Release Notes for JMRI 2.1.4 release

Date: March 8, 2008

From: Bob Jacobsen

Subject: Test version 2.1.4 of JMRI/DecoderPro is available for download.

Notes:

This is a test release. Please post a note if you encounter any new or old bugs! And please back up your JMRI files before installing this, in case you want to go back to an earlier version.

This is the next in a series of test versions. It contains many new features, including:

  • Several new and updated decoder definitions,
  • improved addressing for the Grapevine system,
  • fix to a problem with certain NCE EPROM versions,
  • ability to dim lights attached via X10 systems,
  • and improvements to how closed windows are handled
along with lots of other changes. See the complete list below.

Some of the changes involved are quite extensive. They may require a certain amount of experience before they are working well. Therefore, this test version should be considered experimental.

JMRI is now only available under the GNU General Public License. For more information, please see our copyright and licensing page.

New warnings for this version:

Starting in this version, panels should not have duplicate names. The program assigns a unique default name to newly created panels, and will prevent you from renaming a panel to an existing name. If you read a file containing a panel with a name that duplicates an existing panel's name, you'll get a warning message. Depending on user reaction, this may become a dialog box that asks if you want to continue.

The scripts used to start the JMRI applications on Linux and Mac OS X have been extensively reworked. The new ones should do everything the old ones do, plus more. Please keep an eye out for new problems, however, and don't hesitate to report them to the list.

Warnings from older versions:

JMRI 2.1.3 was created shortly after JMRI 2.1.2 to fix a bad new bug accidentally introduced in 2.1.2: If you save a roster entry, you can't read the values back in. This new 2.1.3 version both corrects the problem, so that files are properly written out, and is able to read the corrupted files that 2.1.2 writes. If you did not install JMRI 2.1.2, there's nothing to worry about. If you did install JMRI 2.1.2, please install either 2.1.3 or this 2.1.4 release to correct the problem.

In JMRI 2.1.1, when you went to load a panel file, only files with a ".xml" filename suffix were shown by default. To see all files, you could select "All Files" in the window. This caused some confusion because many people hadn't added the ".xml" suffix to their panel file names. We still think having a suffix like that is valuable, but to reduce confusion in JMRI 2.1.2 when you save a panel file an ".xml" suffix is added automatically to the filename if you haven't already provided it. This makes the filename filter work better when loading a file. If you want to provide another suffix, or none at all, select the "All Files" option in the window before saving the file.

JMRI is moving toward requiring Java 1.4 or later. Certain new features may not work if you are using an earlier version of Java. To see JMRI's future plans for this and other compatibility issues, please see the JMRI technology roadmap.

JMRI no longer supports NCE AIU broadcasts. This change was needed so that JMRI could reliably read certain CV values. We recommend that if you use NCE AIUs, that you upgrade the command station EPROM to version 2007 or newer and turn off AIU broadcasts. Code has been added to detect if AIU broadcasts are enabled, and a warning message will appear at startup requesting that AIU broadcasts be turned off for proper operation of the JMRI programs.

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 beginnings of support for the QSI Programmer device are present, but it's not complete yet

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.2.1.4.dmg?download

Windows: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/jmri/JMRI.2.1.4.exe?download

Linux: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/jmri/JMRI.2.1.4.tgz?download

Changes since test version 2.1.3:

Fix a problem with the "invert" option in C/MRI turnouts when used as part of signal heads.

Alex Shepherd added support for a new type of signal decoder that he's developing.

Michael Mosher added steam CVs to the Digitrax SFX004 sound-only decoder definition.

Grapevine support has been updated with simpler addressing, and Grapevine turnouts can now have their outputs inverted in the Turnout table.

Bill Chown provided a decoder definition for the MRC 1644, 1650 and Big Boy decoders and updated the MRC 1645 definition.

Tables (sensor table, route table, etc) should now open as a more reasonable size, so that their contents are fully visible if possible.

Dan Boudreau fixed a bug where JMRI reported "ERROR NCE USING COMx" when the NCE EPROM revision was 6.2.0. Revision 6.2.0 is the 2007 March EPROM that was quickly replaced because NCE mapped odd turnouts into the same command station memory bits. JMRI incorrectly reported this as an error and should only have reported it as a warning. We recommend that you upgrade to the 2007A NCE EPROM (revision 6.2.1) or newer if you have any intention of using MONITORING feedback for turnouts.

The method for deciding how big windows can be when they open has been improved. Very large windows could sometimes end up being stuck underneath the command bars at the top and/or bottom of various kinds of screens. This shouldn't happen anymore, and even if it does we've added some startup options to fix it easily.

Philip Middlemiss provided a definition for the Hornby R8215 decoder.

Ken Cameron made Lights able to dim, so long as the associated hardware supports it. A first implementation for this is present for Powerline (X10) devices. There were associated changes in the Light table, the Light Control, and various internals.

Ian Birchenough provided updated decoder definitions for the ZTC 255 and 4007 decoders.

JMRI tries to make sure that it's windows don't open behind any of the other menu and tool bars on the window. This algorithm is tricky, because of all the ways that logical and physical screens can be arranged. We've improved it some, and would like to hear of cases where it's still not doing the right thing.

Added Wangrow DH-154 decoder.

Shell scripts used to start JMRI on Linux have been updated to add new function.

Dan Boudreau added a default name to newly created panels, and protection against creating duplicate panel names when renaming a panel. He also added a warning to the program when loading panels with existing names; depending on how user reaction goes, this might become a dialog box on whether to continue.

A bug that would cause the editor for Digitrax SPJ files to occasionally crash and write zero-length output files was fixed.