I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, but it’s finally time to push it out the door. XBList 3.1 doesn’t have any revolutionary changes, but it’s got a lot of polish and nice little fixes and features that are sure to make life better for XBList users. The most noticeable new enhancements are that I’ve gotten XBList to use your system default font now (this means Vista users get the lovely Segoe UI font), and the popup notifications have been transformed from Windows 95-style to Windows Vista style.
I also added a lot of little features people have been asking for. There are now options for XBList to be on top of all windows, to start up with Windows, and to start minimized. You can compose a new message to your friend by just double clicking their name. I’ve also fixed a bug where two people who share a computer couldn’t both run their own copies XBList.
This release also includes some nice features for Vista users. First, it includes a manifest, so there will be less compatibility warnings and such. Next, it’ll offer to fix your Internet Settings automatically so that signing in under Vista is smoother. I’ve also built a completely new installer using WiX, which is prettier, smaller, and more functional.
I encourage anyone who’s interested to look at the changelog for the full list of updates. One thing you might notice is that I’ve added some backend support for making a Windows Sidebar Gadget that displays your friends list. I can’t promise I’ll get around to it (I’ve had bad experiences with Gadgets before), but it’s nice to know the capability is there.
I really thought that by now I’d be announcing that XBList is totally obsolete, for two reasons. The first is Games For Windows - LIVE, which aims to bring the Xbox Live experience to PC games. I tried out the beta, and while it’s neat, there’s no indication Microsoft is coming out with an XBList-style application for the Windows desktop that’ll show you your friends. The second reason was the new Windows Messenger integration in the Spring Dashboard Update. I love this, but half my friends aren’t on Windows Messenger anyway, and I can’t see people’s Xbox status from Adium, Trillian, or Meebo, so I’ll keep using XBList to know who’s ready to play some Halo 3 (beta). I hope everyone else continues to find it useful as well.