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Midcon113

SimConnect = FSUIPC?

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Is the SimConnect functionality meant to replace FSUIPC functionality? I've been curious about this - if so, I wonder if Pete Dawson was involved in the development?Looking forward to the gold version of FSX!Mark

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Essentially, SimConnect exposes the workings as a "server" to "clients" that communicate via the SimConnect API. These clients can be local or remote (across a network). The interface is asynchronous, which is good in that it means that a bad "client" won't lock up FSX, but could be bad if the client needs real-time access to FSX (in which case it should be a .dll)So, FSUIPC 4 will appear to legacy add-ons just like FSUIPC 3, and then it will connect to flight simulator using the SimConnect interface. I know that Peter and MS did a lot of coordination on this.Eventually, add-ons will migrate to SimConnect. But that doesn't spell the end of FSUIPC!. Those of us who have unlocked FSUIPC to it's full potential know about all the excellent things it does like mapping buttons to keystrokes, correcting FS problems, smoothing winds, spitting out GPS info, calibrating controls (where's my tiller?), etc. And that will continue to be Peter's market - essentially FSUIPC will be an "add-on" and not an "interface".Lots of good info on this on Peter's Forum.Best Wishes,

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It is safe to say that FSUIPC will remain a core component for the FlightSim Community for many years to come, and judging by the way Peter Dowson has always kept his FSUIPC up-to-date over it's lifetime, I persoanally have no concerns about it dissappearing for many years.I cannot imagine Flight Sim without FSUIPC.Maybe it was Microsoft's goal that SimConnect should replace FSUIPC for access to the Flight Sim program, but in reality,it will never be a replacement for FSUIPC and all the additional functions and "BUG Corrections" that FSUIPC handles.GeoffRegistered user of FSUIPC, and worth every penny !!!

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SimConnect certainly has a lot of exposed functionality that FSUIPC has, and exposed it in a way that makes it very accessible to developers. So the concept seems to be that more people (myself included) will be able to jump right into programming without having to explore the mysteries of Pete's awesome utility.But that certainly doesn't mean that everyone will. There are people who have been using FSUIPC for a long time, and suspect that people will continue to do so just because it's what their work is based off of. And with the two version backwards compatibility, we won't see support for it in FS go away any time soon (I don't think).

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Not to mention things that FSUIPC does that SimConnect may falter on, such as all the joystick and controller remapping and calibration tools it contains - given the often woeful state of the built in Windows controller calibration tools, and the need to sometimes make a throttle controller be a speedbrake lever, FSUIPC may always have a need.I wonder if FSX actually fixed the battery-drain problem? :) Plus, FSUIPC will continue to provide backwards compatability to previous versions, allowing *SOME* FS9 airplanes to function inside of FSX, airplane developer participation not withstanding.Pete has lots of good info in his forums, well worth the visit!-Greg

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Ah, great to see you around here Geoff, welcome to AVSIM Forums. :-hahCheers! :-beerchugEtienne :-wave

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Actually, the main purpose of SimConnect is to provide a stable and predictable API to the public, much in the same way that DirectX provides a transparent, stable API allowing Windows to communicate with video cards.In the past, every version of FSUIPC - or any other module - had to rely on 'hacks' into FS's memory pointers. Since the specific pointers changed from version to version, the result was that every application had to be researched and revised.From now on, SimConnect will do all the 'grunt work' by providing access to the sim's data by NAME... ;)I should add here that Pete provided yeoman's service to the sim community! Because of his efforts, nearly every aspect of the SimConnect API has been tested, fixed and verified... :-beerchug

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Thanks for the replies everyone! I was hoping that FSUIPC would continue on in the sense that, in my mind, it is the single most important add-on for FS. Imagine FS without FSUIPC...wow, that's scary!I'm glad Peter's continuing development of it. I'll be picking up FSUIPC as soon as the new version is ready to go and the 17th rolls around. Less than a month to go...Mark

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Hi, Although folks seem to post something different: Of course. SimConnect will replace FSUIPC. From what I read the latest FSUIPC release in fact uses SimConnect itself. Peek / poke to memory is not the way anyone should interface with a program at all - and never with a flightsimulator. It is amazing what mankind was able to achieve by analyzing FS offsets, but now should be the time for a structural approach. I have an offset based source for my addon (fspilot) using FDSConnect, but I would never want to do this again for any kind of project. Even if FSUIPC and RAM seem to say goodbye now ... dear addon writers: Do not 'publish' all your FS9 projects 'quick&dirty' by simply adopting the code to FSUIPC version whatsoever. Invest a bit more, make it independant, and properly interface FSX with the API that is officially designed to do this. The future is SimConnect !Best regardsrudolf

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>Please addon writers: >>Do not 'publish' all your FS9 projects 'quickly' by adopting>the code to FSUIPC version whatsoever. I think initially this is exactly what is going to happen. People want to have their add-ons in FSX, and so they will go the quickest route.

