The Complete History Of WinMX - Part 3

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2002 was a pretty busy year at Frontcode technologies, in fact it was the busiest year they ever had with a massive 26 releases of betas and proper polished client versions. The first 3 series beta was delivered and heralded the start of the gradual shift towards a decentralised network capability, this was of course a key requirement for the sustained operation of any future p2p network following the now infamous Napster court case and the eventual closure of Napster that had also many of the more well known Napster server clone operators hit with legal threats amid a show of activity from the recording industry.

Both Gnutella and WinMX as well as many of the other popular p2p names of the time made great inroads towards this goal,it would be many years hence till the RIAA was able to launch further speculative legal threats following on from a favourable court ruling in the Grokster case, but for most this was the most exciting year for Winmx and the future was for the most part simply speculation regarding when any newer Version would be released.

Lets start the year properly with the 3.0 Beta series,this started off on the 31st of January for beta 1

WinMX 3.00 release page from the internet archive

Find WinMX 3.0 Betas in WinMXWorld Archive

Beta 1 was followed by a second release on the 3rd of Febuary with beta 2, beta 3 arrived the following day.
After some further hard work and analysing the results of the previous betas a further release was delivered on 12th (beta 4) and another on the 20th (beta 5), there followed a hectic period of intense work to fix some of the problems and bugs seen with the first 5 betas and to make the protocol that was being worked on more efficient, something later users would take for granted but at this time in 2002 this was cutting edge technology and new concepts and ideas where all hastily employed and tested to gain first hand experience on the most reliable methods, those that failed of course where quickly reworked or removed and those that held promise went on to future builds.

On the 5th of April the beta's started coming again with the release of 3.0 beta 6, beta 7 was quick to follow arriving on the 7th and once again a second release was made the same day, beta 8.

One Month later on the 9th of May two further builds where released, both beta 9 and 10 with beta version 11 being released the very next day, once again in the short space of a few days yet further releases followed with beta 12 arriving on the 13th of May heralding the end of the beta phase and the next public milestone release, 3.10 had arrived.

WinMX 3.10 release page from the internet archive

Find WinMX 3.10 Release in WinMXWorld Archive

WinMX version 3.10 was the result of the intensive work undertaken during much of 2002 and was a relief to Frontcode who where able to draw some design lines in the sand as regards continuing OpenNap support and the continuation of their own fully decentralised network topography. Another significant behind the scenes event was the changing nature of the code platform, the older versions of WinMX had been constructed using vc6, but Microsoft where working on their newest code creation platform visual studio 2002 and with this change there would have to follow much rewriting of the Core WinMX code to retain compatibility, this "goal-post" moving was to be seen again later on in our walk though WinMX history with yet further changes made in vs2003 and although not mentioned by the developers at the time would have required a lot of futher work just to retain the same basic functionality for the users, this seems to explain some of the later long delays that some users complained loudly about.

During this productive year many new support sites had begun to emerge and lots of great information was begining to become more accessible to the WinMX userbase, a welcome step forward from having to visit the newsgroup

LocoJones WinMX 2.6 help Page from the internet archive

And who can forget the most technical of all the early sites, MxCentral.

Archive Of MxCentral stored on WinmxWorld

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