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Active Worlds Release NotesEdit

This is a compilation of Active Worlds release notes (originally up to build 246, compiled on May 7, 1998 by NetGuy, where Mauz took it from there, and Eep then added it to this wiki). It is hoped that it may serve as a sort of history of the evolution of the AW browser.

Some releases are still missing, so if you have any old release notes lying around or know the dates of certain releases, please add them to this wiki. Thanks!

Depending on how old the release is, the notes were contained in a file named either "bugs.txt", "readme.txt" or "readme.html" in your Active Worlds program directory.

In particular, release notes are missing from builds 1-45,51,55,57-63,78,87,89,119,120,131,132,178,199-227.

Active Worlds 4.1Edit

Build 940?Edit

  • Object Properties Dialog: The classic Object Properties Dialog has been replaced. It is now a dockable, dynamic dialog that changes based on what is selected. You can now see the exact position of a selected object in the world, and if you are a caretaker you may edit this value directly.
  • Movers: Movers are a new object type that can be used to create many types of vehicles.
  • Particles: Particle Emitters are a new object type that can be used to create many types of special effects.
  • Zones: Users may define zone objects, which can be used to define a 3d spatial volume where the normal world properties are replaced or changed.
  • Camera Objects: Users may place special camera objects in the scene to create dramatice or interesting camera views.
  • Camera Action command: An action command has been added to allow the placement of the camera in the scene.
  • Clear Cache Option: In the downloads window, a user with caretaker rights may right-click and select "clear local cache" in order to force the browser to dump all downloaded items and re-download everything. This is useful for worldowners who are trying to find and fix broken objects or downloads, or who are working on the avatar list.
  • The rotate and move commands now have a new "smooth" argument, which will cause objects using these commands to accelerate and decelerate instead of abruptly changing directions.
  • Build Mode: Caretakers now have a special build mode available to them. In build mode, all hidden objects are shown, the object properties box is always open, and collision is disabled. Flying is enabled, and movement is simplified. Particles are hidden, and zone shapes are revealed. This will make building significantly easier.
  • New Interface: The various controls in the browser are now floating, dockable windows. The interface is more streamlined, and more attractive.
  • Object Icons: The old "black triangle", which was a placeholder object used when an object was not available, has been replaced with new object icons. These icons should give the builder a better idea of why they are not seeing the object they expect. An hourglass indicates the object is still waiting to be downloaded. An "error" icon indicates the download failed, and the object is not available. Other icons are used as markers for the various new object types, since many do not have a model associated with them.
  • New "autolook" feature in the avatar list.
  • Ability to break avatar list into categories.
  • The World Rights dialog now offers the ability to grant rights to ranges of citizens, or to deny rights to individual citizens.
  • Users Tab: A new tab has been added to the tab controls that will list all users currently logged in. Note that this feature will probably NOT be available in the regular Activeworlds universe.
  • Personal Avatars: Personal Avatars allow you to take a unique avatar to almost any world.
  • Downloads Window: The downloads window will now list all objects queued for download. It will show an icon indicating the type of thing being downloaded (texture, avatar, animation, model, etc) and what priority the thing is for download. World owners can now have this list all failed downloads so they can quickly spot missing items.
  • Avatar List sub-menus: World owners may now have items listed in the avatar list without the "geometry" tag. These entries will act as submenus to contain subsequent items. This means that world owners can sort the avatar list however they choose.
  • Downslide: It is now possible to slide downhill. See the World Features for more info.
  • Fog tinting: A new effect has been added to make fog seem thicker without the problem of limiting visibility in your world. See the World Features for more info.
  • Terrain Offset: It is now possible to globally shift all of the terrain in your world up or down. See the World Features for more info.
  • Send bump event: World owners may enable this option so that bots can detect when users have run into objects with bump commands, allowing the bot to take action when this happens.
  • Global events: Using the "global" parameter in object commands can cause the action (say, clicking on an object) to be sent to all other users in the area. This means that when you click on a door to open it, others will see it open. Global events must be enabled for this to work. See the World Features for more info.
  • Expanded terrain elevation range: The old terrain limits have been expanded so that now terrain may be a kilometer above or below the zero altitude point. Also, the number of allowed terrain textures has been expanded to 500.
  • Voip: Activeworlds now offers VOIP, or Voice Over IP. This option will allow user to voice chat with one another in worlds where it is enabled.
  • Screenshot: A hotkey has been added to take a screenshot of the current 3d view and save it as a JPG in the Activeworlds directory.
  • Support for more image formats: GIF and PNG files are allowed as textures. The browser even supports animated and masked versions of these formats.
  • Autolook: World owners may add the "autolook" option to the avatar list. This will cause the avatar to attempt to turn its head the direction the user is looking while keeping the feet aimed the direction they are moving. The browser will animate the eyes, neck, and back together to perform the turn, so these tags must be present in the avatar or this option will not work. This can produce a very interesting and lifelike effect in humanoid avatars. Not recomended for non human avatars.
  • Presets: Zones, cameras, and particle emitters all support presets, which let you store complex objects for use elsewhere.

Active Worlds 3.6Edit

Build 567Edit

  • Fixed a possible locking situation when sending invites while universe got disconnected (thanks to Andras).
  • Fixed a potential crash bug when zip files with invalid headers are used, and another one with the property dialog (thanks to Andras).
  • Fixed opacity for under water objects.
  • Optimized terrain build-up speed.


Build 566Edit

  • fixed falling through terrain after teleporting in-world.
  • Fixed avatar.dat refresh. When objects are refreshed avatars.dat file will be refreshed now too.
  • Fixed algorithm for calculating audio panorama when the same media stream is heard through 'multiple speaker' objects.
  • Fixed issue where MOVE_DOWN would work even if flying is disabled but passthrough is enabled in certain circumstances (thanks to Andras).
  • Changed to flash minimized application icon when a popup occurs, but do not restore the main window from minimized state.
  • Changed sign update interval to up to date processor speeds.
  • Added feature to start application from CD, memory sick, etc (ask for it, when needed).
  • Added feature to use media streams as ambient sound in world features.


Build 565Edit

  • Added show login dialog after renewal dialog has been canceled.
  • Fixed cloud layer1 was set to opacity 0 (zero) always.
  • Fixed, restore the application window when the application was minimized before and a popup window would appear (e.g. invite).


Build 564Edit

Fixed random crashes when closing the browser.


Build 563Edit

Fixed a sporadically occuring memory leak when switching worlds.


Build 562Edit

Fixed tags from 32 to 42 for avatars.


Build 561Edit

internal build


Build 560Edit

Installer for build 559 had an issue; increased to build 560.


Build 559Edit

Fixed opacity for avatars again.


Build 558Edit

  • Fixed incoming telegram would not show on top of the list after switching rollup to normal and in other circumstances.
  • Updated the message set for the Portuguese language.


Build 557Edit

  • Fixed recently discovered JPEG exploits, which could lead to crashes of the browser. Note IE still might be affected.
  • Fixed the display of the disk usage, where a minus-values were shown, if the used disk space was more than 1GB.


Build 556Edit

Fixed an issue where the browser could eventually crash if an urls exceeds a length of 255 characters.


Build 555Edit

  • Fixed avatar pitch limits if an object was selected and look up/down at the toolbar was hit.
  • Grey out popup menu items of the user list, if function is not available for tourists or bots.
  • Fixed potential crash-bug that occured if IE was set to 'Global Offline'-mode during startup of the embedded web-browser.


Build 554Edit

Fixed an issue with WinXP SP2, where the download window would flash and fixed the user list to be displayed and updated correctly.


Build 553Edit

Fixed an issue where it could happen that new incoming telegrams would not notify in the chat log and would not display in the telegrams tab properly during universe logon.


Build 552Edit

Fixed IME character sets for Windows XP.


Build 551 (7/6/04) - ReleaseEdit

Changes:

  • Detect if Windows Media Player version 9 is installed, to change order of used interfaces. When WMP9 is found, use it in first order rather than the 'Compatibility Interface'.


Build 550 (6/29/04)Edit

Fixes:

  • Fixed issue where worlds list would be too narrow by default.
  • Fixed issue "Register" button would be partly hidden if the gesture-bar is off.
  • Fixed issue where toolbar would paint over the logo when resizing the main window.
  • Fixed issue where telegram-list would not scroll to last telegram, when control tab was rolled-up.


Build 549 (6/21/04)Edit

Changes:

  • Optimized ratio of media frame-rate and 3D frame-rate, to prevent sound and video getting out of sync when 3D frame-rate dropped noticeable below video frame-rate. This was the case, if high resolution 30fps videos were watched and view range was set to 200m in 'heavy render' areas.

Fixes:

  • Fixed conflict when midi was launched using a "create url http://.../file.mid" command through the embedded web-browser.
  • Fixed issue where browser crashed randomly, under certain circumstances on XP with WMP8 and DX9, and when sound and midi were off.


Build 548 (6/16/04)Edit

Changes:

  • Disable Local Teleports world option also disables Local Invites.
  • Limit the amount of selected objects to 128 to prevent world disconnects. The more objects are selected at once, the longer the interval to duplicate all the selected object is.
  • If chat is not enabled , always display chat-input in grey (e.g. if user does not have speak rights).

Fixes:

  • Fixed crash, when leaving a world with ambient sound on.
  • Fixed issue where sign "text" was not displayed correctly when object had no name.
  • Fixed flashing chat input while in mouse mode and world attributes change.


Build 547 (6/14/04)Edit

New features:

  • Added ambient sound in world features.
  • Added mute all sounds when browser is minimized or in background.

Changes:

  • Additional error-messages, such as "Access denied".
  • Removed debug-text for media signs saying "MEDIA" on media signs when no text was given and no description was entered.

Fixes:

  • create media with subsequence activate media stop/pause did not work when used within the same action command, if no name was given to the create and activate trigger.
  • Media was not closing automatically when an "Access denied" error occurred.


Build 546 (6/7/04)Edit

Changes:

  • The set argument now allows one to change all parameters independently, except for the res, ext and the loop argument. Note, the set argument only affects named objects and only when they are active and playing media.
  • Added 'readable' error messages as suggested by the beta team.
  • Added online help for the media command to the browser's User Guide.

Fixes:

  • Fixed crashes, on deletion of the media signs and on browser exit.
  • Fixed backward compatibility issue for a better support of WMP6.4+ and when older DirectX versions are installed on a system.

Notes:

  • Playing MIDI files using the media command is depreciated. It uses more resources than the existing music interface. MIDI supported of the media command will probably be disabled in the final release version.


Build 545 (6/3/04)Edit

New features:

  • Command argument to pause a playing media.
  • Command argument to change various parameters while playing.
  • Command argument to auto-switch-off a running media stream.
  • Volume stays at max, when avatar is within a 15% of the given radius.
  • Volume uses log2 to calculate from percentage to decibel.
  • Backward compatibility to WMP 7 and 6.4 using NetShow interface (to be tested!).
  • Browser setting to disable media streams (Options/Settings/Downloads).
  • Browser setting to mute audio when browser is in background or minimized (Options/Settings/General).
  • World option to disable the capability of playing multiple media streams at once.


Build 544 (5/17/04)Edit

New features:

  • Added fx=3D argument for panoramic sound effects.
  • Added radius= argument option, default set to 30 meters (see help for details).
  • Added an average calculation for volume and panoramic effects on audio, when more objects share the same url and are within the view.

Changes:

  • Implemented proposed audio volume in percentage.
  • The arguments color and bcolor are used as color for OSD display and the background for status messages too.

Fixes:

  • Fixed crashes, if background music and sound effects were off.
  • Limited resolution to 256 pixel, when software render mode is used.


Build 543 (5/11/04)Edit

Help is online.

New features:

  • A new argument stop, allows to stop a running media explicitly.
  • The new argument nostop, switches the default toggle behavior of the start/stop switch of the media to ...
  • Streaming media can be played in an external window now too.
  • If the same media stream is started on different objects, all subsequent streams pick up the existing one. The stream does not stop until all of the playing media signs with same url are stopped.

Changes:

  • If the same url is used on more than one named target object, only one stream will be created, but info and video are displayed on all of them at the same time, for less bandwidth consumption and more efficient rendering.
  • If no color or bcolor is specified, the sign object's colors are used.
  • An activate media or bump media command inherits it's color, bcolor, or text arguments from its target sign object, whether the target is itself or another named sign object, unless a color, bcolor or text is specified in the media command. The color, bcolor and info text parameters in the media command act as optional modifiers.
  • 'Click to stop' is not displayed in the on-screen-display, if the media command is not present in the activate section of the displaying object, or if the nostop parameter is used there.
  • Info messages and stream errors are displayed for at least two seconds, and can be canceled by clicking onto the sign, if an activate media command is used and nostop is not specified.
  • If a video is displayed in an external window, the video is not rendered within the 3d scene, for improved performance.
  • The optional external video window stays on top of the browser, as soon it starts playing.
  • An unique engine for all file formats is used, streaming and non-streaming media now use the same engine - to reduce the use of system resources and size of the application.

Fixes:

  • Fixed flashes when media is started or stopped.
  • The bump trigger caused the media to alternately start and stop during the collision. It will now only start the media. To stop a media by bumping, use the stop argument: bump media name=... stop .
  • Fixed that audio stream was played twice, if external window was enabled.
  • Fixed issue, where invalid resolution could have caused crashes


Build 542 (4/30/04)Edit

Features included:

  • Playback of local- and web-based media files, as well as live streams
  • Looping playback
  • On-screen display for status report and info
  • Adjustable video resolution
  • Adjustable volume
  • External and resize-able window video
  • On/off switch using single mouse click (with activate command only)
  • Playback on world enter (if create url is enabled)
  • Close a running media stream or file, when objects becomes out of view

How to use: Use the 'create media' or 'activate media' action command followed by the url or path, on any sign object.

Example:

create sign; activate media url=mms://66.231.226.12/womb.video.wm.80 osd=on

Optional parameters:

   On-screen display: osd=on
   default: off
   valid values: on, off, true, false, yes, no
   Audio volume: vol=-600
   default: 0
   valid values from 0 to -100000
   (-100 equals -1dB, -6dB is half of the nominal volume)
   Video resolution: res=128
   default: 256
   valid values: 64, 128, 256, 512
   (take care to use the lowest possible resolution, some users on older systems may suffer if you over-do it!)
   Play in loop: loop=2
   default: 0
   valid values: positive integer, 0 to some millions...
   Play in external window: ext=on
   default: off
   valid values: on, off, true, false, yes, no
   (window is resizeable and can be set to background; if external window is closed, it will close the running media too)

Notes:

a) The create command only works, if 'Create Url' is enabled in the world features settings. To pass urls or local paths with blanks in their names to the create media or active media use:

   activate media "C:\Program Files\cat.mpeg" osd=on res=512

b) If you want to define a text for the sign differnt to the description when using the create media command, the url= parameter must be used and the url must not contain blanks:

   create media "Sign Text" bcolor=red url=C:\myfile.avi

All video and and audio formats supported by Windows Media Player™ work, unless the expected codec is not installed on your machine. Playlists are not supported at that time.

Enjoy!

Active Worlds 3.5Edit

Build 525 (12/2/04)Edit

  • Changed the way CPU throttle was handled, to allow Flash, MP3's, and other media - intensive applications to run more smoothly alongside ActiveWorlds.
  • Fixed bug where the user may have the incorrect avatar when visiting a world, if they had been using a special avatar on their previous visit.
  • Fixed bug where Ascii sequences were not loaded, if one tag name would be invalid. This was done to reach a similar behavior to the binary format.
  • Fixed the issue that the debug-log file sometimes did not rotate, caused by a timer-value overflow.
  • Fixes the issue that camera movements kept wobbling in 3rd person view.
  • Fixed the bug where switching worlds before a terrain load was complete would break all terrain downloads until the browser was restarted.
  • Fixed bug where, for some users, the worlds column in the worlds tab could become very narrow (1 pixel wide) and would be impossible to expand again.


Build 524 (1/29/04)Edit

This is the first public beta release of Activeworlds 3.5. Again, please send bug reports to Beta@activeworlds.com.

  • Fixed bug where certain sequences might cause crashes.

The following bugs have been reported and will be fixed in the next release:

  • The columns in the worlds tab window can be made narrow, but it is difficult to make the column a useable width again. It will usually snap back to the narrow width when the user attempts to expand the column.
  • Invite does not work.
  • A user can use a special avatar if they were wearing one on their last visit to a particular world, even if they no longer have rights to use specials.


Build 520 (11/6/03)Edit

  • Attempted bugfix for the issue where clicking on the chat window to follow a link or select text would cause the chat to suddenly scroll to the top.
  • Another attempted fix for the issue where the tab windows would always have a horizontal scrollbar, and the columns would auto-size to slightly larger than the available width.
  • Fixed issue where the tab windows might not be the right size at startup.
  • Fixed bug where search tab would not show up if another tab was disabled.
  • Fixed bug where search tab would not show up if login completed before the tabs window was created.
  • Fixed bug where search window would be blank if login hadn't completed by the time the window was created.


Build 519 (11/3/03)Edit

  • Fixed bug where re-sizing the tab window would, under certain circumstances, cause the window to re-size to a width larger than the current window, making it impossible to get rid of the horizontal scroll bar.
  • Fixed bug where tab windows would be incorrectly sized at startup, usually placing the bottom of the vertical scroll bar off the bottom edge of the window.
  • Fixed bug where leaving only one character in the world options or object properties dialog field would cause the field to be blank.
  • Fixed bug where main window would steal focus when opening up the compose telegram window.
  • The teleport popup now remembers its last location.
  • The way the connection is maintained has been changed, which may lead to smoother avatar updates and more stable connections for some.
  • A new ini option has been added for creating debug logs. Under the [debug] section you may now add an optional value "purge_time = n", where n is the number of seconds of log file you want the browser to keep before a purge. Using this option will limit how big the log can get, which was a problem for some when the log would expand until the hard drive was full. A value between 15 and 60 seconds is recomended. Very small values may make the log file useless, as the log may not have enough information to be useful when the browser crashes.
  • Fixed a bug where using the "flush" option for debug logs might cause a crash.


Build 514 (10/1/03)Edit

  • Fixed several issues where the avatar would be incorrectly set when entering a world, or the avatar would be set but the menu selection would not.
  • Terrain elevation offset is now expressed in meters instead of decameters.
  • Fixed bug where closing the world features dialog with the return key would not save changes for the currently selected item in the dialog.
  • Fixed bug where the world column in the contacts list would be auto-adjusted too wide, which would make impossible to get rid of the horizontal scrollbar if the vertical scrollbar was visible.

Build 513 (9/26/03)Edit

  • Added some space to the bottom of the toolbar to prevent overlap.
  • Added new world option "Show water under terrain". This will disable the use of "transparent edges" that would appear on shallow water, and instead cause the world water to be rendered at a uniform opacity, even underground.
  • Added new world option "Terrain elevation offset". This will move the global terrain up or down by the value given, in decimeters. Note that this is not designed to be used on-the-fly, and changes to this value will not take affect until a terrain update is forced (by moving around).
  • Fixed small memory leak when selecting objects.
  • Avatar selections are now stored seperatly for citizens and tourists, to avoid the bug where switching from citizen to tourist would attempt to use restricted avatars.
  • Fixed bug where citizen name field would be replaced with citizen number when hitting "undo" in the object dialog.
  • Fixed bug where citizen number field would not be reset when hitting "undo" in the object dialog.
  • Fixed bug where the field with user focus would not revert at all when hitting "undo" in the object dialog.


Build 510 (8/13/03)Edit

  • Fixed bug in object dialog where hitting "undo" while editing an empty text box would cause the word "none" to become the actual text of the field.
  • Fix bug where hitting return while editing an object would cloase the dialog but ALSO undo whatever changes had been made.
  • Attempt to fix bug where user can sometimes clip through walls.
  • The current avatar is now stored by object path, not world. This means that you will always use the same avatar for all worlds that share the same path.


Build 509 (8/11/03)Edit

  • Attempt to fix bug where tabs would not grab the edges of the desktop on some systems. Note that this feature does not support multi-monitor setups, and so the tabs will only snap to the "main" desktop.
  • Eliminated wasted space in object dialog
  • Changed how the tabs handle keyboard focus in an attempt to fix the various complaints related to focus and the tab window.


Build 508 (8/6/03)Edit

  • Fixed bug where overhead objects would be un-selectable when standing below default water height.
  • Fixed bug where tabs would give focus to main window, even when they did not have focus. This was stealing focus from the chat line.
  • Tabs now grab onto edges of desktop in addition to the viewport.
  • The CPU throttle has been adjusted for more robust scaling.
  • The current camera mode and view distance are now stored in the ini abd should be remembered the next time the browser starts.
  • Fixed bug where pressing ENTER / RETURN while editing objects would not close the dialog.
  • Fixed bug where closing the object dialog with the close button would not save the object changes.


Build 507 (8/4/03)Edit

  • Fixed bug where web window could not be re-sized under certain conditions.
  • Tabs now "snap" to the edges of the viewport.
  • Fixed bug where user could open multiple teleport dialogs at once
  • Fixed bug where the toolbar drop-down menu button would become stuck in the highlighted state.
  • Fixed bug where users tab would not remember the list sort preference.
  • Added several changes to prevent the tabs from stealing focus from the main window.
  • Title text for the tabs window is now added to the message set
  • Fixed bug where user would have to hit apply twice after using a slider control.
  • Fixed bug where moving the mouse off the left side of a slider would cause the control to move all the way to the right.
  • The slider control should now match the sizing of the other controls in the dialog instead of sticking out of the right side.
  • Edit box for slider control now wide enough to display -1000.
  • Changed message for mouse move tooltip.
  • Added option to remember priv pass when privleges are turned off.
  • Fixed issue where cloud textures were applied "backwards".
  • Added a bit of margin space to the left side of the chat window.


Build 506 (8/1/03)Edit

  • A new feature is in this release that will attmpt to regulate the processor usage of the browser. This should make the browser more stable and less likely to overheat certain processors (particularly mobile CPU's). On our test machines, this had the effect of reducing frame rate by 5% while reducing processor usage by 95%. We are very interested to find out how this affects other machines.
  • Fixed bug where right mouse btn would become "stuck" down when selecting avatars.
  • File transfer uses new popup instead of chat window.
  • Fixed bug where /me would appear in chat bubbles.
  • Fixed bug where scrollbars would be incorrectly sized in tab windows
  • Fixed bug where public speakers would not see their own text in bold.
  • Fixed bug where toolbar would briefly appear during startup, even when it is turned off.
  • AFK now disabled in standalone
  • Fixed bug where objects would jump long distances when dragging them with the mouse.
  • The backdrop fix for old voodoo cards has been removed. This was preventing the gradient sky from working properly.
  • Toolbar images can now be variable size. The button size is the height of the toolbar image divided by 5.
  • Fixed bug where selecting a tab from the toolbar would not unroll the tabs.
  • Fixed bug where tabs would sometimes steal focus from the main window.
  • Fixed bug where colons would tanslate into tabs in the chat window for /me commands.
  • Fixed bug where the users list would become un-sorted after its contents changed.


Build 505 (7/31/03)Edit

  • Fixed bug where tabs would move when rolling / unrolling.
  • Fixed bug where some right-click popup menus wouldn't work in the tab windows.
  • Viewport will now reclaim wasted space if gestures are turned off.
  • Fixed bug where logo would continue to spin even when downloads were complete
  • Fixed bug where user could no longer tab between fields in the world features dialog.
  • Fixed numerous bugs in the object properties dialog.
  • Removed colon from popup menu on users tab
  • Added the ability for users to enter country name on the registration screen.
  • User defined messages in message set are now 1100 - 1199 instead of 1100 - 1119
  • New Message set


Build 504 (7/30/03)Edit

  • Users tab can now show when a user changes their citizen name. (this will require a universe update to take effect)
  • Fixed bug where non-caretakers could still edit the citizen number field in the object dialog
  • Removed the location field of the object dialog. This feature has been moved to 4.0
  • User can now use F5 and F6 to respond to Invite/join popups. If there are multiple popups, these keys will accept/decline for the oldest (top-most) popup in the stack.
  • Fixed bug where citizen name would only display the first time an object was selected
  • Fixed bug where the object dialog would take the focus after selecting an object, forcing the user to click on the main window again before the object could be moved using the keyboard.
  • Removed change from last version where the camera would not resize when the 3d viewport was resized. This was intended to avoid the slowdowns and crashes associated with changing the viewport size. Instead....
  • The tabs window is now a floating window. It can still be hidden/shown using F9, and can be "rolled up" by double-clicking the title bar.


Build 503 (7/28/03)Edit

  • World Features, keyboard config, and object properties should now give more space to the input fields and waste less space on the left side, where the labels are.
  • Fixed bug where text boxes wouldn't wrap long lines.
  • Fixed bug where citizen name wouldn't show in the object properties dialog
  • Fixed bug where app would crash if the toolbar.cfg was missing.
  • Fixed bug where user would get an incorrect notice that mipmap settings had been changed in the options dialog
  • Changed the way memory is handled when the main 3d viewport is re-sized. This should make the application more stable, and less likely to run out of video memory, but use more video memory overall.


Build 502 (7/25/03)Edit

  • The old toolbar has been replaced with a new, configurable toolbar. While this is intended for other univereses that require custom interfaces, the ability is available to all users. The toolbar is defined in the toolbar.cfg in the /default directory (under your Activeworlds directory). See below for information about this file. The image used for the toolbar is selectable under options -> settings -> advanced.
  • Users may now assign the different camera modes to specific keys, eliminating the need to cycle through the camera modes looking for the desired view.
  • Individual tabs in the tabs interface can be removed. Again, this feature is intended for custom universes, but is available for users that wish to experiment with it. The contraols.ini in the /default directory contains options that will show/hide various interface elements. The web controls and whisper box may also be added/removed via this file.
  • The new "users" tab will list all users currently logged into the universe, and will also list bots for universe administrators. Note that this tab will probably NOT be supported in the main universe, but may be used in other universes, and will be enabled in the test universe.
  • A new option is available on the users and contacts tab: users may now invite others to join them at their current location. This works much like a join, except that the other user will teleport to your location, instead of you teleporting to theirs.
  • Join and invite prompts will now appear as stacking popups instead of inserting themselves into the chat winodw where they interrupt chat. The popups disappear once the invitation expires. This also allows the users to see all pending invitations at once.
  • Fixed a bug where tourists could appear as any avatar in the list if the avatar list was closed and controlled by a bot.
  • Added a change intended to fix the issue introduced in 3.4 where the backdrop would render in front of the scene.
  • Fixed bug where closing a branch in the world features dialog could cause items to become un-aligned.
  • The new 3.4 dialogs such as world features and key config should now remember their last position.
  • Several user-defined messages have been added to the message set. Messages 1100 through 1119 can be set by someone (usually the unverse administrator, prior to distributing the software) Right now the only use for these messages are as tooltips for the new configurable toolbar.
  • The downloads box is now smaller, and will show progresss bars for each item being downloaded.
  • Web page urls can now read content from a local directory. prefacing a URL with "local:" will cuase the browser to look from content in the "/default/web" directory. For example, "Activate url local:mypage.html" will look for "C:\Active Worlds\default\web\mypage.html". This is really only useful for universe admins who want to pre-load web content for users.
  • The object properties dialog has been changed. IT should function as before, with the added feature that it will show the location of the currently selected object.
  • Several slash commands have been added to the chat interface:
1. /whisper username, message - users may whisper to another user without using the whisper box. Just type /whisper, followed by the target's name, followed by a comma, and then your message.
2. /join [citnumber] - Type /join followed by the citizen number to send a join request to that user.
3. /teleport location - just enter /teleport followed by the location you wish to go. For example, "/teleport aw 1n 0w" or "/teleport 100s 223n 10a" Any valid teleport location should work.
4. /me emote - enter /me followed by an action to have that shown in the chat window. For example, if your username is "Bob" and you enter "/me waves goodbye", then the chat window will display "Bob waves goodbye".

NOTE: These chat commands may be removed or changed during testing.

In addition, any of the toolbar button commands list below can be used as a /slash command. For example, /world_features will cause the world features dialog to open. This option was added during testing and is not likely to remain as a feature in 3.5. More info on the toolbar.cfg file

The new toolbar will load the toolbar_image.bmp from the /default directory. This image is divided into 32x32 images to be used as toolbar buttons. The buttons are numbered horizontally starting with 0 on the left. The image file is divided into four rows as follows:

Row 1: Image of button in its normal, unpressed state.
Row 2: Image of button pressed
Row 3: Image of button in its normal, unpressed state with mouseover.
Row 4: Image of button pressed, with mouseover

Open the toolbar_image.bmp to see how this works.

Each line in the toolbar.cfg file will define a button on the toolbar. Each line has the following format:

  • [action] [image number] [tooltip message] [special id number]
  • [Action] can be any of the possible toolbar actions from the list. (see below)
  • [image number] is the index of the image from the toolbar_image.bmp
  • [tooltip message] is the index of the message from the message set that should be used for the tooltip. This message is displayed when the user hovers the mouse over the given button. The custom messages (1100 - 1119) are particularly useful for this. This field is optional.
  • [special id number] is only used with buttons using the sdk_event action. The browser will send this id number with an sdk_event to the server to perform some custom action to be handled by a bot in the world. (for example "show map" or "open inventory", where the bot can respond by sending the user the appropriate url) Here is the list of possible actions for the toolbar:
exit
forward
back
home
teleport_set_home
remember
look_up
look_down
look_level
first_person
third_person
world_features
world_rights
world_ejections
show_downloads
show_tabs
show_gestures
show_web
show_whisper
show_cell_grid
login_citizen
login_tourist
privileges
web_back
web_forward
web_stop
web_refresh
help
about
options_controls
camera_locked
camera_chase
camera_front
contacts_tab
worlds_tab
users_tab
telegrams_tab
teleports_tab
help_tab
search_tab
afk
mouse_move
sdk_event


Active Worlds 3.4Edit

Welcome to Active Worlds 3.4

Welcome to the Active Worlds 3.4 user guide.

The latest release version of the Active Worlds browser, server, and administration software are now available for download at http://www.activeworlds.com/products/download.asp.

Many of the new Active Worlds browser features are specifically designed to take advantage of new World Server features, and may not work the same in worlds running on older world servers.

Active Worlds 3.4 includes the following new features and changes:

New World Options:

Active Worlds 3.4 offers many new features for world owners. In fact, the number of available world options has more than doubled from what it was in 3.3. World owners should upgrade to the latest world server as soon as possible in order to take advantage of this new functionality. The new world options are:

  • Two world options have been added to regulate gravity in the world, "Gravity" and "Underwater Gravity". A value of 1.0 will use standard "Earth" gravity. Note that with the default setting of 1.0 you will sink in water. Use a negative value for underwater gravity to cause avatars to float to the surface.
  • Three new options have been added to control specific sounds in the world. The "Water Enter" sound plays when the user enters the water and begins swimming (when the mid-point of the avatar drops below water level) and the "Water Exit" sound plays when the user emerges from the water. The "Footstep" sound plays twice every time the user walks the distance of their own height. For example, for a 2-meter tall avatar, the sound would play once for every meter they walked. This distance is doubled when running. The footstep sound works very well when combined with the "autowalk" feature (see below) to produce footsteps that match pace with the avatar's movement. All three of these sounds can be found under the new "Sound" group in the World Options dialog.
  • A new world option has been added to allow the world's caretaker to disable tourist building.
  • A new Enable Browser Referrer world option has been added. Clearing the checkbox for this option will prevent the browser from sending the new referrer string (explained under "Browser Features" below).
  • A new world option, water, is now available. Water can be used to fill the world with an endless rolling ocean. Note that avatars will "float" when underwater (gravity will be lower, and reversed).
  • New in 3.4 is the Layered Clouds feature. This new world option allows world owners to create up to three layers of moving clouds in their world.
  • Also new is the Gradient Sky feature. This allows world owners to specify separate colors for areas of the sky and have them blend into each other. This, along with the new "fog color" option replace the original "backdrop color" feature.
  • World owners may now apply a texture to the world light source. This makes it possible to have a sun, moon, or corona type texture attached to the world directional light source, which will change position as the light moves.
  • Fog color can now be controlled independently of the sky colors. Note that pre-3.4 users will see the sky colored with the fog color, and will not see the gradient sky.
  • Terrain has been enhanced so that the world owner can now control the surface lighting.
  • In order to better manage the increasing number of world options, the old World Options and Lights & Fog dialogs have been merged into a new, branching dialog.
  • A new world option has been added to show all avatar names. Normally, you do not see a user's name until they speak unless you have "Eject" rights or "Caretaker" status. This option allows everyone to see all names, regardless of rights. This is intended to be used in game worlds where the owner might not want people to be anonymous, or in a world where users would not otherwise see each others' chat.
  • A world option has been added to hide all chat in the world. If this is checked, users with speaking rights will still be able to type messages, but the messages will not be sent to other users. Only a bot with caretaker rights will see the chat. This is useful if you have a bot monitoring the incoming chat and relaying it to everyone via the console command. In this way, a bot can be used to color chat messages, control the distribution of chat, and filter text.
  • A world option has been introduced to block citizens from whispering to one another. This is intended to be used with a bot, just like the "hide chat" option listed above.
  • Increased maximum fog distance (which also controls the maximum view distance) from 400 to 1200. Note that this does not affect the visibility of property-based objects (which is still limited to 200 meters) but only applies to world-based geometry, such as ground objects and terrain. While this can be used to create striking vistas, it should be noted that this will also greatly increase the number of terrain polygons in view and lower the accuracy of the z-buffer. The net effect of this is that your world may be slower, and may be more prone to suffer from annoying z-buffer "bleeding".
  • Added new world option "Avatar Updates per second". This can be used to control how often avatar updates are sent to the client. Setting this value above the default value of 1 can smooth avatar movement, at a significant cost to bandwidth.
  • Added new world option "Disable avatar list", which will cause the avatar list to be unselectable. This is intended to be used in conjunction with new SDK settings that will allow world owners to control what avatar each visitor is wearing.
  • The browser will now allow the world server to set the user's avatar and gesture, via a bot. This goes along with the changes in build 428 that allowed the world owner to disable the avatar list. Now a bot can be used to regulate the gestures and avatar use in the world.

