Validating, why N3V keeps loosing customers, and what to do about it

First, Frank, I like to compliment you for speaking out what some of as have for a long time suspected about Trainz, the DLS, CM etc.but alas, we were afraid to speak up about these. Only the way you went about, belittling the persons involved as in your posts further above, this could have been avoided by you. I can understand your frustration(s), anger, head shaking, hopelessness etc. as with the help of a (or a few) utility made by N3V Games (after all, they code and program the Simulation) some of the issues outlined by you could have been fixed and therefore avoided.

Be it as it may, please refrain of bashing Chris WindWalkr, Tom Moody at al, as I can see what will happen to you sooner, rather than later down the track.

Re your quote:
Softly softly just doesn't cut it and will get you no where around here and if they can't handle the heat then get outa the kitchen.
Maybe in other situations Mick but round here the only place being blunt and straightforward will get you, it seems, is out the door.
Having just climbed out from under this thread can I offer this non-tech observation for what it is worth? Many technically minded people find it hard to appreciate the difference between knowledge and the communication of that knowledge. If Fabartus thinks the following (as an example) tells anyone anything helpful about using Trainz, then it is obvious why 'everfail dropped him:

"To the new user, ContentManager.exe (usually just 'CM') has the appearance of a Windows-XP-era style spreadsheet with a over-busy left side pane of some sort occupying the left margin and the right pane initially having a somewhat confusing spreadsheet-like format—which on initial boot is alarmingly incomplete"

That 'everfail was so stupid as to ban Fab rather than simply explaining why he was not suited to the job is symptomatic of the state of serial panic that is its modus. ((N)everfail - the absurdly hubric company name itself says it all - even the evasions in the lettering 3 for E/ 4 for A)

Solution? There probably isn't one/any at this advanced state of disorder. But I suspect (hope?) all the argy-bargy will serve to keep the 'everfailers on the toes...
"Gee Thanks, Steamer. Hearts and kisses back to you too you ugly ole Sailor."

Frank, I love it when you talk dirty to me!
But.......... I love it more when you talk dirty to them!

I've come to the conclusion that TS12 is more like a spoiled child. I "trainzed" all day yesterday afternoon. I did some driving on Roy's big CPR route until I discovered a driver session bug due to a fault of mine. Later I worked on my Cape Anne Transit route, putting houses down and went for a test drive, having quite TS12 about 1:30 this morning when I went to bed. There wasn't a glitch to be found and nothing to worry about. My Windows Event Viewer was clean, no database validating, nothing in the way of quirks I've seen in the past.

This is how I remember things working, but today might be a different story like one of those horrid 2-year olds. As the old saying goes "When I'm good, I'm very, very good, but when I'm bad I'm horrid!"

A bit paranoid, maybe. But wouldn't you be if you got beaten up all the time.

It's Frank to my friends, or those who want to be...

If Fabartus thinks the following (as an example) tells anyone anything helpful about using Trainz, then it is obvious why 'everfail dropped him:

"To the new user, ContentManager.exe (usually just 'CM') has the appearance of a Windows-XP-era style spreadsheet with a over-busy left side pane of some sort occupying the left margin and the right pane initially having a somewhat confusing spreadsheet-like format—which on initial boot is alarmingly incomplete"

No, by itself it only says the one thing, the general appearance is like a spreadsheet, which as an introduction to something they may have yet to see, is a pretty good analogy of what the main pane resembles. The rest was as intended, to be supported by a picture which the reader could then expand, study and relate to. Actually, the helpful part, and the quarrel I have with James Moody is over the various caveats I was trying to give the newbies:
--there will be a long delay whilst the database manager downloads from the DLS initially; in point of fact, CM doesn't even initialize the columns and TABS giving the appearance of having froze and gotten lost for quite some time... a time I judge would be alarming to new users.

