Discussion:
Install options
(too old to reply)
Chip
2005-01-22 22:33:45 UTC
Permalink
How do you folks feel about the current -install option sequence? Would it
be -- good, bad, better, worse, or don't care -- if I added support for
using the regular command line options to specify things like the server
name (-server), the from address (-f), user login and password (-u, -pw),
and others?

For example, let us examine the current -install command line:

Blat -install <serverxyz> <emailaddress> <try_count> <port>
<profile_name> <logid_id> <password>


With the normal command line options, a future -install like might look
something like this:

Blat -install -server <serverxyz> -f <emailaddy> -port <portnumber>
-try <try_count> -u <login_id> -pw <password> -p <profile_name>


What does everyone think? Would this make more sense? Is it more easily
understood, or more "intuitive"? Or does it just make matters worse??

Thanks,

Chip
--
Homepage:
http://www.blat.net
Federico Romano
2005-01-22 22:39:00 UTC
Permalink
Perfect, I love that, it would make calling blat from commandline and
batch-files much easier

- Federico
Post by Chip
How do you folks feel about the current -install option sequence?
Would it
be -- good, bad, better, worse, or don't care -- if I added support for
using the regular command line options to specify things like the server
name (-server), the from address (-f), user login and password (-u, -pw),
and others?
--
Homepage:
http://www.blat.net
namtog
2005-01-22 23:14:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chip
What does everyone think? Would this make more sense? Is it more easily
understood, or more "intuitive"? Or does it just make matters
worse??
Post by Chip
Thanks,
Chip
Greetings Chip,

I agree with your concern here. The install seems to be a major
stumbling point for many users. I am of the opinion that it is more
a matter of being unfamiliar with the command prompt than a problem
with Blat.

As far as your suggestion, it's been my experience that the more
complicated, the more hand holding one tries to do, the worse it
gets. The user would have more opportunity's to make typing mistakes
for instance. At this point, after a few tries, they bail and blame
Blat.

Maybe a link to a brief tutorial on the windows command prompt
included with the doc file in the download would help. May I suggest
the one from Bleeping Computers by Lawrence Abrams;
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/index.php?showtutorial=76

You may remember a small Perl script I hacked together called NBI
that is used to install Blat presets. It currently is cgi only. Do
to a massive overwhelming demand, one email, I'm going to include a
stand alone win 32 version with the next release.

Just a few thoughts.
Namtog
--
Homepage:
http://www.blat.net
Chip
2005-01-23 00:44:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by namtog
Post by Chip
What does everyone think? Would this make more sense? Is it more
easily understood, or more "intuitive"? Or does it just make
matters worse??
Thanks,
Chip
Greetings Chip,
I agree with your concern here. The install seems to be a major
stumbling point for many users. I am of the opinion that it is more
a matter of being unfamiliar with the command prompt than a problem
with Blat.
As far as your suggestion, it's been my experience that the more
complicated, the more hand holding one tries to do, the worse it
gets. The user would have more opportunity's to make typing mistakes
for instance. At this point, after a few tries, they bail and blame
Blat.
Maybe a link to a brief tutorial on the windows command prompt
included with the doc file in the download would help. May I suggest
the one from Bleeping Computers by Lawrence Abrams;
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/index.php?showtutorial=76
You may remember a small Perl script I hacked together called NBI
that is used to install Blat presets. It currently is cgi only. Do
to a massive overwhelming demand, one email, I'm going to include a
stand alone win 32 version with the next release.
Just a few thoughts.
Namtog
One of the issues that I am trying to deal with in this proposed change, is
that of having to use hyphens in place of default values when users want to
add a userid/password combination to the registry. More than once it has
been necessary to point out that hyphens are needed to keep the -install
options properly sequenced. Those people who might benefit from this change
are the new users. We who have been using Blat for a while already have our
profiles defined as we like, therefore we seldom use the -install option any
more.

Have you seen the many instances where people run "blat -install" in their
batch file, followed by running Blat to post a message? Or the seemingly
often use of -server and -f options? I wonder how much of this is because
the user does not really understand what the -install does. Like you wrote
above, a nice tutorial on Blat might help.

However, your points are well taken. The full list of options for Blat can
be confusing. The last thing we need is to make the otherwise simple task
of installing Blat more complex.

Chip
--
Homepage:
http://www.blat.net
Tim H
2005-01-28 03:04:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chip
One of the issues that I am trying to deal with in
this proposed change, is
that of having to use hyphens in place of default
values when users want to
add a userid/password combination to the registry.
More than once it has
been necessary to point out that hyphens are needed
to keep the -install
options properly sequenced. Those people who might
benefit from this change
are the new users. We who have been using Blat for
a while already have our
profiles defined as we like, therefore we seldom use
the -install option any
more.
Have you seen the many instances where people run
"blat -install" in their
batch file, followed by running Blat to post a
message? Or the seemingly
often use of -server and -f options? I wonder how
much of this is because
the user does not really understand what the
above, a nice tutorial on Blat might help.
However, your points are well taken. The full list
of options for Blat can
be confusing. The last thing we need is to make the
otherwise simple task
of installing Blat more complex.
Chip
I first used Blat in 1997 to run a mailing list. I got
messages in using some old email program, converted
them to text files, and then used Blat to BCC them out
to the list. This lasted about a month and a hundred
messages or so, and proved that there was a demand for
what we were doing. I used the Install options twice,
I think, and that was that.

