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Thread: After reading up how to embed an application...

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate
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    After reading up how to embed an application...

    There has to be an easier way - this is far too complicated. I used to use another frontend (forget which) and it was so much simpler! I want to open up "C:\Program Files\MegaSquirt\MegaTune2.25\megatune.exe" which is for my standalone ECU. I don't want any buttons really, just the screen. But the FAQ says I need to run Windowinfo thinger and that's not working, says "window hung" when its running. Then I need to create a skin file? Ugh, this is a pain in my ***.

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate
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    update: i think the application I am trying to embed is a java window or java application... hrmph?

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    Wiredwrx's Avatar
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    Are you sure you are looking for the correct information.

    Download AutoIT. It comes with a very easy to use Windows tool. It will show you the name of the window. As for JavaApplets, first, I would be surprised if megasquirt uses one for their software, and esecond, I think it should still have a window name that you can use.

    Try the AutoIt tool, it is really simple.

    And yes, RR is not for the person who just wants things done for them. RR takes some setting up, and some work to get things done and working, but it is BY FAR one of, if not the, best FE out there, certainly, it is the best free FE out there.

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  4. #4
    SMKFree liquid_smoke's Avatar
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    i admit the process is a bit, i wouldnt say complicated but it could be much easier. Im not sure what frontend you were using before that it was easier to setup with, but i know Centrafuse setup for embeding an application is pretty cut and dry easy peasy, you may want to give that a try.

    some notes though:
    The most important thing with embeding any app is for the parent application (frontend) to know what window its supposed to embed, the most reliable method to get this info is to look for its window title (the info you see in any (most) windows ). Most of the time this can be obtained simply by opening the application and looking at its window title, but sometimes apps may not draw there UI in a standard MS Windows way and may not have a visible window title, thats where the app you speak of "windowspy" is used for. Ive never personally used the app thats referenced in the faq, i use another tool to get window info, so maybe that tool is buggy. I would guess though that the window title likely has megatune in it somewhere.

    Setting up a button to run an embeded app in RR is a bit of a task though, and it really doesnt have to be, but is quite easy once you know what you need to do.

    So for example if i wanted to embed notepad into RR these are the step by steps i would do.

    1. First i would need to know the path to the application i want to open.
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\notepad.exe

    2. I need to know the window title for notepad which is "notepad"

    3. Now that i have those 2 bits of info i need to setup a command for RR to execute that will open the application and embed it into a .skin file that i choose. My command looks like this

    "NOTEPAD","LOAD;notepad.skin;RUN;C:\WINDOWS\system 32\notepad.exe;Notepad"

    This command can be stored in a few locations, either inside the .skin file and directly tied to the button used to execute the command or stored in a file called ExecTBL.ini that is found in one of 2 places, the root of your RR install and or inside the folder of the skin your currently using. To simply things i suggest to store it inside ExecTBL.ini in the root of your RR install. This file may not exist so create it if you have to. The naming of the file has to be exactly ExecTBL.ini

    Now lets break apart the command above so you understand the structure a bit more.
    The first bit before the first command in quotes is the name of the command. "NOTEPAD" and this can be anything you want it to be. Think of it as a nic name.
    The 2 other commands inside this command are LOAD and RUN.
    LOAD;notepad.skin tells RR what .skin file it should load
    RUN tell RR what application it should also run followed by the apps full path and window title at the end after the ";"
    The .skin file you use is either an existing one that came with the skin your using, or you create a new one from an existing file or from scratch.
    Both task being a bit complicated for anyone new to RR and i would have to point you to the skinnng faq for you to fully understand how to edit and or create these files.

    4. Inside of ExecTBL.ini i now have a line that looks exactly like this.

    "NOTEPAD","LOAD;notepad.skin;RUN;C:\WINDOWS\system 32\notepad.exe;Notepad"

    so now anytime RR recieves the "NOTEPAD" command it will execute everything after the first comma.

