VISITview Update History

updated: December 14th, 2009


Installer Packaging ------------------- * Switched to a different installer for Windows. * Now includes a "Start Menu" (Windows) option for running VisitRemote; prior to this, it was a separate install. Two new scripts (visitremote.bat and .sh) added to "". * Windows Start Menu now contains a link to un-install VISITview. VISITview Client ---------------- * Added a small "?" button to bring up the Help Window. * Improved formatting of the Intstructor Notes to resolve rendering issues for slightly complex HTML. * Improved layout for overlay checkboxes when the Control Panel is "torn off". VISITivew Lesson Builder (version 2.72) --------------------------------------- * Allow 'recorded' lessons to be more easily updated -- audio and annotations are kept track of as pages are moved around; they are renumbered accordingly, and the annotation files are re-written to include the correct page "load" command for a newly-numbered page. * Added an "r" flag on the thumbnails for pages with recordings. VISITview Server ---------------- * Added code to implement an independent thread to handle sending data to clients; this resolves an issue of certain server configurations causing the TCP buffer to fill, and thus blocking the entire "group". (Thanks to our friends in Brazil for working with us on this.) * Added logic to prevent the barrage of "animation speed change" messages that occurs when the instructor was sliding the speed-change-slider. When the server gets a backlog of these, it will skip over the intermediate ones.


VISITview Client ---------------- * Added locales for de, es, fr, and en so that widgets get labels in these languages. * Added HTML "param" to force the locale: <param name="locale" value="de"> for German, for example * Changed the "chat" protocol to use Unicode values to enable extended character sets. * Fixed issue with image fading code to enable an up-coming Java update. VISITview Server ---------------- * Added the ability for a site to add a "splash image" which will appear on the client screens before the lesson begins. VISITview Lesson Builder (version 2.67) ------------------------ * Added code to allow for Java updates in the future.


VISITview Client ---------------- * Fixed problem with overlay toggle not working correctly in the Student session * Enabled "Print" button in Student session


VISITview Lesson Builder (version 2.65) ------------------------ * Added new checkbox next to the "Linked text URL" textbox to specify whether this link should be shown in the External browser (Mozilla, IE, etc) or not. This uses a simpler technique to try to determine the default browser, and was tested on Windows, MacOSX and Linux. * Changed the Windows .bat file writing when the JRE is NOT saved with the lesson so that it tries to use a system-installed java.exe. VISITview Client ---------------- * Added a new browser launcher class to be used when an "external browser" is specified * Changed the event handling for all widgets and controls so that when the control panel is torn-away, the keyboard left/right/up/down arrows should continue to function even when the focus is on the control panel. (This will still not work if the focus is on a slider, however, since the sliders use the keys to change their values). * Changed the wording on the pop-up "select a group" window to try to improve understanding - this still needs work, though.


VISITview Lesson Builder ------------------------ The Lesson Builder package was changed to use a different self-extracting ZIP file stub. This one provides visual feedback that it is actually doing something, while still providing an obivious way to change the target directory. This is version 2.64 of the Lesson Builder.


VISITview Client ---------------- * Fixed a problem with overlays not being toggled on/off on students sessions. * Made the "SeeURL" and "Fade" buttons behave more like the "Quiz" button, in that their background color changes to red when they are available (only on instructor's machine). * Initial release of "InstructorNotes" (see Lesson Builder) which allows the instructor to create an html page with their notes for presentations; this is then shown as a pop-up window only on the instructor's machine and will track the pages. VISITview Lesson Builder ------------------------ * Fixed a problem with the "Edit" menu options not being available when first adding images to a new lesson. * Added two "parameter" options to the dialog that pops up when saving a lesson: - The option to exclude the Java Runtime from the lesson file (the default is to include it, as it has always been). - The option to create an "InstructorsNotes_template.html" file that contains a template which the instructor can then fill in with their reminders & notes for each page of the lesson. It is pre-loaded with HTML for each page, including anchor "NAME" tags that VISITview will use to "track" during the lesson. See the VISITview Tutorial for more information. Others ------ * Changed the "ZIP Self Extractor" to a different program to help out with confusion about what buttons to click. Hopefully this one will help, since it explicity says to specify what directory to extract into.


VISITview Client ---------------- * Fix a problem that prevented recorded lessons from being played back. If a lesson was recorded using the April 16th update, the lesson should be repackaged as follows:
  1. unzip the lesson into a new directory
  2. get the "" file from the VISITview homepage (right click on the link and "Save As...")
  3. unzip the contents of the "" file on top of the lesson (in the directory where the .class files are)
  4. repack the lesson using either the batch command "mkrepack" or from the menu Start -> VISITview Lesson Builder -> Repack Recorded Lesson


VISITview Client ---------------------- * rework keyboard and mouse handling to support Applet Mac OS-X. The only oddity remaining is that to draw straight lines (and rectangles & circles) you must _first_ start to drag the mouse and then depress the CTRL key for the rest of your "dragging". * fixed the check for whether an enhancement can be done within the amount of memory that _might_ still be available. There is now a hard limit of 100 (arbitrary) frames. * make the "little red pointer" in portals take on the orientation of the Big Red Pointer when it is changed. VISITview Lesson Builder (version 2.6) ----------------------------------- * add a "" file in the install directory that contains the defaults for many of the parameters that appear in the gray-colored "save dialog" parameter setting window. These values only apply for "new" lessons.


