A few quick notes on 12.06-related chaos – it’s been a weekend.
Global Airport Errors
“Don’t rock the boat in a release candidate.” This is the lesson I should know, since I have cut at least 187 of them.
In 12.06rc1, we were missing HEKA (completely) and all of the airports at KLAS; the KLAS problem was due to a missing art asset. One of the multiple confounding factors in this bug is that the global airports don’t put up a “there was a problem with the scenery pack” pop-up message when art is missing. So, being the brainiac I am, I went “oh, that seems dumb, we’ll never know if the pack has problems, I’ll go fix that now”.
For 12.06rc2, I changed the policy so that the global airports would get a pop-up message like any other scenery pack that’s missing art.
As it turns out, the global airports are missing lots of objects – and probably have been for the entire X-Plane 12.0 run.
So coming soon to an installer you: X-Plane 12.06r3, which will be just like r2, but with the pop-up message turned off (just like the rest of the beta has been).
We have a more comprehensive plan to address these art asset issues for 12.07 – I’ll comment on why it’s important that missing scenery assets be errors in another post.
As a side note, it appears the most RCs we’ve had is X-Plane 9.40, which got up to release candidate 16 and took at least six weeks.
NVidia Users: No Zink For You (for a little bit)
In X-Plane 12.06r2 we have disabled Zink for NVidia users. We did this because there is an NVidia driver bug that interacts with Zink that will cause the sim to crash.
NVidia found the bug, is working on a fix, and they are quite responsive in pushing driver fixes. As soon as the fix is in non-beta drivers, we will change this from a “zink is banned” to a “you must have at least driver version x.y to run zink” message.
If you really really really want to run Zink on your NVidia card, you can still can, using these two steps:
- Raise your right hand and repeat after me: I, _____, solemnly swear that I want to crash my copy of X-Plane by running Zink with NVidia drivers before the driver fix is available. Let it be known to all of the X-Plane community that I do this of my own volition. I enjoy having my flight end abruptly with a crash report dialog box on short final, and I will not complain about this on r/flightsim.
- Run the sim with
AMD users: you are not affected by this, so Zink is still available. Enjoy this rare chance to make fun of your green team compatriots.
We Put the ‘No’ In NOAA
Over the weekend the real weather servers went down. While we usually blame NOAA for this kind of thing, this one was super embarrassing: the server ran out of disk space (and the disk space monitor didn’t notify our ops team). The ultimate cause, I suspect, was that it was labor day weekend in the US, e.g. “a really good weekend for infrastructure issues.”
This isn’t the first real weather outage we’ve had this year, and for this reason we have a replacement weather server in development. The replacement will be able to serve the least old weather correctly when NOAA has a maintenance outage (instead of just 404ing everyone) and will hopefully clean its cache out correctly.
(The caching problem is slightly harder than it sounds: we do want to retain some old real weather files for test cases and bug reproduction. But we need to purge most of it to keep the server from filling up.)
If 12.06 rc3 is final, we’ll let it sit a little bit and then start private testing of X-Plane 12.07. The X-Plane 1.206 beta has taken quite a bit longer than we wanted, so 12.07 is intentionally a smaller release – about half the size in terms of code change. That’s still a lot of new stuff (and a topic for yet another separate blog post).
If 12.06rc3 is not final, I will set myself on fire.