Trainz/references/Notations

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 HKeys-WIN
 Mouse use
 Notations

Trainz Notations[edit]

This special glossary page will assist the new reader in getting the gist of Trainz-speak. It is a terse set of other terms that are usually more fully elaborated on in the Glossary and at times, given topic pages all their own for in depth exposition.

Keypress notations[edit]

Many Trainz functions are accessed using the mouse or hotkeys. The later change depending upon which module of the software suite is active, though commonality of purpose is preserved from application to application when there is overlap. Mostly there isn't.

Standard Abbreviations[edit]

  • in this book —means may see elsewhere, but this is what is meant here.
  • general shorthand —means seen often on the web forums too.
  • Kc:, Kd:, Ks: Keys, usu. Hotkeys respectively in CM, Driver (DVR) or Surveyor (SUR)

Terms and Acronyms[edit]

Aa_to_Fz[edit]

Term Meaning Comments, clarifications, or notes
  ..\pathspec    path from
reference folder 
 usually used to signify a sub-folder (the 'local root directory') of the Trainz install directory so '..\TS12\bin and '..\bin would mean the same in usage context.
'..\TS12' means what ever the '..'=initial_pathspec is the way you installed Trainz (i.e. where TS12 is installed on your computer). See also pathspec and namespec below.
         
  ALCO        American Locomotive Company - a popular locomotives - engine manufacturer, many designs of which have been subsequently used as prototypes for digital and physical Model Railroading models.
         
         
  Asset-X        Freeware asset fixing tool when used with TARDIS scripts to update and fix assets in conjunction with PEVtools freeware.
         
  baggage car        when rails were king, luggage and freight carrying cars.
         

  Built-in asset
  or (BI)  
  or Built-ins   All the built-in items of your Trainz release version. These are found in .JA files which are configured for rapid upload into the game and tightly organized. Certain items, such as thumbnails are stripped from the JA's which are mandatory for uploading an asset to the DLS, where the thumbnails are used in web pages and/or downloaded to the cache for views in CM. Consequently, such images are not part of any cloned asset.
         
         
  CAB file    compressed Asset Base
 or CABinet files 
 CAB files are a software term of art for a library of files that may be and usually are options in the install. Microsoft Windows and many other applications allow user customization by adding or deleting components, such as Microsoft Media Player, accessibility assets like magnifiers, internationalization customizations for languages, audio text readers for the hearing impaired, and even system utilities like disk maintenance applications. Trainz CAB file analog is the JA files, which contain all the installs' base assets distributed with the specific retail release.
         
  carriage        a popular prototyped passenger traincars - usu. by a manufacturer
  CC or
 CC's
 Content Creators   Those wonderful people that freely give a great deal of time and painstaking devotion to providing digital models for Trainz.
 These are: Route builders, Asset makers, Scripting specialists and Session writer's—which activities take a big chunk of time and they ought be appreciated for fueling Trainz for over a decade now.
         
  CM    Content Manager Utility data manager, Trainz Windows application to download, upload, archive, sort, and manipulate assets, including cloning and editing. CMP became 'CM 2.0' in TRS2009, and then CM 3.3 later in it's 4th service pack - since that upgrade, all CMs display the new asset Trainz-build version (v#.#) in the title bar.
  CMP    Content Manager Plus   Older initial all in one CM Windows application introduced in v1.5 and up versions of TRS2006 and the 3 Trainz Classics.
  CSAR    Computing  term  Conditional Search and Replace. See SAR in the glossary for details and distinctions.
  EDR    Extended database repair   Selecting EDR from the CM ALT+F7 hotkey or options menu launches the big brother of the QDR, which forces a full thorough database self-audit, including checking installed assets, and record like ..UserData\Originals, backups and etcetera.
  • It takes quite a while as a result, so if tempted, make sure you have no plans for the computer for up to half a day; comparatively the EDR takes a much greater time, even with no added content on a system, for it not only rebuilds the assets.tdx index file but also rechecks validity of content, looking for faults.

In particular, disable anti-virus and Mal-ware checking and especially disable any auto updates which might reboot the system with disastrous results to Trainz. Best run overnight, verify your scheduler apps don't interrupt and that your scanning security utilities are disabled--the EDR is internal, and no scanning of files is in any ways useful, but just slow things down stealing resources and processor cycles from Trainz--which will be pushing your processor to the limits!.

