JASigning Release Notes

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JASigning Release Notes

The current release of JASigning can be found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/std/ which provides links for downloading applications and viewing web pages using the virtual signing technology. The standard release is vhg2017.

The development version of JASigning can be found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/dev/ which provides links for development versions of applications and web pages. The development version is vhg2017z.

Notes for the current and previous releases are found below. There are also notes on development versions that are not currently guaranteed to be stable. Users are welcome to try these and provide feedback via the JASigning Issue Reporting page. It is helpful to consult the JASigning Platform Issues notes.

JASigning 2017 (Standard Version)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2017.

This release is currently the same as JASigning 2017f.

The release involves substantial changes so users should revert to earlier versions, such as JASigning 2017a, if problems are encountered.

JASigning 2017z (Development Version)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2017z.

This release is currently the same as JASigning 2017f.

Users are encouraged to try the development release and report any issues encountered.

JASigning 2017f (2017-04)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2017f.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2017e:

  • Defaults to processing of SiGML on client
  • Deprecated Applet version selected by "stoca:" as animgenServer setting
  • Slight change to external interface to CWASA functions. See Configuring JASigning for HTML5 web pages
  • Tested on major browsers on OS X, iOS, and Windows

JASigning 2017e (2017-04)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2017e.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2017d:

Improvement of JavaScript code for Animgen:

  • HamNoSys SiGML to Gestural SiGML performed a sign at a time for better latency
  • SiGML signs processed by Animgen one at a time for improved latency
  • Some delays with long SiGML sequences on pages with multiple avatar panels
  • Better handling of missing and malformed SiGML
  • Relatively little testing

JASigning 2017d (2017-04)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2017d.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2017c:

Incorporation of JavaScript code for Animgen:

  • SiGML processed on client
  • Settings for Animgen server and SToCA Web applet currently ignored
  • Initial implementation with relatively little testing

JASigning 2017c (2017-02)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2017c.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2017b:

Changes to configuration of WebGL avatar software:

  • Viable defaults applied if JSON configuration files are missing
  • CWASA.init function takes a JSON configuration object for freestanding configuration
  • See BSLExamples demo for use of simplified approach

JASigning 2017b (2017-01)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2017b.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2017a:

Minor changes for CORS support reducing need for bespoke installations.

  • VHG server sets CORS headers for widespread use
  • ZIP processing avoids JavaScript Worker API which has inadequate CORS support
  • Example web pages can be placed on other servers, including a localhost server
  • Example web pages can be opened from the file system
    • Supported by Firefox
    • For other browsers see notes on local installation

JASigning 2017a (2017-01)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2017a.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2016g:

Many detailed changes have been made to the WebGL software (CWASA) but no changes should be seen in performance of the system. In particular:

  • Little or no change to the Java apps and Java web applets
  • Java web applets are unlikely to work as Java is now deprecated in the browser
  • Conversion of HamNoSys SiGML (hns_sign) to Gestural SiGML (hamgestural_sign) done in JavaScript
    • Processing based on ANTLR3.3 with Java or JavaScript output used
    • Animgen server continues to support SiGML conversion if required
  • Some compatibility with node.js
    • Folder cwa contains folder HtoG with node.js script for commandline transformation of SiGML files
    • Local Installation can be used to extract a copy for standalone use
  • XSLT processing in the browser
    • Enhancement to handle Internet Explorer via ActiveX

JASigning 2016 (Final Version)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2016.

This release is the same as JASigning 2016e.

JASigning 2016z (2016-11)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2016z.

This release is the same as JASigning 2016g.

Users are encouraged to try the development release and report any issues encountered.

