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blog Server updates and new community platform
Crise posted a topic in NewsNote: this is the last post on here, copied directly from the new thing. Figured I'd use this to let those people know that still care. You may have noticed some intermittent downtime on apexdc.net over the last couple of days. This was due to rebuilding and upgrading the server. However, as a byproduct of this these forums became a major pain point. This has mostly to do with the decline in activity coupled with it no longer being worthwhile to keep paying for the privilege of having a secure installation because of this. So, to address this issue we now have a slim replacement on a more modern and free platform. Where's the old content? The old forums will remain on the server as read only for archival purposes for the time being. How long it will stick around remains to be seen as it was already necessary to manually patch certain bits to keep it working even in its current diminished capacity. This isn't something that can be done long term on a proprietary and complex code base that I already know more about than I'd care to admit. Selection of topics from the old forums has also been manually imported over and brought up to date so that they may be more easily found and as to not have an unknown expiration date on them (mostly topics that are referenced directly by the main website in some fashion). What about content being organized? By default the new platform will display a view of all recent discussions, but the more traditional categories still exist, one can be picked when starting a new discussion. For a more traditional way of viewing the content you can also go over to the categories tab. Going Forward This is mostly here so that if people want or need to reach people they still can and that there still is a place for people to bring up issues or requests if they feel so inclined. As far as future plans for the project are concerned, currently there really aren't any beyond keeping the client somewhat current and potentially fixing a few bugs along the way where possible.
blog 2.0 Development: Mac OS X
Lee posted a topic in NewsEvery since we first introduced PeerWeb DC++ in 2005 one of our main goals has been to provide cross platform support and distribute our program to Linux and Mac OS X users. This article focuses on Mac OS X development and offers users a chance to test the future of ApexDC++ 2.0. We will publish a progress update on Linux development separately. Back in 2010 we announced an integration with OpenCandy to monetise installations and provide a stable base for our cross platform development. Due to this we were able to advertise a job for porting our program to wxWidgets (a cross platform GUI tool kit) and eventually hired Gevorg, who has years of wxWidgets experience and regularly submits patches back to their development team. His experience has been a valuable asset to the project and we are now in a position to show off our progress for the first time: ApexDC++ 2.0 running on Mac OS X Mountain Lion - Click to enlarge The DC++ base library has always been Linux friendly due to the contributions made by the LinuxDC++ project. This meant our main focus has been getting the interface up to scratch and working on all major operating systems. During this phase we have decided not to include a few features/options present in 1.5 that we feel are not used as frequently, which has helped with the overall resource consumption compared to 1.5. Some other features that aren't present haven't been forgotten about and are in our development tracker for us to tackle in the future. Comparison between wxWidgets (2.x) / WTL (1.x) branch activity - Click to enlarge Impressed? Good. We are asking for dedicated Mac OS X users to come forward and reply to this post to receive exclusive access to our development channel. These lucky few will be responsible for testing the recent changes our developers have committed to the wxWidgets branch on a regular basis (see above, we commit changes often!) and report it in our tracker or directly to the development team. We supply you with login details to our private testing hub where you can provide feedback and discuss future features. Furthermore, these testers will help us make the decision on what left over features from 1.5 should be ported over before the general public get hold of it. Think you're up to the task? Reply to this post with something interesting and we may get you in. Otherwise wait for that public beta release.
blog Winner of SourceForge Project of the Month!
Lee posted a topic in NewsSourceForge announced ApexDC won the May 2014 Project of the Month award earlier this month. This marks the first time a Direct Connect project has successfully achieved the award in recent years. The development team would like to thank everyone >who voted for the project. Here is SourceForge's official interview with the team and the listing on their homepage. Thanks again!
blog SourceForge community choice project of the month vote, May 2014
Crise posted a topic in NewsUpdate: The voting period has ended, thank you for everyone who participated. We have been, presumably randomly or based on recent activity, selected for the community choice vote for SourceForge May Project of the Month (fairly new thing they have been doing). If you have a SourceForge account look at the projects listed and vote as you will... or don't, it is really up to you. But it would be a shame for us not to say anything at all, considering this isn't likely to happen again any time soon. We have so far been a featured project (a weekly thing, for handful of projects at a time) twice within the last two or three years. Direct Connect hasn't been prominently featured in any way in recent memory. It would be nice to make that happen, as well as an achievement for the project of course.
