The next X-Plane 10.30 beta should be out tonight (or maybe tomorrow morning); the release notes are already updated with the latest fixes, and we’re just waiting on upload.
There were some “boneheaded” bugs in beta 1 – things that just didn’t work, should have worked, and were easily fixed; we have addressed all of those that were reported for beta 2. Despite about half a dozen boneheaded bugs, I actually think the quality of public beta 1 – relative to the amount of source change – was pretty strong. Remember that 10.30 has perhaps 2x the amount of code change of a normal major patch, so if there isn’t too much nuclear then I think we’re doing okay.
Aircraft Authors: please test beta 2! I think we may be able to keep 10.30′s beta period down to 4 weeks, which is a lot shorter than normal. And the remaining bugs are all in clouds and performance, so please do not wait to test your aircraft. Eugeny contacted me on problems with the A320 Neo on beta 1, and we have X-Plane fixed for beta 2. Don’t wait!
Performance: there have been all sorts of performance comments from users. I think there are three separate things going on:
- For general use, X-Plane 10.30 is faster than 10.25.
- X-Plane 10.30′s clouds are definitely slower/more fill rate intensive than 10.25.
- There’s something wrong with some combination of AMD drivers and 10.30 that can cause total framerate death.
I am investigating both points 2 and 3, but neither are fixed for beta 2; we wanted to get some of the stupid things fixed ASAP (e.g. the ATIS not working).
To make matters worse, my PC’s SATA controller seems to have finally lost it’s mind. Philipp had to cut the Windows build, and this has halted me from investigating AMD performance problems. (In my initial tests I couldn’t repro anything but now I’m stuck.)
Clouds: The other area of bug fixing on my plate that simply isn’t addressed in beta 2 is the cloud locations; several users have correctly reported that the bases of the clouds are simply not where they expect. Since there is an unfortunate link between rendering settings and fixing this bug (if the puffs we use to visualize clouds change, it effectively moves the cloud bases) I have to fix both cloud performance and cloud bases at the same time.
The expected behavior for the clouds, I think, is that if you set a stratus layer with no storms and fly an ILS, you should “break out” (that is, make visual contact with the runway environment) right around the elevation set in the weather screen. (This is not what is happening now, which is why there is an open bug.) If you set more ‘creative’ weather, X-Plane will start to vary things and you won’t get “reliable” break-outs.
METARs: One last note on weather: if you find that X-Plane has misinterpreted a METAR (and my sympathy is with X-Plane, because METARs just contain the most random stuff in them sometimes), then please be sure to include in your bug report:
- The actual METAR.rwx file! No METAR file, no way we can possibly debug. To everyone who has sent METAR files, thank you!
- The location of the aircraft. A fairly precise latitude/longitude, or a FIX or navaid that you are over is good. The easiest is when you are at an airport and can send us an ICAO code.
- A description of what weather you actually got.
X-Plane 10.30 does have a new METAR parser so we’re trying to catch the bugs.
Airports and DSFs: we are looking at including both some fixed DSFs and additional 3-d airports in 10.30. Both depend on the tech being ready; the airport gateway is in the deployment phase and if it goes smoothly, we could be ready to post airports. I’m still trying to get to the bottom of DSF bugs, but I am close. If either of these content updates miss 10.30, we’ll release them in a small patch as soon as possible.