CTAT 4.0.0 Release Notes

July 7 2016

Downloading and Installing

System Requirements

CTAT requires the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), version 7 or greater. Additional requirements may exist, depending on your authoring environment (Flash and/or Eclipse). Eclipse requires the Java Development Kit (JDK).

New users

  1. Download and install CTAT 4.0
  2. Choose which type of tutor interface you would like to use for authoring tutors: HTML, Flash, or Java. (Not sure whether to go with HTML, Java, or Flash? Read our HTML-Java-Flash comparison.)
  3. If you decide to build interfaces in HTML, you can use a simple text editor or one that supports HTML (such as Sublime).
    If you decide to build interfaces in Java, configure Eclipse and WindowBuilder.
    If you decide to build interfaces in Flash, configure the Flash IDE.

Existing Users

  1. Download and install CTAT 4.0
  2. If you use Flash to build interfaces with CTAT, re-add the CTAT Flash components to the Flash IDE.
  3. Upgrade any existing interfaces as described below.

What's New in CTAT 4.0

General Bug Fixes / Changes

  • Support for HTML tutor interfaces
    • A complete set of HTML5 components. These components are based on the Flash AS3 components and provide similar appearance and functionality.
    • CTAT for Flash has been renamed as CTAT for HTML and Flash. This version of the authoring tools supports both HTML and Flash tutor interfaces.
    • A wizard for creating a new HTML interface and graph from a choice of templates. Select File > New > New HTML5 Project... to run the wizard.
    • A new set of documentation to support HTML users is available on Github here.
    • A complete set of HTML examples for all available components.
  • Export Wizard: A tool for generating a package that contains an HTML student interface and behavior graph has been added to the File menu. The wizard supports the following platforms:
    • SCORM packages compatible with Moodle, Blackboard, etc.
    • OLI (Open Learning Initiative)
    • OpenEdX XBlock
  • JavaScript Example Tracer
    • A reimplementation of the Java-based Example Tracer that runs directly in the browser, eliminating the need to connect to a remote server. Supports HTML and Flash interfaces.
    • Supports saving a student's partially completed problem, restoring the student's work on that problem when resumed later.
  • Better support for accessing and saving tutors in a directory of your choosing (referred to as the CTAT Workspace). In previous versions, the default location for the user’s tutor files was the CTAT/Projects folder. Because newer versions of some operating systems (e.g., Windows 10) do not permit users to save files in the CTAT installation directories, users might not have permission to save files in the Projects folder. You can specify any folder to use as your default directory for new or existing tutor projects; this can be in your home directory (as suggested by the Workspace Configuration dialog) or any other directory in which you have permission to save files, including the CTAT/Projects folder. The Default Projects Folder preference has been replaced with the CTAT Workspace preference to reflect this change.
  • CTAT preferences are now stored in the user’s home directory (in <user>/.ctat/brPrefs.xml). Existing preferences stored in the CTAT installation directory are moved the the user’s home directory during installation.
  • A new search feature for graphs that allows you to find links and states containing a given text string. The Find menu option is located on the Edit menu.
  • Log Replay (under development)

Flash Changes

  • Flash is still supported for this release but will not be supported in the future.
  • CommTextInput has a new "Tab on Enter" parameter that is enabled by default. If enabled, pressing the Enter or Return key is treated the same as pressing the Tab key. This fixes a problem in the previous version where input was not submitted when the student pressed Enter.
  • CommTable is not included in this release.

Known Issues

  • The Jess Editor plugin is not recognized in newer versions of the Eclipse IDE (Luna or later). To enable the plugin, you need to install an extra module that provides support for older plugins. For example, where the version of Eclipse is 4.4 (for Luna):
    • In Eclipse, select “Install New Software…” from the Help menu.
    • In the “Work with” field of the Install dialog, select “The Eclipse Project Updates - http://download.eclipse.org/eclipse/updates/4.4”.
    • Expand the “Eclipse Tests, Examples, and Extras” category, select “Eclipse 2.0 Style Plugin Support” and install it.
  • Double-clicking a BRD does not load the graph on Mac OS X
  • If the text in a CTATTextArea or CTATTextInput is set in the graph’s start state, the text is not displayed when the author mode is changed to ‘Set Start State’.

Upgrading a Flash or Java Interface to CTAT version 4.0

If you would like to use new CTAT widgets or components in an existing interface, you will need to upgrade that interface as described below. If you do not feel comfortable upgrading your interface, contact us and we will upgrade your interface.

Note: Alternatively, you might consider reimplementing your existing interface using the new HTML components. The available HTML components are documented here

Java (Eclipse Window Builder)

  1. Backup your existing projects directory to a separate folder on your hard disk.
  2. Download and install the new version of CTAT.
  3. In Eclipse, remove the old CTAT widgets from the pallete and add the new ones. From the Window Builder palette, right-click and choose "Palette Manager". In the manager, under the category containing the CTAT widgets, select all and press Remove. Then add the new ones from ctat.jar using the Import Jar button.
  4. Open the interface you'd like to upgrade in Window Builder's design mode.
  5. Verify your tutor has a CTAT_Options object in it. This invisible widget is now required. If you don't see it, add one from the palette.
  6. Set the CommName property for each widget in the interface to the respective widget's variable name. So if you have a widget named "table1", set its CommName property to "table1".
  7. Run your new interface in Eclipse to verify that the upgrade procedure worked. If you encounter an error and the file will not run, contact us for assistance.


Note: To upgrade your Flash FLA file to use the latest components, follow the directions below.

  1. Install the new CTAT Flash components as described on the Flash configuration page.
  2. Open an existing Flash interface (a file with extension .FLA) in the Flash IDE.
  3. For each component type in the interface that you would like to upgrade, drag that component from the CommComponents section of the Components panel onto the Flash stage.
  4. At the Resolve Component Conflict prompt, choose Replace existing component and press OK. All instances of that component will be upgraded to the new version.
  5. Delete the extra component that appeared on the stage.