Board index » delphi » Finally, a windows message spy that's better than Spy++

Finally, a windows message spy that's better than Spy++

Hi,

Okay, so I use Microsoft's Spy++ but it has steadily gotten on my nerves
over the years. Watching the messages for a window, selecting a window,
having to refresh the list, the clumsy way of filtering messages from the
view. It was all too much. Having a decent windows mesage spy was an itch
that just had to be scratched ;-)

The result is Winspector:
http://www.gipsysoft.com/articles/winspector/

It has some great features and I'd love to hear other developers feedback on
it. It's totally free and it's less than 800KB download.

What's it do? It records messages sent to windows. This allows you to see
the interaction of messages with your applications, which in turn allows you
to write better software.

Some of it's features include:
* Ability to watch out for window class creation. Watch messages for a
window right from the first message, even before the window procedure!
* Message filters - easily filter 'noise' messages by right-clicking on the
message.
* When messages are filtered they are not lost. You can add them back in,
even old ones.
* Window list automatically refreshes.
* Window log shows all windows created and destroyed.
* Copying window properties such as styles, window class or caption is a
single click.
* Single drag operation to select a window. Hold down CTRL and the messages
for that window are shown instantly, hold down SHIFT and the window
properties are shown.
* Right-click and window in the window list and the window position is
highlighted (if possible).

There's a whole bunch of other small but very handy features too. There's
still plenty to do, and I've got a list of features I'd like to add, but I'm
looking forward to getting some great feedback from the group.

It's a 'beta' but I'm now using it instead of my trusty Spy++.

Why not check it out and let me know what you think:
  -->http://www.gipsysoft.com/articles/winspector/

--
russ.
http://www.gipsysoft.com/articles/winspector/ - FREE Spy++ replacement.
http://www.gipsysoft.com/qhtm/ - FREE HTML display in a small and light DLL
http://www.gipsysoft.com/ZoomPlus/ - Programmers Zoom Utility on Steroids

 

Re:Finally, a windows message spy that's better than Spy++


impressive.
The main problem I have with spy++ is the message capture list text message
numbers keep moving to the right and adding more....................

thanks for that
:-)
--

peter walker

Please post replies to the news group so everyone can benefit.
papwal...@ozemail.com.au.nospam
www.papwalker.com/links.html

Quote
"Russ Freeman" <ru...@gipsysoft.com> wrote in message

news:unn4uuhvqna562@corp.supernews.com...
Quote
> Hi,

> Okay, so I use Microsoft's Spy++ but it has steadily gotten on my nerves
> over the years. Watching the messages for a window, selecting a window,
> having to refresh the list, the clumsy way of filtering messages from the
> view. It was all too much. Having a decent windows mesage spy was an itch
> that just had to be scratched ;-)

> The result is Winspector:
> http://www.gipsysoft.com/articles/winspector/

> It has some great features and I'd love to hear other developers feedback
on
> it. It's totally free and it's less than 800KB download.

> What's it do? It records messages sent to windows. This allows you to see
> the interaction of messages with your applications, which in turn allows
you
> to write better software.

> Some of it's features include:
> * Ability to watch out for window class creation. Watch messages for a
> window right from the first message, even before the window procedure!
> * Message filters - easily filter 'noise' messages by right-clicking on
the
> message.
> * When messages are filtered they are not lost. You can add them back in,
> even old ones.
> * Window list automatically refreshes.
> * Window log shows all windows created and destroyed.
> * Copying window properties such as styles, window class or caption is a
> single click.
> * Single drag operation to select a window. Hold down CTRL and the
messages
> for that window are shown instantly, hold down SHIFT and the window
> properties are shown.
> * Right-click and window in the window list and the window position is
> highlighted (if possible).

> There's a whole bunch of other small but very handy features too. There's
> still plenty to do, and I've got a list of features I'd like to add, but
I'm
> looking forward to getting some great feedback from the group.

> It's a 'beta' but I'm now using it instead of my trusty Spy++.