The next time I used Blat was a year or so later, and
I had to write a batch file that installed Blat and
then ran it. I could not figure out a way around that
sequence at the time. I can't remember the details. I
was working in the software support department where
we had several machines in a network and all of us had
net access. I remember that because Blat was tied to
the Registry, I could not run my Blat batch job from
just any machine unless I first Installed it on that
machine. What you are proposing would make that
application simpler. I never did understand why Blat
used the registry for anything.

Recently a friend asked me for a way to send email
from within a contact manager in MS Access. I
discarded the MAPI solution as very troublesome. I
don't want to pay for an OCX and don't want the
complexity of an OCX anyway. I am familiar with doing
calls to a DLL so I don't need an OCX wrapper
"helping" me. I searched around on the net... and
there was Blat! Awesome that this is still a going
project. Congrats!

Tim


__________________________________________________
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--
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Tim Musson
2005-01-28 14:53:38 UTC
Permalink
Hey Tim,

On Thursday, January 27, 2005 at 10:04:23 PM you wrote

TH> I remember that because Blat was tied to the Registry

Looks like the end of 98, the -install became optional!

,----- [ From the changes-194.txt file ]
| 1.8.2c 98.11.30
| - Added optional "Return-Receipt-To:" & "Disposition-Notification-To:" headers.
| - It's now possible to run blat without an install. You must specify
| the "-server" and "-f" parameters (at a minimum) on the command line
`-----
--
Tim Musson
Flying with The Bat! eMail v2.12.00
Just when I was getting used to yesterday, along came today.
Blat Manager, current version is 2.4, see www.blat.net
--
Homepage:
http://www.blat.net
Rick Nakroshis
2005-01-23 02:37:37 UTC
Permalink
...I'm going to include a stand alone win 32 version with the next release.
What if there WAS a standalone Blat installer? Something of a tutorial and
installer, built into one program, since it is the new users that are
having such a problem with this?

Rick

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
--
Homepage:
http://www.blat.net
namtog
2005-01-23 14:48:22 UTC
Permalink
Greetings all,

We seem to have quite a few different ideas
being discussed in this thread. I'm starting
to get confused. If you will bear with me
for a moment, I will try to sort them out
before I am lost.

Federico Romano wrote;
Perfect, I love that, it would make calling
blat from command line and batch-files much easier

Why? Could you please explain.

Then we heard from "ykai";
If this is implemented, it would seem
reasonable to expect to allow the usage
of -of also.

Chip responded;
Is there something that I am missing here?

No, as far as I can see you are correct.


Chip replied to my initial post with;
is that of having to use hyphens in place
of default values. . .

Hyphens seem to be necessary. I remember the
trouble I had with them at first. Now I
view it as part of the learning curve. It's
a little embarrassing how much of a bother they were.


Chip then said;
Have you seen the many instances where
people run "blat -install" in their
batch file, followed by running Blat
to post a message?

Yes, that is odd.

Then Chip wrote;
Or the seemingly often use of -server
and -f options? I wonder how much of
this is because the user does not really
understand what the -install does.

I doubt there is any way to find out.
I'm sure there are a lot of people that
use Blat with out the need to do a install
at all. Whether this is personnel preference,
a security issue (they don't trust the
registry) or ignorance is difficult to say.

The last comment from Chip;
The last thing we need is to make the
otherwise simple task of installing Blat
more complex.

I completely agree. That's why I hacked together
NBI. I was hoping a GUI would be of help
to some. Of course it's possible that I have
done nothing more then muddy the waters
even more.

Then we heard from Rick Nakroshis;
...I'm going to include a stand alone win 32
version with the next release.

What if there WAS a standalone Blat installer?
Something of a tutorial and installer, built
into one program, since it is the new users that
are having such a problem with this?

There IS a standalone Blat installer. It's
a variation of NBI. I was waiting for the 2.40
version of Blat before I released it. Look for
blat_install_WIN.exe to be released this week.
I would appreciate any comments anyone has
before I finish bolting it together.

As far as a tutorial is concerned the closest
I have is a series of screen shots on the NBI home
page at http://nbi.namtog.com
There is also a crippled interactive demo at
http://333-emachine.servemp3.com/cgi-bin/demo/blat_install.pl/
the password is namtog.

