Trainz/Version And Build Numbers

Trainz Versions edit

Trainz software releases or equivalently Trainz Retail releases or Trainz retail versions follow the common software industry practices of assigning releases version numbers paired to 'Marketing Names' as Major Releases of Retail base packages (to draw a parallel case, consider another more familiar family of software: {each of Microsoft Windows Operating system Retail Releases: Windows 1.0, Windows 2.0, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, ..., Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 & Windows 10}), any one of which per industry practices, might also then have applicable bug fix 'Hot fixes' and other less urgent change patches (generally adding capabilities and/or also making operational tweaks or fixing additional lesser serious bugs and those providing additional user feedback generated 'new' features) called Service Packs. To manage a series of such software & dependent (supporting) data files collections, programmers use a serial number system, in Trainz called the code build number, build number, or Code Version number. Note that both each element in a software system (DLL, EXE, supporting data files such as images, scripts) each have some sort of serialization, or their own code build numbers, and the resulting overall distributed collection, a 'build', is given an overall code build identifier for the entire mix.

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Fundamentals for Trainz Trainees

Versions and Their Respective Build Numbers
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Example of an TS2010 built-in route asset showing a vertices alignment and end-caps bounds problem with the new mesh-stitching technology introduced in TS09 and TS10. Modeled software misbehaving under the run time GUI's is one type of problem fixed by hotfixes or service packs.

Trainz Versions Overview edit

All the changes to these products' retail releases (retail versions) collectively are known as software upgrades' and it is a side of computing with which the average lay computer user has little experience, sheltered as most are in a business environment by an IT department or an IT consultant. These days, internet based or enabled software often are written expecting to be updated periodically, numbing our sensitivity and inuring the computer user community to such instabilities in software. [note 1] Home computer packages—including virtually all download obtained software these days, with massive distribution numbers, often have built-in update coding within to check for updates and either update automatically, or when well designed, alert the user, and update when commanded. Auran Holdings[note 2], the holding company with all the Trainz rights and their partner N3V Games, currently managing the development and marketing of the properties, has only recently in 'Trainz-version timespans' (2011, finally debugged in TS2009 SP3 and TS2010-SP2) mastered the later techniques.

Versions terminology and meanings edit

Each named product release (retail version) as well as each successive upgrade level (Hot fixes and other patches generally have to be added in order of release) has a multi-digit 'build' number that is definitively unique to the build as defined by the software publisher. In Trainz, these are known formally as the code build numbers or Trainz build versions, and as their own IT department, 'Trainzers' have to keep these things straight, for not all can be done automatically, and every new retail release requires a new Installation step.

File:TS2009 Launcher screen.jpg
N3V Games Windows releases Launcher Screens all look pretty much the same as this TS2009 example, and is similar (excepting color) to TRS2004's, TRS2006's and all its spin-offs like the TC's...
 • Since TS2009-SP2 V3.1 and TS2010, N3V has been putting the code build onto the Launcher Screen and the trainz-build version number onto the title bar of CM.
File:TS2004 Launcher screen.jpg
v2.0--v2.4 Launcher Screens have mostly the same choices and a different style.
File:TS2006 Launcher screen.jpg
V2.5 and up Launcher Screens look prettier since TRS2006 and all its spin-offs like the TC's, and TRS2009–TS2012's, but since they use the same layouts for the same buttons all look pretty much the same.

