TrackIR 5 'Final' issues

Post Reply
JuMo
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 3:28 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

TrackIR 5 'Final' issues

Post by JuMo » Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:44 pm

Hi,

a few questions: it looks like you are installing the start menu and desktop icons with NT4 compatibility mode enabled by default? I assume that this is because of the crash on start issue? While, for the moment, this appears to work on my machine, isn't this more like an unreliable kludge than a "final"? Should something like this not be in the release notes?

Also, TrackIR5.exe sometimes does not close on exit. This appears to be happening when you exit through the systray icon context menu.

Speaking of the systray icon: just how is that "Minimize / Maximize to Tray" thing supposed to work? Without wanting to discuss the semantics of "maximize to tray" ;-), I find it completely counter-intuitive and downright difficult to restore the application window when the app is minimized to tray. Doubleclicking the systray icon does not properly restore the application window either. Instead, sometimes when I double-click the systray icon, it will restore the window in windowed mode, but completely collapsed into nothing but a tiny title bar in the top left corner of the screen. You have to manually drag the window borders to make the window visible again. Imho the whole systray max/min/restore routine is broken, or bad design at least, and needs to be rethought and redone.

Pls. don't get me wrong, I think the V5 software is a great improvement in terms of UI and functionality, but it is still buggy and should not be called final, or at least be accompanied by appropriate release notes.

Concerning the fubar release of the "first final". Ok so somebody messed up the "final" build, s*** happens, nevermind. But it would have been nice if the previous beta had still been accessible on the website over the weekend while the broken "final" was out, so that users would have had a way to reinstall the previous version. I would like to suggest that you keep the links for older versions up until V5 has become more stable.

JuMo

Seth Steiling
Posts: 1366
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:29 am
Location: Corvallis, Oregon

Re: TrackIR 5 'Final' issues

Post by Seth Steiling » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:38 am

JuMo wrote:it looks like you are installing the start menu and desktop icons with NT4 compatibility mode enabled by default? I assume that this is because of the crash on start issue? While, for the moment, this appears to work on my machine, isn't this more like an unreliable kludge than a "final"? Should something like this not be in the release notes?
We're not installing in compatibility mode of any sort, by default. If you happen to have run past betas in compatibility mode, it's likely that your setting has persisted, even upon installing the final version. That might explain why your app is running in compatibility mode by default, when it ought not to.
Also, TrackIR5.exe sometimes does not close on exit. This appears to be happening when you exit through the systray icon context menu.
We're aware that the background process fails to terminate upon exit for some users. We've combed through the code extensively, but cannot reproduce this consistently enough on our internal machines to determine the cause. We're still actively trying to isolate what's going on here, but we didn't want to delay the final software any longer, as this bug has been relatively minimally distributed and proven very difficult to isolate.
Speaking of the systray icon: just how is that "Minimize / Maximize to Tray" thing supposed to work?
Right click on the icon. Left click on "Minimize / Maximize to Tray." Double-clicking on the icon also works, for me. Strange that it's not working consistently for you... I haven't noticed that behavior, except on a few occasions in alpha/early beta.
Without wanting to discuss the semantics of "maximize to tray" ;-)
Haha, good point. ;)
Concerning the fubar release of the "first final". Ok so somebody messed up the "final" build, s*** happens, nevermind. But it would have been nice if the previous beta had still been accessible on the website over the weekend while the broken "final" was out, so that users would have had a way to reinstall the previous version. I would like to suggest that you keep the links for older versions up...
Not a bad idea. Though, because Beta 5 and Final were identical, the problem (which was related to our build machine, not to the code) was quite unforeseen. I don't see this as a problem that should become remotely typical, and we want to encourage users to download the most recent build of the software. Having two versions could be confusing to those that don't frequent the forums. I think that distributing past builds on the forums, on a case by case basis, is generally a safer approach. It's unfortunate that, in this case, the broken release was distributed right before a weekend. But, again, it's a pretty atypical occurrence. It shouldn't happen again any time soon.
...until V5 has become more stable.
With the exception of the background process bug, the overwhelming feedback from the majority of users indicates that the current state of the software is quite stable. I would not recommend that anyone use beta releases at this point.
Marketing Manager
TrackIR | OptiTrack

JuMo
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 3:28 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: TrackIR 5 'Final' issues

Post by JuMo » Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:17 pm

Hi,

tnx for your reply.
NaturalPoint - Seth wrote: We're not installing in compatibility mode of any sort, by default. If you happen to have run past betas in compatibility mode, it's likely that your setting has persisted, even upon installing the final version.

