January 11, 2011 Leave a comment
As a result of a half year long of constant development, a new version of DC++ has just released. This time the development was mainly focused to improve the user experience, provide better look and feel and to make DC++ easier to use for newbies and non-techicals. The changelog for version 0.780 counts no less than 72 changes, most of them are improvements but as usual the new version brings a few bug fixes and patched security vulnerabilities as well.
Let’s see a few areas with the most important changes in detail:
General GUI changes
- The tab bar’s look is changed yet again with fundamental changes this time. There are plenty of new configurable options in the Appearence/Tabs pane in the settings. Under Windows Vista & 7 the new tabs look similar to some web browsers tabs by default. For those who don’t have middle button in their mouse from now the active tabs add a red “X” icon for closing.
- The new version introduces plenty of new and revisited icons for the toolbar, the folder treeviews and the menus. The user iconset is completly revisited as well with nice looking icons for different type of users and icon modifiers representing different user states.
- DC++ supports taskbar thumbnails and “Aero Peek” live previews on Windows 7 from now
- To make the favorite hub groups function’s usage easier we added a menu to add selected hubs to a certain group in one go
- Some other parts of the GUI was slightly modified as well, mostly according to the call for a modernized DC++ GUI.
- The DC++ GUI become DPI-aware. It means that fonts and dialogs respect any DPI setting in the display properties of the opereating system or in the video driver.
Improvements in the file list window
The new release brings a few internal and GUI improvements regarding the filelist browser window. They are as follows
- Instead the long time existed one way forward search, its possible to search backwards in the filelist window as well. The speed of search between hits is improved due to an internal change which fixed the problem of longer and longer search times for subsequent hits in large filelists.
- Searches now always start from the current selection. That means you can move the selection anywhere in the directories pane allowing to skip some hits manually and continue the search from the selected location.
- The whole search function moved to a toggleable search bar. It shows only when you need it, when you press the Find button…
- Entered search keywords for filelist searches are globally kept, the same way as Search windows do for a long time
- The filelist window introduces a visual representation of a long standing but little known function called bookmarks (or better visited places). Previously it was available through obscure hot keys only, now we have a nice blue left-right arrow icon pair for moving the filelist selection backwards or forward through the previously selected (visited) folders in the filelist. Above these we have an up arrow icon for easily move the selection up one level in the directory folder tree. The visited places in the filelist are also shown in a long path dropdown above the files pane. You can quick access any formerly visited folder by selecting it from the dropdown.
Easier connectivity setup
Nowadays computer users expect that a software should be usable to its primary purpose with its default settings and should be up and working after a few absolutely required data (eg. username, passwords, etc…) is specified. This wasn’t the case with DC++ until now, as in most cases the successful usage of DC++ required a change in the default incoming connection settings. A change of a setting that most users have no or limited knowledge of what to do with. In fact this sole problem caused plenty of users to turn away from the DC network in the last years.
All recent SOHO NAT devices definitely have UPnP these days and most have NAT-traversal feature as well. This makes possible to create an automaic connection type detection algorythm that decides the best available type using some basic information.
DC++ 0.780 introduces such a detection function and its enabled by default. If you upgrade it will be enabled only if you used passive mode before. We hope this function will provide seamless run and better connectivity for the majority of the users running DC++.
Details, usage and possible cases that may keep the function from working are available in the built-in help. The structure of the help documentation regarding connection setup is also changed, there’s an individual FAQ for those who still want to use the manual way for setting up connectivity in DC++.
Improvements regarding the window manager
Since the release of window manager function in version 0.760 we received some complaints about problems of the windows’ restoration at startup of DC++. The problem narrowed down to the case when large number of hubs and (especially) filelist windows are opened when the user closes DC++. The restoration of these large number of windows could cause minutes long freezes at startup in slow computers.
The large number of connecting hubs problem was solved by introducing a Close all the opened hubs option in the Window menu. A new way of opening filelists in the background should solve the second issue as from now filelists are processed only when their tab is clicked by the user. This provides seamless start of the program even there are plenty of large filelists to be restored at start.
The new window manager also restores the last window selection so from now you can really continue using DC++ exactly from where you were in the last session.
Security and bug fixes
- The new version fixes security holes in OpenSSL and bzip2 libraries.
- For more protection of unknown vulnerabilities DC++ forces to use DEP from now regardless of the operating system settings (but only when your CPU supports it).
- DC++ now prevents from the world famous current directory Windows DLL injection vulnerability, too.
- A blacklist (or whitelist?) of rogue hub-lists is maintained and users warned if they load hublists from domains/sites knowingly went to suspicious owners’ hands.
- Fixed the instant share after download function yet again, now it works well if the download target is on a different drive than the temporary folder
- Readded the CRC check of downloaded data using .sfv files function which hasn’t worked for a long time (since version 0.700)
This new version of DC++ brings some fixes and improvements of a few ADC functions and extensions as well. These changes are marked with [ADC] in the complete changelog, which you can browse for every single changes of DC++ 0.780.
As usual, if no major problems found, DC++ 0.780 goes stable within a couple of weeks.