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"Wyatt Says..." is a collection of articles by Wyatt O'Day talking about wyDay products and the things we've learned along the way.


Wyatt Says...

July 19th, 2007

Over the last week I’ve gotten some useful feedback on InstantUpdate. There were some bug reports like lack of proxy support in the client, and some rare crashes in the designer. Though the most requested feature was multilingual support.

Supporting other languages was something I had thought about briefly two years ago when I started InstantUpdate, but it quickly left my mind amid the ocean of technical puzzles. The only other time I thought about it was last week, before putting up the release candidate, when I peaked at my server logs. I noticed that around half my visitors come from countries where English isn’t the official language. But, being the monolingual American that I am, I didn’t connect this fact with need for multilingual support. Stupid me.

On the internet your dog’s a medical doctor

As is typical with anything released on the internet, not all the feedback was so useful. One site had a bag of comments all accusing me of dishonest motives. It was summed up succinctly by a user “doc” who stated “trojan.gen.ds these idiots must think we are stupid”.

You’re not stupid, just inexperienced. All that “trojan.gen.ds” means is that your lousy virus scanner misinterpreted the InstantUpdate installer to be a “generic DOS trojan.” If you download InstantUpdate from my site you’ll find this accusation to be patently false. If I were to include a virus with InstantUpdate it would be akin to a butcher knowingly poisoning his meat; it’s just bad business.

So why the virus warnings then? Simple – I use a library called ExecDos in the installer. All ExecDos does is hides the console windows when I run NGEN (an optimization program) so that all the user sees when they’re installing is the normal graphical interface. Because of ExecDos’s main function (hiding windows) it’s been used by inept virus writers to install malicious software without the user being any the wiser.

This being the case, it’s no surprise that slipshod virus scanners make a blanket statement that everything using ExecDos is a virus. In keeping with the butcher metaphor, these lousy virus scanners are acting like a police force that realizes sharp objects can kill. In the police force’s haste to ensure safety, they arrest everyone that owns a sharp object. The butcher is thrown in jail and the town quickly achieves a protein deficiency.

If you need further proof, SoftPedia verified that InstantUpdate is indeed “100% clean” of viruses, spyware, and all that other nasty muck.

Release candidate 2

In about two weeks I’ll upload the second release candidate with bug-fixes, interface polishing, and the beginnings of multilingual support. Until then, keep the comments coming (yes, even the bad ones).

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