JASigning 2016g (2016-11)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2016g.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2016f:

  • Use of Animgen Server as default for WebGL versions
  • Adds configuration parameter animgenServer usually set to VHG server
  • Index pages reorganised to deprecate Java Applet versions

JASigning 2016f (2016-11)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2016f.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2016e:

  • SiGML file parsing uses ANTLR 3 in place of ANTLR 2
  • Minor corrections to NetBeans project JASApp in Local Installation

JASigning 2016e (2016-10)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2016e.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2016d:

Developments relate to the WebGL version (CWASA):

  • SiGML data loaded from URLs and sent as data to Java Applet
  • Option to use a server to process SiGML Data
    • Provides support for Chrome and Opera and beyond 2016 when Java support in browsers dies
    • See /cwa/OneAvTest.html
  • WebGL Shaders reworked to allow operation on mobile devices especially iOS
  • WebGL version should work under HTTPS

JASigning 2016d (2016-06)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2016d.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2016c:

  • Applet properties now mainly in SiGMLPlayerApplet.properties rather than Applet tag or JNLP file.
  • Users of local installations can customise behaviour using this properties file.

JASigning 2016c (2016-05)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2016c.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2016b:

Enhancement of WebGLSigning Avatar

  • Better treatment when Java applet is not available
  • Support for setting of initial camera position
  • Uses OBJECT tag rather than APPLET except on Internet Explorer
  • Handles Windows Firefox behaviour on applet loading

JASigning 2016b (2016-04)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2016b.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2016a:

  • Fixes bug whereby empty frame data was returned from valid SiGML data
  • Release of WebGL avatar supported by JavaScript using CoffeeScript
    • CWASA CoffeeScript WebGL ARP Signing Avatar
    • Rendering performed using WebGL, bypassing JOGL
    • Animation sequences prepared using simplified Java applet embedding Animgen code
    • Avatar rendering but no SiGML animation on Chrome and Opera, which do not support Java applets
  • Example web pages especially via vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2016b/index-plus
    • Single and Double avatar panels
    • Different styles of GUI generation
    • Direct access to CWASA operation from JavaScript

JASigning 2016a (2016-02)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2016a.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2015h:

  • Now based on JOGL version 2.3.2.
  • Additional logging during shutdown of applets and applications.

The move to JOGL 2.3.2 solves an issue on OS X where a crash would occur after shutdown of JASigning applets. However, rendering shows artefacts on systems with some graphics cards.

JASigning 2015 (Final Version)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2015.

This release is the same as JASigning 2015h.

JASigning 2015z (2015-10)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2015z.

This release is the same as JASigning 2015h.

Users are encouraged to try the development release and report any issues encountered.

JASigning 2015h (2015-10)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2015h.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2015g:

  • Avatar menus updated correctly after avatar switch.
  • Improved handling of requests for missing or badly named avatars.

JASigning 2015g (2015-07)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2015g.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2015f:

  • Log4J2 logging has been extended and reworked.
  • An attribute mode has been added to the time element in player_settings. The default mode="rest" inserts an empty sign which moves the signer to a rest position until the selected time. The option mode="hold" holds the final posture of the previous sign until the selected time.

JASigning 2015f (2015-07)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2015f.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2015e:

  • Logging is handled using Log4J2.
  • A local file log4j2.xml can be used to override default logging options.

JASigning 2015e (2015-06)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2015e.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2015d:

  • The release for hosting on a localhost server includes a NetBeans project for Developing new JASigning Apps.
  • Logging is partially handled using Log4J2.

JASigning 2015d (2015-05)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2015d.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2015c:

  • Corrects handling of outstanding player_settings elements at the end of a SiGML file.

JASigning 2015c (2015-04)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2015c.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2015b:

Improves handling of time elements in a sequence of player_settings:

  • Where no time element is given, later settings override earlier settings.
  • Where a time element is given, an empty sign is inserted to carry the earlier settings.
  • If settings are given at the very end of a sequence, an empty sign is inserted to act on the settings.

