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.

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.

60 comments on “We’re Still Here, Really!

  1. Austin is putting new UI into the sim for flight setup and airplane selection.
    Oooh, awesome. Dare I dream that it might obey the GUI conventions of at least one of the OSes X-Plane is available for?

  2. Great to see that you are still alive Ben. I didn’t think you had left, just that maybe you had won some tickets on a long cruise!

    Great list of updates by the way, and ones which will be gratefully received.

    Ben, regarding the clouds; I know that you have made improvements regarding Windows, but I am wondering if these tweaks will follow over to OSX? Clouds are still the main reason why I am sticking with version 9 of X-Plane (this on an 8GB iMac 2011). If you could maybe have a look at the ATI OSX clouds, then that would be super trooper.

    Cheers and good luck with the next update!!!


    1. OS X clouds are bound up by fill rate…at some point I have a fill rate optimization to put in for HDR mode – if you’re not in HDR run with a lower setting or turn down screen res. Unfortunately a number of Macs are fill rate limited by design. 🙁

      1. Ben, are you considering putting that fill rate optimization for HDR you mentioned in 10.10 or 10.20?

          1. Ben, even with 10% and no HDR, clouds are still the biggest killer on ATI macs. Changing resolution doesn’t really have that much of an impact. Setting everything to low (roads, trees, textures etc) and then flying into clouds just brings frames down to 12-16 which in turn kills any kind of immersion, because the user is having to concentrate on tweaking rendering settings (FSX anybody?)

            Now I know we can’t have everything, and I also know that macs aren’t the greatest games machines, but it would be nice to know that X-Plane could be fluid enough during all weather conditions (especially on a recent machine) without a user thinking, stuff this, I’ll install Parallels or Bootcamp and FSX.

            Surely, your magic wand has some spell or potion which hasn’t been tested yet?

            Maybe, eye of bat, chicken feathers of rare bird, mixed with blood of Microsoft? 🙂

            I know you’re working hard, so please don’t take this the wrong way.


    1. I know you post this question a lot on the X-Plane10 blog, so let me directly quote what Ben said:

      “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. “

  3. will there be faster clouds on Mac ATI hardware and loading speed? or is windows the only focus

  4. Good News !! tx for the hard work

    plz also do not forget a new meshtool for xp 10 !

  5. Do you think it will be possible to allow parallel landings and takeoff with ATC. Waiting a hour for all the plane to land/takeoff is quite long. Keep up with the great work!

    1. Ya, the ATC and AI needs to be worked on, because when you first load the game it spawns about half the amount of AI planes, on approach and the others all at one gate ready to taxi. So this means that you can be waiting hours before you eventually take-off. And most the time, planes that are on approach have to go around and you just see them crashing into ground.

      But ya that is a really good list of changes.
      Keep up the good work.


  6. 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.
    I wonder why? Does the OSX version leak more memory?

    1. No, but:

      1. the Windows drivers do more to keep textures out of user process space, which makes our memory go farther and
      2. a lot of our windows users are on win-64, which doesn’t reserve any process space for IO, so we effectively have more memory.

  7. If you fly past FL20 the ground textures on the horizon start to get really blurry, the higher you go the worst it gets. Is this on your bucket list ?

  8. Great to have news after all this time.

    Will power line towers still step on streets?

  9. Unfortunately, all those nice improvements are worth exactly nothing without XP10 being 64-bit. Maybe on Windows, but not on Mac.

    1. I always thought OSX eventually jumped to x64 only some time in the past… didn’t it?

  10. I know that X-Plane always was and will be a dynamic software that will get only better but reading about all new stuff under the hood, I haven’t seen a word on working on how the big cities look like.
    We all know that big cities look just like little town with small houses scattered around which is great for the country but not acceptable for the big cities.

    Ben, any plans on fixing that?

    I hope I am on the subject.

    Thank you for a great simulator, it is almost scary to think what is going to happen in years to come.


    1. Improvements in the cities are mostly dependent on three things (as mentioned in previous blog posts):
      – Making the road system not go nuts..that’s mostly fixed in 10.10 – I have a few more road bugs to fix probably mid-beta.
      – New building art assets.
      – New ground art assets.

      I don’t know what art assets will go out when, so I’m not saying anything yet.

      The only thing there is to say is that we have art guys working on this.

  11. Glad to know You’re Still Here 😉

    “Ultra Realistic Flight Simulator” it is said.
    Well not on network because it is “still” strange to see aircrafts flying with gears down or helos with with static wings.
    This is due because the CSL are in obj format since version 10 seems to not handle acf format on network at it did in version 8 and early 9.

    I know you’re working hard but would you take some time to consider that point ?

    1. That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
      – If you are not seeing correctly animated gear with X-Plane’s built-in networking, please file a bug.
      – If you are not seeing animated gear with a plugin that used to work, please talk to the author of the plugin.

      Note that XSB with OBJ-based CSLs has ___never___ had animation, because the very old code is still based on OBJ7.

    2. Don’t forget 747s taking off from ultra-short grass runways when talking about ultra-realism! That’s always a sight to behold.

  12. Ben,

    I am wondering if the developer wiki will be updated soon along with 10.10. I want to play with a few features, like normals for the ground terrain. I don’t think this is properly documented yet?

    If it is or you have info on this, especially how to configure the .ter file for use with normal maps I’d love to see that….. Pretty please…..