 

In Trainz, until one understands the contextual meaning it seems the word 'version' becomes a bit over used:

  1. First, there is the Trainz version (slang: meaning Trainz Retail Version),
  2. Secondly, the 'code version' and 'Trainz asset version' numbers, formally known as a '"Trainz-build tag" values or Trainz-build version numbers[1][2]
  3. which like the code build number or 'Trainz_build_versions' or sometimes 'code build version'[3] has an exact technical meaning— a final compiler run against a version controlled make file and subsequently released by Quality Control as the next official 'code set' advance.
     • If you have problems with a installation, this code build number is the one N3V customer support want reported. In TS2009-SP4 and later releases it appears in both the bottom right corner of the Launcher Menu and the Main Menu. In prior releases, it appeared only on the Trainz 'Launcher' screen, and was easy to overlook in some.
     • Each of the other types of versions derive from this stable set of software source code; a plateau in the change cycle signifying stability and reliability insofar as such things can be tested.
  4. When QA testing fails, N3V issues a software upgrade of three sorts:
A. patches for really bad bugs or an adjustment to features, usually come out fast after a release event, once the complaint storm hits the help desk and forums.
B. Hotfixes for bugs and adjustments of several things, not usually to make the whole work, but instead to make the whole work better after an interval of additional testing and while the programmer's are fixing one or more other minor bugs or adding an extended feature. Some of these, such as TS12-SP1+hf4 should have incremented the trainz-build or technology version. Auran & N3V's management has seemingly been inconsistent in their rationales and actions. Basically, a new trainz-build represents a technology plateau, wherein some heretofore unavailable capability has been added.
 • Some of this is within the programmer's experiences—the internal changes within the run time packages; others, mainly involving asset capability, features, scripts, or interactivity are obvious to the community and to content creators, inasmuch as new tags, practices and containers in config.txt files or asset source folder grouped data elements (asset parts) are affected.
 • Trainz is a highly cooperative joint development COMMUNITY at its heart. Content Creators often drive software development with requests for a capability. The programmers and/or N3V management approve the notion, prioritize it, and the programmers thence define parameters (data types); at that juncture, the likely first software modifications are to the error testing screening software which vetts uploaded assets before allowing them onto the DLS—and to a TBV step release enabling its software to not burp on the heretofore unfamiliar new data elements. Content Creators behind the features then provide assets with the theoretical capability, the programmers work on getting it into a future package of software updates and eventually — everybody gets to see whether the data and software have the desired effects... or whether alterations in data definitions or the run time software implementation need adjusted. This all takes a lot of people working together.
C. Service packs —these are more extensive and larger changes for bug fixing, feature or behavior upgrades, and involved changes to eliminate some source of complaint.


Each code build number (2 to 5 digits) maps onto a corresponding Trainz trainz build version number (a 'TB' or 'TBV' decimal like 2.9: once generally indicating a technological threshold or capability level). The trainz-build 'steps' or plateaus correspond thusly to a targeted set of capabilities, whereas several iterations of debugging and 'code build releases' (Smaller Hot Fixes and Larger] Service Pack(s) releases map into the same trainz-build thresholds. Hence the new user will notice a predominance of certain TBV values, so called major releases or major versions, in asset lists in the Content Manager searches— {1.3, 1.5, 2.2 & 2.4, 2.6, 2.8, 2.9-3.3, 3.5&3.7, 4.0& 4.3 &4.5} generally following directly the longevity of a software system. This formerly only reflected the simple relationship between the length of time a stable software suite release existed before the next retail (new) product release was launched with new technological abilities. Formerly, Content Creators deliberately formed new assets with the lowest possible TBV so the asset would be usable by the widest groups of Trainzers, many who remain faithful to an older Trainz release (and even form clubs with thousands of members, s.a. Trainz Pro Routes et. al.) — in short, if the new tech was using a tag or ability such an asset could care less about and didn't need, making a new bridge, building, business, or traincar that would please the most people makes emminent sense... Hence the wide number of V1.3, V2.6, V3.0, V3.5 assets still in very wide use.

Also, since asset features and those bits of code that can manipulate effects-instructions can be embedded inside the run time software suites are written to comply with or satisfy the particular conceived technological capability, there is a long lag time between request for a capability, and the time it shows up in an release that can exploit it.

Example: Basic traincar data structures and configuration were laid out by the end of Trainz UTC. Someone desired ability to have realistic traincar ID numbers vary automatically, submitted the idea to Auran, and the programmers implemented a set of data elements to control the effects. Which leaves most rolling stock unchanged, yet allows a technology not available in previous code releases.

