DXLab Launcher: Using Workspaces to Save and Load Windows Registry Settings

DXLab Launcher Online Help Contents

 

In conformance with Windows programming standards, DXLab applications store their settings in the Windows Registry - with one exception: DXKeeper stores some settings in the current Log file. Windows Registry settings persist between operating sessions, and also survive the installation of both full releases and development releases.

There are several reasons to save a DXLab's Windows Registry settings to a file, and to later load the Windows Registry with settings from that file:

  1. for archival storage, to be restored after a hardware or operating system failure

  2. to copy settings from one PC to another

  3. to establish multiple "operating configurations" and rapidly switch between them

Saving and Loading DXLab application settings with Workspaces

The Launcher enables you to save the Windows Registry settings of all specified DXLab applications into a Workspace - a folder in a specified location. Each application's settings are stored within the workspace folder in an appropriately named file. Clicking the Configuration window's Workspaces button or depressing the CTRL key while clicking the Main window's Config button displays the Launcher's Workspaces window; if WS: WorkspaceName is displayed on the Main window, clicking it will also display the Workspace window.

The Workspaces (in Current Workspace Folder) panel displays a list of the Workspaces that are present in the folder whose pathname is specified in the Current Workspace Folder box; by default, this is set to the Launcher's Workspaces folder. You can choose a different folder by clicking the Select Folder button to the right of the Workspaces window's Current Workspace Folder box. Letting the mouse cursor hover over a Workspace in the Workspaces (in Current Workspace Folder) panel will display a popup window showing the name of each DXLab application for which settings are stored in that Workspace. 

To select a Workspace, click its entry in the Workspaces (in Current Workspace Folder) panel.

The Launcher's Workspaces window provides four primary functions: Create Empty Workspace, Save Settings to Workspace, Load Settings from Workspace, and Delete Workspace; the latter three functions are disabled if no Workspace is selected in the Workspaces (in Current Workspace Folder) panel:

 

Create Empty Workspace prompts you to specify a Workspace name, and then creates the Workspace
  • since Workspaces are folders, Workspace names must conform to the rules for folder names

  • after creation, the Workspace contains no Windows Registry settings

Save Settings to Workspace saves the Windows Registry settings of all specified DXLab applications into files in the selected Workspace, over-writing any existing files of the same name in that Workspace
  • terminate all running DXLab applications except the Launcher before invoking this function

  • for each DXLab application with a valid Program Path in the Configuration window's DXLab Applications panel, Windows Registry settings are saved to a file in the Workspace

Load Settings from Workspace loads the Windows Registry with settings from each file contained in the selected Workspace
  • terminate all running DXLab applications except the Launcher before invoking this function

  • the Launcher will immediately load its settings from the selected Workspace

The name of the Workspace from which Windows Registry settings were most recently loaded is shown between square brackets in the Configuration window's title bar; if no application or database updates are available, the name of the Workspace from which Windows Registry settings were most recently loaded is also displayed on the Launcher's Main window as WS: WorkspaceName .

Delete Workspace deletes the selected Workspace

 

Backing Up Windows Registry Settings for All DXLab Applications to a Workspace

To facilitate recovery should your PC subsequently suffer hardware or software problems,

  1. specify pathnames for all of your DXLab applications on the Configuration window's DXLab Applications panel

  2. terminate all running DXLab applications except the Launcher

  3. in the Launcher's Workspaces window, click the Create Empty Workspace button and specify the name of the Workspace to be created

  4. in the Workspaces window's Workspaces panel, click the name of the newly-created Workspace to select it

  5. in the Workspaces window, click the All DXLab Applications panel's Save Settings to Workspace button

  6. configure your Backup and Recovery application to include the Launcher's Workspaces folder (and its sub-folders)

Recovering Windows Registry Settings for All DXLab applications from a Workspace

After repairing the root cause of a hardware or software failure that caused the loss of settings stored in the Windows Registry,

  1. direct your Backup and Recovery application to restore the Launcher's Workspaces folder (and its sub-folders) and any other folders containing DXLab data (e.g. your log file)

  2. install the Launcher and the other DXLab applications you use

  3. start the Launcher; do not start any other DXLab applications

  4. in the Workspaces window's Workspaces panel, select the Workspace whose settings are to be loaded into the Windows Registry by clicking its name

  5. in the Workspaces window, click the All DXLab Applications panel's Load Settings from Workspace button

Recovering Windows Registry Settings for One DXLab application from a Workspace

After inadvertently modifying the settings of one DXLab application, you can restore that application's settings to the Windows Registry from a Workspace:

  1. terminate the DXLab application whose settings you wish to restore

  2. in the Workspaces window's Workspaces panel, select the Workspace whose settings are to be restored by clicking its name

  3. in the Workspaces window, select the name of the DXLab application whose settings you wish to restore in the Selected DXLab Application panel's Application Settings to Load selector

  4. in the Workspaces window, click the Selected DXLab Application panel's Load Settings from Workspace button

Specifying a Workspace from which Windows Registry Settings are to be Loaded When the Launcher is Started via a Desktop Icon or Batch File

If you start the Launcher via a batch file or a desktop icon, appending the name of a Workspace to the command line will cause the Launcher to load Windows Registry settings from that Workspace on startup. If the name of the workspace includes spaces, enclose the Workspace name with double-quote characters, e.g. "contest settings".

Using Workspaces to Switch Between Multiple Operating Configurations

To establish multiple operating configurations,

  1. setup your DXLab applications for the first configuration

  2. terminate all DXLab applications except the Launcher; the Launcher's Terminate button is a convenient way to do this

  3. in the Launcher's Workspaces window, click the Create Empty Workspace button and specify the name of the Workspace to be created; choose a name associated with the configuration whose settings it will save

  4. in the Workspaces window's Workspaces panel, click the name of the newly-created Workspace to select it

  5. in the Workspaces window, click the All DXLab Applications panel's Save Settings to Workspace button

  6. if more configurations remain, setup your DXLab applications for the next configuration, and proceed to step 2

To switch from one operating configuration to another

  1. terminate all running DXLab applications except the Launcher; the Launcher's Terminate button is a convenient way to do this

  2. in the Workspaces window's Workspaces panel, select the Workspace for those configuration whose settings are to be loaded into the Windows Registry by clicking its name

  3. in the Workspaces window, click the All DXLab Applications panel's Load Settings from Workspace button

Saving, Clearing, and Restoring Windows Registry settings for Individual DXLab applications

The Registry panel on the DXLab Apps tab of the Launcher's Configuration window provides buttons that enable you to save a DXLab application's registry settings to a file of your choice, or load an application's registry settings from a file of your choice; the Windows standard .reg extension is used in both cases. Clicking an application's Sv button saves that application's registry settings to a file; clicking an application's Ld button loads that application's settings from a file. When invoking an application's registry save or registry load functions, the application should not be running. The Launcher will immediately update the applications settings from the registry after completing the Ld operation.

Important note: If you save a DXLab application's registry settings to a file and later wish to visually examine the contents of that file, do not invoke the Windows Explorer and double-click on the file. Rather than display the file's contents in Notepad, as happens when you double-click on a .txt file, double-clicking on a .reg file updates the Windows registry with the contents of the file -- just as if you'd clicked the Launcher's Ld button. To view the contents of a .reg file, start Notepad (or the editor of your choice) manually, and then File:Open the .reg file.

The Registry panel also enables you to delete all of a DXLab application's Windows Registry settings; to do so,  depress the CTRL key while clicking the associated Ld button. Before invoking this function, saving the application's registry settings to a file by clicking the Sv button is recommended.