  13. Not exactly a bug, but related to scenery loading, so I thought this may fit here:

    when the sim has just finished loading, with the aircraft on the runway, if I go to the local map and then back using the close button (even without changing anything), the sim begins loading again (“Finishing asynchronous loading”), taking roughly the same time it takes for initial loading (3 minutes or more). This does not happen if I first takeoff and go to altitude. I’m using photoscenery.

    Why does it happen? Will the planned improvement in loading times influence this? If not, can be done something in the future to improve this?

    1. This is because scrolling the local map requires the sim to scroll in and out the 3-d. Note that this _only_ happens in _textured_ map mode! So if you can use a different map mode like sectional or “fast” then this won’t happen.

      1. Negative, I can confirm it happens even when the local map is in high-speed mode: X-Plane loads, I can even take-off, go to external view and do a 360 pan, then if I go to high-speed local map (without ever displaying other map modes, _nor scrolling or zooming_ the map), and then after I _close_ the local map screen, it goes into “Finishing asynchronous loading” for something like 2 minutes. It only happens the first time the local map is opened. Quite annoying, surely it’s something that can be optimized.

  14. Now you mention about new Joystick code, would it be possible being able to decouple some things from whether joystick is present or no? Namely the cross on the screen which shows if there’s no joystick attached and the auto rudder coordination.

    If there were at least a dataref to disable cross and auto coordination, we should be good to go!

    1. There are a number of existing datarefs that will hide that – enabling pfc yoke, as well as overriding the yoke, at least I think.

  15. any ideas or tutorial on how to create or modify a taxi routes within WED1.2 beta?

  16. Dear Ben,
    your a great specialist. Nice to hear that 64bit will come.
    Just one question – for me and my friends it’s hard to connect for multiplayer. Which ports do we have to open for X-Plane 9 or 10 to work perfect? TCP or UDP, or both?

    Thank you very much. Jeff

  17. Ben,

    Great to see you are still with us 🙂 those sound like very impressive changes in 10.10 and I can’t wait to see them!

    Do you know if the star field effect has been fixed when flying at night?? I do hope so because I fly at night alot and this is very strange looking…

    Take care and can’t wait 🙂

      1. That’s great news! I literally was searching for fixes to the bug and thought, “ya know, I haven’t been on the dev blog in a while. Lets see if they have any news on that front.”

  18. Good morning

    thanks for this post ! I was getting worried. I’m happy to see that we’re going to see some big improvement on ATI Hardware :-). One question that I hope will fit it. I am seeing blurred textures on runways. I’d say 100% of the time, when on a runway, textures that are… 50 feet ahead of me are blurry. Is this only on ATI Hardware ? was this ever reported before. IT is strange because the grass textures and other textures beside are not blurry. Only the runway, the center white lines, and edge lines they are clear and about 50 feet ahead.. they become blurry and yes I have max distance for textures.

    strange. but keep up the work !!

    thank you
    Patrick Bureau

    1. Discuss with other users – swap screen shots and rendering settings – then someone should report a bug IF there is one. Usually it’s a lack of anisotropic filtering or something. I don’t want to get into first level triage of this…

  19. Thanks for the update – good to hear that progress is being made on repairing/improving the scenery aspects of XP10. It wasn’t specifically mentioned in your update, but has there been any progress or plans advanced to update the OpenStreetMap data in the simulator?

    After looking at what was NOT in the OSM maps near my area, I made a slew of additions (lakes, polygon rivers, improved shorelines, roadway additions and improvements, etc.) which are important VFR landmarks. Aside from my own OSM work, I’m sure that there have been many beneficial improvements throughout the entire global OSM database which would improve the XP10 experience from it’s starting point.

    OSM’s condition at XP10’s release left a lot to be desired in my area and nearby, and it is one of the major limitations which has held me back. Any forward motion on this aspect of scenery would be welcome across the board, and might even entice more X-Plane users to improve their local areas in OSM as well.

    Any (good) news to report? (crossing fingers…)

      1. Thanks for the words – hopefully in the next couple of months a process for this can be put into motion. It would certainly be a newsworthy event!

  20. Ben –

    All great stuff, glad you guys are still grinding away!

    One suggestion for Chris, breakpad and crash reporting. It would be smart to have some sort of configuration setting so that this feature can be disabled if needed. For example, when I’m working on a plugin and I know the problem is at my end, you don’t need a crash log and I don’t need the hassle of telling a pop up “NO” when I don’t want to transmit. For repeated problems, this would eventually be one more contribution to frustration if a particularly gnarly bit of plugin code is presenting issues. A configuration switch would also be useful for systems that are not always connected to the web.

    Just my two cents for Chris.

    Thanks again…looking forward to all the goodies in 10.10!


  21. I purchased X-PLANE 10, but the simulator did NOT recognize my Microsoft Force Feedback Joystick 2 at all. So here I sit with a $ 75.00 worthless program I can’t use at all. Is the new upgraded X-PLANE 10-10 version going to automatically recognize joysticks like Microsofts Flight Simulator X does, or am I just screwed out of $ 75.00?

    1. Hi,

      no clue why you have such an agressive tone here. I use the Microsoft Force Feedback Joystick 2 with X-Plane 10. It works nicely, esp. for trimming.

      There is also a plugin “XForce” that adds ff effects for airplanes that have control force parameters set up.

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