VISITview Lesson Builder (version 2.5) --------------------------------------- * Fixed a problem when saving a lesson after deleting all the portals and/or overlays. Incorrect info was saved such that when the lesson was loaded back into the Lesson Builder it thought the images from the original file were still there. * Fixed two problems related to the "Edit" menu operations not being available when they should be. * Fixed a problem with the "Insert" option when viewing "frames" for the first time. VISITview Client --------------- * Modified the "little red pointer" in portals so that it changes direction when the Big Red Pointer does (using ALT+digit).


VISITview Lesson Builder (version 2.41) --------------------------------------- Minor update to prevent accidental disconnect between portals and the pages they've been put into when attempting to "insert" a new portal.


VISITview Lesson Builder (version 2.38) --------------------------------------- * Added a new menu item: "File -> Attach a File" This can be used in conjunction with the new See URL functionality (see below) to keep the HTML file(s) contained within the lesson. When you click on this menu item, the Lesson Builder will pop up a File Chooser Dialog and let you pick a file to attach to the lesson. All attached files are remembered if the lesson is re-editted with the Builder. VISITview Client ---------------- * added support for Animated GIFs * changed the "See URL" as follows: - in non-browser modes, uses internal Java HTML rendering - a local HTML file (see above) can be used instead of a remote (http://....) file - HTML "name anchors" are now supported - The "See URL" button is now a "command" so that if the instructor clicks it, the page will pop up on everyones' screen. This operation can also now be recorded. Other ----- * Updated the Java Runtime to version 1.4.2_12.


VISITview Lesson Builder (ver 2.36) ------------------------ VISITview Client ---------------- * Fixed an inconsistency in the keyboard arrow key handling between the main window and the Page Chooser (ALT+L) window. * Made some efficiency improvements in faded image generation code.


VISITview Lesson Builder (ver 2.35) ------------------------ VISITview Client ---------------- * Fixed a problem when playing back recorded lessons using Java version 1.5. Audio speed was reduced by a factor about about 3 (very slow).


VISITview Lesson Builder (ver 2.33) ------------------------ * Corrected a problem that disabled being able to import a presentation or choose a URL for an image after laying out portals or choosing overlays. VISITview Client ---------------- * Modified the "blackboard" functionality to use independent annotations (text and line drawings). The contents of the blackboard will persist between page changes; frame annotations will be erased when changing frames (as usual).


VISITview Lesson Builder (ver 2.32) ------------------------ * Rework the "filename label" in the thumbnail view of the main Lesson Builder panel to "right justify" the text if the whole name is too long to fit. * Added menu item "Append Other" which will bring in the images from a different lesson (including portal and overlay images); however, the "appended" lesson's meta data (phrases, hosts, etc) will replace the first lesson's. In addition, the links for the portals and overlays for the "appended" lesson are lost. VISITview Audio Recording ------------------------- * Added an "Automatic Record" feature. This is used similarly to the normal "Record" feature, except that it does not require you to save between pages -- it will do that automatically. The idea is to use this for some "live" recordings. On Windows, a "Start menu" item was added for this feature. Preliminary documentation is at: <>


VISITview Lesson Builder (ver 2.30) ----------------------- * Fix problem in "View Portal" mode when the base image is a URL and resides on a remote computer. VISITview Client (ver 1.174) ---------------- * Fix problem in browser-mode when users double-click "reload" (this was causing multiple connections to server to be generated) * Make sure the Control Panel (if torn off) is closed when applet quits * Make the "help" panel a separate window that can be left "up" while continuing to use VISITview


VISITview Lesson Builder (ver 2.29) ----------------------- * cosmetic changes to documentation VISITview Client (ver 1.172) ---------------- * Added a "Print" button that will print the contents of the screen.


VISITview Lesson Builder (ver 2.28) ----------------------- * cosmetic changes to documentation VISITview Client ---------------- * Make a "persist" mode for the Big Red Pointer, so that it will remain in the same place and visible on the screen after you draw some annotation (lines, circles, etc.). This is toggled using an "ALT+0" (that's a zero) and the state remains between pages. * Added a simple index number to the listing for each quiz responder to help instructors more easily determine if everyone has responded. * Ignore the "case" of all 'true' and 'false' parameters in the HTML (as typed into the "Properties Dialog" when saving a lesson). VISITview Server (ver. 1.31) ---------------- * Changed the 'ping' delay time from 2 minutes to ~30 seconds, to help prevent connections from being dropped if they are seen as "idle" too long. This 'ping' is sent out to all members of a group to keep them "alive". * Added the ability to grab the IP address when a client first connects. * Shortened the timeout disconnection for sites that are clearly "gone" and have the server drop these sites sooner. * Updated the ViewStatus2 program to display the IP address and provide a button to dump the status to the console output window.


VISITView server (ver. 1.29) ---------------- * Supress log entries for the "GetCompleteStatus" requests; there are so many of them, they were cluttering the log and really did serve any useful purpose. * Change the default group from <blank> to "unspecified" to avoid confusion for people using realtime collaborations. [If you are running collaborations, it is recommended that you install this update to the VISITview server.] VISITview Lesson Builder (ver. 2.27) ------------------------ * Modified default for SSEC's visitview server to use hostname "" to more easily allow for backup machine here. VISITview client ---------------- * Added an automatic retry if the communications are disrupted. A screen message will be displayed while the retries are attempted. The attempts will happen at approximately 2s intervals for half a minute and then ramp up to 10s intervals for about ten minutes. * Added a "hidden" keyboard command to try to force a new connection to the server (ALT + SHIFT + Q)


VISITview Lesson Builder (ver 2.26) ----------------------------------- * Added PNG files for PowerPoint presentation import in Builder * Fixed spelling error in Builder help * Updated visitplay and visitauto batch and script files to increase the heap memory size for playing back lessons with large images and/or long loops. VISITview Client ---------------- * Added 'ALT+E' as a shortcut for "Erase Last Graphic"


VISITview Lesson Builder (ver 2.23) ----------------------------------- * Fixed a problem when getting images as URLs that prevented the "bracket" format from working when more than one image was specified in the 'count' box. The numer of images used is always inferred from the "bracket format URL" given, so now the count is ignored. * Updated the documentation at: <> to clarify that image filenames must start with "0" when using the 'wildcard' format. * Added Benard Meisner's "VISITview Controls Quick Reference Card" to the VISITview Controls page.