When it comes to a Blat command line tutorial
we really should hear what Tim Musson has to say.
Not only because he is the Blat manager, all of the
regulars in this news group are aware of his expertise
in this matter.

Maybe a series of command prompt screen shots is all
that is needed to make life a little easier for the
Blat novice? They could be included it doc folder
on the syntax.html page. I would not mind taking
them, Tim is there a format or standard you prefer?

Ok then. I'm still a little confused, but that
is my natural state. If I missed anything my apology.

Thanks for reading this,
Namtog
--
Homepage:
http://www.blat.net
Tim Musson
2005-01-23 18:56:46 UTC
Permalink
Hey namtog,

On Sunday, January 23, 2005 at 9:48:22 AM you wrote

n> I'm sure there are a lot of people that
n> use Blat with out the need to do a install
n> at all. Whether this is personnel preference,
n> a security issue (they don't trust the
n> registry) or ignorance is difficult to say.

I run Blat from a login script, and it isn't very reasonable to have a
Blat profile on each workstation when I can just put all that info on
the command line (and change it whenever needed).
--
Tim Musson
Flying with The Bat! eMail v2.12.00
MS-DOS: celebrating ten years of obsolescence
Blat Manager, current version is 2.4, see www.blat.net
--
Homepage:
http://www.blat.net
Tim Musson
2005-01-23 19:11:51 UTC
Permalink
Hey namtog,

On Sunday, January 23, 2005 at 9:48:22 AM you wrote

n> When it comes to a Blat command line tutorial
n> we really should hear what Tim Musson has to say.
n> Not only because he is the Blat manager, all of the
n> regulars in this news group are aware of his expertise
n> in this matter.

Not a bad idea regardless of how this particular thread turns out.

There are problems though (see a following message with subject line
of Lets build a Tutorial).

n> Maybe a series of command prompt screen shots is all
n> that is needed to make life a little easier for the
n> Blat novice?

I don't think that would be enough. Frequently the people that need
help don't even know what a command prompt is or how to get to one (or
even what to do when they finally have it on the screen).

n> They could be included it doc folder
n> on the syntax.html page.

Are you talking the blat.net web site, or included in the
distribution?

n> I would not mind taking them, Tim is there a format or standard you
n> prefer?

I much prefer *.png as an image format (I usually use Irfanview to
view screen shots or view images).

n> Ok then. I'm still a little confused, but that
n> is my natural state. If I missed anything my apology.

No apologies necessary! the whole point here is to get a bunch of us
together and figure out what would work best (if it is confusing, that
probably isn't 'best' :-).
--
Tim Musson
Flying with The Bat! eMail v2.12.00
According to my dogs, the devil is alive and well and living in my
vacuum cleaner.
Blat Manager, current version is 2.4, see www.blat.net
--
Homepage:
http://www.blat.net
ykai
2005-01-22 23:19:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chip
With the normal command line options, a future -install like might look
Blat -install -server <serverxyz> -f <emailaddy> -port <portnumber>
-try <try_count> -u <login_id> -pw <password> -p <profile_name>
What does everyone think? Would this make more sense? Is it more easily
understood, or more "intuitive"? Or does it just make matters worse??
If this is implementend, it would seem reasonable to expect to allow the
usage of
-of
also.
--
Homepage:
http://www.blat.net
Chip
2005-01-23 00:34:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by ykai
Post by Chip
With the normal command line options, a future -install like might look
Blat -install -server <serverxyz> -f <emailaddy> -port <portnumber>
-try <try_count> -u <login_id> -pw <password> -p <profile_name>
What does everyone think? Would this make more sense? Is it more easily
understood, or more "intuitive"? Or does it just make matters worse??
If this is implementend, it would seem reasonable to expect to allow the
usage of -of also.
The way command line options are processed, -of would not be allowed with
the new -install command line, which is nothing new as far as that is
concerned. The -of is intended to be used for frequently used options, to
reduce repetitive keystrokes. The -install option is needed only one time,
while the -of is likely to be used all other times. I intend to keep the
requirement that -install be on the command line when used, and that it
cannot be in an options file.

Is there something that I am missing here? Please correct me if I am.

Chip
--
Homepage:
http://www.blat.net
Corp Library
2005-01-23 15:37:45 UTC
Permalink
Chip,

How about a -config <file> option that contains all the setup info. This
would make it easy for users to work with multiple setups by specifying
a different config file. And perhaps a one config item per line with
comment lines ignored might be an easier format for users to edit and
read (especially if config files supported an optional(?) ini-file like
syntax of "setting=value").

Another advantage of the above approach of config files (/ini files) is
that it eliminates the problems associated with not being able to write
to the registry (another common problem on this list) AND it makes blat
applications easier to move between PCs (and backup) because all blat
related info is in one place vs. scattered between the local folder and
the registry. And how many people remember to backup their application
specific registry entries?

