So I just realized that it’s been a full month since I’ve posted anything on the dev blog, which is a bit ridiculous since we’re working on a ton of stuff for 10.10 and a number of announcements have also come out in the computer industry. I’ll try to catch up on various topics over the next week.
Where Is 10.10???
I’m pretty sure that that’s the money question: where is 10.10? The answer is: we are working on it, mainly fixing bugs pre-beta. When will the public beta program start? I don’t know – that will be determined by how quickly we can knock out some of the current bugs. My view is that it’s a waste of everyone’s time to go beta on 10.10 with known bugs that we can fix without going beta – going beta too soon means users waste their own time reporting bugs we know about, and we are distracted from fixing those bugs with the task of going through the duplicate reports.
64 Bit – Not Yet!
I think we’ve described this road map before, but in case there is any confusion let me be absolutely clear:
X-Plane 10.10 will not be 64 bit!
We have already made significant progress toward a 64-bit X-Plane and we will continue working on this front. But the plan was never to ship 10.10 with 64 bit support. Rather, X-Plane 10.10 ships with a number of changes to our compilers (as well as a ton of other stuff). The next major patch (10.20) will support 64 bit on all three platforms at once, and we will know that any problems will be due to the 64-bit-ness (and not the changes to compiler, runtime, makefiles etc.) because those will have been vetted in 10.10.
The reason to ship 10.10 in 32-bit is to get out all of the other changes we’ve made so far.
What’s In 10.10
This is not a complete feature list – when we do the first public beta we’ll run through our source control log to scrape out all changes. But here are some fairly big things:
- Austin is putting new UI into the sim for flight setup and airplane selection.
- Roads don’t shoot up in the sky anymore – crazy road grids was always a problem in how X-Plane showed the data, not the data itself. This change may also improve the stability of the sim.
- Chris has integrated “breakpad“, an open source automatic crash reporting system. The vast majority of the bug reports we receive are crash reports, and of them, the vast majority are missing critical files we need to understand what crashed. Automatic crash reporting should both save users time in reporting (you just have to click “ok” when X-Plane asks you if you want to send the bug to LR) and let us dig in with complete file information.
- 10.10 includes faster clouds on ATI hardware on Windows.
- This build moves us to new compiler setup – while this is an internal change, it should mean faster load times on Windows.
- 10.10 fixes some stability problems in 10.05r1. I don’t think the early betas will be great for long flights, but I think 10.10 will in total be better on this front. (But note: a lot of the crash reports we get are due to running out of memory. You can’t run X-Plane at the edge of your memory limits for 10 hours of flight – at some point it will go over. This particularly applies to Mac users.)
- Chris has rewritten the low level joystick code; while this was suppose to be ‘just the hardware’ code (with new UI coming in 10.20) it looks like one aspect will go live in 10.10: you can plug and unplug your joysticks while you fly without restarting the sim.
The artists have been working this entire time and we’ve built up a pretty good pile of art assets to ship too – I’m not going to try to enumerate them right now because I’m not up to date on what they’ve created.
Third Party Airplanes
One goal I have for 10.10 is to close out all of the bugs that are stopping authors from converting their payware add-on planes from X-Plane 9 to 10. Some of these are already fixed and some are still on my todo list. I’ll post more about some of the stickier remaining issues in another post.