Vehicle Handling and Performance Analyser

Program History

VHPA started as the evolution of my previous program, Gear Ratio Calculator. The first 'chapter' in this story, the history of GRC, can be found here.

It begins again
As I returned to University in September '06 to complete the final year of my degree, I was in need of an individual project. With freedom to choose anything that used the skills/knowledge taught on the course, so long as it was considered sufficiently challenging and large enough to manage as a project, updating my program was the only thing I could think of. The project was accepted, on the proposal of creating a new application that would everything GRC did in it's final version, plus everything from Colin Cobb's LFS setup analyser spreadsheets, plus some analysis not covered in either, while also increasing the general complexity of the vehicle modelling. The project was named 'Vehicle Technical Analyser' for University but referred to as Project3 by myself for all other purposes.

Big re-think
The first step was to rewrite most of the GRC code base (no small task) to cope with all the extra analysis that was going to be performed, and to work with a substantially re-designed GUI. The interface was to separate setup adjustments from their most relevant analysis, so it is possible to alter any setting and watch for changes in any form analysis. The vehicle creator and editor windows were both merged with the vehicle data display pane. Error messages were, where possible, removed and replaced with a visual indicator, while other errors were just handled more intelligently so the user isn't even aware there was a problem.

Public LFS-only preview releases
Come Christmas and a lot had been achieved, I felt it was time to reveal the project to the LFS community and released the first public preview test version. Feedback was very positive and several other test version were released throughout the half of 2007, as the missing major sections of analysis were added. Finally the program reached Release Candidate stage in May as the University hand-in approached.

Beyond University and Live for Speed Patch X
With University finished, the project returned to be being a personal development, so it was time to finish the program off and decide upon a release name. June saw the release of Live for Speed S2 Alpha 0.5X (to give its full title) however, which put this goal on hold for a moment, as the patch added pre-load to the clutch pack differentials and intake/mass handicap systems, all of which was part of the vehicle setup. To maintain compatability both with the LFS setup format, and LFS itself, the program was updated to include these additional controls.

First official release and website launch
With a name decided, a website created and the finishing touches to the program made, September saw the launch of the first version of VHPA, starting at v3.0 to reflect the progression from GRC.

Update for LFS patch Y and other improvements
Christmas saw the release of LFS 0.5Y which forced me to make a couple of small updates to the program, in order to maintain compatability. I took this opportunity to add a few more features as well, trying to improve some of the weaker parts of the program, and release followed shortly in the next year.

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