Can you view Excel files?

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Can you view MS Excel files?

Yes
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73%
No
4
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Total votes: 15
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Can you view Excel files?

Post by curt_grymala » Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:17 pm

I am planning on writing the most comprehensive tutorial ever. It will include instructions on how to burn every single emu/app/demo/game that exists (at least, all of the ones that I know of). It will include instructions on how to create a selfbooting project using each of the three main helpers (SB, SBI, and DSSBS). It will include instructions on how to burn images using DiscJuggler, Alcohol 120%, Nero, and CDRecord.

I would really like to have this tutorial be interactive, with a nice-looking GUI (I want people to be able to select which emu/app/demo/game they are using, which helper they are using, which program they are burning with, etc.). Unfortunately, the only way I know how to make a nice looking GUI is by using Visual Basic for Excel. I have been doing a lot of work lately with VB for Excel, and have really learned a lot about it. VBE allows you to create userforms that can look really nice.

I am afraid, though, that this tutorial wouldn't be accessible to very many people. If I were to write this tutorial, how many people would be able to use it?

If I decide that Excel is not a good way to go, are there any PC devvers out there that would be willing to help me out? I am planning on using just the VBE (not actually using any elements of Excel, just the Visual Basic editor, and the language that is specific to Visual Basic for Excel). I would use txt files to store all of the pertinent information (which is better anyways, because I could easily update the tutorial simply by updating one or two txt files, instead of having people download the whole thing again).

Anyway, if I were to write the tutorial in Visual Basic for Excel, are there any devvers out there that might be able to port it to Basic, or some other cross-platform programming language, so that everyone could use it? I would write all of the instructions, etc., and I would do most of the programming, I would just need someone to translate it to a more accessible programming language. I would gladly give that person half of the credit for this tutorial.
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Post by XXXNINTENDOGURLXXX » Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:22 pm

I would use HTML files instead of txt documents, that way you could add pic's for all of the Newbies,
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Post by curt_grymala » Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:25 pm

I plan on including images somehow, but I am going to actually display the tutorials in a GUI/form of some sort, so I am going to need to use txt files so that I can search for info within them.
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Post by az_bont » Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:35 pm

Have you heard of BCX? It's a BASIC to C translator that 138 used for some of his apps, and burnero used for Selfboot. It's not too difficult to pick up, and there's a program available to create GUIs for you, plus a Yahoo! Group filled with people willing to help.

It would be a lot simpler than Excel files, particularly as a lot of people open Excel files with open-source programs like OpenOffice which I doubt would function properly with VisualBasic stuff.
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Post by rastaman33 » Wed Feb 18, 2004 7:21 pm

this will help lots of Newbie to burn stuff much easier :thumbup:
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Post by impetus » Wed Feb 18, 2004 7:41 pm

An Access Database might work better?
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Post by az_bont » Wed Feb 18, 2004 8:04 pm

If you're going to the trouble of creating whole GUIs in VisualBasic, wouldn't it just be easier to actually create a whole new self-boot program?
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Post by curt_grymala » Wed Feb 18, 2004 8:04 pm

az_bont wrote:Have you heard of BCX? It's a BASIC to C translator that 138 used for some of his apps, and burnero used for Selfboot. It's not too difficult to pick up, and there's a program available to create GUIs for you, plus a Yahoo! Group filled with people willing to help.

It would be a lot simpler than Excel files, particularly as a lot of people open Excel files with open-source programs like OpenOffice which I doubt would function properly with VisualBasic stuff.
Thanks. I will take a look at that info. I am planning on trying to create a demo of it tomorrow night. If I get the demo done, it will only be a tutorial for one or two emus/demos/apps/games, but it will show the general idea of what I would like to do.