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>> I cannot imagine Flight Sim without FSUIPC.Don't be stupid of course you can !What will you miss ? The menu entry ? Hunting serial numbers of addons at google that will register them into FSUIPC ? Smoothing future weather abnormalities ? Studying the famous offset.doc file ? Getting lost in high wind turbulences ? Eliminating bugs that are not even known yet ? The installation of an addon that is only working if .... ? Just joking. Until now: you addon was not efficient. And dangerous. And uncontrollable. It circled through highly complex loops dozends of times per second and peeked 30-50 or more memory locations, each time, which were owned by Microsoft or Pete ;-) or even brutally wrote to memory where every 'normal' operating system should have process-killed you immediately. All this just to get this one parameter - at the right time, or switch this button, move this rudder, early enough. At least, in our development suite, and even at beta testing, we were unable to stall windows XP to bluescreen once during a twelve month developing period by doing all this. Quite amazing.Anything that will put the processing into a structural and less dangerous concept is highly welcome. Why not getting a message from FS ? 'Now it's your time to look for xyz, I am idle, and this is the only relevant moment to look' ? 'Hey, xyz has changed !' ? etc etc ... What a luxury .... The only thing I personally cannot imagine is Oktoberfest without beer. cheersrudolf

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Hi rudolf!I cannot agree more with you. FSUIPC has a long history in the FS world, but its architecture is archaic and obsolete. Considering all the advantages of simconnect (asynchronous, directly wired into FS by FS staff, native network support, being free, use of names rather than cryptic numbers, etc), it is definitively the right choice for FS add-on developpers.But this won't be an easy task. With FSUIPC4 ready to ship in the next few weeks, virtually all FS9 add-ons using it are going to work for FSX, only with some minor glitches. That will make FSUIPC even more popular among FS community. As simConnect enthusiasts, we should advocate its use to both users and programmers. To add-on programmers first, although the technical features of simconnect can only be countered by lazyness toward change. But to users too. Try to convince them to wait a little bit so that we can exploit fully this brand new revolutionnary stuff.-- -lc

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I hope you don't mind me replying, here. I don't normally, but it seems time a reasonably full answer was provided to some of the questions you have raised (or rather, tried to answer but not always very exactly).>FSUIPC has a long history in the>FS world, but its architecture is archaic and obsolete. Yes, I've always hated it. But I used it because at the time all the programs I wanted to use worked with FS6IPC in FS98, and I wanted to carry on using them in FS2000. At that time it was a private project. But folks asked me ... and so it goes ...... See if you can see how much of FSX still owes its design features to FS98 or earlier (I can see them going back much further -- I started programming FS in FS4 days, but have used it since the first Apple version).Incidentally, if you like SimConnect maybe you'll still think of me from time to time, as I really have been working very hard with MS to make SimConnect what it is, starting way back nearly a year ago. There has never been any "contest" here. FSUIPC4 uses SimConnect for 90% of what it does. In its Interface facilities it is a compatibility layer, that's all, and I am extremely pleased that MS has at last recoginsed what I've been trying to do all these years and implemented something to suit!>Considering all the advantages of simconnect (asynchronous,>directly wired into FS by FS staff, native network support,>being free, use of names rather than cryptic numbers, etc), Well, actually, I do need to take each of those assertions separately. I mean, not all of those are necessarily good for everyone. "Asynchronous" working has some drawbacks when you are trying to control an aircraft in real time. Luckily a lot of the latency I was afraid of (since the proposals early this year) gets absorbed in the low frame rates on poor systems in any case, and on faster systems is naturally isn't so much a problem. But I am measuring this as an in-process DLL. I don't know if the same will apply to external SimConnect users, yet, as there are so few, of course.The "directly wired" part is, of course, really great, as it meant that a lot of the hacking I have had to do over the last three FS versions has been done for me! ;-)The "being free" bit you've thrown in is actually unfair, and shows the usual misunderstanding. The only parts of FSUIPC end users ever paid for were the add-on utility parts. The interface was always free for freeware, and licensed at nominal fees for payware. And the only reason I changed to actually charging for anything was because, otherwise, there would have been no FSUIPC for FS2004 and, certainly, by now I would have been more or less forced out of FS development sheerly to earn a living doing something else. It has been and still is (at present) a full-time job (more than full time, in fact).As for "using names" instead of "cryptic numbers", well, all I can say is that it would have been easy to assign cryptic names to the 'cryptic numbers', but it would certainly have made the add-on programming more arduous if more 'readable'. It is terribly easy to be misled by names and I think you'll find that, whilst most of the names in SimConnect are okay, there are some strange ones, and ones to cause a few to puzzle.In the end that's a matter of taste I think. Folks have made interface layers for FSxIPC interfaces which do assign names. I don't know why they don't "stick" or expand enough to become popular. It is really an application level thing, which I always rather left to others. It did, after all, take enough of my time just finding and interpresting the information in the first place.>it is definitively the right choice for FS add-on>developpers.Yes, agreed. For all new developments. Meanwhile they need not rush so fast to bring out products before they are ready, if I can help make their FS2004 products work as they are. This is just what the developers AND Microsoft wanted. I would have been just as happy retiring (I am 63 now), but I was persuaded to keep at it a while longer ...>But this won't be an easy task. With FSUIPC4 ready to ship in>the next few weeks, virtually all FS9 add-ons using it are>going to work for FSX, only with some minor glitches.Hopefully not many, as it will fall to me to resolve them!Best RegardsPete Dowson

