Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor (kistaro) wrote,
Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

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Fun with ForwardPass

I really need a "geeky" usericon. I had one, but I decided I didn't want photos of me in my usericons for plausible deniability reasons. Anybody feel like illustrating a dragon-nerd?

Anyway, I've just spent a while diddling around with a program called ForwardPass. It's an IDE for the PocketPC and the computer, with a full visual form editor on the PocketPC and a syntax-highlighting program editor on the computer. It lets you write VBScript or JavaScript programs for the PDA, with access to most of the system's features. You're stuck with a scripting language, sure, but it's no worse than your average prorammable calculator. The on-PocketPC scripting language "editor" is a glorified text box with a proportional font and no syntax highlighting, but the one on the computer works great.

So I made the interface in class yesterday while bored and then got most of the coding done in the evening; I finished it up and checked it for bugs now. I now have a fully-working flashcard application for the PocketPC that does what I want: keeps score as I judge for myself if I was right or wrong, and let me review the questions I missed. That's all I ask out of such a program, but most software doesn't support self-scoring, or it has hideously illegible fonts. Mine aren't too great, but at least they're usable. Also, the price is right: I charge $4.95 less than my cheapest competitor that actually keeps score and lets you write questions on the PocketPC as well as the computer. is an installation file for ARM, MIPS, or XScale PocketPCs. (I'm not sure about MIPS, actually. But I know about the other two.) It installs the program as you might expect from a PocketPC installation cabfile; put it on the device, load it up, and it installs. It's around 200K; most of it is the ForwardPass runtime.

ForwardPass is freeware. If y'all want, I can upload the installer to my webspace (it's hard to find) and my scriptfile- yay open-source, and then the overhead of the ForwardPass runtime is ammortized by whatever other ForwardPass apps y'all use.

But for those of y'all with PocketPC systems, here's a standalone cabfile to install a flashcard program. It has an onboard cardfile editor (unlike a lot of PDA flashcard programs). A .crd file (the flashcards) is just alternate lines of question, answer, question, answer. To support multi-line questions and answers, the token <<CRLF>> in a line becomes a newline when displayed, without breaking between question and answer. (In the editor, just type a newline; my script converts it automatically.) There is, unfortunately, no way to include the text <<CRLF>> in a flashcard without it being interpreted as a newline; I figure that <<CRLF>> is sufficiently un-useful that it shouldn't cause too much trouble.

This is probably a waste of time that would have been better spent studying for finals, but I can't quite convince myself of that. I just learned JavaScript in two days by working very directly with it. And now I have a flashcard program that actually works, which is- relatively speaking- a rarity.

Just let me know if y'all play with the program!

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