My son is five and he really wants to participate in conversations at dinner. “Daddy, what are you talking about?”

So I tried to explain to him that we had worked all week to get X-Plane 10.50 beta 3 ready and that we wanted it to be really good, and then at the last minute we discovered it was broken, so we had to go back and fix it and try again.

Gabe: What are you going to do if it’s broken again?

Me: Probably cry.

Gabe: No!  Daddy, you’re not going to do that! I said no joking!

Me: No, I’m being totally serious. I’m going to sit down in that corner and wimper with my head in my hands.

X-Plane 10.50 beta 3 fixed a lot of big bugs – several crash bugs fixed, etc. It unfortunately also had a small problem where it wouldn’t start without blowing up. (This one got by us because it only happens at some airports, and it requires a clean release machine to see- it doesn’t happen on developer machines or some of the more heavily loaded installs that Jennifer tests with. The breaking change also went in late in the game, and thus missed screening.)

So we turned around beta 4, and if it’s unusable, I’ll have to reconsider my life choices.

Crash Fixes!

We fixed three high profile crashes in X-Plane 10.50 beta 3 (now available to you without brain damage in beta 4):

  1. Crashing at DSF load time if a DSF mesh has a crack in it.Apparently some G2XPL-made meshes have tiny hairline cracks in them. They’re almost impossible to see but they were enough to crash the road code. DSF mesh cracks are illegal (per the DSF spec) but X-Plane now handles them anyway; I don’t think anyone wants to stop using this category of scenery.
  2. Crashes reading real weather when the .grib2 files are missing on Windows. I’m not sure of all of the different ways this was happening, but it should be fixed.
  3. There was a memory scribble in the scenery loading code for some scenery pack configurations.

That last one is in its own category of badness. A memory scribble is when a piece of X-Plane code just goes off and writes over random memory (in X-Plane’s memory space – X-Plane can’t splat the memory of other apps on your computer). Once this happens, pretty much anything can explode at any times ,and often it does.

We can’t know how many of the crashes we were seeing via auto-reporting were due to the scribble, so:

  • Please do get X-Plane 10.50 beta 4!
  • If you reported a crash bug and you still are getting a crash in beta 4, please re-report it.
  • Please keep on auto-reporting crash bugs on Windows and Linux – this is hugely helpful. The auto-crash reporter gives us a statistical picture of what’s going on with the beta.

Scenery and Aircraft Authors: I think 10.50 beta 4 should be stable enough to look at your add-ons; airport lights should be fixed and working normally, scenery should not be crashing, and missing taxiways are fixed.

Scenery authors in particular: 10.50 contains extensive changes to the rendering engine under the hood, so please take a careful look at your scenery packs and make sure they haven’t mysteriously changed in how they look compared to 10.45.

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.

61 comments on “X-Plane 10.50 Beta 3 is Dead, Long Live Beta 4

  1. “So we turned around beta 4, and if it’s unusable, I’ll have to reconsider my life choices.”

    Nooo way! It’s beta … and this particular life choice of yours has awesome spinoffs for people like me. 😉

    Keep on keeping on Ben.

    Cheers,

  2. Glad to hear things are starting to shape up! Don’t give up! I know it seems like an incredibly agitating state of the simulator right now, but sometimes we need to go through bad phases to get to great ones!

  3. Just completed an east coast route that was a guaranteed CTD during all of the 10.45 run. All VA scenery installed. Landed in KBOS. By George I think ya got it mate.

  4. Your doing a great job. I appreciate what you are doing for my hobby. When I get home from a long day at work, I look forward to relaxing and flying. Every week X Plane gets better, because of hard working people like you. Please keep up the great work. Know that people do appreciate what you do. Your work is important to us. Thank You !

  5. Hello,
    FSGRW works so far, but there is no wind speed and direction displayed. Otherwise, ever thank you.
    Best wishes.

      1. Hi Ben,

        Do you need to pay Valve to release beta versions on Steam?

