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Shell+ 3.0 release notes

Dear users, we are glad to announce the release of version 3.0


Delphi 2005 and 2006 support

This version introduces Win32-mode support for Borland Delphi 2005 and 2006. Other versions supported are: Delphi 5, Delphi 6 and Delphi 7. C++ Builder will not be supported by version 3.


New package names and licensing options

Since this version we separate library for two packages: generic and namespace.

  •  Generic - contains components that allows to create generic shell extensions
  •  Namespace - contains all components from Generic package and specialized components for creating namespace extensions

This version of Shell+ is completely compatible by components, properties, methods and file names with any previous Shell+ versions. The only difference - source code and library files are stored in different folders. Please read about installing new packages before start working with Shell+

All users who ordered previous versions of Shell+ will be automatically licensed for both: Generic and Namespace packages. Please contact us in order to get the registration key for namespace package.

This improvement allows us to offer components by relatively low price for users who needs only basic functionality like context menu or property page extensions. Please read more about packages on our "Shell Extensions Map" page


TsxExplorerBand component

The TsxExplorerBar component allows you to add custom bands and toolbars to Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer (since Win 98 explorer.exe supports all features of Internet Explorer). The common and well known bands in Explorer are - Search, Favorites, Folders, etc. Now you can create your own!

TsxExplorerBand component allows you to create Internet Explorer toolbars like Google Toolbar or MSN Toolbar. Also, it is possible to create Desk Bands (dockable windows on Desktop). The popular examples of Desk Bands are - Google Desktop Search band and Microsoft Media Player 9 band.

The process is simple: create ActiveX library with TSxModule, place TsxExplorerBand component there. Then create ExplorerBandForm from menu - File -> New... -> Shell Extensions and assign it to the TsxExplorerBand.BandFormClass property. Your new explorer band will start working after rebuilding and registration using regsvr32.exe utility.

Download Examples


TsxFileDropTarget - making files as destinations for Drag&Drop

This is a well known operation is Windows Shell. Just drag&drop some files to a zip-file and files will be added automatically or you will be asked to confirm adding files to the archive. With TsxFileDropTarget component you can add this feature to your application's file format.

Download Examples


TsxChangeNotifier - component became much faster

In this version TsxChangeNotifier component uses special API that exists in W2K and later Windows versions. This makes reaction for created, modified and deleted files almost immediately.

Use the property TsxChangeNotifier.ChangeNotifyAlgorithm to specify the API that will be used by component to watch for modified files. Value naAuto enables component to choose appropriate API automatically. So your applications will work on prior- and post-W2K operating systems without any additional work.


Themed background can be optionaly displayed for PropertyPage

    Some thirdparty Delphi components are not displayed correctly on shell property pages with themed background. In this case just set DrawXPBackground property on your property page form to False.


New events and properties for DataProvider component

    This version introduces several new events to the DataProvider component:

  •  ExtraLargeIcons and ExtraLargeOverlays properties used to support 48x48 icons. You must specify TsxIconList components to these properties and fill them with appropriate icon images.
  •  BeforeDropEx event occurs before DataGrain is being dropped on the NSE. With this event you able to get the path to a file which is being dropped and the DataGrain which is represent it.
  •  OnGetGrainDisplayName event occurs when Windows Shell request the name of element which is currently displayed. You can specify any name for element, otherwise display name will be taken from DataGrain.Name property.
  •  DataGrain cache operations (CacheTimeout property and OnGetCacheTimeout event)
  •  OnProvideGrainAppearance event allows you to specify visualization options for any DataGrain that will be displayed in Windows Shell.
  •  OnRawHDROPDrop event allows you to handle drag&drop operations in raw format.
  •  Options.DefaultShellAttributes property allows you to specify default shell attributes that will be used for all DataGrains that will be displayed in Windows Shell. You can specify different options like: ghosted display, link overlay, compressed attribute, etc.


Support for 48x48 XP icons in NSE

    Since this version your NSE can use custom 48x48 icons, which is supported by Windows XP Shell and later versions. To use this opportunity you need to put new TSxIconList component on the PermanentModule and connect it to DataProvider.ExtraLargeIcons property. Set icon dimensions to IconList component equals 48x48 and make sure that it contains the same amount of icons as contained in IconList component, which linked to DataProvider.SmallIcons and DataProvider.LargeIcons properties. Of cource icons in the IconList components must follow in the identical sequence. Screenshot in the below describes the sense:


Default view mode for ShellView component

    ShellView component has new property called DefaultViewStyle. By changing this property you can specify what view style (Small Icon, Large Icon, Details, etc.) will be used as default for yours NSE ShellView.


Optimized retrieving file contents for Drag&Drop operation (this improvement is related to namespace extensions that can be opened from Common Dialogs and supported Drag&Drop operation from NSE to filesystem)

    This version contains improved algorithm for retrieving file contents in Drag&Drop operations. Now it retrieved file contents once for file using DataProvider.OnGetGrainFileContents event and cached it. To check if cached file is up-to-date it uses DataProvider.OnGetGrainFileInfo event. You must always specify valid information to FileInfo parameter.


Tray Icon enchancements

This version introduces advanced options for Tray Icon component. Now balloon notification can be displayed for any control/position in your application. Also you can display custom ballons on Win98 and older operating systems.

Some extra-options available for custom balloons: it can host any form, it can be displayed with alpha-blending and with custom Icon.


DataGrain cache (for DataProvider component)

DataGrain cache implemented to improve appearance for Namespace Extensions that retrieve data from remote data sources.

When some folder DataGrain is populated, Shell+ stores all populated DataGrains in the local list and doesn't ask to populate again if specified timeout is not expired and no grains were modified in the folder. Use additional parameter UpdateNotifyCache for method NotifyUpdateGrain to notify DataProvider which items must be reloaded from data source. Methods NotifyAddGrain, NotifyDeleteGrain, NotifyRenameGrain will notify the DataGrain cache automatically.

You can specify default timeout in the DataProvider.CacheTimeout property.


Installing new packages

Before installing Shell+ Components 3.0 you must make sure that any previous Shell+ versions are uninstalled from your computer and any related and casual files are removed.

  1. Uninstall Shell+ Components using "Add/Remove Programs" applet in Control Panel.
  2. Search through your drives for files vclShX*.* and dclShX*.* and delete them.
  3. Search for files SxService.dll and expShX*.dll and delete them.
  4. Remove references to old Shell+ directories from Delphi Environment Variables.
  5. Install new Shell+ 3.0 packages.
  6. Update license through Delphi main menu: Help -> About Shell+ and Help -> About Shell+ Namespace.

Existing users who owns the license that includes source code: please contact me, specifying your license number, to receive the registration key for Shell+ Namespace package.


Fixed bugs

The list of fixed bugs available for registered users in Mantis

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