PowerTools Lite

jv16's development blog

Discussion of jv16 PowerTools 2010. Note: this product version is no longer supported, feel free to use this product if you want but please remember that if you encounter any problem with it you should update to the latest version.

jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:30 pm

Alrighty, this is my personal development blog relating to the upcoming jv16 PowerTools 2010. I will be updating to this thread my day to day work with the new version (and with PT 2009 in a case some updates are still needed to it).

So what is jv16 PowerTools 2010 all about?

The main design goal is to make the product robust and smart. In English this means improvements to make everything work smarter, and safer.

Here is the list of the main improvements to be included in PT 2010:

1. The listing components will be uniformed. PowerTools 2009 uses 4 different types of lists to output its results to the user. This means there must also be 4 different pieces of code for handling the lists (Saving to file, printing, searching, selecting etc), and this is basically stupid and causes extra work and unneeded complexity. In PowerTools 2010, there will only be one list component, a custom component currently used in PT 2009's Registry Cleaner (structured view). This improvement also means, that the top panel of Registry Cleaner with all its features will also be available in other tools.

2. The program will be split to two user interfaces. There will be the basic user interface and the advanced user interface, the latter meaning basically the user interface of PowerTools 2009 and the first one meaning a more simplified user interface with less features and options. For example, when you start the Registry Cleaner, the basic user interface will only have probably the tabs "Engine settings", "Advanced options", "Search words" and "Ignore words" while the advanced user interface will show all the tabs currently in PT 2009.

3. A new section will be added to the main window's user interface, this will work as the "command center" of the application, allowing users to perform the most common tasks.

4. The Registry Cleaner engine will be updated to the 6th generation. The main differences being that the new version will be faster (hopefully a lot!) and safer. The entire engine will be re-designed to ensure that all parts of the engine are backed up with a redundancy system. This means that even if the engine would have a bug, the design will make sure that any single bug anywhere in the engine will not cause the engine to produce false positives.

5. A new registry access component that we hope will make all the registry features of the program faster.

6. One new tool. I can't yet tell you what the tool is about, but it is something that has been requested from us by our users since day one. Before we didn't want to implement it because it is a major undertaking, but we started its development before PowerTools 2009 and now it will be ready for PowerTools 2010.
jv16
Developer
 
Posts: 5942
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 7:57 pm

Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:41 pm

My main task of today is to work with the new Registry Cleaner engine, it will be a major update and will require a lot of my time.

With PowerTools 2009 the engine consisted of two main components that did everything, and with the final analysis of the results being done within the GUI code. Not very elegant, but I didn't have time for a complete re-design earlier.

With PowerTools 2010 the engine consists of six main components, each one performing only one specific task but doing that very well. While this re-design will slow things down, I'm confident that the improved registry access component will balance everything out and hopefully make the new engine to work faster as the old one.
jv16
Developer
 
Posts: 5942
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 7:57 pm

Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:20 pm

I had some connection problems so I was offline for two days. But I was able to work without any Internet access, this is what I did:

On monday I worked with the re-design of the Registry Cleaner engine. I usually prefer Bottom-Up design philosophy and that's what I have been using with this project as well. I have about 80% of all the new components done already, next I will have to create the remaining few components and put everything together. That's the easy part. The difficult part is to fine tune everything and test everything works.

But I also prefer not to work on a same thing for too long. So, on Tuesday I switched over to work on the uniforming of the program's result lists. This means a lot of work but the result will be more simple, use less code and easier to maintain. And better for the user to use as well.
jv16
Developer
 
Posts: 5942
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 7:57 pm

Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:25 am

Today was a long day at the office, 11 hours to be exact.

And I did get things rolling quite well, here is a preview of what the uniforming of the results list means in practice:
screenshot_filetool.jpg
screenshot_filetool.jpg (49.9 KiB) Viewed 14564 times


I find it looks rather nice! I'll still need to add the Top Panel (similar to the current Registry Cleaner that allows you to see the information of the currently highlighted item). The Top Panel is also now a component of its own, in PT 2009 the Top Panels were all implemented separately which ment overlapping work.
jv16
Developer
 
Posts: 5942
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 7:57 pm

Re: jv16's development blog

Postby tullik » Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:37 am

While you are delving into other tool results list redesign, here are some prior suggestions for your consideration:

File tools


Backup Tool:


New suggestion for the new lists -- show/hide categories:

    Plusses:

      *** Registry Cleaner -- completely eliminates the need for the "Raw list." Users who prefer that type list would simply chose "Hide categories" as the default.

      *** All lists -- some analytical uses require viewing the results with different column sorts. Categories are not needed for all such uses. A "Hide categories" option in the menu would allow analysis across categories.
tullik
tullik
Super Guru
 
Posts: 3932
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 9:02 pm
Location: USA, Norge, UK, Canada, Eire

Re: jv16's development blog

Postby pjc » Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:08 pm

Are you going to include a Full Registry BackUp/Restore Tool?
pjc
New user
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:45 pm

Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:24 pm

pjc wrote:Are you going to include a Full Registry BackUp/Restore Tool?