        I really don’t mind using beta software even if it still has an error, this is part of the beta software.

        1. No, it’s not a finance issue, it’s a work-load issue. Putting the betas out on Steam simultaneously would double the work-load of cutting each beta build, and that time is already a limiting factor on the beta process.

  6. Ben…not sure this is a x-plane bug..so I’m will not report it in the bugs website.
    Since 10.50b came out the JAR a320 became unusable since the the aircraft goes full trim UP few seconds after take off and makes it basically impossible to fly. Do we have to deal with JAR or something has changed in the xplane code that we should wait to be fixed before raising the issue to JAR?

  7. Notwithstanding expected bugs I’m loving 10.50.. I’ve had 2 rw lessons but until my mortgage is paid off if I want the real feeling of flight I can either throw myself off a cliff with home brew bat wings – or boot up x-plane 10. Imo other sims, however pretty, just don’t cut the mustard. Bravo LR

  8. You guys rock! Thank you very much for all the effort and this great sim!

    Ben, pleas never cry because of bugs inside any software otherwise you never will stop crying. 🙂

  9. Memory scribble, I like that. Valgrind to the rescue! On Linux anyway.

    Interesting that you mention that meshes should not have gaps. I’ve found a couple in the AlPilotx meshes as well. IIRC, those meshes are created by meshtool. Could there be a bug in meshtool that generates gaps?

    1. Not Valgrind, ASAN! Joshua once tried to use Valgrind on X-Plane – it was so slow that after 25 minutes he had barely gotten the startup screen.

      ASAN caught this immediately, and runs the sim with custom scenery at 10 fps in debug mode…if you know about valgrind, that kind of performance is -unreal-. The diagnostic output is great too; I’m going to post a hacksoflife post about it because I’m so impressed with ASAN.

      1. I was wondering, Do LR have XP10 version with ASAN compiled into its executable ? I just read this on the LLVM site:

        The AddressSanitizer run-time library should be linked to the final executable, so make sure to use clang (not ld) for the final link step

        Or you use other technique in order not to use LLVM (although in last XCode version I think they do use CLANG).

        If so, wouldn’t you think it would be productive to allow developers the option to compile plugins with the ASAN build, or do I just need to link it with a plugin and it should be enough.

        This is just a thought…

        1. We do use ASAN and it is FREAKING AWESOME. ASAN caught the memory scribble on scenery load that was in beta 2.

          Regarding use of it with plugins…first it’s a little bit tricky, because the production x-plane comes off of an OLD tool chain that supports the minimum system requirements of v10; when we bump the supported minimum OS we’ll rev the tool chain. So an ASAN build would come from a very different environment and that can introduce it’s own issues. (I had a fire drill that I had broken all of Carenado’s plugins in pre-beta..turned out it was an incorrect linker setting in the non-production modern-xcode project; since we never ship that we didn’t notice the error.)

          In terms of using ASAN, I’m not sure how well it works with mixed code; we can run an ASAN x-plane with the non-ASAN XPLM and the sim runs fine, but since we’re the “host” we get to decide what libs are loaded, etc. So a plugin author -might- be able to enable the ASAN runtime from command line and have x-plane ignore it; the result would be faster than having X-Plane with ASAN on but also it would catch fewer bugs.

      2. Just Googled “ASAN” to learn about the debugging tool… though the first few search results are simultaneously confusing and encouraging, they are not exactly related to memory leaks (at least not of the silicon-based variety *sorry*)… am I missing something?

    2. AlilotX (me) has never used MeshTool, but its big, bad, ugly brother RenderFarm (of course, they are still close relatives 😉 ). And gaps … well, the only place where I have seen gaps are sometimes at the edge of scenery tiles (where two adjacent tiles meet). Especially if those adjacent tiles are from different scenery sets (maybe one from HD Mesh Scenery v3, the other from default Global Scenery) then indeed there can easily be some misalignments between height values etc … …

      1. LMAO – I like the notion of RF as MeshTool’s big ugly older brother. I’m assuming that RenderFarm drives a motorcycle and is in a gang. It certainly sometimes has attitude… 🙂

      2. In my case I recall two. One around the corner from Milford Sound, which would make it right on the 168E border. All tiles from the NZ Pro set.

