Agent News Bulletin

20-June-2003

Agent 2.0 Progress Report

We've done a lot of work towards Agent 2.0 in the past year. It's time that we gave you a progress report.

wxWidgets

At the beginning of this year, we made the decision to port Agent 2.0 to wxWidgets -- a mature, open-source, cross-platform user interface toolkit:

  • Mature: wxWidgets was developed in 1992 and is used by companies, universities, and governments all over the world. wxWidgets continues to be updated by a team of developers headed by the original architect, Julian Smart.
  • Cross-Platform: wxWidgets supports Windows, Linux, and Mac. However, Agent 2.0 will only support Windows. But, in the future, Agent will be poised to support new operating systems.

Porting to wxWidgets is a major investment in Agent's future. It gives us all a state-of-the-art foundation on which to extend Agent's feature set over the next 10 years. Fortunately, the port is almost complete!

A key benefit of the wxWidgets port is that we've added many new features to Agent as a direct result of the port:

  • Image Rendering: wxWidgets has built-in support for rendering all the popular image formats such as GIF and JPG.
  • Configuration Options: We've reorganized Agent's extensive array of option dialogs into a single, user-friendly interface.
  • Spell Checking: We've upgraded to the latest version of the Wintertree spell checker which provides greater functionality and supports additional languages such as Portuguese, Dutch, and Danish.
  • Modern Look: Nearly every dialog box, toolbar, and window has been updated to modern standards.

We are not quite ready to publish Agent 2.0's exact release schedule, but we are very confident that Agent 2.0 will be available for purchase and upgrade later this year. See Agent's Product Road Map for a complete list of Agent 2.0's features.

Agent Design Board

Forté is proud to announce the formation of the Agent Design Board. We've engaged a select group of Agent users who have decades of Usenet and Internet experience. Their charter is to influence the direction of Agent's Product Road Map in accordance with the current needs of Agent Community. We are already feeling the impact of the Design Board. As a direct result of their input, Agent's 2.0 Road Map has been updated to include:

  • Task Management: Agent will give users much finer control and visibility into automated tasks such as downloading and posting. Agent 2.0 will be able to handle unattended downloads intelligently, even when anomalies (such as dropped connections) occur.
  • Multiple Connections: Agent will open and manage multiple news server connections to maximize the user's ability to download messages quickly and concurrently.
  • Threading by Descending Dates: Agent will allow the user to sort threads in descending order.

As always, we thank you for your patience and continued support. As our plans continue to fall into place, we will keep you updated on a more regular basis.

Regards,

The Forté Team

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