XPT (Extreme Power Tools)

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The XPT (Extreme Power Tools) is a commercial Win32 Windows software toolset by Radsoft company, specifically designed for programmers and system administrators. The XPT comprises some 150 applications notable for their "bare metal" design, a "software tools" philosophy, and "not a single bug found" in its over ten years of distribution.[1] The average XPT executable is 7.19 KB, which allows it to be extremely portable software, as it is also "no intrusion" software, meaning it doesn't place files or leave footprints on the host computer.

The name of the software toolset comes from an interview where the authors were asked if the XPT was for "power users only". The answer was "if they're power users they need to be extreme power users".

Programming Approach[edit]

The "software tools" philosophy centers on making programs which do one thing only, and do it very well - in contrast to the 'bells and whistles' philosophy found in many commercial products. The XPT's authors say the 'software tools' approach is what leads to XPT's bug-free reputation.

Bare Metal[edit]

The XPT applications are Win32 GUI applications and with an average a footprint of 7.19KB. The toolset includes several fully featured text editors under or around 10KB and a fully functional Windows Explorer replacement at 14.5KB. The largest application executables are the screen savers.

The XPT toolset (sans documentation) fits on a 1.44MB diskette.

No Intrusion[edit]

The XPT is not shareware. The authors eschew inserting anything in program code not part of the software's express purpose and functionality (see 'software tools' philosophy). Certain titles in the XPT have been available as freeware from time to time.

The XPT has no 'installation': all applications run completely "as is" (usually by double-clicking).

The XPT is entirely self-contained and leaves essentially no remnants on user hard drives. All XPT tools share a single common Registry key and no application saves anything to the Registry without the user's express consent. Removing the XPT from a hard drive means removing the original setup directory and at most a single Registry key.

Bloatware Debate[edit]

Radsoft's XPT was in the news in 1999 when the bloatware debate exploded at RISKS Digest and other places. Slate and the London Daily Telegraph had a heated exchange and Radsoft, who were consulted during this period, wrote a number of well-received articles on the subject, in particular attacking Microsoft for a cavalier attitude towards quality control. In 1999 Radsoft announced a feature-rich replacement for Microsoft's Windows Explorer under 28 KB. The application, known as X-file, was released to readers of the RISKS Digest forum as freeware and later was integrated into the XPT as a whole.

Ethics in Programming[edit]

The authors of the XPT have often come out on the side of the consumer against cynical corporate interests. For example, the XPT also contains an "antidote" for Evidence Eliminator, also available in a limited freeware edition.

Fans of the XPT began the Bloatbusters in 2000 as a way to react to what was perceived as the deteriorating quality of Windows software. The Bloatbusters have been hosted by Radsoft but are otherwise not connected to the parent site.

The XPT also garnered attention when it was discovered Microsoft's Windows XP search tools refused to show files under certain circumstances; as the XPT file management utilities do not use the same APIs they are able to see "everything".

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Radsoft — Industrial Strength Software". Radsoft. February 2008. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 

External links[edit]