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Ambient source code under GPL released
The source code of the current version 1.40 Workbench replacement Ambient by David 'Zapek' Gerber was released today under the GPL.

The latest released version of Ambient together with MorphOS 1.4.2 was V1.29. Next to this the author has set up a Paypal link for users who want to give as a thank you for the release a small donation.

Some features of the current v1.40:
  • MUI-based: The user interface toolkit is MUI (Magic User Interface). It is one of the most flexible and powerful out there. Every window is resizeable thanks to the built-in layout engine. Moreover, the user can change the look of the interface himself. No need to hardcode settings from the main program.
  • Multi-threaded: The whole design of Ambient is asynchronous. One of the key point during the development was that Ambient must never look busy and keep reacting whatever happens. Each job that has a locking possibility (eg. I/O) or can take some time is scheduled to a thread that handles it separately. Conditions which usually upset other desktops, like a network device being unreachable, are not a problem for Ambient.
  • Various icon formats: Ambient handles a numerous format of icons: the original Amiga format, the MagicWB variant with proper remapping, the 256 colors indexed Newicons, the 256 colors indexed Glowicons and its own true color format with alpha based on PNG. Creating an icon is easy, use your favorite paint package and save the icon as PNG.
  • Truecolor rendering: There is no support for CLUT (paletted) modes. This simplifies the internal design greatly as Ambient does quite a lot of graphics processing. 8-bit screens are a thing of the past and not worth supporting with current hardware.
  • 64 Bit arithmetic: 64-bit arithmetic is used for operations related to storage and file handling. Large disks and large files are handled properly.
  • Localisation: Ambient uses a so-called catalog system which means all its strings can be fetched from some external source if the desired language is different than English.
  • Fast I/O: Ambient is very efficient regarding I/O operations and is finetuned to common storage speeds. Its buffers automatically adapt themselves to the given situation.
  • Built-in disk-formatting: Actual formatting of disk partitions can be done from Ambient. The various modes includes quick format, full format and a complex verification format.
  • Different file views: Depending on the media content, a different view can be used. For example an icon view with thumbnails, a list view showing most attributes of files, a view showing pictures. Everything is possible and views are pluggable modules.
  • File handling: Each media can be handled differently depending on its mimetype. Ambient allows to configure exactly what to do with a given media. For example you might want to run some player tool when double clicking on a sound file or use Ambient's built in replayer.
  • Panels: Ambient offers a quick way of creating panels and populating them with programs or applets. There're various options to configure the look and the behaviour of each panel.
  • Visual effects: Ambient has various visual effects to make things nifty and smooth. They are heavily optimized to avoid any impact on the general responsiveness. High quality resizing, alpha effects, blurring, .. they all take advantage of MorphOS' graphics subsystem: CyberGraphX.
  • ARexx support: There's a built in ARexx port which offers scripting support. Ambient uses these commands itself and allows scripts to perform various tasks.
  • Sound engine: Ambient features a built-in sound engine with drivers and API. It allows to play various sounds easily and offers asynchronous modes.
  • Hardware support: Ambient uses Altivec optimized code and takes advantage of the streaming features offered by the Pegasos 2 MPX bus.
This release has been made possible also by Oliver Wagner and Stefan Stuntz, who gave David Gerber the permission for a few include files and parts of code. (snx) (Translation: wk)

[Meldung: 22. Jan. 2005, 08:49] [Kommentare: 0]
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