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[APP] EverApp V0.2 - Application persistence under WM6.x

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EverApp

EverApp allows WM6.x users to make individual applications immune from Windows Mobile memory management. Apps managed by EverApp will remain open and accessible regardless of memory conditions.

CURRENT VERSION

0.2 Beta - http://www.megaupload.com/?d=05DATYR8

Alternates:

http://www.4shared.com/file/126862488/ea7a...taller_V02.html

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Why was EverApp created?

EverApp was created to solve a problem plaguing many users under WM6.5 (though it is potentially beneficial for any WM6.x user). The memory management routines under WM6.5 seem particularly aggressive, and many users experience situations where they can only keep one or two applications open simultaneously before WM begins shutting down background apps.

Q: Why is this a problem?

In a perfect world, every WM app would be written properly. That is, it *should* save its state when shutting down and restore it when starting up. In this way, the fact that an application gets shut down by the operating system is almost transparent to the user. In situations where the application performs some function that needs to run continuously (like an MP3 player, for example), the application *should* employ a UI thread and a processing thread so that killing the UI thread doesn't stop the player.

Unfortunately we don't live in a perfect world, and lots of useful applications out there don't play well with Windows Mobile memory management. Blame the app, or blame Windows Mobile. Regardless, in situations where the application stops functioning as desired when shut down by WM memory management, EverApp can help sidestep the problem.

Q: How does it work?

EverApp continually monitors the list of running apps. When it detects that a protected application has been sent to the background, EverApp temporarily re-assigns that application's window to a special, hidden window owned by EverApp. This special window is immune to shutdown by WM memory management. Likewise, applications assigned as children of this window are also immune to shutdown.

The protected application continues running in the background (it won't appear on most task switchers, but is visibile in the process list). When the application is requested (activated) by the user through the EverApp UI, EverApp fully restores the hidden application.

Q: Can/Should I use it for *any* application?

No. You should avoid it using on applications which already gracefully handle shutdowns themselves, and/or already use background processes to manage their own persistence (for example, iGo and Pocket Player). Applications that don't serve a valuable function just sitting in the background (app launchers, for example) don't generally need to be protected. It also may not work well on applications that do extraordinary things with their windows. Please post results so that we can continue to expand the list of known problem-apps below.

Q: This sounds promising, but won't keeping too many apps running cause stability issues?

Possibly, yes. There's a reason WM tries to shut down applications as you open new ones. Trying to manage 2 or 3 critical applications through EverApp should be fine. Trying to run a dozen might cause WM to actually run out of memory and crash/shutdown. It's important to pick just those apps that are valuable to keep running full-time and don't already manage themselves properly.

Q: What are the operating system requirements?

.NET Compact Framework 3.5

Windows Mobile 6.x

Q: What handhelds will this work on?

It was developed and tested on an Omnia i910. However, it should function properly on any WM6.x device. Please post success and failure stories to the thread so we can keep track and address hardware issues that may crop up.

Q: What enhancements are planned?

Autostart the service on WM startup

[Done] Command-line interface (so you can activate an app without having to use the EverApp UI)

Better visual indication in the Protected Apps list of what is currently not running/running/protected

Inclusion of non-protected apps in the app list (making EverApp a general task manager as well).

Q: How does it impact battery life?

The monitoring EverApp does is pretty lightweight. All testing thus far has shown no noticeable impact on battery life.

Q: What applications should I avoid using EverApp for (these apps already manage themselves properly and/or make complex use of their windows that causes problems for EverApp)?

EverApp, S2U2, Conduit Pocket Player, iGo8

(more to follow...)

Q: I'm going to flash my phone and I want to preserve EverApp's configuration. How can I do that?

Copy everapp.xml from your EverApp application folder (\program files\everapp or wherever you installed to) and put it someplace safe. After flashing, re-install EverApp. Before starting EverApp, copy everapp.xml back in to the new EverApp application folder.

Q: How can you have a "Frequently" Asked Questions list when the app is brand new?

Magic. :)

CHANGE LOG

V0.2 Beta

  • EverApp now functions as an App Launcher. Activating a non-running app will launch it.
  • EverAppCmd included, which allows activation of apps without having to use the UI.
  • Added "Manage Duplicates" for individual applications. When enabled, EverApp will detect if a second instance of a protected app is launched, kill it, and bring the original protected app into the foreground.

    • Initial release

    QUICK DOCS

    Install the attached CAB as you would any other CAB.

    Launch EverApp from the Start menu.

