Author Topic: New version of UA Shell needed?  (Read 1040 times)

Offline steve_mcdee

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New version of UA Shell needed?
« on: January 08, 2016, 04:32:03 PM »
There seems to be a bug in UA Shell in relation to CKIT hacking and the creation of diff.tlb files. CKIT editing through UA Shell itself works fine: the version of ckit.exe in the UA Shell folder is changed as editors are used. Then when the designer is prompted "Save CKIT changes?" UA Shell is supposed to create an updated diff.tlb from the working version of ckit.exe and place it in the folder of the current applied design. But the diff.tbl which UA Shell creates invariably is a 1 byte file --- meaning that the CKIT editing just done, and any previous CKIT editing, is lost.

This has previously been noted elsewhere in these forums. I always run UA Shell through DOS Box and so I am not sure if the bug occurs only when UA Shell is run through DOS Box.

I have been getting around this by using Nol Drek's marvellous Java program to create diff.tlbs. This requires ALT-TABbing out of UA Shell before electing whether to save CKIT changes, creating a new diff.tlb from the working version of ckit.exe, making a backup of the new diff.tlb so created, then (after either saving or undoing the CKIT changes), replacing the diff.tlb created by UA Shell with the backup version. If done correctly, this method invariably works. But it is pretty laborious. UA Shell should be doing the work of Nol Drek's java programme itself.

So ... my question is: is it possible for someone with some programming experience, and a good understanding of US Shell, to update UA Shell to a new version which correctly creates a new diff.tlb from the working version of ckit.exe? Maybe all that is required is that answering "yes" to the "save CKIT Changes" prompt led to Nol Drek's java program being run, instead of whatever it is that UA Shell currently attempts to do? (I don't know if such a program can be run by a program that is running through DOSBox.)

Offline Vix

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Re: New version of UA Shell needed?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2016, 02:43:13 PM »
I think it has more to do with the advances in computers, mainly Windows and how it handles things rather than UA Shell. I bet if I pulled out my old Win 3.1 or Win 98 computer from the closet, it would handle the process fine. I am on an ancient (in computer terms, 9 years old) WinXP machine and I recall when i first got it, it could handle the diff.tbl creation via DOS Box, but after the system updates, it couldn't (SP1, or one of the patches shortly after that  in 2002, I think).

I bet a slick, new UA Shell compatible with today's operating systems would be a boon for the community.

Offline Null Null

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Re: New version of UA Shell needed?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2016, 02:47:39 PM »
My understanding is that it was the failure of DosBox to emulate the 'fc' (file compare) command which UAShell uses.

Here's a thought: how about including the editors with UAShell? It would have been unwieldy back in the days of the 14.4K modem, but now a file of a few hundred megabytes is relatively tiny, and an integrated editor would make it easier for new hackers (as well as old hackers who have forgotten all the tricks...)

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: New version of UA Shell needed?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2016, 03:36:55 PM »
Does someone have the source code?
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Offline steve_mcdee

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Re: New version of UA Shell needed?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2016, 11:20:47 PM »
I think the idea of packaging all the editors together with UA Shell is a good idea. There are still a couple - FRUA98 for example - which I always run entirely independently (and which may have to be run outside of UA Shell).

Ideally, UA Shell would run directly from modern Windows without the need for DOS Box, and would be capable of running the various editors and FRUA itself. I wonder whether it would be possible to combine DOS Box (or equivalent) with UA Shell to produce a single shell instead of the Shell within a shell that I think most of us use.