ReleaseNotes:Feature Review December 2013

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This review covers Planimate versions 5.35r to 6.2.1.

In addition to new capabilities and exceptional performance enhancements, 2013 saw Planimate get a new logo, version numbering system and a superior graphics display system.

Graphics

New Graphics Framework

Planimate's graphics system now supports transparency, shading and anti-aliasing. Palette index colours remain but individual colours can also be specified at any place using full RGB+transparency. The palette also supports colours with transparency. Rounded rectangles and lines are now anti-aliased.

Graph View Enhancement

Graph views have a new editor with many new properties including X and Y tick marks, RHS grid lines, X and Y scale labels and separate graph background area colour supporting gradients. Fonts, colours and styles are fully customiseable. View properties can be set in code. Area and bar graphs have new properties for borders and gradient shading.

New Graph Plot Types

New graph plot types include curve plotting (with adjustable curve "tension"), point-line and point-rectangle. Release notes for version 6.0.0 annoucne the major enhancements.

Gantt views support controlled filling of their bar blocks.

Area plots can have a gradient and a boundary line.

Partially Hidden Pipes

Pipe sections can be individually hidden enabling complex pipe networks to overlap other objects cleanly.

Gantt Co-ordinates

A model can retrieve the co-ordinates of Gantt View blocks enabling it to perform complex user interactions with blocks

Model Development

Watch List

It is possible to watch portal, routine and item attributes in a debugging window as they are changed by the model. This is particularly useful when stepping through code.

Find Enhancements

You can now search for all viewports in the model.

Routine Import/Export As Text

You can import a routine from text generated by export routine to text. This enables routine lines to be pasted from the clipboard as text.

User Experience

Access To License Key Attributes

New system attributes enable the model to access user license key details such as username and license creation date. This enables a model to take its own action when the license period expires.

Standard Message Box Dialogs

A number of standard message and question dialogs are now available as routine operations, for example MessageBox() and MessageBoxConfirm(). This avoids having to set up and maintain dialog boxes for many simple cases.

Modelling

Pipes And Blending

Pipes can transfer blending information as well as the primary material flow. These blending columns are now handled in a way enabling you to dynamically change the number of blending columns

DataSet1 Deprecation Continued

Further removal of DataSet1 support, DataSet2 using the routine operations provide superior capability for saving and loading data.

Train Tail Broadcast

Track networks can send a broadcast when the tailing end of a train with length crosses a location, enabling complex handling of trains in situations where train length is important.

Ongoing Direct Text Support

Quoting text and building text expressions using the '&' operation continue to be supported more consistently, with system text attributes such as s.LastLoadFilePath.

Paint Object Dynamic Text

Paint Text objects have a new mode supporting a text expression which will be evaluated to determine the text they show upon display. This text can include the name of the owning location, removing the need for custom code or attributes to label a location panel.

Multi Line Paint Text Mode

Paint Text objects support multi-line wrapped text. This is useful for more extensive descriptions and with dynamically generated text.

Run Engine

Dynamic Portal Removal

Portals can now be removed as well as created as the model runs.This greatly enhances data-driven creation and maintenance of track, pipe and spatial link networks.

Cyclic Table Driven Entries

Table Driven Entries in indexed mode can now optionally cycle around their production table

Speed

Routine processing has been optimised for more speed

Platform Foundation

Version Numbering

A new version numbering scheme is used. Instead of two numbers and a letter, the version is expressed as three numbers: major.minor.release. eg: 6.01c is now shown as 6.1.3

32 and 64 Releases Merged

Planimate version 6 releases include both 32 and 64 bit EXEs.

Planimate-As-A-DLL supports multiple threads

Planimate's DLL API which enables models to be embedded inside other applications now supports multiple instances running independently and in parallel in their own processing threads. This enables full use of modern multi-core processors with multiple models running/advancing in parallel, sharing their workload between the available processing cores.

New API calls give more control and access to the simulation from the host application.

Internationalisation

Initial internal support for customising display text using external language translation files