News archive

24/05/2018

JPEG Saver 5.0

When I replaced the NSIS installer with a WiX Toolset-built MSI file for version 4.20 of JPEG Saver, I wasn't all that happy with it. It worked fine, it installed and uninstalled the files, but it still had to include the DirectX 9 installer just in case it was installing on a machine that didn't already have it installed. JPEG Saver 5.0 is the first version since 2009 that doesn't need DirectX 9 installed - because it uses DirectX 11 instead.

DirectX 11 should already be installed on Windows 7 and newer, as it is now part of the operating system instead of a separate install. I've tested on 64-bit Windows 10 with Nvidia graphics, 32-bit Windows 10 with AMD graphics, and on a 32-bit Windows 7 virtual machine with no real graphics card at all. JPEG Saver ran without any problems on these, so I'm fairly confident it should run on most configurations.

What's new?

So what is actually new in this version? Very little, to be honest. I had to rewrite all the 3D rendering code used for the transitions and the real-time items on the main display, but hopefully JPEG Saver shouldn't look or behave much differently to the last DirectX 9 version.

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29/03/2018

SVGGraph 2.27

Every now and then I receive an email from someone wanting to do something a bit unusual with SVGGraph. My first response is to try to figure out if it is already possible, and then if it isn't I have to decide if it is something that anyone else will ever want to do. Version 2.27 contains a couple of new features that might not get used very much.

Shapes on line graphs

But is it art?

The first of these new features comes in the form of a pair of new options for the line and multi-line graphs*. The line_figure option allows line graphs to draw shapes, and the line_figure_closed option closes the shape. The options don't do much to change how the line graphs are drawn, they mostly reduce the validation of the data - repeated keys are allowed and the data will remain in the order it is provided.

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27/02/2018

JPEG Saver 4.20

As I said when I released the 64-bit TrayBlank 1.9.1, I really wanted to release a 64-bit version of JPEG Saver. So here it is, along with the 32-bit version and both of them packaged up in .msi installer files created using the WiX toolset.

I suggest uninstalling the previous version before installing this one. It won't actually break anything if you don't, but you'll be left with the uninstaller from the earlier version hanging around on your machine.

As for actual changes in this version, there isn't much. I've made the style editor dialog resizeable so you can actually see the text preview when you are using really big fonts, and I've updated the list of built-in presets to include filters for files created in 2017 and 2018. To help use that, I've added another button to the filters dialog to reset the presets to the defaults list (otherwise JPEG Saver uses the list saved with the config file).

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31/01/2018

TrayBlank 1.9.1

There isn't really anything new in version 1.9.1 of TrayBlank - all the real changes are more external.

First, there is now a 64-bit version. With something as small and simple as TrayBlank there shouldn't be any difference in performance between 32-bit and 64-bit executables, but it shouldn't do any harm either. The main reason I compiled a 64-bit version of TrayBlank is because I want to produce a 64-bit version of JPEG Saver - which is likely to be a lot more complicated and so I wanted to try it out on something simpler first.

The second major change is that I've used the WiX toolset to produce .msi installers instead of using the NSIS-built .exe installers I have used previously. This should make it easier for me to build installers that put the 32-bit and 64-bit versions in the right places, deal with upgrades correctly, etc. The downside is that .msi files are quite a bit bigger, being a kind of database file instead of a self-extracting executable. I think it's worth the increase in size though.

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11/01/2018

SVGGraph 2.26

Version 2.26 of SVGGraph is really just an update to the data and custom labels - there's not much else in it. Having said that, there are quite a few changes to the labels, as demonstrated by the example below.

New label styles

The first update is the addition of new label types for use with the data_label_type option. The new types are “circle”, “square”, “linecircle”, “linebox”, “linesquare” and “line2”. The “circle” and “square” types are similar to the “box” style from earlier versions, just an enclosing shape around the text label. The other types have some more options to play with.

Read more . . .

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