What began as a simple, MS-DOS-based trivia program has evolved into a complete platform for creating and executing rich, custom applications. Originally, TQS was simply known as Trivia 1.0, and had multiple-choice programs hard-coded into the executable file. Created with Turbo Pascal, Trivia evolved into Trivia Question Shell (TQS) 1.5, using text files to load questions at run-time.
In late 1998, work began on TQS 2.0, which would be a Windows-based "container" program for custom applications. The file format, based on XML, allows not only for multiple-choice questions, but also for hangman games, menus, and advanced customization. The TQS program uses powerful HTML features of the Windows operating system to create a rich, dynamic platform that can be used for whatever purpose the user needs.
TQS 2.1, released in late 2000, includes, in addition to the name change to "Trivia Quiz Shell," a number of changes. For example, your application can now display chunks of rich HTML code, and perform further customization to the hangman game.
Version 2.5 brought a number of new enhancements, including new question types (true-false, type-in-answer), finish buttons, new sound capabilities, a customizable report generation system, new scoring and state tracking options, and new customization features.
Released in May 2004, TQS 2.6 introduced the ability to embed files (such as images or sounds) directly within TQS files, eliminating the need to have numerous external files to support your application. The TQS Embed Utility is used to quickly and easily perform the embedding.
TQS 2.7, released in January 2006, contained several new features to allow you to further customize the visual appearance of your applications. The latest version, TQS 2.8, adds a few more features, several changes under the hood, and improvements when running on Windows Vista.
Trivia Quiz Shell 3.0 is currently under development. This exciting new version will include a completely rebuilt quiz engine and an accompanying editor for easily creating TQS applications.
TQS is well-suited for teachers or students to write quiz programs using built-in support for trivia questions and score reporting. The open architecture of TQS, including its advanced customization features, makes it an ideal tool for users of all kinds.