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0.11.0 Release Notes

Mike Pope

FreeCol 0.11.0

The FreeCol team are pleased to announce the release of FreeCol 0.11.0. This release is mainly an opportunity for the developers to fix some difficult structural problems that were blocking progress. That said, there are many useful new user visible features, listed
below. And lots of bugs were fixed.

In particular, we had an intractable cluster of bugs that could not be fixed without making an incompatible change to the saved game format and dropping the 0.9.x compatibility code. Therefore, this is 0.11.0, not 0.10.8, and 0.9.x games will no longer load correctly. The hope is that this is the last save-format break before 1.0.

User configuration

User configuration and data files have been moved to more standard locations under MacOS and Unixes (e.g. *BSD, linux). Where a change occurs, existing files that FreeCol uses will be copied to the new locations, leaving the original directories intact, and an informative message will be displayed (once!). In all cases now, the final directory to look for your data is called "freecol".

MacOS

Configuration: ~/Library/Preferences/freecol
User Data: ~/Library/Application Support/freecol

Unixes

On other Unixes we now follow the XDG standard but only if there is evidence that other applications are also using it. This usually amounts to checking whether ~/.config and ~/.local exist.

Configuration: ~/.config/freecol
User Data: ~/.local/share/freecol
Logs: ~/.cache/freecol

If insufficient evidence of XDG-use is found, the old ~/.freecol structure will continue to be used for at least the duration of the 0.11.x series, but is likely to be dropped at the next major release.

Windows

Windows configuration has not changed. Windows stores FreeCol data in the "freecol" folder under the documents directory.

Bugs

262 bugs reports were closed since the 0.10.7 release. 163 were fixed, 22 were invalid, 36 went out of date, 41 were duplicates. The bug tracker is in reasonably good shape. As of 20141018 we have 49 open bugs, which break down as follows (some overlap):

6 : Blocked WWC1D?
12 : Blocked needing information from the reporter, or awaiting fix confirmation
2 : Java related, probably not our bug
2 : Missing content (artwork, sounds)
19 : UI issue
3 : Installer problem
6 : Windows specific
1 : Directory problem

from which you could say:

  • FreeCol really needs a coherent UI (volunteers needed).
  • Nice to see the AI bugs squashed, but the AI is still lame.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a FreeCol bug report. Kudos to outstanding bug reporters Lone_Wolf and William Astle.

Known Annoying Bugs

The change in save-format is not 100% clean, so when starting 0.11.x with an older format game there may be some initial display inconsistencies with other nation units and settlements. These should settle down with play, and go away with a save-load cycle.

Several people have complained of hangs or crashes associated with the opening video. On linux there is a known cause for this but it is deep inside the X server, and AFAICT not something we can fix. If this happens to you, running FreeCol with the --no-intro argument is often a successful workaround (BR#2703).

Next Release

Given the large changes and long gap since the last release, the next release is likely to be a maintenance/bugfix release to tidy up problems that were missed in testing. More people testing the git trunk would be most welcome.

The next major release will concentrate more on implementing missing features from the Pending Features tracker. Only 36 to go before we can release 1.0! Note though that several of these are blocked by lack of detailed knowledge of what Col1 did. We have collected the open questions into the WWC1D wiki and invite Col1 players to help us sort out what exactly needs to be done (in particular Lone_Wolf's effort to definitively work out Col1 resource output could do with some help). Apart from developer time, this is the major blocker to releasing 1.0.

We hope you enjoy FreeCol 0.11.0. Onward to 1.0.

The FreeCol Team

User Visible Changes

  • Added more buttons and pull down entries for boarding and unloading
  • Alpha-blend the borders on the graphics
  • Auto-generated forest tiles, with more visible rivers
  • Improved window size detection, contributed by wintertime
  • Add Spanish town hall image, contributed by Alexandros Intzekostas
  • Naval attacks should gain 50% attack bonus, Col1 confirmation by
    Andromaxus and Misiulo
  • Add confirm save overwrite (FR#150), from Simon Tsai
  • Sort units in colony port panel, from fca00000
  • Add option to disable the map darkening (FR#107), from Azad Raza
  • Fewer overlapping message boxes
  • Fix for options dialog cancel behaviour, from Brian Perles
  • Restore nation colour choice
  • Apply lower bound of 30 to native food demands
  • Coronado and Bolivar benefits now persist, Col1 confirmation by Misiulo
  • Coalesce trade route messages
  • Trade route messages can be individually silenced
  • Coalesce customs house messages
  • Roles can now be defined in the specification
  • Peace agreements are much more likely to last (better still with Franklin)
  • More complex AI diplomacy behaviour (still flakey alas)
  • Added more backup river names, contributed (a long time ago) by jborderman
  • Col1 compatible scoring
  • Improvements to America_large map, from KeplerBR
  • User configuration and data files storage rationalization
  • Challenge mod, contributed by Bryce Harrington
  • Add a "$" decoration to unscouted settlements in the tile popup and advisor
  • Col1 compatible cross requirement progression, Col1 testing by Misiulo
  • Added "Hessian" mercenary offers
  • Col1 popular support settlement attack bonus during War of Independence
  • Native settlements begin with a reasonable stock of goods
  • More Portuguese names, contributed by Ernan Morais
  • Diplomatic trades can include agreement to declare war on another player
  • convertUpgrade mod allows converts to upgrade after Casas is elected
  • Horses eat fish in classic rules, grain only in freecol rules
  • Col1 restriction on founding colonies during rebellion for classic mode
  • Select destination dialog is much faster and a little more informative
  • Rebel nations now have their own user specified flags
  • European AIs are now capable of cashing in treasure trains in Europe
  • European AIs cheat-build military units in Europe and are more aggressive
  • European AIs are more wary of naval defences
  • European AIs make much more efficient use of transport units
  • The REF is slightly less inept
  • Converts should be a bit more frequent, but they are no longer able to swim

Major Developer Visible Changes

  • Another overhaul of the production code
  • Complete overhaul of serialization
  • FreeCol now requires Java >= 1.6 to build
  • Implement FCO.copy(), allowing much simplification of PlayerExploredTile,
    so now the "disappearing settlement" bug family is fixed
  • Replace FreeColDialog, killing the dreaded getResponse family of bugs
  • Complete overhaul of AI missions, especially transport handling and logging