The History of ToonTalk Beta Releases
Beta 20 mostly fixes many bugs and adds some minor features. Beta 20A fixes a few more bugs including one that made the puzzle game nearly unplayable.
Beta 19 supports screen sizes of 800x600, 1024x768, 1152x864, 1280x1024, and 1600x1200. (Please let us know if some screen size you like is missing.) You can select your screen size by clicking on 'Set Options' when starting ToonTalk. 'Set Options' now also gives you a selection of text-to-speech voices if more than one has been installed on your computer. Beta 19 also supports subtitles and closed captioning. And bugs were fixed.
Beta 18 now supports URLs wherever ToonTalk accepts file names. For example, the "File to Picture" sensor can now be given a URL like http://www.toontalk.com/ghost.bmp and it will create a picture from that URL. URLs should work on command line options specifying which city or puzzle or demo file you want ToonTalk to use. There is a new command line option -spoken_language which enables you to specify you want ToonTalk text and talk balloons to be one language while the spoken language is another language. You can now train robots to leave things on the floor. A robot will no longer automatically clean up things it left on the floor if you ended its training while the robot was holding Dusty the Vacuum. If you are running ToonTalk with a text-to-speech engine that processes control tags they are no longer ignored. Tags can be inserted in the text to change the pitch, speed, emphasis, etc of the speech. E.g. \Spd=360\ \Vce=Gender="Female"\ which says the voice should change to a speed of 360 and a female voice. Tags are ignored by some speech engines. This release should be able to run all of the games on the Playground Website. And of course more bugs were fixed.
Beta 17 mostly fixes bugs but introduces a few enhancements. Now if you drop a nest on a nest, Bammer comes and smashes them together. Birds of those nests now think that the resulting nest is theirs and will deliver things there. This is a simpler and faster alternative than training a robot to take things off of one nest and hand them a bird of the other nest. ToonTalk has always had the convention that the space bar turns things on. Period or stop, '.', now turns things off. This includes pictures, sounds, force effects, sensors, Dusty, Pumpy, and pictures. Pictures now can be turned on (i.e. any robots on the back are activated) by pressing the space bar. Note that this means you must use '+' and not space to cycle through different images or colors. You can now have ToonTalk maintain the last n versions of the city in case you want to go back in time to a previous saved state.
Beta 16 fixes many bugs particularly those involving picture sensors needed for game programming. F4 now calls for the main notebook that lives inside of Tooly. You can now save a city to the clipboard. Currently the only interface to this is to sit on the ground outside and press control-c without holding anything in your hand. If a city is on the clipboard when ToonTalk is started you'll start off in the clipboard city. ToonTalk now supports Unicode so it can display all the alphabets of the world at once. If the "-language" is Japanese this is enabled or if -unicode_code_page <number> is on the command line. For example, -unicode_code_page 932 enables the Japanese code page so that you can cut and paste Japanese text. If ClippingDir=<a directory name> in the Directories section of the toontalk.ini file then when ToonTalk puts something on the clipboard it also puts a copy in a file in ClippingDir with the users name (or if a city was put on the clipboard the users name followed by "_city").
Beta 15 introduces the ability to label nests and birds by typing while holding them. You can also name a robot by typing while holding it. You can associate comments with any object by pressing F8 to stop Marty (and all robots). You can then give Marty something and he'll ask for something to associate with that object. If you associate a text pad with an object then Marty will use that text when describing the object. Several sensors have been changed and some new ones added. It now works to put a flipped over picture on the back of another flipped over picture to give a picture a behavior. You can now use control-c to copy something to the clipboard and control-v to paste it into ToonTalk. You can now control how many houses are on a block. And lots of bugs have been fixed.
Beta 14 mostly fixes bugs. It supports a new format for putting ToonTalk objects in the Windows clipboard. This new format should be safe for sending through email. Beta 14 can read the old format as well but Beta 13 cannot read ToonTalk objects saved by Beta 14 or later. Beta 14 also changes the meaning of the visibility remote control for pictures. The setting "SEE SOME" now make the background (black if a picture imported by a user) transparent. And the setting "SEE NOTHING" no longer makes pictures that have been added to the invisible picture invisible as well. Beta 14A fixes several bugs. Beta 14B fixes a few more bugs.
Beta 13 gives you the ability to re-train robots. And more bugs were fixed and small enhancements added. Beta 13A fixes a few more bugs.
Beta 12 adds a few features for very advanced users. Robots can now be trained to manipulate teams of other robots. Thought bubbles can be edited and teams re-arranged. You can now arrange for any behavior to happen when 2 pictures collide. Many bugs were fixed and minor features have also been added. Click here for details.
Beta 11 has two new features. ToonTalk now supports force feedback joysticks. You can feel force effects when you use ToonTalk but you will also find a notebook of remote controls for using force effects in your own programs. There is now a way to load extensions into ToonTalk. The only extension currently defined enables you to read and write files and communication ports from inside of ToonTalk. As always, various bugs were fixed as well. Beta 11A just fixes several bugs.
Beta 10 has updated and improved demos. And lots of bugs fixed. Beta 10A fixes even more bugs. (Special thanks to Shelly C. Wallace for reporting many of them.)
Beta 9 allows you to decorate houses (the roof and front wall), rooms (the wall), and cities. All decoration can have robots on the back and so can be given any behavior you like. You can now save cities. An automatic trouble-shooting facility was added. You can now move around on the floor. You can now see what's on the floor while standing in a room. A new options dialog was added to make it easier to customize ToonTalk. And of course many bugs were fixed. Beta 9A fixed a few more bugs. And Beta 9B fixed more bugs.
Beta 8 has support for combining "behaviors". The idea is that you can define a behavior (like chasing, bouncing, and exploding) as before by placing robots on the back of a picture. Now you can combine behaviors by putting lots of flipped pictures on the back of another picture. Check out these examples of combining behavior. Beta 8 also has many "synthetic" pictures in the Pictures notebook now. In addition to the rectangle that has been in ToonTalk for years, there are now ovals, rounded rectangles, lines and more.
Beta 8A mostly fixes bugs in Beta 8.
Beta 8B adds 9 new puzzles, a much more robust Java applet maker, and some bug fixes. It also uses a new much more flexible installation program most of whose advantages are only on the CD-ROM version. The removal of ToonTalk from your computer is now supported.
Beta 8C now supports joysticks -- but only the 32-bit version of ToonTalk. You can use a joystick to control the programmer as well as use joystick sensors to build games that use the joystick. The way mouse buttons are used has changed. The right mouse button now by default turns things on and off (like space bar), flips pages in notebooks, and turns over pictures, numbers and text pads. The way sound effects are made and used has been changed as well. And some bugs were fixed.
Starting with version 6B there is now multi-lingual support and the ability to generate Java applets.
ToonTalk now has a puzzle game starting with version 4C. You can even make your own puzzles!
ToonTalk is in beta testing and is changing all the time. Bugs are fixed. Neat things are made all the time in ToonTalk. There are many ideas of how to improve ToonTalk.
It would be great if you helped by reporting bugs, contributing neat things, and coming up with ideas.
If you already have ToonTalk and want the latest version then click here.
If you want to learn how to get the narration for the Introductory Tour and the Ping Pong demo then click here.
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