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Pete, I'm glad you posted this. I had heard that this was pretty much the point, but I really didn't want to talk for you or Microsoft, except for the little "just go to your forum" bit in my overview post.

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I've got to ask this: Does everyone refer to Pete's program (Pete included) as F-S-U-I-P-C or do you pronounce it something like "FiSooIPiK"?RandallP.S. I'm a proud registered owner of FSUIPC (however it's pronounced).

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>I've got to ask this: Does everyone refer to Pete's program>(Pete included) as F-S-U-I-P-C or do you pronounce it>something like "FiSooIPiK"?I don't really say it at all -- no one around here is the least bit interested in computers, let alone Flight simulation! ;-)Pete

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Pete,Thank you for this informative posting AND for many years of supporting the flight sim community.Mikewww.mikesflightdeck.comwww.mikesflightdeckbooks.com

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So Pete, what in the heck will you do when you finally decide to retire? Actually fly Flightsim for a change, LOL?:-lol

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>I don't really say it at all -- no one around here is the>least bit interested in computers, let alone Flight>simulation! ;-)>>Pete>For some reason, I always called it FlightSim-U-I-P-C.I know how you feel about co-workers Pete, I work with a bunch of geeks (like myself) and developers and they just can't comprehend simming. I get razzed about it daily...:-beerchug

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>So Pete, what in the heck will you do when you finally decide>to retire? Actually fly Flightsim for a change, LOL?Well, yes, that would be nice. I'd also want to explore more of the world before it's too late (in terms of both my age and the likely future cost of travelling in view of fuel escalation). Not that my wife and I haven't started -- in the last two years we've managed to get to India, China, Myanmar, Columbia, Ecuador (and the Galapogas), South Africa, and even ... Italy! ;-)RegardsPete

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Great to see the world Pete, but dont forget the nice parts of nothereurope. You will enjoy those countries like mine. The netherlands. Thanks for all the years, and the years to come, with out your FSUIPC i would not be able to manage my Flightdeck at home.CheersMike{Polarairways.com and KLM-VA)

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>Great to see the world Pete, but dont forget the nice parts>of nothereurope. You will enjoy those countries like mine. The>netherlands.Yes, we visited The Netherlands a lot when our son lived there (nice but, er ... rather flat for us hillside folk! ;-) )-- and Germany before that. He lives in Spain now, so we've seen a lot of that. Our favourite place just for relaxing is Madeira or the Azores -- nice gentle climate ideal for walking. The third world country trips we do are all in pursuit of live steam railway action! ;-)Regards,Pete

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'The third world country trips we do are all in pursuit of live steam railway action!'This is completely off the FS topic but just to say Pete that there is plenty of live steam action around England on preservation railways. That's my other hobby when I'm not flying! Driving Trainz! Do get across here in the summer if you haven't been and enjoy the the North Yorkshire railway and York train museum - they're a must!Oh, and thanks for all you have put in to the flightsim community!John Metcalfe (Yorkshire - England)

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What ever you do Pete, I wish you the very best. I remember about 18 months ago I was struggling with an intermittant Flight Sim problem. The darn thing would just crash at unpredictable times.. just enough to drive me crazy. I tried everyting I could think of, and was at the point of blowing away the whole installation and starting over ... and with about 15 different add-on products installed and countless third party aircraft, that was a forbidding prospect.In any case, in desparaton I emailed Pete, and within a day got a response back which was thoughtful, to the point, and really helped me troubleshoot and fix the problem.Now I know that Pete must get a bazillion (that is a LOT) of emails just like mine, and the fact that he took the time to provide a careful answer was incredibly thoughtful and caring. The FlightSim community is enormous these days.. but Pete Dawson still has the same personal approach. I truely believe him when he says that it is more than a full time job.His contribution is incredible, not only in the delivery of a cornersone piece of software, but also in making the FlightSim community a real community of folks who enjoy a common hobby and help eachother when they can.Pete, I think about you EVERY time I fire up FS9.. and that won't stop when the new versons come up regardless if I am using FSUIPC or not...Larry JasmannSeverna Park MD USA

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