Category: News

902 Is Dead (Long Live 920) – Languages

We’re about to do something strange: any time now, Austin should announce 920 beta 1.

But what happened to the 902 beta program?

The answer is simple: it turns out we don’t need it.

Both 901 and 902 were tiny releases whose sole purpose was to add new languages to X-Plane. (901 added French/German, 902 Russian). The idea was to get our foreign distributors a localized version of the sim faster than we could do the next major patch.

Well, 920 is here, and the Russian port is still being debugged, so 920 will contain Russian and also a huge host of new features. There will never be a 902 final; simply update your beta to 920 when it’s out – any tiny changes in 902 are baked into 920.

Don’t Panic

As always, my advice for beta 1 is: don’t panic. Remember that we are a small company, and thus we have a small number of computers between all of our employees. The first few betas usually involve one or two serious bugs (the sim explodes and sets your computer on fire, etc.) that only happen on the one hardware configuration none of us have.

If you are a user, consider waiting for a later beta, or upgrade a copy of the sim.

If you create third party add-ons, please get a copy of the beta early and start filing bugs! It is much easier for us to fix compatibility bugs when we get the reports early.


A number of users have offered to help translate X-Plane. With 920 we finally have the “new” localization infrastructure in place; I will finally be able to get users started on this process.

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Drivers and Builds To Try

For those who posted comments, sorry it took so long to moderate them – for some reason my spam filter decided that notifications of comments are, well, spam, so I just found them now. I should have known people would have jumped into a Vista-bashing thread. 🙂

There is an X-Plane 9.02 beta 1 posted – like 901 we’ve been pretty quiet about this, but you can get it by enabling “get betas” and running the X-Plane updater. Please give it a try. Like 901 it is a small change for the purpose of localization, but it actually has an interesting feature pair:

  • True-type fonts and
  • Unicode-aware.

This is part of some rework we did to provide better language support. So…you should be able to run X-Plane no matter what weird characters* are in your folder names, name your airplanes funny things, and see diacritical marks. 902 uses a font that provides all of the Latin and Greek/Cyrillic code pages.

Also I have heard reports of improvements based on drivers:

  • nVidia has 175.16 drivers out and they apparently address “stuttering” issues. The stuttering issue has been on my list to investigate because it happens under Windows but not Linux. If you have stuttering performance on high-end NV hardware, particularly with forests and Windows, please try 175.16 and let me know how it goes.
  • ATI has released Catalyst 8-5. Catalyst 8-3 and 8-4 were causing “incomplete framebuffer” errors for some users, but I was unable to reproduce it (after spending a good day trying to jam Windows XP onto an iMac already crammed with Windows and Linux….yet another episode of a Tale of Three Operating Sytstems). Anyway, at least one user reported the issue as fixed in Cat 8-5, so if you are having problems, please try the new driver set.

As always, bugs in the X-Plane beta should go to our bug report form, on the X-Plane contacts page.

* You might accuse me of being American-centric in decrying diacritical and greek letters weird – but the truth is I am computer-centric…anything that is not in the original ASCII set is weird. 🙂

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901 – Stealth Release

901 is out now…basically it’s just 900 + French and German localizations. Also a few minor tweaks:

  • We added a few datarefs and commands by request – check DataRefs.txt.
  • The plugin font size is back to 6 pixels, like v8. It looks a bit ugly now, but we’ll put a new font in place soon. The important thing is: 6-pixel fonts for v8 and v9, so one plugin can operate everywhere.
  • A few plugin bug fixes – see the SDK known bugs page.
  • Linux won’t complain if your disk is mounted as iso9660. Since the v9 final disks are all mastered as ISOs and not UDF, asking you to mount them as UDF is asking the impossible.
  • If you have a demo install, it will add the word “Demo” to its name in the startup screen. This is to help users with more than one install identify which one they are running.

If this all seems minor and tweaky, well, it is. The main point of 901 was to get the localizations in. In the future we’ll have a feature patch that brings new airplane features in and other cool stuff.

901 is freely available using the X-Plane web updater…the download size is only about 14 MB.

Finally, I’ve posted all new DVD installer/updater/web demo installer apps – version 2.04 localizes to French and German too.

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901RC1 Already? Try it!

Well, the paint is barely dry and we already have an X-Plane 9.01 RC1. Here’s what’s going on and how you can try it.

9.01 is the first of what may be a few small internationalization and localization patches. 9.01 adds German localization and updates the French strings. 9.01 also has a handful of very minor bugs; Austin will probably post the bug list shortly. 9.01 is already RC because the code changes are really minor.

After 9.01 we’ll do another localization patch (probably in the next month) that will include unicode and true-type font support. That build (902? 905? Who can guess what number Austin will pick!) will probably have a formally named beta because the unicode changes are extensive.

900r3 is still the latest final build and it’s what you get if you update your copy or run the web demo installer.

To get 901r1, go to the updater options and check “get betas”; update your sim and 901r1 will be downloaded. Please try it!

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The X-Plane Support Wiki

We have an X-Plane support Wiki:

I’m not sure what will end up there eventually, but it will include some airplane development info, a lot of trouble shooting tips, and general instructions.

It will not contain scenery or plugin development info, as they have their own full websites.

I encourage you to edit the wiki and help organize – I am putting information up there as I think of it, but I need help editing it for organization.

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