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[Outdated] Metalogic Finance Explorer 4.3.0 (Beta)

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Metalogic
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[Outdated] Metalogic Finance Explorer 4.3.0 (Beta)

Please go here for a more recent release.

Application: Metalogic Finance Explorer
Category: Office
Description: Metalogic Finance Explorer is a personal finance, budget software compatible with Money and Quicken downloads.

Download Metalogic Finance Explorer 4.3.0.Beta6 [614KB download]

Release Notes:
2010-10-19
Cleaned up a number of issues with the package based on forum feedback.
2010-10-17
Very first portable release of Metalogic Finance Explorer!

Chris Morgan
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PortableApps.com Format details

First of all, some comments on the PortableApps.com Format compliance:

  • App\AppInfo\appicon*: appicon.ico isn't in the specified sizes and bit depths; also appicon_32.png and appicon_16.png are the defaults - you should create them properly so it will appear properly in the Platform.
  • App\AppInfo\appinfo.ini:
    • The AppID should be MetalogicFinanceExplorerPortable. The same goes for the launcher.
    • While a 445 character Description is valid, something shorter would be a good idea; it's generally intended to be used in the app icon tooltip in the Platform and things like that.
  • App\readme.txt, App\AppInfo\Launcher\splash.jpg, and the files in Other are missing; it's a good idea to start from the PortableApps.com Launcher app template which has them all.
  • help.html isn't in the normal style. Again, refer to the app template.
  • App\AppName should be App\MetalogicFinanceExplorer or similar.
  • The app runs portably, but its settings are stored in App, not Data. Use the Launcher to move mlfe.ini and DB\mfe.mdb (I don't think it can create any other files?) from Data to App. The default mfe.mdb should then go in DefaultData.
    [FilesMove]
    mlfe.ini=%PAL:AppDir%\MetalogicFinanceExplorer\mlfe.ini
    mfe.mdb=%PAL:AppDir%\MetalogicFinanceExplorer\DB\mfe.mdb
    
  • One enhancement to the app itself would be to support using a portable browser rather than opening the default local browser for opening the bank website. However, the best way to do that hasn't really been defined yet so you're probably best to leave it for the moment.
  • As it's a .NET application (not sure of the version), you should have appinfo.ini:[Dependencies]:UsesDotNetVersion set to the right .NET version. Please also note that currently that (using .NET) is still a blocker for release at PortableApps.com.

It looks a good, simple, small app. Pity it's dependant on .NET.

I am a Christian and a developer and moderator here.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

Metalogic
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Chris, Thank you very much

Chris,
Thank you very much for the quick turnaround. I will review your comments and release an update in the next few days.

A couple of things I'd like to address now:
* This application is not .NET. It is written in C++. In fact, one of the major pieces of work that went into the new version (4.3) was to replace the ActiveX grid with a pure C++ one so that this wouldn't be a barrier to portability (since ActiveX controls need to be registered on every computer). What made you think this was .NET based? Perhaps there is an unexpected dependency?

* That's an interesting point about using the portable browser. Since there is no defined way to do this, I will leave it for a future relase.

Thanks again.

Metalogic Software

Chris Morgan
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My mistake

I didn't have a tool with me to check if it was a .NET assembly properly, so I just went on some of the contents of mlFinExp.exe which seemed to indicate it was .NET; judging by my later findings with running it in Wine I gather that that's incorrect (if it were .NET it would fail faster). These are the portions of the file I observed:

- This application cannot run using the active version of the Microsoft .NET Runtime
Please contact the application's support team for more information.
<assembly xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1" manifestVersion="1.0">
<assemblyIdentity
	version="1.0.0.0"
	processorArchitecture="*"
	name="Metalogic.mlFinExp"
	type="win32"
/>
<description>Metalogic Finance Explorer</description>
<dependency>
	<dependentAssembly>
		<assemblyIdentity
			type="win32"
			name="Microsoft.Windows.Common-Controls"
			version="6.0.0.0"
			processorArchitecture="X86"
			publicKeyToken="6595b64144ccf1df"
			language="*"
		/>
	</dependentAssembly>
</dependency>
</assembly>

My XP VM, having the automatic updates turned on, has .NET, so I wasn't able to check it that way; however in Wine 1.2.1 I tried running it and got an error, but it doesn't seem to be a .NET error. Here's the output in the console, as you may find it interesting.

fixme:shdocvw:PersistStreamInit_Load (0x1679c0)->(0x33e32c)
fixme:shdocvw:OleControl_FreezeEvents (0x1679c0)->(1)
fixme:shdocvw:OleControl_FreezeEvents (0x1679c0)->(0)
err:ole:CoGetClassObject class {00000514-0000-0010-8000-00aa006d2ea4} not registered
err:ole:CoGetClassObject class {00000514-0000-0010-8000-00aa006d2ea4} not registered
err:ole:create_server class {00000514-0000-0010-8000-00aa006d2ea4} not registered
fixme:ole:CoGetClassObject CLSCTX_REMOTE_SERVER not supported
err:ole:CoGetClassObject no class object {00000514-0000-0010-8000-00aa006d2ea4} could be created for context 0x17
(Error message box shows: "Unknown error 0x80004003 (-2147467261)")
fixme:shdocvw:OleInPlaceObject_InPlaceDeactivate (0x1679c0)
fixme:shdocvw:OleObject_Close (0x1679c0)->(1)