A bonus would be recognizing blat.ini as the default source for settings
if such a file was in the users path and a specific -config <file>
wasn't specified on the command line. I am not a fan of storing
information in the Windows registry.

Quick and dirty sample of this proposal:

blat -config mysetup.ini

#mysetup.ini

; allow comments
server = smtp.myserver.com
from = ***@myserver.com // synonym for -f
try = 30
username = myaccount // synoynm for -u
password = mypassword // synoynm for -pw
port = 25

Malcolm
--
Homepage:
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Marc Neiger
2005-01-23 17:58:34 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

I also greatly favor the use of a config file; however, if I get it
well, that's excactly what -of does (except, it's not ini format).

Cheers,
Marc
Post by Corp Library
Chip,
How about a -config <file> option that contains all the setup info. This
would make it easy for users to work with multiple setups by
specifying
Post by Corp Library
a different config file. And perhaps a one config item per line with
comment lines ignored might be an easier format for users to edit and
read (especially if config files supported an optional(?) ini-file like
syntax of "setting=value").
--
Homepage:
http://www.blat.net
Tim Musson
2005-01-23 19:18:08 UTC
Permalink
Hey Corp,

On Sunday, January 23, 2005 at 10:37:45 AM you wrote

CL> How about a -config <file> option that contains all the setup info. This
CL> would make it easy for users to work with multiple setups by specifying
CL> a different config file. And perhaps a one config item per line with
CL> comment lines ignored might be an easier format for users to edit and
CL> read (especially if config files supported an optional(?) ini-file like
CL> syntax of "setting=value").

CL> Another advantage of the above approach of config files (/ini files) is
CL> that it eliminates the problems associated with not being able to write
CL> to the registry (another common problem on this list) AND it makes blat
CL> applications easier to move between PCs (and backup) because all blat
CL> related info is in one place vs. scattered between the local folder and
CL> the registry. And how many people remember to backup their application
CL> specific registry entries?

CL> A bonus would be recognizing blat.ini as the default source for settings
CL> if such a file was in the users path and a specific -config <file>
CL> wasn't specified on the command line. I am not a fan of storing
CL> information in the Windows registry.

CL> Quick and dirty sample of this proposal:

CL> blat -config mysetup.ini

CL> #mysetup.ini

CL> ; allow comments
CL> server = smtp.myserver.com
CL> from = ***@myserver.com // synonym for -f
CL> try = 30
CL> username = myaccount // synoynm for -u
CL> password = mypassword // synoynm for -pw
CL> port = 25

I would have a number of issues with this.

1. Security - that would be a account and password in clear text in an
ASCII file (I admit that the string stored in the Registry isn't all
that much better, but it is at least much more obscure and difficult to
find)

2. if you want multiple different setups, just don't use the Registry,
put all your options on the command line (again the PW issue though).
btw, this is what I do - the only time I use the -install and Blat
stuff in the Registry is when testing or trying to figure something
out to help someone on the list here.

Finally, you can do all this by using the -of <file> option currently!
--
Tim Musson
Flying with The Bat! eMail v2.12.00
I can send email, but I can't receive it! What do I do?
Blat Manager, current version is 2.4, see www.blat.net
--
Homepage:
http://www.blat.net
Rick Nakroshis
2005-01-24 04:36:11 UTC
Permalink
My being a Blat user for several years doesn't mean I still don't wrestle
with Blat every single time I have to configure it for a new job. The
intricacies of command line SMTP mailing are not something that is
intuitive, and the current interface is spartan at best.

The beer's on me for Tim and Chip, for all the work that those two guys
have devoted to Blat and the Blat community. This program does so much for
so many people because of a lot of devoted people giving their own time to
help make this work. I don't mean to slight the others that have likewise
contributed greatly, but I have not mentioned.

We (collectively) have fought to keep Blat stripped down to a 'lean and
mean' little utility, crafted of the finest ASCII, but I think perhaps it's
time to step back and decide what is it that we want Blat to eventually
grow up to 'be'.

On http://www.blat.net/?philosophy.html, the very first entry says Blat
should be 'small'. Why? If this is a core philosophical tenet of the
program, what does this accomplish? Smaller than what? Small enough for
what purpose?

The second one says 'Fast'. Compared to what? Granted, if you're sending
10 million email messages per hour, you do want a fast program. But we're
not interested in *that* market.

The third one says 'Easy to Use'. No arguments there. But that's the one
new (and old) users trip over the most.

The fourth one says 'RFC Compliant'. Again, no argument with that one,
either. From seeing the message traffic that Chip gets, this is a tough
one to keep up with, particularly in conjunction with #3.

When was the last time you heard someone say, "I'm just not going to use
Excel anymore. It's just too large." Or perhaps, "That's it, I'm going to
find a replacement for Word because it's too slow."

Not wanting to sound too radical, how about we throw away the first two
(Small/Fast) and keep the last two (Friendly/RFC Compliant)? Anyone have
any items they would propose in their place?

