Setting up your computer

This topic applies to Windows systems. Unix systems are too varied to discuss how to best integrate into a given "desktop".

If you have many development projects we would like to show you a method of organizing your computer desktop to make easy access to all of your projects, batch files and documents. Creating shortcuts to execute you common tasks makes good sense. You can create shortcuts by specifying a full command line for a program and its arguments, or if the program registers its files with the operating system you can just specify the data file in a shortcut and the application will handle "executing" that data file properly.

The development environment registers the following files.

When you specify a project file as a shortcut the environment will open that project file. When you specify a script file as a shortcut the environment will execute the script. It is best not to use shortcuts for source files, since you should edit these files via the development environment.

First a brief background. All of our code is written with our Modula-2 development system, and the Modula-2 system builds itself. We have many projects, one for each application, and some applications have multiple versions. All of the programs are each in their own directory. A "main" directory also exists where these programs are copied once they are updated with new features or bug fixes. This main directory is the same as the installation directory when you install our product.

Here is how we setup our development system. We create a folder which contains various shortcuts to what we use. The shortcuts might open a project, open a utility program or run a batch file. The folder, or a shortcut to the folder, can be placed on the desktop or with Windows XP you can put a shortcut to the folder on the Start menu.

The advantage of using a folder on the desktop/start menu is that the open folder shows up on your task bar. So you always have easy access to your shortcuts. Shortcuts on the desktop are covered by running programs windows and are difficult to get to.

You can also create your own menu, or menus, on the start menu and put your shortcuts there.

Here is the Dev folder we use on Windows systems. This should give you ideas on how you can use shortcuts to make your life easier. Click on the items to understand how they are used.