It’s been a while since a new version of QuickHash was on the table. v3.0.4 has been fairly stable. There’s been a few minor bug reports mostly relating to presentation aspects, but there’s been a fair few feature suggestions that have had merit. I’ve been asked multiple times to include the BLAKE and SHA-3 hash algorithms, most notably. If I’m asked once or twice, that is one thing, but when it gets to double digits I figure I have to act!
So v3.1.0 will feature BLAKE2b (256) which is a super fast algorithm and very secure. 2B is specifically designed to excel on 64-bit systems, of which the vast majority of desktops and laptops are these days. It will still work on 32-bit platforms just not quite as fast as on 64-bit systems.
SHA-3 (256) is also added. This is generally considered superior to SHA-1 and SHA-2 (which were both NSA algorithms) and is considerd highly secure (more so than SHA-1 and SHA-2 at the time of writing).
In addition, v3.1.0 will hopefully be ‘OSX 64-bit ready’, in time for the release of Catalina which is due for release around the end of Sept 2019 (currently out in beta). As many will know, and as I have reported before, OSX are forcing 32-bit applications out, and they have been for the last couple of releases of OSX, warning users that they should contact the developer to address their “inferior application” (or words to that effect). But with Catalina, there will be no choice. If it’s not 64-bit, it won’t run. So in recent weeks I’ve been working hard on trying to ensure I can release a 64-bit enabled version of QuickHash for Apple OSX, and things are looking positive.
v3.1.0 also addresses a few bugs and some code cleanup and so on.
Lastly, there has been growing concern over my previous post about discarding code-signed pre-compiled binaries of Quickhash GUI. You’ll recall that the overwhelming number of downloads was for the free unsigned copy, with only about 1% being code-signed downloads.
Whilst there is not an enormous demand for the code-signed copy, and whilst I only barely recoup the annual cost of a code-signing certificate, there have been one too many users report their satisfaction at being able to get a code-signed copy of the program, and their concern at future versions not being available as code-signed. Their corporate IT or government IT setup often requires code-signed software and without the availability of QuickHash GUI code-signed, they cannot use the program. I don’t want that of course. So in a few weeks I will be renewing my code-sign certificate. I won’t be using Digicert though this time, because their £500 price tag is just too high for me. But whatever vendor I use, the newly signed copies will have to be available for a higher sum than the existing £1.99. I have joked before about that being less than the cost of a coffee from Starbucks, but actually it’s not really a joke, especially when you consider that I lose about £0.40 in fees for each transaction. This project does not have the support or backing of bigger open-source projects like Mozilla and so on. I get no funding other than occasional donations. The web hosting fees alone cost about £40 per month due to all the load balancing, SSL certificates etc, and a code signing certificate will be another a few hundred quid. So expect the new version of QuickHash GUI to be available both as a code-signed executable (but for more than £1.99 this time, probably about £8) and also a free unsigned download. If people don’t like paying that, they can use the usual unsigned copy which will remain free as always, or they can compile it themselves from source. If they don’t want to do either of those free things, nor pay for the slightly higher fee (equivalent to a large Starbucks coffee and a chocolate brownie) for a code-signed copy, then I say “what more do you want? Blood?”.