Software

Impulse module updated again

Release of previous version a little too impulsive!

When Sine Nomine released a new version (0.21) of the Impulse module recently, the intention was to deal with some issues whereby the module could interfere with messages sent by a task to itself – issues that came to light during the development of ImpEmail, the new mail merging email software supplied with the Impact database. The module, which was originally developed by Computer Concepts (now Xara), provides a mechanism for inter-application communications, command execution and data transfer.

However, it soon emerged that the updated module actually prevented Impression from working properly. The problem reported was that when an existing document was loaded into a version of Computer Concepts’ popular DTP application, and even when a new document was created with the application, it proved impossible to type anything into it – the document was, in effect, read only.

Issuing an apology for this problem appearing, Matthew Phillips of Sine Nomine admitted that version 0.21 of Impulse had not been tested adequately, and explained that “the changes I made with version 0.21 were to remove an undocumented side effect of the module that could interfere with the transmission of ordinary, non-Impulse Wimp messages, but it seems that Impression was relying on it!

“Either Computer Concepts (who originated the Impulse system) were aware of  this but failed to document the behaviour or it was an accident.  It could be either.  I have found other examples where the Impulse documentation for programmers has been incorrect or incomplete.”

Either way, version 0.22 of the Impulse module, updated to address this new problem, is now available to download from the Sine Nomine Software website.

Ordinary users – rather than developers – who do not use any of the Impression family do not need to worry about downloading the new version. Other software which uses Impulse (and with which it is supplied) will probably be updated in due course by the respective developers.

For Impression users the situation is obviously different. Matthew has included new instructions on how to update Impression to load the new version of the module, and says that “if you use Impression in conjunction with Impact or PowerBase it is well worth getting this right, as without making Impression aware of the new module communication can be hampered if you happen to run Impression first. Impression users who do not use Impact or PowerBase need take no action (unless you have already installed Impulse 0.21).”

It is strongly recommended that developers whose applications use Impulse, and who distribute the module with those applications, upgrade their distributions to include the new version.

Finally, Matthew adds a note that the current release of ImpEmail does not behave correctly with the new version of the Impulse module: Dragging text from one email window to another will have no effect. The intention is to release a new version of the ImpEmail to address this problem. (Users of the mail merge software who do not use Impression can avoid this problem by not downloading the new version of the module – version 0.21 allows ImpEmail to work as it should.)

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