Release Notes for JMRI 1.8 production release

Date: July 22, 2007

From: Bob Jacobsen

Subject: Production version 1.8 of JMRI/DecoderPro is available for download.

Notes:

We are very pleased to announce that the 1.7 series of JMRI test releases has resulted in a version that's good enough to be recommended for general use, including by new users. We're therefore making that version, "Production version 1.8" available for download today.

New warnings for this version:

On using system vs user names: System names are fixed when they are created, and refer to a specific item such as an input pin, output device, etc. You can also attach a user name to any of these, and change it after the fact. By convention, when you put a name in a form, we try to remember that name for the next time you reload that configuration. You can provide either a system name or a user name. If you don't change the user name once you've set it, it doesn't matter which you provide. But changing user names can have both good and bad effects:

  • You can use them to name "functional" items, like "east entrance turnout". A particular turnout, like LT12, could be given that user name, and then "east entrance turnout" could be entered in a route or signaling definition. Then, later, if you wanted to use a different output to control the "east entrance turnout", e.g. CT21, you could move the user name to the other turnout in the turnout table, store the configuration, and reload it (to connect up the various uses of the devices) and everything would still work.
  • On the other hand, if you just edit the user name for LT12 to "East Entrance TO" (note change to capitalization & abbreviation), store and load the configuration, the route will not reload properly and you'll get an error message saying that "east entrance turnout" is not defined.
It's up to you to decide how you want to use user names when filling out forms, and whether you might be better off using system names.

The "LocoNet Hexfile" protocol name in the preferences has always been a poor name. This has been changed to "LocoNet Simulator" to better reflect it's purpose. Some documentation may still contain the old name.

For Lenz users: There are now separate choices for each of the serial-based Lenz Computer Interfaces (i.e. the LI100, LI100F, LI101F). Since release 1.7.3, to aid in backwards compatibility, all the interfaces currently have the same options as far as port speed is concerned. Eventually, the port speeds which are not supported by each interface WILL be removed. If you're using one of the interfaces listed above with this release, please check your configuration and select the correct device-specific option. There is no impact for LIUSB users with this change.

We have added additional information to the roster files in this version to help properly handle short/long addressing in systems that allow low addresses (e.g. 65) to be either short or long addresses. The only current system we support that has this capability is NCE. If you have an NCE system, and you have locomotives with addresses of 127 or less, you should open their roster entries in DecoderPro, check that the proper short or long address is selected, and save them again.

Indexed CVs will not be included in any printouts for this release.

QSI CV 56.129 Engine ID Access is not supported in this release.

While programming QSI decoders in Ops mode, it is necessary to disable CV 62 QSI Control (Verbal Acknowledgement), otherwise the writes will fail.

QSI CV 64 CV Numeric Verbal Readout currently does not work for indexed CVs.

The Route interface has had significant changes. New member functions have been provided for configuring the Turnouts and Sensors that are changed with the Route fires. The old methods are deprecated. If you've written your own code that uses Routes directly, you should update it. The deprecated methods will be removed after the next production release.

On Mac OS X, JMRI 1.7.3 and later uses Java 1.4 if it's available. This may result in some small cosmetic changes, but should resolve several bugs in the user interface. Also, Mac OS X is now being distributed as a disk image (DMG) file. To install it, double click on the file to mount it, and then drag the resulting JMRI folder to the Applications folder.

Download links:

Please use these links for downloading, including the "?download" at the end. That adds to SourceForge's advertising statistics, which makes them happy to host our stuff.

Mac OS X: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/jmri/JMRI.1.8.dmg?download

Windows: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/jmri/JMRI.1.8.exe?download

Linux: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/jmri/JMRI.1.8.tgz?download

For technical reasons, it's unlikely that there will be a MacOS 8/9 "Classic" or OS/2 version for this release.

Changes since test version 1.7.7:

Martin Gostling contributed a decoder definition for the Trix Selectrix\DCC built-in decoder for small N Scale Locos

Dan Boudreau added a macro editor for NCE systems

Alex Shepherd updated the Configure LocoNet ID tool to handle UR90 devices. He also updated the formatting of the "Monitor Loconet Stats" window.

Dan Boudreau added a new mode to turnout icons on panels so that they can show an distinct icon when the commanded state (selected in the program) doesn't agree with the known state (on the layout). E.g. when the turnout hasn't moved yet.

Mike Mosher fixed the decoder names so that QSI F7 decoder with and without dynamic brakes can be told apart.

Dan Boudreau fixed an intermittent lock-up in the NCE code, and a problem when using NCE AIUs with the most recent EPROM.

Phill Perry added a decoder definition for the New York Byano Dual Mode decoder

Dan Boudreau added an "invert" option to turnouts on most systems

Dick Bronson contributed new color icons for the smallschematics/LEDs and smallschematics/searchlights directories, and updated the existing red/yellow/green icons so color-blind people can distinguish them

The editor for Digitrax SDF files (Sound Definition File, the logic in a sound decoder download) has been improved

Dan Boudreau contributed some new track segment icons

Dick Bronson contributed new code-button icons to the USS/plate/levers icon directory

Previous changes

There have been hundreds of changes and improvements since the last production version, 1.6. These are all listed in the individual change notes: