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Status update

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It's now been more than a month since my slightly glum post about the state of WebCopy (and other product) updates, so I thought I'd post a brief update.

The last month has been spent developing and testing a new system for collating exception details and work is progressing well. It has been a really fun project to work on as I took the opportunity to use things I wouldn't normally use, such as a full REST API for managing pretty much everything, proper constructor based dependency injection (the last time I "used" DI I basically stuck the container on a static and treating it as a service locator... not the best of ideas) and IoC practices, compo...

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Bug tracking and software updates, or when free software isn't free

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As I finalize this post, I'm staring at almost 2000 emails, all of which are automated error notifications. Around 1000 of these are for WebCopy alone, stretching back nearly two years. There's lots of duplication, and lots of issues that have already been fixed in newer versions of the software. Regardless, however you look at it it is an unmanageable amount.

Some quick background into exceptions - when a fatal exception occurs, the end user is given the chance to report this (meaning it's possible we could never receive reports of rare exceptions). The report is then dumped into the database behind cyotek.com - some of it in an old table for recording the basics of an exception, the rest as HTML in an even older and poorly designed issues table. Oh, and that not-very-readable HTML is sent as a notification email.

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Effect Presets and Image Optimization

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I'm currently juggling time between our different software products, trying to balance bug fixes for one to general improvements to another. Today, I want to show a glimpse of some improvements being made to our Gif Animator.

For some time now, I have been using an extension with Gif Animator that allows limited scripting using JavaScript. I mainly use this extension to automatically apply effects to animations via macro's, an example of which you can see below

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On WebCopy, Continuous Integration, .NET Framework 4.5 and end of Windows XP support

Cyotek WebCopy Cyotek Sitemap Creator 0 Comments

This is quite a long post so I'm just going to add an important bit of news here - WebCopy 1.1 will not be able to be installed or ran on Windows XP

WebCopy, like most Cyotek products, is built in C# using Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, thus allowing it to run on Windows XP onwards. Each time the product is built, a batch file is manually ran which goes away and compiles the solution, signs the files, does some "deployment ready" checks, generates the documentation and then generates the setup. Tests are not run as part of this process as generally they are always running in the IDE via NCrunch.

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WebCopy and some welcome form updates

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One of the biggest sources of support requests for WebCopy are to do with posting forms, and WebCopy's ongoing inability to handle dynamic values. Thankfully, with WebCopy 1.0.10.0 this issue has finally been resolved as we have introduced a variety of improvements with forms, including value merging and a new tool to capture form data.

So what was the problem? Well, consider a typical login form. The HTML (at the barest minimum) will be similar to the following fragment.

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Creating preview images from a colour palette

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If you use Cyotek's Color Palette Editor to create palettes that are displayed on community sites such as forums, then it can be handy to display a preview of the palette.

A new feature in the Palette Editor can now produce these images for you as this post briefly describes.

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COMODO Certificate Revoked

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For the past two years, all Cyotek products have been digitally signed, providing some peace of mind that when you download one of our products you can be certain it hasn't been tampered with.

At some point in the last few days, COMODO have revoked the certificate we use, for reasons I'm still trying to ascertain from their support department. The net result of this is every Cyotek product released in the past 10 months is now unusable, as when you try and start any executable, it will immediately crash due to the revoked certificate.

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Potential support for localization

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After the last mammoth update to Gif Animator, I wanted a task that was slightly distracting rather than just fixing bugs. A couple of requests in the past have been about localization, so I had a look at the metrics we have gathered on software usage to see what different languages were being used.

The vast majority of sessions for all our products (around 70%) used English, followed by a variety of other locales, the top four being French, Chinese, Spanish and Russian (around 20% for those four) with the final 10% in a long list of other languages. So, well worth taking a look at localization!

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Gif Animator 0.0.4.0 Beta Released

Cyotek Gif Animator 0 Comments

It hasn't been long since the last update to Gif Animator and although I don't want to make a habit of cluttering the product blog with boring release notifications I'll probably make an exception for releases with interesting new features or important bug fixes. Both of which I think this update qualifies for! This update offers various UI tweaks and enhancements, some performance improvements, the odd new tool and quite a few bug fixes.

You can view a full list of changes here, a condensed summary is available below, and you can download from the usual place.

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Resizing and cropping, round 1

Cyotek Gif Animator 0 Comments

The next update to the Gif Animator is fast approaching, and it's quite a big one - there's a very long list of both bug fixes and new features. In fact, I'm pretty pleased with the way the product is evolving, although there's still much to do.

A number of enhancements in the next update are to do with resizing and cropping of images, and that is what this post will talk about.

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