New Browser Features

  • The browser now sends a proper referrer string to the web server when downloading objects. This may prevent downloads from some sites. This option can be turned off by the world owner.
  • The maximum rating can now be password protected in the World Features dialog. This means that parents may now lock the browser from entering worlds above the given rating. Worlds that exceed the maximum rating will not appear in the world list. Note that you can still enter a world of any rating if you are a caretaker in that world.
  • A new world rating, PG-13, has been added. Note that due to this change, worlds rated "R" will now be "PG-13" and worlds set to "X" will now be rated "R". Please check your world ratings and adjust them as needed.
  • Custom colors created in the World Features dialog will now be saved.
  • Sliders in the World Features dialog now have a numeric field where the number can be set manually.
  • The basic keyboard and mouse button controls are now configurable. To setup the keyboard input, go to "Configure Controls" under the "Options" menu.
  • There is now a button in the "Keyboard Controls" screen that will reset all keys to defaults. In addition, this should now set the keys more like the "original" (pre-3.4) keyboard setup.
  • It is possible to bind multiple functions to a single key. So, for example, the user can assign both strafe/sidestep and pass through to the shift key. (This is part of the default setup, but can be altered.)
  • The Active Worlds browser will differentiate between separate keys that normally serve the same function. (For example, left and right control will now be mapped independently) We are particularly interested in how this system works on non-English keyboards. This system will eventually be connected to the message set, but we need to see how it performs on different keyboards before we implement this.
  • The "+", "-", "*", and "/" keys on the numeric keypad will not show up in the chat window, but they WILL show up if typed from the main area of the keyboard. This is to allow greater flexibility in key assignment choices.
  • In the configure controls dialog, keys mapped to more than one action will be outlined in red, on systems which support this outlining feature.
  • The numeric keypad will now type numbers instead of performing movements whenever Num Lock is ON. This should provide better compatibility with a wider variety of keyboards including those designed for many different languages.
  • The old "mouse move" and "mouse freelook" buttons on the toolbar have been replaced by a single "move mode" button. You can control which mode this button uses under Options -> Settings -> General. Also, Move mode (either freelook or mouse move) now disables the chat and whisper windows so that you can no longer type when in move mode. This is so that the main keyboard keys can be assigned as movement keys if desired.
  • The F2 key has been re-assigned to changing into and out of the new "move mode". There are now three ways to enter move mode: toolbar button, F2, and the assigned move mode key(middle mouse by default). Likewise, there are three ways to leave move mode: Escape Key, F2, and the assigned move mode key.
  • The browser now has a "quick chat" key, configurable in the keyboard controls dialog. When in move mode, hitting this key will enable the chat line and place the focus there so the user can type a message. Once the user hits return, chat is disabled and the user is in move mode again. By default this control is bound to the "Enter" key and the "Tab" key, so that either one can be used to quickly enter chat from Move Mode.
  • A jump key has been added. Using this, the user will jump about a meter in the air. Note that this ability is assigned to the "0" (ins) key on the numeric keypad by default and will function only when Num Lock is off. If you would like to use the jump function with Num Lock on, you will have to assign it a secondary key in the Configure Controls dialog.
  • It is now possible to assign keys to move left and move right, so that you can strafe or sidestep without holding a modifier key, although a sidestep modifier key is still supported and is assigned to either Shift key by default.
  • The collision detection system has been overhauled. This was the single biggest drag on performance, and most users should see at least a modest improvement in frame rate. Note that the "feel" of movement has also changed - movement downhill should be more natural, and you may notice your avatar eases to a stop instead of coming to an abrupt halt when you release the forward key. A new "Precise Movement" option under the General tab in the Settings dialog can now be used to disable this movement feature. If this option is checked, the user's avatar will come to an abrupt halt when the movement keys are released.
  • The camera has been changed. The old "third person" camera button has been changed. It will now cycle through four available camera modes: First person, chase cam near, chase cam far, and front view. The camera should also move in a more attractive way. It will now "drift" after you, instead of being locked in position over your shoulder. The camera will also pitch up and down as you look up and down.
  • Added Zoom In and Zoom out keys to the keyboard mappings. These keys can be used to change the distance of the third person camera.
  • New implicit sequences have been added. Avatars may now fly, run, swim, jump, or fall. Also, instead of the wait sequence, avatars will perform the hover sequence when flying or float when swimming. This feature requires the latest build of the world server.
  • The action performed when the user is standing still has changed. Avatars which are neither swimming nor flying will now perform the new idle sequence when they stop moving. Then, once idle is complete, the avatar will perform wait, followed by endwait and will continue to perform these two sequences until the avatar moves again.
  • While flying or swimming, your pitch is taken into account by default when moving. This means that looking up or down will cause you to actually move up or down. Furthermore, the pitch of the avatar changes, so that it looks like the avatar is flying or swimming. This feature requires the latest build of the world server.
  • For worlds using ground objects, gravity should not activate until the ground object is ready.
  • Avatar now changes to swimming when the user is flying and enters the water.
  • Gravity will be automatically disabled temporarily when using pass-thru.
  • The object movement toolbar and tooltips have been changed slightly.
  • The world ratings will now be visible in the world list. The new world rating icons now shows the each world's open or closed status as well as the rating set by that world's caretakers. Pre-3.4 world servers that do not report their world rating to the universe will show a question mark instead of a rating.
  • The "text over the heads" system has been replaced with a nicer-looking system of comic-style chat balloons. Users will have "round" balloons, while bot names and text chat will appear in square bubbles. Note that to avoid clutter, you will only see the names of nearby people when they are near the center of the screen. You can switch back to the old style chat balloon under Options > Settings > Chat.
  • The browser now plays a sound when a telegram arrives. This sound can be disabled under options > Settings > General.
  • The browser now plays sounds when selecting, deselecting, or editing property and terrain. These sounds can be disabled under options > Settings > General.
  • Due to overwhelming public demand, ctrl-turning is now re-enabled. That is, you can again spin faster by holding down ctrl when turning.
  • The browser now features a "head bob" when the user is walking around. This will move the camera up and down in an attempt to simulate walking and give a more realistic feel to moving around. This can be turned off under Options -> Settings -> General.
  • Re-named the video modes to make the choice clearer for users. There are now only three main options: Direct3D, Open GL, and software mode. If the user selects Direct3D and is running DirectX 8.0 or better, then a new checkbox will be enabled that will enable support for hardware transform and lighting (Hardware T&L). Note that you should only select Hardware T&L if your card supports this particular feature.
  • Added a new feature where users will no longer be able to move or change objects they do not own, unless they have eminent domain. This will prevent many needless building rejections on the part of the world server, and fix the situation where users could defeat obstacles in world by moving them and moving past before the server moved the object back. Note that this requires build 46 of the world server in order to work. Older world servers will still exhibit the old behavior.

Other changes

  • A new "idle" sequence has been added for when an avatar is not moving. This is to avoid having avatars stand a rigid attention while waiting to perform the "wait" sequence. Avatars will now begin to idle the moment they stop moving, and will perform the "wait" sequence after 30 seconds of inactivity.
  • A new option has been added to the avatars.dat file. World owners may now use the "autowalk" option to have the browser handle the timing of the walk and run sequences automatically. Using this option, the walk sequence will play once every time you walk the distance of the height of your avatar. For example, for a 2-meter tall avatar, the sequence will play once every 2 meters. For running, this distance is doubled. While this will probably interfere with the timing of unusual sequences, it does have several advantages for standard walking humanoid avatars:
1. Animation designers no longer need to worry about how "fast" the animation is. This was often very difficult to match to the movement of the character in world.
2. The same walk sequence can be used on avatars of any size. Under the old system, a sequence that worked right for a normal avatar would be much too slow for a short avatar, and far too fast for a giant. Now the feet should more or less "stick" to the ground regardless of size.
3. Animations can now play in reverse when the avatar is walking backward.
4. Existing sequences will be fixed. Many of the (too slow) sequences that have spread throughout the universe should now perform properly if combined with this option.

To use this feature, simply place the word "autowalk" on a line by itself after the "name=" or "geometry=" line in the avatars.dat.

  • Fixed problem where framerate and visibility would skyrocket when using the web in the 3d window, causing a large performance hit when returning to normal 3d mode.
  • Fixed bug where sequences would stop working for a particular avatar or object path. This was caused when the sequences were deleted by the browser (due to disk usage limits) and would then never be downloaded again unless the cache was cleared.
  • An option has been added to the registration screen where the user can select between monthly and annual billing. Note that some universes may only accept one of these two billing types, in which case this control will be disabled.
  • There is now a "targeting cursor" in move mode, which will highlight when the user is pointed at an "activate" object. This is to compensate for the loss of the "hand" cursor that appears when not in move mode.
  • Leading and trailing spaces are now trimmed in the object properties dialog. This will avoid some of the confusion and bogus download attempts encountered when spaces were left at the end of an object name.
  • Made several small changes to alleviate the problem of falling through the ground upon arrival to a new world.
  • An "Ignore Pitch" option has been added under Options -> Settings -> General. When checked, the user will not move where they are looking when flying or swimming, but will instead move along horizontally.
  • Many of the new interface items are now connected to the message set, such as Password dialog items, ratings and rating password options, and the "Press a key" message in the Configure Controls dialog.
  • When binding a key, pressing Escape will clear the key instead of assigning the Escape key.
  • The World Features dialog is a bit shorter to accommodate 800x600 resolution.
  • The collision gap between avatars and the terrain has been reduced.
  • A "warp" sequence has been added to the avatars.dat
  • Fixed issue where "seams" would appear around non-tiling terrain textures. The browser should now detect when a texture needs to be clamped, and when it should be tiled.
  • Changed the way the browser displays avatar sequences so that only the wait sequences can be interrupted by the walk sequence. Sequences explicitly set by the user will now play in full even when walking.
  • The user will be pushed up to ground level if incoming terrain data leaves them underground.
  • Coronas now have a maximum size of 200. (200% of the screen size).


Build 493 (6/13/03)Edit

  • Suomi.awm updated (Thanks Mauz)
  • Fixed bug where walk sequence would not play for a newly arrived avatar facing exactly north
  • Fixed bug where terrain updates would not appear until user moved

World Server Build 53 for Windows - New Installer Test Notes (06/10/03)Edit


Build 492 (6/10/03)Edit

  • The issue where elevation data files would show up in the root directory after clearing the cache is fixed.
  • The issue where folders in the art cache are mis-named should also be fixed


Build 491 (6/5/03)Edit

  • The new browser referrer is now a world option. World owners need to de-select Browser Enable Referrer if visitors are unable to see the content in their world due to referrer problems.
  • The "coasting" to a stop, or inertia is now optional. Users may select "Precise movement" under Options -> Setting -> General, in order to have their avatar come to an abrupt halt when the movement key is released.
  • Message set changes
o 1053 Precise Movement
o 1054 Enable browser referrer


Build 490 (6/3/03)Edit

  • Changed the way "fallback" sequences work. The browser will now use WAIT if HOVER or FLOAT is not available. Previously, IDLE was used if these were not available.
  • Some incorrect debug messages in the log files have been corrected.
  • The bug where terrain would have broken polygons and stretching textures for geometry outside the world limits should now be fixed.


Build 489 (5/29/03)Edit

  • Fixed various bugs in the animations for non-moving avatars. They should now perform the Idle sequence and then repeat the Wait and Endwait sequences alternately.
  • Terrain texture 0 is now set to tile by default, which will fix the issue of stretching textures beyond the world limits.


Build 488 (5/28/03)Edit

  • Fixed bug where water was not properly colored and lit
  • Fixed bug where explicit seqs would stick at the end instead of starting the idle or wait seqs
  • Fixed bug where idle would stop playing after a few seconds instead of starting the wait seq


Build 487 (5/20/03)Edit

  • Fixed issue where terrain would not appear until user changed cells.
  • Added change intended to keep terrain texture from "stretching" when it should tile.
  • Fixed bug where terrain collision would sometimes be incorrect on entry.


Build 486 (5/9/03)Edit

  • The browser should now properly detect DirectX 9 and set the correct video mode for new users. In previous builds, DX9 users were put into software mode.
  • Limited pitch a bit more to correct visual artifacts some users have been experiencing.
  • Logging in an expired citizen in will bring up the citizen login dialog instead of the registration screen in universes with alternate billing systems.
  • Fixed bug where water and terrain would flicker whenever world attributes changed.
  • Fixed bug introduced in the last build where users would have trouble moving below 0.0 altitude in a non-terrain world.


Build 485 (5/6/03)Edit

  • Fixed bug introduced in 484 where terrain would not load for a new world.


Build 484 (5/6/03)Edit

  • Fixed bug where terrain would not download for a user if the world terrain had been replaced by performing a terrain load, and the user had already cached the old data.
  • Fixed bug where running uphill on terrain and then jumping would cause user to get stuck in the ground. This may also help with users occasionally falling through terrain.
  • Slight message set changes.


Build 483 (5/2/03)Edit

  • Fixed registration dialog issue. This included adding a scroll bar to the text field on the bottom.
  • "Ok" button in register screen now appears as "I Accept"
  • Fixed bug from previous version where water was "solid"


Build 482 (5/1/03)Edit

  • Fixed bug where having an empty password field in the world options would show ****.
  • Fixed issue where looking directly up or down would cause visual glitches.
  • Made the text box in the registration screen larger - also message set changes (Registration dialog).
  • Changed object edit box to allow user to copy text even when they do not have rights to change it
  • Fixed another minor bug in terrain query. This will not fix issue where users will not see terrain changes after a global terrain load.
  • Corrected some errors in User Guide index.


World Server Linux Build 53 (4/28/03)Edit


World Server Build 53 Windows Installer Test (4/28/03)Edit


World Server Windows Build 53 (4/25/03)Edit


Build 481 (4/24/03)Edit

  • Fixed another bug that might prevent proper terrain downloads in some cases.
  • Water should now update when terrain changes. This will fix the bug where water would not appear upon world entry, and the bug where water would not change to match the terrain after building.
  • Added fix for bug where the z-buffer would not improve when moving max view distance closer.
  • Fixed bug where water and terrain would flicker whenever world attributes changed.
  • Fixed bug where user could not warp underwater.
  • Fixed bug where Escape key would not exit move mode.
  • Fixed bug where looking directly up would show the panorama directly overhead.


Build 480 (4/22/03)Edit

  • New toolbar for build dialog. Also, new program icon.
  • Message set change - Max fog now labeled max view distance.
  • Added fix for bug where the z-buffer would not improve when moving max view distance closer.
  • Max view distance now limited to values between 50 and 1200. This will fix problem where worlds upgrading from 3.3 would encounter rendering issues when max fog (now max view distance) would be set to 0.
  • Avatar pitch now goes from -90 to +90 instead of -80 to +80. This will allow users to fly directly up and down. (This also introduced a bug in worlds with a "Panorama" that may cause backdrop to render incorrectly when looking straight up or down, will be fixed in next release)
  • Fixed bug were home location only stored 1 decimal place (rounding off to nearest meter) instead of 3 decimal places (rounding off to nearest centimeter) like all other teleports. This should fix the bug where users would find themselves "stuck" in the ground upon entry.
  • Fixed bug where browser would crash on startup if window dimensions were set too small in the ini.
  • Fixed bug where leaving world during terrain query would disable all further terrain downloads in all worlds, until browser was restarted.
  • Upgrade mechanism changed to allow separate builds for "Open Beta" and "Beta Account Type" users.
  • User Guide updated to reflect new 3.4 help files. (Thanks TechnoZeus!)


World Server Windows Build 52 (4/16/03)Edit


Build 479 (4/14/03)Edit

  • Browser build 479 is an open beta and can be downloaded from http://objects.activeworlds.com/downloads/awb34beta.exe
  • Link to open beta available at http://www.activeworlds.com/products/download.asp
  • This version can be used in the AW universe by any user regardless of beta status. (universe settings, of course, still apply.)
  • New teleport list. (This installer will not over write your current teleport list in installing over a pre-existing install.)
  • Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Dutch message sets updated. (Thanks Tengel!)
  • Program Icon changed
  • For people testing the public beta who can not post to the beta newsgroup, bug reports can be emailed directly to support@activeworlds.com with "Beta" in the subject line.
  • Many of the new features are designed specifically for AW 3.4 worlds. If you're hosting one or more worlds, be sure to upgrade to the latest version 3.4 world server and world administration tool.


Build 478 (4/10/03)Edit

  • Explicit gestures work while flying, falling, swimming
  • Hungarian message set updated (Thanks Andras)


Build 477 (4/9/03)Edit

  • Fixed bug where using explicit gestures would disable implicit ones


Build 476 (4/8/03)Edit

  • In the world features dialog, trailing spaces are now removed from text boxes
  • If http:// is used in the object path, it will not be used when creating the local cache directory name, and the browser will not break download attempts by adding an additional http://. This was causing some users to crash. Also, if one world has http://www.myworld.net as the object path and another has www.myworld.net, they will now both go into the same local cache directory.


Build 475 (4/8/03)Edit

  • The run seq will no longer stop at the end, but will now loop as it should
  • Wait sequence will now start after 30 seconds instead of 3. This value was changed in a previous build for testing reasons and due to an oversight was not changed back


Build 474 (4/7/03)Edit

  • Fly should really, really loop this time.
  • The "end warp" distance - the distance in which the user can collide with objects and activate other warps - is increased from 5m to 7.5m


Build 473 (4/4/03)Edit

  • The fly and swim seqs should loop. This was accidentally disabled a few builds ago.
  • Warp speed and behavior should be more like 3.3 now. While an exact reproduction of the 3.3 movement would be impossible with the new features, this should be fairly close.
  • Fixed bug where looking up or down in the fixed 3rd person view would cause the aiming cursor to point to the avatar's head, instead of over the shoulder.
  • Updated Finnish message set. (Thanks Mauz)


Build 472 (4/3/03)Edit

  • 3rd and 1st person toolbar buttons should now correctly press/unpress when changing modes.
  • "Old style" 3rd person camera should be even more like the 3.3 camera.
  • Warps are smoother.
  • warp chains (rides) should be more reliable.
  • Fixed bug where hitting a teleport while jumping could send the user to 2000m in the air.
  • Wait sequence is looping again.


Build 471 (4/1/03)Edit

Idle seq is re-instated using a different method that will hopefully avoid the crashes experienced in previous builds.


Build 470 (3/26/03)Edit

  • The idle sequence has been disabled in this version in order to help us determine the cause of the avatar animation crashes some users have been experiencing. We will re-enable the new idle sequence again in a future beta. Please post logs of crashes whenever possible. (PLEASE do not post bug reports that your idle seqs are not working.)


Build 469 (3/21/03)Edit

  • New movement sequences ( run, fly, swim, jump, fall, swim) will now ignore translations, as walk does. This will fix a rare bug where users would see the avatar slide off to one side or disappear when jumping, flying, etc., which also sometimes caused a crash.
  • Norsk message set updated.


Build 468 (3/20/03)Edit

  • More log file info added.
  • Another attempted fix for the avatar animation crashes.


Build 467 (3/17/03)Edit

  • Yet another attempted fix for the crash when blending animation sequences.
  • More info has been added to the log file in order to help identify the problem if this change does not fix it.


Build 466 (3/14/03)Edit

  • Fixed bug where avatar would not switch to the running sequence when moving backwards and holding the "run" key. This would make reverse movement look odd, and cause the footstep sound to play very fast.
  • Another attempted fix for the sequence blending crash is in this release, as well as more log file info. Please post logs of any crashes you may have!


Build 465 (3/13/03)Edit

  • Fix for situation where terrain updates would disable gravity
  • A change has been added intended to fix the crash some users are experiencing when blending avatar animations
  • More information has been added to the log file to help track down the sequence blend bug, if the change in this version does not fix it.
  • Camera modes are re-arranged so that the far 3rd person camera is second in the series


World Server Build 51 (3/7/03)Edit


Build 464 (3/7/03)Edit

  • Fixed bug where direct X 3 would not be properly detected.
  • Fixed case where sometimes positions would be incorrectly sent to the world server.


Build 463 (3/6/03)Edit

  • An attempted fix is in place to avoid the bug where the panorama obscures the scene on some video cards/modes.
  • User should now be able to select objects through the water surface.
  • An old video check that was crashing some DX 9 users has been removed. Also, the browser now defaults to D3D instead of software if there is no video mode set in the aworld.ini.
  • Normal turn is *slightly* faster, and the difference between normal and fast turn should be more pronounced at low frame rates.


Build 462 (3/5/03)Edit

  • The avatar state (flying, swimming, walking, etc) is remembered and restored after warping. Note that terminating a warp (using the stop key) will cause the user to drop into "walking", regardless of the previous state.
  • Added another change intended to fix the issue where avatar sequences do not load the first time an avatar is used. Again, this change may fix another crash bug related to blending sequences together.
  • The light vectors in the World Features dialog are now values from -1000 to +1000 (which translates into +10.0 to +10.0 in the SDK) which should fix the issue where light vectors from 3.3 would be messed up when editing them with a 3.4 browser.
  • The debug log system has been changed. The log is now cleared each time the browser is run. (Also, a few new messages have been added to the start-up logging.)


Build 461 (3/3/03)Edit

Fixed bug where visibility and the clipping plane would be messed up if the start world did not have fog


Build 460 (3/3/03)Edit

  • The "Billing Method" label in the registration screen has been added to the message set.
  • Water, cloud, and sky states should now be properly set when traveling from a 3.3 to 3.4 world.
  • The "end warp" distance (the distance in which the user can collide with objects) has been extended from 3.5m to 5m.
  • Avatar updates should now be sent on avatar pitch change. This corrects a problem where other users would not see you pitch changes (looking up or down when flying / swimming) if you were standing still.
  • The browser will now use the max fog distance as the far clipping plane, even when fog is turned off. This is to give world owners control over the far clip plane even when they do not wish to enable fog in their world. Larger distances for the clip plane can produce more interesting vistas, at the expense of z-buffer accuracy.
  • Fixed a bug where the avatar used during a previous visit to a world would not be correctly restored on a subsequent visit. This may be the source of the failed sequences that some users have reported.


Build 459 (2/27/03)Edit

  • Based on user feedback, turning is slightly faster
  • Changed made intended to fix a crash experienced by some users when blending from one sequence to another. This may also fix the issue where sequences will sometimes not load properly.
  • Visibility will update near the end of the trip on warps, fixing most bump-warp "rides".
  • Message set changes to Renewal/Purchase credit card form


Build 458 (2/25/03)Edit

  • This version contains a change intended to fix the way coronas "tile" on VooDoo cards.
  • The "look level" button should now disable properly when using the toolbar buttons to look up/down
  • The user should now be able to "escape" a warp in progress by teleporting away.
  • The user can escape a warp by pressing the stop key if they have pass-thru rights.
  • Fixed bug where the "teleport back" button would not work when returning to the first position in the list (the home location).
  • User can now turn and look around during warp, as in 3.3.
  • Warp speeds should be slower, and much closer to those in 3.3
  • The far camera distance in 3rd person view has been extended


Build 457 (2/14/03)Edit

  • The bug where avatars would shift off-center or vanish when using the new sequences should now be fixed. This should also fix a random crash that happened when an avatar performed either jump or fall.
  • The Return key is now the secondary default quick chat key, instead of t.
  • The keyboard turn speed is slightly slower, while fast-turning should be much more pronounced.
  • An experimental change has been made to this version where the 3rd person camera will look over the avatar's shoulder, instead of at the avatars head, if the aiming cursor is visible. This is to avoid the issue where the cursor aimed at the user's head, which made activating objects difficult, and looked odd. We may decide to abandon this and simply remove the aiming cursor when in 3rd person mode. Right now we are interested in feedback from the users to let us know how this feature works / doesn't work for them, before we make our decision.
  • The numpad will now type numbers instead of performing movements whenever numlock is ON.
  • Warp has been slowed slightly, and the user should now have collision near the end of the trip, as they did in 3.3. This should enable various bump-warp "rides" to work again.
  • The object movement toolbar and tooltips has been changed slightly.
  • The look level button on the main toolbar should now be disabled when the user is already looking level.
  • Fixed bug where left and right shift keys could interfere with each other when using both at once.
  • Fixed bug where masked and transparent polygons would sometimes "glow" when the aiming cursor is visible.


Build 456 (2/11/03)Edit

  • All running speeds (running, fast flying, fast swimming) have all been boosted. Characters should accelerate and decelerate slightly faster.
  • Fixed bug where upgrading from 3.3 to 3.5 would set the max world rating to G
  • The browser now has a "quick chat" key, configurable in the keyboard controls dialog. When in move mode, hitting this key will enable the chat line and place the focus there so the user can type a message. Once the user hits return, chat is disabled and the user is in move mode again. By default this control is bound to the "t" key.
  • Added an option to the registration screen where the user can select between monthly and annual billing. Note that some universes may only accept one of these two billing types, in which case this control will be disabled.
  • There is now a "targeting cursor" in move mode, that will highlight when the user is pointed at an "activate" object. This is to compensate for the loss of the "hand" cursor that appears when not in move mode.
  • Fixed bug where the web window would keep focus even when entering move mode.
  • Added new world option to disable tourist building.


Build 455 (1/30/03)Edit

  • Added Zoom In and Zoom out keys to the keyboard mappings. These keys can be used to change the distance of the third person camera.
  • A quick chat key has been added, but it is not enabled in this release. The key was added in this release in an attempt to do all of the message set changes at once.
  • When entering move mode, the "deselect terrain" sound is no longer played unless the user actually has terrain selected.
  • Fixed bug where gravity might not work right in pre-3.4 worlds.
  • Made timing adjustment to attempt to fix slowdowns experienced by some users.
  • Avatar should now return to default position when stopping and no idle sequence is present, instead of just stopping mid-step.
  • The idle and wait sequences should no longer block out explicit gestures.
  • Endwait sequence should work again.
  • In the configure controls dialog, keys mapped to more than one action will be outlined in red.
  • In the configure controls dialog, the issue where the button fonts didn't match between the left and right column is now fixed.


Build 453 (1/22/03)Edit

  • New world rating icons
  • Sliding should now work even against vertical surfaces not aligned with the north/south or east/west axis.
  • All movement speeds (fly, walk, run) have been altered to be more like the speeds in 3.3.
  • User should come to a full stop much more quickly after releasing a movement key. Also, stopping should work better at low framerates.
  • Warp speed has been slowed to be more like 3.3.
  • When entering move mode using F2, the object properties dialog and terrain dialog should now close and return the focus to the viewport. This fixes a bug where users could become "stuck" in move mode.
  • Bump teleports without world names should work again.


Build 452 (1/3/03)Edit

  • The problem where the user would get stuck in doorways with a raised threshold is fixed.
  • Slight adjustments to move/fly/jump speeds.
  • Fixed bug where the user could "launch" themselves out of the water by holding down the jump or fly up key.
  • The ugly temporary renew button and world rating graphics have been replaced with proper images.
  • Warps use the yaw parameter again.
  • Fixed issue with the renew button overlapping the gesture buttons.
  • Fixed issue where right-clicking a selected object sometimes moves it. The user must now hold the right mouse button down for a half second before the object will move, as opposed to a tenth of a second in previous versions.
  • The message set changes mentioned in the last release should be included in this one.


Build 451 (12/27/02)Edit

  • Leading and trailing spaces are now trimmed in the object properties dialog. This will avoid some of the confusion and bogus download attempts encountered when spaces were left at the end of an object name.
  • Message set changes: Removed the invalid PgUp / PgDn "shortcuts" in the view menu. Also, "exceeds" has been replaced with "exceeds".
  • The Ok and Apply buttons should now be disabled in the World Features Dialog if the user doesn't have the rights to make changes.
  • The whisper dropdown box is now available in move mode. This is to prevent the user from losing their currently selected whisper target when entering move mode, and to allow the user to see when that person leaves the area.
  • World Features dialog is a bit shorter to accommodate 800x600 resolution.
  • Jump velocity is slightly changed, as it was a bit too high in the last release.
  • The user should no longer her footsteps when using passthru, and headbob should only happen if the user is walking or running.
  • The issue where the user would be thrown backwards if the framerate took an abrupt hit should now be fixed.
  • Look Up / Down adjusted to make it less jumpy at lower framerates.
  • Made several small changes to alleviate the problem of falling through the ground upon arrival to a new world.
  • The 3rd person camera should now move into position more quickly.
  • Gestures should work again.


Build 450 (12/24/02)Edit

Many aspects of the movement code were changed or re-written in order to fix the slow movement issues experienced by some users.


Build 449 (12/13/02)Edit

  • Issue where user would walk very slowly when moving left is fixed.
  • The surface wave effect on water, which was broken in a previous release, is now working again.
  • Main keyboard keys no longer move user when not in move mode.
  • The splash sound no longer plays when hitting the bottom of the ocean.
  • Fixed bug where user could get stuck when warping.
  • Fixed issue where user would slide incorrectly against the ocean floor.
  • Fixed bug where pressing passthru while rising or falling would cause the user to continue to float up or down
  • Print Screen, Scroll Lock, and Pause can no longer be assigned as keys, since they cannot work as normal movement keys.
  • Fixed bug where user would sink into the ground when running into another avatar.
  • Numerous collision fixes: Sliding works again, and the user should no longer get stuck in walls or pass through walls.
  • Standing on a bump-able object no longer triggers it repeatedly.
  • Fixed bug where user would move constantly forward (and sometimes to the side) when entering move mode.
  • The Alt key now exits move mode.
  • Fixed bug where hitting cancel at the logging screen would cause a crash. This will also fix crash that happened when upgrading. Note: You may still crash when upgrading TO this version, but the NEXT upgrade should work properly.
  • A "warp" sequence has been added to the avatars.dat
  • Avatars that do not have Run, swim and fly sequences available will now walk instead.
  • User should now be able to walk through raised doorways.
  • Fixed bug where user would only be able to jump a few centimeters at low framerates.


Build 448 (12/5/02)Edit

  • Fixed bug that would cause the user to crash when leaving a world with a textured light source.
  • Fixed random crash when closing the world options or Keyboard Configuration dialogs.
  • Fixed bug where pressing ALT would cause strange effects (sliding sideways, moving down, jumping)
  • Escape key now exits move mode.
  • Another attempt has been made to fix the slow movement some users have been reporting.


Build 447 (12/3/02)Edit

  • Note that your keyboard configuration will be cleared when upgrading to this release.
  • A user will stop flying if they teleport into a non-flying world, or their flying permission is taken away.
  • The flying and walking speeds have been adjusted based on user feedback.
  • The + and - on the keypad will not show up in the chat window, but they WILL show up if typed from the main keyboard.
  • The browser will now differentiate between separate keys that serve the same function. (For example, left and right control will now be mapped independently) We are particularly interested in how this system works (or does not work) on non-English keyboards. This system will eventually be connected to the message set, but we need to see how it performs on different keyboards before we implement this.
  • This release introduces the ability the assign two keys to the same function: a main and an alternate.
  • The "strafe" left/right buttons and strafe key have been renamed to "sidestep".
  • Using the sidestep key will now cause the mouse to sidestep.
  • For worlds using ground objects, gravity should not activate until the ground object is ready.
  • The mouse cursor should flicker less when in move mode.
  • Fixed bug where user could pitch up or down until the camera was upside-down when warping.
  • Fixed bug where user would be left in limbo if a teleport to another world failed for any reason.
  • Vertical momentum should be canceled when on the ground. This means that the user should no longer shoot underground when pressing the passthru key.
  • The forward and back teleport buttons should now work.


Build 446 (11/27/02)Edit

  • The bug where avatars do not animate at all in some worlds is fixed.
  • User is no longer able to fly without the proper rights.
  • The numpad keys should no longer show up on the chat line.
  • Avatar now changes to swimming when the user is flying and enters the water.
  • Rating and rating password should now be properly saved.
  • The rating list should now show all ratings instead of only showing "G" the second time it is viewed.
  • Added a strafe key. Holding this key will cause the turn left/turn right buttons to act as move left and move right.
  • The user should now stop flying if they collide with a surface beneath them and are holding down the "move down" key.
  • There is now a button in the "Configure Keyboard" screen that will reset all keys to defaults. Also, this should now set the keys more like the "original" (pre-3.5) keyboard setup.
  • It is now possible to bind multiple functions to a single key. So, for example, the user can assign both strafe and passthru to the shift key. (This is now part of the default setup)
  • Gravity will now be disabled when using pass-thru
  • Warp teleports should work again.
  • The key config now has a scrollbar.
  • Avatars should no longer move up and down at insane speeds. Movement up and down should be similar in speed to horizontal movement.
  • Avatars will no longer slide as if on ice at low framerates.
  • Walking speed is faster, run is slightly slower, and flying is slower. Also, users should be able to accelerate much more easily at lower frame rates.
  • Many interface items should now be connected to the message set: Password dialog, ratings and rating password options, and the "Press a key" message in the keyboard config dialog.
  • When binding a key, pressing Escape should clear the key instead of assigning the Escape key.
  • Pressing the close button (the "x" icon) in the set password dialog should now properly close the dialog.
  • A new option - "Ignore Pitch" - has been added under Options -> Settings -> General. When checked, the user will not move where they are looking when flying or swimming, but will instead move along horizontally.
  • The far camera mode (introduced in the last build) has been replaced with a camera similar to the old third-person camera mode. This "new" camera mode will probably be adjusted further based on user feedback, but should provide a better building camera in the meantime.
  • The F2 key has been re-assigned to changing into and out of the new "move mode". There are now three ways to enter move mode: toolbar button, F2, and the assigned move mode key(middle mouse by default). Likewise, there are 3 ways to leave move mode: Escape Key, F2, and the assigned move mode key.
  • The key bindings will be cleared when upgrading to this build.


Build 445 (11/26/02)Edit

  • The maximum rating can now be password protected in the world options. This means that parents may now lock the browser from entering worlds above the given rating. Worlds that exceed the maximum rating will not appear in the world list. Note that you can still enter a world of any rating if you are a caretaker in that world.
  • A new world rating, PG-13, has been added. Note that due to this change, worlds rated "R" will now be "PG-13" and worlds set to "X" will now be rated "R". Please check your world ratings and adjust them as needed.
  • The world ratings will now be visible in the world list. The icon now shows the world open / close status as well as the rating. Pre-3.4 world servers that do not report their world rating to the universe will show a question mark instead of a rating.
  • Two world options have been added to regulate gravity in the world, "Gravity" and "Underwater Gravity". A value of 1.0 will use standard "Earth" gravity. Note that with the default setting of 1.0 you will sink in water. Use a negative value for underwater gravity to cause avatars to float to the surface.
  • Three new options have been added to control specific sounds in the world. The "Water Enter" sound plays when the user enters the water and begins swimming (when the mid-point of the avatar drops below water level) and the "Water Exit" sound plays when the user emerges from the water. The "Footstep" sound plays twice every time the user walks the distance of their own height. For example, for a 2-meter tall avatar, the sound would play once for every meter they walked. This distance is doubled when running. The footstep sound works very well when combined with the "autowalk" feature (see below) to produce footsteps that match pace with the avatar's movement. All three of these sounds can be found under the new "Sound" group in the World Options dialog.
  • User can now use TAB to change fields in the world options dialog.
  • Custom colors created in the world options dialog will now be saved.
  • Sliders in the world options dialog now have a numeric field where the number can be set manually.
  • The basic keyboard controls are now configurable. To setup the keyboard input, go to "Configure Keyboard" under the "Options" menu.
  • The old "mouse move" and "mouse freelook" buttons on the toolbar have been replaced by a single "move mode" button. You can control which mode this button uses under Options -> Settings -> General. Also, Move mode (either freelook or mouse move) now disables the chat and whisper windows so that you can no longer type when in move mode. This is so that the main keyboard keys can be assigned as movement keys if desired.
  • A jump key has been added, along with keys to walk (strafe) left and right. Using this, the user will jump about a meter in the air. Note that this ability is not assigned to any key by default, so you will have to set it in the Configure Keyboard screen.
  • The collision detection system has been overhauled. This was the single biggest drag on performance, and most users should see at least a modest improvement in frame rate. Note that the "feel" of movement has also changed - movement downhill should be more natural, and you may notice your avatar eases to a stop instead of coming to an abrupt halt when you release the forward key.
  • The camera has been changed. The old "third person" camera button has been changed. It will now cycle through four available camera modes: First person, chase cam near, chase cam far, and front view. Also, the camera should move in a more attractive way. It will now "drift" after you, instead of being locked in position over your shoulder. The camera will also pitch up and down as you look up and down.
  • New implicit sequences have been added. Avatars may now fly, run, swim, jump, or fall. Also, instead of the "wait" sequence, avatars will perform the "hover" sequence when flying or "float" when swimming. This feature requires the latest build of the world server.
  • A new "idle" sequence has been added for when an avatar is not moving. This is to avoid having avatars stand at rigid attention while waiting to perform the "wait" sequence. Avatars will now begin to idle the moment they stop moving, and will perform the "wait" sequence after 30 seconds of inactivity.
  • When flying or swimming, your pitch is taken into account when moving. This means that looking up or down will cause you to actually move up or down. Also, the pitch of the avatar changes, so that it looks like the avatar is flying or swimming. This feature requires the latest build of the world server.
  • A new option has been added to the avatars.dat file. World owners may now use the "autowalk" option to have the browser handle the timing of the walk and run sequences automatically. Using this option, the walk sequence will play once every time you walk the distance of the height of your avatar. For example, for a 2-meter tall avatar, the sequence will play once every 2 meters. For running, this distance is doubled. While this will probably interfere with the timing of unusual sequences, it does have several advantages for standard walking humanoid avatars:
1. Animation designers no longer need to worry about how "fast" the animation is. This was often very difficult to match to the movement of the character in-world.
2. The same walk sequence can be used on avatars of any size. Under the old system, a sequence that worked right for a normal avatar would be much too slow for a short avatar, and far too fast for a giant. Now the feet should more or less "stick" to the ground regardless of size.
3. Animations can now play in reverse when the avatar is walking backward.
4. Existing sequences will be fixed. Many of the (too slow) sequences that have spread throughout the universe should now perform properly if combined with this option.
To use this feature, simply place the word "autowalk" on a line by itself after the "name=" or "geometry=" line in the avatars.dat.

