This latest version includes the following updates / improvements:
- I had a conversation with a colleague, Harry Criticos, about the chat-bots. He said that he found the delivery of the text too quick - that the text would move up the screen before he had time to read it. Harry has had a long career in radio and has done a lot of voice work. If the text is being delivered too fast for a professional reader, that is, someone who reads and presents text for a living, then it will be far too fast for most people. I tend not to notice how fast it is going as I know what to expect. In this version I've slowed down the delivery of the dialogue from the server and the text that is held in the Flash interface. My ball park figure that people read at about 52 milliseconds per character (roughly 180 words per minute for screen-based media) is a little off. This version allows 65 milliseconds per character (roughly 150 words per minute) plus another 200 millisecond of generic delay. This is a buffer that stops short lines (say 10 characters / two words or less) being piled on top of a previous short line.
- Version 10 of the interface broke through the 100KB file size barrier. Since then I've been worrying about the need for a pre-loader. I may be showing my age here but I've long maintained that any file delivered via the Internet that is over 100KB is a 'large' file. Of course I realize that with the advent of broadband speeds a 100KB file is not actually big at all. However, imposing an upper limit also imposes a particular kind of discipline in my use of Flash and other web technologies. In this case I thought it was important to develop a pre-loader. However, doing this took quite a bit of research. The interface uses an Actionscript class stored in a . as file. The class declares and defines elements on the stage. Here's the problem - a preloader want to load all the attributes including the class file, however the class file contains references to objects that do not yet exist. This took a while to sort out - but I finally got there.