etoy 4.0 announcement

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Etoys 4.0 Release Notes

This is the new release of Squeak Etoys 4.0.  The major version jump signifies the end of our multi-year relicensing effort. There are no major new features, though we will highlight two (the Showcase and Etoys-To-Go) plus there are many small improvements.

Relicensing

Originally released in 1996, Apple relicensed the Squeak core under the Apache 2.0 license in October 2006 - thanks to Steve Jobs, Alan Kay, and the lawyers involved. Then, Viewpoints Research collected written relicensing agreements from several hundred later contributors under the MIT license - thanks to Kim Rose, and the Squeak community volunteers. Finally, all the code in Etoys not explicitly covered by a relicensing agreement was removed, or rewritten, or reverted to an earlier version - kudos to Yoshiki Ohshima for the bulk of that work.

Another significant change is that Viewpoints Research put the future of Etoys into the hands of a separate organization, the Squeakland Foundation. It is headed by Timothy Falconer and Rita Freudenberg.

Etoys-To-Go

This release for the first time introduces "Etoys-To-Go". This is a version of Etoys that can run without installation directly from a USB memory stick. The same stick can be used on a Mac, Windows PC, or Linux machine. Projects are saved to the USB memory by default, so it's a convenient way to take Etoys projects with you. We hope this will also allow Etoys to be used in classrooms that do not allow installing new applications.

Etoys-To-Go can also be copied to your hard drive. This can serve as a fail-safe alternative if the regular installation does no work for some reason. To be able to use the web browser plugin you still need to do a full installation, Etoys-To-Go does not provide that.

Showcase

A small addition but with huge impact on our user community is the ability to share projects directly from Etoys to the Squeakland website. To do that, simply click the project save button, and after entering the project details choose "My Squeakland" as the save location. You need to provide your account details (to sign up, visit http://squeakland.org/action/signup).

You can choose to make you project public in the "Showcase" section of the Squeakland website. After being peer-reviewed by other users it will be visible to everyone. Please help us show off the best Etoys projects!

Translations

Etoys now includes many more translations. 

A huge Thank You to our translators!

And if you want to help translating, please contact us!

Improvements

  • projects can be shared to the Squeakland website from the save dialog
  • the project-info dialog fields were updated to match the new Squeakland Showcase
  • the load dialog lets you browse not only local files, but projects in the Squeakland showcase, too
  • the local document directory will be automatically pre-selected when saving a project
  • projects are now created at a 1200x900 pixel resolution by default, and scaled to the actual Etoys window size. This ensures easier sharing of projects between computers of different screen resolution.
  • the former display-mode button in the tool bar now toggles full-screen mode. To access the scaling options menu, hold down the button.
  • on the right of the tool bar we placed a new button that governs visibility of the tool bar. When opening old projects, the tool bar will now appear in its collapsed form, at the top-right corner of the screen, to minimize the chance of obscuring essential content
  • new icons for Quit, Load, and Save buttons. Under Sugar, the Stop, Import, and Keep icons are used instead.
  • the "undo" button was removed to make room, it did not work reliable anyway
  • we renamed the startup screen to "Home"
  • the Home screen is now always accessible via project navigation buttons
  • we now show the full set of choices in the authoring-tools menu to all users whether or not eToyFriendly is turned on.
  • a BookMorph's navigation bar is now protected from being ripped out accidentally
  • objects can now be copied into and out of Etoys. When the halo is visible, press Ctrl-C to copy (Cmd-C on Mac).
  • the world now receives all keystrokes for better scripting of keyboard-controlled projects
  • the less widely-used items of the "geometry" category have been moved out to a new category called "more geometry"
  • opening a new category pane now closes other categories if necessary to ensure it is fully on-screen
  • the "bearing to" and "distance to" tiles now respect an object's reference position (center of rotation)
  • the grab-patch tool had always only worked dragging-through from top-left to bottom-right, now you can drag in any direction.
  • Lasso and Grab patch tools were moved back to Supplies flap.
  • wording improvements in several menus and help balloons
  • on Linux, sound compatibility has been improved
  • the Mac Finder now shows a thumbnail for new project files. The separate .gif file is no longer generated.
  • Translations and Quickguides now work even in the Web Browser Plugin

For Developers

  • Saving a project now includes a "thumbnail.png" inside the project, instead of creating a separate "*.gif" file. You can use a zip tool to extract the thumbnail if needed.
  • Etoys now ships the ScratchPlugin (although we only use the "open URL in web browser" primitive so far). Thanks to Mitchel Resnick and John Maloney and the other Lifelong Kindergardeners.

Known bugs

  • Uploading a project from Etoys to Squeakland does not work if you are behind a proxy. Please use a Web Browser to upload projects in this case.
  • On Snow Leopard, the Web Browser Plugin works unreliable in Safari. We recommend to use Firefox in the mean time.
  • If you encounter issues in the Web Browser Plugin, try clicking the Full Screen button in the Etoys tool bar. This can fix animation sluggishness, as well as wrong key or button mappings.
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