The title says it all: it’s too soon to update your add-on to X-Plane 11.
Here is why: if your add-on does not work with X-Plane 11, you (and we) do not know if this is because of an intentional removal of functionality (some of which has happened) or because of a bug.
If the problem is a bug and you modify your add-on to work around the bug, it’s very likely that a future public beta will simply break this new work and you would have been better off with the old functionality.
Updating to X-Plane 11 and the public beta need to follow some specific steps:
- Testing and discovery. If you have an add-on, please do test it and report bugs and incompatibilities. X-Plane is incredibly complex and there are almost infinite combinations of features used in add-ons, so we can’t just look at the code and go “oh, X will work, Y will not” – sometimes we get surprised. The bug feedback we’ve gotten so far has been great.
- Official Statements of Deprecation. We (LR) will provide solid guidance on things that are specifically removed and may require updates.
- Updating add-ons. Once you know that an old feature is gone that you relied on, it is “safe” to invest in updating the add-on to use new tech, because you know the old feature is gone for good.
We have tried to keep good notes internally and we’ll get them posted as soon as we can. In the meantime, please hold off on reinventing parts of add-ons until it’s safe to do so.
Here is a short list of a few things that are and are not deprecated that have come up a lot with third party planes.
A few things on the “gone” list:
LIT panel backgrounds: _LIT panel backgrounds are gone in X-Plane 11. They look bad and have been obsolete since X-Plane 8. If you used the _LIT panel for 2-d lighting, make a -2 or -3 or -4 2-d overlay for lighting. If you need 3-d lighting, use 3-d cockpit lights in PlaneMaker.
3-d Panels: The panel texture, when used in a 3-d cockpit, is always built out of a day and night texture in X-Plane 11. If you used ATTR_cockpit_region or GLOBAL_cockpit_lit you were already getting this behavior in X-Plane 10. If you use GLOBAL_cockpit without ATTR_cockpit_region, your panel will be lit when it was not before.
The fix for authors is to put 3-d lights into the cockpit in Plane-Maker to cast light on the panel, and to use real instrument lighting (glass or additive/mechancial o the instruments themselves).
Gamma: X-Plane 11 does not support the old Mac 1.8 gamma from OS X 10.5.8 and 2008. If you have PNGs at 1.8 gamma you’ll need to convert them to sRGB. If you have DDS at 1.8 gamma, re-grind them with the latest X-Grinder. All authoring for X-Plane 11 (and 10) should be sRGB.
All of these removed features have had better replacements for at least five years, the replacement techniques are fully compatible with X-Plane 10 (or even 9), and produce significantly better results than the old techniques.*
Here are some things that are not supposed to be broken:
XPLMNavigation API: the XPLMNavigation API is now “powered” by the new FMS on aircraft saved in X-Plane 11’s Plane-Maker; however, our intention is full API compatibility. There are some known cases in X-Plane 11 public beta 2 where working XPLM code will fail with the new XPLM. Philipp has some fixes that should help in public beta 3 and beyond.
If we find that there are uses of the XPLM API that we cannot support, we’ll post docs in the future, but to start with we’re assuming that these are compatibility bugs.
Other Panel Stuff: other than two-texture 3-d panels and lit backgrounds, nothing else is deprecated in the panel system; transparency in panels was fixed in public beta 2. If you use ATTR_cockpit_region or GLOBAL_cockpit_lit in X-Plane 10 with no _LIT panel background, you should see identical results in X-Plane 11; if you don’t, please report a bug.
If you are looking at upgrading your add-on now, hopefully this list gives you some guidance as to where to spend time vs. where to wait.
Finally, the dataref list that ships with X-Plane 11 public betas reflects the included beta list. If a dataref has been removed and your add-on depends on it, please file a bug and try to describe what problem you were trying to solve with that dataref. We may be able to restore it or provide a reasonable work-around.
* One of my concerns about the public beta has been the number of aircraft I have seen that were developed or updated in the last year or two and yet use authoring techniques that were in the “obsolete but supported” bucket for X-Plane 10. The window of compatibility where we provide support for old and new features doesn’t help if people don’t migrate.