UTTF

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Universal Textbox to Textbox Forwarder

Plain English description

Here is an example: I use a chat-program. I need to correct all text before sending it, but this chat-program doesn't support text correction. Then I open a text-editor which supports correction, I edit the text, I have it corrected, etc.

Now, all I need to do is to copy text from the text-editor and paste it back into the chat-program (and then press Enter to send). But this is very clumsy for typical chat replies, which are too short and too many (I need to press lots of CTRL+C / CTRL+V for copying/pasting).

So I want the text-editor to support "Textbox to Textbox Forwarding" ("TTF"). This means when I press CTRL+Enter (for example) in the text-editor, the text gets automatically forwarded into the chat-program and automatically sent.

The (U)TTF concept

I have a running application1 with a textbox1 containing "text" and I specify another running application2 with a textbox2. On pressing the "OK" or "Send" button of textbox1, I want "text" to be sent to textbox2 of application2 (together with the "OK" or "Send" event). Definition: if application1 is coded to do this, then this means application1 does "textbox to textbox forwarding" ("TTF") to application2.

Let's generalize "app2" as meaning "any application in the world that does not necessarily (but is able to) support (typical GUI) copy/paste interoperations with app1".

In order for app1 to be able to TTF to app2, app2 may need:

1. recompiling (code modification)
2. typical copy/paste support AND/OR avoiding atypical (rare) textbox widgets
3. plugins (or extensions or something similar)
  • IF no app2 needs (1 OR 2 OR 3), THEN app1 is a "TTTF" ("Transparent TTF"), ELSE:
    • IF no app2 needs (1 OR 3), THEN app1 is a "UTTF" ("Universal TTF"), ELSE:
      • IF no app2 needs 1, THEN app1 is a "LTTF" ("Limited TTF"), ELSE:
        • ... well, otherwise app1 is "BTN" ("Better Than Nothing"). ENDIF (x3).

Implementation

Contribution

  • Does anybody know any UTTF-like project? We would strongly prefer not to start this project from scratch.
  • Please contribute. Developers are needed.

Development Roadmap

  • Plugins for adding UTTF support to some popular text editors already in existence would be the best course, also the best proof of concept
  • UTTF should be a library so that it may be reused in many text editors and other apps
  • GUI: it is preferable that "connection" between the UTTF application and the destination application be made by drag'n'drop. Simply clicking somewhere in the text-entry-box of the chat client (the destination application) and "dragging it" into the UTTF-capable application would be a very user-friendly solution.

Further Projections

  • A standalone "UTTFC" ("UTTF source-app to destination-app connector") would be the best solution, if possible.
For the user, this would involve dragging the source textbox into the "source" field of the connector-app and the destination(s) textbox into the "destination(s)" field of the connector-app and intercepting CTRL+Enter events in the source-app.
  • An "UTTFCD" ("UTTFC daemon") would be ideal (and the ultimate possible aim of this project), acting as a "connections manager". It would bring trivial scripting to nongeeks by enabling UTTF reconnection after reboot or relogin.
In other words, if enabling "persistent UTTF connection" between app1 and app2, then whenever one opens app1 (even after reboot) app2 is automatically opened and waiting for input from app1.

Some questions

  • Is an UTTF actually possible? What about TTTF? Please debate.
  • Are there many apps that don't have "detectable" textboxes?

Some suggestions

[please add your suggestions here!]

  • could do it all sorts of ways: remoting, sockets, maybe spy#
  • spy# can show you the values of gui objects in other managed apps. i don't know if it can modify them, though
  • Use Python!

A GUI revolution?

How useful is UTTF? Well, it has lots of practical and interesting uses!

Use Cases

  • Multi-app Macros for the nongeek. Automatizing tasks involving multiple apps integration.
  • Interface to chat clients for adding general text formatting or correction capabilities (etc.)
  • Adding extended text editing capabilities to many chat clients and other apps supporting only minimalistic text entry boxes

Potential Features

  • Drag&drop the destination textbox(es) into the UTTF editor as a way to specify destination app&textbox
  • Multiple send: sending the same text to multiple apps simultaneously

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