No, because I do not think it's needed. Mainly because such feature ships with every Windows nowdays, namely the System Restore. Secondly, implementing just a full registry backup can be dangerous.

How on earth a backup feature could be dangerous one might ask. Well, think about the following scenario: An user takes a full registry backup, after a few days he makes some changes to the system such as installs new software to try it out. But something goes wrong and he decides to restore the full registry backup he made a few days earlier. But after that, the system has been changed (i.e. filesystem) but now the registry is back to original. Because a full registry backup does not also restore the previous state of the system, in a worst case scenario the user ends up with Windows that no longer start. Only because he used a full registry backup and restore instead of System Restore.

And thirdly, if you really really want to use full registry backup and restore, there already is a good freeware tool that can do it. Three reasons for me not to implement one.
jv16
Developer
 
Posts: 5942
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 7:57 pm

Re: jv16's development blog

Postby pjc » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:31 pm

"if you really really want to use full registry backup and restore,
there already is a good freeware tool that can do it."

What's the freeware tool?

ERUNT ???
http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/
pjc
New user
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:45 pm

Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:28 pm

pjc wrote:"if you really really want to use full registry backup and restore,
there already is a good freeware tool that can do it."

What's the freeware tool?

ERUNT ???
http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/


Yes, that's it.
jv16
Developer
 
Posts: 5942
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 7:57 pm

Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:12 pm

tullik wrote:While you are delving into other tool results list redesign, here are some prior suggestions for your consideration:


All of these are excellent ideas, I'll do my best to get as many of these included to PT 2010 as possible.
jv16
Developer
 
Posts: 5942
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 7:57 pm

Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:58 pm

Today I worked on updating the Registry Tool, the Registry Tool is a generic tool that lists the results of most registry tools of the program, such as the results of the Registry Finder and Registry Monitor.

Things are moving along nicely, I'm hoping to get the first versions of the program ready for in-house later in this month and start the beta testing in next month.
jv16
Developer
 
Posts: 5942
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 7:57 pm

Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:55 pm

After a half day of more work the Registry Tool is also now converted to the new uniformed result list. This is how it looks with the Registry Finder:

reg_finder.jpg
reg_finder.jpg (128.04 KiB) Viewed 14462 times


These screenshots still lack many features, such as the Top Panel. It's still way too buggy to be shown (graphical problems), a fixed version should be available for me in next week. I will have to think about the grouping aspect, perhaps I should let the user to decide whether the grouping should happen e.g. based on the root key, the full registry key or not at all.

I think I had it with the uniforming for now, as I said I don't like to work on the exact same thing for too long because that tends to slow down my momentum. So I will be moving to work with the new very exciting new component that I am hoping to give the PT 2010 a major performance boost over any previous versions. The component is a new registry access component that should be able to give a really nice performance gain to all the registry accessing features of PowerTools.

I'm hoping to give you some early reports of the performance gain later today.
jv16
Developer
 
Posts: 5942
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 7:57 pm

Re: jv16's development blog

Postby tullik » Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:56 pm

jv16 wrote:... I will have to think about the grouping aspect, perhaps I should let the user to decide whether the grouping should happen e.g. based on the root key, the full registry key or not at all. ...

For the Registry Finder, I think "not at all" makes sense most of the time.

I can think of case where a particular grouping could be very useful. Namely, group by the GUID when present in the search hits, whether it occurs in the key, the entry name, or the data.

That would be quite a challenge. For example::

    Sometimes it's enclosed by braces ( { } ), sometimes it's not.

    Sometimes it contains hyphens, sometimes it doesn't.

    And what if the data contains a table of GUIDs?

    And what if there are two or more different GUIDs in the key/name/data?
tullik
tullik
Super Guru
 
Posts: 3932
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 9:02 pm
Location: USA, Norge, UK, Canada, Eire

Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:42 pm

I was naughty and worked during the weekend, I couldn't help myself but I wanted to see if the new registry access was going to give any speed advantage.

Now I know. Oh boy is it fast! With a very rough first version I am able to search the entire HKEY_CURRENT_USER root with any search word (searching in key names, registry entries and the values of the entries) in about 1 second, with PowerTools 2009 this takes 8 seconds in my computer. I can't wait to get some more testing done and see what this puppy can really do 8)
jv16
Developer
 
Posts: 5942
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 7:57 pm

Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:39 am

Today morning I continued my work on the improved registry access component and it's pretty much done now, some minor fine tuning and it will be ready for prime time. And it's very, very fast! After I plug it in to PowerTools I can say for sure how fast, but I'm hoping to cut down the time of a registry scan with the Registry Cleaner to half.

Rest of the day I worked on uniforming the result lists, a few more tools are now converted. Many more to go. I'll continue this tomorrow, my goal is to have all the tools converted to the new result list in this week.
jv16
Developer
 
Posts: 5942
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 7:57 pm

Next

Return to jv16 PowerTools 2010

cron Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group