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Full Version: Version 5.3 released
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July 5, 2018 - CQC Version 5.3 Released

Charmed Quark Systems, Ltd. is proud to announce the release of version 5.3 of their CQC automation platform. The major new feature for 5.3 is our new from the ground up Z-Wave driver. But there has been a lot of under the hood improvements, and a lot of smaller improvements that add up to a significantly improved experience for the person configuring and customizing a CQC system.

The more significant changes in this version are:

New Z-Wave Driver. Our previous (and still available of course) Z-Wave driver was based on the Leviton VRC0P. This was never an optimal solution, since it was slow and provided a very limited palette of options to us. We have now created a new driver, based on the Aeotec Gen 5 Z-Stick, which is a fully native Z-Wave driver. In and of itself that provides us with more capabilities, but we also completely re-architected it, based on painful experience learned in previous Z-Wave drivers we have created. It is much smarter and faster and has the flexibility to handle units that the previous one could not. It is very much oriented towards auto-identifying units and doing as much setup work for you as possible, though of course our support is a bit limited for this first version. Help us get support for your units into the driver. Here are some videos to help you understand how the new driver works.

WebRIVA. You can now control the view-port scaling so as to better fit your templates to each mobile device. It also now supports the RIVACmd action command, which allows you to pass arbitrary, custom commands to the WebRIVA client, and handle it in your own Javascript. This is a potentially powerful extension mechanism that you could use in various ways. We also will handle some commands moving forward, with just one for this release, which is to invoke a URL on another tab.

Interface Editor. The Interface Editor now has regained the old 'widget palette', which was lost in the move to the 5.x UI. The widget palette displays a list of widgets, in their z-order, and allows you to more easily see how they will overlap and manipulate the ordering of widgets. This was built on top of a new publish/subscribe subsystem that makes it vastly more straightforward to implement such things, which is why we waited.

You now have much more control over the positioning of popups, allowing you to position them relative to the invoking widget in various ways, even if it is in an overlay. 

Static check boxes have an 'auto-toggle' option now, which makes them much more convenient to use as data entry elements to get information from the user. You don't have to add dummy toggling commands of your own to react to clicks.

Media. The Covert Art Browser widget has a new command to do a query for X number of random titles from a given category. This can be used to implement a suggestions feature.

Administrative UI. The Administrative Interface now shows when changes are present on each opened tab. This was something that was very difficult to do during the initial 5.x transition, so we had to wait from underlying architectural improvements in order to implement it. This is as small but important improvement.

More Help. We've gotten back to doing videos now, with a considerably improved setup for much better sound quality, and have been adding new ones as the release has gotten closer. This will continue, and hopefully we will get caught up to the old 4.x videos and beyond. 

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.
As is usually the case, some small issues make it through the testing of a significant new release, and there are always some small improvements on the list we could have safely gotten into the release but we have to stop somewhere. So there is now a 5.3.1 release available that takes care of both of these things. Use the Get Started link on the web site, or use the link below. If you are already licensed for 5.3 then you are already good for this version. If not, but you are covered under maintenance, then of course just ask for a new license after you install this new version.

Some of the fixes and changes since 5.3.0 are:
  • Built in support for more models in the new Z-Wave driver, plus some fixes to it. One in particular was that write only fields were getting marked as initially in error. This is fine for readable fields since they will eventually get a value stored and will no longer be in error. But write only fields don't and so any attempt to write to them would fail, complaining that the field was in error. So it was a catch-22 situation.
  • In the action editor, when the focus is on one of the action parameter entry fields, Ctrl-F and Ctrl-D now pop up the field and driver insertion dialog boxes, so that you don't have to use the popup menu for those things. Since these are very common operations it's a win to have them directly available.
  • A bug introduced late in the release cycle causes the action editor, once it has been resized, to come back to that new size next time, but to incorrectly scale it's content so that the buttons are often clipped.
  • One of the few remaining places where you couldn't interactively select a field value was in the boolean expression editor dialog, which is used quite a bit in the interface system, to set true/false expressions for boolean widgets. This is now taken care of.
  • The old trick of making a template's notes available from the action editor when invoking a popup, so that you can document parameters and returns values, didn't get updated to account for relative template paths. That has been fixed now.
As usual, you may have to delete temporary files from your browser to see the new changes, since it may have cached them for some length of time. If so you will still see the 5.3.0 version available on the Get Started Page.
Another followup release, 5.3.2, has been uploaded. This one basically just has two fixes.
  • The event server, under some circumstances, can get overwhelmed and stop processing incoming event triggers, so triggered events will stop happening. There were a couple interrelated issues involved, which has been straightened out. Even if you did something very wrong and caused a barrage of triggers, it should deal with them well. More statistics and logging were added to better diagnose such things in the field.
  • Some Ctrl-shifted hot keys in the CML editor got lost and so stopped working, which can make editing CML sort of annoying.