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WinMX Interview
December 25, 2003
Thomas Mennecke
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Despite delay after delay, WinMX continues to be one of the leading P2P networks. Although some claim its cumbersome interface and endless queues are infuriating, WinMX continues to draw a tremedous following. In addition, WinMX's surrounding community remains one of the strongest, rivialing, if not surpassing, the atmosphere created by Napster. How are things looking for the release of WinMX 4.0? Last time we spoke, estimates were placed some time around the New Year.

Frontcode: Probably not going to be done by the end of the month as I had hoped, but we're getting there. There are several problems with the chat function, such as the Rich Code Text Exploit and Nushi hacks. There is also the problem with administering the channel when the host is not around. What kinds of improvements are planned for the chat function?

Frontcode: The RichText exploit of the riched32 dll has been solved with a work-around within the client. The other issue of non-host channel administration will
also be addressed. Will Nushi and other third party clients be allow to connect to the chat network?

Frontcode: Unknown, I'm not familiar with these third-party clients. A large portion of the network uses third-party add-ons to control who may download from them based upon if the user is sharing. Will an "anti-leech" function be added to 4.0?

Frontcode: It may, if it is required. There are many improvements to 4.0 that may reduce the need for any "anti-leech" measures, so we are waiting to see how things go during the beta test. There is a lot of speculation about what features will be in the next version. Some of which are disliked. Will the installer have a modular option? That is to say, if the user doesn't want to feature, may they
choose not to install it?

Frontcode: The installer will be the same as in previous versions. If we have an option to disable a particular feature, it will be within the client settings and not within the installer. Has any thought been put into improving the Whois function? Such as adding more information; megs shared, channels they're in.

Frontcode: Adding too much info to the Whois may cause unforeseen privacy issues that some users may be uncomfortable with. In fact, 4.0 allows a user to control some important aspects of what is visible in their “whois” report to further increase privacy. Will there be a public beta test like pervious versions?

Frontcode: Yes, for sure. A lot of users seem concerned about anonymity and protecting their identity. Any possibility of discussing security features? Will WinMX users be able to hide their shared directory like in Kazaa Lite or Kazaa Media Desktop?

Frontcode: I cannot reveal any specifics until the beta test, but this is an area we devoted much thought to, and I think the solution we have come up with will be very well received by our users. What are your thoughts on the current tide of rulings in favor of P2P; such as the Canadian Copyright board stating downloading off file-sharing networks is legal, and the US court ruling that the RIAA's DMCA subpoenas are invalid?

Frontcode: n/c Can we expect any significant resolution to the "queue" situation?

Frontcode: YES! There are a few key factors with the old client that cause this, all of which have been addressed. Getting the queuing problem solved is priority #1 for us.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the community for their continued patience in waiting for the next release. WinMX is hundreds of thousands of lines of very complex C++/C/ASM code, and revising/rewriting this code-base is a very tedious and time-consuming task. I want the next version to be as good as it can be, but this comes at the expense of added development time. Please just hang on, the end result will be worth the delay.

Editor's Note: We would like to thank Kevin Hearn, President of Frontcode Technologies, who took the time out of his busy schedule, even on Christmas Day, to answer our questions. Slyck would also like to thank our forum member 'Dogmeat' who assisted in the development of these questions.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
P2P Clients :: WinMX
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: Interviews

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