Update: I want to apologize for the quick succession of micro updates. The new model existance checking reveiled a couple of bugs that need to be fixed. With the release of V1.6.2 I am confident that this newly introduced mechanism is now working as intended.
It’s been a long time since the last SODE update, but work has continued in the background.
The focus was set to improve stability and polish some minor details. Of course, fixing bugs is always a task…
Stability and performance
To improve stability, I had to re-think the entire process of handling SimObject injections into the sim. While SimConnect still offers the same simple object injection method, the art is in how one uses that method to achieve the desired functionality like conditional display, etc.
In the past, SODE would just throw in all objects it found in a certain radius into the simulator. While this works perfectly for smaller airports with few SimObjects, larger projects with hundreds of SimObjects (jetways) could saturate the simulator’s SimConnect server and this would result in a stutter until all objects are loaded.
Now, SODE injects its objects in chunks with small delays in between. This way, SimConnect and the sim remain responsive.
Also, another source of stuttering was eliminated when the simulator was not able to find the requested SimObject on your harddrive. A missing SimObject is not the fault of SODE, it is an issue coming from installers forgetting to install the SimObjects properly or uninstallers forgetting to remove the controlling xml file but correctly removing the SimObjects. Both cases lead to a controlling xml requesting to inject a SimObject that does not exist! The simulator is trying hard to find the requested SimObject and this results in massive stutters for each object requested!
In this version, SODE checks during initialization if each and every SimObject (i.e. the MDL file belonging to a SimTitle) is actually accessible on your disk! If the MDL file is not present, SODE will internally replace that with a “red cross” object to indicate the missing object(s) to the user. Now that the simulator is able to load a model anyway, the stutter will not occur!
Another mechanism to enhance performance is the addition of cutting-off injections when the user aircraft is above 18’000ft. Cruising above a heavy SODE jetway populated airport will not affect performance anymore.
This version introduces an automatic selection of your parking stand. When you have set the parking brakes and call up the SODE menu (Tab+S ), SODE tries to figure out the parking spot you are at and automatically selects it. So you can directly operate the jetways from there.
Speaking of the Tab+S keystroke…there were many support questions when users failed to operate SODE jetways at Drzewiecki Design airports because they tried to use Tab+S. As stated in their manual, DD airports use a custom key combination “SHIFT+D” to operate their jetways.
In hindsight, I found this confusing and have now changed the logic internally so that you can use Tab+S also for their airports. Also, SHIFT+D will work on non-Drzewiecki Design airport as well if you are used to that combo…Any valid key combo will work now!
That’s it for the main improvements, more details can be seen in the extensive change log: changelog.