NOBLE APE MAIL OUT - JANUARY 2003
Welcome to another Mailout now under a new name. This month has shown a substantial cosmetic change to the development previously known as the Noble Ape Project. Aside from the change of site and name, the Noble Ape development followed a route made familiar over the past six and a half years.
I officially launched the Noble Ape website in late December. The intention was to run the website as a focus for the Noble Ape Project's cognitive simulation and additional support software. This plan changed rapidly - for reasons I hope to clarify in coming months - I have removed the name from all continued development work and transferred the contents of the previous domain to nobleape.com.
There has been a lot of work associated with this renaming. The Noble Ape Project site was in excess of seventy HTML web pages each with numerous references to Noble Ape and links through to other sections of the Noble Ape Project site. I have transferred all these pages over to www.nobleape.com. I remain optimistic about the future of Noble Ape and the legacy of the Noble Ape Project software inherited into Noble Ape.
Details of the change can be found in the recently archived Source Log;
NOBLE APE 0.658
Through the turbulent name/website change, version 0.658 of the Simulation was released.
This version featured a colour Ocelot interface and a reduced menu set. The only component missing from this release was a manual. The manual had to be delayed due to the renaming.
At the time, getting the new version and source code out seemed more important than providing a manual with the release. The inclusion of a manual would constitute a CNet/info-mac release.
Aside from Ocelot, the 0.658 release also contained the redraw only when needed code described in the source log, now located at;
The log describes the full integration of Ocelot into the Simulation and the additional profiling for graphics bottlenecks. A document detailing the graphics flow-through is high on the list of priorities in the coming month. This information is documented through the code - but providing this information explicitly in a separate document will explain the legacy to date and the direction I want to take the internal graphics.
Late last month, I rediscovered a port of the early Simulation to Java made by Alex Pollard. The Simulation has changed dramatically but the port reminded me the Simulation could still - potentially - be ported to Java.
Java - whilst baring some syntax similarities to C (the programming language the Simulation is written in) - is quite different in terms of layout and program structure. Central components of the C source code - such as #define MACROs and source independent objects could not be replicated in Java.
The tool used for grouping source through Noble Ape is NervMake (potentially to be renamed NobleMake). This offers the necessary text parsing to provide a C to Java translation utility - although it will require a lot of redevelopment. The current priority is to create a GPI version of the Simulation and thus a Windows version. Whilst Java offers some multi-platform flexibility - creating a translation utility will take some time.
RETURN TO CALM
Central in the renaming to Noble Ape was to minimise the time taken in the name change and site movement. The process was akin to a physical move in many ways. A number of documents hosted were discarded or modified. Every document needed to be edited in some way.
In the next couple of months I plan on providing press releases and additional information about Noble Ape to get more eyes on the new site and ideally get source code or documentation contributions. I set myself a number of tasks that need to be completed before I start publishing press releases for Noble Ape. I am confident the next couple of months will be enough time to complete these tasks.
Until it starts being abused, I am removing my unauthorised email protection on the nobleape dot com email address. I welcome any email on the name change and the development of Noble Ape.
Hope all is well with you all,
Tom Barbalet, 26 January 2003.