studioSL gives engineers a powerful, single entry point to our 4-stage, simple-to-detailed, approach to manage and optimize mature floods. We recently released a new version of studioSL, 2014.0301, with many improvements over studioSL 7.0.
The most significant improvement is that studioSL no longer requires a JRE or Java3D to be pre-installed. Previously, studioSL required an installation of JRE 1.6+ with Java3D inside. This was a burden for both us and the users: Java3D must be installed inside the JRE but most times the JRE folder was not writable to the users because of Windows UAC, or because it was located on a corporate server. Additionally, the 64bit version of Java was not always installed. In the previous version, to help in the installation process, an online installer took care to check if the user had permissions and automatized the process of installation. But several non-admin users still had problems.
So, for this release, the user can download a single ZIP file from our server, unzip it wherever they want, and run studioSL without further configuration. This is because the NetBeans Platform lets you bundle the JRE and Java3D with studioSL. If the user wants to use their own JRE, they can set it from inside of studioSL or modify the etc/studiosl.conf file.
The online installer has been simplified and improved. It lets the user install the latest studioSL, switch to super user on Windows and Linux, and uninstall studioSL while clearing the user directories for all users. It also comes with a brand new user interface.
NetBeans Platform 7.4 and Java 7
The second big improvement is that we switched to NetBeans Platform 7.4 and Java 7. Some of our users were still on Java 6. In order to use Java 7 they had to go to their IT administrators and ask for an upgrade. Moreover studioSL 7.0 was based on the old NetBeans 7.0, which is no longer updated and we had to back port several patches. With the new release, we moved to NetBeans Platform 7.4 patch2. Although this version does not use all the new Platform features, it did allow us the get rid of all the patches we had to introduce with 7.0.
We benefited from the native file-system listeners because often our users manipulate files outside of studioSL but expect it to display the updated data. studioSL still patches the NetBeans Platform. We patched the notification module to customize the duration of the Notification popup and the Schliemann module to get rid of warning, exceptions and deadlocks. Although Schliemann has been deprecated we continue to use it as our syntax recognition is based on it and we have invested a lot of time and resources on that.
A nice feature that has been added to NetBeans Platform 7.4 and that we adopted in studioSL 2014.0301 is that now you can specify the maximum file size above which a warning popup appears before opening the file. In the old version this was implemented in a patched module.
StudioSL 2014.0301 comes only with a few new tools because it inherits all the latest updates from the 7.0 release. We had continued to provide new features to 7.0 until some months ago thanks to module updates. You can check for the changelog here http://www.streamsim.com/news/studiosl-release-20140301.
- Import geographical data into studioSL, so it can generate 3D Grids and 2D property grids.
- Automatically update of the plots as soon as new data is available.
- Automatic forecast of simulations.
In future, we are planning to make full use of the newest NetBeans APIs. The most useful feature we have spotted is the new Notifications area. There are many cases where we want to notify the users about something that went wrong, like a corrupted file, without interrupting the workflow with popup dialogs.
There is also a project to make a Dashboard to summarize a simulation model. We may use JavaFX for that, but it has not been decided yet.