Build 442 (11/5/02)Edit

  • Fixed bug where disabling fog in a world would cause visibility problems when exiting the water.


Build 441 (11/4/02)Edit

  • Fixed bug where water may appear to "glow" on certain video cards.
  • Skybox and backdrop will no longer render when underwater.
  • The old object-selection behavior has been restored, so that users must have build rights instead of Eminent Domain in order to select objects owned by others.
  • Fog is now always active underwater, even when it is disabled for the world. Otherwise, "underwater view distance" has no effect when fog is not enabled for the world.
  • The water has been changed so that the low-detail mesh will not render under OpenGL. The effect used to render this mesh is not supported in Renderware OpenGL and simply caused only the low detail mesh to render, skipping the more-important high-detail mesh. The upshot of all this is that now under OpenGL the water will have a very "tiled" look in the distance.


Build 440 (11/1/02)Edit

  • Fixed one crash bug relating to water.
  • Fixed bug where water surface was too small if underwater view distance was greater than normal view distance.
  • Fixed bug where disabling fog would cause errors in the terrain.
  • Fixed bug where closing the world options would re-enable the main window. This would allow the user to open redundant dialogs.
  • Fixed bug where web teleport would send user to GZ when local TP is off. Web TP now disabled for same-world teleports in this case.
  • Fixed bug in world options dialog where apply button would be enabled even when no changes were made.


Build 439 (10/31/02)Edit

  • Fixed bug where user could open multiple World Options dialogs. (this would eventually lead to a crash)
  • Water now has transparent edges where it meets the terrain.
  • A new world option has been added for water: Underwater view distance. This will enable the world owner to limit underwater visibility. Fog (using the water color, NOT the normal fog color) is used to control how far the user can see.
  • The "user agent" and "referrer" has been changed in the browser. This controls how the browser identifies itself to a web server when requesting objects for download. In previous versions, ActiveWorlds simply identified itself as "Active Worlds Browser". Now, it will identify itself according to internet standards and supply the program name, version number, and other information similar to the way standard web browsers do.
  • Gravity no longer waits until terrain is finished downloading in a terrain world. This should fix the problem of people lagging during terrain update and getting "stuck" in the air.
  • Fixed random crash that happened when user was changing the world light source texture with T&L enabled.
  • Fixed several small bugs with water that should clear up the random crashes some people have experienced when entering a water-enabled world.
  • Telegram sound should only play once when multiple telegrams arrive.
  • Fixed bug where sky would be black for a few seconds when entering a cached 3.4 world.
  • Underwater buoyancy is now slightly weaker, making movement more realistic, and making it easier to swim.

Also, many users have requested information on what all the separate event sounds are. The sounds are stored under your ActiveWorlds directory under /default/sounds. Here is a list of the sounds, and when they are played:

1. delete.wav - object is deleted.
2. odrop.wav - object de-selected.
3. omove.wav - object is moved.
4. opick.wav - object is selected.
5. oturn.wav - object is rotated.
6. read.wav - user clicks on a telegram.
7. tdrop.wav - terrain is de-selected.
8. telegram.wav - new telegram arrives.
9. tmove.wav - terrain height is adjusted.
10. tpick.wav - terrain is selected.
11. tturn.wav - terrain texture is rotated.


Build 438 (10/28/02)Edit

NOTE: In the last build we stated that we at "release candidate", which usually indicates that the new features are done, and all further builds will be bugfixes until the public release. However, It was decided that there were several new features that could not wait for 3.5 and needed to go in now. Those features are in this release, and so we are once again marking this build as a release candidate.

  • The world light source texture will now be rendered after cloud layer 1, but before layers 2 & 3. This makes it possible to have stars in the sky that will not overlap the "moon" texture.
  • The clouds and light source should no longer flicker when the world options are changed.
  • Fixed the bug where on some cards all of the objects in the scene would become transparent when viewing the world light source.
  • Restored maximum light radius to the world options. It was accidentally removed a few builds ago.
  • Removed unused messages 954 and 958 from the message set. Also removed duplicate of message 956. Also, various other items were added due to changes in the world features dialog.
  • Fixed bug where telegram and building sound options in the ini were ignored on startup. You should now be able to enable and disable these properly.
  • Fixed crash that sometimes happened when closing the world options dialog with the "x" button.
  • Re-organized many entries in the world options dialog. The "scenery" section has been replaced by the "Lighting" section. Added a "ground" section.
  • Added two new world options: terrain ambient and terrain diffuse. These values control how much ambient and directional lighting the terrain surface will reflect. Values range from 0.0 (reflect no light) to 1.0 (reflect all light. This makes it possible to match the terrain lighting properties to the objects in your world.
  • Water has been greatly changed. Water now fades to a low-detail mesh in the distance, avoiding the terrible "tile" effect you would see as the water texture repeated off into the horizon. Also, water now reflects the world ambient and directional lights as the waves move. Both of these should offer a dramatic improvement to the appearance of water.
  • Fixed bug where changing worlds would sometimes cause the water and world lighting settings to carry over into the next world for a few seconds. This should fix many problems, including: 1) Entering a world and finding it flooded with water settings from the last world 2) Bogus attempted texture downloads 3) Random crashes
  • Fixed bug where clicking on the T&L checkbox in the video options would not enable the apply button.
  • Fixed bug where user could become "stuck" in freelook / mousemove mode if the world options dialog was open.


Build 437 (10/24/02)Edit

  • The world light source texture should now properly disable when you clear the corresponding texture field.
  • The world object path should now be hidden in the world options from non-caretakers.
  • Bug is fixed where the user could enter large strings into the world options text fields. These fields should now be capped to their normal limits.
  • This version includes new rendering DLL's which should fix many of the rendering issues everyone is reporting.


Build 436 (10/23/02)Edit

  • The world features dialog has been changed to allow for an apply button. Also, the box no longer locks the browser, so that you may now interact with the world while the box is open. This makes it possible to experiment with settings without needing to constantly re-open the dialog.
  • Translators will notice that new messages have been added to the message set. Also please note that message 309 in the message set has been reversed - it is now "Disable create URL" instead of "Allow create URL". This makes the option match the SDK/world option it controls.
  • Fixed crash on Win 2000 machines where entering letters into a float field would cause a crash.
  • Fixed bug where citizens could not move or delete tourist property unless they had eminent domain.
  • Fixed issue where users could rename or delete property they did not own, and move past it before the server rejection restored the object. Users must now have eminent domain in order to attempt these actions on objects owned by others.
  • The browser now plays a sound when a telegram arrives. This sound can be disabled under options > Settings > General.
  • The browser now plays sounds when selecting, deselecting, or editing property and terrain. These sounds can be disabled under options > Settings > General.
  • Fixed bug that prevented some skyboxes (ones that used masked textures overlapping other textures) from rendering properly.
  • Re-named the video modes to make the choice clearer for users. There are now only three main options: Direct3D, Open GL, and software mode. If the user selects Direct3D and is running DirectX 8.0 or better, then a new checkbox will be enabled that will enable support for hardware transform and lighting (Hardware T&L).
  • Added new world options to allow the user to apply a texture to the world light source. This makes it possible to have a sun, moon, or corona type texture attached to the world directional light source, that will change position as the light moves.


Build 435 (10/10/02)Edit

  • Fixed issue where user may be "stuck" underwater when teleporting from a water-enabled world to a non-water world.
  • Fixed loophole where user could "fly" without flying rights by holding down numpad 5.
  • Allowed flying underwater, even when user does not have flying rights.
  • Fixed problem where framerate and visibility would skyrocket when using the web in the 3d window, causing a large performance hit when returning to normal 3d mode.
  • Added a new feature where users will no longer be able to move or change objects they do not own, unless they have eminent domain. This will prevent many needless building rejections on the part of the world server, and fix the situation where users could defeat obstacles in-world by moving them and moving past before the server moved the object back. Note that this requires build 46 of the world server in order to work. Older world servers will still exhibit the old behavior.
  • Added a feature where, if object selection is disabled in a world, the user will only be able to select their own objects. Objects owned by others will be unselectable, much like the ground object or terrain. Note that this requires build 46 of the world server in order to work. Older world servers will still exhibit the old behavior.


Build 434 (9/30/02)Edit

  • Fixed alpha-blending bug where some transparent polygons would be improperly blended in some graphics modes.
  • A new checkbox has been added to the water options to explicitly enable and disable water. This will be used instead of clearing the texture name or setting the opacity to 0 in order to disable water. This means it is now possible to create untextured water.
  • Fixed issue where gestures would sometimes not get sent to other users.
  • User's gesture is now reset to 0 when the sequence is finished.
  • Alpha blended (masked or transparent) polygons will now be visible underwater, and will now be tinted like all other objects when viewed underwater.
  • Fixed bug where sequences would stop working for a particular avatar or object path. This was caused when the sequences were deleted by the browser (due to disk usage limits) and would then never be downloaded again unless the cache was cleared.
  • Fixed bug where the avatar list might be disabled in pre-3.4 worlds.
  • Added a fix intended to reduce the collision gap between avatars and the terrain.
  • Included message set additions that should have been released with previous version.


Build 433 (9/24/02)Edit

  • The new water feature has been expanded. Now the user may adjust the speed at which the waves move, and set the top/bottom water surface textures independently. Also, the user may now specify a mask (for either the top or bottom texture) to use.
  • The bug is fixed where leaving the water texture field blank would cause the browser to request ".jpg" instead of disabling water.


Build 432 (9/19/02)Edit

  • A change has been applied in an attempt to fix the crash that some users have reported when entering a new world.
  • A new world option, water, is now available. Water can be used to fill the world with an endless rolling ocean. Note that avatars will "float" when underwater (gravity will be lower, and reversed). The input values that control the water may be changed based on feedback and testing.


Build 431 (9/16/02)Edit

  • The original behavior of old-style chat bubbles has been restored, so that if the user chooses not to use the new comic chat bubbles the text will be displayed the same way as in previous version.
  • The user will be pushed up to ground level if incoming terrain data leaves them underground.
  • The issue where the avatar list would sometimes be disabled in a pre-3.4 world has been fixed.
  • The current avatar should be properly checked in the list even when the avatar was selected by the SDK and not the user.
  • Coronas now have a maximum size of 200. (200% of the screen size)


Build 430 (8/21/02)Edit

  • The browser will now allow the world server to set the user's avatar and gesture, via a bot. This goes along with the changes in build 428 that allowed the world owner to disable the avatar list. Now a bot can be used to regulate the gestures and avatar use in the world.
  • Fixed bug where using the light and rotate commands on the same object would interfere with the light.
  • Fixed bug where the user would always see their own chat overhead, even when chat bubbles were turned off.
  • Changed the way the browser displays avatar sequences so that only the wait sequences can be interrupted by the walk sequence. Sequences explicitly set by the user will now play in full even when walking.


Build 429 (8/13/02)Edit

  • Changed the minimum world server build number recognized as 3.4 to build 45. Note that you must now upgrade your 3.4 world to the latest version.
  • Fixed issue where the text in (old-style) chat bubbles would not line up with the black drop-shadow. Also, the drop shadow is now to the lower right instead of upper left, which is the way it used to be before the introduction of comic chat bubbles.
  • Fixed bug where minimum visibility setting would always be set to 30m, regardless of the user's changes under the World Features dialog.
  • Fixed issue where avatar updates per second was capped at 999 instead of 15.


Build 428 (7/29/02)Edit

  • Added new world option "Avatar Updates per second". This can be used to control how often avatar updates are sent to the client. Setting this value above the default value of 1 can smooth avatar movement, at a significant cost to bandwidth.
  • Added new world option "Disable avatar list", which will cause the avatar list to be unselectable for all non-caretakers in the world. This is intended to be used in conjunction with new SDK settings that will allow world owners to control what avatar each visitor is wearing.
  • Added a new option to the settings dialog (under the "chat" tab) to switch between the new "comic style" chat bubbles and the original transparent style.
  • Made several cosmetic changes to comic chat bubbles: They are now slightly more transparent, and they only reveal names for users that are less than 10 meters away and near the center of the viewport. This only affects bubbles without chat text - bubbles containing text are still shown at any distance. This was done in order to avoid the "wall" of overlapping balloons that happened in large crowds.
  • The Field-of-View, which had increased in the initial 3.4 beta, as been altered so that auto-adjusts based on the aspect of the viewport. A square viewport would have a FOV of 90 degrees, while rectangular viewports will have a wider FOV.
  • The bug has been fixed where filmstrip terrain textures would stretch and distort when used over a large area.
  • The bug is fixed where the password field wouldn't update when the user hit "Ok" in the world properties dialog.
  • Due to overwhelming public demand, ctrl-turning is now re-enabled. That is, you can again spin faster by holding down ctrl when turning.
  • Fixed bug where comic chat bubbles would be too tall in software mode.
  • Fixed bug where "always show names" was not being properly updated when moving from a 3.4 to a 3.3 world, and the user would incorrectly see all names.
  • Fixed an inconsistency where the cell grid would be drawn differently if terrain was enabled.


Build 427 (7/1/02)Edit

  • Fixed bug where the new World Options Dialog would not use message 970, which is used to place the word "none" in an empty text field.
  • Increased maximum fog distance (which also controls the maximum view distance) from 400 to 1200. Note that this does not affect the visibility of property-based objects (which is still limited to 200 meters) but only applies to world-based geometry, such as ground objects and terrain. While this can be used to create striking vistas, it should be noted that this will also greatly increase the number of terrain polygons in view and lower the accuracy of the z-buffer. The net effect of this is that your world may be slower, and may be more prone to suffer from annoying z-buffer "bleeding".
  • Fixed bug where the option to show all avatar names wasn't working.
  • Fixed bug where non-caretakers could still see the object path in the World Options dialog.
  • Fixed issue where "seams" would appear around non-tiling terrain textures. The browser should now detect when a texture needs to be clamped, and when it should be tiled.
  • The "text over the heads" system has been replaced with a nicer-looking system of comic-style chat balloons. Users will have "round" balloons, while bot names and text chat will appear in square bubbles.
  • Fixed bug where the browser would always request the bogus ".jpg" (a JPG file with no name) when entering a world with at least one disabled cloud layer.
  • Fixed the "flicker" that would happen to the cloud layer whenever the world options changed.


Build 426 (6/28/02)Edit

  • New in this build is the Layered Clouds feature. This new world option allows world owners to create up to three layers of moving clouds in their world.
  • Also new is the Gradient Sky feature. This allows world owners to specify separate colors for areas of the sky and have them blend into each other. This, along with the new "fog color" option replace the original "backdrop color" feature.
  • Fog color can now be controlled independently of the sky colors. Note that pre-3.4 users will see the sky colored with the fog color, and will not see the gradient sky.
  • In order to better manage the increasing number of world options, the old World Options and Lights & Fog dialogs have been merged into a new, branching dialog. This new dialog also contains all of the options for controlling the new Layered Clouds and Gradient Sky features.
  • The browser now features a "head bob" when the user is walking around. This will move the camera up and down in an attempt to simulate walking and give a more realistic feel to moving around. This can be turned off under Options -> Settings -> General.
  • A new world option has been added to show all avatar names. Normally, you do not see a user's name until they speak unless you have "Public Speaker" rights. This option allows everyone to see all names, regardless of rights. This is intended to be used in game worlds where the owner might not want people to be anonymous, or in a world where users would not otherwise see each others' chat.
  • A world option has been added to hide all chat in the world. If this is checked, users with speaking rights will still be able to type messages, but the messages will not be sent to other users. Only a bot with caretaker rights will see the chat. This is useful if you have a bot monitoring the incoming chat and relaying it to everyone via the console command. In this way, a bot can be used to color chat messages, control the distribution of chat, and filter text.
  • A world option has been introduced to block citizens from whispering to one another. This is intended to be used with a bot, like the "hide chat" option listed above.


Active Worlds 3.3Edit

Welcome to Active Worlds 3.3 and beyond!

Version 3.3 introduced several useful new enhancements and features to the Active Worlds technology platform. We hope that the new features and changes added in version 3.3 increase your enjoyment of Active Worlds more than ever before!

As of version 3.3, the user guide is now searchable!

Active Worlds 3.3 contains the following new features and changes:

  • Contact list improvements
  • Direct3D 8 Support
  • AFK mode
  • Coronas
  • Search Tab
  • 3-Axis Object Rotation
  • Terrain
  • Other New Stuff


Build 417 (6/11/02)Edit

  • By popular demand, the feature that prevented the user from leaving the world limits has been removed.
  • Also based on public feedback, the terrain is now visible beyond the world limits. Activeworlds will now display a flat terrain with the default texture beyond the buildable area of the world.
  • Fixed a bug where the browser crashed when an avatar had a "limb" with more than 256 frames that would associate with a given tag. This is probably caused by inefficiently built avatars, but the browser now properly handles it, up to 1024 frames. This problem also manifested itself as sequences that would fail to animate.
  • Fixed bug where using terrain texture 63 would cause the user to crash.
  • AFK mode should now be properly set after an interruption to the connection with the universe.
  • Fixed bug where using two coronas on the same object would cause a crash.
  • Fixed bug where a user would crash if they were free-rotating a single object and another user moved or deleted that object.


Build 416 (5/28/02)Edit

  • Bug #16 is fixed - pressing the * key on the numeric keypad locked out the keyboard for chat
  • The AFK button in the toolbar has been changed from red to green lettering
  • A couple of minor issues with the world ejection dialog (not on the bug list) have been fixed


Build 415 (5/21/02)Edit

This build fixes the following bugs:

  • Bug #13 - Filmstrip-style animated textures didn't work when used as a terrain texture.
  • Bug #15 - Complex terrain using lots of different textures sometimes did not completely render.


Build 414 (5/17/02)Edit

This build contains a possible fix for bug #7 (random crash bug.) Since this bug is so hard to reproduce there's no way to know for sure whether it is truly fixed. Please be sure to report any crash bugs to the beta newsgroup and include crash details.


Build 413 (5/15/02)Edit

This build fixes the following bugs:

  • Bug #10 - Clumps tagged with values outside the normal range of limb values could cause a crash when the object was downloaded.
  • Bug #11 - Typing directly into the chat or whisper text fields didn't automatically disable AFK mode (if the option to do so was set.)
  • Bug #12 - Left-clicking on a selected object moves the mouse cursor to the center of the 3D window.


Build 412 (5/14/02)Edit

This build fixes the following bugs:

  • Bug #2 - World backdrops did not render on some video cards in Direct3D 8 mode.
  • Bug #3 - The "Automatically leave AFK mode on keyboard activity" option under Options/Settings/Privacy didn't remain set.
  • Bug #4 - The tilt and roll options in the Object Properties dialog Rotate menu were not disabled in worlds that don't support 3-axis object rotation.
  • Bug #5 - Selecting and editing terrain did not work properly out beyond 100 N/S/E/W.
  • Bug #8 - The heads of the old "intel bunny" avatars detached when animated by the new avatar animation engine.
  • Bug #9 - There were discrepencies in the object properties dialog about which axes "tilt" and "roll" rotate the object around.

Changes in this build will require all cached objects to be re-downloaded. This process will happen automatically.


Build 411 (5/9/02)Edit

This build fixes bug #1 - objects with the "visible off" sometimes remained visible after first download. This bug also affected your own avatar while in first person mode.


Build 410 (5/9/02)Edit

This is the first beta build of Active Worlds 3.3. All new changes and features are listed here.


Active Worlds 3.2Edit

Welcome to Active Worlds 3.2 and beyond!

Active Worlds 3.2 brought several useful new enhancements and features to the Active Worlds technology platform. We hope that the new features and changes in version 3.2 increase your enjoyment of Active Worlds more than ever!

Some of the more significant improvements introduced in version 3.2 include:

  • OpenGL support
  • Software rendering support
  • Simplified mode for new users
  • Skyboxes
  • Cell grid
  • Increased visible range
  • Firewall support
  • Other New Stuff


Build 389 (9/4/01)Edit

The following bugs are fixed in this update:

  • Bug #10 - If you changed to a different video mode that caused the browser to crash immediately on startup, there was no way to change back since you couldn't get to the video options dialog anymore (without editing the aworld.ini file.) The browser now detects the case where it did not exit normally after changing video modes, and gives you the option to return to software mode the next time you restart.
  • Bug #11 - URLs were still being shown in the built-in web window's URL field even if they were being sent to an external web browser instead.

This build adds a new RWX command randomuvs. This command causes a pair of random UV texture coordinates between 0 and 1 to be assigned to each vertex in the object that does not have a UV specified. This allows emulation in 3.2 of the "random texture" effect that was possible in AW 3.0 and 3.1 by applying a texture to an object that had no UV coordinates specified.

This build contains a change to fix floating point rounding errors that could occur when calculating vertex normals on certain very small objects. These errors could cause the object to be lit incorrectly when illuminated by a light source.

The RWX sphere and hemisphere primitives are now assigned "reasonable" UV coordinates so that they can be textured (Bug #5).

This build also contains a change to the way masked textures are cached. If the 3D video card supports them, alternate texture formats will be used that are more efficient for storing textures with an alpha (i.e. transparency) channel. This should help to reduce some of the banding and color quality reduction that can occur when using grayscale masks.

Changes in this build will require all cached objects and textures to be re-downloaded. This process will happen automatically.


Build 388 (8/28/01)Edit

The following bugs are fixed in this update:

  • Bug #7 - Attempting to enter a closed world would change the gesture buttons to a different set and not change them back.
  • Bug #8 - Spot lights appeared much dimmer than they did in 3.1.
  • Bug #9 - The "examine" command did not work properly in third person mode.

This build also contains a small change to the download priority algorithm to give models and textures a higher download priority over sounds and avatar sequences.

In addition to cubes and cylinders in the last version, the RWX cone and disc primitives are now assigned "reasonable" UV coordinates so that they can be textured (Bug #5).


Build 387 (8/24/01)Edit

The following bugs are fixed in this update:

  • Bug #1 - The mouse cursor changed to a hand when placed over the chat window's vertical scrollbar.
  • Bug #2 - The browser disconnected and reconnected to the universe server when changing login identities on the fly, due to a protocol bug. This caused the new login to take a long time, and prevented beta users from switching to non-beta accounts after logging in.
  • Bug #3 - If the world's minimum visibility was changed while you were in the world, it affected your current visibile range even if you had it locked from the Visibility menu.
  • Bug #4 - Wireframe objects that used a transparent material (i.e. opacity < 1) did not render as wireframe.
  • Bug #5 - RWX primitives that have textures applied to them didn't show any textures. This has been fixed so far for cubes and cylinders, by assinging a "reasonable" default UV mapping to the vertices in the primitives. This will actually give predictable results now for primitives, as opposed to the randomized, shifting textures that you got in 3.1. Other primitives will be addressed in a future update.
  • Bug #6 - The world ejection menu option remained enabled when the browser was not connected to any world.

The minimum visibility that can be set from the Visibility menu, the performance options, and the world features has been reduced to 30 meters. However, it should be noted that any worlds that have had their world features already modified by a 3.2 browser will have had their minimum visibility set at 40 meters (the old default), which will override your browser settings, until the value has been reset to 30 by the world owner (if they choose to do so.)

Changes in this build will require all cached objects to be re-downloaded (but not textures). This process will happen automatically.

Build 386 (8/20/01)Edit

  • This is the first beta build of Active Worlds 3.2. All new changes and features are listed here.


Active Worlds 3.1Edit

Welcome to the Active Worlds 3.1 introductory help page!

As you've come to expect from each new version of Active Worlds, the upgrade to version 3.1 brought a great collection of new features, as well as enhancements of existing features, to increase your enjoyment of Active Worlds more than ever!

Some of the more significant improvements in 3.1 include:

  • Light command
  • Rotate command
  • Move command
  • Examine command
  • DirectSound support
  • MP3 support
  • Citizen home pages
  • New world server
  • Other New Stuff


Build 370 (2/12/01) Final BetaEdit

Build 370 is a final beta, meaning if no further significant bugs are found, it will be released shortly to all users.

The following bugs are fixed in this update:

  • Bug #44 - AW locked the sound output device even if sounds were disabled, preventing other sound applications from running.
  • Bug #45 - Pressing the SHIFT key while colliding with an avatar in a world with avatar collision enabled could cause you to fall through the floor.


Build 369 (2/10/01) Final BetaEdit

Build 369 is a final beta, meaning if no further significant bugs are found, it will be released shortly to all users.

The following bugs are fixed in this update:

  • Bug #42 - In certain cases of close or overlapping objects, right-clicking did not select the correct object. This bug has been around since 3.0.
  • Bug #43 - Doing a Windows shutdown or restart while the AW browser was running could cause one or more cache files to get corrupted, which could cause problems the next time the browser is started. This bug has been around since the earliest days of AW.


Build 368 (2/9/01) Final BetaEdit

Build 368 is a final beta, meaning if no further significant bugs are found, it will be released shortly to all users. This update contains a slightly modified version of the new splash screen for 3.1.

The following bugs are fixed in this update:

  • Bug #39 - The "examine" command was being executed immediately on object creation, regardless of the trigger.


Build 367 (2/7/01) Final BetaEdit

Build 367 is a final beta, meaning if no further significant bugs are found, it will be released shortly to all users. This update contains the new splash screen for 3.1.

The following bugs are fixed in this update:

  • Bug #17 - Disabling MIDIs caused WAVs (and MP3s) to play with a background hiss and reduced sound quality.
  • Bug #35 - Corrupted and/or partially truncated WAV files could cause the browser to crash when played.
  • Bug #36 - Extremely small values for the time= argument to the move command caused a crash.
  • Bug #37 - The examine command acted strangely when applied to facers, and also conflicts with the move command.


Build 366 (1/30/01)Edit

The following bugs are fixed in this update:

  • Bug #30 - Some avatars were not animating correctly.
  • Bug #32 - Sometimes the first note or two of a MIDI played louder than the rest.
  • Bug #33 - The trailing slash of URLs in the chat window were not included in the "detected" link.

This update also fixes an obscure problem with the chat window (not on the bug list) where clicking in the chat window after bringing up the user right-click menu could sometimes cause the chat window to stop scrolling.


Build 365 (1/26/01)Edit

The following bugs are fixed in this update:

  • Bug #7 - Some type of restriction needed to be placed on the new light command due to its potential for serious abuse. There is now a new world option "Max. Light Radius" accessible from World/Features which restricts that maximum distance (in meters) at which a light source can affect other objects in the world.
  • Bug #24 - Extremely long world titles (more than 250 characters) caused a crash while trying to save a teleport location in that world from Teleport/Remember. This was a very old bug.
  • Bug #25 - When entering a world for the first time, the browser attempted to download the avatar and sequences you were using in the previous world from the new world's object path.
  • Bug #27 - Rapid re-triggering of the same sound over and over again (such as what happens when a "bump sound" behavior is placed on a walk panel) could cause the sound to distort and the browser to either crash or slow down considerably.
  • Bug #28 - MIDI files zipped and used as WAVs instead caused the browser to lock up.
  • Bug #29 - Non-PCM wav files caused performance problems.

Negative lights (i.e. lights with negative values specified for the brightness= argument) are no longer supported with this upgrade. This is because we've learned negative lights won't be supported in future versions of RenderWare.

Also, this update contains a small optimization to the way certain types of RWX files are loaded. This shouldn't cause any problems, but you never know (that code is very complex.) Keep an eye out for any new problems with RWX files, particularly with avatar animations.


Build 364 (1/18/01)Edit

The following bugs are fixed in this update:

  • Bug #9 - If there were both WAVs and MIDIs in the same scene, the volume of the nearest MIDI was affected by the proximity to the nearest WAV, instead of to the MIDI.
  • Bug #13 - MIDI files didn't play under Windows 2000 and Me.
  • Bug #14 - WAV files in non-PCM format did not play.
  • Bug #19 - Default ejection time in eject dialog was not changed from 1 hour to 5 minutes as promised.
  • Bug #23 - Textures with names longer than 30 characters (or masked textures with combined texture & mask names longer than 30 characters) did not appear.

This version also prints a useful message rather than "reason 79" when trying to login as a tourist or non-beta user.

Note that changes in this build will require all cached objects to be re-downloaded (but not textures). This process will happen automatically.


Build 363 (1/12/01)Edit

This build fixes bug #18 - Timed rotates were not defaulting to "nosync".


Build 362 (1/12/01)Edit

The following bugs are fixed in this update:

  • Bug #1 - The names of all users in the first world entered were displayed even if they have not spoken, or for any world entered during the first 30 seconds after launching the browser.
  • Bug #3 - Specifying time=0 (or negative or garbage values) for the light command caused a crash.
  • Bug #4 - Text referring to WAV files in the "General" and "Downloads" settings dialogs did not mention MP3 files.
  • Bug #5 - The browser now provides its own version of the "hand" cursor since it is apparently not available as a built-in cursor on all systesm.
  • Bug #6 - The rotate command now supports a new optional time= argument.
  • Bug #8 - Specifiying invalid values for the time= and wait= arguments for the move command caused a crash.
  • Bug #10 - Sounds attached to moving objects did not move with the objects.
  • Bug #12 - If a non-looping move command was triggered multiple times for the same object, it sometimes did not work.
  • Bug #15 - The nosync and name= arguments for the rotate command did not work. Note that the name= argument was originally documented incorrectly (it implied that a name could be specified by itself, without the name= part.)
  • Bug #16 - If "position" was disabled from the Show menu, the main window title bar did not update with the new world title when changing worlds. This bug dates from before 2.2.


Build 361 (1/8/01)Edit

This is the first beta build of Active Worlds 3.1. All new changes and features are listed here.


Active Worlds 3.0Edit

Welcome to Active Worlds 3.0!

We are extremely proud of the advances brought to you in this version of the Active Worlds software. Over a year of effort went into version 3.0, bringing you a major revision through a very ambitious effort. Version 3.0 brought entirely new levels of performance and realism to the online 3D virtual world experience, to increase your enjoyment of Active Worlds more than ever!

The most significant new feature of Active Worlds 3.0 is native support for 3D hardware accelerators. In fact, many aspects of Active Worlds were completely redesigned "from the ground up" to support 3D hardware. This new design gives Active Worlds a significant performance boost, especially when run on the latest generation of 3D video cards. It also provides access to a whole new set of 3D graphical effects that were not previously available. It is important for users who are upgrading from a version before 3.0 to note that support for 3D hardware has also changed the system requirements for the Active Worlds browser.

Some of the more significant improvements in 3.0 include:

  • Improved textures
  • Chat history improvements
  • Building improvements
  • Improved collision detection
  • New RWX features
  • World Lights and Fog
  • New bot features
  • Other New Stuff


Build 351 (10/25/00) Final BetaEdit

  • A bug is fixed where changing avatars could often result in a distorted avatar (e.g. incorrect scale and/or rotations at various joints.) In theory this bug could have occurred under any version of Windows but in practice it seemed to only occur under Windows 2000.
  • Another bug is fixed where masks for filmstrip textures with unusual widths would sometimes not load, resulting in an unmasked animation.
  • A memory leak is fixed that occurred when animates using already-downloaded textures were repeatedly re-applied (such as with the adone trigger).
  • A memory leak is fixed that occurred when loading some COB objects.
  • The Universe Options dialog contains the new field "Latest 2.2 browser." This is to allow the tracking and upgrading of both 2.2 and 3.0 release versions of the browser.
  • This build contains a change that will allow the universe server to enforce a new rule that it is no longer valid to acquire the privileges of an expired account. The universe server is not yet enforcing this but it will be shortly.
  • This update installs the release version of the 3.0 splash screen for those of you who don't have it already.


Build 350 (9/11/00) Final BetaEdit

  • This build is a final beta. This means that if no serious new problems are discovered in 3.0 within the next few days, it will become our first released version of 3.0. Note that this does not mean that there won't be further updates to 3.0 with more bug fixes in the future. Even after 3.0 is released, beta users will continue to receive updates to 3.0 before the general user base, as additional bug fixes become available.
  • A bug is fixed which caused objects that had filmstrip-style textures applied to them with the animate command to revert briefly to a non-textured state when they first appeared.
  • A bug is fixed which caused turning texturemode lit on or off in one prototype in a RWX script would change the texturemore lit setting in subsequent prototypes as well. This bug caused texture lighting problems to appear on some avatars.
  • The current textureaddressmode has now been made a property of the current material in RWX scripts, rather than a global switch affecting the entire object.
  • Changes in this build will require all cached objects to be re-downloaded (but not textures). This process will happen automatically.


Build 349 (8/24/00)Edit

  • A bug is fixed with tagged polygons and materialmode double in RWX files, where the tag was not being copied to the mirror image polygon. This bug was most noticeable for example when tagged animations were applied to objects like "3dtree1.rwx" and the animation would only be applied to one side of each polygon.
  • A bug is fixed which caused sprite objects to be invisible when they were used as avatars. It is possible that this bug also caused the "sunken avatar" bug which several people have reported seeing, usually right after upgrades. Since that bug is very hard to reproduce it's hard to say whether or not it has really been fixed.
  • Another case of the "sticky" arrow key bug is fixed.
  • A bug is fixed which caused the application of the color command to an object with a filmstrip texture to be handled incorrectly (instead of replacing the filmstrip it changed the color of the texture.)
  • An experimental change has been made in order to help out those users with low memory video cards who have trouble resizing the 3D window. Now if the browser can't resize the 3D window, it temporarily deletes the entire scene in an attempt to free up video memory for the larger screen buffer and then tries again. The scene is then immediately reloaded again afterwards. This often works because it winds up moving some of the textures out of video card memory and out into main system RAM in order to make room for the larger screen buffer.
  • The beginning of a FAQ for 3.0 has been added to the 3.0 help files.
  • Changes in this build will require all cached objects to be re-downloaded (but not textures). This process will happen automatically.