A similar transition occurred for signalling capabilities regarding realism in yard crossing tracks, sometimes called 'Template:TBN' —a real common need to match prototype places (train yards).
 • Generally in the past, Data conventions increasingly enforced since TS2009 were designed and in place in the lengthy TRS2004-TRS2006 era (and JET II game engine) — yet most asset types were perfectly fine using the older simpler Trainz 1.0 era data structures which are unitary tag based in the main, and don't involve any aggregate data structures Trainz's Containers in the config.txt control files. In 2009 N3V decided to add severe filtering enforcing the newer data structures in subsequent releases. They also added installation software testing, filters, to vett and bless DLS uploads—this is updated as time and versions pass, forcing higher and higher TBV values be submitted—even when an implemented asset has nothing significantly different from the earlier 1.3 or 2.5 era assets, save a more detailed less rough sub-assembly component part (A Trainz 'dependency, like a new bogey, sound, or perhaps a traincar modified to have interactive cargo and doors that animate{{efn,Many older assets used a mix of tech tags and containers to program their manifestation in game, so adding the containers and tags to a config.txt that enabled a box or flat car to handle interactive cargoes (introduced in TRS2004, a Trainz strength) required a mere cut and paste alteration. However, script and mesh dependent capabilities such as animated doors, really do warrant a version change, being far more complicated.

   }. This has been controversial and caused many aggregate assets (Routes and Sessions) to be short compatible assets. So until TS2009, older and looser data conventions were tolerated in newly altered and new assets—allowing new assets produced to a lesser capable standard.

 • The Trainz Version number exactly matches the asset (technology 'level' identifying) Trainz-build tag number.

 • There can be many code build numbers for a trainz-build code (or technology level); some are for a different group of languages as translations become available, and ...

 • Each of those also has possible Hot fixes and Service Pack patches—some of which change the trainz-build, and others do not.
Hot fixes do not usually cause a change in version numbers, while Service Packs usually cause an increment of +0.1 to the "Trainz-build" tags and colloquial terms thrown around as the 'Version Number!}}

Managing these improvements in the corporate world is the task of an IT department, but since Trainz is a personal software suite, the task of updating a Trainz release devolves onto private users. This aspect of Trainz is further complicated by Trainz nature, it is at the heart, a data base manager and a huge data base (the greater size in files) with satellite tools programs (especially for example, the GUI run time modules Surveyor, Driver, Railyard, and some others behind the scenes like TrainzUtils.exe) each of which may need patched or replaced with a service pack release or Hot fix. Further, and the most problematic part as it takes some time when a user has a lot of downloaded content, a new update may also scan each item in the database, and where necessary, patch those to compliance with the 'new technology level' being introduced by the patch and corresponding to a new asset build tag number.

Trainz version numbers, the product 'technology level' increments by tenths, with Trainz 1.0 being version 1.0, TRS2009 being version 2.9, so TRS2009 + four service packs reaches Version 3.3, but so is the last Service Pack for TS2010—which was co-developed along side TS2009 as a transitional technology from 32 bit game engine to a 64 bit processing environment—so the two overlap and co-join most technology. The first 'only runs' as a 64 bit release, Trainz Railroad Simulator 2012 (TS2012, no Service Packs) is Version/Build-tag level 3.5, during which in the time it was being developed, N3V decided its old game engine needed totally re-written, spawning the crowd funding financing of Trainz: A New Era with much improved graphics and its added plateaus of both video improvements, and various asset capabilities. Hence, TANE or T:ANE spans six iterative stages of capability as it stabilized TBV 4.0–4.5, with TRS19Trainz Railroad Simulator 2019 (released Dec 18th, 2018[22] currently topping the list of TBVs at 4.6[23]


Trainz releases are further complicated by servicing an international user base; from the start the product was produced to service different international languages groups and their translation needs. In the later practices, the plethora of internationally different releases was managed down to around four initial

   

Legacy (unsupported) Versions

The balance of this page is presented in ordinary calendar order, first out, first listed. The first group are the giants of history upon whose shoulders newer versions of today stand. Trainz in all versions and releases was supported for over a decade by Auran, then later by N3V Games — until the adoption and announcement of the unpopular Trainz Life Cycle policy in 2010. In the policy, an arbitrary four years has generally been added to the original retail versions release date, after which the release is magically 'called obsolete' and N3V withdraws support.