> Why not check it out and let me know what you think:
>   -->http://www.gipsysoft.com/articles/winspector/

> --
> russ.
> http://www.gipsysoft.com/articles/winspector/ - FREE Spy++ replacement.
> http://www.gipsysoft.com/qhtm/ - FREE HTML display in a small and light
DLL
> http://www.gipsysoft.com/ZoomPlus/ - Programmers Zoom Utility on Steroids

Re:Finally, a windows message spy that's better than Spy++


Quote
"peter walker" <postmas...@spamcop.net> wrote in message

news:3m0f9.28300$g9.80661@newsfeeds.bigpond.com...

Quote
> impressive.
> The main problem I have with spy++ is the message capture list text
message
> numbers keep moving to the right and adding more....................

It's the indent level for messages - you can disable it in Spy++. However,
it seems that Spy++ gets confused because some messages don't have return
values and the system doesn't therefore offer an ability to get at them. If
I implemented the same "feature" I'd have to work out which messages have a
return value and which don't. I may do this at some point...when all of the
other stuff is done...maybe.

My *biggest* gripe with Spy++ is the way you get to watch messages:
* Open your app
* Open Spy++ (if you open them the other way around then Spy++ needs to be
refreshed arrgh)
* Click the toolbar button to find a window.
* Drag the icon onto your window.
* Click ok.
* Right-click the window in the window list and select "messages".

Doing this over and over was the final straw. I just couldn't stand it any
longer and hence Winspector was born hehe.

In Winspector it's:
* Open your app
* Open Winspector (if you open them the other way around then no problem
because winspector will optionally automatically refresh the window list)
* Click-Drag on the panel at the top of the window list and when you release
the mouse over your window hold down CTRL.

Or better yet:
* Add a watch for your window class.
* Start your app.

If you do it that way then Winspector will automatically create a messages
window when it sees your app.

Because of the above you can see messages in winspector even before your
window procedure sees them - which is kinda groovy I think.

I personally like the fact that Winspector uses icons in the window list.
Even if finding your window was clumsy you'd still be able to see it at a
glance just by looking for it's icon. You can also hide hidden windows from
the window list and this significantly reduces the crud you have to sift
through.

Quote
> thanks for that

No problem, I just hope you find it as valuable and helpful as I do.

--
russ.
http://www.gipsysoft.com/articles/winspector/ - FREE Spy++ replacement.
http://www.gipsysoft.com/qhtm/ - FREE HTML display in a small and light DLL
http://www.gipsysoft.com/ZoomPlus/ - Programmers Zoom Utility on Steroids

Re:Finally, a windows message spy that's better than Spy++


Since I have never used Spy++ (never even heard of it before reading your
post), it looks pretty cool.

Only problem is maybe you could list some system requirements or something.
For the record, don't attempt to run it on a Celeron 300Mhz machine.

Other than that, cool program.

Murdoc

Quote
"Russ Freeman" <ru...@gipsysoft.com> wrote in message

news:unn4uuhvqna562@corp.supernews.com...
Quote
> Hi,

> Okay, so I use Microsoft's Spy++ but it has steadily gotten on my nerves
> over the years. Watching the messages for a window, selecting a window,
> having to refresh the list, the clumsy way of filtering messages from the
> view. It was all too much. Having a decent windows mesage spy was an itch
> that just had to be scratched ;-)

> The result is Winspector:
> http://www.gipsysoft.com/articles/winspector/

> It has some great features and I'd love to hear other developers feedback
on
> it. It's totally free and it's less than 800KB download.

> What's it do? It records messages sent to windows. This allows you to see
> the interaction of messages with your applications, which in turn allows
you
> to write better software.

> Some of it's features include:
> * Ability to watch out for window class creation. Watch messages for a
> window right from the first message, even before the window procedure!
> * Message filters - easily filter 'noise' messages by right-clicking on
the
> message.
> * When messages are filtered they are not lost. You can add them back in,
> even old ones.
> * Window list automatically refreshes.
> * Window log shows all windows created and destroyed.
> * Copying window properties such as styles, window class or caption is a
> single click.
> * Single drag operation to select a window. Hold down CTRL and the
messages
> for that window are shown instantly, hold down SHIFT and the window
> properties are shown.
> * Right-click and window in the window list and the window position is
> highlighted (if possible).

> There's a whole bunch of other small but very handy features too. There's
> still plenty to do, and I've got a list of features I'd like to add, but
I'm
> looking forward to getting some great feedback from the group.

