Exocode

Exocode was created by Amplificar in May, 2006.

Please read the disclaimer, before using this program.

Exocode means, "code outside"

The Idea

Designed as a compromise between open source and plugins, it can do some things that neither of those can. Some or all of the source code can be exposed, and the user doesn't need to compile anything. What can be changed is greater than what could be done with plugins. Creating an entire program, with plugins, is unfeasible.

The development environment is built into the application, so anybody can make changes with the least effort. There's no concern about language version, library version, frameworks or having to purchase separate software just for the user to make some changes.

The program runs from the start, people could use it with no more effort than a regular program, but the daring or creative user could express themselves by incorporating their own ideas into the software they use.

Exocode shares some strengths of the language it was created with; exocode programs can be used on Mac, Windows and Linux, with little or no effort.

There are some things exocode can do, that nothing else can. In a business or institutional environment with thousands of computers, a program put on one computer is independant of all the others. With exocode, it's possible to store the bulk of the program instructions on a central server. Making changes to the instructions will affect every computer.

Exocode was originally designed to this, before it had that name. The reprogrammable network utility "Drone" was simpler and couldn't display a user interface. Around the time the Drone was developed, I was also experimenting with Custom Printed Reports (PC_CPR), developing the printed reports for the program, while the program was running, saved me time and could've been a powerful feature for the users.

There are a few drawbacks to exocode. The filesize of the application is larger, and the requirements for the program are greater than a regular program. Because 3D graphics are available in exocode, the Quesa.dll must be included with the application for Windows, and on the Mac the user must have Open GL or another recognized 3D library. These requirements can be changed, by removing parts of the "exocode.rb" project.

How It Works

REALBasic (the language Exocode was created with) has a special class named "RBScript". The RBScript can compile Basic source code, while the program is running. Normally, the RBScript is a sandbox, only the bare minimum of the things in REALBasic are available to it. RBScripts were designed to be a Basic plugin system, but by exposing controls and classes it became possible to extend the usefullness far beyond the limited plugin design.

Running an Existing Program

When the Exocode application is launched, it can autorun the program, or it can display the project window for editing. It's also possible for exocode to open and run up to 100 projects at the same time.

If the project window appears: Select the Main entry, and click Run.

When the program is distributed separately fron the Exocode application, put the project folder and configuration file "exocode*.dat" in the same directory as the application. Then follow the instructions above to start it.

If the program doesn't start, check the "startup log.txt" file to see if the project appeared somewhere. When the name doesn't appear anywhere, the configuration file is either missing or it identifies the wrong program. When an error occurs, make sure the project folder is present and uncompressed. Consult the author for support, if your problem isn't covered here.

Modifying a Program

Exocode has configuration files, named "exocode0.dat", "exocode1.dat", etc. These files are plain text that describe the project folder, and whether to automatically run, or show the project editing window. Change "autorun" to "false" and launch exocode.

From the project editing window, you'll see all the source code files. To add or remove files, you'll need to use your file browser (finder/explorer/shell).

To learn how to program with Exocode, read the Users Tutorial, the REALBasic Language Reference, the Programming Reference built into Exocode, or other material provided by that programs author.

Creating a New Program

The exocodeXX.dat files are plain text, they tell exocode the name of the project folder and whether it should automatically run, or show the project window. "Startup Log.txt" gives details about which projects have been run and errors that might have occurred opening projects.

If you want your entire program to be editable, you can create a new "exocode<0-99>.dat" file that points to your new project folder. With your file browser (finder/explorer/shell), create the main.xcs file, and put it in the top level of that folder.

To have complete control over what code will be accessable to the user, you'll need to use REALBasic to open the "exocode.rb" project. The interface and code you write with REALBasic will not be accessable by the exocode development environment.

Disclaimer

The Exocode Project, Development Environment and programs (Exocode) provided herein is released to any person, company or other legal entity (users) by the developer Amplificar (amplificar @ gmail.com / MN,USA).

The Exocode software presented here is intended for the following purposes: (1) personal use (2) internal research and development by any user or (3) subsequent integration into a users commercial product.

The Exocode software IS PROVIDED "AS IS" and bears NO WARRANTY, NEITHER EXPRESS, IMPLIED NOR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Amplificar does not assume liability or responsibility for any users use of the software product or the results of such use. By using this software product you agree to assume any and all liabilities which may arise out of your use of the software. The developer shall not be responsible for damages or liability of any kind arising out of the use of any of this software by the user or any party acting on the users behalf.

Download

ExocodeMac.dmg5.3 MBApplication for Mac OS X and source code
ExocodeMac.sit3.9 MBApplication for Mac OS X and source code
ExocodeWin.zip5.6 MBApplication for Windows and source code

Legal notes

Please note that the developer Amplificar is not the webmaster of this website and that I, Christian Schmitz, only host this project. The original author wants to keep his privacy. If there is any question or legal problem with the application you may contact the original author. If this website needs to be removed or modified for any reason, contact me.




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