Once in a while, it's nice to take a look back and see just how far we've come! LOL - ed.


Trainz Life Cycle policy has its largest negative impact now on asset updates through the creeping rise-in-threshold-difficulty of acceptance-testing-software by the DLS software, and those requirement changes have adversely affected the reliability of the Trainz-build numbers as a tell-tale of the tech level actually needed within any given asset. The whole system now is introducing a upward version creep in assets updated or added into the DLS collection, and requires authors' to donate their time making a lot of unnecessary 'updates' to the data structures in the config.txt file leader every asset has; changes which aren't really functional[note 6], but making no real change to the assets textures, meshes and other operable guts. In short, such changes are administrative data shufflings, instituting wasted time by thousands with unnecessary work-arounds.) showing up on a users Content Manager module and Main Menu screens.

Trainz

Trainz 1.x series
Cover motto: Trainz Virtual Railroading On Your PC
Main article: Trainz with no service packs applied V1.0

Trainz beta V0.9

Perfection is achieved, not where there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Antoine de Saint Exupery, Auran

The very rare boxed Trainz: Beta version 0.9 was published in a very small run by Auran Developments in June 2001 after several initial software download versions were made available to collaborating railfans and other involved parties for testing purposes[5].

 
A few things have changed in the graphics, haven't they!?!

A brief history of Trainz by an early 'Auran partner', Charlie Lear on the development of this popular software can be read can be read here: 'A Brief History of Trainz', and much of what followed is presented with commentary and cover art up through TRS2006. The Beta release cover art contained a quote from Antoine de Saint Exupery.[5] (See quote above). Targeted at the model railroading enthusiast's market niche, Trainz was bare of a lot of content, but delivered a Surveyor module much like today's, which is still the best in the business for route building.

Trainz

  • Trainz, the original version, with no service packs applied is assigned a trainz-build of 1.0 (V1.0) and is known as the 'Trainz Community Edition'. The boxed Trainz 1.0 was transferred from Auran Development and released by Auran Games, Pty. Ltd in November 2001 in a self-published regionally distributed version after an initial 24 September 2001 software download only version[5] Generally, each applied service pack increments the version by +0.1, so with application of the third service Pack (SP3) the cumulative version code value becomes Trainz V1.3; the first fully stable software release of the series also dubbed as the 'Trainz Passenger Edition'.</ref> The release also included a licensed version of the three dimensional (3D) model building tool w:GMAX, which is responsible for the huge numbers of user created 3D assets[note 7] available on the Trainz Download Station (DLS) web site[24].

Early Trainz Mininum & Suggested Requirements

{


 

TANE edit

Trainz: A New Era (TANE or T:ANE), the full release...

Trainz: A New Era was officially released on May 14, 2015[25] as an alleged full version overcoming lacks of TANE CE. TANE's Driver, Surveyor, and Content Manager modules each had their issues. Most lacked operational hotkeys users were used to having. Its CM user interface has many more powerful pluses, but wastes search specification screen space needlessly, and its overall implementation mysteriously changes terminology in the oddest places (Common Trainz operational terms, most with hotkeys before hand which were in place and well known in the community since Trainz 0.9 Beta release, and other operational menus, and especially the important mini-maps in Driver and Surveyor operated very differently. As of the SP3 release (TBV 4.5), many of these shortcomings are still disgruntling the community.

