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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.

Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:51 am

Today I* have basically rewritten the entire Preference Saving system. The old system was tool specific (i.e. each tool needed their own implementation) and very prone to problems. For example, if any new feature was added to a tool, support for saving its data via the Preference Saving system also had to be made.

Now the Preference Saving system is fully generic, it can save the settings of any given tool of the program. And when the tool windows are updated, the Preference Saving system will continue to work as it automatically supports the modified tool window!

This is just one example of the vast amounts of work that has been put to under the hood of PowerTools. It might not show right now, but it will show in the future as much lower number of bugs and easier maintenance. Maybe even faster development cycle.

* = I meaning me and Hukka, of course :lol:
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Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:28 pm

I created a really handy debug feature today for PowerTools: Debug Log Window. It's a window that is automatically created (when program is run in Debug Mode, or if you are using a Debug Release) and it shows in real-time what is going on under the hood of the program.
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Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:34 am

I have been quite busy on fixing things lately. Yesterday I added the new and much improved free space wiper feature to the PowerTools 2010 code base. I'll still have some work to do on including the new Win7 compatible Registry Compactor feature.

And I just got someone to really take a good look at the File Recovery feature of the program. It doesn't work at all at the moment due to compatibility issues with Delphi 2010, and generally speaking there have been some issues. After this maintenance round the File Recovery should be working nicely.

I'm still hoping to get the new Beta out before the end of this month but lets see how it goes. There hasn't been any rush so far, so I'm surely not starting to rush anything now.
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Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:33 pm

Here is the current Change Log:

Code: Select all
Issues Fixed (since previous Beta)

* From "CONFIRMED ISSUES":
1. In Registry Cleaner, during scanning the value of 'Keys analyzed' is higher than the number of 'Values Analyzed'.
2. After Registry Cleaner finishes scanning no Scan Report pops up.
3. The Registry Information window is not resizable.
4. Registry Information tool hangs at the very end of the scan when run the second time in one session.
6. Running "Clean & fix my computer" for the second time during the same session stops in an Access Violation.
7. The new tool tips are not properly showing in the list component.
8. Registry Monitor: "Create snapshot" function continues to run in the background after aborting.
9. Registry Monitor: "Compare" function continues to run in the background after aborting.
10. Directory Finder: Access Violation when clicking Start.
11. Backup Tool, Directory Tool, others: "Explore" does nothing. (x64)
13. Registry tools such as the Registry Finder can show HKCU and HLKM hits twice under 64-bit Windows. (x64)
14. Startup Manager: create new to HKCU RunOnce works, but the task never shows in the list.
15. Backup Tool, Custom Restore: when switching between tabs, the column widths are forgotten.
16. "Clean & fix my computer" causes AV/Invalid pointer operation when final analysis scan is aborted.
18. "Clean and fix my computer": List control->"Remove from list" for items under the "MRU and History" group may occasionally cause AV or hang program.
19. Registry Manager: Deleting an item on the "Open with" tab drops the item from the list but backs up and deletes nothing.
28. "Clean & fix my computer" is not honoring the “Never show” again list with the MRU/History group.
29. After saving a named preference, it should be selected in the preference dropdown box.
30. Backup tool: when restoring multiple backups at the same time, if some have the same description, some of those do not restore (per the messages).
31. System Cleaner: before and after changing the File Cleaner settings, nothing shows in the “Delete Files” window.
32. List component doesn't deselect selected items correctly.
33. List component doesn't handle shift-select properly.
34. File Cleaner: when started with a desktop shortcut, the results window disappears immediately.
35. Registry Cleaner: ctrl-clicking a file path in the "File reference" area may attempt to open a nonexisting location.
37. File Finder -> Find & Replace: the context menu actions are incorrect in the Find & Replace results list.
38. Startup Manager: when you remove a disabled startup task, there is a backup query, but nothing is backed up.
39. File Finder -> Find & Replace: there is no option to abort the Replace function.
40. Opening a tool sometimes freezes PowerTools, occasionally so that it cannot be killed using Task Manager. Tools seen to cause this: Software Uninstaller
42. Registry Manager: column widths are not remembered.
43. File Tool: when files are added, the column widths are reset.
45. "Clean & fix my computer": AV while creating a registry backup using context menu.
47. File Cleaner doesn't remember column widths.
48. Unit Testing Tool: stopped with “Error: TestFileToolsEx : 5”.


* From "UNCONFIRMED ISSUES":
30. Unit Testing Tool almost always fails with this message: "List index out of bounds (0)".

