Project News. January 17, 2008

New release available!  New screenshots are available on the screenshots page!

New features for this release:

  • Added options for each event to control if they cause the Mr. Message IM window to jump to the top and/or steal the window focus.
  • Added an event "ticker" window (like a stock ticker) optionally notifying you when users sign on/off, you receive a message, or any other event.
  • Ticker font, colors, speed, opacity, and location are fully customizable through drag and drop operations or settings dialog.
  • Added standard File/Open dialogs for selecting which sounds and REXX scripts to use for Mr. Message events.  (Click the folder icon on the settings page.)
  • Added four new event types which can be used to play sounds, launch scripts, display in the ticker window, and other actions.
    • Buddy sets Away status
    • Buddy is back from Away status
    • Profile message was retrieved (for REXX scripts only)
    • Away message was retrieved (for REXX scripts only)
  • Added a new REXX command to display custom messages in the new ticker window.  See ReadMe.REXX for more details.
  • Added new REXX commands to modify profile and away messages.  You can use these in conjunction with the new events related to profile and away message retrieval to perform national language character conversions so they appear correctly in the Mr. Message GUI.  See ReadMe.REXX for more details.
  • Added a profile/away message filter sample REXX scripts to perform substitutions for AIM macros (%n = username, %d = date, %t = time).  Assign these to the appropriate events to activate them.

Fixed/changed for this release:

  • Event names in the settings window are now alphabetized.
  • Buddy list filtering is now only done after all buddies have been added at startup to save some time.
  • Mr. Message will now wait 30 seconds after a session starts before registering notifications that updates have happened in online/offline messages.
  • Changed so that profile messages are still retrieved and displayed when a user is away.  Both will display in the pop-up window.
  • Fixed a race condition during login which could cause login failures by listening to the wrong TCP/IP socket if the receiver thread takes too long to start up.
  • Fixed display of profiles or away messages that are too long and don't have any spaces in them to break lines.  Window size will be hacked down to 40 characters now instead of extending off into "infinity".
  • Fixed window focus when buddy list first appears so that mouse-over popups will appear without clicking on the buddy list.
  • Fixed all cases where a user appears to be online when they are offline.
  • Fixed a small memory leak of the settings information for each session when the settings are unchanged from the global settings.
  • Cleaned up some duplicated code for better maintenance.
  • Informational popup windows and tool tip colors have been changed to make them easier to read.

I'm putting out a call to the user community to help me bring the documentation up to date.  Here is my Usenet posting in case you are interested and missed it:

I know my next release of Mr. Message is a bit overdue from where I predicted, but I've been making loads of usability improvements, so I hope it will be worth the wait.

In order to speed up the cycle, I'd like to ask the user community for someone who can put together a nice set of user documentation for me. I'd like to redo the preliminary docs that I have on my web page, but it is tedious work for me and I'd rather spend the time making improvements to the code if possible.  But without some good documentation, users might miss out on some features that they could be using and enjoying. So it is necessary in my eyes, but will slow me down quite a bit.

If someone in the user community is willing to work with me to create some well-illustrated, well-organized documentation web pages (plain HTML, nothing crazy) I would be very grateful, and would give an acknowledgement in my ReadMe and on the web pages themselves.

Please put together some preliminary ideas and pages and send them to me if you are interested.  You can start with my current documentation, update some of the pictures and add to them where you feel appropriate.  Also separating my current doc page into multiple, well-organized pages with links is something I'm looking for.  If I like what I see (and don't worry, I'm easily impressed ;-)), I'll send you my latest beta code so we can bring the docs up to date with the latest features as they are released.

Send me a ZIP file with your ideas.  All entries appreciated.  Thanks!