Versions, changelog and known issues

Minibloq.v0.82.Beta

Main changes:
  • Complete new XML backend: this allows developers and manufacturers to add their own hardware (boards, robots, or even simulators) and blocks without recompiling miniBloq. In most cases, due to the new developer mode, it's not even necessary to restart the application.
  • Text programming capabilities: now it's possible to insert code between blocks, and to make complete text-based programs.
  • New small 2D simulator (called miniSim) to teach basic robotics to kids whom do not own a robot. It's also possible to teach some geometry with this new tool.
  • Portable Python (with OpenCV) distribution included. Thanks to the new XML backend, miniBloq can now generate not just C/C++ Arduino-compatible code, but also code in Python and in nearly any imperative or OOP language.
  • Complete new component organization (backend). Now everything is more orthogonal (independent) and more modular.
  • New hardware: Pi-Bot, Ta-Bot, Sparki, DuinoBot.v2.3, SparkFun RedBot, RedBoard, and Arduino Leonardo.
  • Added active URL controls to the Hardware Manager. This lets the user to easily access the hardware's online documentation.
  • Added Open folder with drivers button to the Hardware Manager.
  • Improved images for the hardware, indicating a few more things (like digital pin numbers belonging to analog inputs in Arduino-compatible boards).
  • New blocks! The best way to know them is taking a look.
  • New examples: take a look!
  • Method capability added to blocks: this can be seen in the Serial block in most boards, and in the Mobile Robot block in miniSim. New blocks added by advanced users can take advantage of this, reducing the complexity by adding more method blocks.
  • Improved replacement of some blocks (those with 2 or more param slots): now when the user replaces one of those blocks, the parameters are not erased.
  • Improved blocks aesthetics and elimination of the old method button, which was finally never used.
  • File association: now, an mbqc file can be associated with miniBloq (although this is not done by the installer, so it should be made manually).
  • miniBloq now remembers its settings! Yes: selected board and port, window size, and more...
  • Automatic reloading of the last program (if previously saved) when the user changes the hardware target.
  • Optimizations: thanks to a new hash-based storage for the images and the blocks, miniBloq loads much faster now. Try it!
  • Deprecated: ATtiny boards, Maple boards, Duemilanove 168. Note: All these boards can be added by advanced users without recompiling miniBloq, taking advantage of the new XML backend. But I will not longer maintain them as part of the official distribution.
  • Some small bug fixes.
  • Windows only: the installer now generates both Start Menu and Desktop shortcuts.

Known issues:
  • There are some not-yet-translated elements both in the graphical program interface and some new block's tooltips. The English version is the only 100% complete version regarding translation (at least by now: translators are welcome!)
  • The block to insert code generates some bad output for some special characters (like '<', '>', '=', etc.).
  • When the user deletes a block, then the paste function pastes that block instead of the last cut block.
  • Windows only: When there are Bluetooth serial ports enabled, it may take a long time to show the available.

Minibloq.v0.81.Beta.UP2 (UpdatePack-2)

Changes (NOTE: this is still an updated v0.81.Beta version):
  • First multiple-OS version, which runs natively both under Windows and Linux.
  • Since now Minibloq runs natively under Linux, most bugs caused by Wine were solved.
  • Added 3 full translation packages: Portuguese, Romanian and Simplified Chinese.
  • Added 1 partial translation packages: Italian.

Known issues:
  • Windows and Linux: The same known issues as for the v0.81.Beta base version (but the Wine bugs no longer apply, since most of them were solved with the new native Linux version).
  • Linux only : When the Terminal is opened in split view, the buttons (Open, Close...) are invisible. To fix this the user must resize the terminal or undock it (making the Terminal a  floating window).
  • Linux only: There are not thumbnails in menues.
  • Linux only: The progress bar is not visible.
  • Linux only: Sometimes 2 clicks are necessary to display a submenu in the main menu bar.
  • Linux only: The following boards compile but do not upload firmware: Maple, DuinoBot.Kids.v1.x and DuinoBot.v1.x CDC.
  • Linux only: The autoreset does not work with the DuinoBot.Kids.v1.x.HID (so the board must be reset by hand before downloading).
  • Linux only: The following hardware targets were not tested at all: ATTiny25, ATTiny45 and ATTiny85.
  • Linux only: The application title bar says "Minibloq.v0.81.Beta.UP1" instead of "Minibloq.v0.81.Beta.UP2".

