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Define WinAutomation procedures that can be included elsewhere without consistency issues.


 Project Readme

DRYFT for WinAutomation¶ ↑

Description¶ ↑

DRYFT (Don’t Repeat Yourself Factoring Tool) lets you define procedures in WinAutomation that can be included in multiple other places and easily maintained from their original definition locations without introducing consistency issues.

Installation¶ ↑

  1. Install Ruby 1.8.7 with RubyInstaller for Windows.

  2. Run gem install dryft.

  3. Complete any additional setup for the sqlite3-ruby gem.

Status¶ ↑

Completed but unmaintained.

Conventions for procedures¶ ↑

A procedure is a WinAutomation job that follows DRYFT conventions, and can therefore have DRYFT manage its dependencies on other procedures.

Creating a procedure¶ ↑

To create a procedure, create a job with a name enclosed in angle brackets: e.g. <your procedure name>. Extra text may follow the closing bracket and will not be considered part of the procedure name, however, the opening bracket must be the first character of the job name.

DRYFT ignores any jobs that do not follow the procedure naming convention. Only proper procedures can include other procedures.

Defining the steps of a procedure¶ ↑

Inside the job, start the procedure definition with a comment step starting: <your procedure name>. The procedure name must be at the start of the comment, but may be followed by other text. This is the opening tag.

After that, add another comment step that has the procedure name with a forward-slash following the opening angle bracket: </your procedure name>. This is the closing tag.

Any steps you place between the opening and closing tags will be considered part of the procedure definition and will be copied to wherever the procedure is used in other procedures. Any steps before the opening tag or after the closing tag will not be copyed.

This means that you can use steps outside of the definition to help you make the procedure definition job run by itself. For example, you may have a large procedure that dynamically sets up certain configuration variables before calling a smaller procedure. In the job defining the smaller procedure you can hard-code the configuration variables before the opening tag so that that job can be run by itself.

Similarly, steps after the closing tag can be used to provide feedback that is helpful when running the procedure definition job individually, but which shouldn’t be included when the procedure is used within a larger one.

Using a procedure in other procedures¶ ↑

To use one procedure within another, copy the steps from the opening tag to the closing tag in the source procedure, and paste them into the destination procedure wherever you want them to run.

Updating a procedure automatically¶ ↑

Now, if you make some changes to the procedure in its defining job, you can run DRYFT to automatically copy those changes across to wherever that procedure is used in others. Be aware that if you change the steps between a procedures opening and closing tags in a job that uses it (rather than defines it), DRYFT will overwrite those changes with the old steps from the original procedure definition job.

A procedure can include multiple other procedures and they can be nested to any depth. DRYFT resovles dependencies so that any given procedure will only ever be updated after all of its dependencies have been updated. It will detect improper use of opening and closing tags and generate appropriate error messages. For example, it will report unbalanced tags, use of undefined procedures and circular dependencies.

When using the WinAutomation console, it is necessary to press F5 to refresh the job list after DRYFT performs updates. This is because updated jobs are assigned new IDs as a way of forcing WinAutomation to disregard its old copy of the job code.

In conclusion¶ ↑

Go ahead and define procedures as you please, maintain them from their original definition jobs and run DRYFT (and refresh with F5) often to ensure your jobs database is consistent.

Usage¶ ↑

To run load and update the default WinAutomation jobs database:


To load and update a WinAutomation jobs database in a different location:

dryft \path\to\your\Jobs.dat

Compatibility¶ ↑

DRYFT has been developed using WinAutomation version (released December 17, 2010). It may work on earlier versions and will probably work on later 3.1.x versions.

DRYFT comes to you under the MIT license. See LICENSE.txt for details.

Feedback¶ ↑

I would love to hear any feedback you have about DRYFT! The best way to reach me is via email at (chrisberkhout@).