VISITview Client ---------------- * The direction of the Big Red Point can be changed using ALT+digit. The most-frequently-requested direction, pointing toward the right, is assigned to ALT+1. Eight directions are available. VISITview Lesson Builder (ver 2.22) ------------------------ * More flexible filenames may be used for "real time" access URLs. For example, in the Lesson Builder, you may specify:[0;5;6;3;2].gif which is interpreted as 5 images in a loop, with names "im0.gif", "img5.gif","img6.gif", etc. VISITview Server ---------------- * Server logging has been updated to time and date stamp each entry.


VISITview Client ---------------- 1) Modified the form of the figure or line being drawn to remind the user that the line is not actually sent out for everyone to see until they release the mouse button. This form alternates the chosen color with two shades of gray for easy viewing on images. 2) Added the ability to abandon the drawing of a line or figure by tapping the ESC key before releasing the mouse button. Updated on-line and on-screen HELP. 3) If an overlay label for a page ends with "/on" (without quotes) then that overlay will be turned on by default. (Set this when you type in the "label name" for now, but should be on a page-by-page basis.) Lesson Builder (version 2.20) ----------------------------- 1) Fixed problem when loading a lesson file with missing image file(s). Page now shows as a "no image" (yellow box with X in it). 2) Improved window titles in builder. 3) Encode the Builder version number in the created lesson file.


VISITview Client ---------------- 1) Rework zooming. This presents a significant overall improvement in the way zooming is handled such that now, no extra memory is consumed. There will be some small performance issues on old, slower machines. Related to this change: * immediate zooming (no delay while making images) * overlays now zoom with the background image 2) Redo logic related to the main window sizing to include dynamic information about the width of the window borders in order to help with aligning the images within the frame. (Apply this same change to the pop-up of a frame in the lesson builder when you click on the selected image.) Lesson Builder (version 2.17) ----------------------------- 1) Fix the examples in the Parameter Settings Dialog of 'alternate hosts' so that one is actually correct and the other is obviously an example only. 2) Changed to allow for the "large image" pop-ups (when you click on a selected thumbnail) to be more independent, and to prevent all but the last one from being able to set "initial cursor position" values on the main page. 3) Added a "Unzip File" option in the "File" menu. When you click on this, you will be prompted to select the ZIP archive to extract the files from. Note that the files will be extracted into the _same directory_ as the ZIP archive resides.


VISITview client ---------------- * Default position for pop-up controls window moved to keep more of it exposed. VISITview Lesson Builder (ver 2.12) ----------------------------------- * Fixed problem when creating a new lesson -- if the "tearoff" value was not changed, nothing got written to the HTML file (even though the dialog showed "always", it was ignored). * Changed timing for pop up of the 'torn-off controls' panel so that in "visitlocal" mode it has more of a chance of being on top.


VISITview client ---------------- * Fix problem computing image window size vis-a-vis 'tearoff' value. VISITview Lesson Builder (ver 2.11) ----------------------------------- * Fix problem computing image window size vis-a-vis 'tearoff' value. * Make 'always' the default for 'tearoff' on new lessons. * Change audio recorder so that re-recording indicators are clearer. * Fix problem with old groupname being re-written into HTML files. VISITview Server ---------------- * Add more diagnostic output when SocketException occurs on server. Tutorial -------- * Update on-line tutorial to include Creating a Quiz info. 3/26/03 VISITview client ---------------- * set the max heap size to 256MB for running Java (default is 64MB) * rework the Linux-related enhancement loop-back hang to remove the need to double-click an enhancement name (single clicks only now) * add the Zoom command to the ViewStatus program's list of known command names to avoid unnessesary error message * help with syncrhonizing playback over net (delay starting audio until a page's image file(s) are downloaded) VISITview Lesson Builder (ver 2.9) ---------------------------------- * remove the file extension from the default group name * force a .zip extension on the filename for a 'mkrepack' * add the ability to set the initial loop speed for each page * sense whether the GIF file to be put into the lesson has a Global Color Map or not...PowerPoint2000 problem. Other ----- * Introduced the new Windows and Linux "VISITview TV" player, dubbed VISITviewRemote. This will be available only as an Install Anywhere add-on, and can be used to playback recorded lessons over the web, without a web browser. (Linux side will need more testing...)


VISITview client ---------------- * The button label "Selected" has been changed to "Load Page" VISITview Lesson Builder ----------------------- * The default for the 'group' will now always be the root of the filename to which you are saving the lesson. * The Lesson Builder will now import Corel presentations which have been exported/saved as images (in addition to StarOffice/Open Office, PowerPoint97 and PointPoint2K), using the menu item "File->Import Presentation". VISITview Audio Recorder ------------------------ * The 'Start' button is now correctly labelled after moving to the next page after saving the previous page. Prior to this change, the 'Preview' label remained. VISITview Installer & Java Runtime on Windows --------------------------------------------- * Some difficulties in installing the Lesson Builder on some versions of Windows NT have necessitated changing the packaging of the Lesson Builder InstallAnywhere package. These changes should be transparent; however, if you have a previous version installed, it is wise to uninstall it (Start->Settings->Control Panel->Add/Remove Programs) before installing this upgrade. In addition, we have upgraded to version 1.3.1_06 of the Java Runtime for Windows.


