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BRL-CAD Release 7.20.2

BRL-CAD 7.20.2 is now available! The 7.20 release marks the introduction of a new CMake-based build system for BRL-CAD. Improvements continue on geometry conversion and tessellation to polygonal formats. Progress is made merging MGED and Archer for an upcoming combined alpha with numerous command improvements, bug fixes, and interface enhancements. Experimental enhancements to BRL-CAD's rending system are also under development in support of programmable shaders.

CMake is cross-platform infrastructure capable of generating build files for a wide variety of operating systems and compilation environments. Cliff Yapp has been diligently adapting BRL-CAD to CMake for several months in order to simplify our cross-platform development. Previously, two separate build systems were being maintained -- one system (GNU Autotools) for Linux, UNIX, and BSD platforms (including Mac OS X); and another separate system (Microsoft Visual Studio) for Windows. The new build system supports all platforms (including Windows) from the same build logic. This eliminates the need to manually update multiple build systems and improves BRL-CAD cross-platform maintainability.

Many thanks to Brandon Hinesley, Richard Weiss, Bob Parker, Cliff Yapp, Sean Morrison, Erik Greenwald, and Keith Bowman for their contributions to this release of BRL-CAD. Since release 7.18.4, the following changes were made:

* improved fusing of coplanar faces (tessellation)
* fixed rtwizard issues with unknown units and freezing
* fixed problem with mater command setting color
* fixed crash rendering scenes with all invalid lights
* improved reliability of ARS tessellation/conversion
* improved tessellation performance and reliability
* replaced 'erase_all' command with 'erase -r'
* improved 'ls' command error reporting in archer
* fixed related object highlighting in archer's tree view
* added closedb command to archer
* improved behavior of opendb command in archer
* improved archer/mged manual page browser behavior
* added man documentation command to archer
* improved File->New dialog in mged
* all cmake files now included in dist
* cross-platform 64-bit ISST (cmake-only)
* fixed mged zoom out mouse binding on Linux/*BSD
* improved multiple path handling for search command
* fixed segment splitting tessellation conversion bug
* fixed crash during facetization of large models
* fixed asc2g bug importing color and other attributes
* added -q "quiet lookup" option to the 'ls' command
* fixed numerous 'red' command text edit bugs and robustness issues
* modification of LIBRT spatial partition traversal ordering
* new LIBRT_BOT_MINTIE environment variable override
* changed search output order to shallow followed by deep
* added search support for '.' object list search results
* red -f flag to force overwriting pre-existing combs

Please visit the Sourceforge project website to download the latest version: http://sf.net/projects/brlcad

See the BRL-CAD website at http://brlcad.org for more information.

Posted by Sean Morrison 2011-07-11