The normal X-Plane beta process goes something like this for a “major” beta.
- Early betas – putting in a fair amount of new code and large-scale restructuring to try to address feature requests and problems.
- Middle of beta – fixing bugs, often the high risk and tricky ones.
- End of beta – try to touch as little as possible. Unobtrusive bugs, small changes, nothing crazy.
The idea is to cut down the level of code bashing over time so that by the end of beta we’re not adding a new bug for every bug we fix.
X-Plane 10.40 beta 6 is a little bit atypical in that it is also the first release to have digital download. Since beta 4, we cut down how much code we were changing to try to get digital download released, since the servers and installer became ready to ship.
The result is that beta 7 contains the rest of that “large scale restructuring” and other code change that you’d expect from an early beta – it’s a significantly bigger jump in code than you’d normally expect from a beta that’s this many weeks old.
I am hoping that beta 7 represents the last of this kind of “change a ton” code and that we’ll get into stability mode shortly. But in the meantime:
- If you make a third party add-on, you should definitely plan to test one of beta 7 or 8 for compatibility in the next week. (Since beta 7 has a bug where the FMS is broken with certain planes, beta 8 might be a better candidate.)
- There are definitely still bugs we have reports for that are not fixed for beta 7. Check the release notes; if your fix isn’t listed, there’s no need to re-report, it means we just haven’t gotten to it.
- If you put in a feature request and we said “yeah, we’ll get that into 10.40″, we haven’t forgotten – I have a big backlog of datarefs to add, for example.
I think we still have several more weeks of beta; inserting the release of digital download has stretched the process out. How long beta lasts will be a question of how quickly we can stabilize.
X-Plane 10.40 beta 7 adds a big pile of new commands. I will try to produce a comprehensive list later; one of our goals for our own fleet was to have a command to change any control that is all of:
- An in-cockpit control.
- Has more than two positions.
- Has discrete movement (e.g. up a notch, down a notch).
So besides commands added by the request of users, a number of commands were added to add “coverage” to the cockpit.