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Just let Alice do the work.
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DrJim
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Default Just let Alice do the work. - 11-08-2006, 07:08 PM

Will start with a simple answer - for downloading from the web, Alice seems to do a good job of reading from the web gallery. What I do is just start a new world, access the web gallery (with dial-up this can be slow) and (1) add a copy of the object you want to the world and (2) save it to local disk. This will give you a local .a2c file for the object - then just move it (don’t modify it or unzip it) to the Gallery folder in the Required section of the Alice folder and, when you run Alice, it should then be listed in the Gallery like any other object.

If you want to just import the.a2c file into Alice from where you stored it, you again don't need to do anything special. Alice will take care of decompressing the file and will then use the data. Where I occasionally have trouble is in downloading the file directly and not going through Alice for that step.

Some comments: I really don't think you're making it hard - Alice .a2c files don't seem to be too consistent, probably due differences in the contained data. I suspect some of it was stored using a UNIX or other compression scheme (.tar, .gz and the like). It would be nice to see a full specification for the .a2c format - the files are definitely more than just "zipped" text data - but so far I haven't found one. (Anyone have a reference - I'd particularly like to be able to reconstruct the mesh files? )

I would be careful about calling an .a2c file a “zip“ file. For a "typical" .a2c file, the very top level contents have been "zipped" in a format that can be treated in XP as a standard .zip file, i.e., you can move stuff, such as thumbnails, in and out of the folder as if it wasn't compressed (assuming you've changed the file extension to .zip). If you actually use XP to "unzip" the top level file, however, the resulting data (nearly) always is not all readable. Won't go into detail here - since I don't understand a lot of it myself - but if you get a bad file, it's very hard to figure out what's wrong.
   
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