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OpenSesame Mac OS packages / What to expect for 0.24 / PsychoPy + OpenSesame

Update Jul 18 2011: SInce OpenSesame 0.24 has been released, the links below are no longer current.

It took some time, but we have finally created experimental Mac OS packages for OpenSesame (and when I say "we", I actually mean Daniel Schreij). It appears to work quite well, with the exception of two notable bugs (that have been discovered so far): The program crashes when running in window mode (fullscreen works fine) and you can't open Finder from the file pool.

There are two versions, for Mac OS Leopard (10.5) and Snow Leopard (10.6) respectively.

Please note that these packages are still experimental and have not been as extensively tested as the Windows and Linux packages. If you find bugs or wish to provide feedback, please let us know!

What to expect for OpenSesame 0.24

On a semi-related note, development of the next version of OpenSesame (0,24 Cody Crick) is well under way. I want to further polish the user experience and fix all bugs that have come up. But far more exciting than these incremental changes is the fact that the "back-end" will be decoupled from the user interface. Right now, OpenSesame uses PyGame to handle all display, sound and input operations. PyGame is a fine and reliable back-end, but it has some disadvantages, notably a lack of using hardware acceleration.

What does back-end independence mean for you? Let's say that you are a user of PsychoPy, which is a popular set of Python libraries for creating psychological experiments. Right now, you can't use PsychoPy in OpenSesame, because it requires that all display operations etc. are handled directly by PsychoPy (and not by PyGame). As of 0.24, you will be able to select different back-ends (such PsychoPy) in OpenSesame. You won't notice any differences when using the GUI, but if you use Python inline coding you will be able to use functionality that is specific to the selected back-end. In the case of PsychoPy, this means that you will able to use the advanced functions for creating Gabor patches, drifting gratings, etc., and all with hardware acceleration!

I'm not sure yet which back-ends will be stable enough to be included in the upcoming 0.24. Definitely the current default Pygame back-end, probably the PsychoPy back-end, and possible an OpenGL back-end as wel. Stay tuned!