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Automating Release Notifications

UI Example

With all this in mind, I created a graphical Java application to overcome the limitations I encountered when doing command-line update checking. This allows for checking/parsing multiple websites concurrently, easy sorting and filtering of results, and the like. It lets me add, edit, and remove websites and their associated matching rules easily. For example, I can validate regular expression syntax when the regular expression is added instead of troubleshooting garbled results caused by an invalid regular expression at runtime. I also get a side-by-side view of the previous match with the current match. The tool, App2Date (www.app2date.com), is free for personal use and by nonprofit organizations. App2Date uses the same techniques as the aforementioned command-line approach: It retrieves web pages and applies a series of regular expressions to determine the relevant data (version number, release date, and the like). Figure 2 is the tool, while Figure 3 shows the rules used to determine the current version of the Process Explorer.

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Figure 2: App2Date tool.

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Figure 3: Rules used to determine current version of the Process Explorer.

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