2004's news archive

2004-12-24 -- Merry Christmas (link)

I wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy new year (Especially HS customers :) ).

2004 has been a very special and a very nice year. 2004 is the year of the "big leap". The year when I left my day job to work exclusively on HS programs. I am grateful to every customer. It is because of each of you that HS programs can have such a high quality. It is also because of each of you that I can enjoy every minute I spend programming.

I can only hope 2005 (already dubbed "the year of Python"), will be as good (maybe better!) as 2004.

I won't be there to answer the e-mails until 2005/01/02. Sorry for the inconvenience.

2004-12-08 -- Bye bye Delphi, hello Python! (link)

You might be wondering what's happening with HS lately due to the lack of news and updates.

It is because I recently bought Delphi 2005 and I have been deeply disappointed by it. I decided that I would NOT take the .NET path. It does look good, but while I was fooling around with it (and with D2005 bugs), I thought that it would be a good idea to also evaluate Python (if I was to take the interpreted path, I might as well try some others interpreted languages), which I did.

Verdict: I love Python. This language is completely wicked. I think I found my new favourite language. Now if Python could have a "with" like statement, it would be the coder's paradise.

Besides, Python has wxPython, a cross-platform GUI library. I though that .NET would take me nearer to Linux (with Mono), but now I'm right into it!

I spent the whole last week working on a new project coded in Python and using wxPython. I'll give details about it when it is advanced enough.

2004-11-10 -- New Mp3 Filter version (link)

I published a new Mp3 Filter version ( today. This version has two new features: Result window column customization and results recalling. Yes, you can now add/remove columns in the result window. And you can also load your last results without having to rescan with the "Load last results" menu item in the main window. This can be useful when you complete a long scan, but you do not have enough time to evaluate your duplicates.

2004-10-29 -- New Webguru version (link)

Webguru 1.4 was released today. It features ChartSVG support. The filtering system also been improved. Now, you can add a group to it's parameters. For example, if you want to exclude visits from warez sites, instead of listing your warez sites in the filter, you can create a group "warez", and add "{warez}" to your filter parameters.

2004-10-07 -- ChartSVG to be in Webguru soon (link)

Since ChartSVG is now quite usable, I started working on it's integration in Webguru. It is harder than I first thought it would be, but the work is progressing steadily. You can see a sample chart produced by Webguru (XML file or rendered SVG file).

2004-09-24 -- Introducing Dupeguru (link)

Here is some brand new stuff people! Dupeguru, a lightweight version of Mp3 Filter is now available! Under the hood, Dupeguru is quite like Mp3 Filter: Roaring, lightning fast engine. However, Dupeguru works for any kind of file, not only music files, and is much simpler to configure.

2004-09-24 -- dupeGuru 1.0.0 released (link)

  • Initial release.

2004-09-08 -- Creation of the ChartSVG project (link)

I started to work on a Linux version of Webguru. There is a little problem however: The component I use to create charts in Webguru is not portable. That is why I created an open source project today called ChartSVG. It is a collection of XSLT scripts that transforms a XML (In webguru's case, that XML would contain log files statistics) in a SVG file.

2004-09-02 -- New Mp3 Filter version + Outsource section (link)

Two new things today: Mp3 Filter v.4.1 and a modification to the website. MF 4.1 features a selection wizard in the scan results. This features let's you select duplicates depending on their attributes (directory, priority, size, duration, bitrate). That gives you much more control over your duplicates. The website modification features a brand new section: Outsource. Yes. Hardcoded Software now offers an outsourcing service.

2004-08-22 -- New Webguru version (link)

Webguru 1.3 is finally released. Now I gotta take a day off... whew!

2004-08-18 -- New Webguru beta version (link)

Webguru 1.2.5 a.k.a Beta 3 was released today. It features more bugfixes, and a severly cutened configuration wizard :) . You can download it at the Webguru preview page.

2004-08-16 -- New Webguru beta version (link)

The Webguru beta presentation page is up. It has the links to new sample reports, screenshots, and documentation.

2004-08-08 -- New Webguru beta version (link)

I released Webguru 1.3 beta version this morning. There is a lot of polishing that is still needed to be done (especially in the help file), but the program itself is quite functional. The best way to learn about Webguru is to look at how "sample_profile" is built.

2004-08-05 -- That beta Webguru version should be there soon (link)

Announcing a Webguru 1.3 beta version for this week was a bit optimistic. However, I'm pretty sure that it will be ready next week.

2004-08-02 -- Announcing upcoming Webguru beta version (link)

I'm almost through with Webguru 1.3. I should be able to publish a beta version this week.

