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VAKCER AppFinder

The following brief document will help you understand how to use AppFinder to collect technical information about application(s) to add to VAKCER Project Tracker. Please, read this document carefully before you proceed...

Types of applications

There are two application types we need to distinguish - those using Multiple Document Interface (MDI) and Single Document Interface (SDI).

MDI applications are capable of working with several documents simultaneously. You can open a document in them, change it, then open another document not saving the previous one. Then you can switch between the two. Even if you open several documents at once, an MDI application will have only one application window and several document windows, one for each document. If a document window is maximized, you can't see the others, but you can (usually) switch to any other document through the Window menu command.

Examples of MDI applications: CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Word, QuarkXPress, Microsoft Excel and many others.

On the contrary, an SDI application can open only one document at a time. If you need to open another, you must save the current document first. In this case, you have only one main application window and the document's contents are located within this window.

Examples of SDI applications: Notepad, CorelDRAW up to version 5, Microsoft GIF Animator, Netscape Composer, etc.

Some SDI applications create another instance of their main window when you open another document. As an example of such application, Macromedia DreamWeaver could be mentioned. When you select "Open" from the File menu, another window of DreamWeaver is created to hold the new document. This is similar to opening several DreamWeaver copies at once but is performed automatically.

For these reasons, please be careful when determining the application type. Please try not to mix the two application types because this is essential information required by us to add the program to the tracking list.

Fetching the application information

Download VAKCER Application Finder (vpt_appfinder.zip, 20K) program - it will be used to fetch the application data.

In order to fetch the application info, launch the application you want to include, and create a new document. Then launch AppFinder, and hit the Get Application Information... button. The mouse cursor will change to a vertical arrow. Click over the document area of the application. Here are some examples: on the white text area in Notepad, on the drawing page in CorelDRAW, or on the document image in Photoshop.

As soon as you click the application, AppFinder will display the application title so that you can make sure you clicked correctly. Usually the title contains the application name and the current document name. For example, if you click Netscape Composer, AppFinder will display a title similar to this: "file:///Untitled - Netscape Composer":

MessageBox.gif (4006 bytes)
title.gif (3844 bytes)

Make sure that the title is correct (that it belongs to the application you are trying to fetch the info from) then click "Yes".

You will be presented with a dialog box where you need to supply the application information. Something like this:

InfoDialog.gif (6511 bytes)

In Application name and version field enter the name and version of the application. If the name doesn't contain the manufacturer's name, be sure to include it too. For example: "Netscape Composer, v4.03". By default this field contains the application title as it usually contains the application name so you don't need to type it manually. Just correct the string (e.g., delete the document name from it, etc.)

Category should contain the category where you think this application should be added. The options are:

Illustration, Page Layout, Image Editing, Web Design, Word Processing, 3D modeling, Animation, CAD/CAM, Database, Spreadsheet, Presentation, Sign Design.

If you think that a new category should be created for your application, just type the new category type into the Category field.

Interface specifies whether the application is MDI or SDI. AppFinder attempts to determine the application type by itself, however, sometimes it gets confused. For example, Microsoft Word is determined as SDI even though actually it is an MDI application. So be sure to correct this parameter if necessary.

And finally, Database file contains the path and name of the file to write the information to. By default, this field is set to AppFinder.dat file in the same folder where AppFinder program resides. You can change the name and/or path for your particular use.

Please note that the file is appended rather than overwritten. (However the file is created if it doesn't exist). So you can store information about several applications to a single database file.

After you have fetched all the info, send the database file as an attachment to support@vakcer.com, and keep VAKCER Application Finder to submit new applications in the future.

Important! Please, also send a screenshot of the application's main window. To do this, press Alt-Print Screen while the application is active. Then start any image editing software and paste the clipboard contents into it. You can then convert it to 256 colors and save as GIF or TIFF with LZW compression. Attach the screenshot(s) to the message along with the AppFinder database file.

Thank you very much for your collaboration.


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