Build 348 (8/9/00)Edit

  • A bug is fixed where deleting an ejection from the world ejection dialog box would sometimes delete the wrong ejection. This bug also affected the aw_world_ejection_delete method in the SDK. SDK beta testers should download the new build 17 of the 3.0 SDK from the SDK download page to get the fix.
  • A very old bug is fixed which sometimes caused the movement arrow keys to "stick" if a menu selection was activated while an arrow key was held down.
  • Another very old bug is fixed which caused the browser to adjust the sound volume even if another application had control of the sound device at the time.
  • A bug is fixed which could occur with objects placed precisely on large negative (i.e. east or south) coordinates. Since the bug required the object to be placed precisely on a cell boundary, it was more likely to be seen with bot applications. Specifically, if an observer saw the object being both added and removed in the same session, the observer's browser would not always show the object as being removed, thus leaving a "ghost" object in the scene which would go away if the observer left the scene and then returned. Many thanks to citizen XelaG for helping to reproduce and diagnose this bug!
  • Yet another crash bug caused by corrupted JPEG files has finally been fixed. This case seems to be common with webcams linked to in-world picture objects; it could be triggered when the webcam overwrote the JPEG file with a new image just as the AW browser was downloading it, resulting in a corrupted file. Many thanks to citizen Sgt Noodle for helping to reproduce and diagnose this bug!


Build 347 (7/20/00)Edit

  • A bug introduced in build 346 which caused problems with lighting on COB objects is now fixed.
  • A bug should be fixed which could cause the browser to crash when launched from some versions of Netscape.
  • A bug is fixed which prevented "bump teleport/warp" actions from being triggered twice in a row for the same object.
  • A bug is fixed which sometimes caused RWX prototypes to be instantiated incorrectly.
  • Changes in this build will require all cached objects to be re-downloaded (but not textures). This process will happen automatically.


Build 346 (7/14/00)Edit

  • A bug introduced in build 345 is fixed which caused object actions ending in an extra end-of-line character to fail.
  • Further improvements to the "doorway" bug fix (see build 345 notes below) have been made to address a few lingering problem cases.
  • The polygon "triangulation" code has been improved to better handle non-planar polygons (non-planar polygons are polygons made up of vertices that do not all lie in a single plane.) Technically, non-planar polygons are invalid and extreme cases will still fail, but most of the more common cases should now be handled better.
  • Support for toggling of texture mipmaps and address modes has been added for COB files. See the "Textures" section of the COB documentation for details.
  • An adjustment to the RWX loader has been made in the interests of backwards compatibility with 2.2. Previous versions of 3.0 ignored the "lit" texturemode for non-textured polygons (since they were, after all, non-textured!) and always created them lit. Starting with build 346 texturemode lit or unlit will be applied to both textured and non-textured polygons.
  • Changes in this build will require all cached objects to be re-downloaded (but not textures). This process will happen automatically.


Build 345 (7/5/00)Edit

  • The new aw_teleport() SDK method should now work properly in worlds where local teleports are disabled.
  • A bug is fixed which sometimes prevented walking through doors or under overhangs where there was also a small step up on the floor at the same location.
  • A memory leak is fixed which could occur when using filmstrip-style textures with the picture command.
  • A bug is fixed which caused object downloads to procede at an abnormally slow rate under Windows 2000.
  • A bug is fixed which sometimes caused objects to shift their positions slightly after being placed.
  • Tagged polygons declared within prototypes in RWX files should now retain their tag values within instances of the prototype.
  • A bug is fixed which sometimes prevented teleporting to worlds with extended characters in the name (e.g. "a-québec")
  • "Cylindrical" and "spherical" UV mapping in COB files should now be handled correctly.
  • Changes in this build will require all cached objects to be re-downloaded (but not textures). This process will happen automatically.


Build 344 (6/22/00)Edit

  • The "climbing" algorithm has been improved in a couple of ways. First, cases where people had difficulty climbing stairs (usually at lower frame rates) should now be fixed. Secondly, the walking speed when climbing up ramps and slopes should now be close to or the same as the speed when walking across a flat surface.
  • A "kludge" has been added to try and handle the case where the SHIFT key does not work with the + and - numeric keypad keys for building when NUM LOCK is also on. The "fix" uses timing to try and detect and ignore the bogus keyboard events sent by Windows which cause this problem in the first place; as such, it may not work perfectly on all systems.
  • Freelook mode now works like regular mouse mode when you are in third person view.
  • A small change has been made to the building process. The browser now immediately adjust the position of an object to the nearest centimeter as you move it around, instead of waiting for the server to do it after the object is placed. The reason for this is that in some cases (often when building with large walk pieces rotated at odd angles) there would be a slight discrepency between the position the browser showed for the object and its true position according to the server. This could cause an object that looked correctly placed when first built to actually be off slightly, and this offset would not be visible until you returned to view the area again later. Because of this change, you may now sometimes notice that an object "wiggles" slightly if you look closely while moving it using both CTRL and SHIFT. This "wiggle" is the object adjusting its position to the nearest centimeter as it moves.
  • A bug is fixed in the handling of "holes" in some COB object surfaces.
  • This build also contains several small changes to improve support for multibyte character sets in message files.


Build 343 (5/29/00)Edit

  • A bug is fixed which caused missing triangles on some objects.
  • A bug is fixed which messed up the font in the "download" window on some systems.
  • The "climbing" algorithm has been adjusted slightly so that moving up slopes and ramps is smoother.
  • Changes in this build will require all cached objects to be re-downloaded (but not textures). This process will happen automatically.


Build 342 (5/24/00)Edit

  • This build fixes several problems with object loading and rendering that were caused by changes in 341. There is still a problem that can occasionally cause certain triangles to not render on certain objects, but this problem will require some time to address and will be fixed in a subsequent upgrade.
  • This build also fixes a bug in 341 where non-deliberately-triggered URLs (e.g. world home pages) were accidentally being sent to external web browsers.


Build 341 (5/24/00)Edit

  • A bug is fixed with the RWX "tag" command which caused some avatars to not animate correctly.
  • A long-standing crash bug caused by corrupt JPEG files has finally been fixed.
  • Since it never really worked very well anyway, the browser now no longer makes any attempt to adjust the volume of MIDI files based on distance from the sound source, like it does for WAV files. Any MIDI within "earshot" is simply played back at whatever MIDI volume is currently set on the system.
  • Unspecified prelight colors on verticies now default to the previously specified prelight color (if any) in the same clump, instead of to black. This allows multiple vertices to be initialized to the same prelight value without having to individually specify a prelight color for each one.
  • Using CTRL and SHIFT at the same time while moving objects with the arrow, PgUp/PgDn, and +/- keys now allows extremely precise placement. Objects moved in this manner can be placed to a precision of +/- 1 centimeter for horizontal and vertical location, and +/1 one tenth of a degree for rotation. This is the finest possible precision the Active Worlds architecture will support.
  • If a URL is deliberately triggered by the user (e.g. by clicking on an object that contains a link, or by clicking on a URL in the chat history) and the web window is not open and no external web browser is available, the web window will now be opened automatically.
  • A bug is fixed which caused incorrect surface lighting when both "materialmode double" and "lightsampling vertex" were used at the same time in an RWX file. The bug would often cause affected objects to appear "blotchy".
  • By popular demand invisible objects are no longer directly selectable. You must now click on a visible object first to make invisible objects visible for selection, as in version 2.2.
  • The chat window URL detector now supports URLs which contain commas and semi-colons.
  • Changes in this build will require all cached objects to be re-downloaded (but not textures). This process will happen automatically.


Build 340 (5/3/00)Edit

  • A crash bug is fixed which occurred when using the "picture" action command with a trigger other than "create" (e.g. "activate picture")
  • A bug is fixed which caused your own avatar not to render in 3rd person mode when teleporting between worlds that share the same object path.
  • The "black triangle" marking avatars that have not loaded yet or that have failed to load should now correctly face the camera at all times.
  • A bug is fixed which caused facer objects to disappear when looking down on them from above and behind.
  • A bug is fixed which caused the camera to face the wrong way in 3rd person mode when facing exactly west (which was usually only possible to achieve using a teleport.)
  • The "addtexturemode" and "removetexturemode" RWX commands now correctly support the specification of multiple modes at the same time; previous versions stopped after the first mode which caused commands such as "addtexturemode forshorten lit" to ignore the "lit".
  • There is a new Collision RWX command available for enabling or disabling collision detection at the individual clump level within hierarchical RWX objects.
  • A bug is fixed which caused certain types of small, complex polygons to be rendered incorrectly.
  • A serious memory leak in the object download mechanism has been fixed. This could cause gradual performance degradation when visiting multiple worlds for the first time in a single browser session.
  • A bug is fixed which caused some extremely large trueSpace scene objects to be scaled and rotated incorrectly.
  • Changes in this build will require all cached objects to be re-downloaded (but not textures). This process will happen automatically.


Build 339 (4/21/00)Edit

  • A debug setting was accidentally left on in build 338 which greatly reduced the amount of chat history saved in the chat window. This is fixed.
  • By popular demand, the old behavior of the "Insert" (object duplicate) key has been restored. However, the new 3.0 behavior is still accessible by pressing Control + Insert to duplicate an object. Also, when using Control + Insert, the distance the new object is placed away from the original is now based on the larger of the two dimensions of the object in the X and Z directions, rather than just the Z direction as it was before.
  • A bug is fixed which caused small discrepancies to build up in an object's position as it was moved around, particularly out at very large coordinates.
  • A bug is fixed which could cause rotation and scaling problems in certain COB objects.


Build 338 (4/19/00)Edit

  • A crash bug has been fixed which could occur when multiple textures in a world share the same mask.
  • The maximum number of triangles per object is now limited to 21,000. This is to avoid a crash bug in RenderWare which occurs when trying to render objects with more triangles than that. Needless to say, for performance reasons the use of objects with such extremely high polygon counts should be avoided anyway.
  • An experimental fix has been added in an attempt to address the problem where grayscale mask information was lost on mipmapped textures when they are reloaded from the cache. It's not clear yet whether this fix will work in all cases.
  • If only some vertices are assigned pre-light colors in an RWX file, all other vertices in the object will now default to a prelight color of black (0 0 0) instead of white (1 1 1).
  • Problems caused by using huge relative values for the arguments to the "warp" command should now be fixed.
  • "Animate" commands that specify non-existent textures now have no effect on the objects to which they are applied. This reverts to the functionality of build 336.
  • On PCs with more than one video card, AW now attempts to locate and use another video card if the default one picked by RenderWare doesn't work.
  • A bug introduced in the last build which caused teleports to fail on many international versions of Windows is fixed.
  • Several font problems introduced in the last build with the chat window have been fixed.
  • A bug is fixed which caused the chat window to occasionally scroll the last line of chat up to the top of the window. This bug only occurred with certain versions of the Windows "RichEdit" DLLs.
  • A bug is fixed which caused problems for COB objects that contain multiple surfaces with different lighting or shader values.


Build 337 (4/12/00)Edit

  • RWX primitives (cone, cylinder, etc.) now support materialmode double.
  • The URL text field above the web window now moves itself below the toolbar if the web window is made too narrow to fit both the URL field and the toolbar buttons.
  • A bug is fixed which caused the current keyboard focus to be lost on a teleport, including teleports caused by bots using the new bot teleport ability in version 3.0 of the SDK.
  • URLs of the form something.org (e.g. "slashdot.org") are now detected by the chat window.
  • A new texture command is now available. This command is intended to simplify the process of applying alternate textures to objects, and should be used instead of the older, more complex single-frame animation technique (e.g. use "create texture brick" instead of "create animate me brick 1 1 0").
  • The "tag" argument of the animate command should now work properly.
  • The animate command should now apply only to the top-level clump of hierarchical objects.
  • If the chat window is currently scrolled back, clicking on a telegram in order to display it will now automatically scroll the chat window back down to the bottom.
  • A bug is fixed which sometimes caused the chat window's URL detector to miss the first character of a URL.
  • Since many people find the "blurry" effect of mipmaps unpleasant, they are now off by default. Mipmaps can be enabled again from the Performance dialog.
  • A bug is fixed which sometimes caused textures applied by the animate command to be mipmapped even when mipmaps were disabled.
  • The "reason 479" error message that occurs if RenderWare is unable to initialize has been replaced with a slightly more informative error message.
  • A bug is fixed which caused avatars containing empty tagged clumps to not animate correctly.
  • In order to give COB users access to the new vertex pre-lighting functionality, vertex colors assigned in TrueSpace are now interpreted by Active Worlds as pre-light colors.
  • A bug is fixed which caused fog to mess up when the 3D window was resized.
  • A polygon triangulation bug is fixed which caused certain COB objects to display incorrectly.
  • Invalid matrix elements encountered in the RWX transform command now default to 0 instead of causing the whole transform to be ignored.
  • The CTRL key now increases the speed of the PgUp/PgDn keys when used to raise or lower the viewpoint.
  • Several changes in this build will require all cached objects to be re-downloaded (but not textures). This process will happen automatically.

Build 336 (4/3/00)Edit

This is the first beta build of Active Worlds 3.0. All new changes and features are listed here.


Active Worlds 2.2Edit

The Active Worlds development team has a strong commitment to continually improving the features and functionality of Active Worlds with each new version. Many new features and changes in version 2.2 were added in the hopes of increasing your enjoyment of Active Worlds more than ever!

Some of the more significant improvements added in version 2.2 include:

  • COB Support
  • New "color" command
  • New Bot Capabilities
  • Other New Stuff


Build 298Edit

Welcome to the first build of Active Worlds 2.2! All of the new changes 2.2 are described in detail in the beta help files under the "What's New in Version 2.2?" section. They are also summarized here:

  • COB Support: Active Worlds now has native support for COB files. COB is the 3D file format produced by Truespace.
  • New "color" command: There is a new "color" action command for changing the color of any object.
  • New Bot Capabilities: Bots are now able to detect when users click on objects or avatars. Bots can now also send URLs directly to users' web browsers.
  • Coordinated VRT clock: Previous versions of Active Worlds calculated VRT based on the local system time of the computer they were running on. Unfortunately, this meant that if any aspect of the local system time was set incorrectly, the VRT clock would also be incorrect. Version 2.2 now calculates VRT based on a global timestamp sent from the main universe server, so all users' VRT clocks should be accurate to within a few seconds of each other.
  • Tourist whisper disable: The World Features dialog box now allows world caretakers to disable the whisper function for tourists. This is useful for example in some public spaces where harassment via whisper by tourists has become a problem.
  • Improved security for password-protected objects: Over time some users have devised mechanisms for defeating the object password-protection feature and stealing the hard work of other users. Version 2.2 incorporates some new changes that should help to make object theft more difficult.
  • New IP address lookup utility: The Eject Dialog now includes the ability to query the raw IP address of a user. Note that this functionality is only available to users with the Eject right.
  • Higher object vertex limit: The vertex limit at which object collision switches from a per-polygon check to a simpler bounding-box check has been raised from 64 vertices to 256.
  • New "target" argument for URL command: The URL command now supports a "target=" argument that allows URLs triggered from object actions to be directed to specific target frames within the user's web browser.
  • Better server backups: Version 2.2 of the Active Worlds Server now supports an integrated, automatic backup mechanism. This should help to reduce the chances of world data loss due to file corruption, hard disk crashes, operator error, etc.

In addition to the above features, several small bugs and problems have also been addressed:

  • A bug is fixed which caused the "Register" button to change to "Immigrate" in the browsers of any users logged in when the universe attributes were changed.
  • A bug is fixed which caused users to be disconnected from a world server when the combined length of all world attributes (features and rights) exceeded 1024 bytes.
  • A bug is fixed which sometimes accidentally caused files to be sent more than once from the file transfer dialog.
  • A bug is fixed which sometimes caused the previous world's attributes to be displayed when examining the features and/or options of a world that had just been entered.
  • Lines in RWX files have been commented out with the # character are now correctly detected and ignored for the purposes of determining which textures are used by an object.
  • A bug in the world server should be fixed which caused the server to sometimes "max out" the CPU unnecessarily when it had trouble with its connection to the universe server.
  • The AW browser now detects the presence of a Cyrix CPU and overrides RenderWare's attempt to use the MMX rendering driver by default (the MMX rendering driver crashes on most Cyrix CPUs). MMX mode can still be enabled manually on Cyrix CPUs, but it may crash.


Active Worlds 2.1Edit

Build 302 Final BetaEdit

This build fixes an obscure bug where the browser would reveal the names of all avatars right away if it was run on a machine that had been up and running continuously for more than about 25 days (not likely under Windows 95/98, but possible under Windows NT.)


Build 301 Final BetaEdit

  • This is a "final" beta, meaning that if all goes well this version will be released to all users within the next couple of days.
  • A bug is fixed in the COB loader which caused objects that used masked textures to not display correctly.
  • The whisper box for tourists will now immediately enable or disable on the fly if the "Allow tourist whisper" world option is changed while the user is in the world.


Build 300Edit

  • By popular request, it is now possible to copy the IP address in the Eject Dialog's new IP address frame for pasting into other applications. Simply right-click on the IP address field and select "Copy". If you are maintaining a message file, note that this required the addition of a new message (number 700).
  • Clicks on "no name" avatars are now properly sent to the world server for relaying to bots that are trapping the new avatar-click event.
  • Usages of the new "color" command with invalid arguments are now ignored instead of changing the object to a random color.
  • An updated Swedish message file is now available.


Build 299Edit

  • A bug is fixed which caused the red and blue components of a raw color specified with the new color command to be switched.
  • A bug is fixed which caused a crash if the color command was used with no arguments.
  • The browser should now correctly detect the case where the world server is shut down, upgraded to 2.2, and restarted while the browser is in the world.
  • Updated Danish and Finnish messages files are now available.


Build 295 Final BetaEdit

  • A bug is fixed which could sometimes cause strange behavior if the "OK" button was quickly and repeatedly pressed from either the citizen or tourist login dialogs.
  • A bug is fixed which caused the "Renew" button to persist in the toolbar after cancelling an attempt to log in to an expired citizen account.


Build 294 Final BetaEdit

This update fixes a crash bug that could occur after a manual log in to a beta account at startup when a new beta version was available.


Build 293 Final BetaEdit

This update fixes a bug in build 292 that could cause a new install of the browser to hang up at the splash screen.


Build 292 Final BetaEdit

This is a minor upgrade that includes fixes for the following bugs:

  • Entering standalone mode could cause the browser to crash if no "home location" had previously been set.
  • Brand new installs of the browser could give "cache error" messages if left sitting at the login screen for more than 30 seconds before entering Active Worlds.
  • Removing the backdrop completely from the world required the user to leave and re-enter before the change would take effect.
  • If a citizen was logged in as a tourist and the connection with the universe server was lost and then restored, their name would appear to them to have reverted to their citizen name, although other users would still see them as a tourist.
  • The "Browse" button for the chat log file often failed to bring up a file selection dialog box.


Build 291 Final BetaEdit

This update includes another minor fix to the registration process.


Build 290 Final BetaEdit

  • This is a minor upgrade to fix a few problems that have shown up since the initial release of 2.1 last week. It is still considered a "final beta" since it will be released to everyone very shortly.
  • A bug is fixed which prevented the entering of 16 character tourist names into the name field of the eject dialog.
  • A bug is fixed which sometimes caused strange behavior if you clicked on the window-resize borders right at the bottom left or bottom right corner of the 3D window.
  • A minor bug with the registration process has been fixed which caused some of the address information to be omitted when the transaction was logged.


Build 289 Final BetaEdit

  • Once again, this is a "final" beta, meaning that if all goes well this version it could be released to everyone as early as tomorrow morning.
  • Whenever the "spinning logo" stops spinning (when downloads are complete), it now comes to rest on the same frame.
  • A bug is fixed which caused a selected object to become unselected when the world attributes are changed.
  • The property dialog now goes away if you select Edit -> Undo after duplicating an object.
  • This update also includes a new version of the Spanish message file (castellano.awm) which has been updated to include all of the new 2.1 messages.


Build 288 Final BetaEdit

  • This is a "final" beta, meaning that if all goes well this version will be released to all users within the next couple of days. It features a new 2.1 splash screen, and also a new AW "spinning logo" in the upper right corner of the main window.
  • File transfer should handle communication errors better. If an error occurs while a file is being transferred, the dialog no longer exits automatically; instead, an error message is printed in the dialog box and it waits for the user to press the "exit" button.
  • "All files" (*.*) is now the default filename filter when selecting file(s) to be transferred. The filter setting is also remembered across sessions if you change it.
  • The "whisper to" text message now changes on the fly if you change message files, like the other main window text messages.
  • A bug is fixed which caused new filenames typed into the "chat log" file name field to be ignored.
  • A bug is fixed which caused 16 letter tourist names to be truncated at 15 characters.
  • A bug is fixed which caused a crash if very long chat messages were sent by users with very long names.
  • Attempting to teleport to a world with a name greater than 8 characters long now prints an error.


Build 287Edit

  • When the person you were whispering to leaves the area, the whisper box will now change to empty, instead of to some other random person nearbye. This should help avoid accidental whispers to the wrong person.
  • A bug is fixed which sometimes caused the AW spinning logo (in the upper right corner) to not redraw itself.
  • The contact list and the world list will no longer reset themselves to the top when they refresh. This was actually already changed in build 286 for the world list.
  • The file transfer dialog has been improved. It is larger, and it should now be a bit easier to tell which files are going where. On the receiving end, you can now change the receiving directory directly from the dialog using a new drop-down list.
  • Messages from the Immigration Officer should now be logged to the chat log again.


Build 286Edit

  • The contact list should now clear when you switch to tourist mode.
  • Building operations should now "take" properly in standalone mode.
  • Teleport Home now takes you to the default home world if you don't have a home world set.
  • If you switch to a new identity that is not allowed to enter the world you are currently in, the browser should now correctly "back out" to the previous world.
  • If you change your name (i.e. from the options/citizens... menu) the other people around you should now see the new name right away.


Build 285Edit

Oops! Build 284 broke whispers. They should be working now. Sorry about that.


Build 284Edit

  • The crashes in GDI.EXE that could sometimes occur while examining the whisper list seem to be related to the fact that the browser was modifying the list while it was being examined. It was nice to have that list update itself on the fly but apparently Windows just can't handle it. So, now the list will not update if it is being examined at the time (it will update itself automatically once the list is closed), so those crashes in GDI.EXE should be gone for good.
  • The contact list should now continue to update itself correctly after the server connection has been lost and re-established.
  • +/- (flying) and SHIFT (object pass-thru) should now work in standalone mode.
  • A bug is fixed which could sometimes cause all the avatars around you to vanish if you teleported away and then back again quickly.
  • A couple of minor bugs with the account renewal dialog box have been fixed.


Build 283Edit

  • The login dialog should work a little better now. You can still run the browser in "no saved password" mode if you are concerned about having your password saved to the aworld.ini file, however in other respects the dialog should function more like it did before. The only thing that is different is that if you do have a default identity saved, and then you go to change to a different identity (from the login/citizen... menu) you have to remember to uncheck the "remember this password" checkbox or the new name and password you type in will overwrite the old one in the .ini file.
  • A "Whisper" option has been added to the avatar right-click pop-up menu. This will automatically select that person's name in the whisper list and send the keyboard focus to the whisper field so you can send them a whisper.
  • You should now be able to select objects and move them around while in standalone mode. However, you will only be able to do this if you had building rights when you last visited the world. This required a change to the format of the cached world information which unfortunately means all saved avatar preferences will be reset again.


Build 282Edit

  • A bug that sometimes caused a crash in "GDI.EXE" while manipulating the whisper list should now be fixed. However this bug was difficult to reproduce so it's hard to be 100% sure.
  • A bug that made it sometimes appear as if you were receiving telegrams as a tourist should also be fixed. What was actually happening was that if you started AW and you had new telegrams waiting for you, and there was also a new upgrade available, the new telegrams would be downloaded and stored to disk incorrectly so that they would only appear in the telegram list when you switched to tourist mode.
  • A bug is fixed which allowed you to still type characters to the disabled chat field when you did not have speak rights in a world.
  • Pressing the TAB key in the whisper field now returns the keyboard focus to the main 3D window instead of the main chat field. This way you can now go from whispering to keyboard navigation without using the mouse. Note that you can still type chat messages when the keyboard focus is in the main 3D windows.
  • A bug is fixed which caused some files to be unnecessarily re-downloaded when first entering a world that was cached from a previous visit.
  • This upgrade also contains updated copies of the French and Finnish message files.
  • Since a few people seem to be concerned about the fact that people with caretaker access to their worlds could conceivably read the "object password" field using a Windows password-extraction utility, a change has been made that should prevent those utilities from reading the password. However, this brings up a point that I thought would have been obvious: if there are people who have caretaker access to your world who you wouldn't trust with your object password, they should not be caretakers! If they decide to turn against you, having them possibly know your object password is going to be the least of your problems.


Build 281Edit

A mousewheel diagnostic message accidentally left in build 280 has been removed.


Build 280Edit

  • Whispers are now in blue. If you don't like it, give it a chance. If everyone hates it, we can always change it again.
  • Mousewheel support should now work better under Windows 98 and Windows NT.
  • The error message "Sorry, there is no world called "whatever" running at this time." is no longer displayed twice if you try to enter a world that isn't running.
  • A crash that occured when entering standalone mode (i.e. the "skip" button) has been fixed.
  • The garbled request-to-join message should be fixed.
  • There should now be less of a gap between the bottom of the browser and the bottom of the screen.
  • Due to recent increasing problems with password theft (using remote file viewer programs such as "Back Orifice" and the like) login passwords are no longer saved to the .ini file by default. You can still have your password saved when you log in but you will have to check the "Remember password for next time" check box (which used to be called "Make this my default identity"). This behavior only affects new users; existing users who already have passwords saved in the .ini file won't notice a difference. If you want to start typing in your password every time you log in, edit your aworld.ini file and delete the "pass=" line under the [citizen] section, and leave the "Remember password" box unchecked when you log in.


Build 279Edit

  • You can now examine the world options again even if you are not a caretaker. They are still read-only of course.
  • This update should fix the problem that a few people had where the help tab did not show any help topics at all.
  • If a world connection is lost and then re-established, the "Waiting for server" message should now go away.
  • There should no longer be a mysterious black triangle in worlds that have no ground object.
  • The width of the Tab section should now be properly saved and restored.
  • Acquiring the privileges of an account with Eject or Caretaker should now properly reveal the names of all avatars.


Build 278Edit

Thanks for all the great feedback we have received already! These bugs have been found and fixed:

  • Right-clicking on avatars who have not spoken no longer brings up the pop-up menu.
  • Whispers from tourists are now properly displayed in italics.
  • Switching between citizen and tourist should now update the Avatar menu properly.


Build 277Edit

Active Worlds 2.1 is finally here! All of the new changes 2.1 are described in detail in the beta help files under the "What's New in Active Worlds 2.1?" section. They are also summarized here:

  • Whispering: you can now send private chat messages directly to other users.
  • File Transfer: you can now send files directly to other citizens.
  • New World Options: several new options are now available to world owners.
  • Avatar "fade out" effect: When a user leaves the scene, instead of just vanishing, the avatar now fades out gracefully.
  • "Mousewheel" support: If you have one of the newer mice that includes a small wheel between the left and right buttons, you can now use this wheel to toggle between mouse and keyboard navigation mode. Simply press the wheel to change modes. Once in mouse mode, you can turn the wheel to raise and lower your viewing angle (equivalent to pressing the PgUp/PgDn keys.)
  • Help files online only: The browser help files are now no longer included with the browser install itself. This helps reduce the size of the browser download by over 300K and also allows us to update and extend the documentation without releasing a new version every time. The Integrated Help feature will continue to function as before; it simply loads the pages directly from the web instead of the hard disk.
For people who like to browse the help files offline, we will be providing a separate download containing all of the help documentation which you can place on your hard disk.
  • Avatar performance improved: Some optimizations have been added to avatar animation. This should give about a 10% performance boost in crowded areas.
  • Unique tourist names: Active Worlds 2.1 no longer allows two tourists to have the same name at the same time. Also, tourists must now provide a valid email address before entering Active Worlds from the Welcome screen.
  • Built-in administration utilities: Universe owners and administrators now have access to two new built-in administration utilities, the Universe Citizens dialog and the Universe Worlds dialog. These dialogs replace the old external Java applets which were used to manage citizen and world accounts. Also, the Universe Worlds dialog features several new types of information that can be stored for a world license.
  • Encrypted protocol: The network protocol used to exchange data between the 2.1 browser and the 2.1 servers has now been encrypted to improve the security of the system.


Active Worlds 2.0Edit

Build 261 Final BetaEdit

  • A few messages have been modified. People maintaining alternate messages sets should consult the message file changelog for details.
  • The "skip" button has been fixed to persist until a response is actually received from the server login request. This makes it possible to "skip" past the case where the internet connection is up, but a firewall, congestion or a routing problem (or even a server crash) is preventing the browser from actually contacting the universe server.
  • This upgrade introduces a message file for Dutch.


Build 260 Final BetaEdit

  • A bug is fixed which could prevent the "Tabs" window from displaying when turned back on, if the web window had previously been moved all the way to the left while the "Tabs" window was hidden.
  • A bug is fixed which caused problems if the "skip" button was pressed while the universe login was already in process. This could only occur if the connection to the internet was live.
  • The default desired frame rate has been raised to 10 frames/sec (it was previously set at 7 frames/sec). This should only affect new users.
  • The maximum visible range that the browser will allow without issuing a warning has been raised to 60 meters. Also the browser will reset the the visibile range to 60 meters on startup (instead of 40) if it has been raised above 60 meters.
  • A bug is fixed which caused black masks to appear around certain objects when using the HighRez CD.
  • A bug is fixed which caused all avatars to disappear when the "show multiple avatars" and/or "show avatar animation" options were changed.


Build 259 Final BetaEdit

  • The skip button is back! Standalone mode is once again supported. If you want to enter AW while not connected to the Internet, simply press the "Skip" button on the splash screen. You will only be able to enter worlds and see objects that you have cached previously. Also if you build in standalone mode your changes won't be saved.
  • Support for 1.3 worlds has been removed. This should not affect anyone, but you never know.
  • A crash bug is fixed which occured when you encountered a .rwx object which you had seen and downloaded before, but now the .rwx had been changed to use a different texture. Many thanks to citizens BitMaster, Wendy, and others who spent several hours helping me to track down the cause of this crash.
  • A crash bug is fixed which could occur when bumping an object with a "bump teleport" action to a non-existant world.
  • A crash bug is fixed which occured if the combined total length of all world attributes in a world exceded 1024 bytes. Thanks to citizen Alex for helping to pinpoint the cause of this crash.
  • Accidentally clicking on the ground while you are selecting multiple objects no longer unselects everything.
  • Circle of Fire answers about ten complaints a day from people who have set their minimum visible range to 120 meters despite clear warnings about the problems this can cause. This has become a much bigger problem now with the larger cell sizes in 2.0. To help control this support issue, the browser has been changed to automatically reset the visible range to 40 meters each time it is restarted. If you really must have your visible range higher than 40 at all times, you can prevent this behavior by manually entering the line "force_visibility=1" under the [performance] section in the aworld.ini file.
  • Turning off the "allow local teleports" world option should now correctly prevent people from teleporting into the world at any location other than ground zero.
  • Several messages have been added to the message file. People who are maintaining translations of the message file should consult the message file changelog to see what has changed.


Build 258 Final BetaEdit

  • Some extra consistency checking has been added to the server communication code in order to fix a bug where in certain rare cases a message could be mis-interpreted as an eject.
  • If the internal web browser is currently viewing a page with frames, and you turn off the browser and turn it back on again, it should now correctly display the entire frame again.
  • Since "chat spam" attacks have become an increasing problem as of late, the browser now buffers outgoing chat messages and sends them out at a maximum rate of 1 per second.


Build 257 Final BetaEdit

  • A bug is fixed which caused the name tag above your own avatar (in third person mode) to not always change when you changed identities.
  • Message 516 ("Allow object selection") is now correctly loaded from an alternate message file, if present.


Build 256 Final BetaEdit

  • This update fixes yet another instance of the "black mask" texture bug. This case occured when you first encountered an "animate" behavior that specified the texture name in all caps (e.g. "create animate me FLO") and then later encountered an object (e.g. "flower3.rwx") that used the same texture.
  • The "spinning logo" no longer resets itself to the first frame when activity stops, it simply stops on whatever frame it was on. This seems to make it less "twitchy".
  • This upgrade also includes a spanish version message file "Castellano.awm".


Build 255 Final BetaEdit

This update fixes a crash bug that occured in certain cases when the "animate" command was used with a texture name ended with a "." By the way, the trick of appending a "." to the texture name in an animation in order to suppress the trailing digit was never intentionally supported, it only worked because of a bug in the browser. It is supported now only because so many people started using it before we discovered the problem, so fixing the "bug" would break a lot of existing content.


Build 254 Final BetaEdit

  • It's now possible to build in 1.3 worlds again. Not that there will be any 1.3 worlds around for much longer.
  • One cause for the infamous masked texture "black box" bug has been fixed.
  • A problem is fixed which prevented AW from properly interpreting a teleport URL when launched from Internet Explorer.
  • If you do not have permissions to enter your start world, AW should now fall back to the default start world instead of exiting.


Build 253 Final BetaEdit

  • Active Worlds now attempts to detect that it is running on a non-English version of Windows and to choose the appropriate message file automatically. This mechanism will only work if there is no message file already specified in the aworld.ini file. If you have a French, Italian, Danish, Norwegian, or Portuguese version of Windows, you can test this mechanism by making sure there is no line beginning with "messages=" under the [general] section of the aworld.ini file. If the mechanism is successful Active Worlds should then switch to your language automatically on startup. Since we don't have any non-English versions of Windows here to test it on, I would very much like to hear from beta users who do.
  • The handling of object selection has changed. There is a new world attribute "Allow object selection" which is on by default. Object selection is now only disabled if this option is turned off and you are not allowed to build. Otherwise you can select objects again, but if you cannot build the Object Properties dialog box will be completely disabled to indicate that you cannot modify the object (you can still inspect the object name, description, and action though.)
  • There is now a new web page resource for people who are creating and maintaining alternate message files. This page includes tips on making message files, and also a list of all changes made to the message file since build 251. Please visit www.activeworlds.com/help/message_files.html.
  • The [objectname] argument of the "frame" command should now work properly.


Build 252 Final BetaEdit

  • This upgrade fixes a bug where the help index was duplicated every time an alternate message set was selected.
  • The size of many text fields within the browser has been increased to accomodate longer words in foreign language translations of the browser.
  • The "spinning logo" should now properly redraw after enabling or disabling the web browser.
  • A crash bug is fixed that occured if you had "high speed panning" enabled and there were also more than 20 avatars around you at once in a 2.0 world.
  • You can now completely disable the "Tabs" window on the left-hand side by going to the "Show" menu and unselecting "Tabs".
  • A few people have reported a strange case where they have seen their own avatar getting duplicated. This appears to have occured when the connection to the world server was lost and then re-established. This should no longer happen.
  • This update includes the new Dutch, Norwegian, and Portuguese message files.
  • The help files now include the beginnings of a FAQ section.


