UpStage v2.4.2 User Manual

Technical Information

UpStage is a server-side application. This means that it runs on a web-server, and the users of UpStage (players and audience) access it via a web browser; you do NOT install UpStage on your own computer.

If you have access to a web server and wish to install your own, customisable, version of UpStage, please refer to the installation manual and other support available on the SourceForge site.

Programming technologies 

Upstage is written in Python, using the Twisted framework for event-driven asynchronous networking. It doesn't require Apache (or MYSQL or anything else). The client is written in pure Actionscript, and is compiled using Mtasc, so there is no requirement for Macromedia software other than the Flash player plug-in on the client computer. 

Words typed in by the players are converted into speech using the Fesitval speech libraryeSpeak and MBROLA, and streamed to the clients as MP3s. 

The server runs on Debian Linux, but should easily convert to other platforms. Python and Twisted are cross-platform, but there is a line or two of shell scripts that tie in the speech synthesis.

The software has been worked on since June 2003 and contains some 8000 lines. Please visit our SourceForge site to find the latest stable version and installation documentation.

Client hardware and software requirements

If your computer has a browser with the Flash player plug-in, then you already have everything you need to use UpStage. Obviously faster processors and higher RAM give improved performance, but UpStage has been designed to work on relatively low-spec client machines.

A broadband internet connection will give the best performance, but UpStage performs surprisingly well over dial-up. The main disadvantage when using dial-up is that the load time for each stage is longer. You may need to allow up to 15 minutes to load a stage, depending on how many graphics are on it. Once it’s loaded, the real-time interaction and overall performance of UpStage is not much slower on dial-up than on broadband.

UpStage has been designed to run on a wide range of clients using the Macromedia Flash Player plug-in (we recommend the latest version). It should function properly in all standard browsers such as Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer and Opera.

Note: due to an issue in Chrome for Mac, at the time of writing it is not possible to upload .swf files from a Mac computer using the Chrome browser. Until such time as Chrome fixes this issue, you will need to use an alternative browser such as Safari or Firefox to upload .swf files.

Linux users may need to install gsfonts and gsfonts-x11 (see the section Troubleshooting for information about this).


UpStage will function through most but not all firewalls, depending on how the firewall has been set up. 

If you install your own UpStage server, it will ask you to specify which ports you want to use (the defaults are 8081 and 7230). You will need to ensure that your users have the correct ports open.

The Open UpStage server uses ports 8084 and 7230-7233, therefore these ports need to be open if you are trying to access this server through a firewall. These ports are open by default in most private internet connections, but some organisational networks will close any “unnecessary” ports.