NOBLE APE MAILOUT - AUGUST 2005

NOBLE APE 0.671
PEDRO FERREIRA
APESCRIPT

NOBLE APE 0.671

Through a number of lingering bug-fix changes from version 0.670, version 0.671 was released earlier in the month. Bug-fix releases are always edifying. Most of the fixes related to the Windows version of the Simulation however the ape's movement and an ApeScript bug were also fixed.

Download.com now features both the Mac and Windows versions of the Simulation although there is some difficulty in accurately tracking the information from download.com as they host the versions remotely and they don't factor into any of the download statistics I collection. There has been a decrease in the number of Mac downloads progressively over the past year and, in contrast, an increase in the downloads of source code.

I suspect these numbers reflect users who follow the download sites and actively want the latest version of the Simulation as opposed to a divergent set of download sources. The ratio of Mac to Windows downloads is still too high. Whilst it is great having such a large Mac user base, there is no reason why there shouldn't be more Windows downloads.

I am interested in hearing from folks on the mailout about ways to improve the Windows downloads.

PEDRO FERREIRA

Welcoming new folks to the Simulation development, I'd like to introduce Pedro this month. Pedro is a 21 year old engineering student from Portugal. He has been working in porting a full version of the Simulation to Linux for about six weeks of occasional high intensity development periods to get the Linux version of the Simulation almost identically to the Windows and Mac versions.

For me, developing the Simulation for nearly ten years now, I lose track of what new eyes would see coming to the Simulation development. I pointed Pedro towards the old Noble Ape Manuals to answer some questions on the cognitive simulation. He found them particularly interesting.

It's easy to forget the Noble Ape Manuals as the foundation for the development. Written two year's Pedro's junior, it strikes me that perhaps the manuals continue to have a productive use in inspiring new Noble Ape developers. Back in 1997 there was a rule with the old manuals, if you could get to the end of reading them, you were a true Noble Ape super-user.

For those interested in knowing what the contributors to Noble Ape look like, I have been meaning to pull together a Noble Ape specific page, but my Regulars section;

http://www.barbalet.net/regulars.html

Provide a good collection of mugshots.

APESCRIPT

I have been writing to the developer mailing list over the past month about getting active users for ApeScript and working through bug fixes and actual user problems. Going through the ApeScript code with Pedro over the past couple of days, his feedback has offered a number of additions together with my own musing. These include adding functions, access to the biological simulation information from ApeScript and a progressive removal of the distinction between ApeScript files and Simulation variables files. For more information on the distinction;

http://www.nobleape.com/man/

I am planning on running an ApeScript Contest early next year following the code changes. My current thinking is three placing prizes, a best bug prize, and a best ApeScript (assistance) website. I'm thinking the best website should be equal to the first prize and the best bug should be equal to the second prize.

There are a number of forums and mailing lists that such a contest could be announce through. Stay tuned for more information. In the mean time, I have done the most important work, created a link logo;

http://www.nobleape.com/logo/contest_logo.gif

Hope all is well with you all,

Tom Barbalet, 28 August 2005.


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