JASigning 2015b (2015-04)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2015b.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 2015a:

The following features have been added to the SiGMLPlayer application:

  • The file used for video generation can be defined using parameters video.base.uri and video.file.
  • Setting do.auto.run will cause the player to play the SiGML file given by sigml.base.uri and sigml.file on startup.
  • Setting do.auto.video will cause the player to generate a video of the SiGML file given by sigml.base.uri and sigml.file in a file defined by video.base.uri and video.file on startup (but after the file has been played, if requested).
  • Setting do.auto.quit will exit the player automatically after any automatic play or video generation actions.
  • Setting player.time.begin and player.time.end to times in seconds will allow a clip of a SiGML file to be selected for automatic playing or video generation. If the time to begin is omitted, playing starts immediately. If the time to end is missing, or not greater than the time to begin, playing continues to the end of the SiGML file. Hence, omitting both values or setting them to zero, will cause the whole file to be played.
  • Setting player.sync.rate to a floating point value will cause playing to speed up to align playing with real time if there are delays, such as when switching between avatars. For example, a value of 0.1 would take 10% of the usual time to play following signs until any delay is eliminated

JASigning 2015a (2015-04)

Release found at vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/vhg2015a.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 0.9.5t:

  • Provides a new SiGML Player application which combines functionality of the SiGML URL Player and SiGML Service Player. The GUI is as for the URL Player, but data can be sent to the player on the same sockets as for the Service Player.
  • Playing of CAS files now reflects camera changes from the original SiGML file in addition to avatar changes.

JASigning 0.9.5t (2015-03)

Release found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/095t/.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 0.9.5p:

  • Allows JAS parameters and settings to be provided as arguments to a javaws command when starting JASigning Apps.
  • Handles a new <player_settings/> element which sets the time at which the following sign will start. Example: <time begin="10.5"/>.

JASigning 0.9.5r (2015-02)

Release found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/095r/.

This release adds no significant functionality to JASigning 0.9.5p but was built on a recent version of OS X using JDK 1.8.

JASigning 0.9.5q (2015-02)

Release found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/095q/.

This release adds no significant functionality to JASigning 0.9.5p but was built on a recent version of OS X using JDK 1.7.

JASigning 0.9.5p (2014-07)

Release found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/095p/.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 0.9.5o:

  • Signed with a GlobalSign certificate valid from 2014.
  • Uses a more recent version of JOGL 2 to bypass problems in Java 7u60 on OS X.
  • Operates without local cache if security regime does not allow access to local disk. See JASigning Platform Issues notes.
  • Fixes incorrect handling of some repeated movements where the base position moves between repetitions.

JASigning 0.9.5o (2014-05)

Release found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/095o/.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 0.9.5n:

  • Fixes a bug that cause some eye-related non-manual features to be omitted when using the HamNoSys form of SiGML.
  • Corrects the handling of parameter settings for JASigning applications via JNlP files. These now use <argument/> elements rather than <property/> elements.
  • Replaces base URIs where full URIs are given for SiGML files or Video output files.
  • Starts process of using Log4j 2 for flexible application and applet logging.
  • Playing of CAS files now reflects avatar changes from the original SiGML file, as introduced in JASigning 0.9.5l.

JASigning 0.9.5n (2013-11)

Release found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/095n/.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 0.9.5m:

  • Uses a locally signed version of the JOGL libraries with compatible JAR manifest entries.
  • All Characters currently use separate texture files.

JASigning 0.9.5m (2013-10)

Release found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/095m/.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 0.9.5l:

  • The Platform Issues reported for JASigning 0.9.5j are largely overcome, though rendering artefacts remain for Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard.
  • Adds Application-Name, Permissions, and Codebase attributes to JAR file manifests for Java 6u65 and Java 7u45.
  • Replaces Trusted-Library attribute by Caller-Allowable-Codebase.