Build 251 Final BetaEdit

This upgrade fixes a cache problem that occured if a world was upgraded to 2.0 from 1.3 while you were in it.


Build 250 Final BetaEdit

  • This build is a final beta! This means that, barring any unforseen disasters, this build could be released to everyone within the next day or two.
  • When entering a world that has just been upgraded to 2.0 from 1.3, the world would not get correctly reloaded if you had visited that world when it was running 1.3. This upgrade should fix that problem.


Build 249 Final BetaEdit

  • On teleports, the teleport sound of the world you are leaving is now played, rather than the teleport sound of the world you are teleporting to.
  • This upgrade features a new 2.0 version of the spinning "busy" icon in the upper right corner of the browser.


Build 248Edit

This upgrade fixes a bug in builds 246 and build 247 that prevented AW from detecting that there was a new beta upgrade available on startup.


Build 247Edit

  • This is the first update that will test the new upgrade utility released with build 246. We would like to hear from anyone who experienced any difficulty upgrading from build 246 to build 247. In particular, we'd like to know whether those people who were having trouble with corrupted files (typically the readme and messages files) after earlier upgrades under Windows NT are still having any problems.
  • The teleport sound "deport1.wav", if available, should now correctly trigger on all teleports. It should also no longer trigger when you first start AW.
  • The algorithm that adjusts the visible range based on the current frame rate has been tweaked slightly to take into account the larger number of objects per cell in worlds with "large" or "huge" cell data limits.
  • A bug is fixed which occured if there were two or more different textures in the same scene that used the same mask. It would typically cause one of the textures to appear unmasked. This was actually a very old bug.
  • The teleport list is now completely rebuilt from scratch whenever a teleport is deleted. This seems to be the only way to address the redraw problems some people have experienced when deleting items from this list.
  • Command-line teleport files should now work again. This is where you launch AW with an argument that is the name of a file that contains a teleport command. In this case the teleport command in the file overrides your default home world as the startup location.
  • URL commands linked to the adone trigger are now ignored if "create URL" is disabled in that world.
  • If you only have one item displayed in the status bar and you turn it off, it is now correctly deleted.
  • Anyone who is working on a non-English version of the message file should note that message #226 (displayed while a registration transaction is in progress) has been changed to include minutes and seconds elapsed since the registration attempt began. Also notice that a new message #187 has been added which is displayed if the registration transaction times out.


Build 246 (~May 6/98)Edit

  • For people who are testing out the 2.0 world server, we have a new build available that fixes some minor problems. We strongly encourage you to upgrade to this new server so that you will be testing with the latest code. Click here to download the new server. It can be installed directly on top of your old server, but be sure to shut down your world first.
  • Bad things happened if an on-the-fly upgrade occured when another dialog box was already active. This should be fixed.
Persistant problems with the code that handles recovery from modem disconnects and other losses of network traffic has sent us back to the drawing board somewhat. This upgrade contains some new mechanisms for handling connection loss more robustly. Hopefully this will mean fewer "reason 212" errors among other things.
  • A small problem with the position of chat text over the heads of avatars in 2.0 worlds has been fixed.
  • This upgrade also contains another new version of the "upgrade.exe" utility. The purpose of this update is to see if it fixes the strange problem under NT where some of the smaller text files are getting corrupted during the upgrade process.
  • The painful process of upgrading the integrated help documentation to be consistant with the new 2.0 functionality has now begun. This and the next several upgrades will contain many modifications and additions to the help files.


Build 245Edit

  • Build 244 did not fix the startup crash in RWL21.DLL in all cases. This build should rectify that.
  • The column headers in the world list now reflect world and user counts that take into account whether or not private and empty worlds are currently being shown.
  • A small bug in the avatar positioning code has been fixed. It would sometimes cause avatars to move jerkily and to take longer than necessary to reach their new positions in 2.0 worlds. Many thanks to citizen HamFon for his help in detecting and fixing this problem!
  • A crash bug caused by extremely long "create picture" URLs has been fixed.


Build 244Edit

  • If you are added to the eject rights list in a (2.0) world, you will now see everyone's names right away instead of having to leave and re-enter.
  • A crash on startup in RWL21.DLL which affected a couple of people should be fixed.
  • The Building Inspector now issues a warning that your changes may be lost if you try to build while the connection to the world server is down.
  • This update also include a new copy of our auto-upgrade utility "Upgrade.exe".


Build 243Edit

  • This build contains the new Maintenance Release 3 of the RenderWare 2.1 DLLs. The most important change this new release brings is support for non-Intel MMX cpus. We would be interested in hearing from anyone who has a non-Intel MMX cpu who is able to use MMX mode with these new DLLs. You will need to manually activate MMX support under the "Performance" dialog in order to test it.
  • The text labels on the left-hand tabs are now automatically removed if the tab window is made narrow enough, to avoid the drawing problems that would occur on the tabs when the window was made very narrow.
  • Various minor problems related to world entry, privilege acquisition, and connection loss have been fixed. Some of these problems could sometimes cause a "reason 212" error.
  • To make customization and internationalization easier, the help index file "help.dat" (in the help folder) has been renamed to "default.awh". People who are making alternate messages files for AW can now make alternate help index files to go along with the new messages. If an alternate message file is being used then the browser will automatically pick up the corresponding .awh file in the help folder for the help index. This allows both the help index labels and the help file URLs themselves to be overridden. For example, if "french.awm" is being used for a French language version of the browser, then the browser will also look for "french.awh" in the help folder for the help index and use that instead of the default index. If the alternate .awh file is not present, default.awh will be used.
  • The menu contents have been exported to the message file. It turned out that this was much easier to do than we originally thought.
  • The OK button on the World Options screen now correctly remains disabled until the option values have been loaded. Before it was possible for a caretaker to accidentally wipe out all the world options by pressing the OK button before the options had loaded.


Build 242Edit

  • Since we've passed 300 worlds in the universe, we've added a couple of options to help trim down the length of the world list. If you right-click on the world list, you now get a popup menu that lets you toggle the display of both closed worlds and empty worlds. You can also teleport to specific coordinates within a world from this menu.
  • The remaining dialog box messages have been moved to the external message file. There are still a handful of text messages scattered throughout the browser which have not been exported, most notably the menu items. Exporting the menu items is going to require a substantial re-implmentation of the menu handling code, so it isn't going to happen right away.
  • The "disappearing avatar" bug *should* now be fixed. The problem occured when the connection with a 1.3 world server was lost. This also caused an additional problem where after connection was lost, "Waiting for server" was not displayed in the status bar, and also the browser made no further attempt to re-connect to the world server again. All of these problems should be fixed now.
  • When an upgrade on-the-fly occurs, the Enter key is now mapped to the Skip button instead of the Okay button, so that you don't accidentally accept an upgrade in the middle of a conversation.
  • During multiple object selection, if you SHIFT-click on nothing, this no longer deselects everything (if you aren't holding SHIFT down, it still deselects everything like before). This avoids the problem of accidentally deselecting everything when you have selected 19 objects and you miss slightly when you are trying to select the 20th.
  • The mouse mode toolbar button now remains depressed while you are in mouse mode.


Build 241Edit

  • The Object Properties dialog box should now be correctly displayed when you CTRL-select a group of objects.
  • The Immigration Officer now correctly reports that the world is not running when you attempt to teleport to a non-existant world.
  • This build should do a better job of teleporting immediately to the desired coordinates when teleporting across worlds.
  • Text messages from the Disk Usage, Downloads, Eject, General, Login, and Object Properties dialog boxes have been exported to the message file. Still many more to come.


Build 239,240Edit

Various attempts to fix the teleport problem.


Build 238Edit

  • This build should fix the problem with teleports that was introduced in build 237 by our attempt to fix teleports.
  • This build also fixes yet another problem with upgrade-on-the-fly.


Build 237Edit

  • The bug is fixed which caused the browser to exit instead of falling back to a different world if there was any problem getting into your start world.
  • Hopefully the bug which caused all the avatars to spontaneously disappear has been fixed. This bug is hard to reproduce so it's hard to be sure. The problem seemed to occur when communication with a 1.3 world server was temporarily lost.
  • The broken teleport problem, another hard to reproduce bug, has also been fixed. At least, one definite cause has been fixed.
  • A bug is fixed which sometimes caused the browser to offer an upgrade to a new version when there wasn't actually one available.
  • The maximum world rating is now properly enforced on world entry.
  • The "duplicate" toolbar button on the Object Properties dialog box is now disabled when multiple objects are selected.
  • Everyone will be relieved to know that the registration "nag" messages (reminders to tourists to register) are now working again.
  • Approximately 50 more messages have been added to the message file. There are still many more to go. The message file has also been partially re-arranged into sections. This process is still incomplete.
  • For people who are testing out the 2.0 world server, there is a new build available that fixes a couple of problems. Click here to download the new server. It can be installed directly on top of your old server, but be sure to shut down your world first.


Build 236Edit

  • Announcing the new Beta Users Newsgroup! We're going to try an experiment. Instead of emailing bug reports, we'd like beta users to post them to the beta newsgroup instead. If for some reason you don't have newsgroup access, or if you don't want to post your bugs, you can still email them in. The hope is that by posting the bug reports where other beta users can read them, people can have a better idea of what problems to look out for and also which bugs have been reported already, and also hopefully we can collaborate better on narrowing down the causes for those hard-to-reproduce bugs. Finally the beta newsgroup can be a forum for discussion of the new features and changes in the beta version.
  • Several options on the main menu bar have been re-arranged. The "Citizen" menu has been re- named the "Login" menu. Under the login menu are the options "Citizen..." to log in as a citizen, "Tourist..." to log in as a tourist, and "Privileges..." to acquire someone else's privileges. Note the latter has been moved here from the "Advanced" tab of the browser settings, where it no longer appears. Several other options have been collected under the "Options" menu. The old "Settings..." selection is still there, now followed by "Citizen...", which takes you to the Citizen Attributes dialog. Below that is the familar "World..." options, and finally a new one, "Universe...". This takes you to a new Universe options screen that shows a few options that exist at the Universe level. These options can be viewed by anyone but only modified by the root account (i.e. COF in the Active Worlds universe). Currently the Universe options show the current minimum, release, and beta browser verisons, the minimum world server verison, and the start world for this universe. The start world specifies the default world that all users start in who do not have a home set yet. This value was previously hard-coded within the browser itself. Start worlds set explicitly in the .ini file (typically at install time) will override this setting.
  • This build also introduces a new concept of Active Worlds "message sets". Most of the text messages displayed by the browser (for example, messages from the Building Inspector) have been removed from aworld.exe and placed in an external file. This file is called "default.awm" and lives in the a new folder called "Messages." It is possible for people to create their own message files and store them in the Messages folder as well. You can choose which message set is in use the Advanced dialog. When you choose a message set other than Default, first the default message is set is loaded, then the alternate set is loaded and any messages specified in the alternate set override those in the default set. Thus, when you create an alternate message set you don't need to include every single possible message the browser can display, only those you wish to override. Message set files always have the extension ".awm". The purpose of messages sets is to make customization of the browser easier. For example it will allow distributors in non-English speaking countries to create a "native language" version of the browser without having to create a custom version of aworld.exe. It also allows Uniserver customers to override any messages in the browser that are specific to the Circle of Fire Universe and replace them with their own messages specific to their universe. If you are interested in creating and supporting an alternate Active Worlds message set, please email roland@activeworlds.com. Note that if you want to modify the message set, you should never modify "default.awm". This file will be modified by future upgrade patches and if you change it the upgrade utility will not be able to upgrade it. Instead, you should just create a new message set file and select it from under the Advanced options.
  • The splash screen image shown at startup and in the About Box has also been exported. This image is now contained in an external file called either "splash.bmp" or "splash.jpg". If there is a "splash.jpg" then the the JPEG file is immediately uncompressed into a BMP and the BMP is then loaded. The JPEG file is then deleted so this conversion only occurs once. Exporting the splash screen image to a JPEG file allows the splash screen image to be a high-quality 24-bit image without taking up 300K in the browser executable file. It also allows our distributors and our Uniserver customizers to provide their own images for the splash screen. The splash image can be any size, but to fit exactly in the space avaiable in the dialog it should be 300 by 300 pixels.
  • The Object Properties dialog box is now hidden instead of merely disabled when no objects are selected. Also, when multiple objects are selected the various movement buttons in the dialog box now remain active.
  • The names of people who speak to you in 2.0 worlds are now correctly remembered and re-displayed when you meet them again later on in the same session.
  • The ability to see other people's names before they have spoken has been extended to citizens with the Eject right as well as caretakers.
  • The "Use DirectDraw" option has been removed from the Performance dialog. DirectDraw can still be enabled via the aworld.ini file for those who feel it makes a difference, but for most users this option does not make any noticeable performance difference and causes a lot of confusion since it is often confused with Direct3D support.
  • The "keep rwx" and "keep bmp" options have been removed. They have been rendered obsolete by the newer "local path" feature.
  • Some problems have been fixed with the status bar at the bottom of the screen. In particular there was strange behavior sometimes when the VRT clock was turned off.
  • Changes made to the download settings are now properly saved and restored between sessions.


Build 235Edit

  • A crash is fixed that occured if AW was not able to locate or load a RenderWare driver.
  • This build should fix the assertion failure/crash that many people have reported (a dialog box would pop up with the message "Debug Assertion Failed!") This occured when the browser lost its connection with the world server.


Build 234Edit

  • Several problems involving communication with 1.3 world servers have now been fixed. Most of them involved acquiring privileges and also recovery from lost internet connections.
  • This build should fix the problem some people have experienced where the browser wouldn't connect to AlphaWorld on first startup. This problem occured if there was no start world set in the .ini file.
  • The avatar menu and "register now" button should now correctly toggle when you switch back and forth between tourist and citizen.


Build 233Edit

  • The problem should now be fixed where changing privilege acquisition in a 1.3 world didn't change caretaker/PS status until you left and re-entered.
  • The world list should now properly indicate the world you are currently in.
  • Upgrade "on the fly" should now work again, after this upgrade.
  • The Citizen/ChangeTo dialog box should no longer show a "login failed" message when you first bring it up.
  • The bug where people sometimes had trouble teleporting out of the Beta world should be fixed; it's hard to tell because we were having trouble reproducing it.


Build 232Edit

The crash on startup under 8-bit mode should be fixed.


Build 231Edit

  • The login problem under Windows NT should be fixed. However this problem will prevent anyone running 2.0 under NT from upgrading to buidl 231. If you know someone who is having this problem, tell them to re-install 1.3 from the website and then upgrade directly to build 231 from version 1.3.
  • The problems with the world options getting messed up should be fixed.
  • Thanks to everyone for all the feedback and problem reports we have received already! Due to the huge volume of emails we are receiving about 2.0, we won't be able to reply to each and every one; for the time being we'll probably only reply to a bug report if we need more information from you about the problem.
  • Also, thanks to everyone who has offered to beta test the 2.0 World Server. Your emails have been saved and you will be notified via email when the 2.0 world server is available for testing.


**Missing Build 230**Edit

**Missing Build 229**Edit

Build 228Edit

All of the initial changes in 2.0 are documented under the What's new in 2.0? section of the integrated HTML help. Please refer to this section for a complete description of all the new changes and features in Active Worlds 2.0.


Active Worlds 2.0 BetaEdit

Welcome to Active Worlds 2.0!

Before getting into the details of 2.0, one thing needs to be made very clear: the vast majority of new features in Active Worlds 2.0 will NOT WORK in 1.3 worlds! If you enter a 1.3 world with a 2.0 browser, it will revert to the old 1.3 functionality in virtually all respects. Currently we have a single 2.0 world called Beta running in the Active Worlds Universe for the sole purpose of testing 2.0. The Beta world contains an exact duplicate of the AlphaWorld ground zero area out to about 40N/S/E/W, and is open for public building out to 100N/S/E/W. Only 2.0 browsers can enter this world (1.3 users will not be allowed in, even though the world shows as a green light on the world list). Beta users are welcome to build all they want in Beta, although you should be aware that it will be shut down after the 2.0 beta testing period is over.

Many beta users who are also world owners have expressed interest in running the 2.0 world server. If you are willing to accept the restriction that only beta users will be able to enter your world (until 2.0 is released to everyone of course) then you are welcome to test the 2.0 world server. For information on installing and running the 2.0 world server, click here.

Once the 2.0 browser is released, we will then make the 2.0 world server available to all world owners, and then hopefully the entire Active Worlds universe will migrate to 2.0 as quickly as possible. Once everyone is up to 2.0 and all is running well, 1.3 worlds and 1.3 browsers will be disabled and the whole universe will be running with the new 2.0 architecture only.

Please, before sending a bug report about a 2.0 feature not working, remember to stop and check to make sure that you were not in a 1.3 world when you tried it. Again, except where noted below, none of the new 2.0 world features will work in 1.3 worlds.

Please post your bug reports to the newsgroup news://news.activeworlds.com/beta. Alternatively you can email bug reports to roland@activeworlds.com.

Please don't send bug reports via telegram!

When sending a bug report, be sure to include your current build number. The current build number is displayed in the About Box.

New features and changes for 2.0

  • New protocol: ironically, we are hoping that most of you will not even notice one of the largest changes in 2.0: most of the underlying network communication protocol has been completely re-written. If all these changes are working correctly, then you should be able to chat and build in Active Worlds just as before, and hopefully better. One change that some people may notice is that UDP is no longer used for chat messages and avatar position updates. All avatar and chat messages now go through a single TCP connection to the world server. Those of you who have had trouble with chat in the past, due to proxy servers, or firewalls, or any of another half dozen problems with UDP, should notice a substantial improvement in the reliablity of chat messages.
  • Instant updates: any changes you make while building in a world are now instantly communicated to all the users around you; in 1.3 there was a delay of up to 60 seconds before the changes propagated.
  • Teleport tab: saved teleports have been moved from the bottom of the "Teleport" menu to a fifth tab on the left side of the browser. The functionality of this list is straight-forward. Simply click on a teleport to go there, right-click to bring up a menu of additional options. This list is scrollable so there will be no more problems of people saving more teleport locations than can fit in the menu.
  • VRT clock: There is a new "VRT clock" option under the "Show" menu. This will show the current time and date in VRT in the status bar at the bottom of the screen. Note that the VRT time displayed is calculated based on your local time, so if your PC's clock is incorrect the VRT clock will be incorrect as well. VRT (or "Virtual Reality Time") is GMT minus 2 hours.
  • Separate Eject and Public Speaker rights: There is a new "eject" rights list in the world options. In 2.0 public speakers do not automatically have the ability to eject. In order to be able to eject people your citizen number must be on the "eject" rights list. This of course also means that it is now possible to be able to eject people without being a public speaker.
  • World rating: There is now a concept of a "World Rating". A world has one of 4 ratings: P, PG, R, or X. A world owner can set the rating for his/her world rating under the World Options. You can set the maximum content rating that you want to see under the new "General" settings tab under Options/Settings. If you try to enter a world with a rating higher than your maximum, you will be bumped back out automatically.
Note that this is not intended to be a parental lock-out mechanism.
Also note that the sound options have been moved to this "General" settings tab as well. The "Sound" tab has been removed.
  • Higher cell data limit: The "cell data limit" has been raised in all 2.0 worlds, and can be raised even further by world owners. There is a new Cell Data Limit option under the World Options; it can be set to one of three levels: Normal, Large, or Huge. "Normal" is a cell data limit of 1500 bytes, "Large" is 2500 bytes, and "Huge" is 4000 bytes. By way of comparison, the cell data limit in all 1.3 worlds was 1100 bytes, so even at the Normal setting the data limit will increase by almost 40% over 1.3 levels. We STRONGLY discourage world owners from using the "Huge" setting. This setting will allow a very large number of objects to be placed in a small area, which can potentially cause very serious performance problems in terms of bandwidth, memory usage and frame rate. Nevertheless, the option is there for those of you who really want to push things to absurd limits.
  • Instant World Option updates: One benefit of the new 2.0 communication protocol is that any changes you (as a caretaker) make to the world options are instantly communicated to all users in that world (in 1.3, you had to leave and re-enter the world to get the changes). This means for example that if you change the backdrop image, everyone in the world will see the change right away. There is still one exception: if you change the world's object path, people will still have to leave and re-enter the world in order to re-download all the world objects from the new path.
  • Welcome message: There is a new "Welcome Message" world option. This allows you (the world owner) to override the default "welcome to [world name], [user name]" message from the Immigration Officer. Note that this feature, coupled with the fact that world option changes are instantly sent to everyone, allows caretakers to send messages to everyone in the world instantly. A good use for this might be if you were about to shut your world down, you could change the welcome message to "Warning: this world will shut down in 5 minutes".
You can set a welcome message in a 1.3 world but only 2.0 browsers will display it. 1.3 browsers will continue to display the old default message.
  • Better game support: There are a series of new World Options available to make the possibilities for game worlds more interesting. These options allow you to disable the SHIFT key (i.e. object pass-thru), disable the +/- keys (i.e. flying), and to disable local teleports in your world. The last one may be a bit confusing at first but the intention is to prevent visitors from circumventing obstacles or puzzles by simple teleporting around them. If you disable local teleports, any attempt to teleport anywhere in the world will always take you to 0n 0w. This includes attempts to teleport into the world from from the outside.
These options will actually work in 1.3 worlds since they are implemented solely in the browser. However they will only affect users running the 2.0 browser.
World caretakers are immune to the effects of these settings.
  • Automatic VRML scaling: VRML objects are now automatically scaled to 1/10th of there original size when first loaded. This is to accomodate the VRML convention that 1 unit = 1 meter (in Active Worlds scale, 1 unit = 10 meters). If you don't VRML scaling to occur in your world, you can turn it off under the World Options.
  • New Eject Powers: citizens with the Eject right in a world now have the special ability to see the names of all visitors to that world, even before they have spoken. This makes it easier to keep out known trouble makers before they can cause more trouble.
  • Immigration and Expiration dates: The date you first immigrated and the date your citizenship expires are now displayed in the Citizen/Attributes dialog box.
  • More contacts: The maximum number of contacts on the contact list has been increased from 50 to 100.
  • More special avatars: The number of special avatars available to public speakers has been increased from 3 to 5. This feature will work in 1.3 worlds, however if you use special avatars 4 or 5 only urers running a 2.0 browser will be able to see it.
  • Object path hidden: To make it slightly harder to "borrow" the objects or object paths of other worlds, the object path is now hidden in the world options if you are not a caretaker for that world.
  • Selection disabled: You can no longer select objects in 2.0 worlds in which you are not allowed to build.
  • No more special actions: The "special actions" rights list was obsolete and has been removed.


**Missing Builds 199-227**Edit

Build 198 (~Jan 14/98)Edit

The change in build 196 apparently broke object downloading from certain web servers; this update should fix the problem.


Build 197 (~Jan 13/98)Edit

This update contains a workaround for a problem that has shown up on some of the new AGP video cards based on the nVidia chipset. Previously, AW would only run in 8-bit color on these video cards. With this update AW should now run in full 16-bit color and the MMX driver should load properly on Pentium II systems which use this card.


Build 196 (~Jan 9/98)Edit

  • This update contains a small tweak to the object download code. It is an attempt to correct a possible resource problem on our object web server.
  • Copyright notices have been updated to 1998


Build 195Edit

  • Bug fixed where if a JPEG compression failed (due to a corrupt .jpg file) the AW logo would be left spinning indefinitely.
  • Bug fixed where if you changed the audio and/or picture download settings to either all or none, it would return to the default size limit the next time AW was restarted.


Build 194 (~Dec 22/97)Edit

  • A drawing problem has been fixed which occured when the list of gesture buttons was long enough to overlap with the new logo. In this case the logo will now simply overlap the extra gesture button(s).
  • A bug was fixed which caused menus to sometimes pop-up when you right clicked in the toolbar.
  • An obscure bug is fixed which would occur when mouse capture was unexpectedly interrupted while dragging one of the vertical or horizontal "sliders" between the 3D/chat/web windows.
  • A crash bug in the avatar animation code has been fixed.


Active Worlds 1.32Edit

Build 193 (~Dec 16/97)Edit

  • The Browser application has a new icon
  • The "AW" logo is now displayed in a small window in the upper right corner of the main browser window. Like in a web browser, the logo animates to indicate when the browser is busy downloading stuff.
  • The avatar "twitch" bug should *really* be fixed now. :)
  • A long standing bug with telegrams has been fixed. The bug occured when you started AW with the telegram list showing, and you had more than one telegram waiting. In this case only the last new telegram would be displayed in the list. You would not see the other new telegrams until you had restarted AW again. This had the affect of making it appear as though some telegrams took a long time to be delivered.
  • The version number is now 1.32.
  • One beta user reported a crash in the MMX RenderWare driver that started appearing after the upgrade to build 192. I'd like to hear from any other beta users who have MMX cpus who have or have not had difficulties with the latest RenderWare MMX driver, in order to determine whether or not we should go back to the previous version of RenderWare.
  • (this actually appeared in build 192) If you start up AW as a tourist (i.e. no name or password in your .ini file) there is now a "Citizen" button that takes you directly to the citizen login screen from the tourist login screen.


Build 192 (~Dec 10/97)Edit

  • The bug where your avatar in third person mode sometimes "twitches" oddly should be fixed
  • A bug which causes garbage values to be saved in the .ini file for the minimum visible range setting should be fixed
  • URLs used with the "picture" command are no longer required to end in ".jpg" or ".jpeg"; however, they must still point to JPEG images. This is to allow the use of cgi-bin scripts and other server-side tricks to create JPEG images on the fly for use with the "picture" command.
  • The words "Active Worlds - " now always precede the world title in the browser's title bar.
  • Description fields no longer pop-up when the mouse is over an object while AW is not the foreground application.
  • This upgrade includes the latest Maintentance Release of RenderWare. We are not aware of any bug fixes in this release that specifically fix any known problems in Active Worlds, but we're including the new release just in case.
  • A strange bug that has appeared with some newer (possibly beta) versions of Winsock from Microsoft is causing severe performance problems for a few people. This build has a change that attempts to work around the problem.


Build 191Edit

This fixes a new problem with the web browser component, where it enabled itself on startup even if you had previously disabled it.


Build 190 (~Nov 26/97)Edit

This fixes a new problem where AW did not exit properly sometimes, causing problems when it was next startup up.


Build 189 (~Nov 26/97)Edit

This fixes a crash bug introduced in 188


Build 188 (~Nov 26/97)Edit

  • The teleport bug that show up in 187 is fixed
  • Text fields should work again in the web browser if you have IE 4.0


Build 187 (~Nov 11/97)Edit

  • IE 4.0 should no longer steal the keyboard focus whenever a new web page comes up
  • The Immigration Officer will now periodically mention the various benefits of citizenship while running in tourist mode.


Build 186Edit

  • An obscure crash bug has been fixed that occured when teleporting from one world to another. Typically this bug would cause Active Worlds to suddenly exit with no error message.
  • If you do not have Internet Explorer, you can now access the integrated HTML help files from within Active Worlds if you have Netscape running.


Build 185 (~Nov 11/97)Edit

  • This upgrade fixes a crash bug that could occur if you used the action "activate sign"
  • The newsgroups are back at last! They are currently the same as before:
   news://news.activeworlds.com/discussion - General Active Worlds discussion, all topics
   news://news.activeworlds.com/worldbuilders - Discussion for world owners and builders
These newsgroups are provided as a service to our users; they are intended to be a forum for users to exchange tips and ideas, and to ask and answer questions. They are currently unmoderated but may become moderated in the future. We are also considering adding some new newsgroups later on.


Build 184 (~Nov 6/97)Edit

This upgrade should fix the mysterious teleport bug, where sometimes you would try to enter one world and wind up getting bumped into different world (often the one you just came from) after a few seconds.


Build 183Edit

  • We are running a new survey to collect some demographic information about our users. Since the beta users represent some of our most dedicated users, we are initially only informing the beta users about it. Please take a moment to fill it out. Go to http://www.activeworlds.com/survey.html
Your responses to the survey are anonymous and private. We will be using this data only for the purposes of seeking advertisement revenue for Active Worlds and for better marketing the product.
  • A new optional "tag=" argument has been added to the "animate" command. If used, the animation will only be applied to polygons on the object with that have the specified numeric tag, in the same manner that "sign" commands are only applied to tag 100 polygons and "picture" command are only applied to tag 200 polygons. The "tag=" argument must come right after the word "animate". For example, to apply an animation only to the picture polygon on a picture object:
   create animate tag=200 me 3 3 400
Remember that if you use the "tag=" argument before this version is released, the animation will only work for other beta users.
  • Another new optional argument "nomask" has been added to the animate command. It specifies that the animation has no masks. This argument should be used on unmasked animations to avoid unnecessary downloads of non-existant mask files. Like the "tag=" argument it must come after the "animate" keyword (and after the tag= argument if that is present as well) and before the animation name. The documentation on the "animate" command in the help files has been updated to describe the "nomask" and "tag=" arguments, as well as all other "animate" arguments in more detail.
  • Starting with this build, tourists now have access to the first 2 avatars on a world's avatar list. This is so that a world can provide both a male and a female avatar for use by tourists.


Active Worlds 1.31Edit

Build 182 (~Oct 29/97)Edit

  • Two VRML crash bugs are fixed (one occured with polygons with large numbers of vertices, the other when no material nodes were specified)
  • Resizing the 3D viewport while using Direct3D is handled better. The problem was that it is possible to exhaust available video memory when you make the 3D viewport very large under Direct3D. Now if you try to make the window too large, it will adjust itself automatically back down to a smaller size if necessary.
  • Since Direct3D is now making very high frame rates possible in Active Worlds, the maximum frame rate in the Performance dialog has been raised from 18 to 30 frames/sec. Also, "high-speed panning" (also known as pixel doubling) is now disabled when you are using Direct3D, since it is actually slows things down.
  • A long standing problem where the embedded IE web browser would sometimes "stall" and not display the current web page has been fixed.
  • Since apparently a lot of people can't figure out what the little "mouse pointer" icon on the mouse-mode toolbar button means, it's been changed to a picture of a walking man (some of you may remember this icon from version 1.1) Also, in mouse mode now holding down the right mouse button will make you walk forward.
  • The camera angle in third person mode has been brought down a little
  • The version number is now 1.31


Build 181 (~Oct 21/97)Edit

  • This upgrade fixes a serious bug in the eject feature. The bug occured when right-clicking on overlapped avatars in the scene. In this case it would usually wind up ejecting the wrong user.
  • By the way, for those of you experimenting with the RenderWare Direct3D driver, Criterion put up a new driver today that fixes the sign problem. However, the sporadic crash in RWL21.DLL when resizing the 3D window still seems to occur, unfortuantely. The new driver is at http://www.csl.com/RenderWare/updates/rwd3d.zip. Use at your own risk!


Build 180 (~Oct 20/97)Edit

  • This upgrade contains an improvement to the visible on/off command so that it no longer causes a substantial performance degradation when used.
  • Since some new users have been having difficulty figuring out how to register, the toolbar now has a "Register Now!" button that taks you directly to the registration dialog box. This button is only displayed when you are a tourist.


Build 179 (~Oct 13/97)Edit

This upgrade contains a few minor bug fixes, as well as more documentation improvements. The help files now include an "Active Worlds Server" section with some basic information about installing and hosting your own world. The new registration system is also discussed in more detail.


**Missing Build 178**Edit

Build 177 (~Oct 2/97)Edit

  • Some keyboard navigation changes: shift + left/right arrow now slides you to left or right. This is particularly useful when trying to view a series of pictures arranged along a long wall. Also, Holding the CTRL key while turning now causes you to turn faster.
  • The "accept join?" dialog box is gone. Instead, if you have "verify joins" turned on, the Immigration Officer will inform you when someone is requesting to join you. To accept the join, you simply type "y" into the chat window. To reject, type "n". If multiple people try to join you at the same time, it will tell you about each one in succession as you accept or reject the previous one.
  • The crash is fixed that was caused by running in 8-bit mode and visiting a world that had an odd (as opposed to even) height backdrop.
  • The VRML parser will now report the line number that a syntax error occured on (if you have VRML debugging turned on). Also, if a material node does not have a transparency specified, the material will now default to fully opaque instead of fully transparent.
  • WAVE playback now uses your current volume setting as a reference for the maximum volume to use, instead of maxing out at the loudest possible volume.
  • This build also introduces what will most likely be the most unpopular new feature in the history of Active Worlds: the registration screen! With build 177 you can no longer immigrate to Active Worlds Universe using the old "immigration" screen. Now a much larger screen comes up that requires the old immigration information along with your credit card and billing information as well. To get a new citizen account, you must enter a valid credit card, which will be charged $19.95 for a one year subscription. We don't expect too many beta users to be trying out this new dialog box, of course. Particularly since you cannot register an old account using this dialog; you can only create new accounts with it.


Build 176Edit

  • The DirectDraw saga continues! Turns out there was a bug in build 175 that not only did not disable DirectDraw by default...but turned it back ON again for people who had turned it off manually. Wow, I try to fix a problem, and I only wind up making it worse...
  • This update also contains a new VRML parser which fixes a couple of old crash bugs (in particular, VRML 1.0 files should no longer make it crash).


Build 175Edit

  • The primary purpose of buid 175 is to introduce a change that will only affect new users: since it has caused crashes and other bizarre behavior on so many computers out there, DirectDraw is now disabled by default. This new default behavior will not affect any existing users because your versions are either already working properly with DirectDraw, or you've already had to turn it off by hand. It will still be possible to use DirectDraw, but now the user must specifically enable DirectDraw from the performance dialog.
  • We've been working hard on the new HTML files to bring them more up to date, and to include documentation on action commands (such as animate) which did not make it into the first release. Also the help files have been updated to included documentation on the new registration requirement.
  • One small tweak: the default maximum download size for MIDIs and WAVEs has been raised to 150K from 100K. This will not affect anyone who has already adjusted this limit to their own preference. It seems that people were finding many MIDI files in the 100K-150K range which they could not use because of the old default limit.


Active Worlds 1.3Edit

Build 174Edit

  • This is the final beta build for 1.3. Build 174 should be released to everyone later on today. It introduces our new splash screen for version 1.3.
  • If you've been trying to email us today @activeworlds.com, we are having difficulties with our email system. We're working on the problem and hope to ahve it resolved within a few hours.


Build 173 (~Sep 3/97)Edit

  • The bug where sending a telegram could accidentally re-enable the disabled acquisition of someone's privileges has been fixed.
  • The telegram list can now be reverse sorted by name and date. A second click in the name or date column will cause it to sort in the other direction.


Build 172 (~Sep 1/97)Edit

  • There is a new option available for world caretakers: disabling "create url". If checked, all uses of "create url" will be ignored in that world. We have already disabled "create url" in AlphaWorld.
  • The bug where the chat over people's heads sometimes left garbage strewn around on the screen should be fixed.
  • This build should fix the crash some people with MMX cpu's experienced when walking through teleport objects.
  • Even though we won't be distributing the RenderWare Direct3D driver with the browser (at least for the moment), the browser will still attempt to load the Direct3D driver if the line "direct3d=1" is placed in the [performance] section of the aworld.ini file.
  • Join attempts now have a 30 second timeout. If the user you are trying to join does not accept or reject the join request with 30 seconds, the Immigration Officer will report that there was no reply, and the request will be cancelled.
  • There is now a file "help.html" in the Active World top directory, which you can click on to access the HTML help from outside of the browser.