Various 'finishing touches' have been added through a succession of hotfixes, patches, and service packs with a rumored fourth service pack supposed to be nearly finished as of 12 March 2019, even while the program is being supplanted by TRS19, a new release of TANE, without the New Era tagline. One major improvement instantly popular with users was the facility allows the user to directly control where local content is kept, and to change it as desired, allowing content creators and users to customize their experience and sequester data—say separating British routes and assets from North American, enabling both less clutter in selecting and managing content in CM and Surveyor.[note 8] There have been numerous upgrades, starting from the original zip downloaded installer (Code build: 78667), SP1 (Code build: 80201), SP1 Hotfix 1: 81190, SP1 Hotfix 2: 82149 to TANE SP3 (Code build: 94916)  

TANE MAC edit

The Mac version of TANE was also released on May 14, 2015 as an alleged full version overcoming lacks of TANE CE. The MAC user interface from Trainz Mac is alleged to be used for CM and Surveyor screens, giving the Trainz software an alien look, see, and feel for the first time since Trainz 1.0 on the one hand, and TRS2006's CM on the other.

Notes, Footnotes & References edit

Beginning in August of 2009, Auran/N3V Games began a Technical reference and user interest wiki called TrainzOnline. Most of the data on the site was put up by the official staff of the company.  

Notes edit

  1. Worse, it's evident sloppy programming and validating practices have proliferated because software companies count on such a safety net and place less emphasis on quality control—all but discounting the damage to company reputation such instability did once create. Once anti-viral software required periodic updates, the flood gates were open allowing any software to be updated automatically.
  2. Auran Holdings, Pty Ltd, The Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia is the holding company with all the Trainz rights and their partner N3V Games, Pty Ltd who bought in (2007) during Auran Games and Auran Developments' bankruptcies in 2007-2009 currently manages the development and marketing of the properties
  3. Build 3335: 'The Complete Collection' TCC release build as noted above in TRS2006.
  4. The patching messages still leave much to be desired for one doesn't know whether a change will take moments or hours. An occasional upgrade sometimes goes alarmingly slow as the software transitioned to harness multi-core CPUs, better Graphical cards and Coprocessors, better graphics models and with the last release of TS10 and the entirety of TS12 fully utilize and embrace 64 bit operating system memory addressing mode capabilitiess and move into the 32-bit product one-step further into the future.
  5. The upload filter is enforcing the latest 'supported' versions TBV number, even when the technology of the asset does not need such a level.
  6. One tendency has been Content Creator's are revisiting older content source files and upgrading them, thereafter, promoting their TBV#s on the DLS and so making the asset conformal to the DLS upload filter then in-effect[note 5] for any changes, including minor cosmetic texture replacement, since the whole file needs re-edited from tags and data structures which work perfectly well since Trainz 0.9 to a more complicated generalized structure (Sets of parameters and tags) unneeded by most common assets—in effect, the fancy feature used in a few places is placing a time charge on all content creators (unpaid volunteers donating time, knowledge, and expertise whilst giving up their intellectual copy rights!) and the casual user. Hence less and less is backwards compatible for those of us who keep up multiple Trainz releases that might also want to bring in that new cool looking bridge, unless one locally edits the asset from the DLS. Together, the DLS software and N3V originated (newer Trainz releases) also jointly have prevented downloading assets with a more advanced TBV automatically, so the user may need to manually download such an asset before adapting a updated asset in-retrograde fashion to an older Trainz release
  7. With the introduction of version creep discussed elsewhere, this figure is impossible to keep up to date as it changes daily as revised upgraded assets are improved to current TANE & TRS19 (TBV of 3.6) standards.
  8. Deleting all BI assets is not recommended, but disabling the asset set is quite achievable, hence eliminating the asset from new surveying.

