BRL-CAD Release 7.20.4

After a few month release hiatus, BRL-CAD 7.20.4 is now available providing several dozen bug fixes and feature enhancements. Our support for NURBS geometry continues to stabilize with improved step-g import support, ray tracing enhancements, better wireframes, and numerous robustness improvements. MGED/Archer continues to approach an alpha release with support added for interactive editing of pipe primitives, improved visualization, new BoT mesh healing capabilities, and more. After many months of effort, our OBJ importer receives a comprehensive overhaul with improved behavior all-around for polygonal mesh OBJ geometry. There is a new exporter to the DOT format used by Graphviz for creating graphs and visualizations of geometry model hierarchies. Efforts to overhaul and enhance BRL-CAD's documentation system were revitalized with effort under way to regenerate and improve our tutorial series.

Many thanks to the many individuals that have contributed to the features and fixes in this source release including Carl Moore, Tom Browder, Brandon Hinesley, Zach Easterbrook, Abhijit Nandy, Richare Weiss, Erik Greenwald, Bob Parker, Cliff Yapp, and Sean Morrison. Since release 7.20.2, the following user-visible changes were made:

* added lighting model visualization options for archer - Bob Parker
* reid command now takes optional -n "incr by" value - Erik Greenwald
* reid command now returns the last region ID set - Erik Greenwald
* improved nirt support for non-UNIX-style text files - Sean Morrison
* added new relos thickness reassignment command to mged - Carl Moore
* support for loading archer plugins with spaces in name - Bob Parker
* added 'exists' object detection command to mged/archer - Cliff Yapp
* added archer BoT split/flip/sync surface cleanup panel - Bob Parker
* added new g-dot exporter for hierarchy visualization - Sean Morrison
* improved g-vrml successful exporting and reporting - Richard Weiss
* added -b BoT dump and -e evaluation option to g-vrml - Richard Weiss
* improved obj-g polygonal import - Nicholas Reed, Richard Weiss
* fixed mged crash after killing an illuminated object - Abhijit Nandy
* tightened default polygonal mesh export tolerance - Sean Morrison
* converted introductory Tcl/Tk presentation to Docbook - Tom Browder
* initial support in archer for editing pipe primitives - Bob Parker
* fixed NURBS raytracing crash due to invalid geometry - Sean Morrison
* fixed memory leak when saving BoT geometry - Nicholas Reed
* improved mged object name globbing support - Sean Morrison
* improved bounding box for rpc, epa, ehy, hyp primitives - Cliff Yapp
* improved handling of degenerate face facetization - Richard Weiss
* add support for .png file output in rtwizard - Cliff Yapp
* improved rtwizard's invocation of rt - Cliff Yapp
* added object path and keep options to conversion.sh - Tom Browder
* 'keep' command includes sketch when keeping revolve - Sean Morrison
* fixed mged 'mater' command inheritance setting bug - Richard Weiss
* fixed mged crash removing comb members during edit - Richard Weiss
* modified archer startup to not require html documentation files
- Cliff Yapp, Brandon Hinesley
* improved mged/archer/bwish run-time path behavior on Windows
- Cliff Yapp, Bob Parker
* upgraded libpng to version 1.5.4 - Cliff Yapp
* improved performance of step-g importer - Zach Easterbrook
* fixed browsing mged html help pages on Windows - Bob Parker
* restored mged 'rt' command output to console window - Sean Morrison
* fixed infinite loop bug plotting NURBS wireframes - Sean Morrison
* added new 'ringworld' procedural geometry generator - Erik Greenwald
* fixed mged Manual page item in help menu - Brandon Hinesley

This is a source-only release. Binary releases will be provided at the discretion and availability of our binary release managers. 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 2011-11-02