One of my habits on this blog has been, to post source-code, some of which is only pseudo-code, some of which would only be useful as part of a larger program, but some of which could be useful all by itself.
In the latter case, an assumption I’ve made in the past was, that the reader knows how to use a compiler, and that therefore, such a reader can just do, whatever he’d normally do, using a compiler.
However, I also have readers who do not have compilers, or, who might not know how to use one, until they’ve actually taken Computing courses. In the case of source-code which could actually be useful all by itself, this would not quite be fair to that last category of readers. What they might prefer, is just to obtain an .EXE File, or, a Linux Executable, that does, what the source code is supposed to show, how to do.
For the benefit of such readers, I have now created a folder within my site, where they can download the relevant binaries. This is the URL of that folder:
(Update 6/04/2020, 9h20: )
The .EXE Files within these compressed files have all been signed with a ‘Standard’ code-signing certificate, as is required, to run under Windows 10 etc.. However, if a user double-clicks on one of my .EXE Files for the first time, what will likely happen is that the scary Windows Defender message will pop up, and forbid him or her from running the application. Believe it or not, the advice which I’ve heard given is, ‘Take it easy, wait a day or two, and try again.’
The reason for which this advice is plausible, is the fact that I did not purchase ‘Extended Validation’, when I purchased the code-signing certificate. My failure to do so – and to spend the amount of money which ‘Extended Validation’ costs – means, that a trust-level is maintained by Microsoft Servers, which is affected positively by how many people try to run my programs.
Therefore, it’s actually in my interest, if many of my readers do try to run these programs, as doing so would build up the trust level in my certificate.
However, for the sake of the safety of my readers, I still cannot recommend, that they generally bypass the Windows Defender message.
If I had purchased a certificate with ‘Extended Validation’, the advantage to me would have been, that the program would be trusted immediately by my readers’ Windows computers, and that the scary Windows Defender message would not appear at all.
(Update 5/10/2021, 3h25: )
One impediment which I faced over the months has been, that my ability to compile code (into Windows binaries) was limited to programs which could only been run in text-mode, from the Command Prompt. Those were, specifically:
But, I think I’ve worked out a scheme by now, which allows me to write a program with a GUI – a Graphical User Interface – once, to compile it multiple times for Linux-64-bit, Windows-32-bit, and Windows-64-bit platforms, and then, to put the mentioned code signing certificate on all the Windows executables.
What this also results in is, ‘icons which the user may simply double-click, to obtain a window which they can operate’.
To test this ability, the following 4 archives in my binaries folder, which previously only really contained source code, now also contain the Windows executables:
However, there is a hurdle to come. The certificate which I’ve been using to sign those .EXE Files will expire as of May 25 this year, which is really only 2 weeks away, as I’m writing this. When that happens, those executables will generate the scary Windows defender message, and can no longer be used (even if they were downloaded before May 25).
I’m in the process of attempting to procure a new certificate, which will be valid for another year, assuming that my Certificate Authority grants it to me. At that time, I will also update my folder, with newly signed .EXE Files.
(Update 5/13/2021, 17h05: )
My certificate authority has granted me a new certificate, with which I have also re-signed all the (Windows) .EXE-Files. Therefore, their certificates should now be good until May 13, 2022.
Yet, if people already did download any of the affected binaries, the certificates in those binaries will still expire, on May 25, 2021 (this year as I’m writing). Therefore, to keep using those, a re-download by my readers will be required.