StageToolspackage is distributed from a web site on the Union College Mathematics Department web server. This site includes download and installation instructions, as well as documentation for the various components of
StageToolsruns under the unix operating system (since that is where
Geomviewruns). Unfortunately, versions for Microsoft Windows and
Mac OSare not available, though the recent release of Apple's Mac OS Xmay see a version for that operating system in the future. On the other hand, excellent implementations of linux exist for both Intel and Apple hardware, and
StageToolsrun nicely there. Those planning to work on a Sun workstation should be sure to read the page on the
StageToolsweb site concerning that platform.
StageTools, you will need to have a copy of
Geomview. With the closing of the Geometry Center,
Geomviewwent without change for several years. Recently, however, Geometry Technologies, a company formed by several members of the Geometry Center staff, has begun to update it again. The current version is 1.8.0, but some
StageToolsusers have reported problems with this version of
CenterStageobjects. You may find it more reliable to use the older 1.6.1 version that is still available from the Geometry Center web site .
You will also need a copy of TCL/TK, which is the language in which
StageToolsis implemented. Most academic unix installations, and most versions of linux, already should have this installed, but it can be obtained from the TCL consortium if necessary. Version 8.0 or above should work. You can determine your version by running the
tclshshell and typing
set tcl_versionat the prompt.
StageToolsis known to be compatible with TCL/TK
In order to make movies,
StageManagercalls on several other tools. These are listed on the
StageToolsweb site, with links to their sources. You can use
StageToolsto script and preview movies without these tools, but will not be able to generate the final MPEG or GIF file without them.
Once you have
Geomviewand TCL/TK, follow the installation instructions listed on the
StageToolsweb site. Basically, this consists of unpacking the archive, running a script to set the location of the TCL interpreter, and running a second script to put the files in the right place. If all goes well, when you start
Geomview, you will see
StageManageramong the external modules in the
Geomviewmain control panel.
Now you can follow the tutorials for
StageManagerthat are available on the
StageToolsweb site . The first leads you through the construction of several objects within
CenterStage, including a compound object that is controlled by a slider and a type-in area. The second helps you make a simple animation in
StageManagerthat could be used on a web page. These only touch on a few of the features of
StageTools, but they will give you a sense of the programs and their abilities.
If, for some reason, you are unable to get
StageToolsto work for yourself, you can view the slides for a talk given at the conference on Mathematical Tools for Communicating Mathematics, held in Lisbon, Portugal in the fall of 2000. Unfortunately, these are virtually without words, as the lecture explained them. They do include some screen images that show what
StageManagerlook like, however. Many of the pages contain active images that change when you click them; for example, on the page that illustrates the slider, you can click at different positions within the slider to see the effect of setting it to those locations. (You can tell which images are active, as the mouse pointer will turn into a hand when it passes over them). Some images will change more than once, so try clicking several times on these. Usually clicking on some other image on the page will reset the sequence to the beginning again.