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:

  1. 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.
  2. Run the sim with --zink

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.)

What’s Next

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.

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.

50 comments on “X-Plane 12.06 – Third Time is a Charm

  1. Not gonna lie. I know this is not a wildly popular use-case, but it was tough seeing the metric ton of files LR’s server has been storing up for the past calendar year and know that historical weather replay isn’t an option, if even somehow using a sequence of metars/gribs that I’ve saved on my own.

    1. Yeah, we’ve never pursued historical because the data history to make this esoteric feature work would be _really_ huge. Like, historical, up to 4 weeks, isn’t all that historical.

      1. 4 weeks will already be a huge step forward. You have the chance to save the state with planes that support it and continue the next day.

        1. An option to wind back the weather over the past 24hrs would be good. I would like to fly with real weather in my local area, but my opportunity to go flying is limited to evenings. This means real weather is whatever is happening outside, in the cold dark night…would be nice to be able to get out in the warm sunny weather I had that afternoon. I could configure weather manually, but an option to access weather from past 24 hours would be far simpler and much better.

  2. Ben, your blog posts are half the fun of being an X-Plane user. Thank you so much for the info and laughs. I’ve missed these!

  3. Sometimes such unlucky moments happen, it was in beta after all!

    According to roadmap, bloom, better lighting etc. were mentioned for 12.07. I really wonder if bloom improvements will be noticeable during simulator daytime such as the look of sun, aircraft fuselage, water and clouds reflecting the sunlight, and slight bloom amount on aircraft cockpit lighting?

    Plus, with the balanced exposure, the cockpit and skycolor brightnesses should be fine.

    Appreciate the blog posts, cheers.

    1. Graphics toys in 12.08, not 12.07 – we’ve made an internal decision to do a smaller non-graphics beta first, because it takes a lot of beta time to debug major changes to the graphics stack – especially low level ones. If we just leak ‘latest graphics’ in every beta, the beta cadence is going to be slow and everyone waits for all the other features.

      (I’m told that some people really enjoy this easter egg Austin put in where you can fly around the scenery using a flight model that…get this…has blade element theory for particularly rich dynamics. Not my use case, but to each their own.)

      1. In this case 12.07 to make our birds fly better and “…intentionally a smaller release – about half the size in terms of code change.” – Now this sounds like more efficient X-Plane 12 run!

  4. Please don’t set yourself on fire too soon, we still need you to fix the Save flight” situation that seems to be falling through all the cracks and does not get the attention it needs. It still randomly saves zero byte files and an in older/unusable formats 🙂

      1. this brings up something I’ve been meaning to ask time and time again but I’ve been too scared to…

        how exactly does one check the status of a bug they filed?

        (as in is there a page that lists open bugs or..?)

        1. There hasn’t been a formal way in the past, but we are unrolling a tool that checks limited bug status now – it’s being poked at in the dev lobby, and if it proves to be useful we can make it more widely available.

          Please note that not every bug report gets an XPD (e.g. becomes a _real_ bug to LR) – we get a fair amount of “description: Help!” steps to reproduce: “just use x-plane” in the bug reporter and those don’t get tracked.

  5. Hahaha you have a great sense of humor bud. We all appreciate you and the rest of the team for all the work you put into the Sim. Brother, it’s LOOKING GOOD!

  6. Thank you Ben for thiese comments
    It’s good to be aware of these things you do in background.

  7. Hey Ben can you guys look at whats going on with body lift? something is up with fuse lift either being to strong to far forward of the CG with large airliners causing them to run out trim. you can see this with the stock 737

      1. as side note Jack(FlyJSim) and I found it working on the 732 when i when to look if it us or the flight model and found the stock 737-800 has the same issue. the ZIBO modded 737-800 in fact uses no fuse body and uses 2 wing airfoils at 90 to each other to deal with body lift and side loads.

        the A330 for some reason DOESNT seem to have this issue not sure if thats do to the aspect of the fuse or something else but i can tell why its ok and the Boeing isnt. But bug report sent with image of the flight model lift lines in level flight. but this issue causing issue with 732 and 727 flight models for us. but again at lest i can reproduce the same problem in the stock 737

  8. Raise your right hand and repeat after me: I, Ben Supnik, solemnly swear that Laminar is going to continue making live weather clouds better!
    But in all honesty, clouds have come a long way and I finally see the huge potential it has!

    1. The clouds have come a long way, however I don’t understand why they are de-focused. When you look at clouds either on the ground or in flight in real life, your eyes refocus on the clouds. It’s a bit realism killer for me.

      1. Stuttering caused by the texture scale swinging from 16 to 0.025 and back again would be a start together with improved support for newer HMDs, all filed with bug reports for support.

  9. Hi X-Plane team:
    I´m really glad with graphics improvements because they are really awesome!
    But I´m really worried about flight simulation and aircraft systems because development seems to be frozen. I know bug fixes take time, but I have perception last updates have no priority about this: Turbine engine has problems about temperature on ground, G1000 in turboprops (Lancair) doesn´t shows AP modes, and others… that were affected from other updates.
    I´m worried because this situation happened in XP11 with turboprop ITT hot start that was never corrected with a lot of bug reports.
    Also, keep in mind to improve IOS because it has not really a useful interfase.
    Another report, not a really bug but a FAA AC 61-136 lack in IOS is that has no option to show holding patterns. I´ve seen earth hold.dat new file but there is no more info about it.
    Please consider my words not like an attack, just want a better X-plane for all of us.