> It's a 'beta' but I'm now using it instead of my trusty Spy++.

> Why not check it out and let me know what you think:
>   -->http://www.gipsysoft.com/articles/winspector/

> --
> russ.
> http://www.gipsysoft.com/articles/winspector/ - FREE Spy++ replacement.
> http://www.gipsysoft.com/qhtm/ - FREE HTML display in a small and light
DLL
> http://www.gipsysoft.com/ZoomPlus/ - Programmers Zoom Utility on Steroids

Re:Finally, a windows message spy that's better than Spy++


Quote
"Murdoc" <murdo...@hotmail.com> wrote in message

news:alje9b$emt$1@gnamma.connect.com.au...

Quote
> Since I have never used Spy++ (never even heard of it before reading your
> post), it looks pretty cool.

> Only problem is maybe you could list some system requirements or
something.
> For the record, don't attempt to run it on a Celeron 300Mhz machine.

I'll work on making it faster once I have it just the way I like it.

Perhaps you could elaborate on what part is slow e.g. I know the window log
consumes too much CPU and the message list (being a tree control) is slow.
Anything else?

If the window log is too slow then I'd switch it off. I have plans to *not*
use the tree control, instead I'll write a new faster variant of the tree
specific to my needs. For example, I want to be able to set some messages to
be highlighted (red, or yellow, or bold perhaps) and I can do it with Custom
Draw tree the support for custom draw is ugly at best, at worst (making a
font bold or italic) it plain doesn't work.

Quote
> Other than that, cool program.

Thanks, that's always nice to hear ;-)

--
russ.
http://www.gipsysoft.com/articles/winspector/ - FREE Spy++ replacement.
http://www.gipsysoft.com/qhtm/ - FREE HTML display in a small and light DLL
http://www.gipsysoft.com/ZoomPlus/ - Programmers Zoom Utility on Steroids

Re:Finally, a windows message spy that's better than Spy++


Quote
"Russ Freeman" <ru...@gipsysoft.com> wrote:
> If the window log is too slow then I'd switch it off. I have plans to *not*
> use the tree control, instead I'll write a new faster variant of the tree
> specific to my needs.

Is it written in Delphi?

Try Mike Lieschke's (sp?) tree component - considered good by many on
the borland groups.

Paul...

Quote
> russ.

--

plinehan__AT__yahoo__DOT__com

Re:Finally, a windows message spy that's better than Spy++


Quote
"Paulie" <pline...@yahoo.com> wrote in message

news:3d7e436f.15460460@127.0.0.1...

Quote

> "Russ Freeman" <ru...@gipsysoft.com> wrote:

> > If the window log is too slow then I'd switch it off. I have plans to
*not*
> > use the tree control, instead I'll write a new faster variant of the
tree
> > specific to my needs.

> Is it written in Delphi?

Sadly not ;-)

Plain old C++ is my tool of choice. I posted here because I wasn't sure if
you guys even had access to a tool like Spy++ and thought you might
appreciate a better/alternative tool to add to your toolchests.

You might also like to check out Zoom+ (http://www.gipsysoft.com/ZoomPlus/ )
as it also solves some of the tedious problems associated with writing great
software.

Quote
> Try Mike Lieschke's (sp?) tree component - considered good by many on
> the borland groups.

I think the only way I'm going to get the performance and flexibility I need
is to write my own. I don't mind doing it but I'd rather get the rest of the
functionality into the thing before I start creating new controls.

Do you have a URL I could check out for the tree control. I'll take a look
at it anyhow as I might be able to use it if it's a plain Win32 control.

--
russ.
http://www.gipsysoft.com/articles/winspector/ - FREE Spy++ replacement.
http://www.gipsysoft.com/qhtm/ - FREE HTML display in a small and light DLL
http://www.gipsysoft.com/ZoomPlus/ - Programmers Zoom Utility on Steroids

Re:Finally, a windows message spy that's better than Spy++


...lastly, be aware that Borland released Windows diagnostic tools called
WinSpector(tm) / Winsight(tm)

I don't know if the trade marks are vigorously persued but be careful about
pushing it on *their* newservers
:-)
--

peter walker

Please post replies to the news group so everyone can benefit.
papwal...@ozemail.com.au.nospam
X close button problems? see...
www.papwalker.com/links.html

Quote
"Russ Freeman" <ru...@gipsysoft.com> wrote in message

news:unvd47tfpfiof5@corp.supernews.com...
Quote
> "Paulie" <pline...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:3d7e436f.15460460@127.0.0.1...

