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Version 5.0 is released
#1
October 31, 2016 - CQC Version 5.0 Released

Charmed Quark Systems, Ltd. is very proud, and frankly somewhat exhausted, to announce the release of version 5.0 of their CQC automation platform. 5.0 is arguably the largest release we have ever done, but the wait and effort has been worth it. This release brings CQC forward a couple rather giant leaps in terms of modernizing its tools, making it easier and more efficient to use.

Here is an upgrade guide for existing customers upgrading from pre-5.0 versions:

5.0 Upgrade Guide


Some of more notable changes in this version are:

New Administrative UI. The vast majority of the work on this release has been in a complete from the ground up rewrite of our administrative user interface, actually from the basement up since the windowing frameworks it is based on were also rewritten. The new UI is far more intuitive and easy to use, and addresses in one fell swoop almost all outstanding user concerns with the UI.

Tools Integration. In 5.0 the CML macro IDE and the touch screen Interface Editor have both been integrated into the main administrative UI, as have a number of smaller utilities. This again makes CQC easier and more efficient to use, because you don't have to juggle between multiple tools while building your automation solutions.

Those two tools have also been enormously improved as well. The CML IDE now supports syntax coloring and a much nicer tabbed interface. The Interface Editor has moved away from dialog boxes for configuration to a modern and flexible attribute editor scheme that drastically streamlines the editing process, and there are many other significant improvements to it.

* The driver IDEs are still separate programs, though also improved. We will address their integration in a future release.

All New Help. All of the old, separate PDF files have been replaced with a vastly improved HTML based help system. This new help content is shipped with the product now, and is accessible from within the new administrative UI.

All of the training videos are being redone. Many are already done, but this will be an ongoing process for a couple more months due to the enormous effort they require, and the desire to have more of them and better content.

* Unfortunately there was not enough time to convert the device driver documentation, so it is still in the old format. It will be taken care of in the next release.


Try It

You can download the new version via the home page of the web site, and try it out unencumbered for 40 days. So you can know for sure whether it meets your needs before you commit.

Existing customers covered under the maintenance system can upgrade at their convenience.
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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#2
As is the usual case, once we released 5.0 and more people upgraded, a few issues were found that managed to slip through the initial version's testing. So we have uploaded 5.0.1 as the most recent version, available in the usual place on the web site (main page -> Get Started button, at the top.)

The primary things this drop fixes are:
  • There is a small set of C++ drivers, and of those there is a smaller set of C++ drivers that have a client side interface and a DLL that the client side and the server side both share. Due to some information not getting updated, if you had already installed one of these under 4.x, CQC would still be looking for that 4.x version and would fail to find it because it's looking for the wrong version. This affects the Z-Wave and Omni drivers.
  • If you already have the System Configuration editor tab open, and you double click it again, it gets an error instead of bringing that tab to the front, due to its being incorrectly marked internally.
  • The 'template actions' were never added to the Interface Editor tab's attribute editor, so you couldn't edit them.
  • Some issues were fixed in the /Devices section of the Admin Interface when you remove drivers. When the last driver for a particular host is removed, the host info was being left there and could show back up or cause a duplicate moniker error if you tried to add back a driver with that same moniker.
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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#3
In 5.x, we now ship vastly improved HTML based documentation. The CQC Web Server is always installed now on the Master Server and this is used to serve up this help (plus any other uses you might put it to.) Due to lack of cognitive capacity, it was not realized that Bronze/Silver tier systems are not licensed for the Web Server, which obviously isn't practical anymore and it means that Bronze/Silver users will get a failure when they click on a help link in the Admin Interface.

So, we obviously must now add the Web Server as one of the standard components included in all licensed systems. If you are a Bronze/Silver tier user, just e-mail us to get an updated license that includes the Web Server.
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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#4
There is a new followup release available now, 5.0.7. This one accumulates all of the small issues and fixes and improvements since the previous official release (5.0.1.) It is recommended that you upgrade to this version. You can do so via the web site (Try It link in the upper right) or you can use the link below:

http://www.charmedquark.com/Web2/Downloa..._5_0_7.exe

There should be no real risk moving forward from previous 5.x versions, and a lot of benefits. Some of the more obvious ones are:
  • Hue driver supports scenes now
  • The text list based media browser now uses artist as the top level list for music, which lots of people had requested
  • The Elk V2 driver now supports keypad driven User Actions
  • The Echo support now allows you to have multiple Skills defined on the AWS side, each of which can be use a different security key. The key now gets passed to your action, so you can assign a different skill to each Echo and know which one sent a command. Sort of a kludge but useful for some folks.
  • Lots of small but very useful improvements in the hot key/tabbing support in the Admin Intf, and in the tabbed window control. You should be able to fully tab around through the Admin Intf now, if you are a keyboard kind of person.
  • The active tab in a tabbed window shows up in a different color when its tabbed window has input focus, so you can much more easily see where you are when tabbing around. And a few bugs related to the closing of tabs were fixed.
  • Nested tabbed windows can now be navigated by hot key. F6/F4 (next tab, close tab) work on the current tabbed window you are in. But, if that is a nested tabbed window, Ctrl-F6/F4 will allow you to still close or navigate tabs in the outer (main) tabbed window. So you can still fully navigate by hot keys if you want.
  • Some improvements in the CML text editor. Tabbing to one doesn't select all text (losing your current position), and hot keys are correctly passed to either the editor or the current bottom tab for things like search and replace.
  • Intf Editor only prevents you from saving if there are real errors, but will ignore warnings. The various reported issues were updated to be careful to only report serious ones as errors.
  • Some issues in the error list window were fixed, such as getting the correct widget selected when you select an item in the error list. And it also is loaded up upon loading the template, so that you see errors immediately, which wasn't happening before. It would only load up if you made a change that required a re-validation.
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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