JASigning 0.9.5l (2013-06)

Release found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/095l/.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 0.9.5k:

  • Open GL handling uses JOGL2: Uses Version 2 of JOGL, the Java binding for Open GL.
  • Avatar Switching is supported via a <player_settings/> element. See SiGML Extensions. Avatar changes are reflected in CAS files exported by the SiGML URL Player, but playback does not handle changes until version JASigning 0.9.5o. Camera changes are not reflected in CAS files.
  • The Platform Issues reported for JASigning 0.9.5j continue to apply.
  • The properties/preferences setting ja.force.remote.ja.home now defaults to true when not provided.
  • Adds Trusted-Library attribute to JAR file manifests for Java 6u45 and Java 7u21.
  • Correctly signs JNLP files for trusted launching via current browsers.

JASigning 0.9.5k (2013-06)

Release found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/095k/.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 0.9.5j:

  • Open GL handling uses JOGL1: Reverts to using Version 1 of JOGL, the Java binding for Open GL.
  • The Platform Issues reported for JASigning 0.9.5i continue to apply.

JASigning 0.9.5j (2012-08)

Release found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/095j/.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 0.9.5i:

  • Open GL handling uses JOGL2: Now uses Version 2 of JOGL, the Java binding for Open GL, which is required for the SiGML Player Applet (SPA) on Mac OS X.
  • Platform Issues: Unfortunately there are problems on recent Mac OS X systems:
    • Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard: Web pages using SPA function correctly. JNLP Player Applications show some unacceptable rendering artefacts, so consider JASigning 0.9.5.i instead.
    • Mac OS 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion: Web pages using SPA function correctly. JNLP Player Applications fail to run when using Java 7 but function correctly on a system that uses the initial Apple release of Java 6.
    • Windows: Windows users should observe correct functionality.

JASigning 0.9.5i (2012-08)

Release found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/095i/.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 0.9.5h:

  • Improved Avatar Loading: Fixed a bug which caused loading of new avatars to fail for locales using European number representation due to incorrect setting of camera properties.
  • Updated Security Certificate: Uses a re-issued Code Signing Certificate to replace the one used since JASigning 0.9.5.f which has expired.
  • Platform Issues: Unfortunately there are problems on recent Mac OS X systems:
    • Mac OS X : HTML Applets: Most browsers on Mac OS X now create a new process to run Java applets on web pages. This means that nothing is displayed when the SiGML Player Applet (SPA) is loaded, although the Java Console reports normal processing of signing events. Consider SPA in JASigning 0.9.5.j instead.
    • Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard : JNLP Player Applications: Should function correctly.
    • Mac OS 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion : JNLP Player Applications: Fail to run when using Java 7 but function correctly on a system that uses the initial Apple release of Java 6.
    • Windows: Windows users should observe correct functionality.

JASigning 0.9.5h (2012-02)

Release found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/095h/.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 0.9.5g:

  • Françoise Avatar: In addition to the standard avatars anna, and marc, a new avatar francoise is included. This avatar was developed by UEA and LIMSI within the Dicta-Sign project for use with project outcomes.
  • Enhanced Flexibility and Precision in SiGML: The HamNoSys notation allows for changes in hand posture that might involve simultaneous movement and changes to hand shape and hand orientation. Implementation in Animgen assumes all changes are synchronised. Detailed examination of natural signing suggests that changes to orientation and shape are often established early in a movement. Additional attributes orientation_lead and shape_lead have been added to handconfig elements in SiGML to enable more precision in signing. If linguistic research identifies the normal pattern of sign language performance, Animgen could be modified to provide a different default behaviour.

This release was supported by the Dicta-Sign project and is documented in Deliverable D3.3 of the project.

