Introduction To Content Manager Plus
CM or Content Manager.exe was a stand alone utility from Trainz 1.0 with which users could install new modeling assets, or export a route to share. While still a separate module, TRS2004's ContentManager was further evolved, but still primarily a database access tool and there were separate programs for managing the FTP transactions of uploading and downloading cdp file assets to the new Download Station. The big change CMP (Content Manager Plus) was a feature of TRS2006 and Trainz Classics only and is accessible via the Trainz start-up launch screen. Its purpose is to manage the assets on your hard drive (located in your Trainz/local folder) and also manage downloading from the DLS. CMP has a sophisticated search facility and automatically downloads dependencies associated with each asset. CMP is closely integrated to CCP and is also used to open assets for editing and commiting them for use in Trainz. In TRS2006 and above, new assets are created via CMP.
Unfortunately CMP is well known for it's bugs and problems. Crashes, freezes, corruption of assets, malfunction, unpredictability and loss of data are not uncommon for many users. The reliability of CMP varies from user to user and is dependant on the setup of the system and the operating system.
The following is a list of some suggested remedies for common problems with CMP. It is based on a posting on the Auran forum by Rob Shaw.
- If CMP fails to start, press CTRL-ALT-DEL to invoke Windows Task Manager. In "Processes", check if there is a second copy of ContentManager running and if so then end it.
- If CMP fails to recognise the user's login or incorrectly reports having no FCT (First Class Ticket) or some similar problem, check that the C:\Program Files\Auran\TRS2006\Settings folder hasn't any content set to read-only. Then ensure that the login details are entered.
- If CMP cannot connect to the server, check for any problems reported by the firewall program. If the problem persists, in CMP Settings > Internet, choose "Use Internet Explorer Settings", which is reported to sometimes help.
- CMP is reported to be more likely to crash frequently if there is a large amount of DLS content installed. In this case it may help to delete the C:\Program Files\Auran\TRS2006\assets.tdx file and the C:\Program Files\Auran\TRS2006\Cache folder. This is because occasionally the database becomes corrupted for unknown reasons. You need to run TRS2006 after deleting those items before launching CMP again, and TRS2006 may take a long time to start the first time after deleting the database.
- If CMP is taking a long time to rebuild the asset database, pressing ESC cancels the action.
NOTE: Last action will not work!
CMP behaves a bit like a railroad - the blog edition
By nismit @ auran trainz forum
After my first very hard 2-3 daze of trainz 2006, I have come to terms with CMP, in fact I'm in love, though it was a steep climb. Sure CMP hangs and breaks and sometimes "forgets to leave physical memory, when it crashes, so it must be evicted through the Applications (or Processes) tag within Windows Task Manager; but when it stumbles, it can be picked up from where it left.
The first break through was turing sound on in CMP and listening to the sounds it makes. Then the download part begins to make a little sense:
DO NOT hit the start button immediately after move assets to the Download Helper window! Wait for it! A bell signals when the "train of assets" is ready for download.
WARNING: Failure to adhere to CMPs 'railroad rules and regulations' will increase the risk of wreckage and frustrations.
When departure signal have been given: press 'Start'. A doormans whistle is blown and CMP begins downloading. (With a FCT download usually maxes out the capacity of the connection, in my case up to 500KB/s.)
Another (undescribed) sound signals, when download helper has done as much as it could. The the real fun (as defined by Rimmer of Red Dwarf) begins. Press the 'Missing dependencies' for an initial assessment of the "damage". Hopefully you have 'laptop' icons in the Status column all the way down to the floor.
Do not line up too many assets, unless you are positively asking for trouble. Control your greed and split larger transports into several 'trainz of assets'.
Sometimes CMP cannot find assets, even though they are on DLS. The search them out in DLS and press download there to marshall the next download train. Some are not found on DLS, then you'll be back in this Forum looking for hints.
Some assets come down in tears. Either with 'Missing dependencies' or as faulty. doNT paNIC, most of the problems are rather simple to fix. Begin by opening the Right Mouse Click menu on the misfortunate asset.
If missing dependencies, select View Dependencies, then press 'View in main list' on the popup window. Here the process is a recursive hunt for assets that are faulty or missing dependencies.
Faulty assets can be edited in 3 or 4 ways, but I chose not to install .NET to save precious disk and bug space, so I have only used 'Edit in Explorer' as I'm an old hacker, so I prefer to keep an eye on things without to many buggy tools between me and the real problem.
So, now we're down to a faulty asset. If you cannot fix it, be sure to disable it in the asset RC popup menu. Starting trainz with faulty assets is a rather bad idea, since the result is unpredictable with inconvenient application crashes as the likely outcome.
Dive into the faulty asset with 'Edit in Explorer' (in the sub-popup menu under Edit in the asset popup menu), this will move the asset files to an editing folder in the trainz root (folder). Then pick 'View errors' on the assets popup menu in CMP, so you know what to fix in the asset folder. Most of the errors are rather silly syntax mistakes in the config.txt file and the *.texture.txt files describing the visual assets components. If you stumble into something you cannot fix, maybe someone has or can, so you'll be back at The Trainz Forum sharing the community fruits or seeding new ones.
With config and texture problems - if you do not know how to fix the assets - it usually suffices to but the word rem on the beginning of the text line CMP complains about. Fx if CMP complains about the word 'surely' in config.txt and a line like
surely cmp will sour over this line
appears in the file. Simply add rem as a line prefix to turn it into a "comment", like this:
rem cmp will surely sour over this line
To validate you fixes and reinstate the asset: select 'Commit' on aforementioned submenu. If all's well the red ! in the asset's status field will fade and you can proceed to the next trouble item. Otherwise recheck the 'View errors' and repeat the editing part just described.
Now, what we really need is a way to bring the fixed assets back to the DLS without the somewhat disrespect and rather clumsy solution of cloning the fixed asset (with your user ID) and uploading it to DLS under a new KUID. It would be cleaner and more respectful of the producers efforts to put it back with a version increment, so the next one that downloads it (as a dependency) gets the fixed asset instead of being forced to repeat the exercise I have described here.
So much for Trainz'06 and CMP. Vista is another matter, which I would have advised strongly against, if BG&Co (Microsoft) had shown the courtesy of consulting me in advance;-). Unfortunately, the guys in SW(software)engineering still believe users and indeed other developers read manuals. This is at best naive, since it is pretty obvious, that quite few of them do so themselves, leading to various problems very similar in nature to those of the main topic in this reply.
Again: remember to commit all assets and disable what is or can not be fixed - before you start trainz. Goodbye blue monday.
NB: It would appear, that you must clone and archive the corrected assets in order to be able to restore your fixes after a cleanup.