Silly me, found it, it's in HKCR\Software\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers. I was thinking you had implemented a kludge as you have yet to fix the crash on startup bug, sorry. FYI, this key has nothing to do with previous betas, it appears that XP stores all app compatibility info there. The installer does not delete this key during uninstall/install. Key is in fact linked to the settings you make in the link property dialog.
That might explain why your app is running in compatibility mode by default, when it ought not to.
Mhm yeah that does explain why the setting is persistent, but regarding "ought not to": on my machine, TrackIR5 Final.b still crashes instantly without compatibility mode turned on, as it has been doing that since I bought the product. And to this day, there is no other workaround or indication of the root cause even though I've emailed support at least twice, sent logs etc. I can't help getting the impression that the 3D window is the problem, and that whatever routines are used by it are not completely under control.
NaturalPoint - Seth wrote: Right click on the icon. Left click on "Minimize / Maximize to Tray." Double-clicking on the icon also works, for me. Strange that it's not working consistently for you... I haven't noticed that behavior, except on a few occasions in alpha/early beta.
Try this: Start the app maximized or windowed, then minimize it via the title bar symbol, then try to maximize/restore it via the sytray icon in any of the ways you described. It won't maximize/restore, at best you can get the taskbar icon back. Since the commands are labeled "minimize/maximize", this is a bug, since this is not what they do in this case. You could call it "restore previous windows state before you clicked the systray icon" or something like that I guess....

Right now, I can't reproduce the weird "windowed mode collapsed" effect, but it is there.
NaturalPoint - Seth wrote: With the exception of the background process bug, the overwhelming feedback from the majority of users indicates that the current state of the software is quite stable.
I have to disagree. Basically you claim that all the issues I am experiencing

-Crash on startup
-backgound process not closing down occasionally
-funny systray icon

are either not there, or only affect an irrelevantly (?) small (?) number of users, or have not been seen since early betas. Funny I am experiencing all of these issues :-(

The crash bug is severe for those who have it, the compatibility setting trick is not reliable. I would think that if you found a bug in beta, you should have a problem record of it having been identified and a change record of it having been fixed. If it hasn't been fixed, it most likely is still there. In that case, it should, together with whatever other info for that release, be listed as an issue in a readme accompanying the installer, so that people don't have to make annoyingly long posts in the forum :-p. Actually I think that users should not have to search through or post on the forums for existing issues at all. While the fact that you are providing the forum is fantastic, probably only a small number of users are reading it, and a considerable number of foreign language users like myself may not be able or wanting to post in English.

Peace!

Jumo

Seth Steiling
Posts: 1366
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:29 am
Location: Corvallis, Oregon

Re: TrackIR 5 'Final' issues

Post by Seth Steiling » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:20 pm

JuMo wrote:Silly me, found it, it's in HKCR\Software\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers. I was thinking you had implemented a kludge as you have yet to fix the crash on startup bug, sorry. FYI, this key has nothing to do with previous betas, it appears that XP stores all app compatibility info there. The installer does not delete this key during uninstall/install. Key is in fact linked to the settings you make in the link property dialog.
That's good to know. Thanks for the heads up.
...on my machine, TrackIR5 Final.b still crashes instantly without compatibility mode turned on, as it has been doing that since I bought the product. And to this day, there is no other workaround or indication of the root cause even though I've emailed support at least twice, sent logs etc. I can't help getting the impression that the 3D window is the problem, and that whatever routines are used by it are not completely under control.
A few (maybe 5) other users have had a similar problem, and I think that all of them have simply needed a driver update for their GPU. Yours has been especially tricky to troubleshoot. Basically, we just can't reproduce the behavior internally, which makes it hard to get a read on. Even the event logs haven't shed sufficient light. So, though we don't want to minimize the frustration that it probably causes you, this is a tremendously isolated occurrence with no discernible cause on our end.
Try this...
Got it. I don't think anyone here was aware of this particular behavior, which is not ideal. However, trying to objectively examine our current dev workload/priorities, I think this is going to remain the default behavior for some time. Good catch, though. This could be more effectively implemented. (I wouldn't consider it a bug, per se, but probably inefficient design.)
I have to disagree. Basically you claim that all the issues I am experiencing

-Crash on startup
-backgound process not closing down occasionally
-funny systray icon

are either not there, or only affect an irrelevantly (?) small (?) number of users, or have not been seen since early betas. Funny I am experiencing all of these issues :-(

The crash bug is severe for those who have it, the compatibility setting trick is not reliable.
The crash on startup bugs have all but been eliminated, with a very few exceptions. Yours, unfortunately, is one of them. The background process bug is admittedly more widespread, though still extremely elusive in our internal testing. The min/max issue, while not a bug in my mind, could be improved. The weird resizing upon max seems to be extremely isolated as well, as I think this is the first that I've heard of it from a user.

