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auto.des.sys Announces form.Z 5.0Features accessible through new API and script language (November 10, 2004)
auto.des.sys, Inc. is very pleased to announce form.Z 5.0. This new version incorporates v. 4.5 and is expected to be released within a month.
"This is an exciting development that happened behind the scenes that we are now ready to share with the general public," said Chris Yessios, President of auto.des.sys. form.Z 5.0 incorporates version 4.5 which was not released to the broader user community, except to a special group of beta testers and plugin developers. V. 4.5, first and foremost, offered the new API technology and script language of form.Z. During the beta testing effort, many features initially planned for v. 5.0 were also completed. This development led to the release of v. 5.0 simultaneously with v. 4.5.
The API technology and the script language of form.Z are both methods that invite the user to develop his or her own extensions to the program. This can be done either through a plugin that is developed outside of form.Z or through a script that is developed using form.Z's own editing environment.
A plugin is written in the C or C++ computer language and is compiled into a binary library. A script is written in the form.Z script language (FSL), which is a simplified version of the C language. It is intended for a novice programmer who may get started with adding extensions to form.Z without having to set up a complete C or C++ based development environment. Once a script has been written, it is generally fairly straightforward to convert the FSL code of the script to real C or C++ code for use in a plugin.
The form.Z API provides access to much of the form.Z functionality including modeling operations, interface elements, data access, memory management and math functions. The API supports nine types of extensions: custom attributes, file translators, object types, renderers, commands, palettes, RenderZone shaders, tools, and utilities. All of these are available for plugin development. The latter five are also available for scripts. The API includes over 3,000 functions which are explained through an HTML based on line documentation and a PDF based developer guide. The form.Z 5.0 package contains a number of ready to run examples for scripts and plugins that are expected to prove valuable as learning resources. auto.des.sys expects that savvy users will take full advantage of the plug-in and scripting capabilities to add their unique personal enhancements to the power of form.Z.
form.Z 5.0 is the first native OS X version and represents the end of support for the classic MacOS operating system. It requires OS X 10.2 or later.
form.Z 5.0 supports Windows XP, 2000, NT, ME and 98. Windows 95 is no longer supported.
Auto.des.sys, Inc. (automated design systems) is a privately held company. It started informally in January 1989 and was incorporated in January 1990. It is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, USA.
auto.des.sys was founded by Chris Yessios, PhD, and David Kropp, who continue to be the company's President/CEO and Senior Vice President for Development, respectively.
For additional information please visit www.formz.com.
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