        A little while ago I found one in one of the Greek isles (probably Crete). This could easily have been a tile border as well.

  10. I cant make Real Terra Haze plugin to work in 10.50, and tried all betas. Something changed in effects or lua?
    Except RTH, everything works great for now in b4. I cant notice show stopping problems. Tnx!!!

    1. RTH uses unsupported private art controls; if it doesn’t work, please report this to the author, who can discuss his options with me. We can’t guarantee compatibility for add-ons that depend on the art controls as an “interface” -it’s not an SDK.

    2. Please check the comments on the RTH download page on x-plane.org
      There are some solutions proposed that work.

      As Ben wrote, RTH does something “not quite legal”, so there is always a risk it won’t work with a new version of XP.

      One of the many great things about X-Plane is, that LR still lets us do these things, though it causes them some hassle with every release I guess.
      In my eyes especially this openness makes X-Plane as awesome as it is. : )

  11. Ben I am really quite taken by your post here! Besides being a very gifted individual you have revealed here that you are human! Sometimes things really suck and than they turn out to be really wonderful! X plane 10.50 is going to be wonderful thanks to you and your crew! It just isn’t finished with it’s tantrums yet!

    All of you at LR are incredible and are what makes X Plane stand alone.

    I dare say the whole X Plane world is watching and rooting for a happy outcome!

  12. You’ve done something sneaky in 10.50 that is letting me run at rendering settings that used to invoke slideshow mode.

    I’m impressed

  13. As best I can tell so far, beta 4 appears to be what is here referred to here as hitting one out of the park! It delivers on everything promised for 10.50 and that’s saying a lot. It seems to do everything more efficiently. This is why we think so much of you. Mighty Ben, you’ve returned joy to Mudville tonight!

    Gary

  14. I’ve filed a few bug reports with b4 and sent in some crash reports as well, but this is feeling very close to a release candidate to me! Overall things feel smoother and everything looks fantastic! Looking forward to getting my hands on the WED 10.50 editor and improving how the airports function. Really love the new KLAX and how easy it is on the framerates.

  15. Thank you for tremendous improvement to ATC in 10.50! No more “you’re off course” incessantly and I was finally vectored properly to a landing. One request, however, that should be easy to satisfy: is it possible to “space out” or “slow down” the repetitions of taxi instructions (when not adhering to the ones given – which easily happens at airports with very erratic yellow help-paths and no taxi signs whatsoever), which come at such a rapid rate that it is almost not possible to repeat them.

    1. Yes – please file a bug – preferably including the -entire- list of ATC requests that get repeated too quickly. They’re all really tightly spaced – Chris flies in NY airspace in real life sometimes.

      1. Yep, anywhere near a bravo (or 3 in the case of NY airspace), the controllers all seem to machine-gun instructions; however, the sim does not need to be totally realistic 😉

  16. Hi Ben, hi everyone at Laminar!
    I got 10.50 up and running today. This is probably THE upgrade the X-plane community has been waiting for for years. It is absolutely great and beautiful! Thank you so much for your hard work!
    The new autogen is fabulous. I looked at Honolulu before and after 10.50 and the difference is out of this world! The performance is incredible, I love the new populated airports!
    Unfotunately data in europe seems to be of much less good quality (as you stated above), but I have strong believe that one day Andras will enhace his HD-Mesh series with an adapted version with europe OSM high data.
    I do have one remark though that I never liked about default X-plane: the standard city ground textures. With the stadard textures my home city looks like built on dirt, sand and concrete slabs. This in no way represents reality. Parks and a “base green” seem to be missing.
    I like to exchange the textures with Urban Maxx 3D and an alternative texture pack. I am happy with this solution, but I know Laminar could do better “out of the box”…
    Ben, may I send you my 3 pictures to give you an inpression of what I am talking about here?
    Best regards and whiches for the progress of the beta run!
    Cheers, Alexander

  17. I´m not sure, if this is a bug, but when I tried 10.50b4 my intention was to fly from Frankfurt am Main EDDF to Dubai OMDB. My SSG 747-8 FMC didn´t find runways 18 and 36. Runways 7 and 25 were there by double. When I went back to version 10.45 runways 18 and 36 were on FMC. Bug or something on airport data ?

