First: X-Plane 10.04 rc3 is live – please grab it – make sure to check “get betas” to get this patch! (If you are already using 10.04 betas, simply go to the About box to update.) Because this is a release candidate (we think it’s good to go but we’re not sure) you must still check “get betas” – that check box should really be “get crazy experimental stuff that is not yet officially released to the world.”
I think we are reaching the point where we can slow down the rate of patches just a bit. Like past X-Plane releases, the first patches came out fast and furious, because we wanted to get critical bug fixes to as many users as possible. We are now reaching a point where we can slow down and get more done between each beta, which I think will mean better rate of improvement for the sim overall.
Of course, if we get a really huge bug fix (e.g. an ATI performance boost or a fix for NVidia start hangs) we’ll cut a tiny patch off of 10.04 immediately; our source control system lets us do an incremental update very easily.
So with the next patch we will be able to work on some bigger bugs:
- I think the next patch won’t be a full 64-bit patch, but it will contain a lot of the ground-work to get 64-bit working. We’ve already started on this code; by splitting it over two patches we can more rapidly deal with any kind of incompatibility introduced by the newer code. (Our goal is of course to make sure that any machine running 10.04 can run the 32-bit version of X-Plane when we support both bit depths.)
- Austin received a lot of feedback about the UI while we were in Mallorca, and he has already started this work, although I am not sure what will be released when.
- I will be digging into “Galloping Gertie” (our internal name for the many weird shapes the roads take when the road-placement code goes haywire). This is going to require some pretty major work to the road generation code, but of course it’s a critical fix.
- While the volume of complaints about performance have gone down, there are still one or two performance tuning changes I want to get into the sim.
There are only about four things I work on when I am in the office: performance, fixing bugs, developer tools, and the installer. Hopefully with 10.04 installer work is done for a while and I can get one major area off my plate. This should leave more time for developer tools and documents, which I try to leave a fixed amount of time for every week.