Rick

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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Homepage:
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Tim Musson
2005-01-24 13:07:00 UTC
Permalink
Hey Rick,

On Sunday, January 23, 2005 at 11:36:11 PM you wrote

RN> We (collectively) have fought to keep Blat stripped down to a
RN> 'lean and mean' little utility, crafted of the finest ASCII, but I
RN> think perhaps it's time to step back and decide what is it that we
RN> want Blat to eventually grow up to 'be'.

LOL, IMHO, Blat is grown up already... Future stuff just makes it more
fun!

RN> On http://www.blat.net/?philosophy.html, the very first entry says
RN> Blat should be 'small'. Why? If this is a core philosophical tenet
RN> of the program, what does this accomplish? Smaller than what?
RN> Small enough for what purpose?

Well, I use blat in login scripts that run across some fairly slow
links, so that is why "small". I don't want to load a large smtp
sending tool across the 'net.

RN> The second one says 'Fast'. Compared to what? Granted, if you're
RN> sending 10 million email messages per hour, you do want a fast
RN> program. But we're not interested in *that* market.

Again, my example is login scripting. Users really hate the length of
time it takes to map drives and printers, so adding time for reporting
gets a lot of feedback (none of it good).

RN> The third one says 'Easy to Use'. No arguments there. But that's
RN> the one new (and old) users trip over the most.

RN> The fourth one says 'RFC Compliant'. Again, no argument with that
RN> one, either. From seeing the message traffic that Chip gets, this
RN> is a tough one to keep up with, particularly in conjunction with
RN> #3.

RN> When was the last time you heard someone say, "I'm just not going
RN> to use Excel anymore. It's just too large." Or perhaps, "That's
RN> it, I'm going to find a replacement for Word because it's too
RN> slow."

ROTFL! For both those 2 reasons, I rarely use either MS Excel or MS
Word (and usually use OpenOffice instead of MS Office)! Fortunately I
am currently in a position where I don't need a spreadsheet tool. But
most of my documentation is written in html using Vim (which is much
smaller and faster than Word).

I do admit that I am the exception, but you did ask! :-)

RN> Not wanting to sound too radical, how about we throw away the
RN> first two (Small/Fast) and keep the last two (Friendly/RFC
RN> Compliant)? Anyone have any items they would propose in their
RN> place?

We can add items, but I really don't want to drop the Small & Fast
ones.
--
Tim Musson
Flying with The Bat! eMail v2.12.00
OK, I'm weird! But I'm saving up to become eccentric.
Blat Manager, current version is 2.4, see www.blat.net
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Homepage:
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Tracey
2005-01-24 14:39:42 UTC
Permalink
I think Tim is right, blat should be small (as possible) and fast (as
possible).
Please don't make blat into Windoze bloatware.

*Since not everyone knows the necesary related information when using
something new (including myself)...
*Since some people will ALWAYS need the "Users Guide" because the "Technical
Manual" presents the facts and does not take them by the hand and lead them
step by step... (blat help is more in "Technical Manual" style)
*Since the opiton list is short, and the newbie experince is even less...
*Since storing passwords is a secuity issue...

I can envision 2 alternatives (because if they are not reading or
understanding the Help/FAQ now... they maybe under pressure to get something
up and running and reading is just not cutting it):

#1) prompt for all possible installation options if the cmd line is:
"blat -install" *** least liked by me ***
or
#2) use the cmd line "blat -install blat.ini".
#2a) have a blat.ini that people fill in the blanks for all
{desired/possible/necessary} installation options. If a password field is
{"prompt"/"ask"} then prompt for password. If one is written use it. If it
is null then skip the password.
#2b) run [blat -install blat.ini].
#2c) if the password field in the INI file is not null, then offer the
option to either:
#2c1 delete the INI file when done.
or
#2c2 null the password field in the INI file and write to disk.