    Main UI

    This presents a list of protected applications. Initially this will be completely blank, so don't be alarmed if the application looks a little empty.

    Soft Button Menu Options

    Main->Add

    Allows you to add executables to EverApp's list of protected applications. Note that the application does NOT have to currently be running to be Added.

    Main->Remove

    Remove the currently selected application from the list of protected apps.

    Main->Run/Stop Service

    Toggles the EverApp monitoring service. This service needs to be running for applications to be monitored and protected.

    Main->About & Exit

    Fairly self-explanatory. (Note that exiting the UI will leave the EverApp service running once it has been started, so you can go ahead and close the UI without worrying about interrupting monitoring and protection).

    Activate

    This will unhide the selected application (assuming it is currently being protected by EverApp). You can also double-click the app in the list or press/hold and select Activate from the popup menu.

    Protected App List context menu (press and hold an app)

    Add

    Same as Main->Add

    Remove

    Same as Main->Remove

    Manage Duplicates

    When enabled, EverApp will detect if a second instance of a protected app is launched, kill it, and bring the original protected app into the foreground.

    EACmdLine.exe

    This allows the creation of shortcuts that can be used to activate protected apps. This is useful if you want to bind activation of a protected app to a hardware key. The format for the shortcut should be:

    \full\path\to\EACmdLine.exe show "\full\path\to\target"

Edited by zman919
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Posted · Report post

- Reserved for future use -

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Posted · Report post

Thank you for this :). Will report after long testing procedures.

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Posted · Report post

Great Work :)

Your efforts are truely Appreciated !!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Great Work :)

Your efforts are truely Appreciated !!

OK, couple of quick questions,

Do we need to re-start EverApp every time we do a soft reset ?

and also

Do we need to add EverApp to the list to not be closed down ?

Cheers

Edited by JaGuR
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Posted (edited) · Report post

OK, couple of quick questions,

Do we need to re-start EverApp every time we do a soft reset ?

Cheers

Until I add Autostart functionality, yes -- you'll need to run EverApp and select "Start Service" on each reboot. (Alternatively, you can add EAService.exe to the startup folder).

Do we need to add EverApp to the list to not be closed down ?

Nope. EverApp is really two applications -- a UI component ("EverApp"), and a service-oriented app ("EAService"). It's EAService that runs in the background and does all the heavy lifting (ie, monitoring and management). It's immune to shutdown since it doesn't have a visible window. You don't need to add EverApp as a monitored app.

Edited by zman919
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Posted (edited) · Report post

Until I add Autostart functionality, yes -- you'll need to run EverApp and select "Start Service" on each reboot. (Alternatively, you can add EAService.exe to the startup folder).

Nope. EverApp is really two applications -- a UI component ("EverApp"), and a service-oriented app ("EAService"). It's EAService that runs in the background and does all the heavy lifting (ie, monitoring and management). It's immune to shutdown since it doesn't have a visible window. You don't need to add EverApp as a monitored app.

Thanks,

Not sure if this is a bug, but when I added s2u2 and ilock to the imune list, s2u2 stopped working ?

I just removed them from the imune list, and s2u2 started behaving normally again, and to be honset I don't think it suffers from shutdown anyways.

Edited by JaGuR
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Thanks,

Not sure if this is a bug, but when I added s2u2 and ilock to the imune list, s2u2 stopped working ?

I just removed them from the imune list, and s2u2 started behaving normally again, and to be honest I don't think it suffers from shutdown anyways.

Which brings up a good point -- applications that don't suffer from shutdown problems (ie, apps that already handle shutdowns properly and/or maintain background processes) shouldn't be added to EverApp. It's really geared more towards "traditional" apps. (For example, my baseline test app was Google Maps)

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Posted · Report post

Thank you!!!!

It works for what it need.

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Thank you for this release! I can't wait to try and flash WM 6.5 again and give this baby a test run. Basically the closing applications is the biggest problem I have with WM6.5, this could help resolve it. :)

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EAService crashed when running iGO8, got an error pop up saying it had crashed and it would beed to be started again.

Not sure if iGO8 is one of those programs that need to be in the immune list, so I removed it anyways :)

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Well, well.

IMPRESSIVE! Looks like ZE MAN has done it! You da man! =P

Yep, it definitely seems to be keeping apps alive. Objective complete ^^

=========================================================================

A few observations/notes:

1.

I can confirm that protected apps will not appear with wkTask.

Whilst for now we'd have to use the EverApp UI as a pseudo-taskmanager/switcher - zman, do you think it'd be possible to access protected processes normally in future releases? Or is that simply not possible? :huh:

2.

