see aidan_walsh's bug on your first release though.

    I've replicated the bug myself and truth be told I'd noticed it before but it just slipped my mind to fix before my initial release. Anyway .. should be sorted now.

    Am currently sorting TXT support


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,446 ✭✭✭✭amp


    Doesn't run for me. It goes:
    errorbam.png

    Also it smells like turnips.


    (Firefox 2.0b2 on XP pro, with an AMD64 cpu and blue leds ftw)


  • Registered Users Posts: 35,524 ✭✭✭✭Gordon


    What's this .Net framework I need to have? /edit - oops just read the first post, sorry.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,762 ✭✭✭WizZard


    amp - you need the .NET 2.0 framework. IIRC that's what that error is.

    Lemming: I like the app. very nice.

    Suggestion:
    Make the treeview a datagrid -fun to learn to play with but will also allow sorting by Sender, date, etc :) I think the new 2.0 datagrids can be bound to XML so it would not require much, if any, parsing of the XML input(once it's validated:))
    Also maybe the default sort could be latest first??

    BTW, it runs fine on x64 (to be expected but I thought I'd throw that in :))


  • Registered Users Posts: 35,524 ✭✭✭✭Gordon


    Hey cool, it works! Nice one.

    The Search doesn't do anything - it just says "Placeholder" and doesn't reply on my click. That sorting by Sender and date thing would be cool too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,446 ✭✭✭✭amp


    WizZard wrote:
    amp - you need the .NET 2.0 framework. IIRC that's what that error is.

    O I C

    Now I get this error:

    errorlem.gif

    Also, it would be nice if the panes expanded with the window for maxium reading pleasures.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,148 ✭✭✭✭Lemming


    Gordon wrote:
    Hey cool, it works! Nice one.

    The Search doesn't do anything - it just says "Placeholder" and doesn't reply on my click. That sorting by Sender and date thing would be cool too.

    Search hasn't been implemented yet, hence the "placeholder" thing. It'll be the last bit of major functionality currently planned for this release. Once I get file format support finished I'll be starting work on the search feature.

    So other things people want to see, some sort of "filter by" option on the tree-view? and a resizeable UI for amp's viewing pleasures.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,762 ✭✭✭WizZard


    Lemming wrote:
    So other things people want to see, some sort of "filter by" option on the tree-view?
    I still think a datagrid would be better there - kind of like an email app. interface, with columns for sender, subject, date, etc


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,148 ✭✭✭✭Lemming


    WizZard wrote:
    I still think a datagrid would be better there - kind of like an email app. interface, with columns for sender, subject, date, etc

    I had a play around with the datagrids WizZard, and I've finally managed picture what you're asking for in my mind. So what I'm going to do is keep everything as-is for now whilst I work on the file format support since it's independent of the main app (seperate DLL). Once that's done I'm going to revisit the UI and then the search functionality.

    But eh, yeah. I like the idea :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,077 ✭✭✭parasite


    do you plan on handling bbcode tags ? also euro signs appear as japanese symbols for me :/


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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,253 ✭✭✭✭Eoin


    That's really cool, good work.

    Now for the interfering suggestion! It would be sort of cool if the text was parsed like vBulletin does - e.g. [noparse], , [/noparse] and all that was translated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,148 ✭✭✭✭Lemming


    Apologies for the long delay folks ....

    Version 2.0.1.0

    Featuring a completely new look and feel.

    Tasks still to do:
    • Text File Reading
    • CSV File Reading
    • Search Function
    • BBCode support
    • Cosmetic changes such as date-stamp presentation

    Any other suggestions are more than welcome folks.

    If you find any bugs, please report them here instead of in this thread, which is for discussion of development only.


  • Registered Users Posts: 35,524 ✭✭✭✭Gordon


    Moving over to SYS-DEVELOPMENT


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,091 Mod ✭✭✭✭Tar.Aldarion


    NIce idea. :)


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    Something I've been meaning to do for a while is test this under Mono. I finally got around to it today.

    It loads up just fine, but when I go to open the downloaded XML file, I see this message in the status bar:
    Could not find file "/home/paul/boards.ie\boards_user_pm.xsd".
    
    It looks like the backslash is hardcoded into the filename. You should be able to replace it with something like:
    string path = Path.Combine (Application.ExecutablePath, "boards_user_pm.xsd");
    
    ...to make it portable.


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