Tracey

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tim Musson" <***@sdf.lonestar.org>
To: "Rick Nakroshis" <***@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2005 8:07 AM
Subject: Re: [blat] Blat: Where do we go from here?
Post by Tim Musson
Hey Rick,
RN> We (collectively) have fought to keep Blat stripped down to a
RN> 'lean and mean' little utility, crafted of the finest ASCII, but I
RN> think perhaps it's time to step back and decide what is it that we
RN> want Blat to eventually grow up to 'be'.
LOL, IMHO, Blat is grown up already... Future stuff just makes it more
fun!
RN> On http://www.blat.net/?philosophy.html, the very first entry says
RN> Blat should be 'small'. Why? If this is a core philosophical tenet
RN> of the program, what does this accomplish? Smaller than what?
RN> Small enough for what purpose?
Well, I use blat in login scripts that run across some fairly slow
links, so that is why "small". I don't want to load a large smtp
sending tool across the 'net.
RN> The second one says 'Fast'. Compared to what? Granted, if you're
RN> sending 10 million email messages per hour, you do want a fast
RN> program. But we're not interested in *that* market.
Again, my example is login scripting. Users really hate the length of
time it takes to map drives and printers, so adding time for reporting
gets a lot of feedback (none of it good).
RN> The third one says 'Easy to Use'. No arguments there. But that's
RN> the one new (and old) users trip over the most.
RN> The fourth one says 'RFC Compliant'. Again, no argument with that
RN> one, either. From seeing the message traffic that Chip gets, this
RN> is a tough one to keep up with, particularly in conjunction with
RN> #3.
RN> When was the last time you heard someone say, "I'm just not going
RN> to use Excel anymore. It's just too large." Or perhaps, "That's
RN> it, I'm going to find a replacement for Word because it's too
RN> slow."
ROTFL! For both those 2 reasons, I rarely use either MS Excel or MS
Word (and usually use OpenOffice instead of MS Office)! Fortunately I
am currently in a position where I don't need a spreadsheet tool. But
most of my documentation is written in html using Vim (which is much
smaller and faster than Word).
I do admit that I am the exception, but you did ask! :-)
RN> Not wanting to sound too radical, how about we throw away the
RN> first two (Small/Fast) and keep the last two (Friendly/RFC
RN> Compliant)? Anyone have any items they would propose in their
RN> place?
We can add items, but I really don't want to drop the Small & Fast
ones.
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Corp Library
2005-01-24 15:32:33 UTC
Permalink
Rick,

Some comments on the small part - how about standalone vs. small? By
standalone I mean no dependencies on external DLL's or ActiveX/COM
components. In other words, the ability to do an install or backup via
XCOPY.

I think one way to keep BLAT small is to follow the direction of Namtog
who has suggested the use of 3rd party applications or wizards to
generate the command lines required to run Blat. This keeps Blat lean
and mean and allows others in the community to contribute from the
command line generation side (vs. the black magic of SMTP).

Malcolm

PS: I would like to join you in sponsoring that round of beers for Tim,
Chip and the other contributors to Blat. :)
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Tim Musson
2005-01-24 15:59:45 UTC
Permalink
Hey Corp,

On Monday, January 24, 2005 at 10:32:33 AM you wrote

CL> Some comments on the small part - how about standalone vs. small? By
CL> standalone I mean no dependencies on external DLL's or ActiveX/COM
CL> components. In other words, the ability to do an install or backup via
CL> XCOPY.

Interesting, I thought I had something like that on the web page...
Some of the things I look for in a tool are:
no 'install' needed other than extracting the files and pathing
single file a major plus
no dependency on the Registry

Currently Blat fits all those (I think blat.dll likes blat.lib, but I
run the .exe)

CL> I think one way to keep BLAT small is to follow the direction of Namtog
CL> who has suggested the use of 3rd party applications or wizards to
CL> generate the command lines required to run Blat. This keeps Blat lean
CL> and mean and allows others in the community to contribute from the
CL> command line generation side (vs. the black magic of SMTP).

That I have no problem with. I am considering putting something on the
blat.net web site that will build an 'install' command line from
supplied values.
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namtog
2005-01-24 18:16:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Musson
CL> I think one way to keep BLAT small is to follow the direction of Namtog
CL> who has suggested the use of 3rd party applications or wizards to
CL> generate the command lines required to run Blat. This keeps Blat lean
CL> and mean and allows others in the community to contribute from the
CL> command line generation side (vs. the black magic of SMTP).
That I have no problem with. I am considering putting something on the
blat.net web site that will build an 'install' command line from
supplied values.
Greetings,

I've spent the morning testing the NBI standalone version. It's
going well with the exception of some winxp sp2 issues.

What a flood of ideas in this news group over the past few days.
Blat certainly is of interest to a lot of people.

I hope that Blat stays as the command line lite weight tool it is.
There are so many ways of using it to change it's basic structure
would diminish it.

Tim I would enjoy seeing the something you are considering to build
a 'install' command line. The more the merrier.

Since your a old hand with batch files I was wondering if you've
heard about wbat242? It provides dialog boxes with menues, buttons,
checkboxes, radio buttons and input fields for GUI window or full
screen DOS. I suspect it would be easy to build a Blat front end
with it.
http://home.mnet-online.de/horst.muc/


Wishing I would have invested in snow shovel futures,
Namtog
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Tim Musson
2005-01-26 13:56:43 UTC
Permalink
Hey namtog,

On Monday, January 24, 2005 at 1:16:31 PM you wrote

n> Since your a old hand with batch files I was wondering if you've
n> heard about wbat242? It provides dialog boxes with menues, buttons,
n> checkboxes, radio buttons and input fields for GUI window or full
n> screen DOS. I suspect it would be easy to build a Blat front end
n> with it.
n> http://home.mnet-online.de/horst.muc/

No, I had not heard about that tool. I tend to try and use only native
tools, or if it can't be helped, single binaries that need only to be
copied to the host (not install needed... :-).

