The Most Up To Date News



2005 News


  • Date: January 30th, 2005
Thanks to 25 gigabytes of available online storage space, I've decided to add a new section to WiNGs.webhop.org. The new section is called, "Media Library." I'm currently in the process of assembling the movie files with screenshots of them in action, as well as 40-50 .mod files, and a handful of full length songs in .wav format. These are a few of the files that can be found on the PureMEDIA volume i CD. Most of these files, are easily accessible through other means, but it is convenient to have them right here in one location, ready to download. Also, the Commodore users who download the files from here know before downloading them that they are good formats that will work for them without any compatibility issues.

The Media Library should be up and available shortly.

  • Date: January 23rd, 2005
I've spent a long while now trying to decipher the mystery of how the JCombo widget works. That it has taken me so long to figure it out is reason enough for my new choice of direction. The JCombo widget is based on the JTree widget code. It starts by defining a new type of node model called a JLModel (Standing for Jos List.) This model uses TNodes (Standing for Tree Nodes.) Using Tree Nodes in my opinion is overkill. Tree Nodes support Children and flags for icons and expandability, and sort fields, and so on, things which are never going to be used in a simple select box. But it's made even more complicated because the JLModel is only used as the initial model for how the JCombo box gets its data. It then internally initializes a container widget and a JTree widget with a single column. And moves the data from the JLModel into the JTree. This is what had me thrown off. I kept trying to modify the data in the JLModel and then redraw the JCombo and expected the changes in the data to be reflected in the list, but of course that wasn't happening. In the end, I just think that the JCombo box is too complicated for what I need, and it doesn't even do exactly what I want it to!

So, I've decided to try my hand at making a completely new widget. Which I'm calling a JSelect. A combo box is technically supposed to be a "combination" between a text input bar, and a selectbox. It was a half-cocked idea that had its beginning somewhere at MicroSoft HQ. For instance, the Mac OS has never, and still doesn't have a standardized (widget library level) Combo Box, believing it to be a bad user interface idea. The JCombo widget doesn't yet have the text input part implemented, but it is designed to look like it should be able to take text input. The JSelect widget, on the other hand, is meant from the beginning to only be a select box. It will be comprised of a static text widget, and an 8x8 icon which has both an up and down arrow on it. These widgets are stuck together to look like one widget (which they are,) and both have their click event overridden to call up a standard menu widget. The menu widget is positioned so that when it opens the currently selected item appears directly above where the JSelect widget was, with other menu items positioned higher and lower on the screen. (That is why the JSelect icon has both up and down arrows.) Not only is it easy to use, but it's easy to program and it's easy to modify its menu item data on the fly.

So that's where I am with the Open dialog box at the moment. As soon as this JSelect widget is created it will be put to use immediately on the Open dialog box.

  • Date: January 13th, 2005
I've been working on an Open File Dialog box for WiNGs. When this is finished it will be part of the wings winlib library. Which means that any program that needs to open a file can just call fileopenrequest(); pass in a few variables to customize the request, and up pops the box.

You can see in this first shot that the dialog box has three main parts. The first is a pulldown menu at the top, immediately beneath this is the main interface, the tree/column widget displaying part of the file system, and at the bottom is an open button. The file tree can be be scrolled up and down, and folders can be expanded and collapsed.

Sometimes a folder will be nested too deep and you may want to simply go into one of the folders so that the tree is smaller and there aren't as many levels showing. Simply select a folder, and click open. The tree is then replaced by a new tree starting only at the folder you've just opened. To move back up a directory select the pulldown menu from the top. It contains a list of all the parent folders above the folder that the top of the tree is in. This not only allows you to go back to any one of the parent folders with just two clicks, but it also gives you a quick glance at your complete path with just a single click.

When you find the file you want in the file system, select it and click open. The file will then open in the program. As you can see in the second screen shot, I've selected the filename "wildface.hbm," clicked open, and it is now displaying in the display window.