JASigning 0.9.5g (2011-02)

Release found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/095g/.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 0.9.5f:

  • Improved Handling of Initial Options for Apps: The initial option settings for a JASigning app are now handled more flexibly. In particular, different JNLP variants of the same underlying JASigning app can now use distinct initial options settings without confusion. Initial options properties files are cached on the client to support offline operation.
  • Improved CAS Input and Output: CAS is the system's animation data format, which is amenable to conversion for use with other animation systems. CAS input and output are consistent, so re-exporting a previously imported CAS file generally produces a result whose format matches that of the original.
  • Improvements to SiGML Processing: SiGMLInLib, the component which performs conversions from H-SiGML (HNS SiGML) to G-SiGML (Gestural SiGML), and also from G-SiGML back to H-SiGML or HamNoSys, performs these conversions consistently with one another, and some errors in the conversion from H- to G-SiGML have been fixed.
  • Fine-grain Control of Avatar Posture and Motion: HamNoSys uses discrete ranges of values for features of the signer's posture and motion such as the orientation of hands and fingers and the direction and size of a movement. The HamNoSys “between” operator (\) can be used to specify a value halfway between two adjacent values in any of these discrete ranges. For example, specifying an extended finger direction between “up” and “left” produces a hand pointing diagonally (upwards and to the left).
    • The G-SiGML format used as direct input to the animation generation generalises this notion by allowing the specification of an additional “ratio” value, which may be an arbitrary real number between zero and one. This specifies a relative weighting between the two base values, thus effectively replacing HamNoSys's discrete range by a continuous one, giving arbitrarily fine-grain control over such features. Intermediate weighting values of this kind are currently supported for extended finger directions, palm orientations, and locations.
    • G-SiGML provides an alternative form of fine-grain control of direction – for features such as hand orientation and motions – by allowing a direction to be expressed as a vector of integer values specifying relative weightings in Cartesian space. For example, the HamNoSys direction “upwards and leftwards” (positive y and x, respectively) can be represented in G-SiGML as a direction value of “1 1 0”. Thus, greater relative degrees of upward-ness in the direction can be achieved by specifying direction values of “1 2 0”, “1 3 0”, etc.

This release was supported by the Dicta-Sign project and is documented in Deliverable D3.2 of the project.

JASigning 0.9.5f (2010-07)

Release found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/095f/.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 0.9.5e:

  • Ambient Motion: Some of the avatars, including the standard avatar, Anna, are now capable of ambient motion, both when idle and when signing. Versions of the applications and applets supporting this feature have been provided. An application menu allows this feature to be enabled/disabled both during signing and during idle periods, as required by the user. Finer grain control is provided through the system's standard options setting mechanism. Adding this feature to the other avatars is technically as simple matter, but this awaits more detailed evaluation and user feedback on the feature.
  • Video Generation: JASigning now has an experimental video generation facility. Because it depends on an externally provided video processing software library, this facility depends on a supporting video generation service application (running on the client system), which must be downloaded separately. For details on the download and use of the video generation service application, see the JASigning Video Generator page.
  • Security Certificate: The JASigning software components are now signed with a certificate issued by GlobalSign (to our School's consulting company, SYS Consulting Ltd.). While this gives stronger assurances about the software's authenticity than previously, it has one possible drawback for those running the software on Mac OS X: there is a bug/issue in the Mac OS X Java implementation which requires the system to be online when a JASigning application is launched, in order that the OCSP security checks can be made (even though the application is marked as suitable for offline execution). This means that on Mac OS X the JASigning applications can not be launched while completely offline. (Although going offline once the application is successfully launched is not a problem.) The only way we can see of circumventing this problem is for us to provide an alternative, self-signed, copy of the software, which is not subject to this limitation (but which is correspondingly less secure). This self-signed version can be found at the URL obtained by inserting an extra step "ss/" into the path just before the version tag: http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/ss/std/
  • Java Security Checks: JASigning has been adjusted to take account of the fussier security régime introduced into the Java releases of recent months. In particular, the JASigning applications and applets should no longer give rise to Java security messages about "mixtures of signed and unsigned components".
  • Platform Independent Applet: The main SiGML Player Applet and its variants are now launched as JNLP Applets on platforms that support this mechanism, falling back to the use of the JNLP Applet Launcher on those that don't.
  • Support for Windows 7: Although our testing is relatively limited, JASigning apparently runs successfully on Windows 7. But users of Windows XP should note that on that platform JASigning applications and applets (apart from the SiGML Service Client) now (since 2010-03) require prior installation of the freely available Microsoft Visual Studio C++ 2008 Redistributable Package - which may well be present already on many Windows XP systems.
  • 64-bit Support: All JASigning applications and applets now support 64-bit operation whenever this feature is provided by the underlying Windows, Mac OS X and Java runtime systems.
  • Improved HamNoSys/XML Input Error Handling: Recovery from HamNoSys and XML errors in SiGML input texts is now robust - i.e. it should no longer be necessary to re-launch a JASigning application or applet after feeding erroneous SiGML input to it.

