Sticker 3.1.0 release candidate 2

Release Notes

Supported Platforms

Sticker is supported on Windows 2000/XP, Mac OS X (PowerPC and Intel), Linux (Gtk) and Solaris (Gtk). Sticker is known not to run on Windows 95 and has not been tested on any of the Window 9x releases (including Windows 98 and Windows ME). It has not been tested on Windows Vista.

Installation

Sticker comes either as a self-installing package or as a ZIP file. To install the ZIP, extract it and start Sticker by running either "sticker.bat" on Windows, "sticker.sh" on Unix or the Sticker.app application bundle on Mac OS X. See the "README.txt" file that comes with Sticker for more information on installation options.

Changes

Changes in 3.1.0 RC 2

Release Candidate 2 adds support for Intel Macintoshes and fixes a number of scrolling and performance issues under Mac OS X. It also updates Windows and Gtk interfaces by updating the packaged SWT framework to to the latest 3.2.2 release. It also updates the Java 1.4 JRE packaged for Windows to a more modern Java 5 JRE.

Changes in 3.1.0 RC 1

Sticker 3.1 RC1 is a stabilisation release and aims to address all known bugs reported against beta 2. Various minor features have been added where they have been judged as unlikey to introduce new bugs. It is not intended to add any further features before the 3.1 final release.

A key change is that 3.1 RC1 significantly improves support for Mac OS X, fixing all known showstopper bugs and adding OS X specific improvements such as a fully-functional application menu and autohide support.

Changes in 3.1.0 beta 2

Sticker 3.1 beta 2 is a bugfix release. In particular, it fixes a serious bug triggered by changing user nickname from the Preferences window. It also fixes an error in the implementation of secure messaging, which will affect any users that have made public keys available. All users of 3.1 beta 1 are strongly encouraged to upgrade.

NOTE: The security fixes in this release re-enable secure messaging between Sticker and other clients such as xtickertape, but mean 3.1 beta 2 will not accept secure messages from the previous beta 1 release.

Changes in Sticker 3.1.0 beta 1

Sticker 3.1 is primarily a consolidation release and has a large number of improvements and bug fixes, but relatively few new major features. Release 3.1 maintains full forwards and backwards compatibility with Sticker 3.0 and other modern ticker clients and is a recommended upgrade for Sticker 3.0 users.

Change summary

Change Details

Known Problems In This Release

Launching crash on Windows 2000: problems with the Sticker EXE causing a GPF have been seen on some Windows 2000 systems. Please contact the author if you encounter this issue and would like to trial an alternative packaging.

OS X CPU usage: Up to and including 3.1b2 CPU usage has been a killer issue on OS X. In releases post 3.1b2 CPU usage has been reduced from ridiculous to merely annoying: on a 1.3GHz PowerBook Sticker's CPU usage while with ticker messages visible ranges between 5% and 10% (usage is still recorded even when not scrolling due to the fading effects on the "new message" stars. This is still much higher than it should be and will be further addressed in the next release.

Auto hide not supported on Linux/Solaris GTK : Due to window manager behaviour under Gnome, the auto-hide feature cannot be implemented on this platform and is disabled.

Unix window placement: Windows can appear underneath the scroller.

Linux GTK crashes: Sticker occasionally crashes inside the GTK library. GTK 2.2 or later is recommended.

Changes between Sticker 3 and Sticker 2

Native GUI: Sticker 3 is based on the Eclipse SWT toolkit rather than Swing as used in Sticker 2. SWT is based on the operating system�s native toolset, meaning Sticker 3 looks and acts like a native application and supports Windows XP and GTK themes plus display enhancements such as ClearType.

Reduced memory requirements: The switch to SWT plus streamlining and simplifications of the backend result in Sticker 3.0 requiring approximately half the memory of Sticker 2.3.

Windows native release: For Windows users, Sticker 3.0 is available as standalone EXE that does not require a Java runtime and has significantly lower memory requirements. The existing cross-platform distributions are still fully supported.

No scrolling messages: Well actually it does scroll, but much less so than before. Scrolling can be irritating, and Sticker 3 tries not to generate distracting movement unless something is actually changing. When a new message arrives on a blank ticker it now "drops" it in from the right and comes to a stop on the left where it sits until expired or deleted. Subsequent messages, up to the point where the ticker is full, do the same, forming a stationary stack of messages. When the ticker is full, it starts scrolling as usual, with the ticker tape display wrapping so that all the space available on the ticker is used for message display. The dropping action still gives a brief movement cue for each new message, but the display settles down immediately afterwards.

New scroller features: messages that are unread (i.e. haven't been replied to, or deleted, or otherwise "touched") are highlighted with a shadow. The message text no longer fades as it ages since this can make the text hard to read; instead the red "new message" star over the icon fades. Messages that are not visible are not subject to expiry, meaning short-expiry messages arriving on a long tape won't be deleted before display.

Auto hide: In the spirit of being less intrusive, Sticker 3 has an "auto hide" option that causes the scroller to slide out of the way when not in use. When a message arrives, or Sticker becomes the active application (eg is Alt-Tabbed to), it slides back into view. On Windows there is now a taskbar menu for when the Sticker is not visible.

Improved message archiving: Sticker 3 uses a micro object database for storing messages, which allows for large archives to which messages can be added, retrieved and removed from very quickly. As well as improving performance, messages can be indexed by their read/unread status and received time, allowing flagging of unread messages and global expiry of old messages. All messages are now stored in a single file rather than one file per group.

No popup toolbar: While the popup toolbar seemed like a good idea at the time, it's true to say that many people find it annoying, including the author. In its place, Sticker 3 uses a context menu on the scroller plus a control menu with application options.

Better self-customisation: Sticker 3 remembers much more of the way you�ve set up things, such as window sizes, column widths, etc.

Improved scroller and message display customisation: Sticker 3 has a number of pre-set scroller colour themes, each of which has its own optimised message colour schemes for normal, highlighted and "lowlighted" messages. This allows message actions that change message appearance to do so intelligently regardless of which scroller the message ends up on.

Compatibility With Sticker 2

Sticker 3 is fully compatible with Sticker 2's tickertape messaging and virtual presence protocols, however Sticker 3 will not read Sticker 2 preferences and saved messages. Sticker 3 has significant internal differences that would make it a complex process to convert settings from Sticker 2. However, if enough people complain, a conversion tool may be forthcoming.

Advanced groups based on Elvin subscription expressions can be moved to Sticker 3 by first copying the Elvin subscription expression and using Preferences -> Ticker Groups -> Wizard Group (Propeller Hat Icon) -> Add Filter -> Match Elvin Subscription and then clicking "Elvin subscription" and pasting the copied subscription expression in.

Sticker 2 security keys can be copied into Sticker 3 by exporting them in the "Elvin" key format and then importing them into Sticker 3 using the Preferences -> Security Keys -> Import Key command.

Sticker 2 message rules that you wish to keep will need to be manually re-coded into Sticker 3, however the built-in rules such as " Fast expire messages from me" and " Keep personal messages while I'm away" are already in Sticker 3 as defaults.

Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Konstantin Knizhnik for the use of the Perst object database and to The Wilson Partnership for the use of their MinML2 XML parser. Thanks to Mofeed Shahin for developing the initial tabbed presence UI. Thanks to Egon Kuster for creating the high-resolution OS X Sticker icon.

Further Information

For technical information on Sticker, please see README.txt that accompanies this file. Please also visit the website at http://www.tickertape.org/projects/sticker or contact Matthew Phillips at matthew.phillips@dsto.defence.gov.au.

© Copyright 2005 Matthew Phillips