VISITview client ---------------- * Corrected a problem discovered when using the enahancements when a Linux workstation was participating in the session -- the workstation would repeatedly send commands to everyone to load the enhancement. This would eventually cause all the Windows workstations to stop running the session. * Removed the echo to the console of the "Quiz question Response" text from students.


Lesson Builder -------------- * Require the entry of a valid "Server Group" name when saving a lesson. The blank or "Unspecified" will no longer be accepted. Too many folks were getting into trouble with cross-group surprises! * Added a new menu option (under the "File" menu) that allows for an easy way to bring in an entire PowerPoint or StarOffice presentation that has been "saved as HTML" (or "exported"). You just point the Lesson Builder at any file in the directory where you saved the presentation as HTML (each page is a GIF or JPG), and it will load all the pages into your VISITview lesson. VISITview Client ---------------- * Change the "Erase Last" button to also include text and phrases put onto the page. Each text string or phrase will count just like a line or other hand-drawn graphic. * Allow the use of a right-click to 'drop' the text or phrase onto the page. Tapping the "Enter" key will also continue to do this. * Show the local drive path as well as filename on the title-bar of the pop-up, full-sized image you get by clicking on a thumbnail image. Image size will continue to be shown as well. * Reworked the layout for the overlay checkboxes so that when 'tearoff = always' is used, the checkboxes may appear on multiple rows. * Make Chat window come to the front (of the VISITview windows) whenever a message is received. We might need to revisit this later... * Fixed problem with playing back audio files in browsers running Java 1.4.x, and added the lock-out code added to the normal audio lesson playback a few months ago into the browser playback. Misc ---- * Added a new HTML parameter ("do_local_server") that allows a lesson to be viewed locally through a web browser, by pointing the browser at the 'viewmaster.html' file. This should be considered experimental until we gain more experience with the variety of browsers and platforms, but is designed to allow easier playback of recorded lessons.


VISITview Client ---------------- * Fix lock-up problem when closing the Quiz Response and/or Discussion windows when they were lying on top of the main window. This mainly affected Win95/98 machines, and occurred whether you clicked "Dismiss" or simply moved to the next page. * Making the audio playback have better user cues when they click on pages and other buttons. Lesson Builder -------------- * The Lesson Builder will generate Unix shell scripts for all the "convenience" batch files now done. * Added code to the Lesson Builder to work around the problem of using the "Make EXE" option when your lesson filename or directory name contains blanks (spaces). * Fixed an anomaly in Linux in selecting image files in the Lesson Builder. There is still a problem with the SHIFT+ and CTRL+ multiple-file selection - for the second filename, you must 1) press and hold the mouse button, 2) press the keyboard button, 3) release the mouse button, 4) release the keyboard.


VISITview Client ---------------- * improved the audio playback to reduce the frequency of 'broken' playback when other things are going on (loading images, etc).


VISITview Client ---------------- * corrected a problem in audio playback on some machines where the last few words on some pages were not heard.


VISITview Client ---------------- * the support added in the last release for animated GIFs introduced another problem when moving to a page that had a image smaller in height and/or width than the image on the previous page: the 'background' border of the previous (larger) page remained visible. * on Windows XP when playing an audio lesson in 'auto' mode, the audio synchronization would fail if the annotation file was still playing when the audio was finished; this had an effect that was detrimental to the rest of the pages * minor adjustments to the audio buffering to help reduce the number of spurious 'clicks' and 'pops' that happen when frames are being loaded while the audio is playing.


VISITview Lesson Builder ------------------------ * enable "VISITview TV" mode of browser-based playback for audio recorded lessons * corrected the 'visithttpd.bat' file to use the new JRE VISITview Client ---------------- * changed the group name handling to correctly remove the extra information sent from the server * added several new internal parameters to enhance collaboration activities using portals.


VISITview Lesson Builder ------------------------ * fixed problem when switching to View Portals when in the process of laying out portals in other window - this action is no longer permitted. * try to help problem encountered when deleting overlays * revamped audio recorder to allow quick playback of what has been saved to disk (distortion check) in "preview" mode which is activated right after saving to disk. * added "hi-Q" (high quality) option in audio recording that will use 16-bit samples (instead of the default 8-bit). This helps with dynamic range, but doubles the size of the files. * reworked lesson builder to Java2 (version 1.3.1) - changes mainly for paths in generated scripts/batch files. * change batch files to reference Java2 for running lessons * update list-of-files to use Java2 runtime files (list is now kinda long...) * modifications to RePack program to accomodate Java2 VISITview Client ---------------- * change manner of playing audio back to use same technique as 'recorder' does. * change buffering strategy to help with drop-outs in audio playback * fix problem in restoring torn-off controls (due to Java2 conversion) * fix problem in pasting special notices (like "Preparing faded images..") due to Java2 conversion * work around zoom problem that turns images blue (due to Java2 version 1.3) * include a warning if the client is now running on a version of Java prior to 1.3. This is in prep for removing the java runtime files from the packed lesson files.


VISITview Client ---------------- * Modified the code for "Show URL" to fix a problem with Win98. We have tested this on 98, NT, 2K and XP.


