SnagIt 8.0

Techsmith has released version 8.0 of its SnagIt screen capture tool. The SnagIt user interface has been overhauled and some new features have been added, including the ability to output to PDF.

My first impressions of this new version are positive, although the installer seemed a bit more aggressive than 7.0 in that it installed the SnagIt plugins for all my Microsoft Office apps (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.) without asking -- or at least, if there was an option to not install these, I missed it. Another change from 7.0 is that the SnagIt Editor tool now includes several of the features that used to be available only in SnagIt Studio. As a result, SnagIt Studio no longer installs with SnagIt, but it is still available for download.

SnagIt has long been a favorite for screen capture duties, and it's good to see a new version come along even if it will take a bit of getting used to.

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FeedDemon 2.0 Beta 1

FeedDemon 2.0 Beta 1 has been released and is available for public download. Read Nick Bradbury's blog post for complete information and a link to the download.

Note that FeedDemon v2.0 uses the same feed cache as v1.6, which itself is still in beta but has now been superseded by v2.0. The current release version of FeedDemon remains 1.5, which I believe uses a different cache location than 1.6 and 2.0.

Nick recommends you install 2.0 to a different folder than 1.5/1.6. I have v1.6 installed in the default location C:\Program Files\Bradbury\FeedDemon and v2.0 installed in C:\Program Files\Bradbury\FeedDemon2, and can now run either one.

Based on the stability of the beta releases throughout FeedDemon's history, I've been comfortable using 1.6 since its first pre-release version and am now using 2.0 Beta 1 with no discernible problems. Version 2.0 does have some major differences from 1.6, notably the use of a treeview instead of separate folders to organize and view your subscriptions. Although 2.0 Beta 1 appears to be stable, the beta forum is active with feedback and suggestions and I'm anxious to see Beta 2.

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User Interface Localization in WiX

The latest version of the WiX toolset makes a change that could affect your current compile and link steps. The WiX user interface (WiXUI) files that come with WiX v2.0.3719.0 -- wixui_featuretree.wixlib, wixui_minimal.wixlib, and wixui_mondo.wixlib -- require a localization file to be referenced in at link time. The WiX download includes a U.S. English localization file named WiXUI_en-us.wxl. This is a standard XML file you can edit for other languages.

Using a project named wixdemo as an example, your compile and link steps prior to v2.0.3719.0 might have been:
candle wixdemo.wxs
light -out wixdemo.msi wixdemo.wixobj wixui_mondo.wixlib
Under v2.0.3719.0 the compile (candle) step remains the same but the link must incorporate the localization file using the -loc parameter, like this:
light -out wixdemo.msi wixdemo.wixobj wixui_mondo.wixlib -loc wixui_en-us.wxl
As before, you need to include the <UIRef Id="WixUI" /> element in your WiX source file (which would be wixdemo.wxs in this example) in order to incorporate the WiX user interface into your setup.


Freezing Fog

Freezing FogAs if Monday mornings weren't bad enough already. You gotta love living in the Midwest in January.



XSource for Visual FoxPro 9.0 SP1 - Follow Up

Yesterday I posted about the release of XSource for Visual FoxPro 9.0 SP1 and said I was off to explore what's in the download. The download is an executable file (VFP9SP1_XSource.exe), so I was expecting an installer of some kind. Turns out it's simply a self-extracting archive that prompts you to accept the license agreement and then extracts the single file xsource.zip to a location of your choice. The expected location is HOME() + Tools\XSource, which is where the copy of xsource.zip from the original release of VFP 9.0 is located.

The SP1 version of xsource.zip contains the same 2459 files as its pre-SP1 counterpart, although most now have an updated date and time stamp. So the good news is, everything we're used to seeing in xsource.zip is still there and is now available under the new permissive license.



Microsoft releases fix for WMF vulnerability

Microsoft released a fix for the so-called WMF (Windows Metafile) vulnerability this afternoon. This comes in advance of the customary monthly rollout of security updates expected next Tuesday. See Microsoft Security Bulletin MS06-001: Vulnerability in Graphics Rendering Engine Could Allow Remote Code Execution (912919) at www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms06-001.mspx
for details and downloads.


XSource for Visual FoxPro 9.0 SP1

Microsoft has released XSource for Visual FoxPro 9.0 SP1. This download comes with its own license agreement, dubbed the Microsoft Permissive License (Ms-PL), which overrides the VFP 9.0 SP1 license agreement with respect to the XBase source files contained in the XSource download. In his January Letter, Microsoft Visual Studio Data Products Manager Ken Levy states "Our goal is to encourage VFP developers to enhance and redistribute any of the VFP 9.0 Xbase components in XSource to share with the VFP community including via the SednaX community project."

A quick glance at the license shows that Microsoft is granting us the rights to reproduce, prepare derivative works, and distribute this stuff royalty-free worldwide (this is my interpretation - I am not a lawyer, so read the complete license and get your own legal advice). There's no question this is going to stimulate a lot of good and creative things to come. Right now I'm off to read the license more thoroughly and to explore what's in the download.



Craig Boyd's RegEx Library for VFP

Craig Boyd has written and published a regular expressions (RegEx) library for Visual FoxPro. Check out his blog post for full information, VFP code examples, and a link to download the FLL. Looks like I'm going to have to dust off my copy of "Teach Yourself Regular Expressions in 10 Minutes" and finally get serious about learning this stuff. Nice work, Craig.


Print+Print Preview - Firefox Extension

Another great little extension for Firefox is now available. The Print+Print Preview extension turns the default Print button on the Firefox toolbar into a Print/Print Preview drop-down button. I've often wished Firefox had a Print Preview button, but with this extension you don't need one 'cause the Print button now does double duty.



Web Developer Extension reaches 1.0

After spending several months at version 0.9x, Chris Pederick's excellent Web Developer Extension for Firefox has reached version 1.0. If you do any Web design and development work, this is a really useful tool to have in your toolbox. Check out the features page for an overview, and read the list of enhancements for details about what's new in this release.