Wizcode was founded in 2001. We now have more than 100,000 customers worldwide.

Wizcode’s Evolution framework announced

by on Sep 18


Wizcode Evolution frameworkDear Wizcode fans,

 

As you have probably already guessed we at Wizcode have been quite busy during the last few months. It is time to reveal our secret project. Our new framework of code is finally out! Meet Wizcode's Evolution framework and prepare for our new product line.

 

As developers we always tend to write code that is robust and easy to maintain, contains fewer bugs and can be easily upgraded with new features without being written from scratch. During the last 5 years we've written lot's of code. Although our code was very good (and when I'm telling you that you should know that I've seen lot's of code) we knew we could make some classes better or redesign some of our components to make them more modular. So about a year ago we started major work on a huge internal project called "Evolution" that was about to lay the foundation of all our future products.

 

We postponed major releases of products like Pocket Mechanic Professional, Pocket Hack Master and Virtual Explorer and gave priority to "Evolution". With "Evolution" we can now make things that would have taken us weeks of development before. Our updated product line will be based on the new framework.

 

Now let me give you a short overview of Wizcode's "Evolution" framework.

 

User interface

"Evolution" will dramatically improve the user interface of our products. The first thing most users will notice is that graphical resources are now separated from executable files. Before "Evolution" our products contained two identical sets of images - one for low-resolution QVGA or similar screens and one of high-resolution VGA screens. With "Evolution" resources are placed outside executable files in a set of dynamic link libraries. The other nice feature in this design is that it enables "skinning" of our applications.

A major new feature is the true 32 bit color support. You probably have noticed that Windows CE does not natively support 32 bit icons. Windows XP icons just do not look right on Windows CE. The reason for that is lack of support for alpha-channel on Windows CE. Alpha-channel support adds an additional transparency layer to images and greatly improves them visually. That is why Windows XP icons look that nice. I am not sure why Microsoft decided not to support alpha-channel on the Pocket PC - I can only be guessing they were forced to do so because of performance issues. Alpha-channel processing requires heavy CPU-intensive floating point calculations. Well we managed to come up with code that handles alpha blazingly fast and from now on all our products will feature stunning Vista-style graphics.

 

Storage

We have developed a very reliable relational database storage engine in "Evolution". Now we can manage unlimited amounts of data faster and more reliably than ever before. Data encryption and compression is a standard feature from now on. This new storage layer enables us to start work on projects that couldn't be possible before. I would very much like to announce some of them but I won't do that before we have a working beta version prototype for many reasons.

 

Application skeletons

"Evolution" defines a strict skeleton for every project we make. Application skeletons decrease rapid application development time and also give them a uniform look and feel. Developers can now concentrate on important functionality specific to each product instead of wasting days writing common code like registration and help screens, common dialogs and message boxes, launchers, installers etc.

 

File system

We redesigned the code used to access and manipulate the file system. Native file system access has been separated from direct storage card access (FAT).

 

FAT low-level access

Wizcode has always been the absolute leader in this area. Our ScanDisk, Defragment, Format and similar storage card modules are widely recognized by a large number of customers. Although "Evolution" doesn't bring in any significant changes in the FAT layer code we have still added new features to it. Take for instance the interfaces that allow us to enumerate deleted files on a volume. Or the related code to "undelete" a file.

 

Windows CE databases

"Evolution" greatly improves CEDB and EBD Windows CE database manipulation. Most of our work is based on studying publicly and not-so-publicly available source code and on internal investigation of undocumented features. The final result is a very stable layer that allows access to the native Windows CE database storage system.

 

Windows Mobile 6

Applications based on "Evolution" fully support the new style WM5/WM6 application guidelines and specific user interface features as well as the old style WM2003 and earlier platforms.

 

Internet

What was lacking in our products so far was Internet access. With "Evolution" Internet access is no longer an issue. And yes, this means more Internet-based application from Wizcode.

 

Miscellaneous

Other "Evolution" features worth mentioning are XML, compression/decompression, and PNG support.

 

What's next?

We will update all our bestselling products based on the "Evolution" framework. We have already started work on Pocket Mechanic Professional v3. A preliminary version will be available in about a month. Pocket Hack Master and Virtual Explorer will be updated after that as well.

 

We are also working on a set of new products. We will announce a new family of Windows Mobile data recovery products based on our "Phoenix" platform in less than a week.  Beta testing slots will be announced here, in our developer blog and in our forums.

Stay tuned!


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By peacock93 on Sep 18, 2008

Outstanding News Anton!!!!

As always I continue to be a huge fan of your products. I’ll keep an eye out for the betas so that I can help test your new Evolution framework products!

peacock93

By Anton Tomov on Sep 18, 2008

Hey peacock93,
Thank you for the kind words! As soon as you try any of our new products I hope you will confirm that it was worth the waiting smile We will probably announce the first beta and post some teasing screenshots tomorrow.

Anton

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