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What's in Photon 3

1. High Performance S2S API (Native/C++)

A while back we introduced the TCPClient a managed class better suited for server to server communication than the standard client library. The TCPClient had two disadvantages: First the programming model on both ends of the connection was different (TCPClient on one side, peer on the other), second it was designed for low-traffic communication. With this release Photon can setup a connection to other Photon instances leveraging the networking power of the Photon Core while allowing to use the same programming model using peers on both ends of the connection.

2. Load Balancing With Photon Load Balancing, developers are enabled to create scalable multi-node solutions. It includes out of the box a master server hosting the lobby and game servers to host the active games. The Lite Lobby Application is delivered with a set of matchmaking methods and a load balancing component that distributes the load (where to create new games).

3. Event Caching So far, Lite had "Properties" for rooms and actors to store values for players who join later on. They are a nice idea but a bit clumsy to use: Whenever something has to be stored, you had to set properties. In all other cases, you send events.

The new Lite Application combines both and gives you caching for events. Per player and event, you could cache the values in it. If anyone joins, the events are sent immediately, like they were just raised.

4. Extended Data Type Support Photon now supports more data-types than ever: Null values, dictionaries, arrays of objects (each with its own type) and even custom classes can be integrated and used in events.

5. The Peer has new properties NetworkProtocol, LocalIP, LocalPort.

6. Up to now you configured a global default application. Now it is also possible to define a default application per listener.

Changed

1. Lite and Lite Lobby Code-Cleanup Event-, Operation- and Parameter-Codes are cleaned up. Everything was reassigned and the predefined codes should be out of your way now. There is an extra page which lists each old and new value.

2. Type of Codes We decided to keep using bytes as type for codes. It's just effective and lean. If needed, any operation or event could get sub-codes (not supported out of the box).

The ReturnCode for operation responses was of type int. This is now short-typed. Not extremely lean. But short.

3. Protocol Cleanup We cleaned up the protocol for Photon 3. This is next to invisible for you, but has some benefits. Most of all, the new protocol does no longer hard-code any codes. Any code for operations, results, parameters or events can be defined by your code.

4. Error Handling The error handling was re-designed to

  • always call the unhandled exception event handler
  • it is no longer required to initialize the logging facade
  • introduced three policies for unhandled exceptions: ignore, restart application, end process
  • consistent behavior: before unhandled exceptions in threads controlled by Photon where logged and then ignored, those in other threads usually terminated the process. Note: due to a bug in 2.6 sometimes exceptions where "transformed" into ThreadAbortException or the application was unloaded without being loaded again (this is also fixed with 2.6.28).

5. Server SDK Changes (breaking)

  • Peer classes are now required to inherit from class 'PeerBase'. The former interface IPeer and class PhotonPeer were removed. Take a thorough look at the PeerBase class definition as it is a central piece of your application.
  • Applications are now required to inherit from class 'ApplicationBase'. Like PeerBase this is one of the most important classes.
  • Classes ResponseParameterAttribute, RequestParameterAttribute and EventParameterAttribute have been substituted with class DataMemberAttribute. As a consequence, request and response parameters can not be part of the same container class anymore.
  • The Params property of classes EventData, OperationRequest and OperatioResponse has been substituted wth the new property Parameters. This dictionary's keys are now of type byte.
  • The property EventData.EventCode has been renamed to 'Code' and its type was changed to byte.
  • The type of the properties OperationRequest.OperationCode and OperationResponse.OperationCode has been changed to byte.
  • The new class DataContract substitutes classes Operation and Event. While class Operation remains part of the framework it is not mandatory to use it in order to convert the parameters to class properties anymore.
  • Methods Event.GetEventData and Operation.GetOperationResponse have been removed. Instead use the new OperationResponse and EventData constructors.
  • PhotonPeer.SendBufferFull was removed. Override PeerBase.OnSendBufferFull to respond to a full send buffer. The counterpart PeerBase.OnSendBufferEmpty is called when Photon is ready to send more data.

6. Client SDK Changes (breaking)

  • renamed IPhotonListener interface member OperationResult to OnOperationResponse, EventAcion to OnEvent and PeerStatusCallback to OnStatusChanged.
  • The different parameters of the old OperationResult (OperationCode, Parameters, ...) are passed in one object OperationResponse. Same applies to OnEvent now has one parameter EventData.
  • Support for invocation ID was removed.

    1. PhotonHostRuntime version attribute was removed from the config file and is no longer required - we recommend to remove it to ease feature updates.
    2. The application NetSyncObjects is no longer part of the SDK.
    3. Changed default for dump files from mini to full
    4. Added version display to log file during start up.

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Bug Fixes

  1. Fixed a memory leak when canceling actions scheduled on a fiber.
  2. S2S.TCPClient did not close the socket at disconnect which caused an error when calling Connect again.
  3. Flash policy file is claimed malformed with a top-level XML tag that is not, see https://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer/articles/fplayer9_security.html#_Malformed_Policy_Files
  4. Fixed CLR startup to ensure GC Server is used (issue affected .net 4.0 only).
  5. Fixed ENet fragmented buffering flow control bug.
  6. Fixed TCP magic byte issues - fragmented pings where not parsed correctly and an issue in the internal handling of the size of packets could lead to parsing errors (bigger packets and high load).
  7. Fixed Photon hang on shutdown trying to log on a dead logging instance.
  8. Fixed the method Peer GetRemoteAddress - due to a caching issue the result was wrong in some cases.
  9. Fixed mini dumps - now obey configured limits.
  10. Changed PhotonPeer::GetRemotePort so that it doesn't rely on a cached port.

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