blog Releasing some auxiliary code and project
Crise posted a topic in NewsWhile back I went through my "development directory" and found some pieces of work that could potentially be useful for other people, if shared, but were either used only by us internally or just to collect dust. So I put in some effort and packaged a few different files for public consumption, if you find them useful then great... if not then it is no-ones loss. I would ask you to comment below if you find something interesting in the stuff listed below, but seeing as our previous blogs haven't been big on comments (which is why there haven't been any more), who am I kidding. Check the full post, after the break for more details. 1. Inno Setup Scripts (partial code dump) This file contains a collection of auxiliary scripts used by our installer, please see the enclosed readme, and the script files themself, for further details. 2. PHP Utilities (Tiger and TTH hashing, Base32 encoding) This file contains two simple classes, again the enclosed readme will shed more light on each (also explains why they are even here, since the original unmodified version of most of the code can be found on google). "This code is namely shared because the current PHP based DC software that make use of the ADC protocol generally uses hard coded hashes, or off loads the task of hashing to a binary dependency, for login. While TTH is not used for that task directly the tiger and tigerfix methods, and the documentation surrounding them, will hopefully be of use to some and lessen the number solutions reliant on static hashes." 3. phpBB based CMS system (aka. SnCMS, as in tin dioxide) This was originally built for something we were planning for here at ApexDC then it was used for something completely different in the end, and after that it was used on the now late ADCPortal. Older version of this is still kind of in use, internally, but it only exists as a spare (though it has been particularly useful in testing the recent server moves). I originally made it based on a concept I had long time ago, that I used on an old AirDC++ web site (yes, way back when it was still running phpBB2, I was somewhat involved in the web side of things there), now with phpBB3 as the backend. I have bundled two styles with it, the original ADCPortal template files and a template'd version of the old layout for the system I made for the old AirDC++ site with some modernizations. I didn't release this before because I couldn't be bothered to create a style that didn't have a branding on it... but seeing as ADCPortal is dead, superseded by www.dcbase.org somewhat, and AirDC++ uses a different style now there is no longer a reason not to release it with the styles unedited. Notably this project in its entierty is licensed under GNU GPL v2, as any phpBB modification should be (even though it doesn't modify phpBB per se). This old topic is also related (as you can see the plans to release it have existed for a while). No real installation instructions, read the comments in config.php, and figure it out from there (if someone actually seriously wants to use this, reply below and I'll give better instructions). Downloads Inno setup scriptsPHP UtilitiesSnCMS - phpBB CMS
blog Server migration in progress [Finished]
Lee posted a topic in NewsAt peak times, apexdc.net can receive over 30,000 visitors a day and 12 requests per second. This is why we're always monitoring and looking for ways to improve our server performance. Today the site will be moved to our newly built web server running the latest technology ready to handle future releases. We have temporarily disabled any auto updates while the process is completed and I will add an update to this post as soon as my DNS updates on the new server. Update: If you see this message you're on our new server (details inside).
blog 1.5.0: Securing your updates
Crise posted a topic in NewsWelcome to what is hopefully the first of many blog style articles here at ApexDC.net. This time I hope to give a bit more depth to the new version that is literally just around the corner, especially since it has been a while. Taking one of the new changes under the magnifying glass. This involves a bit of history and hopefully gives an entirely new meaning to one of the pretty meaningless looking lines that from time to time appear in our list of changes despite Lee's best efforts at writing it out so they would not appear. Those who have followed the ApexDC project for a longer time period, might remember that with 1.1.0 we introduced automatic update system in ApexDC. However, if you remember that you must also remember how relatively quickly afterwards we stopped deploying updates in this manner. At that time making the choice to move away from the (then) newly implemented system seemed like clear regression to me, but looking back on it now I know the correct choices were made back then. The reasons for not automatically update our users anymore and revert back to the infinitely more annoying (for you) method of handling updates can be covered by three key points (not in any particular order): Automated updates gave the users one less reason to visit the web page, reducing overall activity on site and in the community. Automatically replacing users binaries has several security considerations that were not really properly handled back then. For example consider the domain being taken over and a malicious individual could feed unknown code to users that then get executed on the users system as a part of the update process. The implementation back then wasn't very flexible and was also somewhat prone to unnecessary failures. All of this is history, from a few years back, but it seems good ideas die hard - this one in particular has come up on multiple occasions since then and, like those of you who have been paying attention to our recent public testing know, we recently decided to revisit the idea of automated updates. Needless to say I wouldn't be writing this if the above concerns were still valid, but why am I do it then exactly. It all comes down to one thing really. Every time we release a new version, we have to lay out the changes in that version and more often than not the list of changes has some entries that bear little to no significance to an actual user, so we decided to elaborate a bit on one such change in the 1.5.0 release. The change involving the update check got chosen especially because it involves not an entirely new feature but most likely a forgotten one. So yes, automated updates will be a prominent sight in the future of ApexDC as we keep thriving for better user experience. Sometimes it may take a while and be long time coming, like in this case, but it will be coming now and in the future. ApexDC is an important project for everyone involved and when we make decisions concerning it a great deal of discussion and thought always goes into them. However, when the decisions get made initially we don't always go into great detail about the reasons behind them, but usually those reasons are in fact good. As we come to a close here, I would like to take a moment to thank all of you who participated in our public beta test and stuck through it with us. Based on the feedback from this time, I think we can safely say that it is more than likely that we will do something like this in the future as well. In the mean time, while we do not know how often we will be making posts like this in the future if you have topics that you'd like us to cover feel free to leave them in the comments below, even if you just want us to voice our opinions about something, I am sure as long as the topic inspires us to write about it we will find the time to put something down. I intentionally avoided many technical details this time around but if that is what you want to read about it can be arranged. Comment, discuss, criticise the word is free, see you next time.