Land F/X version 8.90 is available for installation from the Check for Updates feature.
The big news with this update, is a culmination of five weeks worth of development on converting away from a central database. Current Land F/X installations include a database, either MySQL or SQL Server. There is of course all the data that relates to a project -- the trees, irrigation equipment, reference notes, details, and other things that relate directly to a project. All of that data still remains in that database. But this update particularly address everything else. The list of fonts available, the names of hatch patterns, the detail categories, the scaling information for blocks -- all of that other data used to be stored within the central database as well. And now with 8.90, all of that data resides within XML files -- you'll now notice throughout the LandFX folder, there will be various XML files that will appear, named for a block, or named "_index_.xml" for an entire folder.
Moving all this information into XML files allows us to do several things. First, it means that backing up everything about your Land F/X installation is now as easy as copying the entire folder. It also means that replicating the folder among multiple offices will be much easier. It allows the installation to be must simpler, and conceivably involve a truly minimal number of files, with all other files downloaded on demand. It means that recovering from a crashed hard drive will soon be as easy as restoring your last backup of the LandFX folder, and then clicking to restore all project data from the cloud-based backup on landfx.com.
This has been a large undertaking, and a lot of effort. When the basics of Land F/X were first engineered in the early 90's, all the plant, irrigation, and other information had to be in a database, as that was the only option. So it was natural that all the information on blocks, fonts, hatches, and details would also be in that same database. But in 2009 we made the dramatic step in replacing the local irrigation database exclusively with an internet-based one. We followed this up in early 2012 by moving the plant database to the web.
So where are we going with all of this? Within a year, we should have the installer simplified to a point that only a couple of files need to be downloaded, barely 5MB, a far cry from the current 130MB installer. It will make it much easier for new users to try out the software, and existing users to quickly set up an additional computer or switch to a laptop. The install can be several orders of magnitude lower in complexity, easing our technical support issues, and reducing the chances of a trial user getting a bad impression of the software without even getting a chance to use it. For all of you existing users, you'll see an increased ability for us to restore your previous installation after a computer crash, and an expanding library of additional content available.
And among all of this, there were several wishlist items, and technical support updates that also made it in there. The complete update list is as follows:
Common groundcover quantity calculation function, triangular spacing calculation adjusted; additional override created for legacy plans.
HotFix: Placing Plants, into a plan in Inch units, symbols are scaled correctly.
Place Generic Plants, switched to dynamic scaling.
SketchUp Connection, Unassign button, compatible with installs without local plants table.
HotFix: Size Lateral Pipes, using Spot Elevations for calculating elevation-affected pressure, pressure difference is not mistakenly multiplied by 0.433.
Irrigation Manager, category of Fertigation added.
Equipment Info, improved handling of changing symbols.
Irrigation Schedule, for Schematic Areas, Cost and Total columns display currency symbol.
HotFix: Size Lateral Pipe, when using Spot Elevations to calculate Highest Head in a Metric plan, additional pressure required is correctly calculated.
Mainline Size, when sizing a looped system with a maximum flow, looped pipe flow is calculated as accruing to maximum rather than assumed maximum flow.
Circuit, Head Tally, changes head type to that of first head selected.
Verify Laterals, entity verification compatible with Bricscad bug of non-standard Modelspace indicator.
HotFix: Detail Explorer, dragging a detail, metadata lookup will not generate error.
HotFix: Detail Hierarchy dialog boxes, Browse, compatible with detail data stored within XML files.
Detail category descriptions moved from database to external XML file.
Detail Hierarchy dialog boxes, Standard Detail Grouping options removed.
Detail metadata moved from database to external XML files.
HotFix: Detail Builder, Text and MText buttons will not generate error.
Detail Explorer, Drag and Drop of details provides ability to select Move or Copy.
RefNotes, allow assigning a Cost to a Notation.
Site Development, Zoning schedules, logic for displaying cost improved.
HotFix: Leader with Text, creating new font style will not generate error.
Fonts tool, dialog box converted to OpenDCL, allowing for installing fonts on the fly.
Grading Legend, symbol scaling corrected for Metric plans.
Hot Fix: Font tool, creating a new style will not generate error.
Preferences, Help button target updated to sub-section of Preferences documentation.
Common function for determining if a point is within a work area, accounts for AutoCAD EXTMAX bug.
Create Viewport, allows selecting a Work Area within an Xref.
Error Handler, revised escape error message for latest German language installations of AutoCAD.
Make Viewport, will not mistakenly freeze the layer xrefs are placed onto.
Common hatch data lookup function, additional error handling for empty hatch name.
Project Manager, Save button discontinued.
HotFix: Common hatch data lookup function, placing a hatch without index file present will not generate error.
HotFix: Common hatch data lookup function, multiple minor bugs corrected.
HotFix: Debugging stop removed from common hatch lookup function.
Set Viewport Scale, checkbox to also set Annotation Scale; initial support of Annotation Scale throughout Planting and RefNotes modules.
List of hatch data moved from database to external XML file.
UCS tools, will not allow user to set or activate a UCS within Paperspace.
Make Viewport, compatible with a UCS.
Common text style creation function, additional error handling for missing font assignment.