It is a moment that I'm proud in watching. Was a long walk over over the last 4 years to reach the current state where we are able to provide the first WinPE builder in the world that is fully independent from Windows API.
A lot of work to implement native support for reading/writing:
- WIM archives
- ISO 9660 archives
- Link files (used for shortcuts)
- VHD containers formatted with NTFS
- Registry hives
- the details of Windows .exe files
For the first time, a builder combines all necessary components necessary to create a Windows PE boot disk in a fully independent manner.
Why does this matter?
Because controlling the aspects of building a boot disk introduces an amazing level of quality assurance in regards to the end result. We are now able to predict exactly how the builder will work regardless of the platform underneath.
But the new builder doesn't just introduce platform independence, it brings great features such as user interface abstraction. For the time, we have built an application that simultaneously supports three distinct types of user interfaces straight from the box. You can use the command line, use a normal GUI or even use a web browser if you wish. They are all equally relevant and empowered for controlling winbuilder either from an unattended process, or remotely across another computer somewhere on the network, or from your own desktop as traditional if so you wish.
There would be a lot to talk about in regards to changes, I'd just like to resume some of the other relevant points for the sake of succintness:
- uses java-like language for other developers to write their plugins
- we make available an app-store web service for uploading and distributing the plugins
- plugins use a "hook" system that allows them being triggered according to specific system messages
- settings for plugins use a nice a customizable HTML format
- Windows, Mac OSX and Linux are supported as platforms
- can automatically build a WinPE boot disk without needing user interaction
- does not requires admin permissions
- does not require installing any drivers
- supports full translation of log messages to other languages
I'm really happy. Boot disks are generated in around 3 minutes with no fuss.
If you would like to try it out, it is available at http://reboot.pro/files/file/342-winbuilder/