Valence vs. Other QWK Systems

With the advent of Searchlight Software’s new QWK/SL, there’s been some discussion of its pros and cons vs. Valence. I decided to make a feature comparison chart, and include QWKRick and the now-defunct SLQWiK. This list is by no means complete:

  Valence QWK/SL QWKRick SLQWiK
Searchlight features:        
Netmail Yes Yes No No
Internet email Yes Yes No No
Long subjects (>25 chars.) Yes No No No
Included files Yes No No No
Translate color codes Yes No No No
Metacharacters Yes No No No
Underline joining Yes No No No
Post with alias Yes Yes No No
Language strings No Yes No Yes
Edit subboard list Yes Yes No No
Over ~1000 subboards Yes1 Yes No No
Max. lines per message 650 1000 400 400
Version compatibility 2.15+ 4.5+ 3.0+ 2.15+
QWK features:        
Control messages Yes No Yes Yes
DOOR.ID Yes No Yes Yes
Ordered CONTROL.DAT Yes No No No
Pointer files Yes No No No
Bulletins Yes No No No
Welcome/Goodbye screens Yes Yes No No
Fido tearline fixing Yes No Yes Yes
Translate high-bit chars Yes No No No
Archiver choice Yes No No No
Use any protocol Yes No No No
User control of packet size Yes No No No
Personal/to All scanning Yes No No No
Multiple packets in one D/L Yes No No No
Text packets Yes No No Yes
RIP features:        
Mouse support in –        
Subboard list Yes Yes N/A N/A
Prompts Yes Yes No No
Options No Yes Yes No
High-resolution display No Yes No No
Secs to scan ~3700 messages 37 85 75 N/A
Secs to scan and pack 90 165 135 N/A

In the time test, SLQWiK was excluded because it couldn’t get through the scan without locking up. Scanning is the only part of the process that’s really under the control of the QWK program; the packing in each case was done by PKZIP, at around a minute for each packet. The resulting packets were about 900k each. The comparison is approximate because Valence found 3716 messages, while QWK/SL only got 3679. (This doesn’t necessarily mean QWK/SL was skipping messages, though it may.) All programs were set to a maximum of 500 messages per subboard, 5000 per packet. The test system was a 486dx33 running DOS 5.0 and Hyperdisk.

Versions compared: Valence 1.4x, QWK/SL 1.1, QWKRick 1.01, SLQWiK 1.02d. (The QWK/SL version number was found only in the FILE_ID.DIZ; I understand there’s a newer version which is supposed to be faster.)

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  1. As of Valence 1.7.