0x80004003 is E_POINTER, "Pointer that is not valid". It's missing the COM type {00000514-0000-0010-8000-00aa006d2ea4} - ADODB.Connection. That's not .NET, but still it's a dependency. Personally I would recommend you using SQLite rather than Jet (mdb), although it wouuld increase the file size of your release. Then that wouldn't be an issue in Wine. You mention better Wine support in your 4.3 Beta - have you come across that at all?

I am a Christian and a developer and moderator here.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

Metalogic
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.NET suspicions put to rest

Glad the .NET confusion was cleared up.

It looks like you found that string using some sort of resource analyzer? I will try to track down the source of that and remove it if I can. May I ask what tool you are using?

The second portion that you saw is needed to use XP themes and is not .NET related.

As for the Wine comments, you are correct, my usage of Jet is an issue under Linux. Use of SQLite is in my to do list but not for 4.3. At this time Wine is not a priority. I was hoping that the removal of ActiveX would be enough to address Wine compatibility but it looks like I was mistaken. I will ensure the beta Web page is updated to clear that up.

However, Jet is part of Windows (XP and up) so that dependency should not be a problem.

Thanks again for your detailed testing.

Metalogic Software

Chris Morgan
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Vim

Resource analyzer? No, I just opened it in Vim Smile (I also then used strings to see if I could spot anything smaller of value, to which the answer was no.)

Looking forward to your next release.

I am a Christian and a developer and moderator here.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

Metalogic
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strings

I used strings as well and found the string that you mentioned. As it turns out, that is part of MFC. If you compile any MFC application using the static library, you will get that string (rather odd since this is not managed code). So I can't remove it. In any case, I'm satisfied that there is no surprise .NET code anywhere in my app.

Next release should be out soon...

Thanks.

Metalogic Software

Metalogic
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Package test #2

Based on your feedback, I have repackaged the application. I didn't have time to finish all the changes but most of them were done. I expect to complete the rest by the end of this week.

Here is the list of changes:
* Fixed appicon.ico
* AppID changed to MetalogicFinanceExplorerPortable
* Launcher renamed to MetalogicFinanceExplorerPortable.exe
* Shortened description to 247 characters
* App\AppName renamed to App\MetalogicFinanceExplorer

Due to the changes, the name of the file has changed. New download link:
Download Metalogic Finance Explorer 4.3.0.Beta6 [614KB download]

Metalogic Software

horusofoz
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.Net :(

Darn it. I had this downloaded and on my to do list to test as I've been looking for something to replace Monet Manager EX Portable since it's portable development died.

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Metalogic
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Not .NET (.NOT? :)

Hi horusofoz,
See my reply to Chris above. This application is written in C++. It does not use .NET in any way.

I will be happy to clear up whatever the source of the .NET confusion is once I have more details.

Oh and Metalogic Finance Explorer is not going anywhere. It's been around for almost 10 years and is in active development.

As long as there is enough interest from the PortableApps.com community, I plan on building the Portable version with every release of the normal version. At less than 1MB in size, I also have hopes to get this in the official suite should the PA.com team be interested.

Metalogic Software

horusofoz
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*Downloads Again*

Sweet. I'll try this out real soon then. Thanks for clearing that up Smile

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horusofoz
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Error Message

Did a fresh install and got this error on launch.

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
Administrator account

Sidenote: Can I suggest using the development test in this forum as it's what most users of these forums will recognise.

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Chris Morgan
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Explanation

Just a brief explanation of the development test horusofoz speaks of; label the first release Development Test 1, then 2, etc., in the DisplayVersion.

I am a Christian and a developer and moderator here.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

Metalogic
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Development test explanation

Thanks for the details. I will do my best to follow this practice.

Chris and horusofoz. Thank you both for your patience as I battle with the learning curve.

Metalogic Software

Metalogic
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Launcher error fixed

horusofoz,
Sorry about that. I should have tested this better. That's what happens when doing late night work.

I've repackaged the download. Please give it another try.

I will try to follow the development test you suggest.

Metalogic Software

horusofoz
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Just to clarify again the

Just to clarify again the development test I referred to is a naming convention.

For example your app would down be called

Metalogic Finance Explorer 4.3.0 Beta6 Development Test 3

and the file name would be:

Metalogic_Finance_Explorer_4.3.0_Beta6_Development_Test_3

This is because it is the third package of 4.3 Beta 6.

Once MFE moves to 4.4 you would return to DT1, e.g. Metalogic Finance Explorer 4.3.0 [If required BetaX] Development Test 1.

Hope that helps Smile

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Metalogic
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Thanks for the clarification

I understand the convention now. I will apply that to all future portable releases.

Thanks!

Metalogic Software

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