Habit 2.2.6 released

A new version of Habit, version 2.2.6, is now available for download

This version is a roll-up of several changes and bug fixes made over the last few months. Some of you have a preview of this version, labelled 2.2.5-rcN (N=1,2,3,4). I've thrown a couple more changes in and I decided to skip over 2.2.5 entirely and skip the numbering to 2.2.6. 

MacOS users

   The installer you download for this version will depend on what version of macOS you are using.

   Its a long story, so I won't bore you with the details. In a nutshell: Something changed in mac Mojave that affected Habit, and the fix is slightly different on newer versions of macOS (High Sierra and Mojave) than it is on older versions of macOS (El Capitan and Sierra)​. 

   Check your computer before downloading (click Apple Menu > About This Mac). The installer will not allow you to install on the wrong version - so if you attempt to install and you are told you "cannot install Habit on this volume" - it means that you've got the installer for the wrong version of your macOS. Download again and install!

Dark Theme

As long as we're on the topic, I recommend against using Dark Theme when running Habit experiments.

Changes in this version of Habit

Updates to signatures

   Some of you may notice that, starting with this release, ALL versions of Habit downloaded from our site have been signed digitally. For you that means you can trust that the installer file itself and the executable file have not been modified between the time they were created on my computer to when they were installed (and used) on yours. 

   These security things work a bit differently on Mac than they do on Windows, but beneath it all is a digital "certificate" issued to the University of California, Davis, which in turn assigns it to me. This establishes a chain of trust through a set of "legitimate" organizations that leads to me. The "certificate" is used to encrypt files in a particular way so that any tampering with the file can be detected at run time. All you need to know is this: If your OS allows the program to run, then it has not been altered since it left my desk. That's not to say the program will be free of errors (a goal of mine, but it can be elusive;), but only that the file(s) you download and access are exactly those which I compiled, gathered into installer files, and distributed via our website. 

Randomization bug (Mac, Win)

   There was a bug that occurred when running an experiment where multiple phases used randomized ordering of stimuli. In such a case, the two phases may have been assigned the SAME ORDER. This has been fixed. 
   Note that this only applies to a single run of the experiment, and only only applies to the ordering of the stimuli, not the stimuli themselves. 

Repeated stimuli (Mac, Win)

   When consecutive stimuli were the same, or when the same stimuli are used on trials with one intervening trial using a different stimulus - the second showing of the stimulus was always full screen,  regardless of your Stimulus Display options. In other words, if 

  • Stimulus Display was set to be "Display Full Screen/Maintain aspect ratio" or "Use Original Stimulus Size", AND
  • Your stimuli, when correctly displayed, did not fill the entire screen (and so had borders filled with the background color), AND
  • The same stimulus file(s) were used on trials 1 and 2, or on trials 1 and 3 (similarly for 2/3, 2/4, etc), 

then the bug was in the display of the second occurrence of the stimulus. This has been fixed. 

Dual stimuli, multiple audio streams, looping (Mac, win)

   There were a handful of bugs reported under various scenarios, mostly related to this combination of things. The bug was either a "stuck" stimulus - which stopped and did not loop correctly - or a CRASH of Habit! 

UI Changes (Mac, Win)

   Clarify language explaining monitor settings in Workspace Preferences dialog. 
   Fix Modify Stimulus dialog so the entire stimulus file path is displayed. 
   Make fonts in all dialogs consistent across entire application. 

Future changes

   I will be releasing a linux version of habit, but it awaits some effort in properly packaging it. If any of you are interested please let me know. 

   I am working on adding digital signals - which you can use to synchronize your habit data with other data streams. If this interests you, please contact me and tell me the hardware interface you plan to use (serial, parallel, TCP/IP). 

   Finally, I'm testing a feature that will allow you to record a video stream from a USB camera, and to have Habit embed markers directly into that stream to indicate the start and end of stimuli presentations. More on this as it develops.