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51 Questions to Consider BEFORE you start on your AutoHotkey Script

Important Questions to Consider BEFORE writing your AutoHotkey Script

Please note you don’t have to consider every question below.

Use your judment to decided which ones are important for your current project

  1. Resources and Constraints: Assess the resources available (like time, budget, and tools) and any constraints (like system limitations or dependencies).
  2. Problem Definition: Clearly define the problem you aim to solve with the automation to ensure your solution is focused and effective.
  3. Data Source Evaluation: Evaluate if you’re using the best possible data source or if there’s a better alternative to enhance accuracy and reliability.
  4. Script Users: Identify who will be running the script to tailor its complexity and user interface accordingly.
  5. Deployment Scale:
    • File Locations: Ensure consistency in file paths across different machines.
    • Operating System Compatibility: Check if the script needs to run across different operating systems.
    • Software Requirements: Verify that all required software is installed on target computers.
  6. User Base:
    • Admin Rights: Determine if users need administrative privileges to run the script.
    • Skill Level: Consider the users’ technical skill level to make the script user-friendly.
  7. Performance: Decide how critical the script’s performance is, which could affect design choices (e.g., speed vs. readability).
  8. Reliability: Ensure the script is reliable under various conditions, which might include adding error handling and redundancy.
  9. Execution:
    • Starting the Script: Plan how and when the script will be triggered.
    • Customizable Hotkeys: If using hotkeys, consider allowing users to customize them to avoid conflicts with other applications.
    • Hotkey Awareness: Ensure users can easily learn and remember how to use hotkeys.
  10. Training Resources: Decide if creating a training video or other resources is necessary for user onboarding.
  11. Error Handling: Implement robust error and exception handling mechanisms to ensure the script can recover gracefully from unexpected states.
  12. Pseudocode Planning: Write high-level pseudocode to outline the script’s logic and structure, facilitating a smoother coding phase.
  13. Decision Points: Identify where the script requires decisions to be made, potentially requiring user input or predefined logic.
  14. GUI Consideration: Evaluate if a graphical user interface would enhance usability, particularly for less technical users.
  15. Script Lifetime: Determine whether the script needs to run continuously or can be executed on demand.
  16. Project Scope and Urgency:
    • Initial Version: For larger projects, consider releasing a simplified version to meet immediate needs.
  1. Error Reporting: Plan a mechanism for users to report issues, which can help with troubleshooting and future improvements.
  2. Data Sensitivity: Address the handling of sensitive information, possibly requiring encryption or secured access.
  3. Legal Compliance: Ensure the script complies with relevant licensing and legal restrictions.
  4. Termination Procedure: Design a clear and safe way for users to exit the program.
  5. Source Code Protection: If keeping the source code private is essential, plan for obfuscation or compilation to protect it.
  6. Incremental Development: Break the project into manageable parts for quick wins and gradual enhancements.
  7. Process Review and Borrowing:
  • Script Reuse: Look for opportunities to reuse code from similar projects.
  • Automation Methods: Choose the most suitable automation techniques (e.g., COM, ACC, API calls) based on the application and accuracy requirements.
  1. Community Resources: Search online forums, videos, and documentation for coding examples and best practices.
  2. Peer Support: Reach out to knowledgeable individuals or communities for advice on complex issues.
  3. Version Control System Integration: Plan for using version control to manage and track changes to the script, facilitating collaboration and version tracking.
  4. Error Logging and Monitoring: Implement logging for errors and key events to aid in debugging and monitoring the script’s health.
  5. Scalability: Consider if the script needs to scale in response to an increase in workload or users, and plan for potential optimizations.
  6. Internationalization and Localization: Prepare for multi-region use by considering language translation, cultural differences, and local formats.
  7. Accessibility Features: Ensure the script and its interface are accessible to users with disabilities, adhering to accessibility standards.
  8. User Feedback Mechanism: Incorporate a way to gather user feedback for continuous improvement of the script.
  9. Security Measures: Beyond data handling, ensure the script does not introduce security vulnerabilities and protects against unauthorized access.
  10. Update and Deployment Strategy: Develop a strategy for deploying updates to users, possibly including an auto-update feature.
  11. Tool and API Integration: Plan for any necessary integrations with external tools or APIs, including handling authentication and rate limits.
  12. Documentation for Users and Developers: Create comprehensive documentation to assist with usage, troubleshooting, and further development.
  13. Environmental Variability: Account for differences in user environments, such as screen resolution or DPI settings, that might affect the script’s functionality.
  14. Testing Strategy: Outline a plan for testing the script through various stages of development to ensure quality and reliability.

By addressing these considerations, you’ll be better prepared to develop a robust, user-friendly, and maintainable AutoHotkey script.