Release Notes for JMRI 2.3.5 release

Date: November 1, 2008

From: Bob Jacobsen

Subject: Test version 2.3.5 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 fifth in a series of test versions. It contains many new features, including:

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:

Windows desktop shortcuts have been restructured to make them more reliable. If you have custom shortcuts (ones you made), you may have to update them. The JMRI-created ones will be updated automatically. Users of Mac OS X and Linux will not be effected by this change.

Warnings from older versions:

Starting with the 2.3.4 test release, by default JMRI is allowed to use up to 200MB of memory (up from a limit of 60MB or 64MB previously). If this is more memory than you have available, and you notice JMRI slowing down a lot, please let us know so we can provide a work-around.

Staring with the 2.3.3 test release, JMRI builds the classpath (the list of .jar libraries used by the program) dynamically on Windows. We'll use this in the future for plug-ins and other features, and other platforms have been doing this for a while. If you have added any .jar files to your JMRI program directory, they may cause problems when the program is starting. Also, if originally installed a very old version of JMRI, there might still be files around that can cause this problems. If so, you can fix it by moving aside those extra .jar files from the JMRI program directory, or by asking Windows to un-install JMRI, before rerunning the installer. For more information on this, please see this discussion on the JMRI Users group.

JMRI is moving toward requiring Java 1.5 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 if so 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.

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.2.3.5.dmg?download

Windows: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/jmri/JMRI.2.3.5.exe?download

Linux: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/jmri/JMRI.2.3.5.tgz?download

Changes since test version 2.3.4:

Dan Boudreau make numerous small improvements to the operations tools.

More work on Windows installer and startup scripts.

Dick Bronson updated the decoder definition for the RR-CirKits Tower Controller 64.

Giorgio Terdina and Dave Duchamp fixed a thread race bug that caused problems with internal sensor clicking in Layout Editor.

Dan Boudreau fixed minor bugs in the operations support involving the engine consist replace, changed "Cars" to "Rolling Stock" in the location menus, and added the ability to optionally print the car comment field in manifests and switch lists.

Peter Ulvestad added CV3 and 4 to the SoundTraxx DSX Diesel definition.

David Duchamp fixed a throughput problem with the C/MRI serial connection.

Fixed a problem with the RPS panel icons that was introduced in JMRI 2.3.3.

The instruction dialog box for moving the roster location (in preferences) has been updated to reduce the possibility of confusion.

The internals of the RPS support received a major overhaul. It should now be possible to use non-consecutive receiver addresses, error handling was updated, and RPS now works with an SPROG.

Fixed a problem that prevented the 24th (last) sensor on a Grapevine board from properly detecting motion of a train.

Fixed cause of large number of spurious "ERROR - illegal system name format" messages when using Grapevine hardware.

On Windows, the JMRI shortcuts on the Desktop and the JMRI items in the Program Menu now go directly to running the program, rather than going through a .bat file. This is for better compatibility with Windows98.

Ken Weygandt and Bill Robinson helped fix a problem with over-running LocoNet command stations when sending lots of turnout messages.

Dick Bronson contributted new icons for medium B&O signal heads, small B&O signal heads, medium PRR signal heads. and some improvements to the small PRR signal heads.

Paul Bender updated the XPressNet support so that JMRI can program CVs 513-1024 in direct mode if the command station is using XPressNet 3.6. (The XPressNet 3.5 protocol doesn't provide a way to do this)

A problem with the labels in the Roster menu was fixed. The first two entries are now "Create..." and "Edit...", not "Create..." and "Create...".

The "New Panel" item in the "Panels" menu has been restructured to improve clarity.

Many Javadoc and help panel updates

The "ControlPanel.py" sample script now provides buttons for both Panel Editor and Layout Editor windows.

David Duchamp added a first version of dispatcher support.

Lots of updates to navigation and formatting of the help screens.

A problem with programming-on-the-main (Ops Mode programming) of decoders with a long address less than 100 and NCE command stations has been fixed.