As the winter weather arrives during the fourth quarter of 2008, GSA's technical committees are wrapping up another stellar year. The December Technical Meetings were held in Reno, Nevada and hosted by IGT.
The G2S Committee Chair, Kevin Higgins of IGT reports the G2S committee has completed the errata version 2.0.1 and has released it to GSA’s technical writer for formatting. The expected release time is January, 2009. The new version will include a new documentation format that highlights items in the protocol that were extended (new features) and deprecated (not to be used for new implementations) making it much easier for developers to scan through the document and identify these changes. The committee also approved two manufacturer extensions which provide support for new capabilities in bonussing, multiplied jackpots as well as support for IGT’s “service window”. Documents for implementers will be available for public download shortly. The committee is also looking at the future requirements for G2S and has started work on additional new features including an employee class, a tournament class and important support for regional solutions.
Dan Milligan of Video Gaming Technologies, the S2S Committee Chair, reports the committee has been busy moving forward with next version of the standard which will be 2.0. So far the committee has released the first two chapters (message and communications) to the members for comment. The next several chapters will be released in the coming months also for member comment. These will include the systemInfo, clientInfo, and playerInfo classes. In addition to these classes we expect the subscription classes which include the clientMeters, clientEvents, g2sPassThrough, and authorization classes to be included in this next release. Recently we reviewed and approved the GAT extension as provided by IGT and are currently reviewing a second extension, financialTransaction, provided by New Wave Automation. As we approach the holidays we will have our last face-to-face meeting of the calendar year at IGT in Reno where we plan to vote on several issues including the use of delta meters in S2S along with the financialTransaction class.
Tony Green of Bally Technologies, Transport Committee Chair, reports the committee has recommended that the Transport Point-to-Point v1.1 draft specification and the Transport Multicast v1.1 draft specification be sent for member comment, with the expectation of a formal vote to ratify them by Spring of 2009. The Transport Committee participants have been diligent about addressing ambiguities and are benefiting from lessons learned during large scale implementation of these standards. In the months ahead, the Transport Committee will be addressing issues resulting from the member comment period and setting Transport Committee goals for 2009.
The GDS Committee Chair, John Hilbert, FutureLogic, Inc. reports the committee has developed a phase-in plan to jump start the incorporation of UTF-16 LE into the GDS protocols. This plan involves incorporating an “Immediate Need” set of non-ASCII characters into the peripheral devices quickly, to provide immediate value for this capability. The committee is currently requesting input from casino operators, as well as the rest of the industry, as to what first set of “Immediate Need” characters should be. The Committee is also moving forward with developing a GDS certification program as both peripheral and gaming machine manufacturers have expressed interest in GDS certified products. The committee has started investigating the tools and the specific “functional groups” that will comprise the Certification Program. A “draft requirements” document has been provided by GLI that will act as a straw-man for the committee to flesh out and develop upon. Look to future GDS releases for further news on GDS certification progress.
Ken McNichols of IGT, the SAS Protocol Committee Chair reports the committee is finalizing a new version of the Development Suite test scripts which should be ready for committee vote at the January face to face meeting in Europe. The committee is also preparing to end GSA support of the SAS protocol at the end of 2009.
Keep up-to-date on all the activities of the GSA Technical Committees by attending meetings if you're a member. A full meeting schedule can be found here. The next major face-to-face meetings are scheduled for February and will be located in Hillegom, Netherlands.
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