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[Sticky] CXEx Central

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#1 devilhunter


    just dancing to the beat

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 12:32 AM

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About the CXEx Project:
CXEx is basically the successor of CXZ, but with a lot of modifications that make it a better system than CXZ or CXS ever was.
The Idea of CXZ was slimming down the huge Wine Wrappers that could go into the 160+ Megabyte range, without any Application or Game files.
This system proved to be very effective and popular, but it also split the Userbase in two groups, one that preferred CXZ (external Engine) for it's small footprint and effective Engine sharing capabilities; and the other Group preferred the 'complete' Package that was still possible with CXS (internal Engine), where the Engine was integrated and you didn't have to install an Engine to make it work.
Both systems had positive and negative aspects in this sense, but what if there was a system that would fuse both CXZ and CXS together and eliminate all of the negative aspects?
CXEx is now the result of this fusion.

All CXEx Wrappers carry their Engine inside the Wrapper (like CXS), but in a compressed format.
Also all CXEx Wrappers can share a single Engine on a system (like CXZ).

Every CXEx Wrapper has now also a built-in Startup Screen where a Port displays the Wrapper technology it is using and Information about the included Port. Think of it as a included Readme file for every Port.

CXEx Central is now the Central Hub for the CXEx Wrappers /porting with CXEx

Look in the App Database with which Wine version you'll have the most success with, and use the corresponding CXEx Wrapper from CXEx Central.
Alternatively, go from the newest to the oldest CXEx Wine Wrapper, you'll get different (better/not better) results that way.  
Every CXEx Engine has a different compatibility, older Games work better with older CXEx Wine Wrappers for example.

Compatibility will always be the same (perhaps a little bit lower or a bit different) as CrossOver, so it's up to Codeweavers to make this better. If you want to use a Wine Wrapper that isn't dependent on third parties & modifications, check out Wineskin.

A bit of info on CXEx: (articles are not finished yet/work in progress, it takes a lot of time to write these...)
What is CXEx and how does it work?

Why are there multiple CXEx Wrappers and Engines?

CXEx Frequently Asked Questions

CXEx Porting Tutorial - (outdated Tutorial, needs a rewrite)
CXEx Tips & Tricks Page

CXEx Central (main CXEx App)
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CXEx Settings (CXEx Wrapper Settings)
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CXEx Launcher (part of the CXEx Wrappers)
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Creating CXEx Ports for yourself and others / Porting with CXEx

CXEx Central:

(5 MB Download)

I've decided a few months ago to get into Xcode a little bit, with no basic knowledge of anything cocoa or object-c.
I've pondered a while on what i could do with it and decided i would rewrite all my previous Terminal and Bash apps & tools with Xcode and see what would turn out from that in the end.

The app with the most benefit from that would be the old CXEx app.
Well, you know how the old CXEx & CiderX & CXZ Porters are, plain, script-list, not so mac like.

A few weeks later i've come up with a new design for the whole thing, and put in additional features and settings. Then some more. Then lots of other things as well.
Basically i didn't want to release the thing since i said i'd shut it down, but i figured you guys would have the most use out of this app.
To the handful that are still porting with CXEx, that is....

Well, long story short, here would be my idea on how a 'native' management app should be for creating Wrappers.
This app works similar to Wineskin Winery, with downloadable content, changeable settings and lots more.

CXEx Wrappers got a huge upgrade as well, with more efficient launcher code and now a verrrry customizable startup screen as well. (got rid of the helper apps inside the Wrappers as well)

Basically everything is new and improved, and very thoroughly tested.
Besides the actual CXx base code, which doesn't fall into my set of skills.
doh's the person to talk to for improving it, and if you want to get crankin' on the CXx base code yourself, feel free to grab it here.
But it worked as well as the original CrossOver does, so there's little room for improvement. (besides the shutdown bug)

CXEx Central may be a bit confusing at first, but every button/feature is documented.
Press the (?) Button in the Wrapper settings to show descriptions; go the the [ Online Manual ] Tab in Central for a detailed explanation on how things in Central work.

If it's still too confusing, stick with Wineskin Winery; Winery was designed more for new users to porting, while i took the more experienced approach.

The whole thing is pretty easy to use, and lots of cool new things to choose from, so knock yourself out with the new CXEx.

I'd figured i'd give you all the option to mess around with Central / the Wrappers / the custom Launcher first, before i spend another two weeks writing tutorials for it; since i've been mostly done with the app for some weeks now.

