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Hank Cognitive Modelling Environment
The Open University

Version 1.0b1 of Hank now available for download

We've made a few changes to the Hank program, which are included in the latest version, which is available from the Downloading Page.

One fundamental change has been made to the underlying Hank language, which now provides composite values. However, except in the most esoteric of cases, your models should continue to work fine. If they don't, we'd be very glad to hear about the problem, and help if we can.

A user guide has also been written, and will follow very shortly on the downloads page.

The latest changes include:

  • More changes to do with getting printing to work. All the windows should now print properly, and are integrated with the Windows stuff. This includes printing (and even the previously disabled page setup) on database windows, the workspace, and even the control panel transcript.
  • Complete rewrite of values in cards and questions. Composite values are now supported, so that (for example) ?Head? ?Rest? will match "1 2 3 4" with ?Head? becoming 1 and ?Rest "2 3 4". Composite values also support pattern matching, so constants can be sprinkled in too. "This is a ?type? day" will match "this is a nice day" or "this is a very very nice day", but not "this is a day". Composite values seem incredibly powerful, but even we aren't quite sure how powerful they are yet.
  • In an instruction card, you can now use variables in the title and column parts of questions, as well as in the values. This means that higher-order instruction cards are now possible.
  • Whole bunch of new built in questions added. One of the nicest is Ask In Dialog, which prompts for a value and returns it. See the Gallery for the full list.
  • Debugger more or less completed and integrated with the question processor.

by Stuart Watt, 16th June 1999