* From "CONFIRMED ISSUES STILL EXISTING FROM BETA3":
1. (orig. 49.) Using the mouse wheel or the scroll area of a laptop, it is possible to make the Main Window get stuck in a very long scrolling loop where the category selector on left keeps moving rapidly.


* Not Reported (AFAIK) / Known Issues
1. The Main Window is a few pixels too short to fully show the "Registry health" text on some system setups.
2. A Message Window can pop up during Initial Setup to show an error message.
3. Double clicking a file in File Tool should open the file in the associated program, however, double clicking a file doesn't usually do anything.
4. File Analyzer tool shows random results for files it cannot open/read.
5. File Analyzer tool sometimes fails to analyze files that are under 1 KB in size.
6. Registry Cleaner could stop updating the number of values and keys updated during the scan for a long period of time.
7. Registry Cleaner can list False Positives under 64 bit Windows relating to files in C:\Windows\SysWOW64\
8. With System Cleaner, if you click the Change Settings button of the Delete files with File Cleaner and click Cancel, the current defined settings are cleared.
9. Software Uninstaller can take forever to start in certain system setups.
10. The Main Window's top right area has some jagged edges near the Live Support icon.
11. There is a 2 pixels wide gab visible in the blue border on the right of the Main Window.
12. Sometimes grey lines show up in the Main Window close to the tool icons.
13. If one of PowerTools cache file is damaged the Registry Cleaner doesn't work at all.
14. If you have one line in "Control hidden items" windows, and you Un-ignore it, the program will report a strange message of "No items found" after the list has been recreated.
15. "Control hidden items" window reports funny names for ignored items, such as "2:software name:5", when it would be more logical to just show "software name".
16. Clean and fix my computer tool reports "Scan finished ..." even if the scan was aborted.
17. Startup Manager's Statusbar can sometimes be above the button panel
18. The program can sometimes freeze when running the Initial Setup.

Other Improvements Done (since previous Beta)
1. The Warning and Tip panels now have a X button at the top right corner for closing them, the method of clicking anywhere on the panel of Beta4 wasn't logical.
2. Improved the accuracy of the Error Severity field of the Registry Cleaner.
3. Improved the efficency in which the Registry Cleaner and Registry Information tools work with multiple processors. In other words, these tools are now faster on computers with a new multi-core processor.
4. Moved backups created by the Startup Manager to the "Other Backups" section of the Backup tool.
5. Improved the filtering of the Software Uninstaller.
6. New icon for the Live Support Offline text in the Main Window.
7. Added an icon and description for the case where there is no handbook available.
8. Added two separator lines to the Main Window.
9. Greatly improved the way Temp files are listed by the Clean and Fix my computer tool.
10. Saving tool's preferences now shows a verification whether the save was completed.
11. All the windows of the program now show the beta version number, this makes it possible to see the exact version of the product from a tool screenshot.
12. Added support for Preference Saving to: Disk Wiper, File Encrypter, File Organizer, File Splitter, Find and Replace (inside files), Registry Monitor, Search (Ctrl+F)
13. Removal of a Saved Preference now shows a confirmation whether the operation was successful or failed.

CLASSIFIED AS NOT A BUG:
46. Startup Manager –> Create new: when you add a task to HKLM Run/RunOnce, it is actually put in HKLM Wow6432Node. (x86)
Steps: Run the tool, click New, check HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Run or RunOnce, fill the Caption and Command line fields and click OK. Confirm with regedit.


CANNOT REPRODUCE, THUS CANNOT FIX
5. History Cleaner: Access Violation in "Control hidden items" while using "Never show".
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Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:30 am

Good news: We have purchased a new debug tool that will ship with all Beta Release versions of PowerTools. The new tool is very simple: when PowerTools crashes or freezes, it will show the beta tester a very detailed report about the problem. The beta tester can then save this information to a file and send it to us, this will help us in locating and fixing the bug.

And the second piece of good news is: We now have a digital certificate! This means that starting with the next beta, all our product versions are digitally signed. This will give you extra safety to make sure you are not running a tampered or modified version of the program, and Vista / Win7 will also show much less scarier prompt when the program is started :D
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Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jepe » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:57 am

Hello jv16,
8) This all are great news !
Congratulations for all your - including the whole team - efforts done till now.

Best regards
Jean-Paul
Win7 64bit - AMD Athlon II - 4 GB Memory - SATA-HDD: 320 GB - ClamWin & Clam Sentinel
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Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:11 pm

I spent the weekend working on a few bugs, but didn't make much of a progress, I'm afraid. Today I finally got the Registry Information tool fully working again.

