Release Notes for JMRI 2.9.8 release

Date: June 13, 2010

From: Bob Jacobsen

Subject: Test version 2.9.8 of JMRI/DecoderPro is available for download.


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 eighth in a series of test versions. It carries the last major new features for the JMRI 2.10 production release expected in Summer 2010.

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:

(None yet)

Older warnings

Panel files written with JMRI 2.9.6 or later that contain Lights will not be readable by earlier versions of JMRI.

JMRI system names start with two capital letters, e.g. LT10 or NS23 or PLA5. Past versions have tried to cope when people enter lower cases letters, e.g. lt10 or Ns23 or pLA5, with various degrees of success. Unfortunately, this code isn't compatible with some new systems that are being working on, and we have to remove it. Starting with this version, JMRI requires that you enter consistent system names, including using the right case. If you use system names, and haven't been using consistent names, you'll probably have to practice a little to get in the habit. If you have any problems reading old files, etc, please post a note on the JMRI Users group and somebody will help you.

The LocoTools application is no longer supported, and is being removed. Some parts of it are still present, but you should use e.g. PanelPro or DecoderPro instead. They can do everything that LocoTools can.

The preferences have been significantly reworked. In some cases, preferences to add a button or do an action at startup may have to be deleted and re-entered before they will work.

The communications libraries for Mac OS X have been updated. We've tested these extensively, but there may be combinations of hardware and software versions that still aren't right. If the program can't see your layout connection, please post to the JMRI Users group with what type of Mac you're using (PowerBook, PowerMac, MacBook, etc), processor type (PPC G3, G4, G5 or Intel) and Mac OS X version (10.4, 10.5, etc; names like Leopard are OK) too. We've got several library versions and most likely have one that will work, we just have to figure out which.

If you're using a Lenz XPressNet connection, please uncheck the "Check Buffer Status" box in the preference pane where you selected the Lenz protocol.

This version of JMRI uses the new communications libraries introduced in JMRI 2.9.3. On Windows, the installer should take care of all installation and deinstallation required. On Linux, you may have to install and/or uninstall various communications library parts, see the JMRI Linux pages for more info. On Mac, depending on which version you were previously using you may have to remove a communications library, see the JMRI Mac OS X page.

You may get some messages like:

WARNING:  RXTX Version mismatch
        Jar version = RXTX-2.2pre1
        native lib Version = RXTX-2.2pre2
For now, this should be considered normal. We'll try to get it removed before the next production release.

The JInput USB library was updated in JMRI 2.9.1, and again in JMRI 2.9.5, which (should) have fixed problems on Windows Vista, Intel Macs and some Linux machines. We don't have a way to check this with all possible input devices, so please check to make sure that your USB-attached devices still work.

When loading an older panel file containing signal head icons, you may get WARN messages about "did not locate lunar icon file" and "did not locate flashlunar icon file". To make these stop, just store the file again so that it's rewritten in the most recent format.

Known problems with this release

None at the time of this release.

Download links:

Please use these links for downloading:

Mac OS X:



Changes since test version 2.9.7

Brett Hoffman updated the WiThrottle protocol to separate functions for lead loco in consist.

Pete Cressman fixed an occasional error message from Logix when using the clock.

Pete Cressman updated the panel editors to keep background locked when using global positionable flag.

Paul Bender made technical changes to the internals of the XPressNet throttle support.

Improved how LocoNet Slot Monitor uses screen space.

Steve Todd updated the Engine Driver throttle for Android.

Paul Bender and Lionel Jeanson improved the internal structure of the throttle support. You may see changes in the way that real (handheld) throttles and the program interact. There's a new throttle preference to control whether the speed should be set to 0 and functions turned off when a throttle is released.

Brett Hoffman changed how the WiThrottle protocol creates a throttle. The throttle no longer shows in the "Windows" menu or in the "Throttles List" window.

Paul Bender did more work on Lenz turnout control.

Paul Bender made some changes to make the XPressNet support compatible with OpenDCC command stations.

Web browsers can now access layout power via XMLIO.

Allow the user to specify the default preferences and jython script directory locations. This helps to get around an issue reported with windows 7 directory/file permissions. It also allows the user to set where they wish to save panel/throttle/etc files without having to modify the launcher. Feature is handy where multiple Windows user profiles have to access a common set of panel and roster files.

Improved window for adding Signal Masts so that it's clearer how many SignalHeads are needed, and to give more space for entering them.

Dan Boudreau added a new operations schedule feature: Users can now specify the destination and track for a car. Also, the schedule now shows the current car count in schedule table when the car count is greater than 1.

Fixed a problem with SignalMast system names when using signal heads with ":" characters in their names, e.g. SE8c signal heads.

Mike Mosher added decoder definitions for the TCS V51+ decoders.

Steve Todd updated the wireless throttle support to avoid confusion with IPv6 connections.

Jack Shall updated the Tsunami Diesel decoder definition to add the BW1000 series decoders.

John Stewart provided a decoder definition for the Lenz Plus 2010 decoder.

Mike Mosher added decoder definitions for the Soundtraxx Tsunami OEM decoders for Genesis locomotives.