wiFT User Guide

last update:
08/04/02 -- August 4th, 2002

comments/suggestions/corrections/additions/etc to:
mjvh AT users.sf.net
[ introduction ]

wiFT is a native win32 client (front end) for giFT. It is currently being developed using Borland's Delphi 6.

wiFT is a USER INTERFACE only. All the real p2p work is done by the giFT daemon. If you do not have the giFT daemon installed wiFT isn't going to do much for you.

giFT is the next generation peer to peer filesharing system. It is designed to function as a back end only, effectively freeing the US developer of all the network coding typically involved with writing a p2p application.

Although still under heavy development, giFT is already supporting an active p2p network known as OpenFT.

wiFT, giFT, and OpenFT have all been released under and are protected by the GNU General Public License.

For more information on giFT, visit the official homepage of the project: http://gift.sourceforge.net

[ the seven steps to p2p nirvana ]
  1. get giFT ( gift.sf.net )
  2. install giFT ( gift.sf.net/docs )
  3. get wiFT ( wift.sf.net )
  4. install wiFT ( Installation Guide )
  5. run wiFT ( User Guide )
  6. download stuff ( o/~ I want my.. I want my.. I want my mp3s.. o/~ )
  7. be happy ( :P )
[ general use ]

wiFT is an MDI application. MDI is an acronym for Multiple Document Interface. All this means is that you can have multiple windows open inside the main window.

TIP: If you don't like MDI and would prefer a more KaZaA-like experience, disable 'allow multiple search result windows' via options/searching, and maximize (any) one of the child windows. Now you can use the buttons on the toolbar to switch between the windows -- just like our good friend KaZaA.

When you start wiFT for the first time you'll be greeted by three windows inside the main window: 'log', 'search', and 'downloads'. Other available windows include: 'search results', 'uploads', 'options', 'stats', and 'about'. You can access these windows from the File menu, or by clicking the various buttons on the toolbar.

I'll take a moment here to mention that much of the way wiFT looks can be configured to your liking. If you're not happy with the default windows that open, or the sizes, or the positions -- you can change it! Just arrange any window the way you like it, click on the system menu (the little panda in the upper left corner of the window), and select 'remember'. Now everytime that particular window opens it will open in the same spot, and at the same size. If you move the window and want to force it back to the 'remembered' position, select 'reset'. If you don't want wiFT to remember the position anymore, select 'forget'. If you want a window to open everytime wiFT starts, select 'autoopen'. It's just as simple as that!

Now let's examine the individual windows in more detail.

* log *

The 'log' window is where status messages appear. When you connect/disconnect from the daemon and when searches and transfers begin/end you'll see messages here. The amount of information that is shown in this window can be adjusted via the 'options' window under 'logging'. Or, if you prefer not to see anything at all, simply close the window.

* search *

The 'search' window is the place to go when you want to find something. For simple searches, just type the terms that you want to search for into the appropriate box and hit the search button. A new 'search results' window will be opened and will display the results (if any) of your search.

TIP: you can also search by typing your query into the quick search box on the toolbar

You can narrow your search by specifying additional criteria.

* downloads *

The 'downloads' window displays the status of all active downloads. You'll see all kinds of useful information about your downloads there.

If you right click on a download, a pop-up menu will appear with options to 'cancel' or 'find more sources'. Clicking 'cancel' will, appropriately enough, cancel the download. Clicking 'find more sources' will bring up a new 'search results' window with a list of additional sources for that particular file.

Attempting to download one of these results will cause wiFT to add it as additional source to the existing download.

The popup-menu also includes a number of other options which should be fairly self explanatory.

* uploads *

The 'uploads' window operates very similarly to the 'downloads' window.

* search results *

'search results' windows do just what one would expect.

A new search results window will be opened for each new search. In this way you can perform multiple searches without losing previous results. When you're done looking at the results of a particular search, just close the window.

TIP: If you don't want a new window opened for each search, go into the 'options' window and deselect 'allow multiple search results windows'

Right clicking on an individual result will get you a pop-up menu with options: 'download', 'download as', 'more of this file', 'more from this user'.

'download' will download the selected file from the selected source, using the name it was shared as. Only the selected source will be used for the transfer. If you want to use additional sources, you'll have to search for 'more of this file' either from the search results window, or from the downloads window. note: if there is an existing download in progress with the same hash as the file you are attempting to download, the new source will be added to the existing download.

TIP: you can also start a download by dragging a search result to the downloads window

'download as' will do the same as download, but it will allow you to pick the name to save the download as. note: if there is an existing download in progress with the same hash as the file you are attempting to download, the new source will be added to the existing download, and your chosen filename will be lost in favour of the existing one.

'more of this file' will search for all files matching the hash of the selected file.

'more from this user' will search for all files being shared by the selected user.

* options *

The options window let's your configure wiFT to your liking.

- connection info -

Set the ip and port of the giFT daemon to connect to. Generally this will be, but giFT will listen on all local addresses, so it is possible to run the daemon on a different machine than the client. And, of course, the port that the daemon listens on is configurable.

You may also request that wiFT attempt to connect to the giFT daemon automatically every time it starts.

- logging -

The log level setting determines how much information is printed to the log window. You can't set it to 0, but closing the log window altogether has the same effect.

There are also options to timestamp the entries in the log, and options to save the log to disk (for future reference).

- searching -

(note: currently disabled - there is no way to cancel an active search) You may specify a timeout value (in seconds) for searches. Occasionally the giFT daemon does not return a closing search tag (could be a bug, could be a laggy index node, etc.). When this happens, the search never completes, so wiFT just displays 'searching' forever. Because of the MDI nature of wiFT there do not seem to be any severe consequences to this behaviour, whereas with an SDI app you might not be able to do anything else until the search completed. However, search timeouts was a requested feature, so it's included here.

(note: currently disabled - there is no way to cancel an active search) If you specify a maximum search results wiFT will tell the giFT daemon to stop searching once is reaches the defined number of results.

At your discretion you may allow multiple search results windows to open. I prefer allowing multiple windows -- that way I don't lose old searches just because I want to search for something new. Some people, however, prefer only one search results window ever be opened -- this option is for them.

- transfers -

The first option here is to 'remove completed files from transfer windows'. If you check this box, once a transfer reaches 'completed' or 'cancelled' status it will automatically be removed from the list. If this box is not checked, the transfer will stay in the list until you clear it manually, or exit the program.

The second option is to 'filter nodepage uploads'. For those of you who don't know, the giFT daemon serves a small webpage (called your nodepage) via http which has a list of other nodes your connected to, as well as a list of files that you are sharing. If you chose not to filter nodepage uploads you'll see a lot of strange uploads in the uploads window everytime someone views your nodepage.

- tray icon -

A tray icon is a little icon that sits beside the clock on your taskbar (usually in the lowerright corner of your screen). By enabling the tray icon you can "close" wiFT and have it disappear from your taskbar, but still reside in memory for quick and easy access the next time you want it.

* stats *

The stats window brings up some numbers about the protocols that giFT is currently communicating on.

* about *

The 'about' window displays the program name and version, as well as copyright notices.