Host Flash™ 2.6.0 was unleashed to the public less than 5 minutes ago. Version 2.6.0 brings with it 3 new host blacklist providers, code improvements and a little reorganization.
- New: 3 New host blacklist providers. Hosts files can now be downloaded from someonewhocares.org (Dan Pollock’s List), adaway.org, malwaredomainlist.com
- Enhancement: Refactored code. Improved for readability. Condensed code. Increased use of loops and arrays for directory and file creation.
- Enhancement: Condensed required download package to 1 script file. The full package builds itself when host-flash.sh is first executed. Automatically creates directories and downloads needed files.
- Enhancement: Improved the add_to_log function. Now adds log messages to the log file and displays messages to the screen (hidden behind dialogue boxes in some cases – scroll up if you need to or just read the log file).
- New: New debug option. Program contains debug=” variable setting. Set to debugMode=’true’ to enable debug feature. This option acts on the add_to_log function. When enabled program execution halts after each log message pending user key press to step forward.
- Enhancement: Changed leave_program function to use a dialogue box. Function now accepts input string to display in exit message.
- Organization: moved files around in the Host Flash directory. Existing custom whitelists and blacklists will be moved, not deleted, when then program update routine runs.
- Minor: Set Host Flash to print source hosts file download credits at the top of Host Flash compiled hosts blacklist.
- Minor: Removed option to preserve the temp directory. Use Debug option instead. The option to preserve the temp directory was only present for debug purposes anyway.
The 3 new host blacklists protect against desktop adware, mobile adware and malware. These blacklists are short yet complimentary to the larger lists already supported by Host Flash.
The codebase used by Host Flash has been altered in 3 ways:
- Code that could be rolled into a single function has been rolled into a single function. The add_to_log function now both adds runtime messages to the run log and displays messages to screen. This means most printf code lines have been moved to the add_to_log code lines.
- The program updater routine has been rewritten. The routine now makes use of arrays and loops to move, remove and create files and directories when needed. Being less code and easier for humans to read, tasks executed by the update routine can remain in the code almost indefinitely without affecting code readability or increasing the code base too much.
- Host Flash now builds itself when the host-flash.sh script is run. From version 2.6.0 onwards for the foreseeable future the only script file that needs to be downloaded and installed is host-flash.sh. This file will automatically create any necessary directories and additional files and will download needed files (if any) from the public GitHub repo as required (such as readme.md, change.log and LICENSE).
The new debug setting will allow developers to test each section step of Host Flash code execution. When set to debugMode=’true’ Host Flash execution will halt after any information is added to the run log. Program execution continues when the user presses any key.
The old TEMP directory has been renamed to ‘temp’. The option to preserve the temp directory has been removed. The option considered obsolete now that there is a debug mode that enables event-by-event peeks into the temp directory.
The organization of program files has altered to
- backups/<hosts file zips>
- temp/<temp. work files>
The new file structure will be implemented automatically when version 2.6.0 is first run. Most files will be moved around by the update routine though both readme.txt and host-flash.desktop will be deleted as well as the old TEMP directory. A new desktop file will be added in or near Host Flash version 3.0.0.
Earlier versions of Host Flash neglected to properly credit the origins of the host blacklists downloaded by Host Flash. Credits where given during program execution but not added into the final compiled hosts blacklist. This oversight is now corrected. From version 2.6.0 onwards, at the top of the blacklist compiled by Host Flash will be a list of the websites that served the lists used to make the blacklist compilation.
We like praise too. Tell the world about Host Flash. You might win a free hug from a penguin when you do.