The photos below are early in the life of an new practically empty modern computer. According to this first's notation, just loading TS12 took 2.5 hours with a 3.66 Ghz processor. Admittedly, only 4 Gb of RAM could be improved upon, but it was a BD present from the Wife and kids. In my humble experience having loaded, updated and kept each SP and HF of each version beginning with TRS2006-SP1 (my seven years with Trainz was TRS2006-SP0 since last May and successively been studying each... gradually now having worked my way up to TS12), ...
-- there are a number of very large serious delays they don't warn new users about (Unforgivably Thoughtless programming!) Perhaps it's gotten better in TS12, as James Moody contends in email... but that's not my recollection. (How about yours?) Something I feel they have a moral obligation to warn the unwary about!
[/URL][/IMG]The last I certainly recall was in initializing TS2010-SP3+ the last hotfix on a 3.66 Ghz i3-4340 CPU based system. It took a while, and that without local content.

--and that is where that intro was trying to bring up albeit, in a factual 2am, my brains been fried now two hours ago, kind of way.

Since I've not been able to get TS12 to accept my TS09+TS10 serial numbers, I'm planning to reload from scratch once more this week sometime, and try to introduce same before upgrades and in the process, will take additional pics of the times and time delays. Right now I'm wishing I'd put more of the one's I've got up on the cloud. But seven hours of updating a virgin TS12 with a 3.66 Ghz CPU, kind of makes the point:
-- Moody made a snide comment about sitting around with a stopwatch... which is hardly necessary if you pay attention before launching and then as the progress bar completes by taking a screenshot of the times. Two, Six or Seven hours is rather easy to calculate when your life is suddenly missing them, don't you know? IN THIS CASE, I'd gone to bed and got up again. You know!

But a Trainz Newbie would know that HOW, without being warned...??? Nope, no way! We know it is a good strategy with Trainz, right, but I'm betting most of us were sitting there anxiously wondering why the darn thing was still cranking away?

Now why don't they tell us this is a 20min, 2hr, all day process or the like? Easy-Peasy, because they are thinking of THEMs-time, and not the thousands of hours of OUR TIME. Ditto with the DLS mal-management fiasco. Their vaunted 'QA department' could characterize each such patch, hotfix, SP, or install and issue one of five graded standard time notices... before the launch update button is pressed, you know.

NOT DOING SO is ...Pretty rude really, so I've decided we ALL need get rude back. For those of you with little experience of me, I'm pretty laid back, but this companies management of our time budgets needs a swift kick. Help me do that little thing. We'll all be grateful for the effort if they survive. If they keep up this kind of decision making, they likely won't.

-- To be fair some of the excessively long times I've documented thus far were likely on older computers, I try to keep that sort of thing straight and present the facts in the proper context. Why I even name the pics to reflect their sources, time and date like a good scientist (I started learning science at age seven in my Father's Lab, not about to NOT document ANYTHING... good habits die as hard as bad ones!)

Assuming I have access to the context to present more facts, or correct a late night rough draft. In a case like this I'm professionally meticulous, so unpersuadable by Mr. Moody's emotional protests of observed fact. Like any trained scientist, I am persuadable with documented factual results.

-- Another friction point is that having ten years now on Eleven Mediawiki projects, plus wikis by other organizations like Apache, Blender, some fan sites, et. al) I didn't even think twice about stubbing in a page change on such an orphaned page, then letting it sit for the Zzzzz's-time I needed before resuming an edit. Generally, on most Wiki's, even the rather sleepy Wikibooks site, I'd have added a stub template or Underconstruction, or whatever, but for mysterious reasons N3V hasn't bothered to turn on ParserFunctions, which allow logical tests like if-then-else branching, math functions and some other goodies and so can be used to make generalized templates--or even timestamped page taggings like this Underconstruction/stub page notice. So maybe I should have self-reverted to save the page's edit state, then resumed reverting that. Seemed a bit unnecessary given the normal page traffic. I figured the totality of likely viewers was my dogs fleas--and we're really good about buying new flea collars and using the stuff between the shoulders...

