DC++ 0.76x improvements in detail – Part Two: Here and there
April 1, 2010 Leave a comment
Above the major GUI changes mentioned in the first part of my series of posts, there are many more things added to improve the user experience in DC++. We will run through most of the useful new features, a few of them need only a short mention while some others worth a brief explanation.
Let’s start with the toolbar which is, above the visual changes, also more configurable from now. In other words so you can set what icons would you like to see there and in what order. To open the Toolbar Customization dialog you can double click to the empty area of the toolbar or right click and select Customize from the context menu. The usage of the dialog is pretty straightforward and has its own help page in case of any questions. In the context menu you can also set the size of the toolbar icons for your best needs.
Its possible again to hide the toolbar, the transfer window and the main window’s status bar as in the older versions with the same menu items (in the Window menu) and hotkeys just like before.
File hashing can be paused at last, just like in other DC clients. Its a pretty useful feature when you want to stop hashing for a while to temporarily free up all resources for another task. You can pause and resume hashing by a new button in the Indexing progress dialog.
A new possibility added to keep already downloaded files in the queue for informational purposes. The function is not complete yet and its meant to be an alternative to the Finished downloads window later. You can try it if you enable it in Settings/Queue/Keep finished items in the queue. You can read more of its current behaviour in the context sensitive help (as usual).
While we are at the context sensitive help its worth to mention that the Settings window introduces a new innovative solution as the help text for the currently selected control is always shown in the bottom of the window giving an always visible hint for the uncertain user. There are other news about the help, it has been improved a lot again and has been almost fully translated to 3 languages (French, Hungarian and Polish) and its in partially translated state for many other languages as well. We introduced the web version of the DC++ help some time before and with the release of 0.760 the webhelp contents were also updated. Its available for anyone at http://dcplusplus.sourceforge.net/webhelp and can be a good info base for any DC network members, not just for users of DC++.
We already covered the new bandwith limiting function, another visual addition for the limiter is that the current up and download limiting value is always shown in the rightmost part of the statusbar.
If you check the Connection settings panel, you’ll find that the connection options are completly rephrased. We hope that they will give a better clue to the users about the actual meaning of the options. This is important for hub operators or anybody who gives support for DC++ users (if you do not run DC++ you can check the webhelp link above to see what’s changed). The context help for connection options was also rewitten to be more understandable.
Many new hotkeys added to easily navigate between windows and reach functions quickly. This is really good news for visually impaired users as from now their experience should be much better using DC++. You can check the Help file for the list of all available shortcuts.
You’ll see a very unique new behaviour if you type a pm or mainchat message longer than the available space in the input box. Check it out you’ll like it :) You can configure it in the Settings/Appearence panel.
There are improvements in the public hublist window as well. From now you will get better messages about how fresh is the shown hublist, was it a direct download or is it an older cached version. Also the usage of the hublist Filter box made better introducing filter-as-type behaviour (this also applies to the filter below the userlist in the hub window).
And at last some good news for those who usually run DC++ minimized to tray but don’t like sound alerts: the DC++ tray icon will chang to letter shape when you get a PM…
That’s it for today, we hope you’ll find the new DC++ GUI a lot better, enjoyable and usable. Soon, in the next and concluding part of this series of posts I’ll write about the changes in the DC library.