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Derek Read

Reply to: xmetal 4.6 with windows 7

There are bound to be many issues when running XMetaL Author 4.6 release on Windows 7 as the product was only tested on XP and earlier versions of Windows. We don't have a list of OS-specific items we can provide but it would be quite long and mostly related to UAC and “per user” permissions that make our older versions (before 5.5) incompatible.

Please also note that our policy is to support our current release plus one full version back (currently that includes versions 6.0 back to 5.0). You may wish to consider upgrading if you wish to obtain support through our support channels. All upgrades are free for clients with a maintenance agreement.

I am familiar with this particular issue however, and it is no longer present in our 6.0 version.

Details for this Particular Issue: “hang after select text without mouse up for approx 5 seconds”
This issue was first reported by clients running XMetaL Author Enterprise 5.5 running on Vista (this was the first release to support Vista which is when we began to hear reports).

Microsoft introduced a new feature to try to detect when an application has “hung” in Vista. Windows 7 inherited this (or a very similar) feature.

These versions of Windows now monitor an application's main “window” to see if it is sending messages to the operating system. If no messages are sent for more than about 5 seconds the OS takes a screen capture of the application, stops allocating CPU cycles to the application (even though it might be fine) and displays the screen capture instead of the application itself — making it appear as if it has actually hung. It then initiates the standard Windows “this program is not responding…” sequence where you typically have options to report the problem to Microsoft and errors are logged for your IT people to look at.

This is actually a fairly elegant solution but one that we did not anticipate Microsoft implementing.

The only way we are aware of to trigger this issue in XMetaL is to hold the mouse button down and keep it held down. Since XMetaL has nothing to do in this instance (it is waiting for you to do something like release the mouse button, move the mouse, or press a key) it will not send any system messages, making these versions of Windows assume that it has hung. In our 6.0 release we have addressed this issue by forcing the application to continue to “ping” the OS in this particular case so that Windows knows it is still functioning.

This OS feature does not exist in XP and earlier versions of Windows and so you will not see the problem there.

You have a few options:
1. Upgrade to the 6.0 release which was designed specifically to run on Windows 7 and has been thoroughly tested there.
2. Be aware that holding the mouse down for 5+ seconds will trigger the problem and avoid doing that.
3. Try running your XMetaL Author 4.6 release using “XP Mode”: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.aspx