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Release Notes for JMRI 2.3.8 release

Date: December 14, 2008

From: Bob Jacobsen

Subject: Test version 2.3.8 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 and hopefully last in a series of test versions. If this release has no major problems, it will form the base for the JMRI 2.4 production release.

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:

Linux users, especially Ubuntu users, of Panel Editor and Layout Editor may experience trouble with displaying popup menus and repositioning items on their panels. This is a known problem that is being worked on. It is expected to be fixed in an early 2.5.x test 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 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.

Changes since test version 2.3.7:

Paul Bender removed extraneous quotes from the turnout position names on Lenz XPressNet systems.

Dan Boudreau added some more terminology customization for British users of the operations tools.

David Harris fixed up some messages and updated the terminology in general parts of the program.

On Mac OS X, the text on throttle function buttons didn't fit properly when the throttle is first opened. This is now fixed.

Dick Bronson updated the decoder definition file for the Tower Controller 64.

Ronnie Pinkerton added a control so you can turn off scroll bars on the Layout Editor.

Paul Fraker provided a decoder definition file for the MRC Sheer Brilliance Mini HO EMD Modern Large Diesel Sound Decoder model 1638.

Transmitter IDs in the RPS system can now be set to any string instead of just the transmitter address number. The polling control table has a column where you can change the ID string for each transmitter. Initially, they're the name (ID) of the corresponding entry in the main DecoderPro roster.

Some timing fixes have been made in test code and base classes to fix operation on slow computers.

On Linux, the startup scripts now properly handle extra options in the JMRI_OPTIONS environment variable.