VISITview Lesson Builder and VISITview Client --------------------------------------------- * Added ability to define the image "filename(s)" for a page as a URL that points to a GIF or JPEG file on the net. This form may be used only for pre-loaded lessons (or when image files are on the same machine as the VISITview server), and includes the ability to do multi-frame animations (subject to some restrictions). See the details at:


VISITview Client ---------------- * Add an arrow head to the end of a line when drawn using the *right* mouse button; applies to both free-hand lines, and straight lines (dragging whilst holding CTRL button). [Note that the slope of the line's last few tenths of an inch is used to determine the orientation of the arrow head, so some care might need to be taken as you finish drawing a line.] * Construct a circle when you drag the mouse pointer with CTRL and Shift keys depressed, using the *right* mouse button. The center of the circle is the starting point of the drag; the radius is equal to the distance dragged away from the origin. * Make better attempt to have always-torn-off controls move to the "front" on start-up.


VISITview Client ---------------- * Allow for range in transparency levels Lesson Builder ------------- * Allow for range in transparency levels * Rearrange buttons in Portal Layout and Select Overlays windows to allow for long labels * Fix problem with new image selection: if the CTRL or Shift button was held down while moving the mouse pointer off the "list box" and then released, the "list box" did not get the event. As a consequence, when you returned to the "list box" and started clicking, it behaved like you were also holding the CTRL (or Shift) down.


VISITview Client ---------------- * Put in a different way to try to launch a browser when ShowURL button is clicked. Perhaps it is more universal than the previous way. * fix the image centering in the "listener" mode (used during playback of recorded lessons) * fix the consuming cpu cycles when a server timeout occurs * fix the use of overlays with non-black, single-valued transparency levels VISITview Lesson Builder ------------------------ * Change audio recording to use 8 bit samples during the record process (previously used 16 bit). Should help instructors sense over modulation problems more easily. This will also help with Windows 2000 compatibility since some machines could not record in 16 bit mode for some reason. * Change the paradigm used when selecting images from the browse list to use the "Windows Way". That means: * clicking on a name selects only that name; any other selected names are deselected by this action. * CTRL + click will toggle the selection on/off for a name; no other selections are altered. * SHIFT + click will select the entire range from the last selected name to the one currently pointed at. Names outside the range are de-selected. * Fixed problem when deleting the last overlay when it was assigned to a page at the time. VISITview copyright notice -------------------------- Since the new attempt to "Show URL"s uses someone else's copyrighted (but free) code, a copyright notice (which includes the normal VISITview notice from the home page) is now included in the distribution.


VISITview Lesson Builder ------------------------ * fixed problem caused by trying to "open" a lesson that had never had an overlay included. The problem was introduced in the 10/17/2001 release. This version will allow "opening" of lessons created with any previous version of the Builder.


VISITview client ---------------- * corrected problem with the "Erase Last" feature that prevented selection of a color for a new line that was different than the color of the line erased.


VISITview client ---------------- * Remove extra padding from the image display and adjust centering when controls are always torn off. * Replaced the "Thin/Thick" button with an 'erase last' capability. Changed the label on the "Erase" button to read "Erase All". The "erase last" is only for hand-drawn graphics and not text. VISITview Lesson Builder ------------------------ * Added support for creating overlays in the Lesson Builder. Overlays are specified the same way the Portals and Pages are. When you want to add overlays to a page, just highlight the page and click the "Select Overlays" button. A window will pop up that will give you the opportunity to add overlays and to set the "transparency" level. When you enable an overlay, it will be added on top of the sample frame so you can test if the transparency level is correct. * Corrected a problem when trying to "insert" a frame into the lesson the very first time. "insert" used to fail (only "append" would work), but now it works as expected. * Make sure that the initial states for looping and 'can fade' are properly set for overlays and portals. * Add markers to the thumbnail labels to indicate that a page has an overlay ("o") or a portal ("p"). * Relabelled the buttons in the "Layout Portals" and "Select Overlays" windows to say "Cancel" instead of "Discard & Quit".


VISITview audio recorder ----------------------- * Fixed a problem that prevented multi-page audio recordings on Windows 2000-based computers. VISITview client ---------------- * Make tearoff (always) frame initially the same width as the parent window. * Make the page label on the students' control auto-resize when tearoff=always. * Add the current frame number to the text label on the slider when not animating. * Enable the checkboxes for overlays on the student control panel. * Help the frame/fade slider better cope with 2 frame pages.


VISITview client ---------------- * Fix problem of not running correctly on Pentium-IV based processors, by including an update to the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) from Sun to version 1.1.8-008 for Windows. * Changed the dialog for User ID so that an "enter" key may also be used to send the information (as well as the "Submit" button). VISITview Quiz Feature ---------------------- * Updated the quiz_template.txt file to include more explicit information about being sure to save the editted file as "quiz.txt" and where to put it.


VISITview Lesson Builder ------------------------ * Fix a problem that crashed the builder when you try to delete all the frames of a page or portal. VISITview Client ---------------- * images are now centered within the frame size specified, allowing for the presence of controls. * note that if you have a page with frames of different sizes, only the first frame's geometry is used to define this centering! The Quiz Feature ---------------- * You may now have more than one "master" connected to a session that uses a Quiz. * If the addtional master has your quiz.txt file, then they will behave exactly like you -- no matter which one actually initiates the quiz operation. * If the additiona master does NOT have your quiz.txt file, then their session will behave like any other student. * The quiz_template.txt file has been updated to reflect these changes which are now available: -- you may preceed the text of the question with a font size, enclosed in brackets (e.g., [24]What color is it? ). -- you may force a "line break" in the question, for formatting purposed, by inserting the string " \n " into your text (without the " marks, but note the required spaces on each side of \n) -- if you just want to pop up a window with "just in time" text, omit the arguments for the "choices:" and "answer:" tags. The tags MUST be present, however. When you do this, the students' window with show your "question:" text and a "dismiss" button, only.