Build 171 (~Aug 28/97)Edit

This update introduces a substantial modification of the "Telegram" feature. Telegrams are now downloaded automatically when you get them and stored in the new "Telegram" window (you will notice a new fourth tab on the left called "Telegram" in there with Contacts, Worlds, and Help). The telegram button in the toolbar is gone. To read your telegrams, simply click on the Telegram tab, and then click on any telegram you want to read. It will be printed in the chat window like before. Telegrams are saved so you can read them again later. You can delete a telegram or telegrams by selecting and then right-clicking and selecting "Delete". You can also reply directly to a telegram by right-clicking on it and selecting "Reply". A red star next to the telegram indicates telegrams you have not read yet. The telegram list can be sorted by name or by date. Also, if you are use multiple identities in AW, the telegrams received for each identity are kept separately, so as you switch from one identity to another, the telegram window only shows the telegrams sent to the identity you are currently using.


Build 170 (~Aug 25/97)Edit

  • The "ghostly triangle" that MMX users reported seeing over the heads of avatars should be gone.
  • The named animation bug (where applying a new animation on top of an existing one didn't work) should be fixed.
  • Since the RenderWare Direct3D driver is apparently not working well for anyone, we are dropping it for the moment. Also, for those of you who have been having difficulty running version 1.3 at certain display depths (some folks have been forced to run in 8-bit or 24-bit color in order to see the 3D graphics) there is a new option to try out. Our current theory is that this problem is related to DirectDraw, which RenderWare 2.1 will use by default. In the "Performance" dialog, where it used to let you turn Direct3D on or off, you can now turn DirectDraw on or off. It will usually be on by default. If you are not having any difficulty with the 3D graphics, you should leave this option on. However if you are having trouble seeing the graphics, try turning off the DirectDraw to see if it helps. If you are one of these people, please send in an email indicating whether or not turning off DirectDraw helps.


Build 168-169 (~Aug 23/97)Edit

  • These builds contain more "lockup" bug fixes.
  • The world list alphabetical sort no longer breaks the list up into 3 sections of public/unknown/private. It should now be alphabetical by world name from top to bottom.


Build 168 (~Aug 23/97)Edit

This build contains another "lockup" bug fix.


Build 167 (~Aug 22/97)Edit

  • Build 167 should fix the corrupted texture bug once and for all. Again, if you are currently seeing corrupted textures (the corruption usually appears as big "stripes" through the texture, which are often see-through) you will need to delete your "cache" folder and restart with Build 167. We're confident now that this problem should finally by gone.
  • This build should also help fix the frequent lockup problem some people have reported.
  • We are introducing a new feature with this build: the Eject button! Unfortunately, this feature is only available to Public Speakers. If you are PS in a world and someone is, well, mouthing-off, you can right-click on their avatar and select "Eject..." They will be ejected from your world. Furthermore, a block will be placed on their IP address so they cannot get back in, even using a different citizen name. When you eject someone, you can select how long to enfore the block on their IP address (choices are 5 minutes, 1 hour, 1 day, and 1 week). Important note: this feature only works will Build 7 or later of the world server. Build 7 is now available for download on www.activeworlds.com (select "Products", and "World Server"). To install the new server, simply shut down your world, install the new server into the same directory, and restart your world again. No need to reload the database. Build 7 will also turn your world's icon on the world list into a red or green light instead of a question mark. ALSO: don't use the Eject feature to eject non-beta users. The old (pre-1.3) clients do not understand what an eject is and will not handle it properly. Once 1.3 is released we will upgrade everyone to version 1.3 and then everyone will be ejectable.
  • By popular demand, the animate command "." trick has been re-enabled. This was not intended functionality (i.e. it was a bug!) but so many people have used it in their building in AlphaWorld it appears that disabling it was causing mass hysteria amongst the population.
  • For the moment, it appears that the Direct3D RenderWare driver is not working for most people. We are still investigating this problem. If you have tried turning on Direct3D support and now AW is crashing on startup, you can turn it back off by going into your aworld.ini file to the section called [performance], and setting the "direct3d" line to "direct3d=0".


Build 166 (~Aug 21/97)Edit

Build 166 has only one change: another attempt to fix the texture striping bug. If you are currently seeing striped or otherwise corrupted textures in Active Worlds, please delete the "cache" folder in your Active Worlds directory and restart AW. If after deleting your entire cache, if you are still seeing striped textures please let us know. Thanks!


Build 165 (~Aug 20/97)Edit

  • This update attempts to handle the loading of Direct3D and MMX drivers better. When you start AW, it attempts to determine automatically whether you have Direct3D support installed; if you do it will use the Direct3D driver. If you don't, it will then attempt to use the MMX driver if you have an MMX system. Finally, it will fall back to the generic 16-bit driver which should work on all systems (unless you are running in 8-bit color mode, in which case it will only use the 8-bit driver, nothing else). In the "Performance" dialog there is a new "Hardware Acceleration" section, with 2 checkboxes, one for Direct3D and one for MMX. You can look at this section to determine which driver Active Worlds is using (if any). You can also attempt to override Active World's default choice, or turn off MMX or Direct3D if you think it might be causing trouble. Note that you cannot use both MMX and Direct3D at the same time. If you change the hardware acceleration settings, you will have to restart Active Worlds for them to take effect. If your new settings don't work (i.e. you select "use MMX" but you don't have an MMX processor) you will get a warning message the next time you start Active Worlds.
  • A few people have been having trouble with crashes in "RWDL6D21.DLL" on startup. In most cases this has been traced to an old video card driver, or incorrectly installed DirectX drivers. If you have this crash problem, the first thing to try is visiting your video card manufacturer's web site and downloading (and installing) the latest drivers for your video card. If that doesn't help, the next step to try is going to Microsoft's web site and downloading the latest DirectX drivers. A few people have reported that simply downloading and installing the latest Internet Explorer has also fixed the problem. In any case, if you have this crash problem and are able to fix the problem using one of these methods (or even another method) please send in an email describing what you did. We are trying to collect as much information as possible about this problem so we'll be able to help out other users in the future. For those who want to try downloading the latest DirectX 5.0 drivers from Microsoft, the English language version is at http://www.microsoft.com/DirectX/Resources/Downloads/dx5eng.exe
  • The bug that messed up your teleports menu if you edited your teleport list has been fixed.
  • A lot of people have reported seeing "striped" or otherwise corrupted or missing textures with 1.3. We've made some changes to the cache directory in an attempt to fix this probem. Also, the above-mentioned driver loading changes may have fixed this. We would like to hear from anyone who is continuing to have "striped" texture problems with build 165. Unfortunately the cache directory changes are going to cause all cached art to be redownloaded again (sorry!)
  • Due to extensive problems with the telegram font, telegram are now printed in the same font as the chat text. Also, they are now printed in red (by popular request).
  • Many people have reported that the new "read telegrams" toolbar button is showing up blank on some systems. We're still looking into this one.


Build 164Edit

  • The crash bug which was hitting most in New Metatropolis has been fixed.
  • You should now be able to run 1.3 on a 256-color display
  • When you right-click on a world in the world list, it now correctly shows the world you clicked on instead of the world you are currently in.
  • The join privacy setting is now correctly saved across sessions
  • The "gestures" help index is fixed
  • This patch also includes a RenderWare driver for Direct 3D accelerator cards.


Build 163 (~Aug 17/97)Edit

  • Welcome to the first beta of Active Worlds Browser version 1.3! We hope you'll agree that it was worth wait. Version 1.3 brings many exciting new features to the Active Worlds experience. The change most folks will notice right away in is the new tabbed window on the left side of the screen. This new window contains three sub-windows each with its own new feature:
  • The "Worlds" tab shows a complete list of all worlds running in the universe. This window replaces the old "status" web page that has not been working very well recently. Next to each world is an icon showing the world's public/private status: green light means the world is open to the public, red light means it is only open to selected users. The world you are currently in is shown as a globe. If the icon shows a question mark, that world is still running a pre-1.3 world server so the universe can't determine whether it is public or private. As of this first beta only CoF worlds are running the new world server. We'll be making the new world server available to all world owners shortly. For each world, it also shows how many people are in that world. You can sort this list either alphabetically or by number of users. However the "alphabetical" list is actually divided into "public" worlds at the top, "unknown" worlds in the middle, and "private" worlds at the bottom. Finally, you can left-click on any world in the list to teleport there immediately. A right-click brings up the "Telport...To" dialog to let you enter additional coordinates before teleporting. Note that in the "Teleport...To" dialog the old drop-down scroll list of worlds has been replaced with a simple text edit box, since the new world list window now provides the list of all worlds running.
  • The "Contacts" tab shows your contact list. This list is initially empty. You can add people to your list in one of two ways: if you right-click on their avatar you will see "Add to contacts" as a new option on the pop-up menu. Or, you can simply right-click in the contacts list window and select "Add to contacts...". This will bring up a dialog where you can enter the name of the person you want to add. Once added to your contact list, you will see a green checkmark next to that user's name if they are currently in Active World. You will also see the name of the world they are currently in. If you right-click on their name, you will see a few things which you can do with that person. You can "join" them (see more on joining below) or you can send them a "telegram" (see more on telegrams below). You can have up to 50 citizens on your contact list.
  • The "help" tab shows our new integrated help system. We have converted all of our browser help documentation to HTML and added an index which you can access from directly within the browser. Using the integrated help system requires that you have Internet Explorer 3.0 or later installed on your PC. If you don't have IE, you won't be able to access the help from within AW; however you can still read the help files using an external web browser (they are all in the "help" folder under your AW folder). We are still in the process of reorganizing our help files and updating them for 1.3, so please recognize that they are not yet in their final state.
  • Joining: as mentioned above, the contact list allows you to join other people. If you right-click on their name and select "join", you will be teleported to their position, regardless of what world they might be in. A successful join does require that you are allowed into that world, and also that their privacy settings allow you to join them.
  • Privacy: since 1.3 allows other users to potentially gain more information about you, you have the ability to control the information which is made available. There is a new "privacy" tab in the "Options...Settings" dialog. You can set your joining privacy to one of three different levels: 1) allow anyone to join you, 2) only allow people on your contact list to join you, or 3) don't allow anyone to join you. If you select 1) or 2), you can also set it to always ask you for permission before allowing someone to join you. Finally, in this dialog you can also turn off the display of what world you are in, if other people have you on your contact list. If you see someone on your contact list with a checkmark indicating that they are online, but no world name is displayed for them, that means they have selected this option.
  • Telegrams: you can now send short messages to other citizens in Active Worlds regardless of where they are currently located or even if they are not logged in at all. We call this new feature "telegrams". To send someone a telegram, they must be on your contact list. Right-click on their name and select "Send telegram...", then enter your message. The message length is limited to 250 characters or less. If the recipient is logged in, they will receive the telegram immediately. If they are not logged in, the message will be saved and delivered to them the next time they log in. Undelivered messages are saved by the system for up to 7 days. When you receive a telegram, you will see a message from the Operator in your chat window: "You have a telegram". To read the telegram, click the telegram button in the toolbar, which will have become enabled. The text of the telegram along with the time at which it was sent will be displayed in the chat window. If you have more than one telegram waiting, the telegram button will remain enabled. Once a telegram is read it is deleted from the system, so be sure to take note of any important information sent in the message.
  • RenderWare 2.1: One reason the upgrade patch is so large is that it includes version 2.1 of RenderWare, the library we use to render the 3D graphics. This version primarily brings support for additional hardware optimizations to Active Worlds. It also should fix the crash that has plagued many users of the Diamond Stealth family of 3D accelerators. Also, RenderWare 2.1 includes support for the Pentium MMX (we'd be very interested in hearing from any beta users who are using a MMX processor: do you notice any substantial performance improvements with this version?) On all systems regardless of processor type or 3D acceleration, there should be a 5-10% performance boost. The RenderWare 2.1 binary cache format is incompatible with earlier versions, so all cached objects will have to be redownloaded after upgrading to 1.3 (this happens automatically).
  • Shared building: as promised, version 1.3 includes a formal concept of shared building. In fact it is slightly more complex that simply "shared building"; we call it "privilege acquisition." Basically it allows you to acquire the privileges of another citizen, without actually becoming them. This means that you "act as" them as far as the world server is concerned: you can enter a world if they can, you can change their property, and if you build anything it will be owned by them. If they have eminent domain in that world, or any other special rights, you will inherit those rights, including public speakership. Simultaneously you will lose any rights you had (e.g. if you were a public speaker in that world but are now acquiring the privileges of someone else who is not a PS, you will lose PS during that time). However during all this time if you chat with other people you retain your own name. In order for someone to acquire your privileges, you need to specify an additional "privilege password" in the "Citizen Attributes" dialog. You then give this password to the other person, who goes to the "Advanced" settings dialog. They select the "Acquire the privileges of another citizen" check box, and enter your name and the privilege password you gave them. They will see the "Building Inspector" confirm changes in their privilege acquisition status in the chat window. The main point here is to create a means for other people to share your account without the potential of them stealing the account from you (since the privilege password does not allow them to change anything about your account.) Also, it allows 20 people building together on a shared account to still retain their own individual names while they chat.
  • VRML 2.0 support: Version 1.3 allows the use of .wrl files as building objects and avatars. Note that VRML 2.0 is not backwards compatible with 1.0, so VRML 1.0 is not supported. The actual VRML supported is a subset of the complete 2.0 spec, since the language can describe entire virtual worlds and not just objects. Currently we only support those portions of VRML that pertain to the description of 3D geometry (i.e. polygons) and materials (i.e. colors and textures). There are a handful of other limitations which also apply to VRML support. We have not had the opportunity yet to extensively exercise the new VRML parser, so we encourage folks who have access to VRML authoring tools and a world server to experiment with this new format. If you have problems with a VRML object, please always include the object itself in the bug report so we can take a look at it. To build with a .wrl object, just specify "object.wrl" in the properties dialog box where you would have put "object.rwx". When placing it on your object path, compress it into a .zip as you would a .rwx file. As with .rwx files, any textures must be placed as JPEGs in the "textures" directory on the object path. Also note that if you use textures on a VRML object, they need to be specified as ".bmp" files in the .wrl file itself, even though they are posted as ".jpg" files on the object path.
  • There is a new "Make this my home" selection under the Teleport menu. This allows you to specify the spot at which you are currently standing as your new "home." This is where the browser will try to start you out whenever you enter Active Worlds. You can also return to your home at any time by selecting "Home" from the Teleport menu. Note that your home can be in any world in the universe.
  • Password recovery: since the "I forgot" button has been heavily abused to send unsolicited password emails to unsuspecting Active Worlds citizens, we have changed it so that in order to recover a lost password, you must re-enter the email address for that account. If the address you enter does not match the email address for that account, the password will not be sent.
  • As always, all beta bug reports go to roland@activeworlds.com. Please try to be as descriptive as possible when reporting a problem, including what you were trying to do at the time, what the exact error message you got was (if any), and any other information you think might be useful. If you get an actual Windows crash, try to cut-and-paste the crash details from the crash dialog into your email. Also, keep in mind that we typically receive hundreds of emails after releasing a new beta, so don't be discouraged if we don't get back to you right away. If we receive dozens of emails about the same problem, we probably will not reply to each email. Rather, whenever you get a new upgrade, check the readme.txt to see if there is any mention of your problem getting fixed.
  • Thanks in advance to the many volunteers we have recently added to the Active Worlds beta program, as well as to the many others who have been with us as beta users for a long time now! Your efforts help us to make Active Worlds a better product, and we sincerely appreciate that.


Active Worlds 1.21Edit

Build 162 (~Jun 2/97)Edit

A few minor bug fixes and a new help file for you. If there are no serious problems this version will be going out to all users shortly.


Build 161 (~May 29/97)Edit

  • This is our first beta of version 1.21, which introduces a small set of new features.
  • By relentless popular demand, the ability to save your favorite teleports is at last built into the browser. Off of the "Teleport" menu there is now a "Remember..." selection that lets you save your current position under any name you like. Once you save a position it is added to the bottom of the "Telport" menu for later recall. There is also an "Edit..." selection that lets you manipulate your list of teleports (you can either delete or rename them).
All of your saved teleports are stored in a simple text file on disk called "teleport.txt". If you want you can exchange your favorite teleports with your friends by exchanging all or parts of this file.
  • The chat window has a new look. It has been enhanced to support multiple colors to distinguish the different types of messages you receive. All normal chat messages from other citizens appear in black. Public speaker messages appear in bold (there is no longer a dot in front of their names). Tourist messages appear in light grey. Comments from the infamous Building Inspector appear in blue, and finally a new persona has been introduced, the "Immigration Officer", whose comments appear in green. The Immigration Officer welcomes you to each world as you enter, and also informs you of any problems you may encounter while trying to enter a world (such as not being allowed in).
  • The Object Properties dialog box has been rearranged. In particular it has a new field that gives the name (in addition to the citizen number) of the citizen who built the object.
  • Finally, we have made some improvements to the security of the chat mechanism. In particular all citizen names are verified before being printed to the window. Please let us know if you have any difficulty with chatting, or suspect that you might be receiving incorrect or even deliberately faked messages from other users.


Active Worlds 1.2Edit

Build 160Edit

This version contains an optimzation to the avatar code which should give about a 15% improvement to the frame rate in crowded areas such as the Gate and AlphaWorld ground zero.


Build 159 (~May 9/97)Edit

  • Wow you guys actually read the help file! Several people reported problems with the new help file and this update fixes most of them.
  • We also had to sneak in one more small feature. AW now supports alternate port numbers on world object paths. For example, if a world's object path is specified as www.mysite.com:8080/awart, the browser will use port 8080 instead of the usual port 80 when downloading objects from the web server at www.mysite.com


Build 158 (~May 8/9)Edit

This upgrade contains a new updated help file. It also has a few more small bug fixes. If there are no problems with build 158 it will be going out to all users shortly.


Build 157 (~May 2/97)Edit

One small crash bug fixed.


Build 156 (~May 1/97)Edit

This upgrade contains a fix to a crash bug in the new debug logging code (oops!). It also has a fix for a new building bug that crept into to build 155 which made it difficult sometimes to delete objects.


Build 155 (~Apr 30/97)Edit

  • This is a minor upgrade with a few small bug fixes and modifications. The largest change is to the "teleport" dialog box. The menu item leading to this dialog has been changed from "Coordinates..." to "Location..." The world you are teleporting to has been separated from the coordinates to make it clearer that you can specify, one, the other, or both. Finally, the world name is presented as a drop-down list that contains the names of all the worlds currently running, so you can pick a name from the list instead of trying to remember what a world is called.
  • Since many people didn't like it, we've made "Low-res panning" (now called "high speed panning") off by default.
  • This version also has the ability to log some debug information to a file while it is running. This can be turned on or off via the .ini file. The purpose is mainly to help us try to track down some of the more mysterious crashes people have reported. If you are experiencing repeating crashes or hangs, send me some email (roland@activeworlds.com) and I'll have you turn on the appropriate logging so we can try to fix the problem.
  • Finally, by popular demand, we have brought back "standalone" mode. If you are offline, you can hit the "Skip" button when the splash screen says that internet communications are being established. You can then visit any worlds that you have cached information for.


Build 154Edit

  • The urgent nature of some of the changes in this version, as well as the difficulty of supporting multiple browser versions, has required us to go directly to a release version with build 154. Both beta and non-beta users are simultaneously moving to build 154 via a forced upgrade.
But, just because we had to go straight to release with this build doesn't mean I don't still want to hear about bugs! Please treat build 154 as a new beta as far as bug reporting goes, perhaps with the added urgency that if you are having a problem with it, so are probably hundreds of non-beta users...
  • The first thing you'll probably notice in 154 is our new splash screen. The new splash screen is also our new About box. Also, the browser version number is now 1.2.
  • The largest change in 154 is that the immigration/login procedure has been completely rewritten. The most dramatic change is that we are no longer requiring users to immigrate before entering Active Worlds. New users who just want to check out Active Worlds can simply pick a name; they are allowed into all public worlds as "tourists". Tourists are assigned a citizen number of 0. When they speak, their names are always shown in double quotes (e.g. "Frank"). They can build, but any registered user can destroy what they've built. Tourists can also only use the first avatar in a world; they do not even get to see an avatar menu until they immigrate.
Probably the second biggest change is that we are no longer going to be using the immigration number email-back mechanism for immigration (too many new users were having trouble with it and giving up). To immigrate, you simply need to pick a unique name and password; you still need to provide an email address, but no immigration number will be emailed to you. Passwords are now encrypted before getting stored in the .ini file, for a little added security.
The old immigration dialog box has been replaced with a (hopefully) simpler dialog box. New users see a "Welcome to Active Worlds" dialog box which lets them pick a name and come right in as a tourist. This dialog also has an immigrate button for people who want to immigrate right away. Users who have already immigrated are logged-in automatically automatically.
Finally, within the browser there is now a "Citizen" menu. From this menu you can change to a different identity, including a tourist, on the fly. Of course, if you are in a world that has a restricted enter list, and you change your identity to someone who is not allowed into that world, you will get booted out in the process. You can also optionally change your name, password, and/or email address from this menu.
  • The browser now checks your screen's display depth on startup and prints a warning if it is not 16-bit. The warning message gives you the option to not display the message again.
  • There is a new "Edit" menu on the "Object Properties" dialog that comes up when you select an object. There is one item in this menu, "Undo Changes". This undoes any changes you may have made to the object since you first selected it.
  • A bug causing crashes on teleports (introduced by the new visibility algorithm in 152) has been fixed.
  • You can no longer enter a world by the old domain:port syntax (or with an IP address). You must use the name of the world itself (e.g. "gate" or "aw").


Active Worlds 1.1Edit

Build 153 (~Apr 11/97)Edit

  • Wait! Don't send that email just yet! Mouse navigation is not broken. We've just made it optional instead of the default, since most advanced users hardly ever use it except for when very precise positioning is needed. The new behavior is as follows: when the mouse pointer is visible, you can still move around with the arrow keys, and gravity is still in effect. If you want to use the mouse to move, you have to click on the little mouse-pointer button (where the little walking man icon used to be). Once in mouse mode, you have to click to get back out, like before. This new functionality takes a little while to get used to (I still find myself clicking on the backdrop a lot) but I think you'll find quickly that it makes more sense this way. Now there is no need to be constantly clicking in and out of movement mode whenever you want to click on a button or menu. The only time you cannot move now is when an object is selected for building, or if some other window or application has the keyboard focus.
  • I'd like to clarify a misconception some people seem to have about the new visibility algorithm: the browser no longer immediately loads every single object out to the maximum visible range in one shot. Rather, it loads the objects progressively over many frame updates, so as to spread the work out more evenly and to avoid that annoying "lurch" that would stop you cold when a lot of objects loaded at once. Some people have mistaken this new behavior for unnecessary redownloading of the cache, which is not the case. The information is on disk, it is just not all being displayed at once.
  • We've made a few adjustments to the new visiblity algorithm. It should now not take quite so long to bring all the objects into visibility (some people complained that this was taking way too long on their systems).
  • A bug was fixed which caused you to fall through the ground almost every time you went into a new world.
  • A bug was fixed which allowed "create url" teleport actions to be created, teleporting away everyone who got near the object.
  • Bumping complex objects. Anyone who has ever made objects for use in AW knows about the 64 vertex limit: if an object had more than 64 vertices, it would not be bumpable because the collision detection algorithm for such complex objects becomes unnacceptably expensive. We've bypassed this problem now by automatically doing a collision test with the bounding box surrounding complex objects. This seems to work fine in most cases although strange things can happen with highly convoluted shapes. For example, you will not be able to walk "under" a large arch object that has more than 64 vertices because the bounding box around such an object extends down to include the space under the arch. You can solve this problem in one of two ways: break it up into smaller pieces that have less than 64 vertices, or make the whole object unsolid by attaching a "create solid off" action to it.
  • The object password: world caretakers will notice this new field in the "world options" dialog box. Finally there is a way to keep people from ripping off your precious hand-built custom .rwx files. When you use pkzip to compress an .rwx file for posting on your web site, you can use a password to lock the file. Now if you specify the same password in the "object password" field, AW will be able to unlock the .zip file and display the model, even though no one else will be able to unzip it and take the .rwx for their own use. Since there is only a single password field, obviously all .zip files need to be locked with the same password. If you are using a password, you can still use normal unlocked .zip files as well; the password will only be used when a locked .zip is downloaded. Also, at the moment the password only applies to .rwx files (i.e. building objects and avatars). We don't have a way yet to protect JPEG files and sound files.
For obvious reasons, the "keep rwx" setting is ignored for models that have been password protected, so that the .rwx file never exists on the user's hard disk. Also, you should probably avoid putting this new feature into heavy use in an open world until this beta has become the new release version. Otherwise, only other beta users will be able to see your locked objects!


Build 152 (~Apr 8/97)Edit

  • Build 152 features an entirely new visibility algorithm. The old system of increasing/decreasing the distance you can see by large chunks of 10 meters is gone. The new algorithm adjusts the visible range by smaller increments, and does so in a more progressive fashion in order to keep the performance hit of visibility adjustments to a minimum. Also, the visibile area is now a "true" circle of cells (i.e. you see almost exactly the same distance in all directions) instead of the old square. And finally, by popular request, you can now adjust some parameters of the visibility algorithm in the "Performance" dialog. Specifically, you can choose the frame rate that the browser should try to achieve by adjusting the visible range. The browser will actually try to keep it within +/- 1 frame/sec of the frame rate you choose. Also, you can set a "minimum" visibility. This is the minimum distance you would like to be able to see at all times, regardless of the frame rate. Note that if you set this to a higher value, in dense areas it will be difficult or impossible to also achieve the frame rate you selected. Also, if you set this value too high, you can wind up with unacceptably poor performance (as noted in the dialog box itself).
  • When you turn your head, you will notice another new performance improvement. The 3D scene switches to a "low res" version of itself while panning to the left or right, which almost doubles the frame rate on most systems. This makes panning much more smooth and pleasant. If you find that this feature does not help much on your system, or if you just don't like it, you can disable it under the "Performance" dialog.
  • There is now a new "Downloads" dialog that allows you to control the maximum size (if any) of absolute URLs to be downloaded. The "picture" command has been an exciting new feature for everyone, but some people have abused it by attaching enormous JPEGs (or WAV filse) to objects in crowded areas, cloggin up everyone's download queues. Now, the default maximum size for both sound and picture files is 100K. You can set the maximum size to anywhere from 10 to 999K, or you can turn off the limit and download everything regardless, or you can even disable picture and audio downloads entirely. Note that these limits do not apply to files that come from a world's object path, only to files specified with absolute URLs.
  • Due mostly to ongoing conflicts with the menu shortcuts, the "ALT" key warp effect has been disabled. This old feature predates the "teleport" command, from a time when there was no other way to get around quickly.
  • The art downloader has been rewritten in at attempt to fix some past problems. There should be no noticeable difference, but keep an eye out for any new problems in this area.


Build 151 (General Release) (~Apr 1/97)Edit

  • Hello beta users! We are BACK!
  • Actually, this is not a major new version. There are no new features in this release; rather, it contains only a couple of small changes. But rest assured, a new version with several significant enhancements is currently in the works, and will be on its way to the beta users hopefully in only a few days.
  • This version should fix the "reason 12" build errors some people have been getting during the last week or two.
  • This version also contains a small set of adjustments which are necessary so that we can complete the transition of the servers off of the old Worlds, Inc. equipment and onto Circle Of Fire computers.
  • If there are no problems with 151, then it will become the next release version within the next day or two. Also, remember that my email address has changed, so beta bug reports now go to: roland@activeworlds.com

Build 150 (~Jan 10/97)Edit

This upgrade fixes a fatal crash (typically occuring in the RWL20.DLL library) that occured if you had run the browser under different display depths (e.g. if you ran AW after just switching your display to 8 bits, and you had previous been running the same copy of AW under 16 bits, you would most likely crash).

This is a serious bug that has been affecting a lot of users, so build 150 will most likely be going out to the general population very shortly.


Build 149 (~Jan 10/97)Edit

  • This upgrade fixes one potentially serious problem involving long file names. It turns out that the test that the browser was using to determine if a particular file exists or not on disk was not working for file names longer than 128 characters. Testing for the existance of a particular file is an integral part of the dynamic download process, so any problems at this step would most likely manigest themselves as unnecessary re-downloads of art already downloaded. Several people have reported this problem. In practice, it is rare for a filename to excede 128 characters, but the longer the directory name you have AW installed in, the more likely it is that this bug would strike. For example, if you were running the browser out of something like
   c:\Program Files\Active Worlds\Browser\

all file names will already be 40 characters long before the browser even started tacking on its various additional cache folder names and such. This would significantly increase the possiblity of this bug vs. someone who is running AW out of, say, "c:\aworld".


Build 148 (~Jan 8/97)Edit

  • This minor upgrade fixes several small problems that have come up since the release of 1.1 build 147 to the general public.
  • People have been using the "create url" action with a teleport URL to bypass the block on "create teleports" (let's face it, create teleports are nothing but irritating to everyone). So, using a teleport URL with the create trigger is now also blocked.
  • By popular demand, support for an external browser (i.e. Netscape) has returned. If you are not using the integrated web browser, URLs will be sent to the external browser instead if you have it running. As before, "spontaneous" URLs (such as world home pages, and "create url" actions) will not be sent to an external browser.
  • If a MIDI file is playing, it will no longer be terminated prematurely if the object it is associated with goes out of visibility. MIDI files will now only be interrupted if another MIDI file comes into the scene closer to you. A side effect of this change is that once a MIDI file has played, it will not play again (even if you leave the world and come back) until a different MIDI file has played.
  • There is a new option in the "Performance" dialog to disable the download of absolute URLs used with the picture and sound commands. This is somewhat of a performance issue (some of these files can be quite large) but the primary purpose is actually to allow people to block out possibly offensive images and sounds. Since it is hard to imagine an offensive MIDI file, absolute URLs to MIDI files will still be downloaded even when this option is disabled. Picture and sound commands that reference files that are relative to the world's object path will also still be downloaded.
  • The "sound" command now accepts URLs that end in ".WAV" and ".MID", as well as ".wav" and ".mid".
  • Please do me a favor and do not give my email address to people who are having problems with the AW software. Ideally I would like to investigate every single problem that comes up and help every user who has trouble. The reality is that I'm now receiving way more email than I can possibly respond to. There is a standard customer support form for Active Worlds available on our web site. This form is monitored and we have customer support staff ready to help users who contact us through this page. Please direct new users (or even longtime citizens) who are having techinical problems to the form at http://www.worlds.net/support/awb-email.html. Thanks!
  • With the new picture command, public pornography is starting to become a problem in AW (this is probably not a big suprise). Everyone should keep in mind that AlphaWorld is a public community, open to adults, children, and families alike. Many people find pornography offensive, and in general it serves only to create a hostile environment that discourages many folks from participating in AlphaWorld. On the flip side, the picture command is clearly one of the more exciting things to come to AlphaWorld in a while. It is seeing a wide variety of creative and innovative uses, and it is making available to users a degree of customization for their properties significantly beyond anything that could be achieved before. I'm sure everyone would agree that on the whole the AlphaWorld community is benefiting tremendously from this enhancement.
Since Worlds Inc. is not in the business of censoring its users, an alternative approach to the pornography problem is warranted. Suggestions are welcome. It would seem that any anti-pornography policy or enforcement would have to be a community-run effort, where the AlphaWorld community itself decides what is appropriate and what is not, and enforces it perhaps through "elected" officials. Also, the focus of any such effort should also be on "public" displays; what you put on the inside walls of your own home should be your own business. Again, suggestions are welcome.
If anyone has access to or is using one of the many commercial programs now available which block out web downloads from known pornographic web sites, I would be curious to hear about whether they work with Active Worlds, and if so, how well. We may offer that as a suggestion to users (presumably parents) who complain about the pornography problem.


Build 147 (General Release)Edit

Whoops, one teensy bug snuck into 146.


Build 146 (~Dec 20/96)Edit

  • This is it folks! The official release of 1.1, as it will be going out to all the users later on today. The patch is large because it contains the latest help file.
  • One last change: the old code that sent URLs to external browsers has been removed. URLs now only work with the integerated web browser.


Build 145 (~Dec 19/96)Edit

  • Just a few more minor tweaks. We are shooting for a general release tomorrow (Friday) so give this version one last good going over!
  • The download window has been widened a bit to make room for some of the larger filenames we are seeing with the "picture" command. Also, if a filename is really long it will be truncated rather than overrun into the status information on the right.
  • We discovered today that if you use IE 3.0 and have accumulated a large cache of files in the "Temporary Internet Files" folder, this can significantly increase the amount of time it takes both IE 3.0 and AW 1.1 to first come up. Deleting this folder periodically, or decreasing its maximum size, can noticeably decrease AW's startup time in some cases.


Build 144 (~Dec 18/96)Edit

  • The mysterious missing texture bug is finally fixed! (I hope!) Many users have reported that textures have not been loading properly for them. This should now be fixed. Please let me know if it is still happening for you.
  • A bug with the telport forward/back button was introduced in 143, which should now be fixed.
  • It seems a few people misunderstood the description of the aworld.ini change in 143. The upgrade itself did not try to modifiy your aworld.ini file. What changed is what the browser is looking for in the ini file. It now no longer looks for the [network] section at all, it looks for a [start] section to figure out which world it should start up in. If there is no [start] section, it defaults to AlphaWorld. So, that means anyone who would like to start out in world other than AlphaWorld should create a [start] section with a "world=" entry.


Build 143 (~Dec 17/96)Edit

Yet more small fixes. Also, there is one functional change: the old [network] section in the world.ini file is no longer used. The browser now looks for an entry called "world" in a new section called [start] to determine which world it should start out in. If there is no [start] section, then it defaults to the world "aw" (AlphaWorld). So, for example, if you would like to start out in the Gate each time instead of AlphaWorld, you can add the following to your aworld.ini:

 [start]
 world=gate

There is no host or port entry anymore. The browser determines these values automatically from the world name. Note that this change is probably going to be only the first step in an eventual transition to a full-blown "hotspots" (or "favorites") feature.


Build 142 (~Dec 13/96)Edit

Whoops, forgot to add a tooltip for the new toolbar button in 141.


Build 141 (~Dec 13/96)Edit

  • A few more small fixes. And two new features!
  • You can now refer to a world by name in the "teleport" command. This includes both object actions and from the "teleport" box. Also, the "0n 0w" part is now optional, if you want to go to ground zero of that world (note: if you want to use the other optional yaw and elevation arguments, you still need to put "0n 0w" first). So for example if you want to go to the spanish world, you can just call up the "Teleport...Coordinates" box and type in "spanish". The system automatically locates the spanish world for you and takes you there. Similarly you could create a teleport object that takes you into the Transcend arena using "bump teleport trans". No need to worry about domain names or ports anymore, although that older syntax will still work. Finally, you can even put a world name for the "host=" entry in your aworld.ini file.
  • There is a new button in the toolbar (the little globe) and a corresponding "Worlds" entry in the "Web" menu that sends the browser to the "Active Worlds Universe" web page which lists all the worlds currently running.


