Back in the spring I posted about Px Tools 3.4 and plans for 4.0, and at the time I really thought 3.4 was close. What I discovered is that I now know a lot more about producing good code than I did a few years ago, but I didn’t know enough about how long that takes! Added to that, there was a little scope creep, both in the Rules system and the implemented Experimental Tasks. In the long run I am glad those things made it into 3.4, but my apologies they took so damn long.
So now, an update to the update.
Px Tools 3.4
-Rules: The Rules system started off as a relatively small proof of concept, and developed quickly into an already extensive set of rules, and specifically now support testing for already installed software or specific updates, and skips the install completely but logs in history as complete. This is HUGE given that Autodesk installers of late are failing when a newer version is already installed, whereas before they would handle this condition elegantly.
-Nested Tasks: Both Install and Uninstall experimental tasks got nested pre tasks, which facilitates handling a number of annoying conditions. For example stopping the ADA service before uninstalling Desktop App, or stopping the Personal Accelerator process before updating an unbundled C4R.
-Experimental Tasks: Seven experimental tasks made it into Px Tools 3.4, including a last minute ManagePinnedShortcut_Ex that addresses Windows 10 pinning. I know a few of you will consider that worth some wait all on it’s own. The complete list
- Delete_Ex: Use Rules to only move certain files, for example to clean up Temp files at every logon.
- InstallProgram_Ex: Pre-Tasks to manage Services and Processes, and Uninstall to remove previous version when required. uninstall also can use a text file list of GUID for en-mass uninstalls, including the BlueBeam supplied BAT file as GUID source rather than executable.
- ManagePinnedShortcut_Ex: Now with Windows 10!
- Move_Ex: Use Rules to only move certain files, and expanded Tokens to rename the moved file. For example, to move Journals to a network folder, renamed by date, user and machine, ready for processing.
- ReviseFile_Ex: Now works on big, nay HUGE files.
- SetPermissions_Ex: Works across all Css, and works on Program Files folders. Good for those horrible programs that expect you to make the user a Local Admin. Instead just modify permissions on the one folder needed, and maintain your overall security.
- UninstallProgram_Ex: Pre-Tasks to manage Services and Processes.
- Utilities: Both Manage Shortcuts and Installed Programs got some love to support new features in 3.4.
- Shared Component awareness: Unfortunately, this feature did not make it into 3.4.
Px Tools 3.4 is now in public beta, and current customers can download and test, with extensive documentation available in the courses. I will be doing some more testing myself during down time at BiLT Europe this week, and baring any surprises I will sign final code as soon as I return, and PxTools 3.4 will be in the wild!
Px Tools 4.0
Development continues, and in a more productive fashion thanks to lessons learned over the last six months. I will be continuing development in parallel with some production work for the next few months, planning on Refactor completion by the new year, and Px Tools 4.0 in beta testing by March. That schedule is based on a LOT of soul searching, and hopefully I have finally learned how long it takes as well as what needs to be done. I don’t want to be doing another one of these next year!