    1. If you are using an FMC that is third party (and if your FMC knows about runways it is third party) then you need to take this up with the author of the FMC. The author of the add-on can contact me directly to sort out compatibility issues.

  18. Ben, thank you for the re-order of ATIS/AWOS info!! Getting winds upfront is what I always expect when tuning in and now X-Plane presents in the same order as those real world info services. Well done!

  19. First off b4 is beyond nice. I do not know if you all tweaked something or if it is a mistake (I sure hope not) but the brakes in b4 are just awesome, much more realistic on taildraggers. They come to a nice slow stop with a little grab at the end, unlike before where that little grab was violent and could nose you over.

    1. In Plane-Maker, move the tail-dragger’s CG down and aft. I tried this on a pylon racing P-51 Mustang, ” Precious Metal ” & a Piper Super Cub with huge tundra tires. This modification stopped both planes from nosing over when applying the brakes on the taxiway or when landing on the runway.

      1. Nope, spent far to long to get CG correct for flight model, not going to mess that up just to fix braking issues, that seemed to be fixed in b4.

        1. Andrew, you might try increasing the landing gear rolling coefficient of friction from 0.025 to 0.110 like I did on my tail draggers and that made a huge difference in the handling of the aircraft when taxiing, takeoff & landing.

  20. Did he try to cheer you up with the Java joke at least?

    (Great running into you guys in person for the first time at FSCon!)

  21. Oh! No more slideshows to show the fam lol…Great work Ben. Aside from a few quirks, one which I dutifully reported, this beta is simply fantastic and amazing! thanks for your commitment and hard work. You give us simmers a hobby (and learning tool) that keeps our brains in gear 🙂
    Merci!

  22. Hi Ben.

    I think this is no Bug more a warning due to incombatibility, that’s why im posting it here.
    If you have a modified cloud_puffs.glsl shader file 10.50b4 will freeze as soon as cloud layers appear. No log has been created it just froze and i had to hard quit it. (I’m on OSX btw) First i thought it’s a new bug but after i decided to overwrite every file in the ressources folder it wen’t away. After multiple test i concluded it has to be my modified shader file.
    So everyone having freeze problems might want to check their modified cloud folders.

    Cheers
    Merlin

    1. This was aimed at Randy Shore above, it just did not reply right, user error for sure.

  23. Hey Ben, I am a little confused on when/ where the new art assets for US cities are supposed to appear?a

    I believe I read somewhere before that this wont overlap , or disable custom packs; I see this to be true.

    However, for cities I do not have scenery installed ( airports yes, but city, no) such as Denver, Peoria Illinois, Boise – I do not see any buildings that were shown in the NYC images. my settings are set to “tons”

    am I mis understanding ? thanks

  24. 10.50b4 looking good. Personally speaking as a casual flight simmer, the most interesting updates for me are the inbuilt ATC fixes as I don’t use the online multi-player ATC’s.

    One question/request:

    I was doing an IFR flight today to an airport with ILS and non-ILS runways and was given a non-ILS runway for landing. Is there a way to instruct ATC to give me another runway as I wanted to do an ILS approach? I seem to remember FSX had an ATC instruction requesting a different runway. If not, is there any other way to preset the destination runway for the ATC and are there any plans to implement this feature.

    Thanks.

    1. You can’t request the destination runway with ATC but you can control it by one of:

      1. Changing the weather (if the airport has multiple airport “flows” or)
      2. Editing the airport in WED and simply changing (or adding) the flow information.