The VISITview client -------------------- * When frames on a page a different sizes, blank out the screen to the size of the first frame whenever the fram is manually changed. This prevents "leftovers" from staying on the screen. * Fix the problem when the page just loaded does not show the first frame (an intermittent problem when the previous page was animating). * Prevent drawing off the image (since lines off the image never appeared on the student's windows anyway). The Lesson Builder ---------------------------- Do allow the user to remove all the frames on a Page or Portal. If you want to remove the Page or Portal, you must be in the "View Pages" or "View Portals" mode.


The Lesson Builder ------------------ Added the ability to print copies of pages & frames. When you have incorporated an image file into your lesson, you should click on the thumbnail in order to get the Big Picture. You will now have 3 ways to close this window: 1) simply click on the image and the window will close 2) hold CTRL and click to save the coordinates of the cursor as the initial position of the Big Red Pointer (for a page) 3) hold SHIFT and click to print the page (you should get the "usual" printer dialog) The VISITView Client -------------------- * Changed the color outline of the Big Red Pointer to cyan so that it would show up better when positioned over red-colored objects. * Added the page label in the titlebar at the top of the main window frame (this has no impact when run through a browser, since the applet cannot control the window title)


VISITview Client ------------------------ * Changed memory management strategies when a Zoom request is done to attempt to free up memory more quickly. * Sense when a Zoom or Enhancement will cause an OutOfMemory error to occur and make sure the program handles it more gracefully.


VISITview Lesson Builder ------------------------ * Changed to correctly recognize the term "OFF" (without the quotes) for the initial cursor position on a page. This will cause the Big Red Pointer not to be displayed when the page is first loaded. Clicking in the window will bring it back, as usual.


VISITview Lesson Builder ------------------------ * fixed a problem that was leaving files opened when you clicked on thumbnails to view the actual images; this also caused a new image file (with the same name as another one) not to be refreshed in the browse window. * plugged some loopholes during the Portal Layout process that would have allowed you to corrupt memory (for example, "Browse Directories" was still active, and if you used this to create a new Portal, you would corrupt the information about the other ones...) * added code to the Portal Layout window to: a) show the x,y location and width and height of the selected portal b) provide active, context-related prompts within this window c) allow you to ALT+click on a portal image to snap it to its actual size (as long as it is small enough to fit entirely within the main window) VISITview client ---------------- * allow for portals which are exactly the same size as the image(s) put into them to be "locked" so that they will not be roamed as the Big Red Pointer is moved. This will more easily allow you to put small 'picture-in-picture' animations into your presentations. * add a more meaningful message on the screen when the connection to the server is dropped by the server due to a timeout. * added code to respond to a "heartbeat" message sent from the server every 2 minutes of idle time. VISITview Server ---------------- * Added code to send a "heartbeat" to each client that has been idle for 2 minutes. "Idle" means they have not acknowledged a "page load" (which might mean none has been sent, of course). There is still a one-hour timeout disconnect. (Previous versions of the client will simply get this message and ignore it.) VISITview HTTP Server --------------------- * Added a convenience batch file, visithttpd.bat, to start both the VISITview Server and the little HTTPD server for temporary collaborations.


The VISITview Client -------------------- * added automatic playback of audio using the 'visitauto.bat' file. The VISITview Server -------------------- * added small, read-only HTTP (Web) server to the package. This can be used to more easily set up collaborations on machines that do not have a web server installed. See on-line documentation The VISITview Audio Recorder ---------------------------- * Corrected a problem which allowed the instructor to unknowingly truncate the audio file during playback of audio while recording annotations. * Added a batch file, mkrepack.bat, which will run a command to re-package your entire lesson from a "full installed" lesson -- including audio and annotations. (mkaudzip.bat still available to package up the audio+annotations only) See on-line documentation


The VISITview Client -------------------- * added a "Stop" button to the auto-playback window. * fixed a problem with the free-hand line drawing color black with lessons recorded from the 12/6/00 release.


The VISITview Lesson Builder and VISITview Client ------------------------------------------------- * Corrected problems with audio playback startup script (visitplay.bat) * Added batch file (mkaudzip.bat) to package up your audio and annotation files, along with the proper "visitplay.bat" and class files. See on-line documentation


The VISITView Client -------------------- * The Status Window now contains a code between the UserID and the site's hostname that indicates their connection mode. [M] = Master [S] = Student [L] = Listener (blank) = unknown (will only happen if they are using an older version of the client software and the user is not a "Master") * Initial support for "overlays" is now available. (This has not been included in the Lesson Builder yet.) * Added new HTML parameter "drawcolor" which is the name (red, blue, green, etc) to be set as the initial drawing color. (This has not been included in the Lesson Builder yet.) * Modifications to support easy voice and annotation recording and playback. * Changed the font and size of the diagnostic messages that appear in the "image screen" when there is a problem. They are now much bigger and bolder! * Use up- and down-arrows on keyboard to step frames within a page (this complements the use of left- and right-arrows to step pages). * Changed the way the local server is started in "visitlocal" mode so that it no longer pops up a separate window. The VISITview Lesson Builder ---------------------------- * Changed the generation of the "visitlocal.bat" file so that the local copy of the server is started as a separate sub-process instead of being in a separate window. * Switched to Java version 1.3.0 to enable the voice recording. This JRE is also now packaged in "" file, so it's bigger... * Allow the width to be specified as < 660 pixels. If you do this, make sure that the maximum number of characters in any of your Page Labels is small; otherwise, some controls will NOT appear when the window comes up. * Fix the problem of returning to the correct page (or portal) when switching back from "View Frames" mode. * Changes made to make sure the window for the 'full-size' display of the thumbnails shows up on top of builder and not behind it (issue with new Java version). The VISITview Recorder ---------------------- * First release. See preliminary info at: <> The VISITview Server -------------------- * Added the client mode (Master, Student, Listener) to the status reports and logs. (If you want to make use of this, then you must update your servers. If a non-updated client connects, the server will only be able to detect whether the mode is "Master" or not!)


