Release Notes for JMRI 2.5.5 release

Date: June 9, 2009

From: Bob Jacobsen

Subject: Test version 2.5.5 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. We expect this series to end in a JMRI 2.6 production release in late June 2009. Because this test release is very close in content to the next production release, we'd really appreciate it if people would check it out and send a brief note on their experience to the JMRI Users group. 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:

This version introduces reorganized definitions for SoundTraxx Tsunami Diesel definitions. Several definition files have been removed, and are replaced by one common file. If you haven't modified your Tsunami XML files, you don't have to read the rest of this paragraph. If you have modified or replaced the Tsunami definitions in the program directory in a previous copy of JMRI, you should back up the modified files before installing JMRI 2.5.5. This version removes the old files, so if you have modifications, you'll have to put them back manually afterwards. In general, it's better to put local modifications in the preferences directory, not the program directory, so you won't have to do this in the future.

Warnings from older versions:

If you're using a MERG CAN-RS or CAN-USB unit to talk to a MERG CBUS, you should check that your preferences are set properly. Starting with version 2.5.3, JMRI 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 in JMRI 2.5.3.

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 5 or later. (Java 5 is also called Java 1.5) 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:

Mac OS X: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/jmri/JMRI.2.5.5.dmg

Windows: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/jmri/JMRI.2.5.5.exe

Linux: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/jmri/JMRI.2.5.5.tgz

Changes since test version 2.5.4

Ken Cameron fixed an error in the RobotThrottle demo script that happened when items didn't have user names.

Dan Boudreau improved printing in operations: When printing locations, tracks now only show which rolling stock types are accepted; provide users the option to only print cars that have a valid location.

Paul Bender fixed a problem when XPressNet simulator is starting up.

Dan Boudreau updated some internal deprecated references.

Fixed a problem preventing the "exclude" option in decoder definitions from working when "include" was also in use.

Simon White added support for FindBugs to our software build process.

Dan Boudreau updated the code to remove some Java 1.5 generics warnings.

Paul Bender improved the consisting performance and added code to handle certain kinds of I/O errors.

Jack Shall has updated the SoundTraxx Tsunami diesel definitions so that they now live in a single file, and share definitions of most CVs.

Matt Harris fixed a bug in the startup code that could prevent JMRI applications from starting up on Windows.

Paul Bender improved how the connection configuration dialog works.

Peter Cressman fixed a problem with Conditional names.

In the JMRI 2.5 series, the values of Memory objects are stored in panel files and restored when the file is reloaded. This version fixes a problem with replacing "empty" (null) values with a space character; in JMRI 2.5.5, empty values are restored as empty, not as a space character.

You can now use "Internal" lights with more setups.

Dick Bronson updated the signal icons for USS CTC machine schematic panels.

Ken Cameron added a new "FileLogging.py" script, which logs sensor changes to a comma-separated-variable (CSV) for later examination.