Big Dig has been updated to version 1.3.9 in the launcher, and most users will be prompted to update the next time they launch Big Dig. This version restores MineChem and updates NEI yet again- our guinea pigs have verified that this version does seem to finally resolve the NEI issue. We'd also like to take this opportunity to examine what has occurred with Big Dig over the last 24 hours.
So what happened?
It's difficult to glean, but we believe that some internal changes to NEI occurred that caused some mods which interacted with NEI to throw errors when attempting to set themselves up, but only on certain OS's or hardware profiles, and only under certain circumstances. These circumstances changed from mod to mod and version to version, making it extremely difficult to determine whether the issue was still around- both us and Chicken Bones found it difficult to track down as a result. Additionally, there was an issue with NEI which caused these errors to wreck NEI and prevent the item list from being initialized correctly.
What has changed?
Chicken Bones has pushed a version of NEI, build 21, which appears to successfully prevent the mentioned errors from destroying NEI. Users should be able to use NEI successfully, although individual mods may have problems with NEI support on certain systems. Our understand is that these problems shouldn't lead to crashes, just missing items and/or recipes in NEI. As the problem mods update their NEI support, these issues should gradually disappear.
Okay, but let's talk about Technic's response.
Initially, our response was to approach the NEI issue as urgent and try to correct it as quickly as possible. As the fix was ultimately out of our hands, however, this resulted in a lot of rapid-fire build updates that fixed very little and made it harder for our users and server ops to keep up and tell what was going on. An atmosphere of confusion was created, which was ultimately worse than taking things slow and allowing the issue to hang out a bit longer. Additionally, our rash move to remove MineChem may have broken some users' saves temporarily. Ultimately, our response was less than ideal.
So what's going to be different next time?
The solution for the future is to test out these ongoing mystery issues in test builds for those who are interested in helping us test, and allowing the Recommended build to be fairly stable until a solution is found. This is already our policy, and the path that should have been taken. In the future, we'll be in less of a rush to get a build out and will hopefully be able to provide a solution without a flurry of updates as you've seen over the last 24 hours.
We hope that this answers all of your questions about these Big Dig updates, and please feel free to ask more in the Big Dig section of the forums. Thanks for playing Technic packs, and have fun!