Face it, the traffic that wiki gets is pretty small as you can readily ascertain by the page count totals they do display (e.g. This is one of the highest, if that page is low 20K hits, the likelihood any new changed page would be seen at all is vanishingly small unless someone was viewing said recent changes pages. It's not like it's got gobs of help for new Trainzers.

So while I readily admit that lead was far from prime time, taken together with the web traffic and normal wiki practices of putting up with occasional rough pages, there was really no reason to think twice about saving it. Oh, well, one. If I were a company man instead of an altruistic contributor hoping to aid the newbie and overcome obvious deficiencies so the company could retain new users and actually grow--then I'd think to hide it. But alas, somehow, they misplaced the paycheck!
Route and Asset Tech Manuals offer

(from here)I'm forking from some comments made a bit off topic by Ianwoodmore on the this TS12 SP1 HF4.....validation, validations....use the sim thread, because it overlaps with fixing the DLS.

I'm currently working with Andi06, PEV, and Paul Cass on the next version of AssetX/TARDIS. No date for release. I can tell you that I have just met the 80% milestone in my testing. That is, having raised all assets from their original TB to TB 3.7 that are not locked and if you sum all CM reported errors, FD, MD and warnings (pretty extreme milestone) then 20% are defective discounting obsoletes after applying fully automated repair processes. Faulty (red icon) assets only make up a little over 5%. I'm far from finished in automating and I already know that I can achieve a much higher success rate by semi-automatic or last resort manual means. And who knows what other ingenious widgets the other three are going to invent before we release!
Hmm, I'm tempted to send you my errors backlog and see how it gets reduced. Much of it originated in Trainz Routes or other such releases like the bonus CD of TRS2004 deluxe. OTOH, are you putting your fixed assets into the Queue for DLS upgrades, or is this all a productivity exercise in local software?

As far as your joint project... I've troubles... though offer kudos. The trouble with that on MORAL LEVEL is it's not your job--albeit one that helps the morale around here!
You and I, and certainly Andi and Peter all know, as do others with software skills, that at the minimum N3V could have written some filter programs to convert the data types transitions at the heart of many of these faults, and indeed are likely using such code internally and doing such conversions on the fly and ahead of time (certainly during error checking at the least--such conversions also output those various warnings, I suspect!), given their bastardization of source and ready-to load binaries, the fact they can read a v1.3 asset means they can convert it to v2.6, v2.8, v2.9 and yes, even up to v3.7 so what the heck are you doing it for? Well, in fact, your scripts must be doing much the same. I'm sure we all thank you, but the moral obligation should be on those who benefit most and sell such--at least as one of their best features. (The office suits certainly ought to understand that is what attracts people or makes them come back if they go over to the dark side. It isn't for the graphics, or the presence of hesitations and pauses--it's what we can build with all those assets.)

IMHO, those conversions should have been undertaken years ago, and older assets with problems isolated and scrapped well before N3V bought the rights, but that inertia has in my reckoning cost untold hundreds of thousand, perhaps tens of millions of man-hour in customer waitings... worse, N3v has failed to even use the kuid system to update and play fair with it's own bundled assets. Had they done so, the TRS2006 assets in TS2009 would both be on the DLS and be exportable with V2.9 trainz-builds. You people want to know why I'm hot under the collar up above, this is it. Every friggin' time I have to fix a fiddly little error that could have been fixed automatically had someone cared, rubs salt in the wounds. Sometimes ignorance is more peaceful. Unfortunately, I know that most these assets could have been auto-upgraded with a minor amount of coding. The guts of such are already built into their translations software. A function or two to annote a auto-promotion, a kuid promotion, those to substitute the new 'container' data forms for the older unconsolidated tag forms... computers are really good at such text and file manipulation.

