Xsemble 4.0.0 is available for download today, on the auspicious day of “Akshay Tritiya”. This is a major release of the Xsemble toolset. Some big changes are usually expected out of such a major release. However, this major release upgrade is not so much about feature changes as it is about a bigger shift in the mindset and the focus.

Throughout the 3.x releases, Xsemble continued to evolve into a better platform. Important features which were previously there kept getting enriched in functionality. Earlier concepts such as parameterization were re-engineered. Many changes happened in the internal mechanism as well. In spite of that, we tried our best to keep backward compatibility. When a forward shift was necessary, we put migration code into Xsemble so that the migration to the new version became automatic and painless.

We shall be continuing with the same philosophy in Xsemble 4, so that projects can be effortlessly upgraded to future versions to take advantages of new functionality.

While the advances in 3.x made Xsemble more powerful feature by feature, the advances in 4.x will be about making it simpler and increasing the efficiency of power users. It had already started with 3.6 and 3.7 in a small way. In 4.x, we plan to soon start adding power user functions which can be enabled or disabled at will. The idea is that power users can enable them and increase their efficiency, while novice users can keep them disabled as they get used to the Xsemble way of thinking.

Xsemble 4 is also about internal improvements, where a small change can bring a lot of benefits to users. The burn performance improvement that got into 4.0.0 is in line with the same theme. Of course, we can expect more as we begin our journey of 4.x begins.

Here are the noteworthy enhancements that went into Xsemble 4.0.0:

  1. Burn Performance Improvement: A large part of the burn operation is about downloading files from Xsemble cloud. By making it go in parallel, the overall efficiency of burn process got improved. A large project had a burn time of  4.53 minutes with Xsemble 3.7.1. With Xsemble 4.0.0, the burn time got reduced to 1.54 minutes. This translates to a reduction of 60% in the overall burn time.
  2. Monitoring Improvements: There were numerous improvements to the internal mechanism of the monitoring functionality, while keeping user experience almost the same. Previously, a monitored application used to send monitoring notification of a node only after a node’s execution. Now it gets sent before the node’s execution. Later during its execution, if a node errors out, then that error record is separately sent and merged with the initial record to indicate the error. This makes the errors stand out.
  3. Execution Error Reporting: Execution errors are reported mentioning the node which failed.
  4. Removal of Apply Button: The Apply button that was recently added to component edit dialogs was removed. The feature did not prove to be much useful to the way users interact with Xsemble. It was therefore removed.