      If the airport has no flow info and you want a runway, it’s relatively easy to pick a runway – you just need to add one flow with no wind, time or vis rules and one runway for all equipment types (takeoff and landing).

      We may add “pick a runway” someday, but this is also a little bit tricky – if the airport is -in use- by the AI aircraft with a different runway, the runway you want might be out of flow.

      1. Thanks for the tips. Never used WED so I’ll look into this.

        As I don’t have any real-life piloting experience I can only imagine asking for a runway change from a non-ILS to an ILS runway would normally happen due to low visibility or a non-experienced pilot feeling uncomfortable landing an airline jet without ILS aid. The specific airport I was approaching was LLBG which, in x-plane, has two ILS runways and a non-ILS runway. I imagine in real-life, ATCs would normally always give airline jets ILS preference at such an airport. Is this modeled in the AI? (i.e. does the AI give any ILS runway priority based on the plane charactertistics – e.g. 737 vs a Cessna)?

        Thanks.

        1. I can’t speak to Ben Gurion, but I can tell you a -lot- about KBOS, which could give you some indication of what life is like at a large international airport servicing heavy jets and commuter props with dense traffic.

          1. You really only fly into the airport because you need to land there. I actually heard a student pilot request touch & go’s at KBOS (who the hell was his instructor?!?!) on a Friday afternoon, and it took the approach controller 3 tries to understand controller to even understand the request because it’s so ridiculous…it would be like learning to parallel park in the Indi 500 during a race. Suffice it to stay, the student was denied.

          2. The only reason you would change runways is due to operational concerns…e.g at KBOS if they are mostly departing 7000 foot runways and you are a very heavy heavy, you can request the arrival runway for departure because it’s longer (10k feet). You can also request one of the inactive crossing runways (for departure, not arrival) and amazingly they will give it to you…but really only if it makes -ATC’s- job easier. In other words, if you were going to request the long runway (which you can demand because your heavy jet needs it) maybe they’ll give you a weird one – whatever gets more planes out faster).

          3. If you’re flying an airliner jet, you are by definition not an inexperienced pilot. Pilots do request ILSes because sometimes airlines require them to fly a certain number of ILS periodically for practice. But if the airport is busy and more planes are going to land if the airplane can take the visual approach, that’s what you’re getting.

          4. In real life, at least at big international airports, everyone gets to land but no one gets to practice. So it’s not that the 737 has priority, but as a C172 you can do things the 737 can’t, e.g. land on a 1/4 mile final. The VATSIM guys had a recording of a C172 pilot trying to land runway 27 at KBOS – this is a case where they have to put the C172 down the airliner’s runway, and the results are … interesting to listen to. ATC continuously asks the C172 pilot to “keep the speed up”, and the C172 pilot says he doesn’t want to “miss the runway”. The issue is that there’s an MD80 coming up on the C172’s tail .. ATC has put a huge space between them and it’s getting smaller since the MD80 is going over 2x as fast as the Cessna. So in real life as the C172 pilot you’re going to get brought in to the runway at a funny angle and you’ll be asked to make a crazy turn on final to keep you flying for a long time at slow speed on the final approach course. On departure, you’ll be turned off runway heading immediately to make room for other airplanes.

          Anyway, none of this is modeled in the x-plane AI ATC. The AI ATC simply runs the flows it gets from WED. If there are no flows, it picks flows based on whatever the longest wind-aligned runway is.

          1. very interessino and useful insights!

            one other question on the ATC … Is there a command to read back ATC instructions or can it be added in a future release? It is sometimes a bit cumbersome to hit enter, navigate with cursor and hit enter again, especially when flying the approach … I’ve sometimes mistakenly cancelled the IFR flight instead, just because the two are close to one another … it would be nice to be able to bind the read back to a joystick button and do this in an easier way (yes I know this wouldn’t be possible IRL …)

          2. We can add that at some point – that’s something I’ve thought about adding at some point.

            If you have a hat switch you can navigate the menu from the hat switch.

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