WED 1.1 beta 4 is now posted – see the Scenery Tools wiki for download links.  Thanks to Matthias for the patches to remember the hierarchy’s open/close state – I suspect a lot of users will appreciate this detailed touch.  Thanks also to the handful of users who tested some early versions of this beta – there are a bunch of big changes in beta 4 that needed a few tries to get right.  (If you find bugs in WED or any of the scenery tools, please report them here.)

This will hopefully be the last beta for WED 1.1, setting us up to move on to WED 1.2 with X-Plane 10 editing features; beta 4 contains three areas of improvement that had needed attention.

Correct Preview Order

WED used to preview scenery based on the order of your work in the hierarchy.  This isn’t so good because X-Plane has its own draw order based on layer groups.  The next beta will do a much better job of showing the final draw order that X-Plane will use, so you aren’t surprised when you view your exported scenery.

Saving Work When the Undo System Blows Up

There has been one data loss bug in WED that has persisted since version 1.0: if the undo system blows up, you get a nasty error (“WorldEditor has hit an error due to a bug.  Please report the following to Ben…”) and no chance to save.

The next beta will automatically save your work in a special file (earth.crash.xml) that you can use to get your work back in the event that the undo system blows up.

Why does WED crash like this at all?  The problem is that the undo system saves incremental deltas as you edit your project, to save memory (so we can have a gajillion levels of undo).  If the book keeping gets screwed up, we are hopelessly borked because with missing deltas we can’t ever get the project back to a state that makes sense.  Once we lose deltas, we’re lost.  The error dialog box pops up when it does so that we can know that the problem is with the undo system – otherwise we’d just have an inexplicable crash with no idea what went wrong.

When last I checked, there were only one or two users still seeing undo problems – I’ve added additional logging, so if you do see problems please file bugs!

Changing the File Format

WED 1.0 uses a database as its file format.  While this seemed like a good idea at the time, it has since proven to be a performance and maintenance problem.  The next beta of WED will use an XML file format.

WED 1.1 will still read the old database format (including the format used in previous betas), so you can open your old projects.  Projects saved in the new beta will not open in the older betas, but this is no surprise.

For the nerds: when I first started working on WED, I thought that it might be useful for WED files to be databases so that bulk operations could be performed on large quantities of data.  Since then I’ve realized that WED isn’t a GIS or spatial database app – rather it’s a modeling tool.  The new XML file format is basically a direct output of its internal editing-centric format.

About Ben Supnik

Ben is a software engineer who works on X-Plane; he spends most of his days drinking coffee and swearing at the computer -- sometimes at the same time.

6 comments on “Three New Things for WED

  1. I guess a large part of the new WED features also involve ATC, one way or another`?

    1. WED 1.1 does not have any version 10 features and it has no ATC features.

      WED 1.2 will have ATC ground layout editing as one of its new features. This code is already mostly written.

      1. By the way, I’d love it (and I guess many others would too) if Chris wrote a piece on what he’s been doing with ATC recently..could you ask him to? 🙂

        1. What is this ATC feature you speak of? Oh shoot! Is that what I’m supposed to be doing? 🙂

          Seriously though, I just got back from a much needed vacation and I’m still catching up on some stuff. I’ll do my best to write a post in the next week or so.

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