Sunday, September 20, 2009

Blaze: Automated Desktop Experience

According to its homepage, "Blaze is an innovative utility designed to automate most of the unique recurrent tasks that arise from everyday usage. Such tasks can be launching applications, making small calculations, sending emails, inserting recurrent excerpts of text or even renaming files!"

Blaze is Windows only and embeds IronPython for user scripting. It is open source, and the latest release is from Friday (September 18th) so it is under active development. Blaze is available as an installer or a portable version that can be used without installing.
There isn't yet a manual for developers. However, it's pretty easy to extend Blazes functionality with IronPython. Take a look on Scripts Folder. There are already two scripts build in which you can get inspiration from.

To use the ContextLib, there is an outadated .chm file in Blaze's instalaction directory, in the "Docs" folder. It should work just fine for most common features. In the future I will update this documentation properly.
Not only can you write new automator scripts in IronPython, but macros you record will be saved as IronPython scripts:
Blaze has the ability to record Adaptive Macros, which are macros that can adapt to new window positions. These macros also have the advantage of being recorded to IronPython files (.py), making them really easy to edit with notepad.
Not so sure about the advice to use Notepad for editing Python files though...

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