Will check it out sometime though.
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Rick Nakroshis
2005-01-25 11:56:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Corp Library
Rick,
Some comments on the small part - how about standalone vs. small? By
standalone I mean no dependencies on external DLL's or ActiveX/COM
components. In other words, the ability to do an install or backup via
XCOPY.
I think one way to keep BLAT small is to follow the direction of Namtog
who has suggested the use of 3rd party applications or wizards to
generate the command lines required to run Blat. This keeps Blat lean
and mean and allows others in the community to contribute from the
command line generation side (vs. the black magic of SMTP).
Malcolm
PS: I would like to join you in sponsoring that round of beers for Tim,
Chip and the other contributors to Blat. :)
A excellent point, Malcolm! Yes, standalone is an excellent way to
summarize what should be a design goal of Blat, as compared to the more
ill-defined 'small'.



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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Tim Musson
2005-01-23 19:13:06 UTC
Permalink
Hey Chip,

On Saturday, January 22, 2005 at 7:34:38 PM you wrote

C> The way command line options are processed, -of would not be
C> allowed with the new -install command line, which is nothing new as
C> far as that is concerned. The -of is intended to be used for
C> frequently used options, to reduce repetitive keystrokes. The
C> -install option is needed only one time, while the -of is likely to
C> be used all other times. I intend to keep the requirement that
C> -install be on the command line when used, and that it cannot be in
C> an options file.

C> Is there something that I am missing here? Please correct me if I
C> am.

My initial feeling here agrees with Chip.
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Corp Library
2005-01-23 15:25:53 UTC
Permalink
Perhaps a simple web page form that collects the information and
generates a copy and pastable command line might be a solution? Did
nametog develop something like this?

Or perhaps an InnoSetup script?

I agree that a large number of questions on this list appear to be
install related.

Malcolm
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namtog
2005-01-23 15:44:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Corp Library
Perhaps a simple web page form that collects the information and
generates a copy and pastable command line might be a solution? Did
nametog develop something like this?
Greetings Malcom,

If you go to the online demo of NBI and look
at the View Presets page you will find a
"this is what you would have typed at the
command line" section.

For the default it looks like this;
To install from the command line you would have typed

blat -install smtp.someplace.com ***@someplace.com - - - login
passwword

exactly the above, including the spaces.

By the way it's Namtog not nametog.

Thanks,
Namtog
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Rick Nakroshis
2005-01-23 02:34:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chip
How do you folks feel about the current -install option sequence? Would it
be -- good, bad, better, worse, or don't care -- if I added support for
using the regular command line options to specify things like the server
name (-server), the from address (-f), user login and password (-u, -pw),
and others?
Chip,

What if -install was interactive if no options were given? I.e., "BLAT
-install" would then query the user, and give an example value? Using
values like "Bill Gates" and "mail.microsoft.com" that everyone would
recognize and comprehend.

Rick

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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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Tim Musson
2005-01-23 19:05:46 UTC
Permalink
Hey Rick,

On Saturday, January 22, 2005 at 9:34:34 PM you wrote

RN> What if -install was interactive if no options were given? I.e., "BLAT
RN> -install" would then query the user, and give an example value? Using
RN> values like "Bill Gates" and "mail.microsoft.com" that everyone would
RN> recognize and comprehend.

I had the same thought after reading a few messages in this thread...
Worth considering.
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ykai
2005-01-23 16:24:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chip
The way command line options are processed, -of would not be allowed with
the new -install command line, which is nothing new as far as that is
concerned.
Sorry you lost me here (right at the beginning ;-)). Maybe this is related to
you last sentence (see below)?
Post by Chip
The -of is intended to be used for frequently used options, to
reduce repetitive keystrokes. The -install option is needed only one time,
while the -of is likely to be used all other times.
Indeed, in like 6 years of intensive blat usage, I did like a handfull of
-install calls.
Also, I'm not using -of often, let alone "all other times". My primary usage
of -of is on a Win98 machine, from where I send out short informational
messages to a (large) address list once every few months.
The two reasons for -of there are:
(i) avoiding command.com line length limit (net 127 on Win98)
(ii) in building a new -of file from its predecessor, it's nicer to have a
text file with one option a line, than to edit in a long winding single line
batch line calling blat.
Post by Chip
I intend to keep the
requirement that -install be on the command line when used, and that it
cannot be in an options file.
I think I took this for granted when I wrote my post you replied to.
Maybe I should have been cleared with proposing that after the -install the
remaing options may be packed into an -of.
This would than be consistent with the -of usage in sending calls. So either
a file name (or a - stub) as the first option (in a sending call), or a
-install in an installation call. Both of these variants would allow packing
the remaining related options (or a fraction of them) into an option file.
Actually I like programs presenting themselves consistent in such ways.