  • [Ed-note:' Disabling internet connectivity has been reported to speed the process considerably.]Ø
  EMD        a popular prototyped locomotives - engine manufactured by General Motors Electromotor Division
         
         
  Error Fixing        Process, usually of running PEVtools to update some extractable data types and upgrade an asset with concurrent edits to the assets config.txt files.
         
         
         
  enumerated    strictly
defined 
 Enumerated types strictly define legal values, and proscribe undefinable values, which generate an error. category-region tag and category-classes are data fields which must satisfy enumerated values checks. Boolean values must only be a 1 or 0, or similarly generate errors.
         
  filenamespec     Operating
system path  
 reference to folders hierarchy in Windows; C:\TS12\UserData\editing\$dummyScreenshot.jpg for example has a pathspec, a filename and is when all together a 'filenamespec' combining both.
         

Ga_to_Mz[edit]

Term Meaning Comments, clarifications, or notes
         
  install
installation
 
  Any Trainz
code build  
 Each or any Trainz version on a particular computer and it's Hard drives in it's own local root folder. This author has a version for each hotfix and Service Pack of each Retail release version since TS09-SP1 and each are an 'install' since SP2, SP3 and SP4 all differ. Repeat as needed for TS10 and TS12!
         
  GUI    Jargon: 'Graphical User Interface'   The three 'run-time' module we can view the Trainz virtual world or models within. They are Driver, Railyard, and Surveyor. (Content Manager is a Windows application, as some would argue are the Loader, Launcher, and Main Menus screens.) Technically all are GUIs, but control is either Trainz or Windows, so there is a teensy-tiny distinction.
         
  keyword    computing term   A 'Reserved word' meaning enumerated and given special scope and legal use. containers, kinds and tags are all keyword enumerated types which signify particular handling when processing their data value fields.
         
  Hotkeys
Abbrv: HKey  
HKeys-CM
HKeys-DVR
HKeys-SUR
HKeys-WIN 
 A Hotkey in computing is also known as a keyboard shortcut, and are usually a Key-press combination where multiple keys are pressed at the same moment, or a Operations key that is built into the software and changes or accesses some other mode. One 'almost' universal sequence ALT+F+something in Windows Apps will bring you to the File drop down menu to Save..., save As..., Open, etcetera. So Hokey gives FILES (a mode change, launch mode entry to file operations). Another two well used: Win+E - Opens Windows Explorer; ESC suspends browser page build operationa... canceling loading that link you really didn't mean to click.
 JA file  Compressed Asset Base file type   The standard Auran Compressed Asset Base (CAB file), which includes all the built-in items of your Trainz release version. JA files are configured for rapid upload into the game and tightly organized. They may be ported version to version within certain limitations. TS09 JAs, TS10 JAs can be added to TS12's bag of tricks. TANE is expected to have similar capability, otherwise route and session assets that took many man-months to create would not be forward-compatible, a hallmark of Trainz since its earliest days.
 kuid reference or 
 referenced kuid
  enumerated data type   KUIDs data field of a tag listing a sub-asset (dependency) used to build the current asset in a config.txt file tag or container. Specific data key-words (tags) will specify a kuid reference, which must then also be listed in the asset's kuid-table (identifying independent asset dependencies).
         
  image file     graphics files   data in image form, Trainz handles BMP, JPG, TGA, and GIF image file types. For others, see File formats
  mail car     A class of rolling stock    when rails were king, valuables and small freight (Sears and Roebuck Mail-orders!) carrying cars commonly the target of robbers like Jesse James and his crew, since they frequently carried money or bullion!
         
  minimap    Ks: CTRL+M 
 Kd: M 
 In Surveyor, opens a map less than full screen size that one normally sizes and positions in the lower LH corner as preferred using LMBHd. It shows the surroundings from the centered-cursor/camera position, and a key feature is it selectively allows one to see labels not otherwise displayable in Surveyor or Driver (e.g. Names of triggers) Alternatively, also M in Driver, only.
         