2004-07-24 -- Website updated, now 100% valid (link)

I decided to somewhat clean the website today. The website never really been 100% valid HTML nor CSS. There always been a couple of non-standard stuff, and I always been too lazy to fix them all. I am pleased to annouce that the website is now 100% valid XHTML 1.0 strict, and also has a 100% valid CSS stylesheet. I also went through broken link (All of them were in old news). However, although I quite tested everything with both Mozilla and MSIE, there might be some glitches I didn't notice, I would appreciate to have these glitches reported.

2004-07-23 -- New Mp3 Filter version (link)

Mp3 Filter was released today. It fixes a couple of nasty bugs, so it is a good idea to update it now.

2004-07-15 -- New Mp3 Filter version (link)

Mp3 Filter v4.0.4.1 today. This version features a couple of bugfixes, and Ogg Vorbis support.

2004-07-13 -- Announcing upcoming Webguru and Mp3 Filter releases (link)

For those who might wonder what's next, I'm bringing Webguru to the last HS flavor. In other words, I'm changing Webguru so it uses the generic improvements I made with Mp3 Filter v4. I'm also redesigning a couple of things and rewriting to help file in XML/XSLT (Like I did with mf4's help). It's not a complete redesign as it was with mf4, so it's not going to take as much time. After that, I plan to add a couple of features to mf4. One of them will be the ability to replace a reference file by the dupe file if it has a better quality. Of course, this feature will only be for special cases, because the reference file inherently has a better quality most of the time, except when you play with directory priorities. This feature would allow you to scan "My Downloads" for dupes to "Full Albums" (Set at reference priority), and then copy all higher quality dupe files from "My Downloads" to "Full Albums".

2004-07-07 -- New Mp3 Filter version (link)

Mp3 Filter version today. A couple of minor issues with the configuration wizard and with a couple of functions not working for non-winxp OS. I also had problems with the msi installer. I didn't know that a msi installation had to be bootstrapped for it to work properly as an update. If you start a msi file of a program that is already installed on your computer without giving special command line parameters, you'll get an error saying that you must uninstall the application before installing the update, which is silly. Well, I bootstrapped everything, and made a free extracting archive, thanks to FreeExtractor. Everything works like a charm now.

2004-07-05 -- Mp3 Filter is now at v4.0! (link)

Wow. There are a lot of things to think about when releasing a major version like Mp3 Filter 4. That's it: Mp3 Filter is officially version 4 now.

2004-06-30 -- New Mp3 Filter version (link)

Mp3 Filter 4.0 RC1 is there. RC1 (Release Candidate) means that unless there are bugs in this version, it will be the Mp3 Filter v4 final version.

2004-06-28 -- Elections in Canada (link)

It's election day here in Canada. Have you voted yet (If you're canadian, of course)? It's also beta release date here. v0.4.1 is out. There's not a lot of new things, but I made the MSI installer (using Wix, the open source MSI builder from Microsoft. Yes! this is the first OSS project from Microsoft). Let me tell you that building a Wix file manually, having never played with MSI stuff is hard. At least, I now know the basics, so the next installer will be easier. You can get the new beta mf4 here[link no longer valid]

2004-06-21 -- New Mp3 Filter version (link)

Once again, a new Mp3 Filter release! This release has a configuration wizard, and a couple of bugs fixed. This wizard was a lot of work. I also made sure everything worked well using only keyboard. I would really appreciate feedback on how easy to use the wizard is for you. The more "Mp3 Filter newbie" you are, the more I want your feedback :) .

2004-06-14 -- New Mp3 Filter version (link)

New Mp3 Filter release today! This is version It includes:

  • a help file
  • a default profile called "quick_scan"
  • a 2 panes detailed view in scan result window
  • content comparison type (It even works with MPL!)
  • a couple of bug fixes
  • I think I forget a couple of things.
Don't forget to delete all your MPL files before installing this version (The MPL format has changed)!

2004-06-13 -- Still working on MF (link)

I'm working on the mf4 documentation for a couple of days now. It is long and tedious to do, but it is much better than the previous docs I made because I now write XML files, and render it into HTML using XSLT. I also fixed a couple of bugs in mf4 beta, and added a couple of little features. I plan to update the beta this week. It will not include all the planned features yet, but my todo list is shrinking at a steady rate. A final version for July is quite a reasonable guess. Note for current beta users: Before installing the next version of the beta, you will have to delete all MPL files you created because the format has changed.

2004-06-10 -- Mp3 Filter documentation (link)

I started the help file, and I now have a glossary. You might want to take a look at it if you're confused.

2004-06-08 -- New Mp3 Filter version (link)

Ok, the big test is right now. I did upload my mf4 beta version. You can get it here[link no longer valid]. To install, just unzip all files into the same directory. There is no help file nor configuration wizards yet, but using mf4 is quite simple. Here is the simple HDD scan procedure:

  • New Profile.
  • Profile Name: hdd_scan.
  • Go to directory section.
  • Locate your hard drive in the left pane and select it.
  • Click Add Directory.
  • Click OK to close the profile edition window.
  • Select your newly created profile.
  • Click Run Profile.
  • If you want to delete every dupe found: Select All/Delete.
  • Close Window.
For custom duplicate scans, play around, you shouldn't have trouble figuring the way the settings work. You can always e-mail me if you have questions.

