Thursday, December 31, 2015

Remote Terminal moved from to GitHub

Well, the title says it all. I have moved the Remote Terminal project hosting to GitHub.
The new URL is:

Although I like GitLab a lot, and also (have to) use it at work, the GitHub UI just seems so much more familiar.

The good thing about is that it provides private repositories for free, so if you need something like that, go check it out.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Remote Terminal now Open-Source

Today is an interesting day for me because I am finally releasing the source code of Remote Terminal to the public.

To be honest, I am a bit anxious about this step because I have never released anything of this magnitude as open-source before.
I have tried dipping my toes into the open-source pond almost a decade ago (see .NET StreamLib on SourceForge) but that was a really small side project which didn't spark any public response whatsoever. I guess it was never intended to do so, otherwise I would have put more effort into it.
But this time I am serious. I want it to be different with Remote Terminal.


I have chosen for hosting the Remote Terminal project.
For now, there's just the source code and a simple README. However, in the next days I will fill the issue tracker with some open issues that were reported to me by users of the app and maybe add some kind of instruction on how to build the project from scratch (which should be pretty straightforward).


Remote Terminal is licensed under the GPLv3 license.


Any contributions are welcome. Really, anything that improves the functionality, versatility or documentation of Remote Terminal is welcome. I should warn you though, I am neither an experienced project manager, nor really familiar with pull/merge requests or open-source collaboration (yet). So please bear with me if I don't get everything right in the beginning.

Also, I hope that I have made a decent enough (manual...) migration of the TFS repository I have used for development until the latest release. I didn't really get the branching model back then and made strange merges of single commits that I have translated into cherry picks during the migration. I guess it doesn't really matter anymore since the Windows8.0 branch is really a throw-away branch now.

At my workplace we started a transition from Subversion to Git a few months ago and while evaluating our development model and best practices we came across the following two blog posts which we found very useful. I have decided to follow these guides in my private projects too so they shall be the base for further development on Remote Terminal.
If you want to contribute and have any questions regarding the source code, for example how different components/classes are working together, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'll be more than glad to answer your questions.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Remote Terminal now free of charge

Starting today, Remote Terminal is free of charge.

The reason for this is twofold:

First, in the last 12 months I haven't had any time to improve the app and it doesn't feel right anymore to charge money for it, even if it was only roughly the equivalent of a glass of beer. There are many things that should still be improved, some bugs that should be fixed and additional features that everyone would benefit from.

Which brings me to the second point: to ensure the continued development of Remote Terminal I would like to try open-sourcing it. And, as I see it, it makes no sense to demand money for an Open-Source app.
I have always been a great fan of Open-Source software and appreciate the benefits that come with it. Now I really have to think this through before actually doing it, one obvious concern being that I don't want to open the door to numerous Remote Terminal clones in the Windows Store.
My guess is that a large part of the Remote Terminal users are developers, some of them may even have know-how in developing .NET Windows Store Apps. If anyone has any experience on how to deal with Open-Source apps or is interested in collaborating with me on improving Remote Terminal, I would be thrilled to hear from you in the comments or via e-mail.

Thanks to everyone who bought Remote Terminal in the past (and sorry if I made you angry by giving the app away for free after you paid for it)!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Remote Terminal 1.8.1 now available

This update contains a bugfix that was introduced in version 1.8.0.

Crash when switching away from the App fixed
The following steps always caused the app to crash: navigate to the terminal page via Quick Connect or via selecting an existing open connection in the top AppBar on the start/favorites page, then switch to another App.
Sorry for any problems this may have caused!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Remote Terminal 1.8.0 now available

Starting with this version, updates for Remote Terminal will only be available for Windows 8.1 (and later). My guess is that maintaining a development branch for the Windows 8 build would just mean more work for me with no real benefit for anybody because I think people with no interest in Windows updates also won't be interested in App updates either. So, if you want to make sure you get the newest updates for Remote Terminal (or any other App) but still run Windows 8, I strongly recommend you upgrade to Windows 8.1, it's free and you will like it. Just open the Windows Store App, it should display the Windows 8.1 upgrade at the start page.