As a consequence of point 1 (maybe?) -

If the app is protected, but is opened again (via shortcut or whatever), a new process instance of the app is opened alongside the protected process. (Confirmed with dotfred taskmanager) Maybe in future releases, the protected process could be opened instead?

For example, I have S2P protected. I opened S2P, played music. Minimized S2P. Then opened S2P again, playing music. Two streams of music played at the same time lol ><"

Also, on the topic of S2P, if it's playing then gets minimized/protected, it doesn't progress to the next track...

Minor point - album art won't show on S2U2. I think we can live with that though :(

I note however, that Nitrogen 1.1 does not have this issue - tracks will proceed as per normal.

3.

In future releases, perhaps some way of backing up the list of designated protected apps could be implemented ;) Not that important for now I spose.

================================================================================

==========

I'll keep testing and looking out for things to work on <_<

Funny "About" quote, btw :D

Also - just noticed: in the about dialogue box, it says "Developed by zman818". But your Modaco account is zman919? LOL

Don't ask me how I noticed that... :)

Again, excellent work zman! =]

EAService crashed when running iGO8, got an error pop up saying it had crashed and it would beed to be started again.

Not sure if iGO8 is one of those programs that need to be in the immune list, so I removed it anyways :angry:

Hehe, yeah, I think zman may have previously said that iGO has its own persisting memory management. So no need to add it ;)

Edited by naynada
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Posted · Report post

wow this sounds good, waiting to hear from sector's test results.

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<ignore me>

Edited by zman919
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Whilst for now we'd have to use the EverApp UI as a pseudo-taskmanager/switcher - zman, do you think it'd be possible to access protected processes normally in future releases? Or is that simply not possible?

Unfortunately I can't guarantee the ability to access protected apps through any specific task manager. Some task managers (such as FdcTaskManager) don't see protected apps, while others (such as Showcase) do. It has to do with how the particular task manager analyzes currently running processes. Since the *only* thing I'm doing to the protected apps is the whole key to the protection, I don't think I have much wiggle room to get them to appear in all task managers, but it's something I'll be looking into.

What I definitely will be adding is the ability to unhide a protected app through a command line, so in theory you could link the command line call to a button and instantly unhide a specific app.

If the app is protected, but is opened again (via shortcut or whatever), a new process instance of the app is opened alongside the protected process. (Confirmed with dotfred taskmanager) Maybe in future releases, the protected process could be opened instead?

Interesting. I didn't see that during my testing, but obviously I didn't test with every app possible. I assumed WM was smart enough to limit every app to a single instance, but that may have been a poor assumption on my part. Instead, each application probably does (or doesn't) take into consideration a pre-existing process itself. I should be able to bake some duplicate-process detection/management into EverApp. Thanks.

Also, on the topic of S2P, if it's playing then gets minimized/protected, it doesn't progress to the next track...

That's really weird. I can't understand S2P would care about having its window visible in order to progress to the next track. I can install it into my dev environment later this week and see if anything jumps out at me. Thanks.

Also - just noticed: in the about dialogue box, it says "Developed by zman818". But your Modaco account is zman919? LOL

Yup -- typically I'm zman818, but either someone beat me to the punch here, or (more likely) I registered a while ago and forgot which spam-pot email account I registered through. :)

Thanks for your observations! Much appreciated.

Z

In future releases, perhaps some way of backing up the list of designated protected apps could be implemented ;) Not that important for now I spose.

The config is housed in \path_to_installation\everapp.xml if you want to save it somewhere else. Re-installations won't nuke your existing config, though.

Edited by zman919
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EAService crashed when running iGO8, got an error pop up saying it had crashed and it would beed to be started again.

Not sure if iGO8 is one of those programs that need to be in the immune list, so I removed it anyways :)

Yup -- iGo8 manages itself. Thanks for that. FAQ updated.

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Unfortunately I can't guarantee the ability to access protected apps through any specific task manager. Some task managers (such as FdcTaskManager) don't see protected apps, while others (such as Showcase) do.

Oh awesome. Off I go to get Showcase then... =]

The config is housed in \path_to_installation\everapp.xml if you want to save it somewhere else. Re-installations won't nuke your existing config, though.

oh oops I should've checked that...

Thanks! :)

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Very promising app.

I tried it with FingerPoint. What it does is keep the process indeed but it hides it from view.

So it's not possible to return to FingerPoint other than through EverApp.

