Z-Net I v1.2 Beta, Stage 2

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I'm doing this on a whim. I felt I could no longer wait on feedback from IRC Beta testers, and I could no longer wait for the only other private Beta tester to test the recent changes. So I'm starting the 2nd stage of the Beta. What that means is, it's now a public Beta available directly on the website. This is still not a distribution build, so don't host it else where. And don't link directly to it, link to this post or website instead.

For as long as this is in Beta, v1.1 will still be online. Once it's no longer a Beta I may or may not disable v1.1 from working. My hope now is that most users will be using v1.2, and only using v1.1 if there's a serious issue. (UPDATE: I have chosen to disable v1.1 for a day or two to make sure people try to use this instead. It will be online again later before going offline permanently with v1.2 is out of Beta.)

Anyone posting about this directly to non-English users, please translate this as well as a copy of the included Rules.txt.

This is a Beta. Feedback about the bugs and issues is the primary goal right now. This is not meant for re-distribution, and should only be made available through www.z-net.us. If you feel you want to link to it, please link to the named website instead. Please also supply translations of the Rules.txt as needed.

That message applies to English speaking users as well. While I've made many strides to better facilitate the use of Z-Net I by users of multiple languages, English speaking users have always been and will always be the target audience. I can not account for all the possible languages, so I won't even attempt to account for any. So it's in the hands of the users to translate anything users need to know if sharing Z-Net I directly with non-English speakers.

Without further ado, here's the download link!


For a complete list of the changes from v1.1 to 1.2, look at the end of this post.

If you downloaded the previous IRC beta, you will need to re-download this.

For help and the reporting of any issues, please use the forum link below.

Help and Bug Report Forum


I've already discovered a tiny flaw in my protocol message validation code. The flaw will occasionally cause some protocol messages to be ignored. I've uploaded an improvement fix over the last one. It's an improvement, but not perfect and I would still like to address the issue some more. To experience as few issues as possible you should upgrade if you got the previous v1.2.0.1, but it's not absolutely necessary. As soon as I can think of how I want to try fixing it better I'll be posting a update. This is how betas go, so just be prepared to update again at some point.


I've learned of an issue causing the Client to crash when trying to download from the Host. Fixing the issue was easy, but the fix wont be available till the next beta version. I don't want to bombard users with updates to often.
Changelog from 1.1:

Updated to use more modern source libraries.
Added a "Use UDP" option to the Host Window. This option gives access to using TCP, but it was labeled like this and defaults to being enabled to better match up with what people are used to.
Moved the "Disallow downloading" option to the Host Window under the label "Disallow Downloads". It makes more sense there, and it allows the Host to toggle it on and off as he wishes. It won't apply until you select your next game or until someone new joins.
Added a global Chat Lobby window. This Chat Lobby window will only be accessible by the control of mods. Mods can toggle its use on and off for everyone at will. When available it is accessed from a "Chat" option on the "Game" menu.
Made the Host, Client and Chat Lobby windows re-sizable.
Added Hotlink support to the Host, Client and Chat Lobby windows.
Added the ability to Copy highlighted text in the output area of the Host, Client and Chat Lobby windows, with Ctrl + C and a right click popup menu.
The Download option is now up to around 8x faster then before. Resuming incomplete downloads is now supported properly. There's is also now a speed indicator in the File Transfer window title bar.
Removed the File Transfer port range. It's now just 4000 by default.
Added the option to use preset game room names instead of requiring a selected game.
Added popup bubbles that act as a introduction guide for first time users.
Added better security for the Z-Net I protocol communications.
Added a Region option to display a country code with your game room listing.
Added a new window for managing the Ignore & Allow lists, along with menu options to toggle which is in effect.
Updated the Ignore & Allow lists to allow support for Regions. Simply use "[**]" instead of a name, replacing the wildcards with the country code.
Made the Ignore list (but not the Allow list) effect the Chat Lobby window. The Ignore list will be used regardless of what Ignore/Allow mode is toggled on.
Renamed and moved several ini keys. Z-Net I will automatically convert the old keys to the new ones.
Added a "Open Ini" option to the view menu. This should help with advanced settings.
Added an INI option for using timestamps on the messages displayed in the Host/Client Windows. "timestamps=1" under the "[options]" section.
Added an INI option to enable logging the messages of the Host/Client Windows to a text file. "gameroomlog=1" under the "[options]" section. The text file is called "GameRoomLog.txt" and will be located in the install directory.
Added a "debug" key to the "options" section of the ini. 1 turns if on, 0 turns it off.
Added "hidejoins" and "hidequits" keys under the [options] section of the ini, to hide those types of messages.
Added a "openchatlobby" key to the [options] section of the ini, to automatically open the Chat Lobby when its available.
Added a few extra messages for the Host/Client windows, to help cover times were users would be unsure or results of what they are doing.
Added and additional message to show that selecting a game from the create window also loads the selected game, and selecting it again from the host window is pointless. It always has been.
Improved the Hotkey combos. Few users knew they existed. They are now labeled on the menu, and there are even ones for some of the new options.
Updated the UI of the main window to be more modern with a Toolbar, Menubar icons, and color schemes. This comes with a new "View" menu as well.
Upgraded ZNI to using a higher version of Comctl32.dll for the display of controls. It also helps make things look more modern now.
Cleaned up some residue with text strings left over from zbattle cloning, due to feeling they no longer made sense, if they ever did.
Added the ability for your last chosen game and/or preset in the "Create Game Room" window to be saved and used as the defaults the next time you open the window.
Added a "Single-Player" option to the "Game" menu. This prompts you to select a game, and run it in ZSNES for single player gaming while you wait.
Colorized the messages in the Host/Client windows.
Changed the Message Box popup for Notices/Announcements, Kicks and such. This time it's custom made to look similar to the normal API message box, but the major difference's are that it's re-sizable and has hotlink support!
Fixed an issue with using a background image in the game list window not displaying, or looking for the ini file in the wrong location.
Fixed an oversight with selecting a game from the host window, not preforming the same checks as the "Create Game Room" window, like it should have.
Fixed a issue with selecting a zsnesw.exe changing the default directory for selecting a game away from the gamedir.
Removed the use of the generic Z-NetUser## nick name. In all cases when it would have been used, users are instead given an error and redirected to supply a valid name.
Fixed the File Transfer window closing when a user presses enter with it focused.
Fixed long standing, but likely not often occurring oversight that allowed for the possibility of ZNI overwriting a users ROMs. Fixed an issue with being unable to connect to the IRC server that Z-Net I uses, and seeing a socket error.
Fixed/changed many other unannounced things.


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