The Chart components have been updated to support smooth and fast resizing, this allows us to have the tool window resizable. Also the actual statistics should now be more accurate, they are wrong in the Beta4.
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Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:58 pm

I have been mainly talking about the major under the hood work with Beta5, but there has also been some GUI updates.

One example is the Maintenance Tool, it's now looking much better:
shot.png
shot.png (112.43 KiB) Viewed 2855 times



Today I have been also working on the File Recovery feature. It's again working properly, except that there still are some GUI issues which I'm hoping to get fixed for the next beta. The next beta should be ready in a few weeks. I know I have said that already for a few weeks :oops:
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Re: jv16's development blog

Postby DooGie » Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:29 pm

jv16 wrote:Today I have been also working on the File Recovery feature. It's again working properly, except that there still are some GUI issues which I'm hoping to get fixed for the next beta. The next beta should be ready in a few weeks. I know I have said that already for a few weeks :oops:


Yes Jouni but waiting a bit longer doesn't really matter, it's far better to get it right than rushing it out :)
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Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:33 pm

DooGie wrote:
jv16 wrote:Today I have been also working on the File Recovery feature. It's again working properly, except that there still are some GUI issues which I'm hoping to get fixed for the next beta. The next beta should be ready in a few weeks. I know I have said that already for a few weeks :oops:


Yes Jouni but waiting a bit longer doesn't really matter, it's far better to get it right than rushing it out :)


That's the reason we are not rushing anything with PowerTools 2010. However, I would like to get the new beta out soon to get a better overall view on how much problems are still remaining in the program.
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Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:02 pm

Today and yesterday I have been mainly re-writing the startup code of PowerTools. There have been a few reports of the program not starting up, and I have been able to reproduce the issue with one testing environment (Windows Vista 64 bits).

The startup code runs, well, when the program starts up, hence the name. And the startup code is a beast, there are practically hundreds of things that need to be done when the program is starting up, everything has to be done in a correct order and to make things even more difficult: everything needs to work in a time frame of a few seconds. Otherwise the startup time seems too long.

One solution to the issue of time frame is running many parts of the code at the same time. But that, on the other hand, opens a big and wide door for all sorts of timing issues. Because at startup code, things need to work in a correct order. For example, the component that reads the configuration file must be created before any configuration data can be read, otherwise the program will crash to an Access Violation.

In addition to running different parts of the code at the same time, one good solution is to delay the execution of some not-so-critical startup code. For example, the PowerTools will always need to know all of the system's Temp directories (and not just those defined by %TMP%/%TEMP% system variables, but all of them) and detecting them takes time. Depending on the number of hard disks and their contents, it can take a good few seconds to do. So detecting them when the program starts up is out of the question, adding 3-5 seconds of delay would be very bad for usability. But since this information is needed only when a tool, such as the Registry Cleaner, is started, the code can be executed on idle cpu time after the program has been started. Using idle time and running the code on the background gives a smooth result and the user doesn't even notice anything.
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Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:20 pm

Quite a few days from my last update, sorry about that.

But we have made good progress, here is the Change Log:

Code: Select all
Issues Fixed (since previous Beta)


