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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 15:43 

Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2003 20:37
Posts: 20
Hi Henri,

Sorry I couldn't get back to you after I moved to Australia. I had no internet for 6 months and then I was too busy with Uni after that. Luckily, now, it's the holidays and i've been doing a bit of deving over the past few days.

I think LCDInfo is at a good enough stage to start stealing some LCDStudio users because of it's low resource usage and extended flexibility. The only problem I have right now is in implementing plugins. I really need you to add support for a few features so that I can improve my plugins (SETI@home: This may not be released until/if the new features come out & a POP3 E-Mail Checker being released sometime tomorrow).

I have been looking at LCDInfo and LCDStudio in detail today. The area LCDInfo really fails is the flexibility for the developers. In LCDStudio, developers have much more control and optimisation room for their plugins. One area I have noticed that it _really_ bad with the system that is currently in place on LCDInfo is the non-existant ability to enumerate variabes that can be passed in. Things such as drive letters MUST re-iterate the code over and over to make it work for different drive letters for example. There really needs to be some improvement in that area. A suggestion for this would be to use function pointers and also to be able to specify params with the variable.

Another thing that needs doing is the ability to let the plugins set value ranges/default params for the XML. The POP3 checker will not work if it tries to refresh too often for example.

As for function additions, there needs to be a Frame() or Timer() call in which the developer can set the interval and have that particular code execute at that time. This way I could make periodic updates of the stats rather than giving the user full control which I don't like.

I'm willing to produce plugins but I need your support with the features. I hope you can implement some if not all of these things at some point in the near future.

Thanks. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 23:47 

Joined: Sun May 05, 2002 22:05
Posts: 2063
Location: Lappeenranta, Finland
Thanks for the comments. It's always nice to hear some constructive critique and suggestions.

I'm not sure how LCDInfo is that different from LCDStudio in variable enumeration. When the plugin starts it can add as many variables as it needs . I know many of the example plugins have simple hardcoded variables so they are not that good examples.
If you look the networkstats plugin code from here you can see all the network interfaces enumerated and added. Maybe I don't understand wha t you mean so maybe you could give some example ?
You are correct with your comment about the drive letters. Like here I mentioned doing the quick bad hack instead of properly coding support for enumerating the drives from the system.

Your suggestion about support for parameters for variables is good and it's not even that difficult to add. It has been on my todo list for a while.

Then about the POP3 checker. I thought about adding support for some kind timed updates but then I decided to keep things simple and let the plugin writer to implement a timer in the plugin to handle periodic data updates. This way LCDInfo can request data from the plugin without much overhead as often as it likes and the plugin can update the data at it's own pace. The timer interval could be user defined from the plugin config dialog.
Example of a timer can be found from the winamp2 plugin source code. In that one the timer updates fast but it can also go as slow as needed.

I hope this explains some of my decisions but I'm not saying these things are final so please let me know your thoughts. Things can always change and I probably haven't thought of every situation how things can be done.

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