    5. Open your menu.skin file in either RRSkineditor or in your text editor of choice. So you can create or modify an existing button to run this new "NOTEPAD" command. I will use the "BMV2" skin as a reference.

    6. In menu.skin for "BMV2" skin you should see a line that looks like this
    B02,348,70,104,75,"CDRIP","Rip CD"

    If you load RR and have this skin applied the above line is for the "RIP" button you see on the top middle of the screen. We will change this to open your own custom app.

    Change the "CDRIP" command to your new custom command, so i will use "NOTEPAD"
    Now the line should look like this.
    B02,348,70,104,75,"NOTEPAD",""

    save the file, Restart RR and test the button.

    7. Since the word "RIP" is apart of the graphic file, you will have to edit the image in Adobe Photoshop or other image editor to make it say what you want.
    This is optional, and not all skins require this, some may only require you to edit a label that is also inside of the .skin file. Refer to the skin faq for labels and how to use them.



    I hope this helps you and anyone else very new to RR and just simply wants to change an existing button to do something else.
    I do have to admit this is a lot of stuff to manually do and a lot of this could be automated. It took me like 2 minutes to embed an application in Centrafuse and i never left CF's UI once. This same thing could and can be done in RR, it just needs to be setup to do this.
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  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate DiNASTY's Avatar
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    Great instructions LS. I think you should make that a FAQ for sure.

    As for the ease of embedding apps. Wouldn't it be great to have it built into the skin editor somehow. Like drag and drop an exe onto the screen and have it auto generate a button with a RUN command and window title... that would be cool but probably impossible.
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  6. #6
    SMKFree liquid_smoke's Avatar
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    Hey DiNASTY!

    hope things are going cool.

    I think it would be better to somehow intergrate a standard method into skins on generic embeding. I say generic because no matter what frontend you use, if you want a custom screen thats built for the application you want to embed there simply is no way to not get your hands dirty and i think even people new to RR or any app will understand that.

    Im actually going to try to work out a method of doing this with my skin.
    Since this thread poppedup up im kind of half way there. Not totaly sure if it'll work out how i want but ill give it a shot.
    I think one of the main pieces of the puzzle that is missing is a file browser inside of RR, that would allow you to browse to the directory and choose the application you want to embed. Then pass that path you choose back to RR to use in a preformatted command, either internal in RR like the AUDIO command has a list of actions that are hidden or external in ExecTBL.ini and hope most skin makers setup there skins to support it.

    we'll see though.
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  7. #7
    SMKFree liquid_smoke's Avatar
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    also here is an app to find the window name, ive never used the one referenced in the faq but if people are having problems with it, here is an alternative.
    Attached Files Attached Files
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    01101101 01101111 01101011 01100101

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  8. #8
    FLAC Sal R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiNASTY View Post
    Great instructions LS. I think you should make that a FAQ for sure.

    As for the ease of embedding apps. Wouldn't it be great to have it built into the skin editor somehow. Like drag and drop an exe onto the screen and have it auto generate a button with a RUN command and window title... that would be cool but probably impossible.
    Yeah really. Can't get any clearer than that. I now have what I need to embed my OBD II program into RR.

    Thanks!

  9. #9
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    i could create an application that would come up with the exact command you'd need to run the app embedded. Thats pretty simple actually.

    Program would open the selected .exe while hidden... retrieve the window title and class information and return the LOAD; command. IF this is what people want i can do it tomorrow.
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  10. #10
    MySQL Error MatrixPC's Avatar
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    Well, the process to embeded an application on the user end is the same regardless of Front End.
    You need to know the application window's name (application caption).
    Of course, you need a full path to the application exe file.

    - Now open the launched folder (depend on where you have it setup in RR.ini). Normal setup it would be a subfolder of RoadRunner.

    - Copy the Cal and/or Notepad folder and rename it to your app folder.
    - Look inside the folder/file and make change in according to your app.

    Since RR offer so much flexibility, if you take that route, it will be complicated. Go with LS suggestion if you choose so.
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