Of course, i've got a feature list to come via updates that's as long as my arm, so i'm gonna add new things via my own Auto-Update implementation soon. (eff you Sparkle)

Source Code:
The heart of CXEx, or more like CXSkin (by doh123) as it once was, is available as a source here.
CXEx Source Code
The whole CXEx Package (CXEx Central + CXEx Wrapper+Settings) is however, not open source, since it's my own implementation built on top of the CXSkin Source. CXSkin died years ago, and development of the core with it.
If you want to pick up the breadcrumbs that got left behind, feel free to do what you like.
Hello. Sadly, I am not active here on the Porting Team anymore, and therefore I cannot give support or answer questions to any of my posted Ports or posted topics.

- zero

#2 devilhunter


    just dancing to the beat

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 01:16 PM

Basic Questions and Answers for the CXEx System

Q: Why does CXEx Central need a Internet connection to let me create Wrappers?
A: CXEx Central downloads a few config files and version information from the net to configure and make CXEx Wrappers.

Q: Why can't i download new Engines or create Wrappers when a new Version is available?
After managing & overviewing the Porting Team Project for so long, i've seen countless times that people port/post stuff that has been made with really outdated stuff.
If you port with CXEx Central, you do so only with the newest Central app & Wrappers, never with the old & outdated stuff.

Q: Does this System also benefit from Updated Engine files like the CXZ System does?
A: Yes it does. As mentioned, every CXEx Wrapper relies on the extracted Engine in your System, and these also benefit from Engine Updates.

Q: If the CXEx Wrappers self extract their Engines automatically, that means that i can't run any of them if i don't have the Privileges of an Administrator User?
A: No. All CXEx Wrappers are working with User-side Engines as they will extract their Engines into your Application Support Folder, as opposed to CXZ where you needed an Admin Password for installing an Engine onto the System Drive.

Where are the Engine Files located in the System?
All CXEx Engine files are all located in a single file in your System.
(username / Home directory) /Library/Application Support/WineEngines/CXExEngines.bundle

I have no use for running CXEx Ports anymore, so how can i remove CXEx completely from my System?
Delete the file mentioned in the previous question. Then throw away your CXEx Ports. That's it.

How can i make CXEx Ports for myself and others?
Simple. Download the CXEx Porter Package an install it.

Will there be a Tutorial about porting with CXEx and maybe some more info what the Sub-Applications in the CXEx Wrappers do?
Yes, look forward to it shortly.

Is CXEx an addon for CXZ?
No. While CXEx and CXZ share most of the same code for operation, the basics of both systems are radically different.
CXZ/CXS was a hassle with installing Engines or having Giant Wrappers, and CXEx gets rid of that with an automated system.

Will CXZ be discontinued?
Yes. No further development will be made to the CXZ / CXS Wrapper & Engine System.
It's only CXEx from here on.

Should i make CXEx Ports from now on instead of CXZ / CXS Ports?
Yes, please do. There is a lot of great stuff in CXEx which helps Porters and Users alike, from the automatic Engine Installs to Bug fixes to the Included Startup Readme.

The startup Screen with the editable ReadMe is a great Idea, but how can i edit the Port Information in the Startup Screen?
Very Simple. Edit the 'Port Info.rtf' text file and the 'Port Banner.png' picture in the Wrapper Contents to your liking.
Best is to reflect the included Game or app instead of just some mindless Blogspam.
Looks more Professional and serious this way.
Best explained in the CXEx Porting Tutorial.

I see i can modify said Information easily, but this could also apply to others whom i give the Wrapper to. I don't want others to rip me off and get all the Credit for my hard work on the Wrapper. Can i block others somehow?
Yes. Just start up the CXEx Porter while holding the option / alt Key down and a submenu with options appears. From there select 'Freeze Port Information', and select your CXEx Wrapper. This doesn't lock the Text file or the Picture, but it will restore your Port Information at Startup on somebody else's computer upon launch.
Only select this option from the Porter if you are 100% sure that you are finished with editing the Port Information files, i.e. if you finished searching for Bugs in the Application or Game.
After selecting 'Freeze Port Information' once it's not possible to freeze it again for this Wrapper.

I've made a CXEx Port and i would like to share it. What's the best way?
There are some tools in the options menu of the CXEx Porter (hold the option key and start the CXEx Porter application) where you can compress the Wrapper into multiple Parts for easy upload it the Port has become big or just compress it as a single file via 7zip Ultra compression.
Also the DMG Conversion option splits big Disk Image files into Parts if you have put the Port into a Disk Image.
Hello. Sadly, I am not active here on the Porting Team anymore, and therefore I cannot give support or answer questions to any of my posted Ports or posted topics.

- zero

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