The next problem with that, Ian, is we needed the release three or five or seven years ago back perhaps most accurately even as early as when you three were working with TARL, not in the nebulous future using arcane scripts that may themselves require knowledge and possibly poorly documented niche software by talented wiz-bang third parties. I'm not slamming you guys, nor do I want to rain on your parade or discourage your effort which I hope in fact you'll expedite... but being able to find the documentation for your tools in a readable format for me leaves quite a bit to be desired. I can only guess from my contacts your joint facilities aren't all that widely used. No one I've asked about them save Pcas and Shane Turner has known anything to speak of about Asset-X, save it exists.

For my part, I can't get to first base with Asset-X simply because N3V put it in their community newsletter and given the margins their IT guy used on that 'ezine' means I have to scroll each and every line side to side to try to get the gist. I've visual problems as it is, so that quickly failed a good faith effort. Kind of hard to focus on meaning when you keep loosing your place. (I've been meaning to revisit that with a widescreen monitor, but that is not one I usually read on! LAPTOPs more often than not!) N3V quality control scans/vetting seem to miss their graphics elements blast most the screen space on small screens and on that to miss the margins settings really mess with the readability.

There is another how-to on a site I also can't scale to my needs, a congenial distinguished Spanish Content Creator's ezine, I gather, but like N3V his clever little format is useless to me and my eye deficiencies. I simply couldn't zoom in enough. Maybe there was a trick, but I had to give up when rolling the mouse wheel with control pressed scrolled pages, not the view. Jcitron has had similar issues with the comprehension of reading said documentation, so we both hand fix things for now, and asking the Skype group guys, the only one that I recollect having had success with understanding Asset-X was Paul Cas.

I strongly suggest you all write the documentation for this stuff for the Wikibook, and I'll be very glad to do the editing for you all. (As I PMed Andi06 about --Don't believe I made that offer to him yet!) I'd love to have text or word processing text to peruse, as a software guy, for hand editing the first hundred errors was good for the education, these next groups, are just frustration rubbing salt in the wounds. I want to explore the route they came in on, not fix things which should have been at least quarantined years agone. (Andi professed to dislike wikimarkup the way I barf at the thought of voluntarily using PDF files to read or write, so we have somewhat different tastes--quasi-complimentary one might say!) Put your text and embed images into a Word processor document, pop the source images into a zip folder, then add the document when proofed, and I'll be glad to put it up so we can all access it and scale it as needed. Further, if you have no problems with a GNU or CC-by-SA license, we can put up a PDF file version as well that people can download and print locally (Though they can do that with a wiki too), though I'd urge doing both formats. Redundancy is a beautiful thing!

Basically, what I'm saying here is an offer for you guys to take any format you like and put the tale together in some form I can edit too, and I'll gladly do most of the work to convert it to nice scalable wikimarkup, and further, guarantee by the way I write it-- you can also then publish it on the N3V Wiki. I understand Andi's concern about not trusting N3V to be around, but Wikimedia... little chance the World would let that close now.

More to the point, I've been working hard to be able to begin restructuring and then thread the Wikibook into divisions that will be page threadable... turn the page like that Spaniards ezine, but with mouse clicks. In the meantime, there is room now to focus on what should be there, and that is things like Asset-X, your TARDIS operations, and to my mind, ASSET (ATLS system for example), Andi's Crossings system (forget it's name), ROUTE AND SESSION TECH MANUALS--user how-to articles of all sorts. I was even thinking we could have an essays section.

Putting up Routes tech manuals is a natural and much needed resource, and I urge anyone with a Route to publicize this is the best way to get others to write sessions for your route and thus people to drive it. No one knows the goodies crammed into the corners of a route like the route creator. This is a way to make the backstory for all that modeling work stand out so people can imagine the route coming alive the same as when you were mentally building the V-scale model. Only you can readily see that the industry at Mile three gets feed stock from the industries at mile 15 and 45, while there is a daily run that picks up and drops off cuts at 14:55, etc. The info-page tag went sorely underutilized, and was useless inside teh route. Putting a tech manual on line, potentially gives aid to the users at all stages and modes.

