• Could WinPY spark a WinMX resurgence
  • Could WinPY spark a WinMX resurgence
    Written by battye
    Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:04 am
     


    Released initially on April 25th of 2008, WinPY is WinMX's last genuine chance at gaining back the users it lost after the 2005 closure of Frontcode Technologies. WinPY - the PY standing for Python - is an open source WinMX client programmed in the Python language, created by long time CricketMX.com forum member String and released under the GPL license. Alpha version 0.1 is primitive, but if it is a sign of things to come, then it most certainly has potential.

    WinPY is freely available on Sourceforge.net: http://sourceforge.net/projects/winpy

    After downloading it, you must also install the latest version of Python, which admittedly is a downside to WinPY. Python 2.5.2 can be downloaded, again for free, at http://www.python.org/download/releases/2.5.2/

    After extracting WinPY from the zip files and installing Python, there is one trick required for WinPY to run properly. As CricketMX.com file sharing expert p2p-sharing-rules said to me;

    If you add w to .py it'll get rid of the cmd prompt window when you start WinPY. I added w to the end of the .py extension to WinPY.py so now the cmd prompt window won't load when I start it. I found out by adding .pyw to WinPY.py (in the WinPY folder that you unzipped) only that transfers wouldn't start so I added .pyw to Transfers.py and it downloads with the .pyw extension. For some reason if I only added it WinPY.pyw I couldn't download from anyone using WinPY.


    And as mentioned, changing the extension of WinPY.py to WinPY.pyw works a charm, and then double clicking the file opens the client in a much more visually pleasing manner. Theoretically, WinPY should still run by double clicking WinPY.py without altering the extension, however that didn't work for me when I attempted it.

    Image

    As can be seen from the image above, the Networks window is quite basic, and at this stage only secondary connections are available (although primary connectivity as well as an OpenNap function have been touted for future releases).

    Image

    Searching is easy to do, although the functionality is still buggy. For instance, hitting the stop button doesn't actually stop the search results, which I found meant having to wait several minutes before the screen would stop moving, so I could double click a file to download. There are no right click options, so you cannot perform a Whois or Browse a user.

    Image

    Whether I simply had bad luck by getting the dial-up users, or whether there is something in the program limiting the download speed, I do not know (neither connection type nor any settings/options were available), but the files were extremely slow to download. How slow, I don't know. Unfortunately the speed is not displayed, nor can I cancel a file due to the lack of a right click menu or any such button. There are some pretty serious missing features, but in fairness, it is alpha software, and as such only has the most basic functionality.

    One particular file I downloaded was reported to be 5253105 bytes, yet downloaded to over 6700000... unless I was receiving extra packets, the search listing was incorrectly reporting file sizes.

    Sadly, the application froze before I even got a chance to complete a file. When I played the partially downloaded mp3, it was fine up until the last few seconds, so I think it is safe to assume that had WinPY not crashed, then the download would have successfully completed.

    Overall, a lot of work needs to be done on the program, but it is still in its early stages. Don't go throwing away your WinMX 2.6's or patched WinMX 3.5x's just yet, but keep an eye on this open source alternative. Give it a bit of time, and it could surpass its experienced competitors. The beauty of open source software is that anything can be altered or changed, so unlike the WinMX programs, user requested features can be added, so if WinPY achieves even a fraction of the success that WinMX did, String could have his work cut out.

    Unfortunately, we were unable to contact String prior to the publication of this article.
     
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