BRL-CAD Source Release 7.16.8

After a couple months of concerted stabilization effort, I'm happy to announce the availability of BRL-CAD 7.16.8. This is our largest patch release ever, with more than 50 bug fixes, minor enhancements, and other user-visible changes to BRL-CAD.

BRL-CAD's ray tracing support for NURBS boundary representation geometry objects continues to be developed towards providing a robust foundation for supporting multiple-representation geometry. This release includes several NURBS ray tracing bug fixes, robustness improvements, and trimming enhancements.

MGED receives a lot of attention with numerous troublesome bugs getting fixed (e.g., "the Mac input bug"), restoration of behavior for various introspective commands, and continued feature integration with Archer. MGED's wireframe display gets a substantial 5x-10x performance improvement for non-Windows platforms. MGED on Windows now supports 64-bit releases and restores command-line scripting support.

Archer gets a user interface facelift with the introduction of a new geometry browser, list view, buttons, and much more. As Archer approaches feature parity with MGED, it gets closer to an official alpha release status later this year as BRL-CAD's next generation geometry editor.

Since release 7.16.6, the following user-visible changes have occurred:

* fixed Mac OS X 10.5+ mouse input/rotation bug in mged
* X11 wireframe performance improvements (dm 'X')
* rtarea "-u model" specifies output using local units
* new bot_split command separates BoTs into multiple BoTs
* rtarea output provides various common larger units
* rtarea run within mged now displays using local units
* re-enabled archer's embedded image framebuffer
* fixed mged and nirt crashes handling whitespace lines
* newly enhanced archer tree view hierarchy visualization
* fixed nirt backout bug when origin was ahead of model
* fixed mged bug calling 'units' without a database
* analyze, cat, dbfind, & 'l' describe selected objects
* openNURBS updated to version 5.0 (2010-04-09)
* improvements and bug fixes to NURBS ray tracing
* new button images and tree-view icons within archer
* html man page viewing in archer
* archer tree view colorization for selected objects
* replacement of tkimg external dependency with tkpng 0.9
* libpng upgraded to 1.4.1
* fixed crash with solids/regions/idents mged commands
* g-stl and g-egg have new -8 marching cubes option
* fixed mged bug reading from redirected input on Windows
* fixed partition selection bug in rt -k cut plane
* added NURBS support for transformation matrices
* remap_mater mged command to change material codes
* MGED help menu lists all commands with documentation
* fixed mged units bug supporting decameter (Dm) units
* improved robustness of NURBS trimming during raytrace
* Improved put_comb command usage and added documentation
* mged finds g/pl asc tools, dbupgrade, and rt on Windows
* Improve behavior of editor invocation in classic mode
* reorganization of archer buttons, panels, & preferences
* fix invocation of fbclear from MGED on Windows
* fixed obj-g crash when importing multiple objects
* continued work on MGED Docbook man page conversions
* integration of mged authorship dedication into archer
* improved behavior of mged initialization options
* 3dm-g importer improvements for hierarchical layering
* fixed namspace initialization failure in rtwizard
* removed the pcd-pix image conversion tool
* fixed coil tool -S option, now takes 6 parameters
* fixed g-egg coordinate and polygon format bugs
* improved obj-g import support for object names
* fix rtweight bug where incorrect units were reported
* added initial manual page documentation for rtwizard
* support for metaball conversion to polygonal format

Special thanks go out to John Anderson, Bob Parker, Janine Gettier, Keith Bowman, Erik Greenwald, Sean Morrison, Paul Tanenbaum, and Cliff Yapp for their contributions to this release.

This is a backwards-compatible source-only developer release.

BRL-CAD is a powerful constructive solid geometry solid modeling system that includes an interactive geometry editor, ray tracing support for rendering and geometric analysis, path-tracing for realistic image synthesis, network distributed framebuffer support, image and signal-processing tools.

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 2010-05-05

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