We definitely don't feel that those of you that are experience these bugs are irrelevant because of how few you are. But, these few remaining bugs are so few and far between that it's just really difficult to pinpoint what's going on. It's not for lack of effort on our dev team's part, I can assure you.

It is strange that you've experienced so many of the bugs that have popped up (as well as those that remain) throughout the beta process. But, for probably 99% of 5.0 users (comparing active users to the number of support requests we've received), the last two releases have been quite stable.
I would think that if you found a bug in beta, you should have a problem record of it having been identified and a change record of it having been fixed. If it hasn't been fixed, it most likely is still there. In that case, it should, together with whatever other info for that release, be listed as an issue in a readme accompanying the installer, so that people don't have to make annoyingly long posts in the forum :-p. Actually I think that users should not have to search through or post on the forums for existing issues at all. While the fact that you are providing the forum is fantastic, probably only a small number of users are reading it, and a considerable number of foreign language users like myself may not be able or wanting to post in English.
Good point. I'll see what we can do about making known possible issues more visible, so those that do encounter them will know what's going on (as much as possible).
Marketing Manager
TrackIR | OptiTrack

VincentG
Posts: 7728
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:00 am
Location: Corvallis, Oregon

Re: TrackIR 5 'Final' issues

Post by VincentG » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:54 pm

Are you using Nvidia drivers?

JuMo
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 3:28 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: TrackIR 5 'Final' issues

Post by JuMo » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:36 pm

NaturalPoint - Seth wrote:So, though we don't want to minimize the frustration that it probably causes you, this is a tremendously isolated occurrence with no discernible cause on our end.
My frustration is primarily because of the lack of information on this. Ok, maybe I'm also frustrated because nothing else ever crashes on my box and you seem to have run out of ideas/allocated resources about what 'discernible' part of your code might causing this :-(. Thank you for the information that you have now provided though, even though this probably means that I will either have to live with this bug (and pray that the compat. mode setting will work after the next gpu driver/directX/whatever update), or go back to TrackIR4.
(I wouldn't consider it a bug, per se, but probably inefficient design.)
Haha, I agree on the prioritization for this. "inefficient" .. umm .. ok :)
The weird resizing upon max seems to be extremely isolated as well, as I think this is the first that I've heard of it from a user.
Perhaps nobody else bothered to flag it. I have been hating misbehaving systray icons since 1995, and I run a service desk, maybe that's why. Make it a known issue, if you know about it. Maybe if you had, it would have been fixed...
It is strange that you've experienced so many of the bugs that have popped up (as well as those that remain) throughout the beta process.
Bad Kharma and/or deformacion professionelle, I guess. Then again, maybe it's me and the silent majority :-p. For the record, my box runs fine, the eventlogs are blue as far as the eye can see.
Good point. I'll see what we can do about making known possible issues more visible, so those that do encounter them will know what's going on (as much as possible).
Thank you! I actually do try to be constructive ;-)

JuMo
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 3:28 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: TrackIR 5 'Final' issues

Post by JuMo » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:38 pm

[quote=NaturalPoint - Vincent]Are you using Nvidia drivers? [/quote]
Hi,

yes, GTX285, went through two or three updates since beta2 or so. Sent you a DirectX diag dump a while ago.

VincentG
Posts: 7728
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:00 am
Location: Corvallis, Oregon

Re: TrackIR 5 'Final' issues

Post by VincentG » Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:37 pm

Can you give this version of the Nvidia drivers a test?

http://www.nvidia.com/object/winxp_186.18_whql.html

JuMo
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 3:28 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: TrackIR 5 'Final' issues

Post by JuMo » Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:38 pm

That's a downgrade from what I have, and it's the driver version I had before the one I'm using now.

I'll give it a try, I'll be using the german localized version though.

JuMo
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 3:28 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: TrackIR 5 'Final' issues

Post by JuMo » Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:08 pm

Hi Vincent,

I installed this driver:
http://www.nvidia.de/object/winxp_186.18_whql_de.html. This is the german localized version of the driver you asked me to test.

Results:

a) downgrading Nvidia drivers is not for the faint of heart ;-)
b) TrackIR5 Final.b crashes on startup with compatiblity mode disabled, works with compat. mode set to NT4
c) it's giving me the funny "windowed mode with window borders collapsed" thing again.

I'll stick with this driver for now, in case you want me to try something else with this config.

Post Reply