Na_to_Sz[edit]

Term Meaning Comments, clarifications, or notes
         
  NAMCON    naming convention   Naming conventions are just guidelines as to how a name is formatted. Is it better to make a username of the form: 'PRR 40' Boxcar' or 'Boxcar, 40ft PRR'? These vary CC to CC, and within any organization producing co-operative output.
         

  named parameter
 or explicit parameter 
     A name in scripting encoding and decoding languages (such as wikimarkup language which builds this page) which has limited scope and which is a specific temporary keyword in passing a value to another process. Both the passing routine and the deciphering or called code must evaluate the term the same, and such parameters are case sensitive. The analog in general computing is a variable which must be declared of a specific type. In the scripting application, the typing is handled solely by context and interpretation, while in the compiled computer languages, the typing corresponds to allocation of physical memory and the typing also constrains the types of operations allowed on the data.
  pass parameter        A computing software term referring to sending a value into another part of the software as an input, normally a function or module which then further processes the passed data.
         
  PEVtools
  PEVsoft  
alt: PEV-tools   general use, Asset updating freeware suite that in later Trainz can fix many error conditions, generate shadow meshes and convert old fashioned v1.x PM to IM mesh files. See Setting up PEVtools and PEVtools pages.
         
         
 placeholder parameter or
 dummy parameter or
 dummy keyword 
 computing term
 
 A dummy or placeholder is a reference made in a sequential order, so one who's data is evaluated in that 'place' in a 'read order'. Many Trainz containers and especially Trainz's sub-containers defining data for initializing an array are placeholders usually represented by the set {Ph: 1, 2, 3, ..., nn}, for all trainz data definitions values are pairs of the form 'keyword' (whitespace) 'Data'.
         
         
 Asset Root
folder
 asset's root or
 asset's root
folder
 local Install's ..\editing subfolder of any Trainz installation usually where Content Manager opens a sub-folder in the Trainz' Installation's ../editing sub-folder;
or sometimes means a users or CC's archived source folder before importing it into his uploader CM Installation.
In each case the folder defining all of that asset.
Note: Many veteran Trainzer's, esp. CCs keep a second (backup) or third (plain jane) Trainz install to test dependencies on a 'bare' version before uploading.
         
         
 Root folder
 local root or
local root folder
  Installed subfolder of an
hard drive  
 Where you let the installer software put a Trainz version when adding the software to your computer. Conventions were C:\Auran\subfolder and later C:\N3V, or D or F hard drives (HDD) with like names. Some put Installs directly off the root of the HDD such as for example: 'F:\$TS12-SP1+hf3' or 'D:\TS09-SP2' , both actual folders on this computer at the moment!)
Hot user tip: Putting Windows and Trainz versions on the same HDD will slow things down, as will installs on the same HDD as the Windows TEMP (cache folders) directory.
         
         
  QDR    Quick Database Repair   Selecting QDR from the CM ALT+F7 hotkey or options menu launches the little brother of the Extended Data Base repair, which forces a quick partial database self-audit, including cross-checking installed assets, filenames, and inventory check it's references to the record like ..UserData\Originals, backups and etcetera.
  • It takes a short while (10-30 minutes) but may reconnect files in Assets.tdx, 'open for edit' or those you may have added in other folders as a result; comparatively the EDR takes a much greater time, even with no added content on a system.
  pathspec     Operating
system path  
 reference to folders hierarchy in Windows; C:\TS12\UserData\editing\$dummyScreenshot.jpg for example has a pathspec, a filename and is when all together a 'filenamespec' combining both.
         
         
         
  CSAR  
 fm SAR 
 Computing
Term (Jargon) 
 lit.:Conditional Search and Replace and Search and Replace, (aka, 'Find and Replace'); variant GSAR=Global Search and Replace (all or nothing, more risky that you may change something you shouldn't than one by one. Use REGEX to narrow risk significantly.
 Set notation
{xxx: val-0, val-1, val-2, ..., val-nn}  
 list of 'xxx' typed things are:... values list   example: {tag: category-era-0, category-era-1, category-era-2, ...}
         
  String array    Wikibook term
special container
 data class name 
 Several Trainz legacy tags or keyword's which had numeric suffixes for each declaration have been superceded by defining those values within a quoted string and delimiting (separating) them from the next by use of a semicolon ';' . (See name-xx, category-region-xx, category-era-xx etc. versus username-xx explanations.)
         

