WorldEditor 1.5 beta 3 is now available on the WorldEditor download page.
Besides a number of new features, WorldEditor 1.5 has much stricter validation checking; our is to get to a point where, if WED will export it, your scenery pack doesn’t have problems. This has two implications for the beta.
You’re Not Validating My Work!
If you haven’t tried a WED 1.5 beta, you may be surprised by how many validation errors WED finds. In particular, Ted coded a hot zone and runway analyzer that catches mistakes with taxi routes. It turns out that it’s really, really hard to get hot zones perfect by hand; even experienced WED authors who know all of the hot zone rules usually miss a few just due to the shear number of hot zones in a large airport and human error.
We have also seen airports on the gateway where the author clearly did not understand how hot zones were supposed to work at all.
We put the validation in because X-Plane’s ATC absolutely cannot function without properly marked hot zones; they are the only way that the ATC understands how airplanes are operating in the movement area. I think a significant amount of “weird ATC behavior'” will go away as we get better airport data that passes validation, and it will make the remaining real bugs easier to spot.
It’s not fun discovering that you have a big pile of problems to fix in your airport. To that end, we have been working on the docs to make sure that the ATC system is clearly documented, and we are now working on the validation messages themselves to make them more clear. If you find some part of the docs themselves that aren’t clear or have mistakes, please file a bug on the X-Plane Scenery Gateway’s bug reporter.
To be clear: airports already uploaded to the gateway with WED 1.4.1 will remain there, even if they fail validation; we’re not removing airports. But if you want to upload new work once WED 1.5 comes out, you will need to fix existing validation problems.
Who Will Validate the Validator?
The validation code may not actually be correct! People reported a number of high profile validation bugs, and they have been fixed in beta 3. But this doesn’t mean we have found all of the problems.
Please run your airport through beta 3, and if it fails validation, read the docs. If it seems like what you did is valid but WED is saying it is not, please file a WED bug on the X-Plane Airport Gateway’s bug reporter.
When WED 1.5 goes final, it will become the required version to upload airports to the gateway, so we want to be sure that the validation code is enforcing what we want enforced.