Programming Projects Piling Up

personal, dotnet comments edit

So I’m coming up with a list of all of the various programming projects I want to do and I’m finding that there’s really just no shortage. So far, the top three are:

  1. Add ‘Send To’ to Solvent: I want to add the Windows Explorer ‘Send To’ menu to my add-in, Solvent. I have the part that builds the UI for the context menus done, I just need to get a decent class library to read items from the Send To folder and send them in. I found something that almost does what I need, but I need something a little lower-level (not wrapped in Windows Forms code) and that compiles warning-free (that DLL needs to be converted to mixed mode).
  2. Remove Solution From VSS: It turns out there’s a very manual process if you want to remove solutions and projects from Visual SourceSafe. You have to delete certain files, you have to remove certain references to the source control from the solution and project files… ugh. I need a program that, given a solution file, removes it and all contained projects from VSS (not actually deleting them from the VSS database, just removing references to VSS from the local copy).
  3. POP3 Proxy via Web Service: To get around annoying firewall constraints, I need a two-part solution: first, a web service that can take incoming POP commands and proxy them to a real POP server, then return the results; second, a client that acts like a POP server, receives requests from a POP-based mail program, and ferries those requests to the web service. That would allow you to use a POP-based mail program to get your email from, say, work, where they don’t allow POP through the firewall but have no restrictions on web access.

I’ve been working on that Solvent issue for a while now. I’ve learned (and, in many cases, re-learned) way too much about C++ while doing it, and I’m getting fed up with the way shell stuff is handled in Windows. One would think that with .NET they’d have introduced some sort of “Microsoft.Windows.Shell” namespace with some methods you can access from managed code that does all the low-level crap I’m having to learn.

I’ll get it done, it’ll just take a little longer. I tried doing the pInvoke route, but I got to a point where I was trying to marshal pointers to pointers and things fell apart (I know enough to be dangerous but not enough to fix it). Then I started doing a mixed-mode DLL (hard for a relative newbie in C++) when I was informed there’s this thing called “It Just Works” (or “IJW”) that should allow me to call the unmanaged shell functions from managed code without any of that. So that’s my next attempt - see if I can figure out how to get it done via IJW. If that doesn’t work, I think I’ll learn how to write a COM object and just suffer the COM interop overhead (which, thinking about the work the COM object will have to provide, should be reasonably minimal).

Unless someone out there wants to write it for me? I have an interface description… :)