* From "CONFIRMED ISSUES":
1. In Registry Cleaner, during scanning the value of 'Keys analyzed' is higher than the number of 'Values Analyzed'.
2. After Registry Cleaner finishes scanning no Scan Report pops up.
3. The Registry Information window is not resizable.
4. Registry Information tool hangs at the very end of the scan when run the second time in one session.
6. Running "Clean & fix my computer" for the second time during the same session stops in an Access Violation.
7. The new tool tips are not properly showing in the list component.
8. Registry Monitor: "Create snapshot" function continues to run in the background after aborting.
9. Registry Monitor: "Compare" function continues to run in the background after aborting.
10. Directory Finder: Access Violation when clicking Start.
11. Backup Tool, Directory Tool, others: "Explore" does nothing. (x64)
13. Registry tools such as the Registry Finder can show HKCU and HLKM hits twice under 64-bit Windows. (x64)
14. Startup Manager: create new to HKCU RunOnce works, but the task never shows in the list.
15. Backup Tool, Custom Restore: when switching between tabs, the column widths are forgotten.
16. "Clean & fix my computer" causes AV/Invalid pointer operation when final analysis scan is aborted.
18. "Clean and fix my computer": List control->"Remove from list" for items under the "MRU and History" group may occasionally cause AV or hang program.
19. Registry Manager: Deleting an item on the "Open with" tab drops the item from the list but backs up and deletes nothing.
28. "Clean & fix my computer" is not honoring the “Never show” again list with the MRU/History group.
29. After saving a named preference, it should be selected in the preference dropdown box.
30. Backup tool: when restoring multiple backups at the same time, if some have the same description, some of those do not restore (per the messages).
31. System Cleaner: before and after changing the File Cleaner settings, nothing shows in the “Delete Files” window.
32. List component doesn't deselect selected items correctly.
33. List component doesn't handle shift-select properly.
34. File Cleaner: when started with a desktop shortcut, the results window disappears immediately.
35. Registry Cleaner: ctrl-clicking a file path in the "File reference" area may attempt to open a nonexisting location.
37. File Finder -> Find & Replace: the context menu actions are incorrect in the Find & Replace results list.
38. Startup Manager: when you remove a disabled startup task, there is a backup query, but nothing is backed up.
39. File Finder -> Find & Replace: there is no option to abort the Replace function.
40. Opening a tool sometimes freezes PowerTools, occasionally so that it cannot be killed using Task Manager. Tools seen to cause this: Software Uninstaller
41. Registry Manager -> Uninstall: canceling the third party's uninstaller causes internal error STU-ID-1.
42. Registry Manager: column widths are not remembered.
43. File Tool: when files are added, the column widths are reset.
45. "Clean & fix my computer": AV while creating a registry backup using context menu.
47. File Cleaner doesn't remember column widths.
48. Unit Testing Tool: stopped with “Error: TestFileToolsEx : 5”.


* From "UNCONFIRMED ISSUES":
30. Unit Testing Tool almost always fails with this message: "List index out of bounds (0)".

* From "CONFIRMED ISSUES STILL EXISTING FROM BETA3":
1. (orig. 49.) Using the mouse wheel or the scroll area of a laptop, it is possible to make the Main Window get stuck in a very long scrolling loop where the category selector on left keeps moving rapidly.


* Not Reported (AFAIK) / Known Issues
1. The Main Window is a few pixels too short to fully show the "Registry health" text on some system setups.
2. A Message Window can pop up during Initial Setup to show an error message.
3. Double clicking a file in File Tool should open the file in the associated program, however, double clicking a file doesn't usually do anything.
4. File Analyzer tool shows random results for files it cannot open/read.
5. File Analyzer tool sometimes fails to analyze files that are under 1 KB in size.
6. Registry Cleaner could stop updating the number of values and keys updated during the scan for a long period of time.
7. Registry Cleaner can list False Positives under 64 bit Windows relating to files in C:\Windows\SysWOW64\
8. With System Cleaner, if you click the Change Settings button of the Delete files with File Cleaner and click Cancel, the current defined settings are cleared.
9. Software Uninstaller can take forever to start in certain system setups.
10. The Main Window's top right area has some jagged edges near the Live Support icon.
11. There is a 2 pixels wide gab visible in the blue border on the right of the Main Window.
12. Sometimes grey lines show up in the Main Window close to the tool icons.
13. If one of PowerTools cache file is damaged the Registry Cleaner doesn't work at all.
14. If you have one line in "Control hidden items" windows, and you Un-ignore it, the program will report a strange message of "No items found" after the list has been recreated.
15. "Control hidden items" window reports funny names for ignored items, such as "2:software name:5", when it would be more logical to just show "software name".
16. Clean and fix my computer tool reports "Scan finished ..." even if the scan was aborted.
17. Startup Manager's Statusbar can sometimes be above the button panel
18. The program can sometimes freeze when running the Initial Setup.
19. Opening the Live Support can cause the Live Support window to show minor graphical corruption.
20. File Finder and File Cleaner can sometimes list incorrect files. For example, when searching for files that match mask "*.~*" the result list can contain files whose name do not contain the "~" character at all.
21. The program could save hundreds of backup files of the current license under the \Backup directory, using names such as "License.xbin_backup_backup_backup_backup" and so on.
22. The Regular Expression searches (e.g. with File Finder or Registry Finder) do not work.
23. The File Tool can crash if user cancels the File -> Add Files dialog.
24. In the Settings window the Font boxes are empty and if clicked, Windows 7 shows an error message saying "All of your fonts are hidden" and does not allow the user to change the font settings.
25. "Speed up my computer" feature does not properly support scrolling by mouse scroll wheel. Same issue is also with the Maintenance Tool, however not as clear.

