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Windows 7: Multiple Instances Tweak

23 Nov 2011   #1
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 
Multiple Instances Tweak

Had no luck Googling the question, so here hoping that someone can help me here. Is there a tweak possible to cause a program that doesn't have the ability built-in, to open multiple instances of itself to do so?

I use Movie Collector for cataloging videos, and often when using it's scraper function, the options for a particular program's data download, is for each season of the program, which means that the program tree and thumbnail display fills rapidly, causing some orderly disorder.

I prefer to integrate the seasons that I have of a series into a single listing, but to do that requires not only a lot of copy/pasting, but is hindered by the fact that one must go back and forth, opening and closing windows a lot. It would be much, much easier, if one could place two windows of the program side-by-side.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Nov 2011   #2
MilesAhead

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

I looked on the forum for the program. Seems there are several people asking for "multiple instances" feature.

But generally there are so many schemes to enforce single instance behavior that it's unlikely to be able to manipulate it from outside. Some programs create a Windows kernel object, like a named mutex. Some use a message only window. Some use a lock file etc.. there are dozens of schemes. Also it's dangerous because if the program assumes only one instance of itself will be messing with files and you force more than one instance, the data files could get scrambled very easily.

I would suggest adding your input to the multiple instance request. If only one or two people ask for it they will probably be ignored.

Here's one thread I found. I did see a couple more, but I lost them while searching.

Collectorz.com Forum • View topic - Access to multiple databases or multiple instances of MCE?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2011   #3
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

I'm not clear on the possibilities that you mentioned (mutex, locking files, etc.), but the program does contain an automatic backup system. Not sure how good that it is, because the program hasn't ever corrupted on me. However, I could copy/paste the databases elsewhere...just in case.

I appreciate the thread, but I sent an email to support the same day I posted this thread, suggesting a change on the next update, which they said that they forwarded to their developers, but have no idea if that was just lip service or not.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Nov 2011   #4
MilesAhead

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Most of the time when you do single instance it's to simplify data file or other resource handling. If I have programXYZ that uses XYZDataFile.xyz that's a proprietary data format nobody else uses, then I can assume it's ok for me to open the file for read/write while the program is running and just close on exit.

If I have to share it with other instances of myself then I have to fiddle with it. Open for exclusive access write until I'm done writing out the data, then close and open shared read... blah blah. It makes for messy code.

That's why I say if you try to circumvent how the programmer does stuff you're likely to just scramble your data with no benefit. The second instance will probably give an error like "unable to open data file for write access" or some jazz.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2011   #5
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

Obviously, I'm no programmer, so I'm sure that it is more complicated than I can imagine, but it would seem that if one window could be opened as read only, and the second as write only, that would prevent them from corrupting the databases.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2011   #6
MilesAhead

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Unless the programmer provides source code or it's written in a script that's easily decompiled I don't see how you can control how files are opened. I would either lobby the publisher to add the feature or look for another db that's more suitable to how you work. Trying to force behavior from outside is pretty much asking for disaster.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2011   #7
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

Lobby? I guess that is equivalent to nagging. That's not my forte, and I have far too much time invested in this database to go to another, even if it did what I wanted. So I guess that leaves me out in the cold, as far as this aspect goes, unless I get lucky and they make the change that I asked for, and that doesn't seem likely.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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