Working with Classic Units of Measurements (AutoHotkey Tricks)

Figuring Odd or Even, Working with Fractions, and Calculating Quarts, Pints, and Cups

Last time in “Fake Math Tricks Using the Floor() and Mod() Functions (AutoHotkey Tips),” I introduced math techniques based upon the Floor() and Mod() functions. Although making basic calculations more complicated, many age-old units of measurement (e.g. yards, feet, and inches with fractions or gallons, quarts, pints, and cups with fractions) persist in common use among everyday endeavors. By obtaining the results from old-fashion division arithmetic showing quotients and remainders, we can write AutoHotkey routines for calculations in these varied types of units.

In order to provide more insight into how to use the Floor() function (quotient without remainder) and Mod() function (remainder or modulo), I offer a few examples of how to build calculators for these types of classic measurements.

Odd or Even?

Depending upon your line of work, you may or may not need to determine the parity (odd or even) of an integer. As humans, we instantly recognize odd or even with a glance at the last digit (1, 3, 5, 7, 9 odd or 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 even). Computers must make a calculation—the easiest in AutoHotkey divides the number by 2 and looks at the remainder using the Mod() function:

test := 35
MsgBox % Mod(test, 2)=1 ? test " is odd!" : test " is even!"
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Using Parts to Build a New AutoHotkey Script (HowLongInstant.ahk)

While Many Users Find the Original GUI Based HowLong Script Valuable, Combining Snippets of Code Creates a New Instant HowLong Script

Last time in “Extracting Multiple Dates from Text Using AutoHotkey RegEx,” I wrote a Regular Expressions (RegEx) that copied the first and last date (in a variety of formats) found in a selection from a document or Web page. (I recently updated that RegEx to make it more robust.) That represented the first step in building an instant HowLongYearsMonthsDay.ahk script. The goal, as defined by the reader, included highlighting a section of text which bounds two dates, pressing a Hotkey combination, then immediately calculating and displaying the timespan—no delaying the process with an input GUI or clicking a calculate button. As with many new scripts, I took pieces of it from other scripts and integrated them to produce a new one.

The chunks I used to produce the new script included:

  1. The Standard Clipboard Routine for capturing the selected text.
  2. The RegEx for identifying and capturing the target dates. (Discussed in my last blog.)
  3. The DateConvert() function found in the DateStampConvert.ahk script for formatting the parsed dates as the standard TimeDate stamp (YYYYMMDD).
  4. The HowLong() function found in the HowLongYearsMonthsDays.ahk script for calculating the timespan between the two TimeDate stamp parameters.
  5. A MsgBox for instantly displaying the results.
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AutoHotkey Speed Tips

A Collection of Techniques for Speeding Up Your AutoHotkey Scripts

I recently received the follow message from an AutoHotkey user perusing my blogs:

Jack, you can’t post false statements like this:

“However, the ternary does not provide better performance than the traditional If-Then-Else statement format.”

The ternary operator is inarguably faster than if/else and I encourage you to try this yourself.

I recently switched the core logic of my JSON parser from If/Else to ternary and saw an incredible speed increase. To the point where I only use If/If Else/Else statements when absolutely necessary (Ex: If I must have a loop in the middle of a check).

You can code entire blocks using nothing but ternary as long as you use proper parentheses, commas, and function calls.

There is a very well done AHK forum post that covers script optimizations and they report that ternary performs FORTY PERCENT FASTER than if/else statements.

Not sure if hyperlinks are allowed in these comments, so instead I’ll advise googling “AHK How to optimize the speed of a script as much as possible.” The first result should be the article in question. Pages 1 and 4 have tons of script speed gold in them.

I hope you’ll consider correcting/updating this article.

Groggy Otter

Comment on “AutoHotkey Toggles and the Ternary Operator”

I wrote that blog five years ago and I don’t know that I was talking about performance speed. I think I was referring to how the two expressions operate. In any case, I used a poor choice of words and have drawn a line through the comment.

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