Zojuist heeft Patchou op zijn site een nieuwe versie uitgebracht van Messenger Plus!, te weten 3.51.128. Dit programma is een uitbreiding voor MSN Messenger en voegt enkele handige features toe, waaronder het loggen van chatsessie's en het gebruik van verschillende tekstkleuren. Voor een overzicht van alle mogelijkheden die MP! biedt, kan je surfen naar deze pagina. Versie 3.51.128 is een maintenance release en wordt geleverd met een aantal bugfixes. Naast de bugfixes is er ook een nieuwe features ingebakken in Messenger Plus!. Het gaat om een zogenoemde 'attach mode' waarmee problemen opgelost worden die betrekking hebben op het telkens overnieuw moeten installeren van het programma na elke (re)boot van de computer. Het volledig changelog ziet er als volgt uit:
- Since Messenger Plus! version 1.00, the way the software attaches itself to Messenger had not changed very much. Some people have always experienced startup problems, caused by different kinds of programs installed on the computer. These problems should now be solved thanks to a new option added to Messenger Plus!. Read the following only if you're interested in technical details :).
- The Misc section of the preferences now offers 3 methods to control the way Messenger Plus! hooks Messenger: Default Mode, Default Mode - Forced, and Alternate Mode (only available in Windows 2000/XP).
- Default Mode is the way Messenger Plus! has always used so far. Keep it that way if you never experienced problems related to the Plus! menu disappearing for no apparent reason. Default Mode - Forced is equivalent to the previous "Enable Force Mode" option and is just a trick applied over the same Default Mode to try to compensate for poorly designed softwares when the system startups.
- Alternate Mode is the new mode of interest. This mode sets a special registry key in Windows (called AppInit_DLLs) to ask Windows to load the MsgPlusLoader.dll directly when a new process is created. The end result is the same as with the Default Mode, however, this technique normally prevents other softwares from breaking the hook chain.
- Alternate Mode is in theory better than Default Mode because once it's activated, MsgPlus.exe does not need to be running for Plus! to attach to Messenger. Note that MsgPlus.exe is still not automatically removed from your computer startup when Alternate Mode is selected, that's because MsgPlus.exe is responsible for doing some basic installation diagnostic and displaying the Recovery Window. However, if you remove the MessengerPlus3 value from the Run key, everything will continue to work properly (see below).
- More and more software now monitor registry changes to "protect" users from unwanted programs. Depending on how those software are configured, changed in the Run key may be prevented automatically or by default, creating the now well known "I have to reinstall Messenger Plus! every time I restart my computer" problem. Messenger Plus! now checks for the existence of its value in the Run key and if it can't find it, Alternate Mode is automatically selected to repair the problem.
- Note that the registry key used to activate Alternate Mode could also be monitored by a software installed on your computer. Trying to enable Alternate Mode and preventing the registry change to occur will simply result in Messenger Plus! not working anymore. As any other program, Messenger Plus! adds/changes registry settings to function properly. Badly designed registry monitor programs cause much more problem than they prevent, for any program.
- The Recovery Window has been modified. When "Automatically Repair" is selected, the software automatically switches from Default Attach Mode to Alternate Attach Mode and back again from Alternate Mode to Default Mode when needed.
- The "HandleMessengerStart" registry setting has been documented and now also controls how the new attach mode operates.
- A /notif command has been added which opens the Notification Configuration window for a given contact.
- The /sendfile command has been fixed for the final version of Messenger 7, however, no parameter is allowed for this command anymore (remember that you can use /dropfile too).
- Sound Pack files (with a plp extension) are now associated to Messenger Plus! in the Windows shell. This means that the sound packs now have a nice Plus! icon attached to them and you can import a sound pack just by double clicking on it. Note however that MSN Messenger or Windows Messenger must be running for the import to succeed.
- When sending a custom sound, if the server takes some time to respond and you switch to another window, the focus is restored before the sound is actually sent to your contact (that way, the sound is properly sent).
- The custom emoticon problem for the Quick Icon panel and MSN Messenger 7 has been fixed.
- In several windows of Messenger Plus! (like the event viewer and the floating windows), the status icons now use the Messenger 7 style (in MSN Messenger 7 only).
- Fixed a bug that stopped handwriting to work when a contact sent a message while drawing (this bug was only happening when custom names were enabled).
- Wink messages are now properly logged and formatted in the chat window.
- Added improvement in Messenger Plus! to let plugins like StuffPlug add something before custom contact names (like timestamps).
- Emoticons are showing properly in personal messages displayed in the chat window when custom names are used.
- The enhanced Plus! icon in the contact list is now more tolerant to color variation (fixes problems when using a 16bits display).
- Animated GIF now look better in the Quick Icons panels (their transparent background is always properly removed).
- A new little extra has been added to the software, find it :).