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Version 1.5 Freeware

TAgntSrvr 1.5

Delphi(tm) VCL Component
for Microsoft (tm) MSAgent (tm) Version 1.5, using
Interactive Character Agents

All Rights Reserved 1998
Steve Freeman
Freeman Labs - Austin, Texas

Notice ! If you use AgntSrvr, please let me know about its' use.

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Download a detailed sample installation text file (Install.txt).

Table of Contents

This document is protected as described in the Freeman Labs copyright notice in the included copyright.txt or in the Freeman Labs copyright page.

What's New

This is the last version of TAgntSrvr to suport the old MSAgent version 1.5. Microsoft has changed the character file format, added more COM interfaces, and many other major changes. AgntVal.exe will work only with MSAgent version 1.5 or below.

TAgntSrvr 1.5 is only available for Delphi 3. Due to the way Inprise changed compiled component deployment procedures, along with the changes in MSAgent, a new version (2.1) of TAgntSrvr is available from Freeman Labs. SEE OUR WEBSITE FOR DETAILS.

NOTICE ON USAGE - You may use this component free of charge. I just ask the following:

All products are trademarks of their respective company. Including, but not limited to, the
Microsoft Corp.
Borland International Inc.
Lernout & Hauspie
Freeman Labs

General Description -

TAgntSrvr is a Delphi 3 component that directly implements the services of Microsoft's MSAgent COM automation server for desktop use. The server displays and manages the speech and gestures of interactive animated characters. The characters are stored as animation data and character data.

The freeware version is fully functional, but does not include source code. The requirements are as follows:

Component files:
AgentServer_TLB.dcu *
AgentDatProvider_TLB.dcu *

Delphi 3.0 and above
IE 3.0 or above
MSAgent version 1.5
MSAgent Character file in the .acs format
Lernout & Hauspie(tm) text to speech engine (optional)

* Provided as a convenience. They are generated by the type lib editor.

MSAgent, characters, and accessories are available free from the Microsoft Agent home page at: .
Go there to see how to install the server.

Theory of implementation -

The Agent Server is instantiated using OLE/COM API functions as they are declared in the Object Pascal language. Types use IUnknown instead of variants, which allows more flexability to interact with the server's interfaces during design time.

More events are available on the TAgntSrvr events page. The ActiveX version's events do not map well to Delphi's standard events for use in the object inspector.

Additional properties have been added that are unique to the Delphi component.

This component was built with Delphi 3.0. The type library conversions for the interface methods declares them as stdcall, without a return value option (hResult), as would be the case with the later Delphi versions. The component has been tested and installed after a new installation of the latest Delphi 3 version.

Using the component - for installation of MSAgent see readme.txt

Please note that you are instantiating COM objects that may run outside your application environment and Delphi(tm). Therefore design time property settings may not react the way you want. If, for example, you show the MSAgent(tm) property sheet at design time by setting SrvrPropSheet to True. Then close the property sheet window by clicking on it's own close button(s), the TAgntSrvr's SrvrPropSheet will still indicate True. If you had set it to False instead, continuity in the design environment would have been maintained. Also note AgntSrvrConnect and ShowCharacter properties operation.

For the valid animation and state lists properties (optional), you run AgntVal.exe. This is a freely distributable Delphi program that verifies gesture and state names. It generates text files that contain valid animation and state lists from a list of possibilities that you can edit. The resultant list in the created text files contain valid names that can be viewed in the object inspector.

TAgntSrvr VCL Component

Design time properties

Event properties


AgntVal.exe -

This program can be distributed royalty free. The purpose of the program is to validate a character's animations and states as they were created in the Microsoft Agent Character Editor. The principle operation is simple. A master list of states and animations are each kept in a text file. The file was originally created by listing all known states and animations from published data on various characters. Several were added that most likely might be used by unknown or future characters. You can add items to the list to see if the animation is valid. Use notepad to permantly add the item. The file names are AvailAnim.txt and AvailState.txt.

To use - Open a file from the file menu. Click validate on the animation page or state page. Save the files for that character if desired. The files names are created in this format: "A<character name>.txt" for animations and "S<character name>.txt" for states. the files can be used by the TAgntSrvr component.

The only system requirements are AgntVal.exe, AvailAnim.txt, AvailAnim.txt, the character file (*.acs only).

File List in -



Use of this component is at your own risk. Freeman Labs takes no responsiblity for any damage to your system or loss of data. If it is any consolation, the component has always been well behaved, even with early Delphi 3 versions.

Freeman Labs
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mobile voice (512) 461-8233

Copyright © 1998 Freeman Labs
All rights reserved