Minibloq.v0.81.Beta.UP1 (UpdatePack-1)

Changes (NOTE: this is not a new version, just an update for the v0.81.Beta):
  • Added 5 full translation packages: French, German, Dutch, Catalan and Gallego.
  • Added  2 partial translation packages: Hebrew and Romanian.
  • Minor bug fixes on the internationalization (i18n) subsystem.
  • Added the CS5 note (which was missing) to the BuzzerNote block.

Known issues:
  • The same known issues as for the v0.81.Beta base version.

Minibloq.v0.81.Beta

Changes:
  • New internationationalization and localization (i18n/L10n) subsystem (see this post).
  • New Properties window (View->Properties menu) to configure the language (in the future this window will host other configurable features).
  • Added HID support in order to work with the new driverless DuinoBot.v1.2.HID boards (see this post).
  • New ".board" XML files with pin definitions and (still brief) board descriptions. This is a step towards the multihardware subsystem (not implemented yet).
  • Added blocks to enable the user comment his programs (see this post).
  • Added blocks to send constant strings (text) and emoticons over the serial port  (see this post). At the same time, the embedded terminal supports these emoticons now.
  • Added blocks to manage Sharp infrared rangers (see this post).
  • Added the PulseIn block (see this post).
  • Added more than 15 examples for different boards.
  • Slightly improved "Help & Resource Center" (with more links to the online documentation and examples).
  • After compiling, the Messages window shows the time took by the compilation process, in milliseconds.
  • The IR library (belonging to the IRRemote block) was tested with the TSOP34338 sensor (given that the PNA4602M is no longer available).
  • (Minor) graphical bugs corrected.
  • Bugs corrected in the DCMotor class (belonging to the Motor block).
  • Bug corrected in the baudrate to communicate with the Arduino Duemilanove (mega168 version).
  • Bug corrected: Comboboxes' sorting is now working ok (Thanks to Juan Pizarro, doingIT).
  • Improved cross platform internal code, in order to support the upcoming native Linux version. (Thanks to Juan Pizarro).
  • Improved MinibloqRun executable, in order to support the upcoming native Linux version. (Juan Pizarro).
  • Improved dir structure, in order to support the upcoming native Linux version. (Juan Pizarro).
  • More consistent icons on some blocks.
  • There are some other minor changes too.

Known issues:
  • In some cases, the Actions toolbar may appear on the left margin of the screen.
  • In some computers the internationalization system does not work. In this case, everything will appear is in English. This bug has been corrected in the UpdatePack-1 (UP1). If you have this bug, installing the UP1 will fix it.
  • The new PulseIn block is limited regarding the time lapse it can measure (apparently due to a bug on the 0022 Arduino API, which will be corrected once Minibloq uses the new 1.0 Arduino API). 
  • IRRemote block doesn't work together with the Servo block.
  • IRRemote block doesn't work together with the Ping block.
  • Comment blocks can't be dragged.
  • Under Linux (with Wine), the action picker is behind the program's main Window (by now, this may be overcome by reducing the main window size, from the right margin).
  • Under Linux (with Wine), the blocks appear in a different order on the pickers.
  • In some cases, under Linux (with Wine), the hardware (and serial port) selection boxes does not work properly.
  • Under Windows 7, the File->Examples menu does not always open the Examples subdir, but the last opened program directory.

Minibloq.v0.8.Beta (first public release)

Changes:
  • N/A (first public release).
Known issues:
  • IRRemote block doesn't work together with the Servo block.
  • IRRemote block doesn't work together with the Ping block.
  • Fails when downloading the program to an Arduino Duemilanove Mega168 board.
  • Under Linux (with Wine), the action picker is behind the program's main Window (by now, this may be overcome by reducing the main window size, from the right margin).
  • Under Linux (with Wine), the blocks appear in a different order on the pickers.
  • In some cases, under Linux (with Wine), the hardware (and serial port) selection boxes does not work properly.