This release was supported by the Dicta-Sign project and is documented in Deliverable D3.2 of the project.

JASigning 0.9.5e (2009-12)

Release found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/095e/.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 0.9.5d:

  • Support for Windows Vista.
  • Support for genuine offline running of a JASigning JNLP application once it has been run and cached from the server for the first time.
  • Improved quality and range of HamNoSys 4 non-manuals for all avatars.
  • Improvements in the SiGML Client/Editor application's UI: the editor supports UNDO/REDO (Ctl-Z/Ctl-Shift-Z), and handles unsaved edits in a more forgiving way.
  • Support in the SiGML Player Applet (SPA) for "piped" SiGML input, that is, for SiGML input that is supplied one sign at a time over an extended period, for example, in response to input from the user.
  • Support in the SiGML URL Player application for the saving of CAS animation data to a file on the client system, and support for the incorporation of CAS data into a SiGML stream using the <signing_ref> SiGML element.
  • Support for explicit user control of the frame-dropping policy, intended for use in the case where the frame rate is too high for the graphics hardware.
  • Definition of standard HTML frames, with associated scripts, to run the SiGML Player Applet (SPA) either with a standard GUI or with a customised one.

Note, however, that the usual same origin policy means that unfortunately it is not possible to deploy a JASigning applet on some other host simply by linking to the standard SPA frame definition on this one.

This release was supported by the Dicta-Sign project and is documented in Deliverable D3.1 of the project.

JASigning 0.9.5d (2008-12)

Release found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/095d/.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 0.9.5c:

