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Front End Loading

By Peter Naulls. Published: 11th Mar 2003, 14:46:04 | Permalink | Printable

Dave Watson presents the final entry in our competition

Because this article coincides with the release of a program, we've delayed it until the program itself was ready. Thanks again to all our entrants, and with luck, we'll have another competition in the not-too distant future.

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. However FEer is a different story. FEer leads to tranquility. Tranquility leads to love. Love leads to ..um, .. a 128MB Iyonix with RISC OS 5?

Well, maybe not. But FrontEnder (FEer for short) is a program that allows you to make wimp front ends for command line based programs without the need to do any actual programming. Here's the history:

4 years ago a crack coding unit was sent to program without financial support an application they didn't commit. (*) This app promptly escaped from a maximum security network to the RISCOS underground. Today, still wanted by the community, it survives by a stroke of good fortune. If you have a back end. If noone else can help. And if you can download it. Maybe you can use FrontEnder. Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang...

Ahem. So, I picked up version 1 of this unreleased app and started adding improvements. Now, version 2 is ready for its premier. Basically all you have to do is write a simple script to tell FrontEnder what you want. It will then create all the necessary windows, icons and menus that you need and do all the other wimp stuff so you don't have to.

Never send a human to do a machine's job.

For example, the script for the front end for finger is less than a quarter of a kilobyte. This makes FrontEnder an excellent tool for making the cli programs ported from unix by Peter Naulls et. al. easier to use. In fact, any *command you type can be given a front end.

Cool, huh?

“Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave? Stop, Dave. I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it.”

OK. I'll leave you to play about with FrontEnder and I'll get back to
watching telly.

(*) Well, it was commited (to CVS) but let's not let the facts get in the way of a good A-Team parody.


Frontender website

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/me downloads it :-)

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 11/3/03 6:12PM
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/me notices moss comment on every article on drobe.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 11/3/03 6:40PM
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/me thinks people need to understand where IRC begins and ends

-- Dougal

 is a RISC OS UserDougal on 11/3/03 6:52PM
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Excellent! I will find this very useful.

Nice website too :-)

-- Steve Knutson

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 11/3/03 7:18PM
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/me notices two pointless comments :-p

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 11/3/03 7:21PM
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Something that I probably should have mentioned; If you write any nice Child Scripts for FEer then email them to me and I'll stick them up on the website so others can use them too.

I'll even do you a nice icon if I'm feeling inspired :-) -- Spriteman.

Come to think of it, it would be possible to write a gmail frontend just for the purpose of sending child scripts in :)

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 11/3/03 7:36PM
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/me notices 4 pointless comments

 is a RISC OS Usernex on 12/3/03 12:23AM
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/me notices 1 sensible comment. :-)

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 12/3/03 6:47PM
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How about stopping making pointless posts?

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 12/3/03 9:02PM
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how is this pointless?

 is a RISC OS Usernex on 13/3/03 5:17AM
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oh dear, a clan of ja ja binx! ----------- Smiler - :D Alex Melhuish

 is a RISC OS UserSmiler on 13/3/03 7:37AM
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