Ta_to_Tz[edit]

Term Meaning Comments, clarifications, or notes
  TAD    Trainz Assets
Database 
 Where all the goodies bundled or off the web are kept in your Trainz Installation to feed CM, Driver, Surveyor and Railyard. Today's Trainz run a program called TADdaemon in the background to handle multi-tasking activities, including internet interactive gaming.
  TADdaemon    TAD + daemon   A Database transactions manager added to Trainz in TS09-SP4 and the TS10's.
 • The most important thing to know about TADdaemon is you need to give it 30-45 seconds (to finish it's bookkeeping needs) and completely shut down after closing any Trainz install completely—and esp. before rebooting or powering down the computer![note 1]
 • The second, is that if still active, that 30+ seconds long window is designed to give you time to quit CM and Launch the run-time GUI's, in which case Trainz has a handle on the current database state and will load much faster
.[2]
 TBD 
 TBDL 
 English jargon: something unsettled yet   lit. To Be Determined or To Be Determined Later, this later form carrying the connotation the tabling of some issue or feature is both by design and intent.
 • Many societies, whether they be business, government, or social, know the best way to eat an Elephant is one bite at at time.
Starting is half-done is a truism in allocating scarce time resources, and many decisions can be deferred (such as what might go into blank lines on this table) until a fuller picture of needs is determined.
  TBS    The TrainzBaseSpec   Fundamental parent data defines of any asset KIND which every self-defining asset or element needs to bootstrap itself in Trainz. The TBS contains the set of defines which are common to and legal in all assets.
 {{Trainz CC}}
or TCC  
  'TR04+TR06
+ 'Trainz Routes'
 
 Formal retail release name of Trainz Complete Collection, ca. 2006 — an omnibus 3CD collection with TRS2004-SP4, TRS2006-SP1 and Trainz Routes (extra content CD).
         
         

  TLC    American slang   lit. Tender Loving Care—here in the TWB, generally meaning or referring to: 'something' (an asset, usu. a route or session) which needs a lot more work to be acceptably up to the societies grade and standards!
 • A corollary: Don't put things up on the DLS which aren't up to snuff! Share things you are proud of while learning with Dropbox or other cloud services, but don't stress the communities patience with you, nor damage your reputation with premature uploads of junk!
  TLCP    Trainz_Life-Cycle_Policy   in this book, shorthand for the controversial and user community disliked Trainz_Life-Cycle_Policy, or at least the heavy-handed implementation of it requiring assets being uploaded to conform to a higher trainz-build level than necessarily (formerly a tech-level tracking system, now perverted to become a retailing tool) needed by the asset's configuration and component parts have need of. Many if not most assets, not requiring or using a tiddly change in the Trainz script libraries, the data models work fine with much lower TB values. Auran/N3V is merely hoping to force people to upgrade to newer generation Trainz releases—so dictating they must buy new computers and video regardless of age, financial circumstances and personal choices.
         in this book, shorthand
  Trainz 1.x    Trainz 1.3   The 2001 simulator which wouldn't quit despite Microsoft's wishes. Surveyor is the tool that makes Trainz special and the versions today look much the same with some different skins/themes and a few improved Surveyor tools options like layers, Pick lists and other incremental changes.
         in this book, shorthand TBD
  Trainz UTC     Trainz UTC    formal release name of 'UTC', Trainz: Ultimate Trainz Collection, version bundled and upgraded Trainz 1.3, with scenarios introducing TrainzScript and some extra routes and content. Scenarios scripts lead to Scripting and Trainz interactive features (railcars and industries).
         in this book, shorthand TBDL
  Trainz Routes        A 2006 or 2007 CDROM extra content release of numerous small routes when Auran, impoverished by Fury was desperately trying to raise cash.
         in this book, shorthand
  TR04     TRS2004    in this book, shorthand, often also T'04
  TR06     TRS2006    Seen some on the forums since TS10 and TS09; in this book, shorthand; often also T'06
  TC1&2
or TC1
or TC2  
  TC1&2    general shorthand, most widely distributed together so grouped; means Trainz Classics 1&2 release with a North American flavored Railroading Theme.
  TC3     TC3    in this book & general shorthand for Trainz Classics 3 release with a British Railroading Theme.
  TS09     TS2009    in this book & general shorthand, also:
TS2009: World Builder Edition
  TS10     TS2010    general shorthand also:
TS2010: Engineer's Edition
  TS12        general shorthand also:
TS2012: 10th Anniversary Edition

  TWB  
 or WB  
 Trainz Wikibook   lit. Trainz Wikibook—this resource so many have taken time to put together for the Trainz societies.
         

