Tag Archives: Windows

EP Calipers for Windows

EP Calipers for Windows
EP Calipers for Windows

EP Calipers for Windows is done.  Whew.  As stated in my previous post, porting the app to Windows was a bit of a struggle.  Installing tools like a bash shell, git and Emacs took some time and effort.  The Windows tool to bridge iOS apps didn’t work.  So I was forced to port the code from objective C to C# and .NET by hand.  This took some time.

Looking back on my previous post with the benefit of hindsight, I think I was a bit too harsh on the Windows development environment.  I grew fond of C#, the .NET API, and the Visual Studio IDE as I got used to them.  Visual Studio is at least as good, if not better, than Xcode, Eclipse, or Android Studio.  Kudos to the Microsoft developers.

EP Calipers is a Windows forms app, meaning it runs on desktop, laptop, and tablet versions of Windows 10.  It is not a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app.  With the market share of Windows phones dropping below 1%, and doubting that anyone would run EP Calipers on an X-box, I didn’t see any point in developing a UWP app.  I know most hospital desktops run Windows (though how many run Windows 10 now, I wonder?), and many docs have Windows laptops or tablets.  An app targeting the traditional Windows desktop seemed like the best approach.

One drawback is that the Windows Store only lists UWP apps.  It would be nice if they would also distribute desktop apps.  As such, I have to host the app myself.  You can download it from the EP Calipers page.

The program has all the features of the other versions of the app, including the ability to tweak the image rotation, zoom in and out, and load PDF files such as AliveCor™ ECGs.  .NET does not include a native PDF handling library.  In order to load PDF files in EP Calipers for Windows it is necessary to install the GhostScript library.  The free GPL version of the library can be used as EP Calipers uses the open source GNU GPL v3.0 license.  It is necessary to choose whether you are running the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows to download the correct version of Ghostscript.  Right-click on This PC and select Properties to see which version of Windows your computer is running.

As always please let me know if you have any problems or suggestions for the program, or for any of the EP Studios apps.  I nearly always incorporate users’ suggestions into these apps, and the apps have benefited greatly from this feedback.  Thanks to everyone who has shared their ideas and opinions with me!

Spaces in Paths are Evil!

This comes as no surprise to anyone who has wrestled with this problem. While trying to make sure that the EP Simulator program builds and runs on Windows, I ran into trouble using absolute paths in my qmake *.pro files. Qmake is a tool from Qt Software that generates a Makefile that builds the program. Everything worked fine in Linux, where the path to the program directory is /home/mannd/dev/git/epsimulator. In Windows (XP) I had set up the following path in my “home” directory: L:\Documents and Settings\mannd\dev\git\epsimulator. This path though breaks the Makefile, since the path gets split into a “L:Documents”, an “and” and a “Settings\…” path, which totally screws everything up. Of course I tried putting quotes around the path, but this does not correct the problem; somewhere inside qmake the quotes get stripped and the path goes the Makefile which mangles it like before. I tried various sed-like scripts to escape the spaces, substitute forward for backslashes, but to no avail. The problem seems to be infinitely compounded by the fact that Windows uses backslashes instead of forward slashes as a path delimiter, and so the escape characters are reversed from unix usage, and the whole thing is a big mess. Yes I know you can use forward slashes in Windows instead of backslashes, but Windows also uses forward slashes to set off command options (e.g. copy /x) so what’s a poor unix-based make and gcc to do? Get messed up, that’s what. I also know spaces are allowed in Linux paths, but there are no spaces in critical file paths like “\Program Files” and “\Documents and Settings” in Windows. And yes finally I am aware that Microsoft has changed these file names in Vista to eliminate spaces. Thank you! In the meantime, I gave up on using absolute paths in my qmake files (using relative paths like “../../lib” instead) and so continue to move on.