Use with caution.
These public beta programs contain new fixes and new features that haven't been fully tested. I need you to tell me if you find any problems with these program or even if the changes listed work as you expect.
joejoe May-15-13 11:46 PM CDT
The Add A Step Problem
In v3.5 of RM, there was a major issue when adding a new step to the Renaming Script. This is both good news and bad news. The good news is that the Default script seems to be doing its job. The bad news is that the error was not caught by a user until after the official release, since the issue only occurred during a specific set of visible conditions.
After already releasing 2 hotfixes today (3.06 and 3.06 B) that only partially fixed the issue, I tracked the error down to a single typo. Version 3.06 C contains the corrected code. Unfortunately, 1000 users already downloaded v3.5 in the past two days.
joejoe May-13-13 8:05 PM CDT
More Status and Such
Version 3.5 of Rename Master is now an official release. The major feature of this release, beside bug fixes, is the new Swap Step. This makes swapping parts of the filename much easier to understand. I've left the swap example script in the archive just to show how to do more detailed scripting using cut-and-paste type operations. The only idea rattling in my head at this point for RM is a help screen for new users to describe how to work with MP3 and JPEG files, since this is the most common use.
At this point, I've one experimental idea in mind to mess around with for ArsClip. This is the "grouping" idea. I've had a few feedback emails that prove that more than a few people want a lot of popup clips available directly from the popup. Currently, the Popup Clips and the Recently Removed clips can almost function this way.
Basically, when a large number of Popup Clips are available, the program would automatically use expanding menus to display clips 1-20, clips 21-40, etc. What I need to figure out is when to use it and how to split up the group. For example, this could trigger only when the popup is taller than the screen. This feature could also always be on when more than 20 clips are set to display on the popup. Currently, the popup will automatically scroll when the mouse is moved towards the top or bottom of the screen on the popup. There's no visual cue for this event and it's different than the Windows popup, so it's not quite intuitive.
The only usability issue I can think of is that drag re-ordering wouldn't function. I'm guessing this isn't a big issue, if I'm correct that few people use this feature. Also, it would probably be a good idea to automatically remember and show the last group that was expanded. By default the newest clips (1 through X) would be expanded.
joejoe Mar-06-13 12:11 AM CST
Swaps and Whitespace
The current Public Beta of Rename Master adds three new features (mentioned in the post below).
The first feature replaces a complicated operation with a single simple step: the Swap Step. In previous releases of RM, I included an example of how to swap parts of the filename around a dash. Before the Split and Move step was added, this required 3 or more operations to complete and was very complicated. After adding the Split and Move step, I could do this in 1 or 2 operations. While Split and Move is very powerful, it was designed for people that are slightly familiar with Regular Expressions or can understand a similar concept. The new Swap step fixes these problems and addresses the issue with whitespace needing to be trimmed.
The second feature is a folder monitor. If the contents of the folder change (a new, renamed or deleted file/folder), the program will now detect the change and prompt to refresh the File List. This isn't a common problem, but this feature is used by many programs to help prevent errors ahead of time. For example, some text editors will detect when the currently edited file has been changed outside of the program.
The third feature is a rare problem. When leading or trailing whitespace is used in a file name or as an option in the Renaming Script tab, it's almost impossible to see. For example, if you're trying to replace a double space with a single space using the Find and Replace step, the text fields look empty. The fix for this was to simply change the font to underlined when this is detected. There is, however, one very problematic case - a space followed by an underscore. It's impossible to tell the different between the underline and the underscore.
The fourth feature, a whitespace step, is still in the research phase. I'm not sure if this case is common enough to warrant a new renaming step. The "Swap" was an easy addition, because I've had so many question about it in the past.
joejoe Feb-28-13 11:19 PM CST
Now that ArsClip v4.9 is an official release, I'm getting ready to start up with new features for Rename Master. I'll still be waiting for any new ArsClip issues that require an immediate fix, so work may be delayed until next week.
So far, I've 3 new ideas to design and possibly implement. As mentioned below, the first idea is a "Swap" Step. The second idea is also a new step, one that deals specifically with spaces. The last idea is a feature to monitor the current folder for changes. Once a change is detected, the program will prompt to refresh the current file list. I do have another issue dealing with displaying spaces, but I've not enough ideas to begin work on any testing.
joejoe Feb-19-13 8:34 PM CST
The Beta Audience and Current Status
There's a strange divide between the Rename Master and the ArsClip beta users. Even though RM is downloaded twice as much as AC, the beta versions of AC are downloaded 3 to 5 times as much as the RM betas. Currently, about 100 users will download new test versions of AC. For feedback, it seems the AC audience are mostly long time users and the RM audience is newer users.
For the most part, RM users only perform a single well-known task. The situation is there's a group of files and they want them renamed for readability or for use in another program or system. While the files and the desired result vary tremendously from person to person, the program either does or does not currently have the ability to perform the task. If it can do the task, there is no reason to update or learn anything else about the program. Only once a bug is discovered or a new uncovered task is desired is there a reason to send feedback or update. For example, the "command line" options in RM broke some time ago, but it wasn't until a few days ago that a new user reported the issue. While it's not a popular feature, I know plenty of users use it. This confirms that they don't upgrade often and there's probably little reason to do so if it "just works" for them.