Ua_to_Zz[edit]

Term Meaning Comments, clarifications, or notes
         
 unary
 unary value  
 Math and computing term   A unary (lit. from Latin: un+ary), is a single term, or a parameter (variable) "consisting of, or affecting, a single element or component; monadic "[3] as opposed to binary, trinary, or quadary elements. Even placeholder parameters in Trainz are always binary operators, a tag and a value. Pass parameters in Wikimarkup templates although placeholders or named parameters, are always unary--they have only the one part.[4]
         
         
  UTC    Trainz v1.5 Ultimate Trainz Collection   general shorthand for the important version that introduced scripting in Trainz, which in TRS2004 gave Trainz interactive railcars and industries.
         

File Types in Trainz[edit]

ANIM
Animation, for example a steam locomotive's connecting rod movements, or water movement on a river or lake.
BMK
Bookmark. Used to track and record the current camera position in Surveyor.
CDP
Content Dispatcher Pack. A file used by Auran and some other content creators to distribute additional assets. A CDP file can contain one or more assets.
CDPA
Content Dispatcher Pack Archive. An archive version of the CDP format, used by Auran to place an asset off the main database into axillary data bases controlled by the user, while keeping the asset in a loadable form. Archived assets are no longer selectable when building a route or session, but because they are still indexed, an asset which needs the dependency can still load it. Use primarily to put aside assets needed in something you want to run, but would never use in creation. Example: A North American Trainzer might archive all the Non-American rolling stock and locos, or signs or architectures not likely useful in any route he may build.
CDP2
Content Dispatcher Pack 2. A new version of the CDP format, used by Auran and some other content creators to distribute additional assets for Trainz Classics.
CFG
Used to store the program's configuration details. This is a widely used file type, but the format is specific to each program.
CHUMP
Cache file.
GND
The terrain file that contains the topographic details of a map. This is the file that is produced and replaced when creating a map from DEM data.
GS
GameScript source file.
GSE
GameScript encoded file.
GSL
GameScript library file.
GST
GameScript template file.
IM
Indexed 3D mesh.
JA
Jet Archive. Contains compressed copies of multiple assets.
KIN
Kinematics. Associated with animations such as pantographs.
OBS
 ?
PM
Progressive 3D mesh. Obsolescent after TRS2004, but still in many older DLS assets.

SRT Files are the mesh files for displaying SpeedTree items such as trees or grass.


SpeedTree was developed by IDVInc. N3V Games are licensed by IDVInc to use the SpeedTree format in TS2010 and TS12.

The SRT file contains all of the geometric and texture mapping data needed to render a tree object as well as data for wind movement animation.

N3V Games provides no editing or manipulation programs for SpeedTree files. Third-party SpeedTree creation may be undertaken under license between the content creator and IDV Inc. Reverse engineered files from the UDK version of SpeedTree are prohibited for Trainz use under the terms of the IDVInc license.

The game has session-wide adjustments for the wind movement effect in the environment section of Surveyor.

TEXTURE
A 2D texture which can be applied to a surface of a 3D object. Generally BMP, JPG, and most often the preferred TGA file types.
TRK
Usually found with a .GND file, contains information about the trackwork of a layout.
TSO
Trackside Object. The variations in a layout that are required for a specific scenario, for example extra trackmarks and triggers.


Notes and Footnotes[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. As a transactions manager TADdaemon also allows one to run CM and even multiple times the same CM safely whilst Driving or running Surveyor!
     • The CM's filter tabs will 'interact' and have a mild conflict, but if one sets a static filter up on the first, and a different filter up on the second, Surveyor and the CM's co-exist quite handily.[1] (Just don't count on that first CM's 'Current Search' to be unchanged if you refresh!)
     • See also Forum thread: Validating-why-N3V-keeps-loosing-customers-and-what-to-do-about-it

Footnotes[edit]

  1. Conclusion of observations by informal but systematic "TS12 Stress Tests" by Computer Engineer Fabartus, June of 2014.
  2. Dec2013 email from James Moody to Fabartus on Trainz technical matters for the N3V Wiki and WB.
  3. unary. Dictionary.com. The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing. Denis Howe. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/unary (accessed: September 18, 2014).
  4. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): via Dictionary.com, "unary," in The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing. Source location: Denis Howe. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/unary. Available: http://dictionary.reference.com. Accessed: September 18, 2014.