The latest version of the MiceOnABeam Visual Scripting Tool has been released and is available for downloading. There's lots of great new things here particularly if you're new to scripting or you've been struggling with the complexities of LSL. For example the new LSL Action Wizard provides easy form-based access to many LSL functions and shows the generated code too. Great for learning LSL!
An overview of what's new is provided below. For full details please see the Release Notes and the Product Documentation.
If you're an existing user you can just download the new release and run the installer over the existing installation. For those of you who have the Professional version, your existing license file will continue to work with the new version.
Auto-Code with the LSL Action Wizard
One of the benefits in using MiceOnABeam is that by graphically drawing out much of the logic of your script you don't have to figure out and enter in as much LSL code. This is particularly important if you're new to LSL scripting and aren't very familiar with programming.
However you still have to make things happen within your virtual world in response to events that happen there. You do that by calling one or more functions from the large LSL function library.
But for new scripters these often idiosyncratic functions can be confusing as to when to use them and how to configure their many parameters. The new LSL Action Wizard feature addresses this and further reduces the amount of LSL code that you must manually write.
An LSL Action represents an operation that can be performed in your virtual world. It can be as simple as setting the color of an object or as complex as performing a set of rotation calculations and calling the required LSL functions to move and rotate an object or it's parts. A comprehensive set of these are built in to MiceOnABeam, with more to come in future releases.
Within MiceOnABeam's code editor you can simply select the desired LSL Action from a menu.
Once an LSL Action is selected, it is customized through the Wizard which displays a form that you simply fill in. The action is then automatically mapped to a set of LSL coding statements and function calls when the script is generated for the model.
Where there are multiple choices for the value for a property, a pop-up list is displayed to pick from.
What's particularly nice is that you can easily view the LSL code that will be generated for the configured action. This can be a great help in learning LSL!
In the Professional version of MiceOnABeam you can also create and edit your own custom LSL Actions and import them into MiceOnABeam creating a library of custom code snippets to speed up your script development.
A key part of any software development environment is the capability to reuse existing designs to leverage past development. MiceOnABeam provides two mechanisms for this.
At the coding level, the LSL Action Wizard feature described above provides a set of configurable actions that can be inserted directly into the code sections of your model. At a higher-level of reuse, it's also useful to be able to save parts of models as reusable components that can be easily browsed, imported into a model and configured if required.
The enhanced Component Library Browser provides a sortable folder view of your own MiceOnABeam model files that you wish to access as reusable components. You can simply drag a component from the browser into your model to reuse it.
As most components need to be customized when reused in a particular application, you can setup a state to be configurable and then call upon the Component Configuration Wizard to provide a form that you simply fill in. (Yes- I reused the same internal framework used for LSL Actions! :-)
Finally, a small number of built-in reusable components are currently provided with MiceOnABeam- with more to come! You can insert one for use in your model via a simple menu selection.
Release v1.0.2 has lots more, including additional code generation optimizations, pop-up help tips for editors and menus (you can of course turn them off!), state variable and function overrides and several UI enhancements.
Next up I'll be focusing on improving the online documentation to make it more accessible to new scripters while not losing of course the extensive reference material there. I'll also be developing How-To videos to help people get started and to illustrate the use of specific features.
As a reminder of support options, for starters there's the MiceOnABeam group in Second Life. I encourage you all to use it for Q&A with other group members as well as myself. For more detailed Q&A you can always post in the forums on the MiceOnABeam website or contact MiceOnABeam Support. To report a product-related problem, please send an email to MiceOnABeam Support, or click Send Problem Report for a convenient form.
Over the next while I'll also be outfitting the MiceOnABeam headquarters in-world so that office hour meet-ups, classes etc., will all be possible!
As always it's great hearing from you with any questions or comments. Ciao!