Macro recorder 3

One product idea I had a while ago was for a ‘smart macro recorder’.

Basically a way for beginning developers to leverage decent code that others had written in solutions that they deploy. In a way this is what the Baarns Developer jump start kit was, so maybe I’m thinking of an update to that.

I guess I had sort of started it with the menu and toolbar thingy I mentioned a while back. The idea being that a dev would say this client spreadsheet needs a toolbar and click a button to add all that code to the workbook. Then maybe add an fully coded up index sheet etc etc,

In the background a decent VBA proc would get written, with loops and ifs/selects as required.  Hmm maybe its not so much a recorder as a code generator…

I was also thinking of maybe adding a few common UDFs.

Do you think there would be a market for that?

Would people (developers) pay for it?

If it was open source would you have code to contribute?

What sort of things might it include?

Any other thoughts?

Cheers

Simon

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5 Responses to “Macro recorder 3”

  1. Ross Says:

    One thing that i was thinking of was a subscription base on-line code lib? I think there is already all the code you need on the internet, but the value would be in having peer reviwed quality code in one place, with active specialist programmers maintianing it. Subscriptions would be low, so as to allow as much access as possible, but for the few that ran the system it might be a nice little income?
    On the other hand it could be a complete waste of time and money – what the hell do i know!

    I’m not sure if auto code gen works? I have a couple of things that build menu’s and tool bars but i dont use them much…I tend to just copy code I have then edit that – its slightly easier from experience.

  2. Simon Says:

    Code library is an interesting idea.
    would it be subs for as long as code is used in client apps or just whilelooking for code/developing?
    It could be a swap based thing so if you contribute you get free access to others stuff.
    How would it be better than google (assuming googles deterioration in group search stops).
    I’d be keen if it had an Excel/VBA/VS based client

    I do the same copy and edit, but I also have a few tools that I use/integrate into many apps. Like enviro management for calc/events/screenupdating.

  3. Marcus Says:

    I use MZTools and have customised it for my preferred coding style and standards. A macro recorder or code library would need something similar to accommodate corporate, team or an individuals standards.

    I’ve seen a few code libraries advertised, FMS is one that comes to mind, although I have no idea how successful they are. Pose the question of JoS and many will advise against the custom components market: the market is saturated, developers are a finicky lot (guilt as charged, your Honour), and would often rather whip up something together themselves rather than pay for someone else’s widget. I’m guessing that a code library may fall into the same basket.

    “Online code library… subscriptions would be low”
    I’d contend that subscriptions would have to be zero. Many sites have found out that insisting on online registration or a subscription for information doesn’t work unless they’re dealing with something proprietary or exclusive. Sorry, just playing devil’s advocate.

    Cheers – Marcus

  4. Ross Says:

    Yeah it might not work, you’d hve to take a look at where ou was adding value. It would have to work from the IDE, and access the code only for Excel VBA (for example) from the IDE via the internet.

    I think the value could be in the fact that you have peer reviwed code – so say for example I want to make a random number in Excel VBA, then I can call on my code lib and see whats there. The person that coded it should add notes about it’s use etc. But the point is that rather than me looking around and finding out it’s this, this and this, so my solutions is this this and this, here are the limits etc, an expert has already done it for me – saves me time and effort and gives me confidenice that the answer will be right.

    The USP for the expert is that they know most of the stuff anyway, and can thus benift from there IP – Bit like forums, bit like websites, but you can turn a pound of it?

    It might also work if a few guys said, lets link up our code libs for a year and see how that goes?

  5. Marcus Says:

    There was an add-in in the MSO developer addition which did just that Ross. Must have been popular – I haven’t seen it since.

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