Was a program for producing PAD (Portable Application Description)
XML (extensible Markup Language) program descriptor files. These are used to describe
shareware. This is the program I use for producing all the
PADs (Portable Application Descriptions)
posted on this website. The latest version is 184.108.40.206
Last revised/verified: 2011-12-03
PADGen does not handle the PAD 4.0 spec. You have to use AppVisor to upgrade your version 3.11
files to version 4. You are supposed to use an inept online pad editor as
ASP (Association of Shareware Professionals) instead. It is impossible to use, so I refuse to
upgrade to version 4.
PADGen is a simple fill in the blanks application, allowing you to describe your
program is as many languages as you want. It handles all the Vista variants. If you
have a Microsoft Authenticode certificate, you can sign your
files. It import/exports PAD files and exports HTML (Hypertext Markup Language).
You only have to fill in your company info once. To handle a new product you would
load up a similar product’s PAD,
modify it and save it under a new name. There is nothing similar to Java inheritance
to group similar products by theme and variation. There is no particular place to
record the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) required. You do much of the work by selecting from
In W2K, PADGen stores its internal information in
C:\Documents and Settings\user\My Documents\PADGen\canadian_mind_products\
C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\PADGen\PADGen.ini
is a traditional *.ini file you can edit if you are feeling
adventurous. It contains the list of *.pml files, the names
they have on the menu and the names of the most recently saves *.htm and *.xml exports. I could find nothing
in the registry or in PADGen.ini to control where it puts
its files. It does record where it last put each PAD
file in PADGen.ini.
On Vista, W2008, W7-32, W7-64, W8-32 and W8-64, PADGen
stores its information in C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\PADGen\canadian_mind_products
Where canadian_mind_products is my company. Sometimes it
puts them in C:\Users\
user\Documents\PADGen\canadian_mind_products. If files disappear,
it can be because PADGen is looking in the wrong place. You can use the File menu to
navigate to where they are. C:\Users\
user\AppData\Roaming\PADGen\PADGen.ini contains the overall
PADGen stores the detail information in separate xml *.cml (for company) and *.pml (for programs).
The *.xml PAD
files exports have both company and program fields. You can cheat and edit these
*.cml and *.pml files directly to
make bulk changes.
PADGen stores the PAD spec (which includes the Regexes to describe what is
allowable in each field in Program
- If you are restoring PADGen’s files and PADGen is ignoring them, import
file to prime the pump. Also edit PADGen.ini to make sure
it is pointing the correct directories.
- Before you export your PAD, you must hit Verify and
you get a list of errors in your entire PAD.
You don’t get any feedback on errors as you type.
- When you export a PAD,
it will call it pad.xml or even more confusingly the
name of the last PAD you saved, not someprogram.xml. It is up to you to type the correct program name.
Imagine a word processor that by default saved your work overwriting the of the
previous document your were editing! What were they thinking!
Perhaps they just wanted to allow you flexibility in naming the
files. To do that properly there should be a local PAD
file name field in the program section and a local pad directory name in the
company section. These fields would not be exported.
- It makes you manually remove all trailing line feeds on your
text and it insists you manually remove embedded newlines in your text.
- The HTML summaries it generates are in x-UTF-16LE-BOM (Unicode 16 little endian marked). Further, they
are just fragments designed to be inserted in a page. The
summaries don’t include the <html> and
<body> tags. Read up on encoding and BOMs (Byte Order Marks)
to learn what you can do with them.
- Free, sponsored by ASP.
PADGen generates *.html
files that are crawling with syntax errors. The *.xml files
are reasonably OK. To fix the problems you must do three things:
- Replace Program Files\PADGen\PADGen.tml with the one
- Convert the 16-bit unicode to
ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) with:
native2ascii.exe -encoding x-UTF-16LE-BOM xxx.htm xxx.html
- Either verify the results with HTML
Validator and manually fix the errors or use the program FixPADGen to do it for you.
The key is to replace the template Program Files\PADGen\PADGen.tml
FixPADGen Tidy Program
I wrote this little program to fine tune the resulting
I wrote some other programs to get around the limitations of PADGen. This was very
easy to do since PADGen stores its company and application data in ordinary
- Bulk generation of all the XML
and HTML files.
Without this, any change to the company information or bulk updates requires hours
of tedious and error-prone manual regeneration. Bulk regeneration also avoids the
bug in PADGen where it often saves PADs
to wrong filenames, clobbering unrelated PADs.
- Automatic insertion of PAD extensions such as PADmap, PADRING and
- Bulk verification of all the PAD
files for consistency with non-PAD data.
- Automatic calculation of program size fields.