Many folks have inquired, "whatever happened to ChimneySweep?" And, "where
is the next release?"
The short-answer is that it's going into beta this week.
The long-answer is ... well, let me explain. :-)
If you look on the web-site
, you will see
described a product that still boasts "16-bit and 32-bit works the same
way," "both in one package for one price," etc etc.
Unfortunately, that turned into a gigantic millstone around the product's
neck: 16-bit IDAPI, and 16-bit software in general, has been "the way of
the dinosaur" for quite some time now. Every realistic Windows version
today supports 32-bit, and it is quite plain that 16-bit software is
becoming "does not run anymore." The market-need for this capability is,
therefore, long-gone. But, because ChimneySweep clung to it, it put the
product seriously behind the curve-ball.
ChimneySweep 6.0 is a bottom-to-top complete rewrite ... and yet it is fully
backward-compatible with all previous releases. (Yes, even jobs built
using the 16-bit old-stuff). But it is completely 32-bit and it takes full
advantage of what only 32-bit software can do:
(1) "Job output" is not a text-file anymore; it is XML. When you look at
it, it gets converted (via XSLT) into HTML and displayed in a built-in web
(2) Job output is cataloged in an XML-based repository. You can view the
output of multiple jobs.
(3) The "scheduler" is GONE. Yes, gone. Considerable changes have been
made to Windows architecture recently, while the Windows Scheduled-Task
facility remains very good. Now, you simply use -that- to "run" a
ChimneySweep program. It's a better scheduler than we ever had.
(4) XBase support is "here, and coming." By that I mean, it's coming in
stages and when it does, we intend to support dBase, FoxPro, and Clipper.
(5) File access is much faster. "Mapped file-views" and other 32-bit only
niceities greatly reduce the amount of paging and buffering that goes on,
especially when the files being processed are large (as, with ChimneySweep,
they usually are).
(6) International support is truly here: this is no longer a "8-bit ASCII"
tool under-the-hood. ChimneySweep uses "wide strings."
(7) The core processing-scripts which drive the product are rewritten from
scratch. The essential methodologies that they used were unchanged from
the very beginning ... a time when a 20MB hard-drive was "big" and 4MB of
RAM was thought to be an aircraft-hangar.
If you are interested in being a beta-tester, please e-mail us.