Is Basic essentially the same as VisualBasic?
Also - are "txt" files universal? I mean, can people using Linux or MacOS use txt files? Like I said, I plan on writing the program with basically nothing but variables. It will search a particular section of a txt file, and populate the "comboboxes" in my GUI with the info found in that section of the txt file. For instance, there will be a txt file that contains the names of the burning apps, their different versions, etc. There will be a txt file that contains the names of all of the apps/demos/emus/games, and then another txt file for each app/demo/emu/game. So, if someone releases a new app/demo/emu/game, all I need to do is update one or two txt files, and create a new txt file without actually updating the program at all.
rastaman33 wrote:this will help lots of Newbie to burn stuff much easier
I hope so. It will probably take me 6 months to finish it up (definitely not in time for this year's tutorial contest), but it will be the most comprehensive tutorial ever written when it is finished. Once it is finished, there will not really be any need for other tutorials. Hopefully, this will cut down on a lot of the repeat questions in these forums. Like I said, though, it will probably take me 6 months to finish it up. It is going to take me a long time simply to figure out what apps/demos/emus/games are available for selfboot, and then I will have to try each one (or look at existing tutorials on those particular apps/demos/emus/games) to figure out what files and folders are needed to burn them, etc. (Yes, I plan on finding out what files and folders are required for each one, and I even hope to have a feature that will test your directory to make sure you have all the necessary files).
impetus wrote:An Access Database might work better?
I thought about that, but if I am going to learn different syntax for VisualBasic/Basic, I might as well learn a more universal version of it. Also, I want to make sure that this tutorial can easily be updated, without having to download it over and over again every time someone releases a new version or a new emu/demo/app/game. That is why I plan on storing all of the pertinent info within txt files.
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Post by curt_grymala » Wed Feb 18, 2004 8:16 pm

az_bont wrote:If you're going to the trouble of creating whole GUIs in VisualBasic, wouldn't it just be easier to actually create a whole new self-boot program?
1) That's a good thought, but I have absolutely no idea how to go about creating a new self-boot program. I honestly have no programming experience at the moment, with the exception of HTML (which doesn't count, since it's not a disciplined language), and a working knowledge of Visual Basic for Excel. However, if I find that I am getting a decent amount of help while creating this tutorial in Basic, then I may move on to adding a self-booting prog to it (but it would be a program with detailed info on each step of the process).

If I were to do that, I would need to figure out how to include support for building DreamInducer projects as well, so I would probably need BurnerO's help at some point.

Basically, I guess, if I start to get a good feel for programming, then I would want to combine Selfboot and Selfboot Inducer, and include built-in tutorials for each specific app/demo/emu/game. Boy, the more I think about it, the more daunting this task seems. If it takes me two years, I will eventually figure out how to accomplish it, though.
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Post by BlackAura » Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:29 pm

Also - are "txt" files universal? I mean, can people using Linux or MacOS use txt files?
Yep. Some older Mac and Linux programs will have problems with text files written on a Windows system, but Windows has trouble with text files written on Mac or Linux systems...

It's to do with the line end characters. Windows uses a carriage return (CR) and a linefeed (LF) character to indicate a new line. Unix-ish systems use a CR only, and MacOS uses an LF only. However, most modern Linux or MacOS text editors/viewers can read all of them without problems. I wish the same could be said of modern Windows-based editors, none of which will read Mac text files, and most of which won't read Unix text files.

If the program's just a text-based database, I could probably write a version of it for Linux, or maybe a cross-platform one.
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Post by speud » Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:44 pm

i dont really understand what you want to do with the tutorial. :?:
why not to write it in php and host it somewhere? that doesnt require a high programming knowledge, the gui uses html and can be easily configured with variables, plus you can use mySQL
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Post by emptythought » Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:41 am

Basic is a tad bit different than Visual Basic. I don't know how the Visual Basic for Excel is, but the stand alone Visual Basic is easier than Basic (from what I've seen).

In basic, you have to write code for a GUI, and for Visual Basic, you can simply create a GUI by clicking on the 'Create Button' button and make the button.

The actual code in Visual Basic seems more simpler than Basic, and by what you're wanting to do Visual Basic would be perfect, and extremly easy to use for what you're trying to do.

I've thought about making a new Selfboot tool a few times, but I kept realizing how good and easy to use Selfboot already is.
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Post by OneThirty8 » Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:54 am

The code to create a GUI from scratch is really simple in BCX, or you can use a Dialog Editor to create a GUI and then run a program to convert that to BASIC with some default code inserted for actions like button presses and stuff, which you can then replace with your own code pretty easilly. I'm sure it would be simple to do with VB as well, but BCX doesn't cost any money and will do the job just as well.

