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xpize 5 Final

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I've just been doing some extensive testing of xpize 5 on x64 systems with IE8 and I'm pleased to announce it's pretty much ready to go-for-gold.

Users of XPize 3.x will be pleased to hear that the "Energy Blue" style that was XPize's unique wizard bitmap style is now included in xpize 5, as is the "Luna Royale" (confusing name, I know) visual style, officially rendering XPize 1.x, 2.x, 3.x, and 4.x obsolete.

The only work that remains is in the installer features. Here's the things that need to be implemented before I release xpize 5 final and then move on to working on Vize (which I want to get done in a day):

(If an item is scratched out then it means I've completed that task since I made this original posting)

  • xpize package work:
    • I need to re-integrate the WinRAR theme and come up with a nice theme for 7-Zip. I will not be integrating the eMule theme though, but no-one's complained about it so I assume it's okay
    • I need to make further adjustments to support IE8 which adds some new resources, right now IE8 looks a bit half-mashed.
    • TaskSwitchXP (it's included, but isn't installed)
    • I need to define more file operations for I386
    • I need to make a new Tablet PC edition msgina image, the yellow one is hideous (but no-one has the PSDs to the image)
    • I'll also make a series of msgina images for x64 (right now on x64 you get the x86 version of the bitmaps; whilst they look good they don't advertise your x64 awesomeness)
    • I'm looking into making IE7 and 8 use XP-style tabs, but as the bitmaps are resources and not dynamically rendered they'll only look good with their matching Visual Style. Since 70% of all xpize.net visitors use Firefox I don't believe this is a priority.

    [*]Installer work

    • I need to reorganise the whole Update checking system, it's a bit of a mess. It checks for updates to the package, but not the installer software, but packages aren't always forwards-compatible so I need to check the package schema in the installer.
    • After rebooting from the installer I'll display a window explaining what's been changed in the system and to expect the system to run slow for a few hours whilst it recreates the icon cache. A lot of people have emailed me saying that xpize made their system slower so they uninstalled it straight away.
    • x64 needs some more work done. It patches both x86 and x64 versions of all files found under System32 and SysWow64 but doesn't do the same for Program Files and Program Files (x86), there's also some files that aren't correctly dealt with. This is why WMP's on x64 isn't patched.
    • xpize 5 patches both mstsc 5 and 6 since 5 comes with XPx64SP2, however the patch doesn't seem to be applied, I'm investigating.
    • The installer doesn't clean up after itself, it leaves extracted files strewn around your HDD. The final release will delete these files, leaving only the log.
    • It also doesn't leave an Uninstallation entry in the Programs control panel. This will also be remedied.
    • Apparently Visual Styles can be I386-integrated, so I'll work on that too
    • File type icons
    • I'm also looking at getting a code-signing certificate so you'll get an official "Developed by Anolis" message pop up and everything when Windows asks you. This is especially important for dealing with UAC on Vista.
    • Screensavers are correctly installed and activated, but the Display control panel doesn't show them. I don't know why.
    • And I need to add an option to not install 128x128 icons (although I haven't heard of any problems of anyone having with 128x128 icons with xpize 5)

And I'd like to remind you of my call for translations/translators: http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=135810


Edited by W3bbo

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Sweet. Looking forward to i386 integration.

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That's good news. :)

I have a little idea for wizard bitmap style... Thinking about a "Generic" style suitable with all visual styles. I'll post it soon.

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I've made a list of all my remaining tasks for xpize 5 before it reaches final. The next release will be a "true" RC build in that if no-one complains it'll be the final release, it will contain no "beta" marks but will instead simply be called "xpize 5 - Release 4" (but heavily advertised as final).

I'll be speaking with the people behind RyanVM to see if I need to make any changes to my I386 patching system (which will also support the AMD64 directory on x64 CD images).

Here's a quick list of features that will be in the final that I haven't mentioned before:

  • x64 CD image slipstreaming
  • Full Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8 support
  • Authenticode-signed installer
  • The "Downloadable Tools" will include a simple package creation tool for nontechnical users to play around with
  • CD slipstreaming will include visual styles and uxtheme patches and other files including WinNT.sif generation
  • There will be a webpage displayed to the user after rebooting after installation
  • First-class uninstallation (from the Add/Remove Programs control panel)

I'm going home for the summer holiday on Saturday, taking my work on xpize with me, but I'll lose my x64 abilities, so I'll try to get all the x64 stuff done before then.

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