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Release Notes for JMRI 2.9.6 release

Date: May 11, 2010

From: Bob Jacobsen

Subject: Test version 2.9.6 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. We expect this series to end in a JMRI 2.10 (or perhaps JMRI 3.0) production release 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:

Panel files containing Lights written with JMRI 2.9.6 will not be readable by earlier versions of JMRI. JMRI continues to be able to read panel files written by version 2.4 or later.

Older warnings

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

When you bring up a Layout Editor panel, the 'edit' checkbox is always set. To edit the panel, you may have to toggle it twice to get the edit window to display.

Download links:

Please use these links for downloading:

Mac OS X:



Changes since test version 2.9.5

Pete Cressman updated the warrant support.

Kevin Dickerson fixed an occasional problem when deleting a signal head icon.

Fixed a problem what would result in an extra LocoNet menu when the preferences are set for certain Digitrax PR3 modes.

Fixed a problem with certain options not properly being loaded into the preferences dialog.

Fixed a problem where buttons created at startup don't have the right labels.

Dan Boudreau added a new operations feature: User can optionally run scripts when a train is moved and or terminated.

Pete Cressman added a "Warrant Throttle Adjustment Factor" to Logix and added delayed reaction to inputs to Warrants

Dan Boudreau added a new operations feature: Allow the user to specify a logo for the manifests and switch lists.

Paul Bender reduced the timeout before the first turnout off message in the XPressNet protocol.

Giorgio Terdina updated XtrkCadReader to version 2.0. (Not really part of JMRI 2.9.6, but we'll record it here anyway) The main changes are:

Kevin Dickerson updated the port interface structure to improve its structure and error handling.

Dan Boudreau added a new operations check: Build option should not be changed once trains have been built; Added error message and prevent user from making the change if there are built trains.

Paul Bender improved the way that turnout control timing is done for the Lenz protocol.

Bill Robinson provided two examples of setting turnouts from a web page using the mini-webserver. One, "web/turnoutPanel.html" shows a schematic control panel with turnouts you can click to control LT1 through LT4. The other, "web/turnoutMonitor.html", provides a table of all defined turnouts with buttons you can click to close or throw them.

The Ant javadoc-uml target now generates Javadoc pages with UML class diagrams. To show the diagram, click the "Show UML class diagram" link at the top of each page. Note that the process of generating these is quite resource-intensive, and requires a Java 1.6 runtime be present. We make the Javadocs for the most recent release available in the developer section of the JMRI website.

David Duchamp updated the Dispatcher documentation.

Dan Boudreau fixed some problems with function buttons on throttles.

David Duchamp made a minor update to the Section table.

Kevin Dickerson fixed a bug that would sometimes prevent the complete preferences from being stored.

David Duchamp added automated running to the Dispatcher.

David Duchamp added Lights for connections with NCE systems.

Much more work on the infrastructure for internationalizing (translating) decoder definitions into other languages, in the process reducing the size and redundancy. The ESU LocSound V3.5 decoder has been (mostly) translated into French as a proof of concept. If you've got your JMRI locale set to French, you should see the results.

New and improved operations features from Dan Boudreau: export cars and engines to a file using comma separated values (*.csv). Improved csv file import, now accepts import strings with commas as long as they are in quotes. Improved save operations. Now locations and trains are also saved if a car or engine type is modified by the user. Fix minor bug when replacing an engine type: The location and tracks didn't properly accept the new engine type.

Giorgio Terdina updated the AutoDispatcher script.

David Duchamp make a major revision of Lights, including multiple controls and a new user interface for adding and editing.

Key/value properties added to the various NamedBean types are now persisted in panel files.

Dan Boudreau made a minor improvement to operations: force the placing of cars during the load process when the user has modified the location type or road attributes.

Brett Hoffman added the ability to control Turnouts and Routes remotely.