I just wanted to leave some more info on the pending release and let you know what we're testing and how we've made out..
Initially we were not going to provide very much access to the BUC scripts commands, or the scripting in general, however seeing the amazing work Amit Talwar has done with a the third party apps interface, we just had to release with it enabled. Most of the framework for third party apps in head case was already written about 7 months ago, but as I say, we were saving that for after the commercial release. So, since it was already there, all it needed was a couple small additions, and some tweaking, we decided that we really need to release this intact.
I am going to give you a quick run down on it and how it works..I'll try and keep it short..
BUC is a script preprocessor that has 580 functions/commands that are specific to head case. Now when I say preprocessor, what I mean is that BUC first processes the script, and then it gets sent out to the script interpreter, in this case, its the Windows Scripting Host. For those of you who know Jscript, or VBScript, the learning curve will be relatively easy. You don't really need to learn many commands, as each BUC command is named after the parameters.
For example, lets say that you wanted to change the skin in a head through code..
The parameter that head case uses to determine the skin is DISTRIB-22-HeadSkin
If you were using VBScript, to return the current filename used for the head skin, you would use..
X = @DISTRIB-22-HeadSkin;
The @DISTRIB-22-HeadSkin; command returns the value to you in your script and stores it in the X variable.
To change the value in script, all you would do is this.
Every parameter in the head is supported through BUC, There are also some other specialty commands as well, like the sand box functions. These allow your script to make changes to the head and then allow the user to preview the changes. They can test the changes, and decide whether to keep them, or discard them. We can get into them at a later time. The important thing here is that this adds an incredible amount of flexibility. I don't know how many times people have said to us, "It would be great if there was a command to do this... " Well now, with a little bit of scripting knowledge, and the use of BUC, not only can you make your own heads, but you can also make your own specialized commands for head case.
I should also point out that BUC runs invisibly, you don't have to do anything special to access its 580 head case specific commands. You just need to add your script/HTA and when you run it from within head case, BUC jumps in and does its thing..
Anyways, here is the screen shots of HCB 1.54
This is the app manager, this application allows you to setup your head case apps. It does two things, it tells BUC to grab hold of the script/hta, and it also makes the commands/apps available from within the head case software.
This shows how the apps are selected in head case. The graphics may change, as this is only te Alpha for these functions.
This image shows the sand box preview dialog.
The running script must issue a @UseSandBox; command, and it can be anywhere in the script. That tells BUC to route any head changes to the sandbox. In other words it will not write the changes to the currently loaded head, but will write it to another file. To show the Sand Box Dialog in Head Case, you simply place a @ShowSandBoxDialog; command anywhere in the script. When the script completes Head case will display the above dialog allowing your users to decide if they like the changes..
So, thats where we're at, this will be released to the prepurchasers hopefully by tomorrow, Amit and I have some more testing and tweaking to do yet, but so far so good. I would expect an update to the current testing beta to be out by early next week.. Maybe over the weekend..
Thanks for reading