Many months have past since the previous release of AltSketch Entrophy. Since that time we have done a lot of work and at last we are glad to present you the next release of AltSketch. We gave it the code name "Flux".
We are aiming at the creation of a multi-platform, lightweight and at the same time multifunctional product with a lot of ready solutions based on it. On the one hand, it is a demonstration of AltSketch’s functionality and ways of its use, on the other hand it gives you the possibility of accomplishing your tasks easier and more quickly. Thus in this release we tried to realize a part of the main idea of the project.
Since we want AltSketch not to depend on external libraries (especially not native .NET Framework libraries like С/С++ with wrappers, etc.), we decided to port a remarkable library for font rendering FreeType to C#. So main achievement of AltSketch Flux is that after many months of hard work we have finished porting of this wonderful library. We called it AltNETType (other name can be AltFreeType.NET or simply FreeType.NET). Ooh, it was really hard and laborious. But we just made it! Now AltSketch don’t depend on any external library for font rendering. Moreover we decided to give the native FreeType like interface to those users, who prefer the use of usual FreeType’s functions directly (for instance, with your projects you can migrate from Tao.FreeType wrapper to AltNETType). At this moment not all FreeType like interfaces are available, because for further support we need to know which AltNETType’s functions are used directly. But we are ready to give you all necessary program interfaces. You just need to apply for it in the “Feature Requests” section of the forum.
Now Alt.Sketch.Font uses only our own rendering of font outline data. Soon we move to AltNETType render because it uses wonderful autofit module to process font autohinting. But you can use AltNETType rendering by using its functions directly.
GWEN.Net (further we call it Gwen as library root namespace) has been ported to AltSketch (now it depends only on AltSketch). At the moment this GUI library is used as a basic one for AltSketch Demo(s). Also we extended Gwen with some useful functionality (such as new Key/Mouse events & handlers, control painting, many useful properties, etc.). As before you can use Gwen in a usual way, but it has a significant advantage now – it depends only on native .NET Framework library AltSketch (without any other dependencies for loading images/textures, fonts rendering, Clipboard & Cursor operations). In the corresponding directory you can find an example of use of Gwen in native style. You can look at screenshots in image galery.
NPlot has been ported to AltSketch and the UI control functions have been refined.
The structure of AltSketch SDK
Alt.Sketch.dll is the core assembly with main functionality. It depends only on System.dll, System.Data.dll & System.Xml.dll .NET Framework assemblies (.NET Framework 2.0 version)
Alt.Sketch.Ext.dll (or AltSketch.Ext) contains external libraries based only on AltSketch. Now it contains Gwen, NPlot.
The source code of AltSketch.Ext will be available later.
Only OpenTK Integration Demo exists in current release because we need to make some modifications to other integrations (coming soon).
Henceforth we plan to work in short Agile development process style and release a new version every week. We have opened registration on the site, so you can post messages on forums & comment blog posts.
Only no commercial license is available now because we need some time for community tests & for completing of main features. But you can use AltSketch in development process to test it. If you already decided to use AltSketch in your commercial project please make commercial license request on site forums or if you don’t want to make public request please use ‘Company/Contact Us’ contact form for sending commercial license request message.
We are always open to a dialogue and welcome your desires and well-founded remarks concerning available functions.