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Sean
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Joined: 20 Jan 2006
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Location: Pandora

PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:28 am    Post subject: WinMX Replica Project  Reply with quote

Introduction (Read this before going nuts)

This is a new project I decided to do in the little bits of spare time I have. The idea here is to make a WinMX/OurMX replica using .NET and WinForms. The key thing here is that each post I make in this thread will represent one session of working on the project. Since I am not really focusing on this project since it is irrelevant, it will take many more days than there are posts in this thread. Were I to actually give this project 110% and had the support of other developers, this could be done very quickly. Please note that this won't be released (unless someone actually wants it?) it is just for fun. I will caption each picture here explaining what you see so please look for those before asking questions. Thanks for reading!

Comments and questions are welcomed!


Day 1: About 3 hours


Networks tab with 100% working and tested secondary. Refresh, Disconnect and Change buttons all work. Stoplight image and window title update as expected. Name changing works.


The trusty "Decentralized Chat" warning. Choose carefully, it won't ask again!


Since this is just an experiment, I am dropping in my current list controls as you saw in Chat.Net. Web/secondary listing works. Favorites menu is fully functional. All other buttons except Host work.
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Sean
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Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 571


Location: Pandora

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These updates may seem somewhat small, but a lot of work was done under the hood that can't be seen in a screenshot. To be honest, I didn't spend 5 solid hours working on the replica project. I started messing with it, then opened another dependency project (to be revealed!) and made tweaks there to improve the performance and stability of both projects. Please read the captions on this post especially as I do want to let you all know about decisions I made during the design and programming for the sake of time and I think you will agree that the few minor shortcuts I took would be a small price to pay for having a functional piece of software to play with a few days earlier. Alright, here is day 2.

Day 2: About 5 hours


There are several things new in this image. I added a basic Library UI (does not do anything!) as well as that little bar above the tabs that will have buttons for any floating windows like the "About" window above. I decided not to bother with the Winsock info since...who cares. CPU Speed is real data. There is the license agreement (you can access on the Help menu) that you really should ACCEPT, or else.



There is your Ignored Users window, everything works there. You can see it also takes advantage of the "floating window tab bar" thing.



Here is the chat room UI, 100% working. As I stated in the OP, I am using my custom list controls from my other (secret) project. This "replica" gets colored user list, clickable links, etc. in addition to all the standard chat stuff. Please note that I am not running on an English version of Windows, so that is why many of the characters are fudged in the user list. That commands menu is 100% functional too. I didn't get a picture of them, but EVERY menu that WinMX has there, I duplicated. Clicking any of them will result in the same exact action as you get in WinMX. Right-clicking a user in the user list will show the same menu as in WinMX, and it is also working 100%.



The last thing I have to show today is working Whois and PM. The Whois and PM windows work and report problems just like WinMX. The same animation you get when sending a message is there. I did make many of these windows slightly larger than the original's. The controls in WinForms by default take up slightly more space than the controls used by Frontcode many years ago. The default Font is also a bit larger, and much clearer. I decided to stick with that until I get around to making the Options window, of course.

All in all, not too bad for a total of 8 hours. Comments welcome as usual.
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Rkf룣 kK
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Joined: 20 Jan 2006
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Location: Chaos, Panic and Disorder...my work here is done!!

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couple of questions, as only I can have!

Is this working on primary and secondary protocols?

Can users be added to the ignored userlist even on the WPN?  Can't see why they can't be permanently added if they are partial names (i.e. ignore the numbers on the end)

Presuming you will be developing the channel list forma little?  How about a right click menu with the server info including server type number of users etc, and keep the list form clean with just channel name and topic?

Also with the channel list why not allow the list to be cached, (maybe shown in grey instead of white until the rooms found on the network - maybe the same for the web list show it grey then colour them white when the packet for that rooms received)?

The channel list would be useful if the favorite list was at the top of the list instead of through a menu, as a long list of fav's would look very messy.

As you know i hate the look and feel of WinMX.  I love the chat side of the network and the feel of RoboMX.  What you've made is very nice but I'm not sure I'd use it much, others may love it.  The only real let down is its .Net framework which means its not cross platform compatible, its only useful on windows.  Would be useful if you could natively port the code to work on other platforms.
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Sean
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Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 571


Location: Pandora

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course I am always open to questions, here are the answers you seek.

1. This is secondary only.

2. Ignored Users works just like WinMX, so no. Your suggestion would be easy to implement though I don't know how useful it would be. A user can change names just as easily as they can change primary hosts, so the built in system was good enough for me, for the scope of this project.

2. This will answer all of your questions pertaining to UI design choices. My design goals for this project are (a) replicate WinMX using standard WinForm controls and (b) use Chat.Net controls where Frontcode did custom painting such as the library and chat rooms. The channel listing got included in that simply because I had a working control that integrated with my code really well. Add the features you mentioned, again, would be really easy as I have already done that in my other projects in the past.

3. I did not enable caching (again, built into my code/controls) simply because that is not how WinMX does it. Would require only a few lines of code to add.

4. See answer 2.

5. I hate the look and feel of WinMX too. As I said in the OP, this is not meant to be an actual release although some have actually expressed interest in the project.

I will answer your final point with a question of my own: Would you rather have a client that works great on Windows and gets quick updates -or- a client that is mediocre on several platforms and updates very seldom? That is honestly the trade you have to make when writing an application using the .NET framework. I see it as much less of a let down when you consider that every copy of Windows 7 and 8 have the required .NET version installed by default.
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Rkf룣 kK
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Location: Chaos, Panic and Disorder...my work here is done!!

PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do take on board your replies, however, a primary .Net client replica of WinMX for the Rebelion to release would be pretty nice.  I see your nick when testing features is similar Wink

IMHO you should re-create WinMX but improve it where possible.  So the caching etc should be added as its so simple to do and enhances the client from an exact copy of WinMX to an improved copy of WinMX.

It's your project but seems a waste if its only ever for you to play with when there will no doubt be many interested parties.  It could even be used as a test bed for the OurMX client as features seem easier to add in .Net than C so little additions could be trial run in this project before being fully implemented in OurMX releases.


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