AC users, however, push the program beyond the limits that I've imagined. Some users exclusively used Permanent Clips for canned responses. Some users create complex Permanent Clip Macros that fill in form data in programs. Unlike RM beta users, it seems AC beta users look at new features to see how they can exploit it (in a good way). For example, the recent performance improvements were designed to make it easier for those that use very large clips (like screenshots). Also, the new [MIMIC] command was designed to make it possible for a Permanent Clip to echo text to a program like the command prompt. Unlike file renaming, AC users seem to look at a new problem as see if AC can help solve that problem.
ArsClip: While there are still some research ideas, I've no plans for new features in the queue right now. I may keep this version small, since so much was changed with the clip format. I'm sure there are some issues that exist that haven't been found or reported. Like last time, I'm planning to leave a few days open after the initial release for immediate hotfixes.
Rename Master: I'm currently only working on reported bug fixes until I'm finished with ArsClip.
joejoe Feb-08-13 3:58 PM CST
The final changes are finished for the in-memory clip for performance in Public Beta Test 4. This required a small redesign, but could effect many parts of the program. This includes Popup, Recently Removed, and Clipboard clips shown on the popup and all the routines using these clips (Tooltips, Clip Menu, etc). This means that a slightly longer testing period is expected overall.
I've been toying with showing scaled thumbnails for pictures on the popup, with limited success. This feature may not make it into this beta, unless I can work around some issues. I'm still testing fast ways for drawing pictures on the popup. For those that want the fastest popup possible, the new option to disable picture thumbnails is always going to be fastest.
joejoe Feb-07-13 5:08 PM CST
Current ArsClip Changes
The Tooltip now uses a small footer area to show clip information. I've updated the clip format to include a timestamp. While this has been in the program for a long time, it has never been used or stored on disk. Only new clips will have this information.
While performance of the popup wasn't an issue for most, large clips weren't handled efficiently - especially pictures. In the last few test versions, I've been making intermediate changes to the in-memory clip format to speed things up. Pictures are no longer converted every time the popup is shown, and the thumbnail is now cached. Unicode clips are also now processed faster overall.
One thing I've learned about ArsClip users is they push the limits of the program. New commands for Permanent Clips have been added to support customization. The latest command, [MIMIC], will use keystroke simulation for the current Permanent Clips. For example, you can now run a command prompt and paste the contents of the clipboard by using a Permanent Clip that mimics typing.
joejoe Jan-31-13 6:09 PM CST
RM v3.4 has been released as an official version. This release contains only fixes and some new configuration options. The only planned changed for the new beta is a new Swap Step that will find a phrase and swap everything before and after that phrase.
There were 2 serious issues that required immediate hotfix releases. I've a new Command planned for the new beta that will trim spaces from the clipboard. I've also an idea for using a Permanent Clip for custom pasting, but this will require some more research.
This is a new prototype program. It is a single task, command-line program for changing the gamma on NVidia graphics cards. It works virtually the same as using the NVidia Control Panel to adjust the desktop gamma.
An example usage would be for changing the gamma before running a game with no gamma settings.
joejoe Jan-07-13 7:59 PM CST
I had planned on released v4.6 of ArsClip earlier, but the holiday season got in the way. My current plans is to wait a few days to address any newly discovered issues with the official v4.6 release, then I'm also going to release a the version of Rename Master.
I'm going to have to go over my "todo" notes and my emails, but I think there are currently no new planned changes for either program. It's strange, but it's usually the case that I get feedback and requests all within a week or two and then not much feedback for a few weeks after that.
Side Note: There were two files missing in the source code for ArsClip. These were two shared units that I also use with other programs. I've included a "readme" textfile to explain how to fix the DPR file to work with these external files. I've also updated my pack routine to automatically include the source for these files for future updates. Since these files aren't in subfolders of this project, the paths must be manually fixed.
joejoe Dec-10-12 4:35 PM CST
Another Duh Moment
I'm so used to dealing with the limitations of the old ArsClip popup, that I've missed some simple things. A user reminded me that I needed to research detecting a middle-click for the popup.
In the current Public Beta, I've added a configuration option for defining an action when clicking the middle button on a menu item. The default action for the Middle Click is to paste the current item and keep the popup open. It's a completely arbitrary choice, since the middle button's usual action is so different for every program.
As a reminder, the Keystrokes / Mouse actions include just about anything you can do using the right-click menu.
joejoe Dec-06-12 4:21 AM CST
I finally found what I think is the last "Date Convert" issue with timestamps in Rename Master. For a Windows NTFS file system, it is legal for a file to have no timestamps for the Created and Modified. A workaround was made for this in version 3.0, a few months ago.
With user feedback, I was able to track down a related issue when the timestamp's year was less than 1980. For a missing timestamp, either the Created or Modified date will be used twice to substitute a missing date. In the worst case, today's date is used as a place-holder. This happens if both dates are missing, or if the date will not convert correctly.
Timestamp issues usually happens by using a buggy utility, or when moving a file from a remote or removable device. The second case can usually be worked around by copying the files instead of moving them. This should trigger Windows to generate a Created date that may not exist on the remote file.