The VISITview Client -------------------- * Enable the use of left- and right-arrow keys to move to Previous and Next pages, respectively. * More obvious error message when the connection to the server goes down.


The VISITview Client -------------------- * Corrected problem of starting on frame 2 of a multi- frame page when the state was "animating" when the Page Load command was received. * Added initial support for overlays. Still in testing, but initial results are favorable. * Added the ability to set the font size of the annotation text: <param name="font_size" value="18"> for example * Automatically add the group name to the Title Bar on the client window The VISITview Lesson Builder ---------------------------- * Prevent user error of omitting the 'handle' from the alternate server name...this was causing the batch files not to get generated correctly. * Added "font size" to Parameters Dialog * Create batch file names using both "visit" as the root and using a user-specified (again in Parameters Dialog) value, for the 'main server' batch files. Use only user-specified value for alternate server batch files. * Added initial support for overlays -- but no graphical construction yet. * Removed "port" from Parameters Dialog (more confusion than anything else)


The VISITview Lesson Builder ---------------------------- * Activate the "can Fade" and "initially looping" checkboxes so these two states can be specified for each page. The defaults for present lessons loaded into the builder will be the previous defaults. The VISITview client -------------------- * Fixed a (small) problem that would prevent pages with just two frames from starting up initially animating.


The VISITview Client -------------------- * Added a 'blackboard' which is activated by the instructor clicking the (new) "bb" button, pressing ALT+B, or clicking the "blackboard" button on the "Page selector window". This function turns the image display black, but keeps any graphics. You can then annotate as usual. Pressing the "bb" (or ALT+B) again restores the image display and keeps the graphics. * modified the rendering of "wide" lines to remove the "shadowing" effect at some angles. * make the Quiz button turn red (in addition to darkening the label) when a Quiz is available for a page. * Added a "Discussion" button to the instructor's Quiz Status window. When clicked, it will pop up a window on _everyone's_ session that contains the question and highlights the correct answer(s). Moving to a new lesson page, or clicking the "dismiss" button on the Quiz Status window will dismiss everyone's Quiz windows. * fixed a condition that allowed students to use ALT+S to bring up the Status Window. The VISITview Lesson Builder ---------------------------- * only enable the "Layout Portals" button if one or more portals have actually been defined. Otherwise, it is disabled. This fixed a problem. * make sure that the URL, initial pointer position, can fade, and is initially looping fields can be editted before the user clicks to View Portals or View Frames and back again. * fix problem with internal file name creation for portals when saving lessons with more than 10 pages.


The VISITview client -------------------- * 'visitlocal' mode changes: * if 'tear-off always' has been specified, the tear-off controls will initially appear on top of the main window * if 'register true' has been specified, it will be ignored for this mode, so as not to confuse students * initial page state. Explicit parameters have been added for: * looping / not looping (page-by-page) * fadable / not fadable (page-by-page) * pause-on-first * pause-on-last * initial looping speed * added drawing a straight line with CTRL+drag * quiz (aka 'responder'). * multiple correct answers are now permitted * master (instructor) window is now reshaped and includes the question * quiz.txt file need only reside on Master's machine, since question and choices are sent on the net. * correct answer is NOT sent to students * fixed a bug in 'quiz' so that multiple Master sessions may be connected even if only one has the quiz.txt file. * status: the status listing in the text window now includes a total count of sites in this group * new status window: the ViewStatus object may also be invoked by a ALT+S command from the (master only) session. This window updates automatically and contains the usual status codes (??, --, XX, OK) plus a reading of the number of seconds since the site last ommunicated with the server. * updated on-line documentation to reflect these changes. The VISITview Server -------------------- * added more code to support new status viewer The VISITview status display ---------------------------- * First release of this (also see ViewClient, above). It may also be run as a stand-alone application and get information about all groups on a server. * NOTE: only this version of the server supports the status display. If you want to use it, you MUST be using a VISITview server from this release (or beyond...) * Detailed documentation at: The VISITview Lesson Builder ---------------------------- * COPY button added for copying frames from one page (or portal) to another * fixed problem with page label not updating properly * added support for making lessons with portals * added "initial page state" checkboxes for looping and fading * added item in Set Parameters dialog window for 'pause_on_first' value * made the "hints/help/prompt" text BOLD so it stands out better * disabled the URL and initial pointer position input boxes and labels when appropriate The VISITview on-line documentation ----------------------------------- The following HTML files were changed to reflect these new features: * lessonbuildov.html * HTML.html * overview.html * usage.html The following new HTML was added: * status.html


