It’s been a while since I published the last alpha version of the Next Generation XL Toolbox. In fact, it’s been a while since anything happened at all with this project. Today I however I released a new alpha version and explain what’s going on.
Alpha 19 fixes a couple of things, mostly bugs that I experienced myself during everyday work, and one bug that was reported by someone, thank you very much.
Over the last few iterations, I have not been able to add new features. Overall progress is slower than ever. However, I myself am very much alive and busy, and I use the XL Toolbox pretty much every day – either the legacy version (6.60) or the latest NG alpha version, or both.
I’ve been thinking about how to move forward with the XL Toolbox.
My preferred solution is to actually merge both the legacy version and the NG versions. I take it from users’ feedback that many people don’t know about the NG versions, or if they know about them, they are reluctant to install something that is officially labelled a development version. For example, users keep encountering problems with the old XL Toolbox’ high-resolution graphic export function (which suffers from pushing the envelope of Visual Basic interaction with low-level Windows API functions). The NG alpha versions have pretty stable and much more powerful graphic export.
By merging the old and the new versions, I could provide a unified package to every one and gradually replace legacy features that have become very hard to maintain with new features programmed with VSTO in C#.
Of course, this would mean that version 6.60 will be the very last one to support Excel 2003. The merged version would be published as 7.0 and require Excel 2007 or newer. However, considering that Excel 2003 reached end-of-support two years ago, this should not really come as a surprise to anyone at this point.
I don’t know right now when I will have the time to merge the old VBA add-in into the new code base. Evidently this will require careful planning and testing.
If you have a previous alpha version of XL Toolbox NG installed, you can update via “Check for updates”.
See the new changelog.