If you're interested in taking a look, you can get BCX from http://bcx.basicguru.com
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Post by az_bont » Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:17 am

Have a look on the Yahoo! Group for a program called ezIDE or something similar - it's designed to replace the standard GUI editor included with BCX. It's much simpler and produces BCX code natively.
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Post by OneThirty8 » Thu Feb 19, 2004 9:55 am

I'm not sure if that was for my benefit or curt's (or perhaps both), but I'll have to check for that. Thanks for the tips az! :D
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Post by DarkGambitX » Thu Feb 19, 2004 10:03 am

Thats sick dude. That tutorial would be godly.
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Post by rbenchley » Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:12 pm

That sounds pretty sweet. Would the file be viewable in the Excel file viwer?
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Post by curt_grymala » Fri Feb 20, 2004 10:57 am

rbenchley wrote:That sounds pretty sweet. Would the file be viewable in the Excel file viwer?
http://support.microsoft.com/default.as ... bContent=1
Actually, I think I am going to go a different route than Excel. I probably will end up writing an actual computer program from scratch that would accomplish everything, so you wouldn't have to worry about whether or not you can view it in Excel.
DarkGambitX wrote:Thats sick dude. That tutorial would be godly.
Thanks. Like I said, though, it will take a lot of work. I am currently working on creating the text for the tutorials. Most of the text should be basically the same for each app/demo/emu/game, so once I get one written, I should be able to get the text written rather quickly (by "rather quickly", I mean probably less than a month or two, what with there being probably somewhere around 100 or so apps/demos/emus/games out there for the DC). Then, I will need to find which files are required for each one, which will probably take a long time.
az_bont wrote:Have a look on the Yahoo! Group for a program called ezIDE or something similar - it's designed to replace the standard GUI editor included with BCX. It's much simpler and produces BCX code natively.
Thanks for all of the tips. I will have a look at all of that stuff when I get a chance (and when I have time to download the 12.5 mB BCX file).

Also, I am starting to take a free online college course on C programming (It says it usually takes about twelve weeks for someone to complete the course), from http://ww.free-ed.net/

I couldn't find any good tuts like that on BASIC programming, but this C course says that very little programming knowledge is required, and I know that BASIC (along with just about everything else) is based on C, so if I learn C, then learning BASIC should be a cinch (unless I decide to cut out the middle man, and simply program the thing in C).

Does anyone know where I can get a decent freeware C compiler? I am going to need a C compiler before I can actually get into the meat of the course (actually, the intro to the course even requires a C compiler, just so you can learn how it works).

BTW - Before I get too far into writing the text for the tutorials, I just want to be absolutely positive of one thing: I will be asking the program to perform two main tasks involving txt files; search a directory to get a list of filenames (and then removing the "txt" extension from that filename and storing it as a variable), and search within the txt file for elements of the tutorial, and somehow storing them as variables. I have my txt files divided into "sections" (which is simply placing a name within the [] brackets). Are the sections going to be valid? Can I search within txt files to find information and store that as variables? I am sure I will find these things out once I get into the meat of the course, but I want to try to make sure I can do it this way before I get too far into writing the txt files.
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Post by curt_grymala » Fri Feb 20, 2004 1:21 pm

I just realized something: Trying to make this tutorial cross-platform compatible is kind of pointless, isn't it? I mean, obviously a tutorial for burning something within the Windows GUI, using tools created for Windows obviously isn't going to help people using Linux or MacOS. The only reason to make this cross-platform compatible (which would be nice), is if someone was willing to edit the tutorial files (once I get them written), so that they make sense for people using the other OS's.

Duh! :roll:
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Post by curt_grymala » Sat Feb 21, 2004 8:09 am

OK. Here is a preliminary, rough sketch of what the GUI should end up looking like.

Image

And, here is an example of what the txt files will look like (I still have a bit more work to do on them, like actually using Nero and DJ to figure out exactly what the commands are): http://www.sesonsite.com/Ten-321/DCStuf ... sterDC.txt

I am thinking that the method I will use is going to utilize unique file extensions for the tutorial txt files. That way, the tutorial can simply search for that file extension on the harddrive, and will only offer tutorials for the files that exist on the harddrive. If this tutorial ends up being as comprehensive and helpful as I am planning, maybe devvers can begin including those tutorial files with the plain files downloads, and that way when someone downloads plain files, they will automatically have a useful tutorial to go along with it.

I am planning on downloading BCX on Monday, so I should be able to see how it works this week. I have also found a program called lcc (a C compiler) that I am going to try out. My dad also says he thinks he might have a copy of Borland C that he will let me have.

These are probably the last updates that I will post on this topic for a while. Once I get a C compiler, I will begin delving deeply into learning how to program, and writing the tutorial files, so there will not be much to report in this topic until I have learned how to program and actually begin building the tutorial.

When I am finished, I probably will include a self-boot helper within the tutorial as well, but there will be a lot more stuff to figure out once I get that far.
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