First, two quick notes on comments: all comments are moderated, so if you post a comment and it doesn’t appear, please don’t repost. Sometimes Chris and I are both out for a few days, and the comments sit there. Without moderation, WordPress-based blogs get the hell spammed out of them. Chris has also turned off commenting on very old posts. We’ve had a few cases of people digging out old threads to try to jump in to a discussion after the fact, but a lot of what goes onto the blog is time-sensitive – by the time a month is up, a newer post covers the topic in more detail.
Now on to tools: I have posted new release candidates for MeshTool, version 2.0 release candidate 6:
MeshTool has been in a “perpetual release candidate” state for a while. I think this is partly because we don’t eat our own dog food when it comes to MeshTool – the tool shares a lot of code with our default DSF generator but they’re not the same thing. Not surprisingly, the MeshTool code that is specific to MeshTool and not used for global scenery is where the bugs crop up.
So my thanks to those MeshTool users who have patiently sent me bug reports and reproduction cases – I’m hoping that this release candidate is final.
What’s Next for MeshTool
I think MeshTool will go in a few different directions over the next year:
- The scenery tools code is “branched”, with two forks. The older fork targets X-Plane 9, and the newer one targets X-Plane 10. I suspect we’ll eventually have to have two MeshTool versions, 2.xx for X-Plane 9 scenery, and 3.xx for X-Plane 10 scenery.*
- One logical next direction for MeshTool is to add “processing” features. For example, we have code to roughly flatten an airport area – useful when using SRTM data (where concrete runways make false radar returns that turn into tiny hills). This code could be made available from MeshTool.
- The other logical direction is to put a real user interface in front of MeshTool. Just like WED and OE provides graphical ways to place objects (where-as DSF2Text is low level), it would be easier to work with a mesh scenery if you could see your work, and have MeshTool run automatically in the background.
I don’t know what the time frame for future MeshTool work will be; future MeshTool work isn’t necessary to ship X-Plane 10 so it may have to wait a while.
* This is really not ideal, and it is not the way that most other compatibility will work. Wherever possible, I’m trying to make the tools simply work for both X-Plane 9 and 10 in a single tool. It’s less code for me, and more useful for you (because when we need two tools for two sim versions, inevitably one of the two tool versions will be less feature-filled than the other).