On another note: I like Rick Nakroshi's alternative idea to allow a guided
mode with a bare -install. This is probably more advantage for the average
user than going the optionalization way in the install call.
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namtog
2005-01-23 17:11:17 UTC
Permalink
Greeting ykai,

I'm still having trouble seeing the
relationship between -install and
using the -of tag.

Would it be possible for you to post
a sample -of file. Maybe that would
turn on the lights for me.

Thanks,
Namtog
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ykai
2005-01-23 17:41:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by namtog
Greeting ykai,
I'm still having trouble seeing the
relationship between -install and
using the -of tag.
Would it be possible for you to post
a sample -of file. Maybe that would
turn on the lights for me.
Thanks,
Namtog
Sure,
Post by namtog
With the normal command line options, a future -install like might look
Blat -install -server <serverxyz> -f <emailaddy> -port <portnumber>
-try <try_count> -u <login_id> -pw <password> -p <profile_name>
So with -of support my call could be

Blat -install -of myinstallopts.txt

with the file
,--[myinstallopts.txt]---
|-server <serverxyz>
|-f <emailaddy>
|-port <portnumber>
|-try <try_count>
|-u <login_id>
|-pw <password>
|-p <profile_name>
`------------------------
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namtog
2005-01-23 18:21:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by ykai
Post by namtog
Greeting ykai,
I'm still having trouble seeing the
relationship between -install and
using the -of tag.
Would it be possible for you to post
a sample -of file. Maybe that would
turn on the lights for me.
Thanks,
Namtog
Sure,
Post by namtog
With the normal command line options, a future -install like
might look
Post by ykai
Post by namtog
Blat -install -server <serverxyz> -f <emailaddy> -port
<portnumber>
Post by ykai
Post by namtog
-try <try_count> -u <login_id> -pw <password> -p
<profile_name>
Post by ykai
So with -of support my call could be
Blat -install -of myinstallopts.txt
with the file
,--[myinstallopts.txt]---
|-server <serverxyz>
|-f <emailaddy>
|-port <portnumber>
|-try <try_count>
|-u <login_id>
|-pw <password>
|-p <profile_name>
`------------------------
It's so bright in here I looked up this
little ditty. :)

ARTIST: Timbuk3
TITLE: The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades
Lyrics and Chords


Intro: / A - - GD / /

I study nuclear science, I love my classes
I got a crazy teacher, he wears dark glasses

/ A7 - - - / /

{Refrain}
Things are going great, and they're only getting better
I'm doing all right, getting good grades
The future's so bright
I gotta wear shades, I gotta wear shades

/ D - - - A - - GD / D - A - / G - - - / A - - GD / /

I've got a job waiting for my graduation
Fifty thou' a year'll buy a lot of beer

{Refrain}

Well I'm heavenly blessed and worldly wise
I'm a peeping-tom techie with X-ray eyes

{Refrain}

I study nuclear science, I love my classes
I got a crazy teacher, he wears dark glasses

{Refrain}

I gotta wear shades, I gotta wear shades

Thanks so much,
Namtog
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Chip
2005-01-23 20:16:50 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by ykai
With the normal command line options, a future -install might look
Blat -install -server <serverxyz> -f <emailaddy> -port <portnumber>
-try <try_count> -u <login_id> -pw <password> -p <profile_name>
So with -of support my call could be
Blat -install -of myinstallopts.txt
with the file
,--[myinstallopts.txt]---
|-server <serverxyz>
|-f <emailaddy>
|-port <portnumber>
|-try <try_count>
|-u <login_id>
|-pw <password>
|-p <profile_name>
`------------------------
I have been giving this idea some thought today, and it could work if I take
the original command line argument list and append the values coming from an
options file. The code currently does not do this, it processes the
original list separately from the options file list, and restricts the use
of -install to just the original list. If I append the options file
contents to the original command line list, then the whole thing can be
checked at once, giving you what you suggest above. With a little
restructuring of the code, I could have a working model today.

Chip
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Tim Musson
2005-01-24 15:33:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by ykai
With the normal command line options, a future -install might look
Blat -install -server <serverxyz> -f <emailaddy> -port <portnumber>
-try <try_count> -u <login_id> -pw <password> -p <profile_name>
So with -of support my call could be
Blat -install -of myinstallopts.txt
with the file
,--[myinstallopts.txt]---
|-server <serverxyz>
|-f <emailaddy>
====8<---------------- snip

C> I have been giving this idea some thought today, and it could work
====8<---------------- snip

If we decide to use a file for -install, I would be much more in favor
of using:
blat -install -of options.txt
than I would be to using:
blat -install parms.ini

I guess I would rather have to support one method of specifying
settings than 2. If -install got options from a -of option, then it
would have the same format as the regular -of options (should probably
spash the screen with a note that only -server, -f, etc are used in
the -install option though).
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