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This file was not kept up to date after June 2006, but there are brief
summaries in the "Recent developments" section of
Visual 4.beta2
* The Windows build is no longer dependent on Gtk+; it uses the Win32
API directly. Windows 98,ME,XP,2K are supported. Windows 95 is _not_
supported, and will not be for the forseeable future. The official
Microsoft end of life date for Windows 98 and ME is coming soon
(30 June 2006). Support by VPython for those versions of Windows is
This build depends on a third-party library, libsigc++, which is licensed
under the GNU Lesser General Public License, version 2.1. (which was also
the case for Gtk). To comply with the terms of this license, the source
code for libsigc++ is available from our download site alongside the
Windows package.
* Ring objects support translucency. (but it is somewhat expensive)
* Graphs of points utilize the new points object
* (Actually present since 4.beta0) Label objects' text supports Unicode
strings. On Linux/Unix, any unicode character supported by the selected
font should be displayed correctly. This feature is not implemented for
Windows. Additionally, the default text font for Linux is the system
font (rather than courier), rendered using Freetype 2.
* The colorsliders demo includes an alpha (opacity) slider
* The gdots object uses the new points object for rendering cleaner point
* Programs that track UI events should exit cleanly when the user closes
a window, rather than hang.
* A universe consiting of only one instance of a points, curve, convex, faces,
or ellipsoid will be displayed properly.
* Boxes with negative dimentions are rendered correctly
* renderable.shininess = 1.0 is no longer a synonym for diabling shininess
(shininess is maximized in this case)
* Label object color properties are applied correctly
* Copyright notices (license.txt and LIBSIGC_COPYING.txt) have been added to
the Windows distribution.
* (Linux/UNIX only) label.text returns a properly formed unicode string
Visual 4.beta1.1 (this was not announced)
* The Gtk+ libs in the Windows build were updated with less-stripped versions
* Compiled object files were removed from the source tarball.
Visual 4.beta1
* A new points object:
class points(cvisual.renderable):
property pos: Nx3 Numeric double array
property color: Nx4 Numeric float array
property size: double; the size of every point in the array, in
either pixels or world-space units
property type: "world" or "screen"; Defines whether a points object's
size property is defined in world coordinates or screen coordinates
property antialias: boolean; If true, points are rounded.
otherwise, they are square.
if "GL_ARB_point_parameters" in
then type = "world" will work.
type is silently ignored and considered to be "screen"
There is an implementation-defined size range for either round or
square points, which is not easily visible to client programs at this
time. Specifying a size outside this range will cause it to be
sliently clamped internally to whatever range that the hardware supports.
* The Gtk runtime shipped with VPython on Windows uses the Gtk-Wimp (Windows
native widgets) theme by default.
* Several DLL's in the Gtk runtime have been fixed
* Texture data of NxM is automatically interpreted as NxMx1
* Setting works correctly
* Thin curve's color is rendered correctly
* The Windows build will only run on Windows XP (Pro and Home) and 2000.
Visual 4.beta0
* A menu bar with some simple functions
* New mouse interaction mode "pan", selectable by the user
* Most objects support an "alpha" color property, that controls
transparency. This also makes foo.color a 4-tuple (RGBA)
* Most objects support a "shininess" property, that controls specular
highlighting (value between 0 and 1, exactly 0 or 1 disable it)
* Most objects can have their lighting explicitly turned off
(foo.lit = False)
* Simple texturing support (see examples/
* Advanced lighting support, including spotlights, attenuation, and local
(non-infinity) sources (no demo as yet, see help(light))
* frame.scale linearly scales all of the frame's children's dimensions
Negative values are allowed.
* Translucent labels occlude each other in a spatially-correct way
Visual 3.2.4
* Ensure that the last point of a curve is always rendered.
* diff_angle with (0,0,0) vectors returns 0 instead of pi/2
* Documention corrected to state frame.objects includes only visible objects.
* display.exit = 0 again works (only that window closes)
Visual 3.2.1
* Fix an undefined reference error in
Visual 3.2.0
* New stereo mode: "crosseyed". It is just like 'passive', but reversed
* Added the dependancy list for Genoo systems to INSTALL.txt.
* A crash that affected users of some NVIDIA Quadro video cards on Windows
has been fixed.
* Work around sizeof(float*) < sizeof(int) on AMD64 systems.
Visual 3.1.1
* There is no longer a restriction on rotating past the up axis, such that
the scene may be rotated upside-down under user control.
* The MS Windows builds include packages for Python 2.3 and 2.4, upgrades
Boost.Python to version 1.32, and adds Numarray 1.1.1.
* The MS Windows installer has been componentized, and will respect an
existing installation of Numeric or Numarray.
* A resource leak in the label object has been fixed.
* configure option --with-gtkgl-prefix works correctly (only affects *nix
and OSX users).
* The bounds check for display.up and display.forward is more robust.
* A crash in the free function rotate( vector, angle, axis) has been fixed.
* Thin curve objects are rendered with the correct color in anaglyph stereo
rendering modes.
* The "vpython" script is working again.
* "make install" is broken on Windows. Use the generated
MakeVPython.iss Inno Setup file to build an installer and run it.
Visual 3.1.0
* This is the first release that has been produced from our new CVS layout.
This enables a more deterministic release process that will reduce
* Numarray support has been added. You can enable support for Numeric and
Numarray in the same build, and select between them at runtime. See
INSTALL.txt for details.
* The autotools support for MS Windows has been significantly improved.
* Nx2 arrays are supported for convex.pos and faces.pos
* faces.color is initialized in the correct order. This bug prevented you
from initializing faces.color to an array in the constructor.
* {primitive,frame}.rotate( pos=foo, origin=bar) works as expected.
* The shutdown procedure is kinder to the shell when using Bash.
* Several uninitialized value errors were fixed in the display class when
using the GTK+ backend.