  • The two LiveConnect applets have been replaced by a single SiGML Player Applet, which accepts either form of SiGML sequence specification recognised by its two predecessors, that is, a SiGML URL or an explicit SiGML text. It provides feedback to the HTML GUI via Javascript calls.
    The applet controls its signing avatar panel via its own event dispatch thread (EDT), which responds to two classes of event: GUI events coming from the user via the HTML/Javascript LiveConnect interface, and call-back events generated by the avatar panel itself. The EDT generates an acknowledgement for each event it receives and at present it processes events serially, that is, it will not accept a new event until it has generated the acknowledgement for its predecessor.
    The EDT is thus a potential bottleneck, but the JASigning avatar panel component is intended to operate with enough asynchronous concurrency for this not to be a problem in practice.
    This event-based architecture should make it a relatively straightforward matter to enhance the applet while maintaining its robustness: a new operation can be introduced by making appropriate exensions to the applet's Event enumeration, and adding code to the EDT specifying how each new event is to be processed.
    The applet has a boolean option controlling the generation of event logging output on the Java console.
    (The LC-SiGML-Player and LC-SiGML-URL-Player applet classes are still included in the use-jarp library, but this release does not provide any HTML demos for them.)
  • JASigning now allocates a local workspace for itself in a directory called .jasigning in the user's home directory.
  • If the user wishes to define a default JA options set, that is, one common to all JASigning applications, then the file defining these options (jadefaults.properties) should be placed in the user's .jasigning directory. In the absence of this file, a standard JA default options file (which typically is empty) is read from the JASigning installation server instead.
  • For an avatar with Cacheable access, the locally cached copy is now held in the user's JASigning workspace (.jasigning directory) rather than in the JNLP Persistence Service cache, as before. This means that avatars with Cacheable access can now be used by JASigning HTML applets (which do not have access to the JNLP cache). As a result, Cacheable access is probably now the most satisfactory avatar access mode in most contexts.
  • JASigning now supports a standard installation-wide set of avatar configuration options.
    • The properties that may be defined in this set are:
      • avatar.id
      • avatar.id.list
      • direct.files.avatar.list
      • cacheable.avatars.list
      • avatar.config.base.uri
      • avatar.jar.base.uri
    • together possibly with appropriate entries, each for an individual avatar, AV, in one of the forms:
      • avatar.direct.base.uri.AV (if AV has Direct Files access)
      • avatar.jar.uri.AV (if AV has Cacheable access)
    • (See the previous release's change list for descriptions of these options.)
    • The built-in JA options set does not now include settings for any of these options, but the standard JA options set may still include definitions for them through the JA default options and/or the application/applet-specific options.
    • Definitions of avatar options in the JA options set supplement and override the installation's standard avatar configurataion options. Thus, for example, the installation may define a basic set of avatars and standard locations for their definition files, while a particular application may define additions to the installation's standard avatar set, together with locations for these extra avatars, and possibly also non-standard locations for avatars in the installation's original set.
  • The SiGML Editor/Client application now uses the Preferences mechanism to remember the location of its SiGML folder from one invocation to the next. When first used the application prompts the user to choose the required folder via a standard file dialog.
  • The behavour of the Frame Number spinner component used in the JASigning applications has been reworked and should now be more robust - for example, in the case where SiGML animation generation is streamed (i.e. asynchronous).
  • The SiGML Service Player application now supports streamed animation generation, that is, it should be possible (with the appropriate option setting) for that application to play the animation for earlier signs in a SiGML sequence while animation data is still being generated for later signs in the sequence, or even while waiting for later signs to be delivered from the remote source.

JASigning 0.9.5c (2008-07)

Release found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/095c/.

These are the main differences between this version and JASigning 0.9.5b:

  • Support for the JNLP Applet Launcher (JAL), which allows an applet in a web browser to be launched without any prior download of supporting native libraries and avatar definitions.
    (And which despite its name appears not to use the JNLP APIs, but just the JNLP XML file format.)
    All the remaining changes are consequences of this one.
  • No "JASigning Applet Support" installation on the client system, nor explicit offers to install local avatar definitions, if appropriate, when a JASigning JNLP application is launched. Instead all cacheing of native libraries on the client depends on the Java Web Start cacheing mechanisms, or, in the case of an HTML applet, on the JAL's own cacheing mechanisms (whose activities are recorded on the Java console log, for those who are interested). The treatment of avatar data files is described below.
  • Hence this version has no need of the system-wide JA_HOME preferences setting. In previous versions JA_HOME usually identified the installation directory on the client system. In this version JA_HOME is effectively a fixed internal setting, forced to point to the remote JASigning base directory on the server.
  • Applet-specific properties may now be set via <param> entries in the HTML <applet> element (or in a JNLP <applet-desc> element), the parameter name in each case being simply the the name of the preference setting it represents.
    One consequence of this is that applet-specific properties files are no longer necessary, although they are still supported, for the time being, anyway. Another consequence is that the special avatar parameter of previous versions must now for consistency be named avatar.id
  • There are now three possible access methods for an avatar's data files:
    • ClassPath Access: the folder of data files for the given avatar is packaged in a JAR file together with a Java access class (details below) whose sole purpose is to provide a resource base against which the avatar files can be accessed by a Java class loader.
      Provided this avatar access JAR is placed on the classpath of a JASigning application or applet the avatar is automatically accessible - and will benefit from Java's standard client-side caching mechanisms.
      The drawback of this method is that on first use, the user is forced to wait while every JAR of this kind is downloaded into the Java client-side cache before the application or applet can start. This is the default access method. (And it is also used to access the COMMON/config.xml file.)
    • Direct Files Access: this is essentially the access method used in previous versions, that is, the avatar data files are obtained via a base URL for the folder containing these files - but in previous versions that was typically a file: URL on the client, whereas now it will typically be a remote http: URL.
    • Cacheable Access: this is similar to the first access method in that the avatar data files are packaged with an access class in a JAR file. But in this case the JAR is not put on the Java classpath; instead JASigning downloads it only on demand and places it in the client's JNLP cache, from whence a temporary copy is taken and dynamically loaded. (Using the JNLP cache for this purpose seems to be a mistake since JNLP is not available to HTML applets, so at present this access method is available only to JNLP applications and applets. But using a custom-built cache instead of the JNLP cache - as JAL does -- would not be difficult to implement and JASigning may well change to do this in the near future.)
      The access class for a given avatar, marc say, is a miniscule Java class called marc.Access whose compiled class file Access.class is placed in the marc avatar data folder. The Java code for this class is simply:
package marc; public final class Access{}

