Release Notes for JMRI 2.5.3 release

Date: April 25, 2009

From: Bob Jacobsen

Subject: Test version 2.5.3 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 third in a new series of test versions. We expect this series to end in a production release in late June 2009. 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:

JMRI 2.5.3 uses a new version of the Log4J library, and several additional libraries. If you've written your own Java code using JMRI, or have your own startup scripts, you might have to make some changes to adapt to these new libraries. If you don't get messages about missing or deprecated methods, you don't have to worry about this.

The XSLT location was moved back to the web.

There is a problem with the CBUS support when using GridConnect style adapters. If this describes your situation, you should stay with an earlier version (probably JMRI 2.5.1) until a later version lists this as fixed.

Warnings from older versions:

Starting in JMRI 2.5.2, Logix support has a lot of new capabilities, but panel files that use these capabilities can't be read by previous versions of the program. Please keep backup copies of your panel files in case you want to move back to a previous version.

Starting in JMRI 2.5.2, there have been extensive changes to the way JMRI installs and starts on Windows. 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 affected by this change.

The downloads are significantly larger due to more text and images in the help pages, especially the updated manual.

JMRI now requires Java 1.5 or later. If you are using an older version of Java, please upgrade your Java installation. To see JMRI's future plans for this and other compatibility issues, please see the JMRI technology roadmap.

Starting in JMRI 2.5.1, the way you drag things in the Layout Editor has changed if you are using a Linux computer.

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.2.5.3.dmg?download

Windows: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/jmri/JMRI.2.5.3.exe?download

Linux: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/jmri/JMRI.2.5.3.tgz?download

Changes since test version 2.5.2:

Simon Ginsburg has updated the German translation.

Various improvements to help screens

Ian Birchenough provided a definition for the Bachmann 3 function decoder.

Dan Boudreau added more help pages on operations, and resized some figures so they take less screen and disk space.

Some pages in the help system link to pages on other web sites. The help viewer isn't a full-function web browser, so these pages don't always display well, PDF files can't be displayed, etc. Starting in JMRI 2.5.3, if you have Java 1.6 or later installed, your native web browser will be launched to display these pages.

If you run into a problem with JMRI, and the people trying to help you need more information, you can "send a problem report" (from the Help menu) that contains information about your JMRI and Java versions, configuration, error messages, etc. Developers can then look at that to get the information they need to help find a solution. This feature is still in development, and might not work with all email systems yet.

David Duchamp fixed a problem with Block initialization at startup.

The Log4J library used by JMRI has been updated to the current version. This won't change the user experience, but helps us handle errors in a cleaner way. Dan Boudreau did 1300+ updates to use this!

Pete Cressman improved error handling in the sensor group GUI.

More help files. Also, some help pages were reformatted to be more readable, and image files were reformatted to save some space.

Fixed a problem that was making some buttons disappear when editing Digitrax SPJ sound projects. Fixed a problem when editing the SDF control sequence in SPJ projects that used certain looping options. Added more editing capabilities for SDF instructions.

Dan Boudreau updated the operations feature to allow users to place and resize the Settings, Edit Location, Trains, and Edit Trains windows.

We have again changed the references to the XLST transform in newly written panel files, trying to get the browser display to work by default.

The LocoNet Monitor now displays information on several more messages.

Pete Cressman added tests for Logix, which resulted in several updates to the JUnit test structure.

The XSLT location was moved back to the web.

The Digitrax SDF editor can better handle complicated sound instructions.

A problem with decoder definitions requiring 28 functions was fixed. For earlier versions, the workaround is to claim that the decoder has only 27 functions.

Pete Cressman arranged for edit windows to open in front of tables.

David Duchamp fixed a problem in how the Layout Editor creates signal Logix.

Matt Harris updated the Windows installer to fix a bug when reinstalling or uninstalling from a non-default location, and to make the selections for program location and start menu setup visible in all installation types.

Pete Cressman added "Change level" to the popup menus on Panel Editor icons. 'Set x & y' was changed to 'Set Location', whose dialog window now also allows setting the display level of the icon.

Ken Cameron fixed a problem in the DebounceSensor sample script.

Pete Cressman made some updates to Logix. A copy Logix and Conditional function was added by turning the 'Edit Logix' button into a drop down 'Select' menu list for 'Edit', 'Copy', or 'Delete' operations. Edit and Delete act as before. Copy allows a duplicate Logix to be created or it can copy Conditionals into an existing Logix. Also, a 'Toggle' option is added for Conditional actions that have only two action settings. The Logix behavior after an 'Export to Logix' function in the Edit Route window now more closely matches the behavior of regular Routes.

Pete Cressman added an 'LRoutes Table' that uses pick lists for Sensors, Turnouts, Lights and Signals to make Logix(es) similar to Routes, but somewhat more generalized in that an unlimited number of items can be included for both input and output, and Lights and Signals are also included.

Jon Miller provided info for the new BLI Paragon steam and diesel decoder definitions. Note that these require features that are only present in JMRI 2.5.3.

Our internal testing now uses JFCUnit for GUI testing, in addition to JUnit.

JMRI now allows you to select any of the baud rates supported by C/MRI hardware, including 115,200 bits per second. Note that not all installations (software/hardware/wiring) can operate at this speed, but some can, so we provide the option.

Team Digital updated the decoder definition for their SIC24AD to allow ops-mode (on the main) programming.