Build 139-140 (~Dec 11/96)Edit

Many more bugs found and fixed, thanks to the excellent bug reports we've been getting from the beta users. Keep it up folks, and we'll be ready for a release in no time!


Build 139 (~Dec 10/96)Edit

Two more crash bugs found and fixed, thanks to the excellent bug reports we've been getting from the beta users. Keep it up folks, and we'll be ready for a release in no time!


Build 138Edit

  • One major crash bug in the download code has been fixed. This was the type of bug that could have caused a wide variety of crashes and/or assertion failures in different places in the browser. Hopefully, we'll see a significant decrease in crashes with build 138 (but you never know!)
  • "picture" commands that used the "update" argument would continue to update even after you had left the vicinity of the picture object. This has been fixed.
  • If I haven't gotten back to you yet on your bug report, please be patient. I have received over 100 emails about 1.1 and I'm still sorting through it all. Hang in there and keep those reports coming!


Build 137Edit

  • More bug fixes (keep those reports coming!) plus this upgrade includes a new version of the upgrade.exe utility which may fix the upgrade problems some people have been having. It will also report an actual error code number if it is unable to download the upgrade patch; if this happens to you, please send me the number it reports.
  • If you send me a crash report, PLEASE include the build number of the version you were running (e.g. 137). I'm releasing several builds a day and the addresses change from build to build. For me to map a crash address to an exact location in the code, I need to know the build number you were using when it crashed. Thanks!


Build 136Edit

Fixed a major problem in the new sound code that was causing a significant portion of the crashes and assertions people have been experiencing in 1.1.


Build 134-135Edit

Fixed some crashes and other small problems


Build 133Edit

  • Welcome to the first beta of Active Worlds Browser 1.1! There are a large number of changes and new features in this version, almost too many to list:
  • The big new feature of 1.1 is the introduction of an integrated web browser. This web browser, which is actually Microsoft's Internet Explorer 3.0 running as an ActiveX component within Active Worlds, runs inside a new docked window to the right of the 3D viewport and chat windows (it can be dismissed from the Show menu). To use this feature, you must have IE 3.0 or later installed on your machine (free download from www.microsoft.com). Even if you prefer to normally use another web browser, we highly recommend that you download and install IE 3.0 so that you can make use of the very convenient web browser window while running Active Worlds. The web browser will instantly respond to any URLs you encounter in the 3D world, whether by bumping, clicking, or simply getting near to an object that has a URL associated with it (which means, yes, the "create url" command, long disabled, is now re-enabled if you are using the integerated web browser). Finally, worlds now have a new "world home page" attribute (modifiable by caretakers in the world options dialog). This is the "default" web page for a world, and will typically be the first web page a user sees when they enter your world.
  • Proxy support: an increasing number of ISPs these days are providing access to the World Wide Web via what are known as proxy servers. Access to the web via a proxy server requires some extra work on the part of any web client, which version 1.0 of the AW browser did not implement. We have revamped our web download code to support proxy servers now; if you are using IE 3.0 and have configured it for proxy support, the AW browser will automatically pick up on those proxy settings from the Windows registry. If you are using any other web browser and require proxy support, you will need to configure the AW browser directly to use the proxy server. You can set this option from the "Settings...Proxy" dialog box. To use a proxy server you need to know both the address and port of the proxy server (this information is available from your ISP).
  • The new "picture" command: it is now possible to place an arbitrary JPEG image from anywhere on the web onto an object. Like the "sign" command, the "picture" command only works on objects that have been created with a specially tagged polygon; in this case, a tag value of 200 is required. The format of the command is:
 picture <url> [update=<seconds>] [name=<name>]
<url> can be any URL, either absolute or relative, to any JPEG image on the Web. Relative URLs come off of the current world's object path. JPEGs specified with no path information at all come out of "textures". The optional "update" argument is for images that are changing frequently on the web (e.g. output from a digital camera somewhere) and specifies how often the client should attempt to reload the image (it will only actually reload it if the image has changed on the web). Use this argument with caution; it should not be used with any picture that is not changing regularly, and short update intervals (i.e. less than 60 seconds) can cause people to needless pound whatever web site is serving the image. Finally, the "name" argument allows you to specifiy another named object in the scene to be the recipient of the picture (allowing you to, for example, create a TV screen that shows different pictures depending on which button is clicked on a panel elsewhere in the room).
Example usages of the picture command:
 create picture www.my_isp.com/~myname/mypicture.jpg
 bump picture /pictures/portrait.jpg
 activate picture surprise.jpg name=hidden_panel
 create picture theghetto.mit.edu/livepic.jpg update=30
We are in the process of creating some new picture objects for AlphaWorld, they should be showing up soon. In the meantime, people running their own servers are free to experiment with creating original picture .rwx objects.
  • Absolute URLs with the "sound" and "noise" commands: as with the new picture command, you can now use an absolute URL to any .mid or .wav file on the World Wide Web with the sound and noise commands. The old syntax for these commands still works as before. Note that when you use an absolute URL, the .mid or .wav file should NOT be compressed into a .zip file. The .zip compression continues to only be used for "local" sound files. So, if you say "sound www.sounds.com/goofy.wav" the browser will download "goofy.wav" from www.sounds.com, not goofy.zip. If you say "sound goofy.wav" the browser will download goofy.zip from the world's sound directory.
  • New organization for the "cache" folder: once again, we have re-organized the way art and data is stored in the "cache" folder. This new layout achieves two goals: it ends the wasteful duplication of downloaded art that occured in 1.0 when two worlds shared the same web site, and it introduces a new binary format object cache for faster loading of models and textures. Off of the top-level cache folder you will notice two new folders: "art", and "property". The property folder contains a subfolder for each world you have visited; at the moment the only thing stored in each world subfolder is the property cache (cell.dat and cell.idx) for that world. The "art" folder is more busy: it contains a subfolder for each web site that your browser has gone to for downloading art. Each folder is named for the web site it came from. Within a given web site's folder is the familiar models/sounds/textures/etc. hierarchy (although this two has changed, see the section below on the binary file cache). So now, if many worlds share the same web site, such as the "awweb.worlds.net/aw" site used by many of the trial worlds right now, they will all download and store the art in the folder "cache\art\awweb.worlds.net-aw". This means that once you have downloaded, say, the main backdrop panorama from AlphaWorld, if you go into any other worlds that uses the same panorama it will not have to be downloaded again. (You may notice the "misc" folder also sitting in the art folder; this is where the browser caches any JPEGs downloaded for the "picture" command).
  • Binary object cache: models (.rwx files) and textures (.jpg files) are now cached in a binary database for faster loading. There is only one database for all of the models from a given web site, and another for the textures (this is good news for people with large capacity hard drives; since all the models go into one big file now instead of potentially hundreds of tiny .rwx files, the amount of actually disk space used by Active Worlds is signficantly reduced.) The "seqs" and "sounds" folders are not cached; they are laid out as in 1.0. Note for artists: since there are no more .rwx or .bmp files sitting around on your disk, obviously this presents a problem for those of you who like to examine or modify those files with other tools. Therefore there are options in the "Settings...Advanced" dialog box to tell the browser to keep the original .rwx and .bmp files on disk, as well as cache them in the binary database. Turning on these options before you enter a world will leave you with the more familiar contents of the "models" and "textures" folders. However, there is a penalty: with these options turned on, the browser will load models and textures from the .rwx and .bmp files instead of the binary cache at the beginning of a session. This causes substantially longer session start-up times.
  • JPEG decompression: in 1.0, whenever a JPEG file was downloaded from the web, the entire thing would be decompressed on the spot, regarless of its size. Since JPEG decompression is a time-consuming process, especially for large images, this could cause the browser to halt completely, sometimes for several seconds, while decompressing a JPEG. Version 1.1 uses a new "progressive" decompression algorithm, where the work of decompressing a JPEG is spread out across several frames instead of being done all at once. Internally, the browser keeps a queue of JPEG images that still need decompressing, and spends a small amount of time each frame working on them. This queue can sometimes get quite long (more than 20 images) if you are on a fast internet connection and have dropped into an area with a lot of new images. The main effect of this would be that although the download window shows no more downloads in progress, there would still be several textures missing in the scene.
  • Reduced memory usage: thanks in part to the new binary file cache, and also to some other memory optimizations, version 1.1 should use substantially less memory (is some cases as much as 2 or 3 megs less) than 1.0. This should help it to run better on machines with 16 megs of RAM.
  • Textured avatars: thanks again to the new binary file cache, it is now possible for world builders to create avatars models that use textures, just like models.
  • Altimeter: there is now an altimeter which can be switched on from the "Show" menu. It will display your current height in meters above the ground. You can distinguish it from the visibility distance display (which is also in meters) by the fact that the altimeter always gives its values to the nearest .1 meter.
  • View level: many people have requested a button that brings your view angle back to the horizontal after you have raised it or lowered it. There is now a new "view level" button between the "view up" and "view down" buttons in the toolbar.
  • Performance options: the "use textures" and "use facers" options have been removed.
  • Backdrop: the backdrop image is now positioned so that only 10% of it is below the horizon when you are looking from ground level. In 1.0 it was 20%, which was wasteful and unnecessary.
  • The browser now remembers if it was closed while the main window was maximized, and re-maximizes itself the next time it is run.
  • Crashes and assertions: with all this new code, there is new potential for various possible crashes and assertion failures. If the browser should crash on you, please take note of the crash information provided by Windows (available by clicking the "Details" button from the crash window). You can select and copy this information to the clipboard. If you get an "assertion failed" window, please note both the condition (e.g. "clump != NULL") and the file and line number reported. In most cases you can usually continue from an assertion failure by clicking the "Ignore" button. In either the crash or the assertion case, please email the above information, along with any other information which you think might be useful, such as what you were doing at the time, how long you had been running, anything unusual you had done recently, and also any other weird behavior you may have noticed prior to the crash, to roland@worlds.net. Thanks!


Active Worlds 1.0Edit

**Missing Build 132**Edit

**Missing Build 131**Edit

Build 130Edit

  • Build 130 now allows you to type raw IP addresses into the teleport command, either as part of an action, or using the "teleport... coordinates" dialog box, like this:
 "teleport 205.153.208.51 0n 0w"
This is useful for those of you running your own trial server on machines that do not necessarily have domain names assigned to them. (Note: it was possible to use raw address in pre-130 builds, but you had to put them in double-quotes.)
  • This upgrade also includes an updated help file.
  • Unless I hear of any serious problems, build 130 is going to be released to all users within the next day or two.


Build 129Edit

  • Yet more small bug fixes are brought to you with build 129. There are also some changes worth mentioning:
  • The browser now checks for Windows 3.1 on startup and does not run if it is Windows 3.1. Sorry, but we've saying for months this was gonna happen sooner or later...
  • For a long time people have been complaining that the contents of an object's "Action" field get sent to your web browser when you click on that object, even if the contents make no sense as a URL (e.g. "create solid off"). We now do a simple check on the action string before sending it to the browser: does it have any spaces in it? If so, then don't send it, it can't be a URL. This allows us to support the older syntax of simply specifying a URL in the action field and nothing else, which is equivalent to using the "active url" command. However, I've noticed that here and there in the various worlds people have used an unsupported combination of the two syntaxes in the action field, such as "www.mysite.org/info.htm; create animate me..." This was never intended to work, and now definitely does not. Actions like this will have to be changed to "activate url www.mysite.org; create..."


Build 128Edit

  • Build 128 changes the name of the "censor" feature in 127 to "mute". So now the pop-up menu says "mute", and "name: <muted>" appears over the head of a muted citizen who tries to speak to you.
  • 128 also fixes an ancient backdrop positioning bug, which caused some of the infinite backdrop images to not line up properly with the horizon as you moved your head up and down.
  • A small avatar bug has been fixed as well.


Build 127Edit

By popular demand, we've decided to bend the rules a bit and introduce a new feature into version 1.0: avatar censoring. Now you can right-click on an avatar and get a little pop-up menu that let's you "censor" another citizen. If a citizen is censored, their chat messages will not show up in your chat window, and you will see "name: <censored>" over their heads when they talk. This is useful to block out offensive, pestering, or otherwise irritating citizens who you don't want to hear from anymore. You can only censor someone who has already spoken (you will not get a menu if you click on someone who is still anonymous). Also, the "censored list" only persists for a single session; if you quit and restart everyone becomes un-censored again. Note: if you censor someone, they don't know about it (unless you tell them.)


Build 126Edit

This upgrade removes the temporary port number override that was directing everyone to The Gate, so most of you will be returning to AlphaWorld on startup. It also fixes a few more small bugs.


Build 125Edit

Build 125 contains a fix to better handle the case where a world's download folder name has been changed, and the case when a world's database has been rebuilt on the server. Both of these events may have caused some cache synchronization problems in the past.


Build 124 (~Oct 31/96)Edit

Today (10/31/96) we brought down the AlphaWorld property server in order to port the world data over to a new, improved server design. Unfortunately, this process will take several days, during which time building will not work and you will receive no cache updates in AlphaWorld (note that all other worlds should still function normally). In order to avoid some of the confusion that will result, we have decided to release this upgrade which temporarily changes the default starting world to the The Gate instead of AlphaWorld. In The Gate there will be a large sign that informs arriving users about the current downtime in Alphaworld. This is build 124 because the non-beta users will also be getting an upgrade to build 123, which the same thing.


Build 123 (General Release) (~Oct 31/96)Edit

Build 122Edit

A few more small bug fixes, and one new feature: public speakers are now presented with three additional avatars in the avatar menu: Special1, Special2, and Special3 (regardless of whether or not that particular world actually has those avatars). This allows a world to have special avatars that can only be used by public speakers.


Build 121Edit

  • This upgrade fixes various small bugs in build 120. If the beta users have no problems with 121 it will shortly become a new general release (this means that it is really important that you email me at roland@worlds.net if you notice any new problems in 121!)
  • This upgrade also includes a bugfix update of the RenderWare rendering libraries, which is why the upgrade is so large.


**Missing Build 120**Edit

**Missing Build 119**Edit

Build 118 (General Release) (~Oct 14/96)Edit

This is it! The official 1.0 release. There are no functional changes between 117 and 118. The patch is large because it includes the new updated help file. We would like to thank all the beta users for all of their extremely useful testing and feedback over the past several months. We would not be where we are today, with a robust, well-tested, (not to mention useful and fun!) product that we can call "ready", without your continued evaluation and support. Thank you for all of your time and energy. And rest assured, although 1.0 is an exciting milestone for us, it is by no means a stopping point. We will continue to charge ahead, adding new features and functionalities as quickly as we can. We have many exciting new things planned for Active Worlds in the months ahead. The beta program will continue on in full force, with the beta users continuing to receive the latest features first.

Again, thanks to all of you from all of us at Worlds, Inc.


Beta Build 117Edit

  • The "repeating wave" bug with the "noise" command has been fixed (the "bump noise" command would sometimes cause the sound effect to repeat many times).
  • A bug which caused animation panels to sometimes not show there animation has been fixed.
  • So far so good with the new database...no one has reported any problems with it other than the occasionally corrupted file, which is handled automatically (open errors of type 14 are no longer reported, since these occur whenever a file is accidentally corrupted, and is easily recovered from.)
  • This update also includes a new copy of the auto-upgrade utility.


Beta Build 116Edit

  • This version introduces a new commercial database package which we have added into the browser to help manage the information we are storing to disk. We are hoping that this new database will improve both performance and reliability of our caching mechanism. For example, if any file corruption occurs, in all but the most catastrophic of failures the database should be able to repair itself and continue transparently (before, in the best scenario Active Worlds would exit and you would have to restart it). If the database has problems, such as corruption, in this beta version it will pop up a message to that effect. The message should have a reason or error number in it. Since this code is still new and we would like to quickly resolve any problems it may have, it would be of great help if you could email me (roland@worlds.net) if you receive one of these error messages. Please send me the exact text of the message, in particular the error number.
  • The avatar "bin" file is no longer used. A binary version of each avatar (for quicker loading of the models) is now stored in .rwb file for each avatar's .rwx file.
  • By popular request, gravity is now on underground. To prevent falling forever, it is not possible to travel further than 300 meters below the ground (nor 300 above).


Beta Build 115Edit

  • The immediate crash on startup has hopefully been fixed. Sorry about that! Believe me, it was not doing that when I first sent that version out (really!).
  • This version also supports a new concept of "public speakers". World caretakers can designate certain users (by citizen #) as Public Speakers in the World Options dialog box (there is a new field at the bottom). Citizens who are public speakers are heard and seen by everyone within a large distance in the world, regardless of how many other users are present. This allows someone to give a speech with hundreds of people attending, and have everyone present hear what they have to say, instead of only the 12 nearest. Note: this feature required changes in the servers, and most worlds are not running those new servers yet, so Public Speakers may not be functioning yet in your World.
  • If you change your avatar on the fly, non-beta users who are nearby at the time will not be able to see your change. This is temporary until everyone is running the new code.


Beta Build 114Edit

  • "Chained warps" (for rollercoasters, transit systems, etc.) are working again. Warps are working pretty much like they did before, but not exactly the same. Since the whole navigation model was revamped, the way warps were implemented had to be changed. The result is that complex warp sequences that relied very specifically on the exact warp behavior of pre-113 builds might have to be tweaked here and there to get working again. I'm really sorry about this but there was just no way to get them working exactly (down to the centimeter) as they did before. I expect most simple warps to be unaffected.
  • The extra debugging numbers in the status bar are gone. We will have a genuine, useful altimeter in there someday, I promise!
  • Several problems that came up when lifeforms were turned off have been fixed.
  • An obscure but nasty crash in the sound code has been fixed (it was probably causing the "fatal error in mmtask" error that some of users were getting occasionally).


Beta Build 113Edit

  • This version introduces yet another major new feature: gravity. In all worlds with a ground object the ground is now always trying to pull you downwards. This means that if you walk off a cliff our out a third story window, you will fall straight down. It also means that if you walk down stairs or a slope, you will actually walk down the stairs or slope. Furthermore, if you bump into an object, you attempt to step up over or onto it. Generally if the obstacle is less than 0.5 meters high, you will succeed. This means that can also walk UP stairs and ramps without having to use the +/- keys. Finally, "flying" is still supported. This means if you use the "+" key to move up, gravity is turned off. Think of it as having turned on your jet pack. Once you are flying you can zoom around in the air as before. Gravity is not turned on again until you deliberately "land" by using the "-" key to drop yourself back onto the floor or ground. You will find that navigation in the air is different from walking on the ground, since the forces applied to you are different. Generally it takes longer to come to rest when you move in a particular direction while flying. If you are using the numeric keypad to navigate, you can now use the "5" key at any time to bring yourself to an instant halt (this works both during flying and walking). Play around with navigating in the different modes, and walking up/down/over obstacles. The mouse and keys affect your movement pretty much as before, although there are some subtle differences. Overall we think we have a much more effective and usable navigation model now, although it takes a little while to get used to the new "feel".
  • Camera positioning has also been improved. In the past the camera's position (in first person) has not been very accurate, in relation to where your eyeballs should be (often it was too low, less than a meter off the ground, making objects around you appear to be larger than they really are). Now the camera is very precisely positioned at your avatar's eye level. It is precise enough that you can actually see your view level change slightly when you switch between avatars, since not all avatars are the same height. Note: Due to the changes in avatar positioning in this version, non-beta users are going to see you appear 1-2 meters lower in the world than you actually are. Once everyone is running the new version this problem will go away.


Beta Build 112Edit

  • This version fixes the "doubled avatar menu" bug that occured whenever you re-downloaded a world's avatar.dat file.
  • The avatar animation buttons no longer steal the focus from the chat window.
  • The labels on the buttons have been made all-caps so that it is easier to see the accelerator-key underline.


Beta Build 111Edit

  • Since we are very close to declaring Active Worlds a released product, we have bumped the "version number" up to 1.0. However, this is still a beta version, and the build numbers are still increasing as before. Also, we are dropping the use of the term "Explorer" from the product.
  • This version should fix most of the avatar weirdness that showed up in 110. Please let me know right away (roland@worlds.net) if you are still seeing weird avatar behavior with this version. Remember that a world needs to have a proper avatars.dat file before you can see and use all the avatars in that world.
  • This version also introduces a fun new feature: avatar animations that you control! If the avatar you are using has extra animations, they will show up as buttons (such as "wave", "angry", "happy", etc.) under the toolbar. Hitting these buttons will cause other people who are looking at you to see your avatar acting out a little pantomime representing that gesture or animation. You can also see them yourself in third person mode. Remember that at the moment only other beta users will be able to see the animations you are doing.
  • The animation bug (problems with the "adone" trigger) that many people reported is fixed.


Active Worlds Explorer .8Edit

Beta Build 110Edit

  • This build contains a fix to the avatar animation code (some of you may have noticed the avatars at Ground Zero striking some rather odd poses in 109.)
  • NOTE FOR WORLD CARETAKERS: in 109, if your world did not have an avatars.dat file, the client attempted to load the avatar list from the old-style avcfg.dat file. In 110, we no longer even look for avcfg.dat. This means that you must have an avatars.dat file (compressed as avatars.zip) in your avatars download directory if you want users to have any other avatar option than "Cy". For the moment, not having an avatars.dat means only beta users would be unable to select an avatar in your world. But, when this version goes live to everyone, you will effectively have no avatars in your world unless you post an avatars.dat. So don't hesitate, post your avatars.dat today!

Beta Build 109Edit

  • We've had to change around the disk space manager to avoid wreaking havoc with users' files. All download folders have been moved into the "cache" folder now, and the disk space manager *only* manages the files in that folder (everything else will be left alone). When you run 109 for the first time, it will attempt to move all of your existing download folders into the "cache" folder for you automatically, so you will not have to re-download everything yet again. Also, we have fixed the problem where turning off the "delete anything older than" function actually turns it on again with a timeout of 1 day. So, in short, anything that goes into the "cache" folder is subject to deletion at any time by the client in order to keep disk space under control. If you do not want files in the cache folder to be deleted, turn off both the disk space limit and the "delete anything older than" functions in the "Disk Usage" property sheet. By the way, this sheet now reports how much disk space Active Worlds is currently using.
  • The old Avatar menu has been obsolete for quite some time, ever since we introduced the concept of multiple worlds. We are in the process of re-working the way avatars in general are handled. Currently, the old picture-based menu has been replaced by a menu that simply contains the names of the avatars available in a world. Although we are losing the cool pictures, the advantage is that this list now changes from world to world in an attempt to reflect the avatars that are actually available in that world. Also, the client now remembers what avatar you have chosen in a world, and automatically switches to that avatar when you enter that world (this information is no longer stored in the .ini file, so setting "avatars=<something>" will not have any effect). NOTE FOR WORLD CARETAKERS: you need to take steps in your world so that the client can determine which avatars are available in your world. Mostly this means you need to have a file called "avatars.dat" zipped up and available for download in your world's web site avatar directory. This file replaces the old "avcfg.dat" that some of you were already using. The format of this file is mostly self-explanatory and you can base yours on the one that is already availabe in AlphaWorld. If you have questions about the format you can email me at roland@worlds.net.
  • During each session, the names of everyone you have spoken to are now remembered, even if they leave or go out of visibility. When they show up again, you will see their name again above their heads without having to wait for them to say something.
  • Files in the "models\flat" directory are now only created if they are actually needed (i.e. if you have "textures" turned off, or if a texture is not available yet for a model that needs to be displayed.) They used to always be created, regardless.
  • When you chat in third person, your name will now persist above your head instead of vanishing after 30 seconds.


Beta Build 108Edit

Yet more tweaks and mods to the disk space manager algorithm


Beta Build 107Edit

Several problems with the new disk space manager in 106 have been fixed.


Beta Build 106Edit

  • This beta contains a major new feature: the client now automatically limits the total amount of disk space in use by Active Worlds. The default maximum disk space to use is 50 megabytes, but that limit can be adjusted by the user. If the limit is exceded (which will happen if you visit many different worlds and download a lot of files from each one), the client automatically looks for files in the Active Worlds directory tree that have not been used for the longest period of time and deletes them to keep the total disk space under the limit. Also, as part of this process, the client will automatically delete any files that have not been used for longer than a certain number of days, 30 by default, regardless of the total amount of space currently in use. To customize the settings of this new feature, go to the "Disk Usage" propert sheet page which is accessible via the "Options...Settings..." menu. The "Settings..." menu item has replaced the "Performance..." item, and the Performance settings have been made into a second property sheet page (just select "Settings...", you'll see).
  • There is a new action command, "cursor on/off". This command allows you to imbed a transition into or out of movement mode into an object's behavior. Also, the "warp" command now does an implicit "cursor off". If you have ever tried to create an "activate warp" behavior, you were probably disapointed because when you click on the object nothing happens, until you click again to enter movement mode and then off you go. With this change now "activate warp" actions should work as expected. Use this command with care as it might be disorienting for the unsuspecting user to be abrupltly transitioned into or out of movement mode. This command will not work with the "create" trigger (for obvious reasons).
  • Warps of less that 100 meters in the horizontal direction are no longer remembered by the teleport forward/back feature. This is so that you won't have to click the "back" button hundreds of times after riding one of the many roller coasters or water slides in AlphaWorld in order to get back to the beginning.
  • The "About" box has been slightly rearranged.


Build 105Edit

This is general release 105 to get the fix in 104 out to everyone.


Beta Build 104Edit

This version fixes a memory leak.


Build 103Edit

Whoops! The "visible" command was broken in 102. It is fixed in this version, which will most likely become a release version shortly.


Build 102Edit

  • This version is the new general release, which will also be going out to the regular users.
  • It has one additional change: it will automatically delete the old "files1", "files2", etc., folders out of the AW directory if you still have them lying around.

Beta Build 101Edit

  • This release fixes a serious bug in the "sign" command that has been plaguing most of us for a while. This bug caused a sporadic crash, usually of the form "access violation in RWDL6D20.DLL", often just as you were dropping into ground zero or shortly thereafter. We had to change around the way signs are implemented, and it seems like some of the named colors (e.g. "salmon") are a bit different now. You might want to check on your signs with this new version to make sure they are still aesthetically pleasing!
  • The database code has been tweaked a bit in the hopes of reducing the frequency of file corruption, and also to improve the recovery from corruption if it should occur.
  • The "sector" and "cell" database files that have lived in the top-level "cache" directory for so long are no more! Each world now has its own private "sector" and "cell" files stored in the "cache" directory of that worlds subdirectory. This means that if you suspect you are having cache problems in a particular world, deleting the top-level "cache" directory will have no effect. Instead, you will need to delete the "cache" directory in the subdirectory for that world instead.


Beta Build 100Edit

  • We have changed our version numbering scheme with this beta release. Instead of going to version 1.0, which we would have had to do otherwise, we are changing to a "build" numbering system to track various releases. The version number will now be fixed at 0.8 for a while, until Active Worlds is ready for a "real" release at which point it will (presumably) go to version 1.0. The "build numbers" are now what distinguish one release from the next. So, welcome to Active Worlds Explorer 0.8 beta, build 100!
  • We have also changed compilers with this version, which is why this patch size is so large.
  • The "files1, files2, etc." art directories have been replaced with named directories for each world. Each world now has a unique directory name that will never change. So, for example, all AlphaWorld art will go into an "aw" folder (instead of "files1"), Colony Alpha art will go into "colony", and so on. This does mean you will have to re-download all your art when you run this version (yes, once again, sorry!) You can delete all your old "files" folders from your hard disk. Each World's folder also contains a "cache" folder where we will be storing more and more world-specific cache data (and moving it out of the top-level "cache" folder). With this version we are only storing a small amount of additional data in each world's cache folder.
  • This version contains a several behavior bug fixes, one with the "sign" command, one with the "animate" command, and one with the "visible" command.
  • This version also contains a newer, more streamlined version of the avatar animation code. World builders who have been copying AlphaWorld's avatar and animation sequence files from our web site to theirs should keep in mind that the implementation of avatar animations is in flux and that old copies of our avatars and animations may not work with newer versions of the client; so, you should try to make sure that your web site has up-to-date copies of these files. In the future we will have a better system of handling this "synchronization" problem across web sites.
  • Many assertions have been added in certain parts of the code that have been giving us trouble lately. If you get an "assertion failed" error please email me (roland@worlds.net) descrbing which assertion you saw and what you were going at the time.


Version .99Edit

This is a new general release that will be going out to all the users. There are no funtional differences between .99 and .98 beta, although this upgrade installed an updated help file.


Beta Version .98Edit

This version contains some minor adjustments to the implementation of the new "sign" command. In particular, since many signs are turning out to have the same text as the "description" of the object, the text is now an optional argument of the sign command. If you do not specify any text for the sign, it uses the object's description field as the text.


Beta Version .97Edit

  • Version 0.96 accidentally contained an older version of the avatar animation code. This version fixes that.
  • I also forgot to mention in 0.96 that by popular request, the toolbar in the main window is now hideable. You can turn it on and off from the "Show" menu.


Beta Version .96Edit

  • Sign objects are here! Now you can make your own signs anywhere that say anything you want. You create a sign by using one of the new sign objects along with the behavior command "sign". The format of the sign command is:
 sign "<sign text>" color=<text color> bcolor=<background color>
<sign text> is the text you want to appear on your sign. It must be enclosed in double quotes. The "color" and "bcolor" arguments are both optional; the default sign is white text on a blue background. The color arguments can take the name of any common color, or a raw 6-digit hex value giving the reg/green/blue components of the color. The colors you can specifiy by name are: aquamarine, black, blue, brass, bronze, brown, copper, cyan, forestgreen, gold, green, grey, magenta, maroon, navyblue, orange, orangered, orchid, pink, red, salmon, scarlet, silver, skyblue, tan, turquoise, violet, white, yellow. The most common way to specifiy a sign is with the "create" trigger, although the sign command can be used with the other triggers as well (such as "activate"). Example:
 create sign "This sign is red on white" color=red bcolor=white
At the moment the four objects that can have text put on them are: sign1.rwx, sign2.rwx, news1.rwx, and tport1.rwx (a new teleporter object). (For those of you creating your own objects in other worlds: look at those four objects for examples of how to do it. Signs are applied to all quads in a model that are tagged with the value 100. At the moment, the quads MUST be oriented vertically, which means you cannot create a horizontal roof or ground piece and try to apply a sign to it.)
Also, as you create new sign objects rememember that until this feature goes out to the public in a later version, no one but other beta users can see your signs.
  • That nasty bug where you wind up with "main_y=-32768" in your aworld.ini file and lose your main window entirely has been fixed.
  • The visibility adjustment algorithm has been modified slightly to try to avoid the visiblity "oscillation" that people on higher-performance machines sometimes get.


Version .95Edit

This is release version .95 which will be released to the general public shortly after it goes out to the beta users. A crash bug in the new avatar animation code has been fixed, and some debugging code removed.


Beta Version .94Edit

  • no that's not a typo, the "AlphaWorld" product name has changed to "Active Worlds Explorer". This was brought about by the requirement to distinguish the software ("Active Worlds") with the virtual place known as "AlphaWorld". Since you can use this client to view dozens of different virtual worlds now, only one of which is AlphaWorld, it was becoming less and less appropriate to refer to the software itself as "AlphaWorld". So now it is Active Worlds Explorer...at least it gives us an AWEsome acronym! So anyway, most references to the work "AlphaWorld" have been changed to "Active Worlds Explorer" in the software (note that the world itself is still called AlphaWorld). Oh, except for the help file - we'll get to that soon.
  • The new object properties box has been rearranged to accomodate longer descriptions and actions.
  • .93 got into serious trouble if you closed it while it was minimized. This has been fixed.
  • .93 also failed to recreate the "cache" directory if you deleted. This is also fixed.
  • Your viewing perspective (first/third) is now saved when you teleport, so if you hit the "back/forward" arrows you will be returned to the perspective you had when you left.
  • A potentially serious problem where files were accidentally being left open has been fixed.


AlphaWorldEdit

Beta Version .93Edit

  • The "owner" field in the new object properties dialog is now enabled for everyone (not just caretakers). It is still the case that you need the Eminent Domain right to change object ownership.
  • +/- keystrokes while building no longer show up in the chat field.
  • Left click on the ground now switches out of build mode.


Beta Version .92Edit

  • This version should correctly load and display avatar animations the first time you run it, not the second or third time as was the case with .91. This will not noticeably affect beta users who have already viewed avatar animations with an earlier version.
  • The build interface has been changed substantially. IMPORTANT: this INCLUDES CHANGES TO THE MOUSE BUTTON BEHAVIOR (emphasis in order to hopefully reduce the number of bug reports I get). There is a new "object properties" dialog that comes up when you select an object, which replaces the old panel which flipped down off of the main window. All object manipulation controls have been moved to this dialog, including the relevant toolbar buttons (although the build keystrokes still work in the main window). An object is selected in the main window with the RIGHT mouse button, not the left. A single click of the left mouse button now triggers an object's "activate" trigger, if any. A left double click no longer does anything. If you are used to the old mouse configuration it takes a little while to get used to this new system, but we feel it comforms better to standard expected mouse behavior. The new object dialog shows two new pieces of information: the owner (citizen id #) of the object, and the time and date it was built. The build time is not modifiable, and the owner of an object can only be changed by users with the Eminent Domain right.
  • AlphaWorld now saves its screen layout (window size and position) as well as your "Show" settings (bandwidth, visibility, etc.) to disk and uses that same configuration again at startup. No more moving and resizing each time you run.
  • This version attempts to recover better from corrupted caches. In as many cases as possible it attempts to transparently delete the offending file and continue.
  • Users reported problems with running AlphaWorld in a directory that had spaces in the name (such as "Program Files"). This caused MIDI files to not play, and upgrades to fail. This version fixes both problems, although we had to change the way the upgrade utility is invoked from AlphaWorld. This means that the new upgrade.exe which comes with .92 will not work with older versions of AlphaWorld, and vice versa.
  • One user hated our "look up" and "look down" toolbar icons so much she sent in her own. We've included them to see what people think. Let me know!
  • For a long time many users have reported a problem where they get moved unintentionally when switching out of build mode. At least once case of this bug has been fixed. Let me know if you are still experiencing it. Note: there is a separate problem which affects left-handed users who have reversed the left/right mouse button positions which has still not been fixed.
  • Community caretakers can now set a "restricted build radius" in their world; this is a radius (in meters) around ground zero within which only users with the "Special Objects" right can build. It is modifiable via the "Community Options" dialog.
  • As usual, send bug reports to: roland@worlds.net


Beta Version .91Edit

This upgrade fixes a few problems in .90


Beta Version .90 (~July 17/96)Edit

  • This release contains a major new feature, the long-awaited "lifeforms". Several avatars are now "animated", meaning their limbs move as they walk around, and they strike various poses and gestures as they are standing still. In this first cut, users do not have any control over what gesture their avatar is doing, except that it only "walks" when the user is moving through the world. In the future we hope to add control over animated gestures, such as "wave", or "sleep". IMPORTANT: in order to see these animations, you will have to have the new avatars loaded from our web site. Normally it will take a while before your client automatically detects that the avatar files have changed and re-downloads them. You can expedite this process by manually deleting all the files in your files1\avatars folder.
  • If you find you don't like the new animated avatars (they do take up some extra RAM), you can turn them off in the Performance dialog via the "Lifeforms" option.
  • We have fixed at least one occurence of the crash-while-teleporting-in-third-person bug. There may be more, so keep those crash reports coming.
  • There are a few minor readjustments of the menu bar layout, based on suggestions from long-time AlphaWorld citizen NetGuy (see - we do listen! :-)).


