Updates to JSONView, XBList, and TopProcess

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I’ve finally gotten around to doing some maintenance updates on three of my most-used bits of software (JSONView, XBList, and TopProcess), all in the last couple weeks. Now that they’re all approved and live, I thought I’d summarize what’s changed.

JSONView 0.3

JSONView 0.3 is now available at addons.mozilla.org. This fixes an error that was showing up when really large JSON files were being displayed, and adds a feature that displays empty arrays and object on one line instead of on two (and doesn’t display the expand/collapse button for them). I also put in some preliminary support for JSONP, based on a patch submitted by Gabriel Barros. The catch is that it only works with content served with the “application/json” MIME type, which is actually not the correct MIME type for JSONP - it should be “text/javascript” or another JavaScript type. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to figure out how to get Firefox to let me handle “text/javascript” the way I do with “application/json” - it seems to be special-cased or something. If any Firefox gurus are reading and know a solution, please let me know! I was holding onto this release for a while hoping to fix that, but I decided that releasing something was better than nothing, so it’s out there and you can play with it. You can see an example JSONP response with the callback highlighted here. I did notice a bug with the 0.3 release right after it was approved - if a value is 0 or false, it shows up as blank. I’ll have that bug fixed with the next release, which should be very soon. It’s great to see that JSONView has become so popular, with over 50,000 downloads and about 12,000 regular users.

XBList 3.2.4

Halo 3: ODST was released a couple weeks ago, and Bungie redesigned their site a bit to include ODST info in your Service Record. This included changing the pages just enough that XBList got confused trying to figure out emblems for people who had never played Halo, and started showing the wrong emblems for those people (only if you prefer Halo emblems to Xbox emblems, which isn’t the default). Not a huge bug, but I took the opportunity to clean up a bunch of stuff in XBList and put out a little release. In addition to the Halo emblem fix, I fixed a bug where your settings could get corrupted and you wouldn’t be able to start XBList. I also cleaned up the menus and settings, consolidating the Halo links into one item, and removing the option to choose a custom notification sound or turn off debug logging. The debug log is much easier to get to if you’re having trouble - previously I had people dig through their Application Data folders for the log, but now there’s an item in the Help menu that opens the debug log directly. Paired with some much more detailed logging, I should be able to fix future problems much more easily. I also changed the system tray icon to bring XBList to the front on a single click rather than a double click, since that feels much more natural in Windows 7. Lastly (and probably not too importantly for most people), I’m storing emblems in your local Windows profile now, instead of the roaming profile. For the few people who use XBList and have roaming profiles enabled, this should save you some sync time. Anyway, you should have been prompted to update when I pushed the update two weeks ago, but if you haven’t gotten it yet you should download and install it now. I still have plans for a major overhaul of XBList, but it’s low on my list of priorities - XBList is still pretty popular, but not as much as it used to be, with maybe 5,000 active users.

TopProcess 1.4

This last update has been a long time coming. Ever since I installed Internet Explorer 8, the TopProcess sidebar gadget has been randomly crashing. I’m not sure what changed in Internet Explorer to make it screw up every so often, but it does. However, it only crashes after running for a few days, so for months I’ve been tweaking the code a bit, then waiting until it crashes, then tweaking some more, rinse, repeat. I’ve finally nailed it down to the point where crashes are very rare, and then I added some code that automatically resets the gadget when it crashes. So you should never see it mess up again. There is also a gadget log file in the gadget’s install directory that I’m using to store errors, so it should be easier to troubleshoot in the future. Lastly, Jean-Pierre van Riel contributed a patch that added IO tracking to TopProcess, so there is now a third way to view your processes. This view shows you the total IO usage (combined bytes in and out, per second) which seems to cover both disk and network access. Get the update from me or from Windows Live Gallery and be sure to rate the gadget. I’m excited to see that it’s been downloaded over 100,000 times from WLG (plus who knows how many downloads from my site).

I'm Benjamin Hollis, a software developer in Seattle. Check out my website.