Other Improvements Done (since previous Beta)
1. The Warning and Tip panels now have a X button at the top right corner for closing them, the method of clicking anywhere on the panel of Beta4 wasn't logical.
2. Improved the accuracy of the Error Severity field of the Registry Cleaner.
3. Improved the efficency in which the Registry Cleaner and Registry Information tools work with multiple processors. In other words, these tools are now faster on computers with a new multi-core processor.
4. Moved backups created by the Startup Manager to the "Other Backups" section of the Backup tool.
5. Improved the filtering of the Software Uninstaller.
6. New icon for the Live Support Offline text in the Main Window.
7. Added an icon and description for the case where there is no handbook available.
8. Added two separator lines to the Main Window.
9. Greatly improved the way Temp files are listed by the Clean and Fix my computer tool.
10. Saving tool's preferences now shows a verification whether the save was completed.
11. All the windows of the program now show the beta version number, this makes it possible to see the exact version of the product from a tool screenshot.
12. Added support for Preference Saving to: Disk Wiper, File Encrypter, File Organizer, File Splitter, Find and Replace (inside files), Registry Monitor, Search (Ctrl+F)
13. Removal of a Saved Preference now shows a confirmation whether the operation was successful or failed.
14. Improved the responsivness of the GUI during high cpu usage (e.g. registry scan or Initial Setup).
15. Improved the speed of the Initial Setup.
16. Changed the background color of the Initial Setup from white to gray. The white background overlay looked too much like the effect created by Windows 7 when an application is not responsing.
17. Improved the algorithm that generates the default description for backups.
18. From now on, the Simple GUI mode does not prompt the user for backup creation nor backup description. Instead, a backup is automatically created with an automatically generated description consisting of the tool's name and the number of items removed or fixed. This policy can be, of course, changed from the Program Settings.


CLASSIFIED AS NOT A BUG:
46. Startup Manager –> Create new: when you add a task to HKLM Run/RunOnce, it is actually put in HKLM Wow6432Node. (x86)
Steps: Run the tool, click New, check HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Run or RunOnce, fill the Caption and Command line fields and click OK. Confirm with regedit.


CANNOT REPRODUCE, THUS CANNOT FIX
5. History Cleaner: Access Violation in "Control hidden items" while using "Never show".


At the moment we have basically five problems left:
1. File Recovery does not work, and can cause the entire app to crash.
2. File drag and drop to the File Tool window (FileViewForm) does not work under Vista/ Win7 with system's UAC enabled.
3. Messaging system does not work properly: font is not correct and no new lines are added.
4. The Open / Save dialog does not work under 64 bit Windows Vista / Win7.
5. The main window does not show any tool tips / hints.

I have one person working on the problem number one, which I consider the biggest remaining issue for now. Hukka is working on the issues 2-4 and I'll tackle issue number five next. At this point, some of these issues may be left unfixed for the Beta5 in order to make the release soon. One such issue is the problem number 4, which is more than cosmetic but not very critical per se.

If things work out well, the next beta version will be finally ready later in this week. And it will give PowerTools 2009 and the PT 2010 Beta4 run for their money! :D
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Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:01 pm

jv16 wrote:At the moment we have basically five problems left:
1. File Recovery does not work, and can cause the entire app to crash.
2. File drag and drop to the File Tool window (FileViewForm) does not work under Vista/ Win7 with system's UAC enabled.
3. Messaging system does not work properly: font is not correct and no new lines are added.
4. The Open / Save dialog does not work under 64 bit Windows Vista / Win7.
5. The main window does not show any tool tips / hints.

I have one person working on the problem number one, which I consider the biggest remaining issue for now. Hukka is working on the issues 2-4 and I'll tackle issue number five next. At this point, some of these issues may be left unfixed for the Beta5 in order to make the release soon. One such issue is the problem number 4, which is more than cosmetic but not very critical per se.


Issue number 5 now fixed.
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Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:56 am

Issue number one partially fixed: the File Recovery now successfully scans the system and finds the files that can be restored. However, the actual Restore feature doesn't yet work properly, at least not under my Windows 7 / 64 bits system.

I have one person assigned to fix this ASAP.

In the meanwhile I'll have to do some finishing touches to the Registry Cleaner engine before the release of Beta5.
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Re: jv16's development blog

Postby jv16 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:15 am

I have been doing some last adjustments and testing, and everything looks good. The Beta5 should be out tomorrow.

There is still work left to do, for example, the program can crash and show an error message when closed, but all the remaining issues should be minor. And in case, the Beta5 should be a major leap forward compared to Beta4 or to even PowerTools 2009.
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