> > "Russ Freeman" <ru...@gipsysoft.com> wrote:

> > > If the window log is too slow then I'd switch it off. I have plans to
> *not*
> > > use the tree control, instead I'll write a new faster variant of the
> tree
> > > specific to my needs.

> > Is it written in Delphi?

> Sadly not ;-)

> Plain old C++ is my tool of choice. I posted here because I wasn't sure if
> you guys even had access to a tool like Spy++ and thought you might
> appreciate a better/alternative tool to add to your toolchests.

> You might also like to check out Zoom+

(http://www.gipsysoft.com/ZoomPlus/ )

- Show quoted text -

Quote
> as it also solves some of the tedious problems associated with writing
great
> software.

> > Try Mike Lieschke's (sp?) tree component - considered good by many on
> > the borland groups.

> I think the only way I'm going to get the performance and flexibility I
need
> is to write my own. I don't mind doing it but I'd rather get the rest of
the
> functionality into the thing before I start creating new controls.

> Do you have a URL I could check out for the tree control. I'll take a look
> at it anyhow as I might be able to use it if it's a plain Win32 control.

> --
> russ.
> http://www.gipsysoft.com/articles/winspector/ - FREE Spy++ replacement.
> http://www.gipsysoft.com/qhtm/ - FREE HTML display in a small and light
DLL
> http://www.gipsysoft.com/ZoomPlus/ - Programmers Zoom Utility on Steroids

Re:Finally, a windows message spy that's better than Spy++


Quote
"peter walker" <postmas...@spamcop.net> wrote in message

news:eP_f9.30311$g9.87337@newsfeeds.bigpond.com...

Quote
> ...lastly, be aware that Borland released Windows diagnostic tools called
> WinSpector(tm) / Winsight(tm)

> I don't know if the trade marks are vigorously persued but be careful
about
> pushing it on *their* newservers
> :-)

Thanks for the heads-up. There's also a TV show with the same name
apparently.

What's Winsight like?

--
russ.
http://www.gipsysoft.com/articles/winspector/ - FREE Spy++ replacement.
http://www.gipsysoft.com/qhtm/ - FREE HTML display in a small and light DLL
http://www.gipsysoft.com/ZoomPlus/ - Programmers Zoom Utility on Steroids

Re:Finally, a windows message spy that's better than Spy++


It's OK...but different<g>

--

peter walker

Please post replies to the news group so everyone can benefit.
papwal...@ozemail.com.au.nospam
X close button problems? see...
www.papwalker.com/links.html

Quote
"Russ Freeman" <ru...@gipsysoft.com> wrote in message

news:uo1pf923o29he6@corp.supernews.com...
Quote
> "peter walker" <postmas...@spamcop.net> wrote in message
> news:eP_f9.30311$g9.87337@newsfeeds.bigpond.com...
> > ...lastly, be aware that Borland released Windows diagnostic tools
called
> > WinSpector(tm) / Winsight(tm)

> > I don't know if the trade marks are vigorously persued but be careful
> about
> > pushing it on *their* newservers
> > :-)

> Thanks for the heads-up. There's also a TV show with the same name
> apparently.

> What's Winsight like?

> --
> russ.
> http://www.gipsysoft.com/articles/winspector/ - FREE Spy++ replacement.
> http://www.gipsysoft.com/qhtm/ - FREE HTML display in a small and light
DLL
> http://www.gipsysoft.com/ZoomPlus/ - Programmers Zoom Utility on Steroids

Re:Finally, a windows message spy that's better than Spy++


Quote
"Russ Freeman" <ru...@gipsysoft.com> wrote:
> Do you have a URL I could check out for the tree control. I'll take a look
> at it anyhow as I might be able to use it if it's a plain Win32 control.

Off the top of my head, no.

Try the Borland newsgroups - put the spelling that I used and I'm sure
somebody will give you the correct URL and spelling ASAP.

Paul...

Quote
> russ.

--

plinehan__AT__yahoo__DOT__com

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