**Missing Version .89**Edit

Beta Version .88Edit

  • This version fixes a few minor problems with chat that were revealed when .87 went out to the general public.
  • This version also has a new "Coordinates..." option available from the "Teleport" command that lets you teleport to any arbitrary coordinates. The syntax for the coordinates is the same as for the "teleport" command. You don't need to specify the command "teleport", only the arguments.
  • There is a more recent version of Dataman's rwxlook program in this upgrade.
  • This version will probably go out to the general public today (Friday) as version .89


**Missing Version .87 (Jun 19/96)**Edit

Beta Version .86Edit

  • This version has two additional small bug fixes related to teleporting between communities, hopefully the last before the next general release.
  • This upgrade also contains updated help files documenting all the new features.


Beta Version .85Edit

  • This version fixes a crash introduced in .84 that often occured while teleporting out of ground zero.
  • The right mouse button has been re-enabled (it was disabled in .84).


Beta Version .84Edit

  • This version contains numerous small fixes related to input and the new interface. Many loose ends and special cases involving keyboard input and focus have been tied up. We think we've got most of it working pretty well now.
  • This version also contains an improvement to the underlying chat communication layer: in most cases a "dropped" message will now be detected and retransmitted to the person(s) who did not receive it the first time.
  • Avatar handling has been improved to increase performance (especially to decrease that initial "hit" when you drop into ground zero) and to decrease the amount of memory they use. You may notice a new "bin" file in the avatars directory; this file contains binary versions of the avatar models for faster loading at runtime.
  • A file called "url.txt" is now created in each "filesxxx" directory containing the name of the website the art in that directory is coming from, for your reference.
  • There are four new buttons in the tool bar controlling camera viewing angle and whether you are in first or third person. There is also a new "view" menu controlling the same things.
  • The "Go" menu has been renamed to the "Teleport" menu.


Beta Version .83Edit

  • Version .83 contains several substantial enhancements to the AlphaWorld user interface. Most obvious are a toolbar, a status bar, expanded menu options, and a chat history window. The main purpose of that menus and toolbar is to expose AlphaWorld functionality, primarily the building interface, to new users. As such they do not represent any dramatic new functionality for experienced users (sorry). Most of the status information available via the F-key toggles has moved to the status bar at the bottom of the screen and out of the cluttered title bar. However, the chat history window provides a big improvement (we think) to the AlphaWorld chatting experience. The size of the chat history window can be adjusted by sliding the border between the main window and the chat window.
  • Windows 3.1 users: AlphaWorld now requires the latest version of Win32s to run (version 1.3). Without the latest version installed you will get various DLL error messages if you try to run AlphaWorld. You can get the latest Win32s version from Microsoft's home page at www.microsoft.com/kb/faq/devtools/winsdk/win32s/all.htm. However, we are still having some problems with this latest version of AlphaWorld under Windows 3.1 and are considering dropping Windows 3.1 support entirely in the near future.
  • Note that the toolbar and "Go" menu support a new forward/back feature; this is analagous to forward/back in a web browser. Everytime you warp or teleport you will now be able to return to your previous location by hitting the "back" button. This includes teleports into different worlds. Note that this means return teleporters will no longer be necessary when building a teleporter to a distant locale. Also note that since you can now always "undo" a undesireable teleport, there is no longer any need to seek user approval before carrying out a web-based teleport. And for the same reason, there is no need to restrict the "warp" and "teleport" commands from the general user populace any longer, so we will most likely be removing that restriction after this version is released for real.
  • The last button on the toolbar, the "move" button, is a convenient way to return to navigation mode after cliking to get a mouse cursor.
  • The object "description" text field has been removed from normal visibility; object descriptions now appear in a little "postit note" window that pops up if you rest the cursor over an object that has a description.


Beta Version .82Edit

This version fixes a crash that sometimes occured during a teleport from one community to another.


Beta Version .81Edit

  • This version features a new "Community Options" dialog box (accessible via the Options menu) that displays information about the community you are in. For most users this information is read-only, but for those of who are "caretakers" of your own communities (such as "Cyborg Nation" or "Colony Alpha") this dialog box allows you to interactively modify parameters of your community, where you previously had to call us up on the phone. By the way, if you haven't had a chance to check out some of the exciting new communities developing in the AlphaWorld universe, it would definitely be worth your time! All communites that are currently open to the public are accessible via the Telepark (which you can get to from the teleporter in AlphaWorld ground zero).
  • This version also fixes problems that would arise if you teleported from one community to another where both communities used the same web site for dynamic download.
  • The "create teleport" command have been permanently disabled, due to the severe problems it would cause a legitimate builder who accidentally created an object in their world with this behavior (you would never be able to get close enough to the object to delete it!)


Beta Version .80Edit

  • The main purpose of this version is to make available to the beta users a bugfix that went out to the general population with version .79; this fixed a bug in dynamic downloading that caused several problems, including avatars that all turned back into the default, and constant download queries even though everything was up to date on disk.
  • In the "Options/Performance..." dialog box, you can now disable music and/or sounds. Some users have reported that playing sounds in AlphaWorld seems to slow down their machines, so this may be another way to boost the frame rate. On most machines, however, turning off sound and music will probably not have any noticeable effect on performance.
  • This version also contains the new HTML help files that were released with .78.


Version .79 (General Release) (~Apr 23/96)Edit

**Missing Version .78**Edit

Beta Version .77 (~Apr 11/96)Edit

This version should fix a few problems people were having with some forms of the teleport command.


Beta Version .76Edit

  • Due to popular demand and recent abuses the "create url" behavior has been disabled.
  • The slight object misalignment that occured when building at large coordinates has been fixed.
  • Relative teleports and warps shouldn't bring you back to ground level.
  • If you are having some performance or memory problems you are now able to selectively disable some functionality to try to improve things. You can turn off the use of texture maps, facers, and multiple avatars from a new "Performance options" window accessible from the new "Options" menu. If you are running on a machine with less than 16 megs of RAM, all 3 of these features will automatically be disabled (although you can turn them on in this window if you really want to); otherwise, these features all start out enabled. In the future, other memory-hogging or frame-rate-reducing features will probably find their way into this window as well.
  • We got our 3D dialog box code all straightened out so everything should have that spiffy 3D "chiseled" look again (under Windows 95 anyway).


Beta Version .75Edit

  • Sorry, we did it again, another change that means you have to re-download all of the art. At least it will be done automatically. The major change in version .75 is integrated support for multiple zones, and multiple web servers for the dynamic download of objects. A new "zone" argument has been added to the "teleport" command (NOT the warp command): a zone is specified as a domain name and a port number, e.g. "alphaworld.worlds.net:7777" is the main AlphaWorld space. So you can create a zone changing teleporter now (assuming you have privileges to use the "teleport" command, although anyone can do this using web-based teleport) by putting in the zone specifier before the coordinates. For example, to teleport to ground zero in the Test Arena space, the command would be "teleport alphaworld.worlds.net:7002 0N 0W". Each zone can optionally have its own web server for the source of objects to download, so we had to rearrange the art directory hierarchy: to keep the art from different web servers separate, all objects from each server will be stored under their own "filesxxx" folder where xxx is some integer. Under the "filesxxx" folder will be the familiar "avatars", "models", "textures", and "sounds" folders. When you run version .75 for the first time, you will notice it will create a new folder called "files1" where it will begin storing all the art from the first web server it sees, which will most likely be ours unless you are already using your own. The old "avatars", "models", "textures", and "sounds" folders at the top level are now obsolete and can be deleted, or you could also try moving them into the new "files1" folder to recycle them.
  • One tweak has been made that should improve AlphaWorld's memory usage a bit.
  • A serious bug, caused by placing an object outside of your current viewing distance (e.g. 30 meters) while building has been fixed. This almost always led to a crash.
  • A bug has been fixed where once you used web-based teleport it always asked you for teleport verification everytime you teleported anywhere. It should now only ask for teleport verification if the teleport request is coming from Netscape (not a local source like a bump panel).
  • The current version number is no longer displayed in the title bar; it is now displayed, along with your citizen id number, in a new "About" dialog box accessible from the "AlphaWorld" menu.
  • Support for holographic avatars (used only by the bots in the Jumanji space) has been removed, at least for the time being.


Beta Version .74Edit

This version fixes a bug introduced in version .73 which caused build requests to get delayed for up to 30 seconds.


Beta Version .73Edit

  • This version contains fixes, WE HOPE, for several of the problems people have been experiencing with the last few beta releases. Specifically, we believe we have fixed the sporadic crash in RenderWare (exception 10H); also, we believe we have fixes both for the "cache update hang" bug and the corrupted backdrop bug. Since we are really hoping that these bugs are now fixed, we REALLY NEED TO KNOW if you still encounter any of these problems. Please email roland@worlds.net if you run into any of these bugs in version .73.
  • For those of you have been using some of the alternate worlds (e.g. Adrenaline Vault, Happy Puppy, etc.) this version .73 can be used with any of them without having to maintain separate directories for each (i.e. the cache files are now compatiable). You still have to change the port number.
  • If you run into people with this version who are using bogus avatar names, you will see them as Cy instead of whatever model they are trying to use. Actually, this change went in with version .72.

Beta Version .72Edit

This version fixes a crash that could occur when the AlphaWorld window was minimized.


Beta Version .71Edit

  • Large numbers of people reported problems upgrading to and running beta .70 because of ctl3d32.dll. Because of this we have stopped using that DLL entirely; however, we have not completed the transition to the Win95 built-in 3D controls, so for the moment some controls that used to be 3D aren't.
  • This version uses a new database mechanism that is much more efficient in its use of disk space. Pre-71 cache files are not compatible with this new release and will be deleted (sorry).
  • The dynamic download mechanism now has timestamp checking; it remembers the last time it downloaded a file and will periodically poll the web server to see if it is out of date. Currently a file will be checked if it has been more than 8 hours since it was last downloaded or checked. You can still force a redownload of a file by deleting it.
  • The models "highlght.rwx" and "unknown.rwx" are now built-in to the client; this means you can safely delete your entire "models" directory and have the whole thing get re-downloaded on the fly.
  • A lot of people got corrupted backdrops when they first ran .70. We are still investigating this problem. If this happens to you, or if any downloaded file appears to be corrupted, delete it, restart AlphaWorld, and it should download again correctly.
  • Some people are getting sporadic GPFs (usually exception 10H in the RenderWare DLL); we are still looking into this as well
  • Still others are reporting sporadic hangs, usually at the end of a property update. Again, investigations continue.


Beta Version .70 (~Mar 6/96)Edit

WARNING WARNING WARNING

Starting With beta .70, AlphaWorld became a 32-bit application. This means that AlphaWorld will not run under Win 3.1 unless you have Win32s installed. Repeat, you MUST HAVE Win32s installed on your machine, or preferably, be running Windows 95, in order to continue using AlphaWorld!

  • We are now using RenderWare 2.0. The most noticeable effect of this change will be that (finally) 16-bit displays are supported under Windows 95. If you can, set your monitor to 16-bits and enjoy the dramatically improved image quality. Also, RenderWare 2.0 seems to give a small performance boost.
  • This version contains the first release of the long-awaited "dynamic downloading" code. This means that instead of having to release all of the art to everyone ahead of time, AlphaWorld will now automatically download all the art you need from our web server on the fly as you explore the world. Everything in AlphaWorld is now downloadable, including models, sounds, textures, and avatars. This new feature represents a large amount of new code and functionality so we are particularly looking for feedback from people about any problems, comments, etc. they might have with it. The F3 key will bring up a small window showing which files are currently being downloaded (if any) in case you are curious.
  • There has been a change to the way model caching works; now, once an object has been seen, a copy is always kept in memory so that you will not have to reload it again from disk later if you see that object again. While this increases slightly the amount of memory used by AlphaWorld, it virtually eliminates the jerky motion that used to accompany movement from one cell to the next.
  • The "upgrade" utility has been given a shnazzy new interface complete with progress bar. Check it out when you get the next upgrade after this one.
  • The F4 key toggles a display in the title bar of the current bytes-per-second AlphaWorld is getting with your internet connection (note this value represents the messages AlphaWorld is currently sending and receiving, not necessarily the maximum bandwidth available).
  • The maximum allowable window size has been increased to 1024x768. Try blowing up the AlphaWorld window as big as it will go and see if that enhances your virtual experience at all.


Beta Version .69 (~Mar 5/96)Edit

WARNING WARNING WARNING

With beta .69, AlphaWorld is now a 32-bit application. This means that AlphaWorld will not run under Win 3.1 unless you have Win32s installed. Repeat, you MUST HAVE Win32s installed on your machine, or preferably, be running Windows 95, in order to continue using AlphaWorld!

This beta is actually a major new release with some important changes. They are:

  • We are now using RenderWare 2.0. The most noticeable effect of this change will be that (finally) 16-bit displays are supported under Windows 95. If you can, set your monitor to 16-bits and enjoy the dramatically improved image quality. Also, RenderWare 2.0 seems to give a small performance boost.
  • This version contains the first release of the long-awaited "dynamic downloading" code. This means that instead of having to release all of the art to everyone ahead of time, AlphaWorld will now automatically download all the art you need from our web server on the fly as you explore the world. Everything in AlphaWorld is now downloadable, including models, sounds, textures, and avatars. This new feature represents a large amount of new code and functionality so we are particularly looking for feedback from people about any problems, comments, etc. they might have with it. The F3 key will bring up a small window showing which files are currently being downloaded (if any) in case you are curious.
  • There has been a change to the way model caching works; now, once an object has been seen, a copy is always kept in memory so that you will not have to reload it again from disk later if you see that object again. While this increases slightly the amount of memory used by AlphaWorld, it virtually eliminates the jerky motion that used to accompany movement from one cell to the next.
  • The "upgrade" utility has been given a shnazzy new interface complete with progress bar. Check it out when you get the next upgrade after this one.
  • The F4 key toggles a display in the title bar of the current bytes-per-second AlphaWorld is getting with your internet connection (note this value represents the messages AlphaWorld is currently sending and receiving, not necessarily the maximum bandwidth available).
  • The maximum allowable window size has been increased to 1024x768. Try blowing up the AlphaWorld window as big as it will go and see if that enhances your virtual experience at all.


Version .68 (General Release) (~Feb 21/96)Edit

Beta Version .67Edit

  • The user authentication and immigration interface has been completely redesigned. Immigration is now handled directly through AlphaWorld; there is no more web page step (although the email containing your immigration number is still sent). If your .ini file contains a user name and password, it will still automatically attempt to verify your user identity and enter you into AlphaWorld. You will see the immigration dialog pop up briefly when you run AlphaWorld as it attempts to validate your identity.
  • There are many new models and some new avatars, and a few new sound files
  • The file contents.txt is gone (it was out of date anyway)
  • "Out of bounds" teleports and warps are prevented
  • The upgrade program contains a longer timeout (2 minutes instead of 45 seconds) while waiting for the patch to download; some people were timing out after 45 seconds because the net and/or web server were too slow.


Beta Version .66Edit

  • This file got renamed to readme.txt from bugs.txt, but you probably already noticed that
  • The new polygonal street lamp object stlamp1.rwx is now selectable
  • collision detection works for the new stair objects
  • the upgrade patch should still complete without complaining if a file is missing from your AW directory
  • The pot01, pot02, and umbra02 objects have been deleted
  • The walk23h object has been added
  • If a yaw is not specified in a teleport command, it is now set to directly north instead of leaving it unchanged
  • The ESC key no longer causes an exit
  • Rounding errors on object positions that could occur when buildling at large coordinates (e.g. 10000+ N/S or E/W) have been fixed
  • the "cache" directory should always be created off of the AW directory (some people got cache directories in weird places when using web-based teleport)

Also, we quickly learned that spaces are a no-no in URLs, so we had to change the syntax for web-based teleport to:

http://www.worlds.net/cgi-bin/teleport?123N_456W

instead of

http://www.worlds.net/cgi-bin/teleport 123N 456W


Beta Version .64/.65Edit

This release features a few new models and some changes to existing models. It also has one new avatar ("dredd"). It also contains fixes for many of the .mid files that were not working correctly under Windows95.

Win95 users also reported that music was only coming out of one ear. This was traced to a bug in Windows95 itself (honestly!) and so to work around it we have disabled distance/directional volume control of midi music for Windows 95 users. This means music will play at whatever previous volume you have set for midi, regardless of where the local musical object is in relation to you.

This version has an experimental new feature: web-based teleport. You should be able to associate "teleport" commands with a URL and have netscape invoke AlphaWorld with that teleport command. So for example, if you would like your friends to come directly to your house at 1234N 5678W from your web page, use the URL

http://www.worlds.net/cgi-bin/teleport 1234N 5678W

You will have to teach Netscape to run aworld.exe on the response. For the moment, "teleport" is the only behavior command that works in this manner. If AlphaWorld is already running, you will still be teleported to the requested coordinates, but you will be requested to confirm the teleport before it occurs. The confirmation is to protect people from unsolicited teleports that pranksters could implant in the world; extra credit for the first beta user that figures out how to do this (it's not hard).

Please experiment with web-based teleport and report any problems you have with it. In general, if you encounter any GPFs, stack faults, or other crashes, please email the relavent addresses (and a stack trace if available, that is always VERY useful), and a description of what you were doing at the time, to roland@worlds.net.

KNOWN BUGS

Below is a list of known bugs in this beta copy of the AlphaWorld client. Please review this list before reporting any problems you have with it.

Bug # Description

  • 6: Very occasionally, clicking on an object in build mode will suddenly replace the entire object, name, description, destination, and all, with the contents of another nearby object. This one is very hard to reproduce. If it happens to you and you think you might have an idea under what special circumstances it occurs, please let us know!
  • 9: Some users are still reporting that they sometimes stop receiving property updates. We fixed one cause of this problem a while back; this seems to be a different problem. We have not been able to reproduce it under test conditions; any information about when it does or does not occur would be very useful.

FIXED BUGS

Bug # Description

  • 1: Falling off the "edge" of the world causes a GPF.
  • 2: Triggering a "URL" action when Netscape is not running throws you into build mode.
  • 3: "Warps" (produced by the "warp" behavior command, not CTRL+ALT) can sometimes get stuck halfway to their destination, until the SHIFT key is pressed.
  • 4: When visibility is high (i.e. at or near 100 meters) WARPing to an area of high object density can cause a stack fault and/or GPF. This can also be caused by a large property update.
  • 5: Assigning an animation (via the "animate" command) to another named object does not work.
  • 7: The first frame of an animation assigned to an object via the "animate" command can sometimes get duplicated onto other nearby objects which use the same .rwx file.
  • 8: Some users have reported that the ground occasionally vanishes out from under them. This was caused by the presence of the line "hints container" in a few of the new experimental objects. It can be fixed by deleting that line out of the .rwx file.
  • 10: Files are occasionally getting corrupted on dynamic download; this seems to happen most often with panorama.bmp (the backdrop image). At least, that is when it is most noticeable.
  • 11: Some people have reported intermittent hanging problems. The hangs seem to occur most often right at the end of a property update.
  • 12: There is a sporadic GPF (exception 10H in the RenderWare DLL) that is plaguing some people.


**missing Versions .57-.63**Edit

Beta Version .56 (~Jan 24/96)Edit

Today (1/24/96) we started experiencing mysterious and prolonged property server outages. Beta .56 has some changes we have made to the client in an effort to address this problem. The problem will probably not go away until we actually release .56 as a new general release and everyone is using the new clients, but at least we can make sure there are not any new problems as a result of the changes.

You may notice a new message "waiting for server" appearing in your title bar. This will be the common mechanism by which the client reports timeouts or other network problems while trying to communicate with the property server. In general, if you see the message "waiting for server" it means something is wrong, either at your end, or at the server end. If you don't see it, things should be functioning normally.

However, until some changes to the server are put into place within the next couple of days, you will see this message appearing briefly in your title bar from time to time. Do not be alarmed.  :-)

One aspect of these changes that is sure to appreciated is that, barring catostrophic server failure, no build requests should EVER get lost. This is because the client now queues build requests (propery adds, changes, and deletes) and holds on to them indefinitely until they are acknowledged by the server. If any request should fail (other than for a valid reason like encroachment) the client will attempt to retransmit the request until it succeeds.

Again, please email problems with this beta to roland@worlds.net ASAP. We want to go live quickly so we can resolve this new problem.

KNOWN BUGS

Below is a list of known bugs in this beta copy of the AlphaWorld client. Please review this list before reporting any problems you have with it.

Bug # Description

  • 4: When visibility is high (i.e. at or near 100 meters) WARPing to an area of high object density can cause a stack fault and/or GPF. This can also be caused by a large property update.
  • 6: Very occasionally, clicking on an object in build mode will suddenly replace the entire object, name, description, destination, and all, with the contents of another nearby object. This one is very hard to reproduce. If it happens to you and you think you might have an idea under what special circumstances it occurs, please let us know!
  • 7: The first frame of an animation assigned to an object via the "animate" command can sometimes get duplicated onto other nearby objects which use the same .rwx file.
  • 9: Some users are still reporting that they sometimes stop receiving property updates. We fixed one cause of this problem a while back; this seems to be a different problem. We have not been able to reproduce it under test conditions; any information about when it does or does not occur would be very useful.

FIXED BUGS

Bug # Description

  • 1: Falling off the "edge" of the world causes a GPF.
  • 2: Triggering a "URL" action when Netscape is not running throws you into build mode.
  • 3: "Warps" (produced by the "warp" behavior command, not CTRL+ALT) can sometimes get stuck halfway to their destination, until the SHIFT key is pressed.
  • 5: Assigning an animation (via the "animate" command) to another named object does not work.
  • 8: Some users have reported that the ground occasionally vanishes out from under them. This was caused by the presence of the line "hints container" in a few of the new experimental objects. It can be fixed by deleting that line out of the .rwx file.


**missing Version .55**Edit

Beta Version .54 (~Jan 18/96)Edit

What!?! A MENU bar? Amazingly, we now have a menu bar in AlphaWorld. You can't do much from it yet, though. But you can now choose your appearance from amongst 8 different avatars. If you change your appearance, other beta users will be able to see your new avatar; the rest of the world will be able to see you when this version becomes the new release.

We have also made yet another change to the mouse logic in attempt to fix the mouse pointer problems a lot of people have been experiencing under Windows 95.

This beta version also has the new art that went out with version .52 but which beta .50 did not have (sorry about that). It also has a lot of new sound files that were not available before.

KNOWN BUGS

Below is a list of known bugs in this beta copy of the AlphaWorld client. Please review this list before reporting any problems you have with it.

Bug # Description

  • 4: When visibility is high (i.e. at or near 100 meters) WARPing to an area of high object density can cause a stack fault and/or GPF. This can also be caused by a large property update.
  • 6: Very occasionally, clicking on an object in build mode will suddenly replace the entire object, name, description, destination, and all, with the contents of another nearby object. This one is very hard to reproduce. If it happens to you and you think you might have an idea under what special circumstances it occurs, please let us know!
  • 7: The first frame of an animation assigned to an object via the "animate" command can sometimes get duplicated onto other nearby objects which use the same .rwx file.
  • 9: Some users are still reporting that they sometimes stop receiving property updates. We fixed one cause of this problem a while back; this seems to be a different problem. We have not been able to reproduce it under test conditions; any information about when it does or does not occur would be very useful.

FIXED BUGS

Bug # Description

  • 1: Falling off the "edge" of the world causes a GPF.
  • 2: Triggering a "URL" action when Netscape is not running throws you into build mode.
  • 3: "Warps" (produced by the "warp" behavior command, not CTRL+ALT) can sometimes get stuck halfway to their destination, until the SHIFT key is pressed.
  • 5: Assigning an animation (via the "animate" command) to another named object does not work.
  • 8: Some users have reported that the ground occasionally vanishes out from under them. This was caused by the presence of the line "hints container" in a few of the new experimental objects. It can be fixed by deleting that line out of the .rwx file.


Beta Version .53 (~Jan 11/96)Edit

The primary purpose for this beta upgrade is to make the new art that went out to the general users with version .52 available to the beta users (sorry about that!).

KNOWN BUGS

Below is a list of known bugs in this beta copy of the AlphaWorld client. Please review this list before reporting any problems you have with it.

Bug # Description

  • 4: When visibility is high (i.e. at or near 100 meters) WARPing to an area of high object density can cause a stack fault and/or GPF. This can also be caused by a large property update.
  • 6: Very occasionally, clicking on an object in build mode will suddenly replace the entire object, name, description, destination, and all, with the contents of another nearby object. This one is very hard to reproduce. If it happens to you and you think you might have an idea under what special circumstances it occurs, please let us know!
  • 7: The first frame of an animation assigned to an object via the "animate" command can sometimes get duplicated onto other nearby objects which use the same .rwx file.
  • 9: Some users are still reporting that they sometimes stop receiving property updates. We fixed one cause of this problem a while back; this seems to be a different problem. We have not been able to reproduce it under test conditions; any information about when it does or does not occur would be very useful.

FIXED BUGS

Bug # Description

  • 1: Falling off the "edge" of the world causes a GPF.
  • 2: Triggering a "URL" action when Netscape is not running throws you into build mode.
  • 3: "Warps" (produced by the "warp" behavior command, not CTRL+ALT) can sometimes get stuck halfway to their destination, until the SHIFT key is pressed.
  • 5: Assigning an animation (via the "animate" command) to another named object does not work.
  • 8: Some users have reported that the ground occasionally vanishes out from under them. This was caused by the presence of the line "hints container" in a few of the new experimental objects. It can be fixed by deleting that line out of the .rwx file.


Version .52 (General Release)Edit

**missing Version .51**Edit

Beta Version .50 (~Dec 18/95)Edit

This version only has a couple of minor tweaks in it. It should be our last beta before a new general release.

KNOWN BUGS

Below is a list of known bugs in this beta copy of the AlphaWorld client. Please review this list before reporting any problems you have with it.

Bug # Description

  • 4: When visibility is high (i.e. at or near 100 meters) WARPing to an area of high object density can cause a stack fault and/or GPF. This can also be caused by a large property update.
  • 6: Very occasionally, clicking on an object in build mode will suddenly replace the entire object, name, description, destination, and all, with the contents of another nearby object. This one is very hard to reproduce. If it happens to you and you think you might have an idea under what special circumstances it occurs, please let us know!
  • 7: The first frame of an animation assigned to an object via the "animate" command can sometimes get duplicated onto other nearby objects which use the same .rwx file.

FIXED BUGS

Bug # Description

  • 1: Falling off the "edge" of the world causes a GPF.
  • 2: Triggering a "URL" action when Netscape is not running throws you into build mode.
  • 3: "Warps" (produced by the "warp" behavior command, not CTRL+ALT) can sometimes get stuck halfway to their destination, until the SHIFT key is pressed.
  • 5: Assigning an animation (via the "animate" command) to another named object does not work.
  • 8: Some users have reported that the ground occasionally vanishes out from under them. This was caused by the presence of the line "hints container" in a few of the new experimental objects. It can be fixed by deleting that line out of the .rwx file.


AlphaWorld Beta Version 49 (~Dec 14/95)Edit

We are trying to port the AlphaWorld servers to a new machine in order to move them off of overloaded hardware. There is still some work to be done, but when the transition occurs, there will probably be some AW downtime on the order of two hours or so. Please be patient when this time arrives.

Version 49 has one new feature: warp and teleport now can take relative coordinates. Put a + or a - in front of the numeric arguments to make them relative (and leave off the N/S/E/W part if you do).

This version should also stop cycling the system beep sound if it can't find the real sound file.

Also, some people were reporting that builds were sometimes failing silenetly in version .48. At least one case of silent failure has been fixed in .49 (you get an error message box now).

KNOWN BUGS

Below is a list of known bugs in this beta copy of the AlphaWorld client. Please review this list before reporting any problems you have with it.

Bug # Description

  • 4: When visibility is high (i.e. at or near 100 meters) WARPing to an area of high object density can cause a stack fault and/or GPF. This can also be caused by a large property update.
  • 6: Very occasionally, clicking on an object in build mode will suddenly replace the entire object, name, description, destination, and all, with the contents of another nearby object. This one is very hard to reproduce. If it happens to you and you think you might have an idea under what special circumstances it occurs, please let us know!
  • 7: The first frame of an animation assigned to an object via the "animate" command can sometimes get duplicated onto other nearby objects which use the same .rwx file.
  • 8: Some users have reported that the ground occasionally vanishes out from under them. This may happen only under Win 95. We have not been able to reproduce this.

FIXED BUGS

Bug # Description

  • 1: Falling off the "edge" of the world causes a GPF.
  • 2: Triggering a "URL" action when Netscape is not running throws you into build mode.
  • 3: "Warps" (produced by the "warp" behavior command, not CTRL+ALT) can sometimes get stuck halfway to their destination, until the SHIFT key is pressed.
  • 5: Assigning an animation (via the "animate" command) to another named object does not work.


Beta Version 48 (~Dec 8/95)Edit

ATTENTION

The AlphaWorld user load has effectively doubled in the last couple of weeks. This new load is causing severe problems with the property server, which is in turn disrupting service for many AlphaWorld uers. Building is difficult, if not impossible, during peak usage, and many users are now getting various types of network failures at a regular rate (usually accompanied by an error number in the 100xx range). We are working hard to determine the cause of the delays and we will be trying to restore normal, responsive service as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience!

This version should (hopefully) fix a mouse pointer problem some people started experiencing with version 47 under Windows 95.

The most significant change in this release is that mulitple objects may share the same "name" now, and named behaviors (e.g. "visible mydoor off") will affect all objects in the scene with that name, not just the first one. A side effect of this change is that bug #5 should now be fixed.

Bug #1 is fixed, where going off the edge of the world (at 32767 and beyond) caused a GPF. It has been fixed by preventing motion beyond 32767 in any direction.

We are homing in on another regular release, folks. We need to get behaviors out to the general public, as well as the many minor fixes that are in the beta. If people are having problems with the beta versions (other than the obvious server issues mentioned above) we need to know about them! Thanks! -Roland

KNOWN BUGS

Below is a list of known bugs in this beta copy of the AlphaWorld client. Please review this list before reporting any problems you have with it.

Bug # Description

  • 4: When visibility is high (i.e. at or near 100 meters) WARPing to an area of high object density can cause a stack fault and/or GPF. This can also be caused by a large property update.
  • 6: Very occasionally, clicking on an object in build mode will suddenly replace the entire object, name, description, destination, and all, with the contents of another nearby object. This one is very hard to reproduce. If it happens to you and you think you might have an idea under what special circumstances it occurs, please let us know!
  • 7: The first frame of an animation assigned to an object via the "animate" command can sometimes get duplicated onto other nearby objects which use the same .rwx file.

FIXED BUGS

Bug # Description

  • 1: Falling off the "edge" of the world causes a GPF.
  • 2: Triggering a "URL" action when Netscape is not running throws you into build mode.
  • 3: "Warps" (produced by the "warp" behavior command, not CTRL+ALT) can sometimes get stuck halfway to their destination, until the SHIFT key is pressed.
  • 5: Assigning an animation (via the "animate" command) to another named object does not work.


Beta Version 47 (~Dec 6/95)Edit

This version features directional bumping. This change should have little or no effect on regular collision detection. It does mean that those of you who have been experimenting with invisble trigger walls will have to make sure that your walls are either "double sided" (one polygon on each side) if you want a two-way trigger, or pointing in the right direction if you want a one-way trigger.

Bug #2, where triggering a URL action w/o Netscape running put you into build mode, has been fixed. In general the mouse pointer handling has been improved a bit. If you are switched into another application while AlphaWorld is running, you should get your mouse pointer back while using the other application.

Bug #3, where "warps" and "teleports" could get stuck on a wall, has also been fixed.

Other changes:

The network timeout mechanism has been improved, but this should not really change anything, although across the board all network timeouts have been increased to 45 seconds (some operations were timing out after 30 seconds).

KNOWN BUGS

Below is a list of known bugs in this beta copy of the AlphaWorld client. Please review this list before reporting any problems you have with it.

Bug # Description

  • 1: Falling off the "edge" of the world causes a GPF.
  • 4: When visibility is high (i.e. at or near 100 meters) WARPing to an area of high object density can cause a stack fault and/or GPF. This can also be caused by a large property update.
  • 5: Assigning an animation (via the "animate" command) to another named object does not work.
  • 6: Very occasionally, clicking on an object in build mode will suddenly replace the entire object, name, description, destination, and all, with the contents of another nearby object. This one is very hard to reproduce. If it happens to you and you think you might have an idea under what special circumstances it occurs, please let us know!
  • 7: The first frame of an animation assigned to an object via the "animate" command can sometimes get duplicated onto other nearby objects which use the same .rwx file.

FIXED BUGS

Bug # Description

  • 2: Triggering a "URL" action when Netscape is not running throws you into build mode.
  • 3: "Warps" (produced by the "warp" behavior command, not CTRL+ALT) can sometimes get stuck halfway to their destination, until the SHIFT key is pressed.


Beta Version 46 (~Dec 5/95)Edit

This client should have the "stuck property update" bug fixed, which causes some people on slow connections to stop receiving property updates until they restart AlphaWorld.

Special note to you script hackers: very shortly, bump triggers will become DIRECTIONAL. Currently, an object's "bump" behavior is triggered regardless of which way you were going when you hit it. This is about to be changed so that the "bump" is only triggered if you hit a surface coming from the "outside" (the direction the polygon's normal is pointing). This will allow the creation of "one-way" invisible trigger walls. If you want a two-way wall, you simply have to create two polygons in the object, one facing each way, as you do now when you want to create a normal wall that is visible from both directions. Please keep this in mind if you are creating new bump-triggered behavior for AlphaWorld.

KNOWN BUGS

Below is a list of known bugs in this beta copy of the AlphaWorld client. Please review this list before reporting any problems you have with it.

With version 46 I am also introducing an informal bug numbering scheme. Future copies of this file will also list known bugs that have been fixed.

Thank you for participating in the AlphaWorld beta program!

-Roland

Bug # Description

  • 1: Falling off the "edge" of the world causes a GPF.
  • 2: Triggering a "URL" action when Netscape is not running throws you into build mode.
  • 3: "Warps" (produced by the "warp" behavior command, not CTRL+ALT) can sometimes get stuck halfway to their destination, until the SHIFT key is pressed.
  • 4: When visibility is high (i.e. at or near 100 meters) WARPing to an area of high object density can cause a stack fault and/or GPF. This can also be caused by a large property update.
  • 5: Assigning an animation (via the "animate" command) to another named object does not work.
  • 6: Very occasionally, clicking on an object in build mode will suddenly replace the entire object, name, description, destination, and all, with the contents of another nearby object. This one is very hard to reproduce. If it happens to you and you think you might have an idea under what special circumstances it occurs, please let us know!


OlderEdit

Nothing prior to version 46; please add anything you have. Any notes older than version 66 would be called "bugs.txt" instead of "readme.txt".

**Missing Version 38 (~Oct 12/95)**Edit

**Missing Version 30 (~Aug 30/95)**Edit

OtherEdit

Mar 12/95: Jumanji special release related to the motion pictureEdit

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