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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Additional Software (PETs, n' stuff) » Unsorted
VisiHex freeware hexadecimal file viewer BETA release
Moderators: deshlab, Flash, GuestToo, Ian, JohnMurga, Lobster
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Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 43
Location: Near Detroit

PostPosted: Sat 06 Dec 2008, 01:44    Post subject:  VisiHex freeware hexadecimal file viewer BETA release
Subject description: Version 0.9.5 .PET, only 39 KB GTK executable!

I'm releasing a new Beta version of my freeware VisiHex application, a handy GTK hexadecimal file viewer built and especially packaged with Puppy in mind. This little GTK application is coded in C to be small and fast. In addition to the normal scrolling control, there are handy keyboard shortcuts for navigation and searching. If you would like to beta-test this software, please download this .PET and give it a try (but uninstall the prior 0.9.4 version if you have it).

If you find bugs or have suggestions, please post them here and I'll work on them! Please let me know the version of Puppy you are using and any other unique configurations (special window manager, etc).

This binary is freeware, and after the source is in good shape, I'll open-source it. Thanks need to go to forum members MU and muggins for educating me on Puppy-specific things related to application packaging and integration.

General features of VisiHex:
* Loads an entire file into memory --> full file searches are fast!
* Scroll as fast as you'd like! Display refreshes almost instantly on most PCs
* Search for specific content by entering ASCII characters or the hexadecimal
codes of specific bytes
* Highlights one instance of the found search target at a time in yellow
* Repeat the search forward (down in the file) or backward(up in the file)
* Search wraps around past the end or beginning of the file in either direction
* Natural keyboard scrolling control (Home, End, PageUp, PageDn, Up arrow Down arrow)
* Convenient keyboard shortcuts for opening the search dialog:
'/' (like vi) or Ctrl+F for character mode, - or -
'?' or Ctrl+B for hex byte mode
* Convenient keyboard shortcuts for repeating search (G or N for forward search, P or V for backward)
* Uses standard GTK file select box if a file is not specified when VisiHex starts or if you want to open another file
* .PET Installer adds VisiHex to Puppy's Utility menu
* .PET installer also adds VisiHex to ROX's list of "Open With" applications
* If you make an icon for VisiHex on your desktop, you can drag and drop files to automatically open them in VisiHex

* It is not a binary file editor... all files are opened in read-only mode
* It is not internationalized... only displays character interpretation of
printable ASCII characters... maybe later we can add full unicode
support with GTK's Pango text rendering capabilities
* It is not a file classifier... allows you to view and search through any file,
but it treats all files the same

Changes since Alpha Version 0.9.4:
* The allowed-length of the Search pattern raised from 4 to 32 (was set to 4 for certain tests and unintentionally left that way when released)
* The main window can be freely resized now and the number of shown lines automatically adjusts (fixed at 20 in the Alpha version)
* The small (16x16) icon was revised to be a bit clearer
* Minor edits made to the Help text
* Beta version warning and bug report request added to bottom of About box

Known issues with Beta Version 0.9.5:
* The .PET creates an unnecessary usr-template/ directory and does not clean it up on uninstallation (reported by maddox below)
* On Puppy 2.17 with IceWM, the Alt-(key) combo in the main window does not pop up the respective menus

I hope other people find this handy! It's been fun to put together and I've learned a good bit about GTK and .PETs in the process. Let me know what you think.
 Description   Screenshot of VisiHex in action (this is of version 0.9.4, but is visually almost identical to version 0.9.5)
 Filesize   25.31 KB
 Viewed   504 Time(s)


Description  Beta version 0.9.5 of VisiHex, the little GTK hexadecimal file viewer.

Filename  visihex-0.9.5-i486.pet 
Filesize  19.94 KB 
Downloaded  445 Time(s) 

Mike Lockmoore

Last edited by MikeLockmoore on Mon 08 Dec 2008, 13:37; edited 2 times in total
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Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 43
Location: Near Detroit

PostPosted: Sat 06 Dec 2008, 18:21    Post subject: VisiHex works in Puppy 4.1.0 and (mostly) in 2.17  

I built VisiHex for my Puppy 4.1.0 installation with JWM. I have now tested the .PET with my older 2.17 installation which has IceWM, and seems to work fine except for a minor issue with the main menu keyboard navigation (Alt-F should pop up the File menu, etc., but they don't). This issue does not exist when running on Puppy 4.1.0.
Mike Lockmoore
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Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 453
Location: sometimes in France

PostPosted: Sat 06 Dec 2008, 21:05    Post subject:  

The pet install/uninstall was tested using puppy 4.11-retro Live-cd

The "pet" has an unnecessary empty directory with empty sub-directories included "/usr/usr_template/.."
- The console command : "pet2tgz visihex-0.9.5-i486.pet" will decompress the pet to a "visihex-0.9.5-i486.tar.gz" file
then using ROX (click the eye to show all files) and clicking on the tar.gz file : this will open the zip/unzip prog and display what's inside
you can then unzip the whole contents to the implied (visihex-0.9.5-i486) directory.

- The prog starts by displaying a ROX window (search for the file to open) and hidden underneath is the basic window
It would be better to introduce the prog (maybe a splash screen or a text file pop-up), then let the user open/ask for the file to display.

- The prog doesn't cleanly uninstall, it leaves the empty directory with sub-directories included "/usr/usr_template/.."
Look for info about "pet" programs, the pet installer/uninstaller usually can cope with the install (adds an entry) and uninstall (uses the same entry to ininstall)

Can you make this prog into a editor (read-write) ?

I hope this helps
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Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 43
Location: Near Detroit

PostPosted: Mon 08 Dec 2008, 13:32    Post subject:  


Thanks for the feedback!. For this release, I revised my Makefile so it would automatically build the .PET, but an earlier version of the Makefile did not properly rename the usr-template/ dir to usr/, and I did not clean that up before running the build for the 0.9.5 release. I'll fix the unnecessary usr-template/ subdirectory for my next release.

You've noticied that VisiHex 0.9.5 will automatically open the GTK file chooser dialog box if it starts without a filename specified on a console command-line or by the "hidden" command-line filled in by ROX after a drag-and-drop or a "Open With" selection. I admit that a user might find the immediate presentation of the file chooser disconcerting, so maybe I should just remove that behavior. If there is no filename specified, the main window shows a hint to the user to use the File | Open menu command (you can see this if you click "Cancel" in the initial file chooser), so if I remove the automatic file chooser presentation, we don't really need a spashscreen.

I'll get the uninstall cleaned up too. Maybe it will take care of itself if I correctly build the .PET without the extra usr-template/ dir to begin with.

I don't plan to make this a read/write editor, at least not the 1.0 version. Maybe later?

Mike Lockmoore
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