Tick Talk on EsoxRepublic.com


AllAPI lives

Posted in API by Administrator on the August 29th, 2008

Long live AllAPI.

Yesterday I reported that AllAPI.net was gone. The domain is gone, but the site lives on. It has moved to http://allapi.mentalis.org/. This is my go-to site for Windows API snippets.

Also recommended: codetoad.com. My registry utilities VBA code module came from here.

In upcoming weeks, I will be discussing using Windows API to enhance VBA macros with functions like

  • “Save” and “Open” dialogs
  • Folder browsing dialogs
  • File security
  • Registry tools

R.I.P. AllAPI.net

Posted in API, Uncategorized by Administrator on the August 28th, 2008

I was gearing up for a set of articles on using Windows API in macros. I was going to lead off with a brief article about one of my favorite resources, AllAPI.net. Unfortunately, that article has turned into an obituary.

For years, AllAPI.net was my first stop for Windows API help. I first discovered it in 2003. Already, the site had been relegated to archive status, available but no longer updated. Still, it was an indispensible resource for adding Windows API functions to code.

I’m verklempt. I’m lost. I don’t know where to go, now. If anyone has links to good online Windows API examples, I would appreciate a heads-up!

Windows API to extend macro functionality

Often, questions come up about adding certain functions to a SolidWorks macro. File open/save and folder browsing are the most popular. Since the dialog objects for these tasks are not licensed to VBA, one must take a backdoor approach via Windows API. I also use Windows API for Windows file security, registry functions, and opening documents.

Ghosts of Configurations Past

Posted in Software by Administrator on the August 20th, 2008

Sometimes I’m more entymologist than engineer. I’m always discovering new bugs.

I’m working with a layout sketch (SW 2007 SP 4) that functions as a schematic for a lift mechanism. There are multiple configurations for different phases of the lift.

There was one dimension for a line length that changed between configurations, with both driven/driving states and length changing at different phases of the lift sequence. Recently, we changed this dimension to be a single driving value for all configurations.

We also deleted some old configs and added some new ones. That’s when the fun started. The dimension was set to 6.670 for all configs. Every time a new config is created, the dimension reverts to its old value (6.668) and becomes config-specific for the new config. Seems the “All configurations” setting for the value isn’t sticking when new configs are created, and SW is somehow remembering what the old value was and applying that to the new config!

Upcoming topics

  • Adding “Save” and “Open” dialogs to SW macros
  • Intro to SW object events
  • How to swap and copy components as they load
  • Sketch-based 4-bar linkage design
  • Photos of wind farm construction near Fond du Lac, WI

Vacation and Hingham Carp Derby

I took a week off. Couldn’t afford to go anywhere, w/ gas prices and expenses from recent family addition. I did manage to golf 9 holes per day and introduced myself and my fly rod to a multitude of smallouth bass in the Sheboygan River.

Aug.2 was the Hingham Pond Carp Derby, and annual event in my adopted hometown. I worked as a volunteer, shuttling for ice and setting up tables. I did take the time to take a picture.

Falco w/ carp derby runner-up
Falco, age 2 weeks, poses with carp derby runner-up.

New SolidWorks Where-Used Tool

Posted in Esox Software by Administrator on the August 7th, 2008

EsoxRepublic.com has released a new where-used tool for SolidWorks. This new stand-alone application was created to fill in a gap caused by the undependability and inflexibility of the Windows Indexer-driven SW Explorer where-used search.

Annotated screen shot of Esox Republic's Where-Used tool
Annotated screen shot of main interface of Esox Republic’s newly-released Where-Used application. (Click image to enlarge.)

Succeeds where SW Explorer fails

As with most of Esox Republic’s freeware, this one was born from necessity. In many cases, SW Explorer was not finding all where-used references when performing rename, replace, and Pack-and-Go.

The main reason for SW Explorer’s failure in where-used searches is that SW Explorer relies on Windows Indexing for its searches. Windows Indexing provides a list of files and references to SW Explorer. More often than not, that list is incomplete. This is especially true for netwotk folders.

Also, SW Explorer does not allow one to tailor the where-used search. One can not add or remove folders from the search area, nor can one specify reference types or file types searched. Esox Republic’s Where-Used tool can do these things.

Esox Republic’s Where-Used application is driven by SW API’s Document Manager object. The SWDM performs a “hard-target, house-to-house” search of all files for its where-used searches. The result is the most current where-used results possible.

The downside is that it is a bit slow. Checking files takes much more time. Still, if accuracy and flexibility are more important, here’s your tool. The program is available only as an .exe, due to SWDM licensing requirements.

Search results
Search results

Other news…

Birth announcement

There’s a new member of Tick’s clan. Falco William Henry was born July 15, 7 lb. 6 oz., 3rd of 3 boys.

Thanks Matt & Matt

Thanks to Matt Lombard and Matt Lorono (SolidWorks Legion) for including links to my blog into theirs. Naturally, I will be returning the favor.