The Lesson Builder... * corrected the problem of not properly saving a lesson (usually missed page files) after an "undo" had been done. The ViewClient... * corrected the problem where the pop-up "Help" would get partly erased whenever some message was received from another site. * added the ability to draw a straight line, using "CTRL+drag". * fixed (I hope) the problem of the "quiz results" getting garbled on the Instructor's end (I'll have a better idea whether the synchronization fix I put in works after next week's training in MKC). * added a persistent size for the optional "page selection window", so that if you close and re-open it, the size will not change (although the location may). * added a checkbox on the "page selection window" so that you can keep the annotation graphics on the next frame (instead of the default 'erase graphics when going to next frame'). This checkbox is reset after each page change to try to avoid a problem (this was my choice, and I can make it work either way...). * prevent the student from opening the "phrases" window. * added a "pause_on_first" HTML parameter to allow for optional pausing on first frame of a loop. THis will go into the builder next time. * added a "loop_speed" HTML parameter to allow the initial looping rate to be set. Values from 10 to 400 {dwell = (430 - loop_speed)}. Default = 200. Please note: * none of these changes will cause problems when run in a session with others who are running the previous just won't have the fixes and features. * there is also a minor problem in the Builder with the Page Label box not being updated when a page is moved, until you do something else to that page. I've not found the source of this, but will attempt to do so for the next update. * this software has also been put in place for the on-line lessons at:


An analysis of the server log indicates that Scott's problem today was caused by a certain site entering a comma as part of their "id". This caused the "stat" request to sent a bogus value around to all clients. I have updated the code to fix this problem. I _strongly_ recommend that you replace the .class files in your lessons with this update. The "id" is solicited whenever the "register" parameter in the HTML is set "true" or when someone tries to open a chat window and they've not registered before... 4/14/2000

Recently two issues have come up regarding the Lesson Builder: 1. on Win95 machines, the Java Runtime that we use for lessons (version 1.1.x) does not work with the Builder. 2. PowerPoint2000 produces GIF files which lack the "Global Color Table" and Java libraries cannot read these files (saterical M$ comment mostly omitted...) In order to solve #1, all future versions of the '' file will also contain a directory for the Java1.2 (aka Java2) runtime environment, and the 'visitbuild.bat' file will be changed to use this JRE instead of the 1.1.x. 3/10/2000

Client: * fixed the ALT+T text transmission of a single quote mark. * added "cursor_position" parameter (also see Builder, below) to allow the initial cursor position on a page to be specified. Usage: &lt;param "cursor_position" value="x,x,200&300,x,x,OFF,x,x"&gt; where "200&300" means that the initial cursor position on page 3 will be 200 pixels from the left and 300 lines from the top of the image. The "OFF" means that initially for page 6, the Big Red Pointer will be off. After any initial placement/state, any deliberate, manual reposition of the BRP will then function normally. * minor change for COMET to the 'listener' mode delay slider (if you don't know what this is, don't worry about it...) Builder: * modified the "make EXE" function to include an InfoZIP stub which presents a GUI to the user when the "run" the file. This gives them the option of naming the directory to unzip into. I hope this will allow us to not have to use WinZIP for this function... * added text entry box for entering initial cursor position, as noted above. Also, modified the "full-sized" pop-up images so that when the window is closed using a CTRL+mouse click (instead of simply clicking), the cursor position on the image is automatically put into the cursor position text entry box. * Added "usage" information when a text entry box is selected. 2/16/2000

ViewClient ---------- * Added an HTML parameter "phrases" which allows you to enumerate several words or phrases that you may want to use during the lesson by employing the ALT+T (text on image). The ALT+O command will bring up a dialog with your phrases listed. If you click on one, the "ALT+T mode" is invoked, and the phrase you selected is put into the typing buffer (just as if you'd key-stroked it). * The "tearoff" HTML parameter now has three possible values: true, false, and always. * Clicking the right mouse button will bring a torn-off set of controls to the foreground. * Corrected a problem with trying to use a single quote mark while typing text for the ALT+T mode. * Made the "listener" mode work (again) and removed all interaction when in this mode. * If no "group" is specified in the HTML and the user does not select one (or explicitly make a new one), a random group name will be selected. This will keep individual sessions isolated. * If the HTML specifies a group name of "random" then a random name will be generated as above. * Add "acknowledged" status mode so that when load command is received, the client will immediately send a message to the server simply to acknowledge receipt. * Add two more types to "status" output. Here's the list: XX - server reports that this client thread is broken ?? - client thread is active, but no 'acknowledge' received from last load_page command -- - acknowledge received from last load_page command, but client is not finished OK - client has finished last load_page command * If the "linked text" field for a particular page names a file with a ".au" extension, the "show text" button label changes to "hear text". When the button is pushed, the audio will be played. * Made "linked text" work when using the 'browser' mode. ViewServer ---------- * Private groups are used whenever you define a "group" in the HTML. These groups are not visible to users of the same server who are using a lesson that does not specify a group (in which case, they are prompted for which group to join). * Better handling of TCP/IP problems, although automatically retries are very limited still. * More logging information * Additional "load" status provided back to clients * Made provisions to get complete status information from a specialized client (to be written). Lesson Builder -------------- * Reworked memory model for images. It is now much smaller and runs much faster, except when you click on a thumbnail -- it takes just a bit longer to show you the full image * Added a dialog box at the end of the "Save" cycle which solicits values for many of the HTML parameters...please let me know if I've left any out * Added a "Make EXE" option on the File Menu. When you click on this, you are presented with a file dialog where you should select the ZIP file you want to convert. The .exe file will be made using the same filename (but with a .exe extension instead of .zip) and put back into the same directory as the .zip file. Note: This function is completely independent of any lesson; you don't even have to have a lesson "loaded" in order to do this... Lesson and Audio Recording/Playback ----------------------------------- This release included code to provide the means to record the "actions" during a lesson and to play them back. The playback may also include an audio (.AU) file, but this must be recorded separately. This is a bit of a moving target at this point, so stay tuned.

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