2004-06-02 -- Upcoming Mp3 Filter beta (link)

Did I say that I would have a beta mf4 ready for the first half of june? If I meant by that a quite fully functional, but without wizards/help file/installer, that would be true! I'm currently hunting bugs. Not every single feature is implemented yet, but most of them are. Ready next week, I dare say.

2004-05-20 -- Still working hard on MF (link)

This week has been tough for mf4 development, being tricked by my lust for perfection. I've been staring at my screen for hours wondering what would be the most graceful way to handle basic actions (Delete/Copy/Move) for both real files and mpl virtual files. I did say in my last post that I would publish another screenshot of mf4 as soon as the icons would be completed. Here is it: [link no longer valid] What we see here is the Result List in mf3. This screen is quite straightforward: Select songs - Delete/Copy/Move - Close. However, this screenshot shows 2 new mf4 little features. First, the directory priorities. In my profile, I did set my "My Music" directory to have a higher priority than my "mftest" directory. Thus, all songs that come from mftest and are dupe to "My Music" songs will always be flagged as dupe. If 2 songs are duplicate, and come from the same directory priority, the classic Extension/Size/Duration/Br criterias will apply. The second (little) feature is the directory aliases, which makes the Path reading much easier ("%mymusic%" is easier to read than "C:\Document and settings\HSoft\My Documents\My Music" and uses much less space.) I also have another screenshot showing the profile edition window, but it is too wide to be shown in the main page. Thus, you will have to [link no longer valid]. Maybe that my estimates for a beta in may was a bit optimistics though. Let's say first half of june.

2004-05-06 -- Working hard on MF (link)

April has been an hardcore month. I was coding, and coding again, and wondering if I would ever see the end of all this. I have a pretty functional version of mf4 for a week or so. File and mp3 list comparison work. My new mp3 list format is cool. Directory priorities are much better than mf3 ones. Delete/Copy/Move work. My to-do list has more and more "done" in it. In fact, I should be able to release a public beta version this month. Oh, by the way: The new icons are awesome. They are still being worked on, and I will post a new screenshot as soon as they're finished (Probably this week).

2004-04-07 -- MF4 screenshots (link)

I was working on mf4 user interface today, and I thought it would be nice if I would publish a preview of what mf4 interface will look. [link no longer valid]

2004-04-02 -- New website design is there! (link)

The new website design is right there! It might look quite similar to the old one, but in fact, the code behind it is much simpler. I also got rid of that php driven stuff, which wasn't needed at all, and had performance drawbacks. Now, only the news are php driven.

2004-03-23 -- New website design (link)

The new website design and mf4 are both taking shape very well. All comments about the new design are welcome ( As all comments on any HS product, of course! ). And I would really like to know if the design isn't rendered properly by your browser.

2004-03-12 -- Auto-balanced binary trees! (link)

I moved to a new appartment two weeks ago, so I lost a weekend of programming, but the new appartment is much nicer :) I'm tring to fix a performance (quite a big one) problem with MF4, and I have to change the whole underlying class set for the duplicate finding engine, so it is quite long, but I feel that it will worth it. In technical words, I first thought that a double chained list would make the trick, but it looked like it does NOT. Thus, my base data structure will now be an auto-balanced binary tree (implementing those is quite fun...). Two days ago, to change my mind, I decided to revamp the website. It will be XML/XSL driven, and should be much lighter. You can have a look at what it will look like here.

2004-02-20 -- Test Driven Development (link)

I gave Test Driven Development (TDD) a try this week. It rocks! The idea behind this is to build a test suite program BEFORE building the actual program. After you built all your test units, you build your program, and you keep doing it until all tests are positive. This first reduce considerably the number of bugs in a program, and it also prevents a small change to break another part of the code. TDD is also called eXtreme Programming (XP) (http://www.xprogramming.com/) (Well, maybe it's not the same thing, but it looks pretty similar to my eyes.). What does this all mean for HS and MF4 release? Well, it means that it will take longer for me to release MF4 (I have much less free time than I first thought anyway...), but it also means that it will be virtually bug-free :) ( If I can manage to build a complete test suite... there are a lot of things to think about when building these... )

2004-01-18 -- Working on MF4 (link)

I spent my whole sunday working on Mp3 Filter version 4 (For those who don't know, it is a complete rewrite, which will damn rule). It is taking form awesomely, and should be ready within 2 months, if I can have enough free time to work on it. Don't forget that all purchases are entitled to lifetime updates. Thus, you don't have to wait mf4 release to purchase it ;)