      1. Hi Ben: Please don´t take my text like an attack. I know huge effort and I´m happy with most new features. But please understand that problems like engine performance is so critical for simulation as graphics. Obviously It can take some time to improve, but at least meanwhile an improve is release, undo problematic changes or any solution you consider better than.

    1. “G1000 in turboprops (Lancair) doesn´t shows AP modes”
      That’s because it doesn’t in real life either.
      The Lancair Evolution has a Tru Trak autopilot which doesn’t talk to the Garmin PFD.
      Only if a plane is equipped with a GFC-700 autopilot you will see the the FMA display the modes on the PFD because that’s the only type of autopilot that a real G1000 communicates with.

      1. Any chance we might see improvements to the G1000?
        It was a great start 5-6 years ago but I feel like it could use some love (like the FPL page).

      2. Thanks for your answer. that explains a lot about it, because in Xp11 and earlier XP12 this didnt happens. When I realize that, it was taken like a bug, and it´s no documented answer. I going to make some test. Now it reveals other new problem that I have reported: Plane maker doesn´t have “convert aircraft to newest format” option. Since 12.05 XP11 version planes shows errors or difficult modifications like GFC700 add.

      3. My understanding is that this is not because the Lancair _cannot_ have a GFC-700.

        It’s because we built _Austin’s_ Evo, and Austin doesn’t have a GFC-700 for reasons that I find hillareous.

  10. Will it be Self-immolation or spontaneous combustion? Just checking!
    Only kidding! Still, imagine beating that 16 RC record….must be very tempting!
    Someone take the lighter & matches away from Ben!

  11. Ben thank you for the continuous development and improvements on XP.
    Can you give us an update on AA please? Will we see an implementation of better AA on v12? Or do we have to wait until v13 or later?


  12. Any news reagrding big updates to default aircraft or new default aircraft coming to the sim?

    Whats the long term plans for this sim?

    Also, I need to ask about the rain and ice effects.. The plan was to release X-Plane 12 with Librain, but the ice effect is tottaly different in librain. Are you going to update the ice effect on windows to a more realistic one like the Librain Plugin, that has amazing ice?

    I noticed it since the release of XP12, and just wanted to point out that the ice effect looks wrong, compared to XP11 with Librain’s own ice effects.

  13. I really hope that you will manage to sort out antialiasing soon, as it is the only thing which is still making me want to stick with XP11, as it is really a pain in the eye to see all those jagged lines on runways, taxiways, objects, plus the mountain tops at sunset (those are really strange, they always got antialiased fine in day time and they are jagged at sunset).

  14. The global airports are missing a lot of objects?

    I found that you guys have removed some global scenery items in XP12 which were marked as PRIVATE in XP11 which affected quite some freeware scenery packages (they should not have used private items, of course).

    Was that also the cause of missing objects in the gateway scenery?

    Just curious. 🙂

    Have a nice weekend!

    1. There are objects that were marked private in v11 that are not in the v12 library. We are still discussing internally what to do about this, as (1) we never intended to leak these objects into the library but (2) we kinda did.

      RC3 will not complain publicly about this, but this is something we need to address.

      The public squawking in the UI was because I changed the noise level of the errors, not realizing how noisy it will be. For RC3, I turned the noise level back real quick.

  15. When we will see a big update including new aircraft or in general something big for the sim, like bloom effects?

    Is there a new ice effect for the cockpit windows coming anytime soon?

  16. Fantastic work so far! I’m now going to purchase XP 12. You guys are killing it.

    Vehicle road traffic – ever consider making it more or less depending on time of day, and eve day of the week? Would be really cool to use the real world traffic maps to determine traffic jams etc.

    Anyway, everything about this sim is maturing nicely. Great works everyone!

  17. When do we get the NAVAID edit feature, so we can move the navaids around and create our own approches or marker beacons in X-Plane 12?

  18. Thank you, you have taken a huge step forward in improving XP12. But I’m sad that there will be no graphics fixes in 12.07. Flying in dark cabins is not a great pleasure 🙂 This is my personal opinion.

  19. How feasible would it be to have real time scenery so that I could, say recognize my house if I flew over it?

  20. From the release date of x-plane 12 I live in hope that one day the cockpit instruments lighting will be resolved , especially for GA cockpits which are well lit . The major improvement would be if emissive instruments , eg pdf,mfd,gps etc could be emissive I.e not subjected to the existing lighting model only which makes those allmost unreadable in daylight unless you put your head “ in the cockpit “ and then zoom in on the display eg PFD . In my real world airplanes mostly VFR in bright sunlight I look out and if I glance down at an emissive instrument it is pin sharp bright and readable . These are normally in real world 1500 nits brightness or higher. Unfortunately after a year of posts there has been no movement on this so I stick with x-plane 11 which focussed on the pilot experience rather than playing catch-up with other sims on external bunting like beautiful sunsets , water puddles on the ground etc

  21. These last few comments prove you can’t please all the people all the time….
    The momentum of XP12 advancement is pleasing with each update, thank you.
    I hope that scenery, insofar as layering and bathymetry with greater library assets is high on the list so that the many scenery designers are able to start creating fully enabled XP12 specific airfields for all to enjoy, whether they are Gateway valid or independent.
    Keep up the great work and the dialogue, best wishes to all the team.

  22. Great update 12.06, thanks to all the team. I have a Nvidia GPU and without Zink the simming experience is not as smooth as with Zink ON (my CPU performance are better with Zink ON). I hope Nvidia will resolve the bug asap. Have a nice week end.

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