Daniel's XL Toolbox is an open-source add-in for Excel(R) that assists with scientific and technical data analysis and visualization.
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README.md

XL Toolbox NG (Next Generation) Downloads of the NG series Beerpay

Data analysis and visualization for Excel®, for free.

For more information about this project, see https://www.xltoolbox.net.

The XL Toolbox NG source code is written in (mostly) C# with Visual Studio Professional 2013 and targeted for the .NET framework 4.0.

Code documentation

For my own sake, I try to document the code well. In addition to the comments in the source code, you can find Doxygen-generated pages at https://bovender.github.io/XLToolbox (or check out the gh-pages branch).

Building the project

Some additional DLLs (FreeImage, LCMS) as well as the VisualStudio solution user options file (NG.v12.suo) are not included in the Git repository and must be manually taken care of after cloning the repository:

  • FreeImage.DLL: Load the FreeImage solution contained in the XL Toolbox respository, build the FreeImage project (not the 'Plus' project) for both x86 and amd64 configurations, then copy the resulting DLLs to XLToolbox\lib\Win32 and XLToolbox\lib\x64 as appropriate.
  • LCMS.DLL: Clone the repository from https://github.com/mm2/Little-CMS, load a project file from the Projects subfolder, build the library for both 32-bit and 64-bit, and copy the DLLs into the same folders as described above.
  • Change the startup project of the XLToolbox solution to XLToolboxForExcel by right-clicking on this project.

When building the DLLs, make sure to use the Release configuration to avoid additional dependencies that may not be met on all target systems when the Debug configuration is used (namely, MSCVR120D.DLL).

Notes regarding Debug configuration

The Visual Studio project files have been hand-edited to use different sources of the Bovender assembly: In the Debug configuration, the assembly is referenced locally. In the Release configuration, the assembly is referenced as a NuGet package. This has the advantage (for me) that I can make changes to Bovender without having to release a new NuGet package every time I want to test it in the NG solution.

This is my directory structure:

x:\
  Code
    bovender\
      Bovender\
      BovenderUnitTests\
    xltoolbox\
      NG\
        XLToolbox\
        XLToolboxForExcel\
        UnitTest\

The bovender assembly is thus referenced from the XLToolbox project file (which resides in x:\Code\xltoolbox\NG\XLToolbox) as ..\..\..\bovender\Bovender\bovender.csproj.

If you want to build with Debug configuration, but do not have the Bovender assembly in the same directory structure as I have, you can (and should) use the Debug (Bovender via NuGet) configuration.

Code-signing the binaries

The sources do of course not include the confidential strong name key (.snk) file that is needed to sign the binaries. If you want to build the solution yourself, you have different options:

  • Clone the Git repository and subsequently remove the code signing option from all of the project properties to build unsigned binaries. It is best to use a separate branch to make the changes to the projects properties. If you later update the repository from remote, you can git-rebase this branch on top of HEAD.

  • On Windows, obtain the sources and supply a strong name key file in every subdirectory of the extracted source tree. The Visual Studio project properties expect the file name to be "xltb.snk". The original strong name key file is not included in the distributed sources for obvious reasons.

  • Clone the Git repository on a *nix file system. The repository contains symbolic links named "xltb.snk" in the subdirectories that point to a strong name key file in an unrelated directory "../private/" that lies outside of the repository. Therefore you would only need to create such directory and put the strong name key file in there. For instance:

      # make new directory that holds everything and enter it
      mkdir XLToolbox  
      chdir XLToolbox
    
      # clone the repository into `source`
      git clone git://git.code.sf.net/p/xltoolbox/ng-code source
    
      # make directory for strong name key file
      mkdir private 
    
      # Then, start Windows and create a new strong name key file
      # named `xltb.snk` in the `private` directory.
    

Creating a strong name key file

Visual Studio comes with the sn.exe tool that you can use to create a .snk file. It is somewhat hidden; you may for example find it in:

	C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v8.1A\bin	

In the command window, cd to this directory and execute:

	sn.exe -k xltb.snk
	move xltb.snk <drive:\path\to\sources_or_private>

Whether you have to move the .snk file to the private directory or to the source directory depends on what method you have chosen above. On Windows-only systems where you will likely not be using symlinks, you need to copy the .snk file to each and every subdirectory in the source tree.

Note

It should go without saying that you cannot of course mix binaries from the original distribution with binaries that you build yourself, as they do not share the same strong name key.

License

Daniel's XL Toolbox NG
Copyright (C) 2014-2016  Daniel Kraus <bovender@bovender.de>, <daniel@xltoolbox.net>

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

    http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.