Tony Hilliam re: this
Clearly, if one reads Tony Hilliams' Mission statement when he so optimistically heralded the N3V Wiki back in 2008/09, he expected such would be there, along with contests, and favorites and a whole host of community activities. He must be very disappointed.
The Asset-X program help is "Windows style" (forgotten the appropriate technical term) and looks like this:


The help is easy to follow but I doubt if it would easily port to a WiKi format. Plus there would then be a maintenance problem. i.e. two copies to maintain.

I do have on my long "todo" list an intention to write an intro to using AssetX for asset project development for the TrainzDev WiKi.

For someone coming from a programming background, and familiar with Integrated Development Environments (IDE), this is about as close as you can get with the existing tools available for content creators. I cannot imagine making assets without it.
No one I've asked about them save Pcas and Shane Turner has known anything to speak of about Asset-X, save it exists.
I'm not sure who you are asking but the AssetX FAQ is, by some distance, the most read and posted to thread in the Content Creation forum so somebody must have downloaded it.

My documentation is in CHM format, its written as the code develops and I have no interest in maintaining it in more than one form and that form is going to remain in my control. However I have no objection to anyone else transcribing or translating it and I will assist if I can.
Thanks Andi, the Asset-X FAQ is not what I saw before. Interestingly, Advanced Search on "Asset-X FAQ" doesn't pick up the direct reference to the page either. I believe what I'd looked at was in the "community newsletter" back in 2010ish? That was where I'd tried to read the writeup with the squeezed-in margins, iirc. And being in the Content Creation forum 'splains why I haven't just happened across it this past year. Bad enough playing catch up over six Trainz releases when you're half-blind like me without trying to run before walking. (Meaning beginning Content Creation at this time.)

That's one reason I tore into fixing up the Trainz Wiki before tackling upgrades to the Wikibook. I needed to learn the data structures et. al. and what you guys have seen from faulty content hands-on. Besides, the deficiencies in pedagogic presentation to the 'uninitiated' in the N3V Wiki were pretty obvious. Fixing a few of those were the few text edits I actually made therein.

Given the FAQ, I'll see how much catching up I can learn today. I still have a moral problem with the Retail by 3rd party vs Company beneficiary, and more to the point, see no reason at all, at all they shouldn't isolate problem assets as I suggested. Alberte Zato is amused and cheering... However, if Asset-X has documentation I can read, I'm on it!

Harumph. Well that's not promising! "Access violation at address... module ntdll.dll. Write of address... " is not a good start when all I wanted to see was which version I had! TTFN!

Guess this will take more than five minutes, huh?!
// Frank

Wow! You got an attaboy from the WindWalkr! Goodo on you. I've got v2.2 which is what your website is still distributing, so might the above error be because I moved a Trainz directory where it expected to find one, or perhaps otherwise gave it one which is not now a current folder. (Quite likely, I tend to move things until I'm satisfied with an organized schema.)
Just found the ini file is pretty much a virgin. Reinstalling
Last edited:
Ignore ntdll.dll - its a known issue on some machines (you might have to ignore it 11 times though)

Its fixed in Version 3 which will be around before too long.
Ignore ntdll.dll - its a known issue on some machines (you might have to ignore it 11 times though)

Its fixed in Version 3 which will be around before too long.
OKAY-Thanks Andi -- I got past it,and am looking forwards to mastering your tool. Just now I'm so behind adding anything todo with error fixing save posting on some handling on the wikibooks is a lower priority.than I'd prefer--I've got a backlog of 88 disabled items sitting in TS2009 to whittle away now and again.

Apologies to all that I haven't updated the DLS fix scheme yet--it's in the edit que once I stop having fires to pee on. // F