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Date: April 17, 2017
From: Bob Jacobsen
Subject: Test Release 4.7.3 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 next in a series of test releases. We expect this series to end in the next JMRI production release around the middle of 2017. (See the tentative release schedule)
Some of the changes involved are quite extensive. They may require a certain amount of experience before they are working well. Therefore, this test release should be considered experimental.
(Since JMRI 4.7.1) JMRI no longer supports the portable paths
were deprecated in JMRI 2.13. When loading a panel, an error message will be displayed
if the panel contains a path that starts with
resource: and the panel will
not load until changed using an external editor. Paths starting with
cannot be automatically flagged because JMRI allows file: URLs.
(Since JMRI 4.7.1) JMRI applications will not load a panel file that fails XML validation; an error will be shown that should explains the error, allowing it to be fixed using an editor. (The explanations remain a work in progress.)
(Since JMRI 4.7.1) The LocoNet Server (the LocoNetRMI service; not the LocoNetOverTcp service) in this version of JMRI doesn't properly interoperate with JRMI 4.6 or before. The workaround is to update both client and server JMRI machines to the same JMRI version. We expect this will be fixed in JMRI 4.7.5.
(Since JMRI 4.5.6) As part of fixing the TMCC throttle issue, the handling of TMCC preferences was changed. If you have a TMCC connection configured, please go to the "Defaults" pane in the Preferences window and make sure that the TMCC connection is selected for the appropriate device types.
(Since JMRI 4.5.2)This and future releases of JMRI may not function on OS X if the Java SE 6 provided by Apple is installed. OS X operating system updates routinely remove this version of Java SE 6. Please raise any issues concerning this on the user's group.
To remove Java SE 6 from OS X, follow these steps (these steps assume JMRI is installed in the folder /Applications/JMRI, if not, adjust the following paths as needed):
El Capitan only: Reboot into Recovery Mode by restarting your Mac and pressing Cmd-R until the Apple logo appears. Once in Recovery Mode, select Terminal from the Utilities menu.
/Applications/JMRI/PanelPro.app/Contents/Resources/uninstall-java6.shIt can take up to a half hour to complete. Wait for the message Removed Apple Java SE6.
El Capitan only: Run the command
bash /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Applications/JMRI/PanelPro.app/Contents/Resources/uninstall-java6.sh /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD
It can take up to a half hour to complete. Wait for the message Removed Apple Java SE6.
(Since JMRI 4.5.2)Support for directly executing AppleScript within JMRI has been removed due to changes in macOS and Java outside our control. If you require the ability to use AppleScript, you may be able to add this capability on your own by visiting JMRI AppleScript Support, but please be aware that this may not work on upcoming releases of macOS or Java.
(Since JMRI 4.5.1)Internal turnouts and sensors need to have complete, individual system names. The names "IT" and "IS" (without any suffix) are no longer permitted: "IT12" is fine, but just "IT" is not. Most panel files that contain these should automatically migrate them to new names when saved, but in some cases you might need to manually update them.
(Since JMRI 4.3.3) You can now set the order of your startup items: If you're opening panel files, running scripts, etc as the program starts up, there's a preferences pane that lets you easily set the order in which those happen. If you've set the order manually (e.g. by editing configuration files) in the past, please check this preference to make sure it's set the way you want.
(Since JMRI 4.1.2) Jython has been upgraded to version 2.7.0 with the following potentially breaking changes:
java.io.IOException: Mark invaliderror, set "jython.exec=true" in a custom python.properties file or rewrite the script to be less than 100,000 characters per file. Note that when using "jython.exec=true" it may be desirable to run the included script jmri_bindings.py as a startup action to emulate the evaluation environment used when jython.exec=false.
(Since JMRI 4.1.1) Decoder definitions that use the "ivariable" form are now deprecated. Definitions included with this release have been converted to the new form. If you have decoder definitions with the older "ivariable" form, they will no longer validate, but can still be used for the first couple of test releases in this series. Please ask on the JMRI Users group for help converting them, or just drop them and use the current definitions.
Please note that the download links in this and future JMRI releases link to Github servers. If that doesn't work for you, the files up to 4.11.x are also still available from the SourceForge.net servers. Please let us know of any problems.
DecoderPro now has two additional options for how it handles CV reads and writes. These are set via the Programmer section of the Roster preferences panel.
More detail: A single bad write with this option off trashes one CV; writing a bad index with this option off trashes the CV that was supposed to be written and the wrong one addressed by the bad write, but the write to the next CV in the sequence is OK due to the redundant next write of the index; writing a bad index with this option on leaves that badly-written index value in place, so writes a sequence of bad CV values. Bottom line: If working with a complicated decoder with lots of CVs, you need a reliable programming connection, see next option.
If you're having intermittent trouble writing to a decoder, this may improve reliability. If DecoderPro is never able to properly write, this won't help; it only helps if the problem is occasional, and retrying will get it right more often than not.
Some DCC systems will check for a "write acknowledge pulse" from the decoder before declaring the write a success. Those are almost as reliable as this, and much faster. So if you're using one of those DCC systems, this might not be needed. On the other hand, if you're using a DCC system that "writes blind", with no check, this might be really useful. To tell if you have one of those, try writing CVs with the locomotive off the track. If DecoderPro thinks the write succeeded, then the DCC system is writing blindly, without checking.
This doesn't help (but doesn't hurt) if you can't read back the decoder. Most DCC systems can't read during ops mode programming, for example. Some command stations (Digitrax DB150) can't read from the decoder. In those cases, this option just asks the command station to write without reading back.
Programming capability facades are little tools that are used to handle things like indexed CVs, special ways to write upper-address CVs not supported by a command station, etc. Previously, these would have trouble recovering when they encountered multiple errors. (This came up in the context of the time that the DCS240 command station takes to do writes, which JMRI thought was an error) This has now been greatly improved.
This option is under user control, see above, and defaults to off. If a decoder cannot do this, e.g. the index values really do have to be written every time, that should be signaled by setting "skipDupIndexWrite" to false in the decoder definition, see the documentation page.