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Release Notes for JMRI 2.5.6 release

Date: June 23, 2009

From: Bob Jacobsen

Subject: Test version 2.5.6 of JMRI/DecoderPro is available for download.
JMRI 2.5.6 has been superseded by JMRI 2.5.7 due to a bug found just after release. You should install JMRI 2.5.7 instead of JMRI 2.5.6


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, and hopefully last, 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:

The Panel Editor has been greatly improved, but it might take a little while for you to get used to it. If you have trouble figuring out how it works, please see the help pages.

Warnings from older versions:

JMRI version 2.5.5 introduced 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.

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:

JMRI 2.5.6 has been superseded by JMRI 2.5.7 due to a bug found just after release. You should install JMRI 2.5.7 instead of JMRI 2.5.6

Changes since test version 2.5.5

Paul Bender made two improvements to the XPressNet (Lenz) throttle:
  1. When doing a version check, compare to the BCD version sent from the command station, rather than the float value calculated in the program (fixes a bug with functions F13-F28).
  2. Instead of dropping messages when they are outgoing, queue the messages for in-order delivery.

Ken Cameron added some initial code for "extended commands" in the Powerline (X10) support

Dan Boudreau updated the operations tools to remove any train icon(s) from the panel(s) when a train is reset.

Fix an off-by-one error when doing manual reads and writes with the DecoderPro indexed-CV pane.

Pete Cressman made some significant improvements to the Panel Editor. The textfields that required users to type in the system name of a JMRI entity, e.g. a turnout, sensor, etc, and then press an 'Change Icon' button to open a window to assign icons to it, have been replaced by a dropdown menu. Selecting an item from this comboBox opens a window similar to the previous version. These new versions of the Add.. window have several new features:

  1. A picklist table is displayed for the JMRI entities that have creation tools. Selecting a row from the table activates an 'Add' button that adds icons for the seletion to the Panel.
  2. There is a similar panel containing trees for changing icons. The new version displays all the icons contained in a node of the tree and icons are changed by dragging the image from the preview panel to the entity's icons and dropping it there.
  3. There are menu items for help and file system searches
  4. Any directory accessible from the computer can be searched for images and then added to the trees that provide icons for importing to the Panel
  5. An Image Index can be created and a permanent copy saved to organize the icons for import to the Panel. This index is usable globally (i.e. not confined to the Panel under construction)
See also the Image Index help page.

Dan Boudreau improved the operations help and updated the images. He also fixed a bug: When terminating a train, the train's engine(s) were not always sent to the destination track if the free track space was less than the engine(s) length. He also added minor GUI improvements for locations and tracks, and updated it to allow users to enter similar location names in operations by using a hyphen and a number in the name. Hyphen and number are no longer printed in manifests and switch lists.

Peter Ulvestad added a sample script that uses two different detectors for the stop because of the location of the station and detection blocks. This allows the RDCs to stop exactly if front of the station in both directions. You can change it to one detector if that works for your situation.

Chris Zurek updated the version number and number of functions for the Digitrax DH123 decoder.

Marc Fournier updated the TCS BEMF decoder tooltips.

Dan Boudreau added a user prompt if something goes wrong when loading a panel file. This will remind people to check their preferences, so they don't lose any contents of the file.

Fixed a problem where you wouldn't be able to erase a user name in a table because the program claimed it was a duplicate.