It would be neat if EverApp had a command line execution. So that we can make a Hard/Soft Button that will run a commandline like:

EverAppCmd -show FingerPoint.exe

And EverAppCmd will either switch to the already existing FingerPoint.exe or it will Launch it for the first time, based on the location of FingerPoint.exe that it will store when I add program.

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Very promising app.

I tried it with FingerPoint. What it does is keep the process indeed but it hides it from view.

So it's not possible to return to FingerPoint other than through EverApp.

It would be neat if EverApp had a command line execution. So that we can make a Hard/Soft Button that will run a commandline like:

EverAppCmd -show FingerPoint.exe

And EverAppCmd will either switch to the already existing FingerPoint.exe or it will Launch it for the first time, based on the location of FingerPoint.exe that it will store when I add program.

Hi Zag. Thanks.

Question -- is there a driving need to protect FingerPoint with EverApp? From what I've read, FingerPoint is an app launcher. Isn't it easier to simply bind FingerPoint to a hard/softkey itself rather than trying to keep it running full-time under EverApp? Or is there something FingerPoint does that's worth keeping it running full-time that I'm not aware of? Thanks.

And yep -- that's exactly how the EA command line functionality will work.

Z

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Version 0.2 Beta released...

V0.2 Beta

  • EverApp now functions as an App Launcher. Activating a non-running app will launch it.
  • EverAppCmd included, which allows activation of apps without having to use the UI.
  • Added "Manage Duplicates" for individual applications. When enabled, EverApp will detect if a second instance of a protected app is launched, kill it, and bring the original protected app into the foreground.

Edited by zman919
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Only have it protecting calllocker, and orientation app.

Working good at not killing them as they were the ones that were getting dropped.

The only problem I had, which looks as though you may have fixed in this new revision is, I couldn't get the apps to open up again.

Will try the new revision

Thanks again for your work on this problem,

Big Thumbs up !!!

Edited by JaGuR
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Hmm, tried to use Showcase to reopen protected apps...but they didn't appear in the list...strange. (this was with EverApp 0.1)

Question -- is there a driving need to protect FingerPoint with EverApp?

On FingerPoint's first run, there is quite a significant lag on one of its app launching menus as it has to cache the installed applications - or something like that.

Version 0.2 Beta released...

V0.2 Beta

  • EverApp now functions as an App Launcher. Activating a non-running app will launch it.
  • EverAppCmd included, which allows activation of apps without having to use the UI.
  • Added "Manage Duplicates" for individual applications. When enabled, EverApp will detect if a second instance of a protected app is launched, kill it, and bring the original protected app into the foreground.

Nice, quick update. Will try tonight.

Edited by naynada
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Hi Zag. Thanks.

Question -- is there a driving need to protect FingerPoint with EverApp? From what I've read, FingerPoint is an app launcher. Isn't it easier to simply bind FingerPoint to a hard/softkey itself rather than trying to keep it running full-time under EverApp? Or is there something FingerPoint does that's worth keeping it running full-time that I'm not aware of? Thanks.

And yep -- that's exactly how the EA command line functionality will work.

Z

The down sides of FingerPoint are: The Splash screen that appears on first load and the lag of scanning the All Programs for the first time.

That's why one would rather have this app kept from being killed so that those delays will be experienced only once (after reset)

I will try 0.2 now. Thanks for your quick response and coding.

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I just tried 0.2 with FingerPoint.

The "Manage Duplicates" does work for 1-2 times and then it will no longer re-activate the protected process without going to EverApp UI.

:-(

I didn't yet managed to get the EACmdLine to work, I'll try later.

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I just tried 0.2 with FingerPoint.

The "Manage Duplicates" does work for 1-2 times and then it will no longer re-activate the protected process without going to EverApp UI.

:-(

I didn't yet managed to get the EACmdLine to work, I'll try later.

Interesting. There must be a timing issue or a race condition that is causing the logic to fall down.

Wanna be a guinea pig? :)

Go to HKLM\Software\EverApp and set debug to 1. Restart the EA protection service through the UI. Then play with EA enough to reproduce the problem. Stop the EA protection service. Reset the registry key to 0.

Send me debug.log from the application directory. (You can post here if you want, there's nothing confidential in it). I might be able to diagnose the failure from that. Otherwise I'll install FingerPoint and see if I can reproduce.

I didn't yet managed to get the EACmdLine to work, I'll try later.

Format for the shortcut would be: \full\path\to\EACmdLine.exe show "\full\path\to\target"

Thanks,

Z

Edited by zman919
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