Monday, August 21, 2006

Zocalo Release 2006.4a available

A new release of the Zocalo Prediction Market Toolkit is available. The main change in this release is a rehaul of the way that database transactions are managed. Transactions are now begun when starting to process an HTTP request and committed when the request finishes. This fixes a bug reported to me by a user, which I entered in the SourceForge bug list. The release adds a configuration parameter (in zocalo.conf) to control the amount of traders' initial stakes in response to a request from a user. Also in response to a suggestion, I converted all the shell scripts from csh to the Bourne shell (sh) since sh is available on more platforms. And there's now a common top-level directory at the base of the tar and zip files in the distribution so the extracted files are grouped better.

The transaction management change fixes a bug I have seen occasionally for a while, but that only showed up consistently in the last month in a way that allowed me to track it down. I think there are now no outstanding bugs, though there are still many missing features. If there's a feature that you'd really like added soon, let me know, and I'll add it to my list. Many requests are simple enough that I can get to them immediately. There are also features that will take a while to build, and I have to prioritize those somehow; your suggestions will increase the likelihood of my getting to them sooner.

I uploaded 2006.4 on Saturday, announced it on sourceforge and mentioned it to one other user who had asked when it would be ready. Before I had a chance to blog the announcement, I received a note about a minor problem. I had changed the installation process to use the default HTTP port (80) for the server, but realized while doing a test installation that that port isn't accessible for user-level installs on many platforms, so changed back to the old port number. In changing back, I fumble-fingered the fix in producing 2006.4, so the current release is 2006.4a. I recommend switching to is as soon as you reasonably can.

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