GROUPBOARD/GROUPWORLD NEWSLETTER - May 2005
This is an occasional newsletter which is sent out to all registered Groupboard and GroupWorld.net customers a few times a year.
CONTENTSGroupWorld.net internet collaboration software released!
Issues with java JDK1.5.
Wacom Graphire Tablet: $84.99 from Amazon (15% off).
Using Groupboard with unicode characters.
Data compression with freehand tool.
Background image centering.
GroupWorld.net internet collaboration software released!
We have recently released our GroupWorld.net online collaboration and conferencing software.
Designed with both personal and business users in mind, GroupWorld.net has applications such as online meetings/conferencing and 3D chat worlds with file sharing and multi-player games.
Features of GroupWorld.net include:
- Programming language and virtual machine, similar to C and java, allowing users to customise the example applications or develop their own.
- Simple yet powerful API with built-in support for audio and video conferencing, 3D graphics, desktop sharing and GUI design.
- Applications can be embedded in web pages or used standalone.
- AES encryption (the US government standard) on all data sent to/from server.
- Example applications include: whiteboard, chat, video & audio chat, message board, desktop sharing and a 3D virtual chat world with multi-user games and file sharing.
GroupWorld.net costs from $6.99 per month for the 15 simultaneous user consumer version, or $14.99 per month for the 30 user business version with desktop sharing. Permanent licenses are also available for business users.
For further information, screenshots and to set up a 30 day free trial, visit:http://www.groupworld.net
Issues with java JDK1.5
Sun released version 1.5 of java earlier this year. As is now usual with major releases of java, a number of serious bugs were introduced in the new release:
- TextAreas don't autoscroll properly, causing problems with the Groupboard chat window. This has now been fixed in jdk 1.5.0_02, so if you experience this problem, just upgrade to the latest version of java (http://java.sun.com/getjava).
- Due to a change in behaviour, images containing spaces in the filename don't work any more. We have now implemented a workaround in Groupboard which means that images containing spaces will work with both the new (1.5) jdk and the older versions of java.
- Windows sometimes appear behind the browser window and toFront has no effect, causing problems with the Groupboard password window. This bug is currently "in progress" and should hopefully be fixed in an upcoming maintenance release of jdk 1.5.
Wacom Graphire Tablet: $84.99 from Amazon (15% off)
Many of our users use Wacom Graphire graphics tablets with Groupboard. Using a graphics tablet with Groupboard is simple: just plug it in to your computer, install the drivers (if necessary), and it can then be used as a replacement for the mouse. If you do a lot of art or graphic design work on the computer, a graphics tablet is more accurate and faster than using a mouse.
Wacom's graphics tablets range in price from $99 for the basic Graphire3 (which is sufficient for most users), up to $3,000 for the Cintiq 21UX which allows you to draw directly onto a high resolution LCD screen.
You can buy the base Graphire3 tablet through amazon for $84.99, which is 15% off the retail price. Just click on the link below or go to www.groupboard.com and click on the advert on our homepage:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0000C4DVX/qid%3D1114174947/sr%3D1-2/ref%3Dsr%5F1%5F2%5Fetk-electronics/103-0419208-3142264?v=glance
Using Groupboard with unicode characters.
Groupboard fully supports unicode characters, allowing you to enter text in Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, Arabic, etc. In order to be able to use unicode characters, you must set the USE_UTF parameter to TRUE in your html code. If you want right-to-left text input, you can also set the RIGHT_TO_LEFT parameter to TRUE. Your board must also be configured on the server to allow unicode characters: "dont_strip_ctrl_chars=true" must be added to the options file for the board. If you are using a hosted Groupboard, email us and we will enable this for your board.
Data compression with freehand tool
In order to reduce bandwidth and improve performance, Groupboard compresses freehand drawing actions:
- Multiple freehand drawing actions are buffered and sent compressed. No loss is involved, but there may be a slight delay between one person drawing and other people seeing it.
- Freehand lines are "straightened", with multiple short line segments sometimes being joined together. This compression does result in loss of quality.
Depending on your application, you may want to switch off the lossy compression. This can be done by setting the USE_LOSSY_COMPRESSION parameter to FALSE in the html code. If you are using Groupboard Designer, lossy compression is switched off by default.
You can switch off all data compression by setting the USE_COMPRESSION parameter to false in the html code. In most cases, however, this is not necessary.
- There is now an "eraser" tool which sets the largest pen size and the colour white.
- The window size has been adjusted to remove unnecessary grey space. If you are using a registered 15 or 100 user board without adverts, just add "&adverts=false" to the url. If you do not have a chat window you can add "&hide_chat=true" to remove the space normally reserved for the chat area.
If you are using a hosted board and you require the new html code to copy onto your web page, just go to:http://www.groupboard.com/support/urlgen.shtml
then click on the board_3dlook.cgi links and copy the html code into your own web pages.
Note that these changes do not apply to Groupboard Designer.
Background image centering
By default, Groupboard will display the background image in the top-left corner of the whiteboard. If you want the image centred, you can set the CENTRE_IN_WINDOW parameter to TRUE in your html code.
If you are using Groupboard Designer, background images are scaled to fit the whiteboard and centred by default. You can switch off this scaling by setting the SCALE_TO_FIT html parameter to FALSE in the html code.
For a full list of the html parameters available for Groupboard, see:http://www.groupboard.com/support/admin.shtml#params