Just a short update for now - I realize I have been more than usually quiet and remote recently, and for that, I apologize - I have had a significant amount on my plate.
Over the course of this year, I have completely rewritten my TCP/IP code (the part of the program that actually connects to the Internet), to make it more modular, more reliable, and more maintainable. A huge part of this process has involved moving away from the third-party package I previously used to handle SSL/TLS secure connections and instead using the industry-standard OpenSSL suite. With this code complete and tested, I am now well into reworking the various Mercury protocol modules to use it. This has a number of ramifications: firstly, SSL support should be much more reliable, and should work correctly with a much wider range of external clients and servers. Secondly, it will be much easier to keep the SSL components of Mercury up-to-date, and only a single point of change will be necessary at my end to update all the modules, compared with the way it is now, where I have to update each module separately. Thirdly, you will be able to use "real" certificates for SSL, and Mercury will be able to generate the necessary signing requests you can give to certification authorities (CAs). A useful side-effect of the process is also that TCP-based operations in Mercury will be somewhat faster than they have previously been.
Other developments in Mercury are proceeding, most specifically the separation of interface from server process, and the reworking of the help system to use my own help engine: these processes, however, are taking longer than I would like, and it seemed best to bring out a version with the new SSL code as soon as possible. As a result, as soon as the Mercury protocol modules are all converted over to the
new TCP/IP libraries, I'll be giving them to my test team for a short
round of testing, the aim being to release an interim cut of Mercury
(tentatively to be called v4.8), either late in December or early in
January. Other developments will follow in due course over the subsequent months. Licensees need not be worried about this update - all existing licenses will continue to work with it without change.
Again, my apologies for the lack of regular updates: I keep saying I'll get better at it, yet I never seem to be... <slightly embarrassed grin>
All my very best to you all.
-- David --