Footnotes edit

  1. Trainz-build Tag table
  2. Revision as of 10:22, 2010 March 4 by Windwalkr, [{{{url}}}]—1st draft to present, all immediately discussing code build number, Chief programmer Chris Bergman (aka Windwalkr)
  3. Used by chief programmer Windwalkr himself in Trainz_build_versions / code build number
  4. [online.ts2009.com/mediaWiki/index.php5/Trainz_SP3 Trainz SP3]
  5. a b c d Lear, Charlie. "A Brief History of Trainz". Retrieved 02 March 2015. {{cite web}}: Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  6. Trainz SP3, apart from bugfixes, saw the introduction of the Trainzscript programming language and scripted user activities called "Scenarios"., Charlie Lear (cjlear), former Auran developer.
  7. My copy, purchased in May is shown on the introduction collage of Trainz versions. IIRC, as recently as Aug 2015 I saw 'new' & unregistered CDROM versions on the internet. - Fabartus
  8. Mercom games url: [1], various distributed TRS2006 releases in North American markets. URL valid on 2015-0815
     • Trainz Railroad Simulator 2006 on PC February 2, 2006
     • Trainz Railwayz on PCs October 8, 2007
     • Trainz: Driver Edition on PC September 19, 2006
     • source and dates by Merscom at url given.
  9. Paradox Interactive, 'Trainz Routes' bundled as 3rd DVD part of 'Trainz: The Complete Collection' with cover art copyright date of 2008.
  10. Trainz: The Complete Collection (Trainz TCC) a three DVD omnibus release and the first Trainz franchise release published by N3VRF41L Software (Now N3V Games), distributed by Paradox Interactive. verified 2013-1018 by box and build code of installed version.
  11. Cover Art, publisher, title, and TBV v2.6 of USA's BC Version 3337 all confirmed verbally via Skype with RRSignal, 2015-0815.
  12. "Trainz TRS 2007 Service Bereich" (in German). Halycon Media GmbH Co.KG.
  13. a b c d Thread: TS12 Patch 2 (48249) is live., July 28th, 2011, 02:42 AM, Shadowarrior, N3V IT staff.
  14. a b c Known build numbers for TS12: July 31st, 2012, 04:05 PM Scottbe8
  15. Thread: TS12 Patch 1 (47059) is live., shadowarrior, N3V Games Sys-Op; This patch turned out to be corrupted and was taken off the web and replaced by patch 2
  16. Trainz TS10 and TS12 Hot-fix Patches released,Later annotated: "Note: To be able to install Aerotrain and any future DLC packs, you will need to install this patch for your Trainz build.", Last edited by shadowarrior; November 17th, 2011 at 08:27 PM.
  17. Trainz TS10 and TS12 Hot-fix Patches released,sub-titled: "Patch for TS12 build 48249 will take the build to version 49922", by N2V's Shadowarrior
  18. Trainz 12 Service Pack 1, by aronc, Published on April 10th, 2013 12:47 AM
  19. a b c d e f TS12 SP1 Hotfix 3 and Auto-patch Now Available, by WindWalkr, Published on June 6th, 2013 02:00 AM.
  20. TS12 SP1 Hotfix 2 now available, by GPavlich, Published on April 30th, 2013 07:38 AM
  21. a b TS12 SP1 Hotfix 1 now available, by GPavlich, Published on April 18th, 2013 02:00 AM
  22. Auran forum post: Trainz Railroad Simulator 2019 has arrived!, Published on December 18th, 2018 09:16 PM by N3V CEO Tony_Hilliam.
  23. TrainzOnline trainz-build number encyclopedia page.
  24. At the time of this composition, there were well over 250,000 assets listed as separate DLS assets on the TRS2009 Content Manager, a number which increases almost daily.
  25. TrainzOnline article: T:ANE "Release Version", which also lists features improved since pre-release Beta testing releases.

Sources edit

  1. www.auran.com auran store links (historical 'release' names, albeit, ephemeral)
  2. TrainzOnline Trainz-build tag wiki page
  3. TrainzOnline Trainz Code build version wiki page