News & Updates

On this page you will find all the latest news and updates regarding the WOOL Platform. Follow us on Twitter, to stay in the loop: @WOOLPlatform


The Science behind WOOL

— Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

The WOOL Platform has its roots in the scientific community, having been born out of a European Research and Innovation project. Today we added the Science section to the website to provide an overview of all scientific publications that are somehow related to the WOOL Platform.

To get the list started, we have the following two papers:

  • van Velsen et al., "LEAVES (optimizing the mentaL health and resiliencE of older Adults that haVe lost thEir spouSe via blended, online therapy): Proposal for an Online Service Development and Evaluation" - This paper, published in JMIR Research Protocols provides a summary of the LEAVES Project, a European AAL Research Project that aims to develop and evaluate a virtual agent-based tool that can support people to cope with grief after having lost a spouse. The virtual agent that will be developed within LEAVES is powered by the WOOL Platform.
  • ter Stal et al., "Embodied Conversational Agent Appearance for Health Assessment of Older Adults: Explorative Study - This paper focuses on the question of how to design effective virtual agents in the context of eHealth applications. An experiment was conducted in which older adult participants interacted with virtual agents with varying characteristics. The experiment run was powered by the WOOL Platform.

Check out the new Science section of the site!


Showcase project: SmartWork

— Monday, May 25th, 2020

As the WOOL Platform is maturing, we are seeing additional projects that are using WOOL to power conversational agents in their applications. Today we add the SmartWork project to the WOOL Platform Showcase page. In SmartWork, WOOL is being used to power a conversational agent in a mobile (Android and iOS) application (see figure below), so over the coming months we are figuring out how WOOL can better support mobile app development.

Design of the SmartWork mobile app, including the conversational agent powered by the WOOL Platform.

WOOL Core Java Library v2.0.0

— Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

We have released the v2.0.0 of the WOOL Core Java Library, which is available on MavenCentral, and of course on our GitHub page.

Version 2.0.0 indeed means that this is not backwards-compatible with the previous 1.0.2 version. How backwards-incompatible is it, you might ask? Well, completely and utterly incompatible...! But it's mostly about changing the package names of your includes from nl.rrd.* to eu.woolplatform.*, so nothing to worry about here =)

We have also updated our Basic Java Tutorial to show how to use the new v2.0.0 WOOL library, and updated the Documentation page to include the latest Javadoc.


Showcase project: Council of Coaches

— Friday, April 17th, 2020

What's a dialogue platform without creative dialogue-driven applications?! Well, today we've opened our brand new Showcase page, where we will feature projects that integrate WOOL Platform into their applications.

As a first candidate, the project that kicked off the development of the WOOL Platform: Council of Coaches! Check it out, here: Council of Coaches Showcase.


First WOOL Updates for 2020

— Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

As we mentioned in our first "Welcome to the WOOL Website" post earlier this year, WOOL is under active development, and today it's time to share with you some updates!

First of all, we have moved to our own domain at www.woolplatform.eu, so update your bookmarks (if you use those), for we are here to stay! We have also set up our Twitter account on which we will try to share relevant information from the interactive dialogue community and share updates. So, if you're interested, please follow us on Twitter over at @WOOLPlatform!

Finally, we have released the new version 1.3 of our WOOL Editor (available online) with the following improvements:

  • Any WOOL script needs a node that is titled "Start". The WOOL Editor now gives a warning if this node is missing, and will generate one for you.
  • The WOOL Editor only supports .wool files (sorry!), so it will now only allow you to open files with the .wool extension.
  • Several improvements were made to the "Export POEditor Terms" functionality (available in the "File" menu). Try it out if you need to translate your WOOL scripts and want to use an external tool like POEditor to help out.
  • The editor now gives a warning if two nodes with the same name exist.
  • The editor now shows which file is currently loaded (in the bottom left), and remembers this file name when saving.

As we are working on several projects that are powered by the WOOL Platform, there are plenty of new ideas for ways to make WOOL even more flexible and easy to use, so stay tuned for more!


Welcome to the WOOL Website

— Monday, January 6th, 2020

We are online... hooray!

We may move to another domain within the next few months, but we didn't want to further postpone launching the website that is meant to support the WOOL Dialogue Platform. As you can probably see, this website is still a bit of a work in progress. Of course, the WOOL Platform itself is also work in progress, but that will always be the case, since, you know, it's a software platform.

Anyway, what is WOOL? We have tried to give you a short explanation in the About section of this site. In short, WOOL is an MIT-Licensed platform for authoring and executing dialogues between software agents and end-users. WOOL is under active development, mainly by its creators at Roessingh Research and Development (but we're actively pursuing a larger developer community).

WOOL is a spin-off language/platform of another dialogue tool called Yarn, which in turn was heavily inspired by Twine. There are many differences between Twine, Yarn and WOOL (a topic for another blog post), but in a nutshell: Twine is designed for Interactive Storytelling, Yarn is designed for Adventure-type Video Games, and WOOL is designed for creating Virtual (Health) Coaches.

So, the origins of WOOL lie within a research project, funded by the European Commission (grant agreement number 769553), called Council of Coaches. In this project, 7 organisations from 6 European countries currently work together on bringing to life a group of virtual coaches that can assist the older adult population in achieving and maintaining a healthly lifestyle (see screenshot below).

Screenshot of the Council of Coaches functional demonstrator, powered by the WOOL Platform.

Anyway, welcome to our website! Have a look at the Home Page, that links to the GitHub pages, or give our Online Editor a spin!