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Frequently Asked Questions

Melanie Lam edited this page Nov 22, 2022 · 4 revisions

What won't my computer install Alice?

Make sure you have the correct system requirements to install Alice.

On MacOS 13, there is a bug with dark mode, you will need to turn off dark mode in System Preferences.

Make sure you have administrator privileges on the computer.

On Windows, your computer may put up a warning that the software is unrecognized. Click "More info" and "Run anyway."

How much does Alice cost?

Alice is free. You can download it, install it, teach with it, use it as part of a not-for-profit venture. Just don't download it and sell it or redistribute it without proper acknowledgement and permission of Carnegie Mellon University.

Seriously, there must be a catch.

Nope. It's free. Well, actually, development of Alice has been funded by our many generous sponsors.

Which Alice should I use?

We are working hard to bring the same level of ease of use and curricular support to Alice 3 with the hope that it can stand alone and function as a tool that can be introduced early and revisited throughout the early computer science learning trajectory all the way till transitioning into text based coding in Java. We do get this question a lot and the answers are mixed when we asked teachers. For many it is primarily a question of comfortability and access to the appropriate supporting materials for their usage. For some Alice 2 is simpler and more accessible at younger ages or for the earliest intro courses and projects, however there are teachers using Alice 3 with students as early as 6th grade (and sometimes even earlier) so this is not a hard and fast rule based on feedback. Some teachers are using both Alice 2 and Alice 3 that have elected to transfer the students from one to another depending on the teaching goals and skills of the students. Please feel free to review the resources or even better reach out to our teacher community through our list-serve to find the right support and solution for your application.

Will Alice run on my chromebook/smartphone/tablet/portable device/gaming console?

Unfortunately no. We are actively working on this but it is a major development and we have no time frame for when we will be releasing this.

Can worlds or projects created in Alice 2.x be opened in Alice 3.x?

Unfortunately no. These applications have been constructed very differently and do not allow worlds to be shared between the two versions.

Can Alice 2 models be used in Alice 3?

While you could possibly import models into Alice 3 that were used in Alice 2 the changes to how models are constructed and used in Alice 3 makes this unlikely to produce the behavior you want for anything other than simple props.

Alice 3 models are significantly restructured. The design of Alice 3 gallery models is joints-based (rather than subparts-based as used in Alice 2). Creating animations using components of an object now involves manipulation of the joints of an object instead of the sub-parts of an object. This may seem to be a subtle change, but it allows the use of a soft-skin for the models, creating more realistic animations when a component of a model is animated. For example, an object kicking its leg outward will no longer move outside its clothing, exposing a bare leg. This restructuring includes a consistent internal skeletal and joint structure for each super class in the gallery (Biped, Quadruped, Flyer, Swimmer, Prop). The consistent internal structure allows for a class hierarchy needed for more faithful implementation of inheritance (an object-oriented concept) than does Alice 2. (Note that introductory students do not need this feature but more advanced students do.) Part of this is also aesthetic. The Alice 3 environment models are richer and more complex than Alice 2 models.

Are more models being created for Alice 3?

Yes, as fast as we can (unfortunately creating models takes time)… We are always interested to hear from the community about what models they would like to see.

Can a user import their own 3D models?

You can! There are “how to” resources on Alice 3 for how to do this and file requirements for doing so. This feature is still in Beta so we would love to hear from you if you start to use this feature and don’t hesitate to reach out to us with bugs so we can continue to improve this feature.

How can I share my Alice worlds?

The most exciting way to share Alice worlds is through our new Alice Player, Using the Alice Player people can enjoy your creations without having the full Alice IDE. Even more exciting is creating standalone executables using the player. We have an early process for doing this and hope to build in this process to future versions of Alice to make it even easier.

If you would like to share videos of your animations or worlds on Youtube or other platforms we recommend following our How To on screen capturing using the free software OBS. The built in export video function in Alice was difficult to maintain across all platforms and OS and has been discontinued.

My students and I are running the same version of Alice 3. Why are we seeing different available variable types: I have double and integer and they have wholenumber and decimalNumber?

It seems that you have different preference settings than your students. Your students have the Alice (default) language preference setting, and you have the Java preference language setting. You can change this under the Window drop down under Preferences>Programming language>Alice