Trainz/Introduction to error fixing

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Contributing authors: Fabartus

Introduction to Error Fixing in Trainz[edit]

Errors, Faults, Faulty assets, Bad Content, Faulty content are all synonyms in Trainz-speak for the same situation:

An asset is Bad. Most correctable faults will have become somewhat incompatible with the newer Trainz release preference for organizing model data. A small percentage were distributed with malformed components, were made to a less exacting standard earlier versions were sometimes tolerant of and other times caused crashes, or sometimes, somewhere, the asset file got corrupted. The later cases are real faults, the first is progress coupled with some carefree programming philosophies and decisions inconsiderate of the impact on the thousands of users.

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In point of fact most faults we see should have been (but aren't) automatically handled and updated by CM or TrainzUtil on download.

Those with incompatible data linkings, generally need a new mesh (Non-English/foreign language alphabet characters illegal in Trainz or Windows file names in mesh and texture names are the culprit in those.), and corrupted data could be your hard drive, the internet, or sometimes on the DLS itself. Sometimes deleting an asset then re-downloading it cures the first two cases.


  • Many times the errors are simple errors of assumptions as a content creator did variations on a theme, in effect Reskinning at least parts of her creative output without a full up test, or cutting, pasting, and quickly editing in an element or feature, alas incorrectly. These are basically typos and can happen to anyone. This sort of error happened a lot in pre-T06 assets which is why that T'06 version instituted the initial error checking into the before-commitment and before-uploading process (as well as pre-cdp generation)—which has made the bleeding slow but not stop, but left the errant cdp file on the DLS unchanged.


  • Many times these got fixed, but for legal (copy rights) reasons, and lack of a past ability to replace a faulty DLS asset, or for lack of understanding how, the fixed version has an entirely different KUID. This can be confusing to veteran Trainzers much less new Trainzers, so we'll present techniques below to not run afoul of this one. The originators data base (the DLS) knows these first versions are obsoleted by a replacement by the inclusion of a obsolete-table entry; anyone with both items has no problems thereafter, but the database and we Trainzers have no easy and efficient CM tool to tell us the new kuid is available.

We soon painfully learn when and how to check versions on a new faulty asset to compensate for a system sometimes abused or historically less capable.


  • Another and the most common kind of error or fault occurs when the asset needs an tweak to conform to a newer level of asset technology. These should have been handled automatically but N3V chose a different design philosophy and just didn't think of the time cost to the user community because of their methodology.[1]


  • These flaws in Trainz content is most often frequently something which can be 'fixed' by small 'tweaks'—hand edited changes into the files in the assets defining folder(s) opened in the operating system. This is our topic and the art and skill we hope to help you master in quick order. On the oldest content, these fix updates generally make the fixed asset broken to the software from the era it came from, because the fix requires installing new data organizing structures containers to make the newer software interpret the old elements that were organized a different way—ways which were admittedly less robust, reliable, and safe. These are good things for the prevent the hated BSoD. When they aren't persuadable by this small effort, the Trainz forums become a gold mine and recourse.


  • The easiest to understand gold mine new users should bookmark for asset repair needs is the Content Creator's Guide (Online version). The Trainz Wiki is authoritative relative to the newest data model, but it is often too terse, written for those already familiar (high volume content creators with a say in those specifications as it happens) with the modeling needs in a Config.txt file. But no worries, the prose and presentation of the CCG while dated is perfect to the fault fixing needs—after all, for a repair you just want to do the minimum change you can get away with. To bridge the gap, here on the Trainz Wikibook we've been upgrading and expanding the N3V presentation in the reference pages herein with much more explanation and introductory material for people of all education and experience levels.


  • In the worst case, the asset is missing key data (a mesh or texture) that is unobtainable, or the one won't load despite everything you try. When all else fails, return the item for a refund. All $0.00 spent. That's a good time to ask for help on the forum, but please do form the habit to make a fix try or three first, so you can tell people what you tried. Newbies who do that, instead of asking others to solve their problem for them get a far better reception and far more help—not to mention learn things otherwise not easy to teach, and build self-confidence too, both good goals. In other words, failure teaches best (mastering at the least, 'what doesn't work', solidifies what does!) and if given the choice of helping a whiny new user, or someone trying hard, the second guy, as in life in general, is going to get better attention, and far more respect—self or from others.


  • Four software savvy veteran Trainzer's: PEV, Andi06, Ianwoodmore, and Pcas1986 are expecting a 95% asset repair rate on older-to-oldest content (Their claims, their test benchmarks and statistical evaluation — all as of mid-April 2014) with the next release of AssetX and TARDIS which have been evolving since mid-2010; which means less than 2% of DLS content will fail their upgrade process, and that remaining older content with faults needing hand editing will be no more than 1–2% of the DLS population overall, and that's steadily dropping thanks to a project called the DLS Clean Up. This, a slowly proceeding N3V DLS cleanup project which will eventually eliminate most of those.


 

Be familiar with[edit]

It is assumed the reader has read through and gained a working understanding of the materials presented on the following pages before proceeding with the below:

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C

Goals of this Module[edit]

This module will give the reader a working knowledge of the following Trainz knowledge topics:

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C

Topic 1[edit]

Topic 2[edit]

Topic 3[edit]

Topic 4[edit]

  1. Case made for preprocessing, Auran forums, 2014-0805