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Release Notes for JMRI 2.3.6 release

Date: November 16, 2008

From: Bob Jacobsen

Subject: Test version 2.3.6 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 sixth 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:


Warnings from older versions:

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.

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 reruning 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:



Changes since test version 2.3.5:

Dan Boudreau made several additions to the operations code. He added termination of trains to operations for batch mode, AAR type code for cars, and the ability to specify a commodity for cars. Fixed a bug when adding or editing routes in which the train direction wasn't properly saved.

Fixed a bug that would result in user names for Blocks being lost when Layout Editor wasn't being used.

Dan Boudreau made some tweaks to the Throttle window layout and added the ability to save your throttle preference. Now you can configure how you want your throttle buttons to appear and save it using the "Save Throttle Preference" in the Tools->Throttles menu. He also changed the Throttle's default text for buttons F0, F1 and F3 to Light, Bell, and Horn. The Horn button is also set to momentary.

David Duchamp added Logix actions to set variable light intensity and light transition time.

You can now configure the labels on the throttle function keys as part of your locomotive roster. A new "Function Key Labels" pane in DecoderPro lets you assign a label to each function, which will then be displayed on the function button when using a JMRI throttle to control that locomotive. For example, F2 in a sound-equipped locomotive might be labelled "Bell".

Support for TCH Technology hardware has been removed.

David Duchamp fixed a bug where Block system names were being changed when loading a Layout Editor panel while restarting after Layout Editor edits that changed the block structure of the panel.

Added a Help button to the DecoderPro and PanelPro main windows, and a Quit button to the PanelPro main window. Also, when the setup fails and the preferences window is opened at startup, also open the help window for preferences.

Added "Import Decoder File" and "Import Decoder URL " in the Debug menu, which will take a user-selected decoder definition file, copy it in the right place, and rebuild the decoder index. The two forms are for selecting a local file, perhaps downloaded from a web page, and for downloading directly from a web page via an internet connection. See the help page for more information.

Added text to the "roster could not be read" message so it's clear this is normal if you haven't added any decoders yet