  • There are a number of new properties/preferences settings to control the avatar access mechanisms, and several of the old setttings take on a more prominent role. As noted above, an HTML applet can now control these settings by means of <param> entries in the relevant HTML <applet> element.
    • avatar.id:   The name of the avatar to be loaded initially.
    • avatar.id.list:   Colon-separated list of avatars available to the application/applet, e.g. anna:marc.
      (Since there is no longer an installation folder in the file system, JASigning is no longer able to determine this list for itself by inspecting its agconfig subfolder.)
    • direct.files.avatar.list:   Colon-separated list of avatars using the Direct Files access method.
      May be omitted (or explicitly null, or explicitly empty) if the list is empty.
    • cacheable.avatar.list:   Colon-separated list of avatars using the Cacheable access method.
      May be omitted (or explicitly null, or explicitly empty) if the list is empty.
    • avatar.config.base.uri:   The default base location for the data folders of avatars in the Direct Files list.
    • direct.files.base.uri.AVATAR:   Assuming AVATAR appears in the Direct Files avatar list, an entry of this form explicitly specifies the URL of its avatar data folder, overriding the default location implicit in the avatar.config.base.uri setting.
    • avatar.jar.uri.AVATAR:   Assuming AVATAR appears in the Cacheable avatar list, an entry of this form specifies the URL of its access JAR file.
Clearly, the avatar.id.list should include the avatar.id value, and should contain as sublists both the direct.files.avatar.list and cacheable.avatar.list values.
  • As well as the various client-side cacheing mechanisms, this version of JASigning currently caches all avatar data in memory for the remainder of the session once loaded. This could amount to a good few Mb if many avatars are used, but probably not enough to be a problem in most environments.
  • At present this version of JASigning makes no attempt to set the Java Applet runtime parameters for the user, since the separate installer which used to do this is is no longer used.

JASigning 0.9.5b (2008-02)

Release found at http://vhg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/tech/jas/095b/.

JASigning is a software system for scripted performance of sign language animations by a virtual human, or avatar. The scripting language used to define these animations is SiGML (Signing Gesture Markup Language).

SiGML is an XML application language, derived from HamNoSys, the sign language notation system developed at the University of Hamburg.

JASigning is based on work undertaken at UEA in conjunction with our partners in the ViSiCAST and eSIGN projects. It is an alternative to the Avatar Plugin software released at the end of the eSIGN project. One important difference is that JASigning runs on Mac OS X as well as Windows.

JASigning is a combination of Java software with supporting native libraries. So, use of JASigning requires that the Java runtime software, version 5 or later, is installed on the client system. Java is pre-installed on all Mac OS X systems, and on many Windows systems.

The standard method of accessing a JASigning application or applet is via Java Web Start using JNLP, the Java Network Launch Protocol.


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