With that out of the way, let's take a look at the detailed changes in this update:

Optimized for Windows 8.1
  • Smooth app resizing, like other native Windows 8.1 apps
  • I also increased the supported minimum width from 320 px to 500 px, which is the new default value for Windows 8.1. In my opinion, 320 px width wasn't very useful for a terminal anyway.
  • Some small UI adjustments leveraging new Windows 8.1 UI controls e.g. the Fonts and Colors settings flyout, the password input on the Private Key Agent page, ...
  • The bottom AppBar on the start page of the app now has a compact view when the app size is too narrow to display the full AppBar 
  • Small changes in some of the text styles of UI elements
  • You may also note small improvements in startup time and general performance

Other changes:
  • Enabled Alt+Shift+[letter] key combinations
  • fixed a possible problem where the terminal moves out of the visible area of the screen when using the virtual on-screen keyboard
  • The Private Keys and the Private Key Agent buttons in the AppBar of the start page were moved to the left, the Private Key Agent button also got a new icon to distinguish it from the Private Keys button in the compact view

Thanks for all the feedback and your continued support!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Remote Terminal 1.7.0 now available

This update contains a very important bugfix and one new feature.

Windows 8.1 terminal drawing bug fixed
This bug affected all Windows 8.1 users that used Remote Terminal either with the on-screen virtual keyboard or in snapped mode and caused the terminal screen to turn black every second key press or focus change.
Some DirectX API is behaving a bit different on Windows 8.1 than it did on Windows 8 but actually still in accordance with the documentation. My code just did not handle the new situation correctly.
I'm really sorry for any problems this has caused!

Full CJK character support
I have extended the terminal emulation code to correctly handle full-width CJK characters. Additionally I have added two configurable fonts to the app, which may be of special interest to the CJK users: KaiTi and SimSun. Those two fonts are also the only ones to provide a correct "copy mode" with a mixture of full-width CJK and normal half-width characters because only in those two fonts are full-width characters exactly double the width of half-width characters.

Other changes:
  • Modified the TextBoxes on the ConnectionDataForm for better user experience (turned off text prediction for host and username, set InputScope to Number for the port).
  • Fixed the space characters in the copy mode (they are 0x20 again instead of non-breaking space)
I am also working on a Windows 8.1 build of the app, which will be available soon. The current build is still targeted for Windows 8 and will run in Windows 8 compatibility mode on Windows 8.1.
The most notable change in the upcoming Windows 8.1 build will be support of the new view states. While Windows 8 had either full-screen, "snapped" (320 pixel width at the left or right edge of the screen) and "fill" (the remaining screen next to a snapped app) view states, Windows 8.1 lets users smoothly resize app windows down to an app-defined minimum width and also display more than two apps at once, if the screen size allows it.
The current Windows 8 build of the app will look a bit awkward if sized somewhere between 320 pixels width and the previous "fill" view state because it will always be displayed only 320 pixels wide, like any other app running in Windows 8 compatibility mode on Windows 8.1.

Thanks to all of you for your patience!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Remote Terminal display issue with Windows 8.1

As far as I have tested it myself, the basic functions of Remote Terminal all run fine on Windows 8.1. However, as some people have already noticed and reported to me, there is an annoying issue regarding the terminal display which makes working with the app practically impossible.

I think it only happens when the width/height of the terminal window are constrained in any way, e.g. by snapping or by the virtual on-screen keyboard. In that case the terminal window is totally black every second keypress/click/tap/focus change.

I have already traced the problem to some DirectX helper code which receives different dimensions for a drawing surface from the OS than on Windows 8.0 but I have yet to find a solution.

Workaround: don't snap the app and use a physical keyboard, then all should be fine.
I'm really sorry, but I hope to find a solution in the next days!