The open file dialog box is, of course, a moveable and resizeable window. So if you want to see more files at a time, just drag the window a little larger. The open dialog box of one program also doesn't commandeer the rest of the system. You can leave an open dialog box on the screen and click over to another program like AJirc, and then come back to it later.

  • Date: January 13th, 2005

The World of Commodore 2004 WiNGs Release is now available. And can be downloaded from the Download and Install section.

There have been several updates to the documentation in the Download and install section, I strongly encourage anyone who is not familiar with WiNGs to read these documents first to ensure a smooth installation and a pleasant experience.

New stuff in this release include:

  • Improved window manager
  • New fully interactive taskbar
  • AJirc with nicklist and log saving
  • Wordservices v2.0
  • Control panels for GUI configuration and Network services
  • 6 virtual consoles in 80 columns
Amoung numerous other bug fixes, minor improvements and lots of under-the-hood development, particularly in the GUI.

A few noticeable gui improvements include, more intelligent menus that reposition themselves and pop out in reverse order to stay on the screen. Child windows and palette windows, like the ajirc nicklist, automatically hide when their parent window is minimized, or goes out of focus. Child windows automatically unhide and are brought to the front when their parent window is brought into focus. The taskbar is now its own process, separate from the window manager, and is fully interactive. It displays the icons of currently running GUI programs. The colour of the icon indicates the state of the program. Clicking the taskbar icon will bring the corresponding program into focus. Holding C= and pressing 1 will toggle through all the unminimized GUI applications running, they toggle through in the order that they appear on the Taskbar. Holding C= and pressing 2 will toggle through several instances of a single GUI application. Minimize now works. And Maximize is intelligent enough to know where the taskbar is positioned on the screen and resizes and positions the window accordingly.

There has been a lot of hard work put into these release. I hope you enjoy it.

  • Date: January 4th, 2005

My apologies for not having the World of Commodore WiNGs release available on WiNGs.webhop.org yet. The WoC expo was so close to the Christmas holiday season that it's just been too hectic to get the distro properly put on the web. Now that the holidays are over and schedules are going back to normal, expect to see the build available in the "Download & Install" section later this week.

All IDE64 packages do include this latest build on 1581.

  • Date: January 4th, 2005

IDE64 v3.4+ released! Silently the IDE64 team have introduced a new version of the IDE64. Modernity Grp. has this new version in stock and they are available for order immediately.

The IDE64 v3.4+ has a PEROM chip twice as big as the IDE64 v3.4. The extra size of the chip allows the storage of two complete IDEDOS firmware files. There is a toggle switch beside the PEROM chip which allows you to choose which IDEDOS will be active.

This is more useful than you might think at first. One of the old drawbacks of the IDE64 for SuperCPU users was that the firmware version had to match either a SuperCPU or a Stock setup. If you wanted to play games or use software that required shutting off the SuperCPU, then you either couldn't use the IDE64 with that software, or you had to "reflash" the PEROM with the stock firmware. And when you wanted to go back to the SuperCPU, to run WiNGs for example, you would have to reflash it again with the SuperCPU firmware. Needless to say this was enough of a hassle that most people wouldn't bother. Or for some, it might have even discouraged them from buying an IDE64 in the first place.

With the dual PEROM switch you can install any idedos version with the switch in position one, then throw the switch and install any other version into the extra space on the PEROM. The IDE64 behaves exactly as it did before, but you don't have to keep reflashing the firmware to switch between modes.

Another big plus, is in letting you play around with the v.9x IDEDOS. The experimental new v.9x IDEDOS is not compatible with the old IDEDOS, nor is it yet compatible with WiNGs. However, the dual PEROM lets you hold both versions on the same IDE64. So you can use WiNGs when you want, and then try out the latest and greatest in the new DOS and filesystem from the Ready Prompt without any hassle.

IDE64 v3.4+, available now from Modernity Grp. comes pre-configured with the latest IDEDOS for the SuperCPU, which is WiNGs compatible, as well as one of the most recent builds of the beta v.9x IDEDOS.

2004 News

2003 News

2002 News