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ianwoodmore
February 11th, 2010, 07:02 PM
I was leader of the TARL FIXIT Brigade consisting of Bob Weber, Pencil42 and Spruce and a few volunteers. We put a lot of work into Steve Forget's facility but alas most of it was lost due to a lightning strike.

TARL Mk 2 will rise from the ashes soon I hope based on TS2010 in order to help you transition to TS2010 compatability mode and hopefully even native mode. See the Trainz Community Newsletter at TRD.

In my investigations most SP3, UTC, TRS2004, TRS2006 and TC assets can be made to work in TS2010. I have 104,000 so far. We hope to enable you to transition your favourite routes/sessions/assets.

Project TARM (Trainz Asset Repair Management) is an ambitious project to provide a similar service to TARL Mk 1 with some new features. Briefly it consists of:

MADE - Missing Assets Directory and Exchange.

This will list some 10,000 supposedly missing assets as gleaned from TS2010 SP1 Content Manager. Note that some of the missing are due to a bug in CM/DLS that insists on rating some obsolete assets as missing. You will be able to contribute 'found' assets to this database. Virtually starting again on this as the original section of TARL was lost.

Target date - Jun 2010.

TARG - Trainz Asset Repair Guide.

TARG is a series of Repair Procedures to help you eliminate those pesky red and yellow flags that appear in Content Manager. The repair schemes use PEV's Tools extensively. About 40 schemes are in draft at the moment. About 100 should be available sometime this year. Tutorials are also envisaged.

TARL - TrainzAsset Repair Library

TARL is the repository for repaired config files. TARL MK1 had about 8,000 and covered most of what CMP MK1 declared as defective. CM3.2 build 41615, part of TS2010 SP1, is much more powerful and discriminating. It has unearthed some 45,000+ defects from 2,000 authors, based on my TAD having the complete DLS bar 170 stuck assets. Currently I have about 20,000 repaired assets ready to upload to TARL but I am doing further checking to ensure I caught all the errors. By the target date I expect I will have repaired all red flags that I can, but yellow flags are so numerous that these will be on an opportunity basis. About 1,000 red flags might be difficult and need assistance from more experienced Trainzers.

Target Date - Jun 2010 depending on successful completion of new database.

TOOLMAN - A set of convertors, editors and viewers that have been produced by PEV and are already available.

Currently includes:

PM2IM
Texture2TGA
Images2TGA
Quickshadows
Mesh Viewer2
Mesh Text ViewerTarget Date - Available now. Watch Trainz Community News for articles on Toolman by Peter Villaume (PEV) who created these wonderful tools.

Many defects in Trainz occur in the config file, but the errors are so varied that no one has come up with a viable automated Config Fixer as yet. This is where TARG and TARL will assist you until this tool is realised.

KEYCADDY - A set of keywords that can be used in config files that indicate the type of defect that is present in the asset. This is cross-linked to the repair scheme. TARL will be searchable using these keywords. Associated with this feature is that the keywords are useable in the Trainz Content Manager. An extensive set of custom search filters have been built and tested. How to build and use these filters will be the subject of future articles in Trainz Community News.

I am also developing an extension of the KEYCADDY that will assist in managing the license aspects of assets, but licensing is a very convoluted topic. I will contribute some articles on this in the Trainz Community News.

Target Date - Hopefully Mar 2010 for the CM capability. Jun 2010 for TARL features.

These five modules make up the TARDIS (Trainz Asset Repair Database and Information System).

All this will be available at a Trainz Community Website with a knowledgebase FAQ. We hope to then host additional information to help you such as:

Tutorials and How to Guides.
A Comprehensive Manual based on CCGTC and including TS2009/10 and wiki data.
A Trainzwiki Navigator to find your way around the TrainzDevwiki.As you can see this is a huge project. We have few resources available but tremendous determination to make it happen. It also depends on the goodwill of authors to allow us to host the repaired config files regardless of the stated license condition. Note that TARL MK1, in the 3 years it was available, hosted some 8,000 repairs from ~500 authors' assets. Only one author declined to participate and we regretably excluded his creations to the detriment of the Trainz Community in my opinion. Allow us to fix the legacy stuff while the precious but limited author resource takes care of the new. We all gain that way.

The proposed Auran DLS Cleanup is necessary, in fact vital, to prevent defective assets being available for download, but how many of us want to re-download gigabytes of sanatised assets over limited bandwidth and access (127GB in my case). TARM can provide that facility via repairs without jeopardising the obsoleting function.

Watch our progress at TRD in the monthly Trainz Community News.

Ian Woodmore
Wellington
New Zealand

narrowgauge
February 11th, 2010, 07:13 PM
Ian

I think you need to rework your post, it is virually unreadable as it is.

Peter

ianwoodmore
February 11th, 2010, 07:24 PM
Done. Original was in Word 2010 and microsoft did some manipulation when I copied across.

fran1
February 11th, 2010, 07:27 PM
Glad its been re-done I had problems with the first effort.

Dinorius_Redundicus
February 11th, 2010, 07:55 PM
OK, so now I understand what TARL, TARG, TARM, TAD, TARDIS, MADE, TRD and TCN are (WTF..?). You will probably also need a TAG (Trainz Acronym Glossary)..

But on a serious note, it seems to be mainly about showing people how to fix things that are already out there and in error. That's good of course, but will there be any effort to help prevent creators from continuing to commit the errors in the first place?

You know how common it is for creators to keep copying the same erroneous configs to dozens of their assets. As a creator now myself, I would appreciate being actively advised as early possible that I've made an error before I inadvertantly copy it into more and more of my creations. I don't use anything later than TRS2004, so I have no other way of knowing if my creations cause errors in other versions.

Yes, I know it means e-mailing individual authors, heaven forbid, but if there was more of a preventative than a curative slant to this, the work of the TARL, TARG, TARM, TAD, TARDIS, MADE, TRD etc.... should get less, not more, over time.

And this time, I hope the team keep some secure backups!

meatloaf747
February 11th, 2010, 08:40 PM
Ian,
Very informative post. The Trainz community really appreciates all your hard work in trying to come up with a solution/s, to try and clean up this mess...
Cheers, Mac...

kmapplebeck
February 11th, 2010, 11:51 PM
Awesome collection of Utilities...

I just wish that there had been some sort of hard and fast rules set in place to have a standardized naming convention for Assets...

To many times the Ego of the Creator ends up in the asset name instead of having what the item really is...

OK Off my Soapbox now...

I cant wait to use these... I know there's some errors in mine...

tmz06003
February 12th, 2010, 04:46 AM
But on a serious note, it seems to be mainly about showing people how to fix things that are already out there and in error. That's good of course, but will there be any effort to help prevent creators from continuing to commit the errors in the first place?

You know how common it is for creators to keep copying the same erroneous configs to dozens of their assets. As a creator now myself, I would appreciate being actively advised as early possible that I've made an error before I inadvertantly copy it into more and more of my creations. I don't use anything later than TRS2004, so I have no other way of knowing if my creations cause errors in other versions.



The error checking on DLS upload will automatically flag up errors in every version, I upload in TRS2004 mainly like you also, and if I can get my asset past the DLS upload process then it will work in the latest versions of Trainz.

This is the main reason why it is so important to continue to support the DLS and not solely upload to third party websites.