vgbaron

A Word of Caution when updating add ons in V4

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One of the changes in V4 is that LM changed the simulators CFG files to Unicode to support universal character sets in the future.

This will present problems to any program that modifies the sim cfg files. There is potential to destroy the formatting which will destroy such configuration files requiring a complete uninstall/flush/reinstall of P3Dv4.

Any product that does the following could potentially destroy your configuration files.   This includes things like:

  • Add, edit or delete texture or autogen entries to TERRAIN.CFG
  • Add, edit or delete scenery layers for you
  • Edit simulator settings settings outside of the simulator (like traffic, graphics settings, etc)

Products that do this will need to be updated before use, so be aware.

We'll all be tempted to see if our favorite addon will work but just be aware that if does not have official word from the vendor that it is compatible with V4, you could run a risk of having to reinstall. So before any USER posts that xyz is compatible, please be sure that there are no hidden side effects.

Vic

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Hmmm, hope SimstarterNG can figure this out....and ensure appropriate backups are in place just in case.

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Yes, that one was on my mind too! I use their .cfg file sorting ability quite a bit and the livery manager.

 

Vic

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1 hour ago, vgbaron said:

One of the changes in V4 is that LM changed the simulators CFG files to Unicode to support universal character sets in the future.

This will present problems to any program that modifies the sim cfg files. There is potential to destroy the formatting which will destroy such configuration files requiring a complete uninstall/flush/reinstall of P3Dv4.

Any product that does the following could potentially destroy your configuration files.   This includes things like:

  • Add, edit or delete texture or autogen entries to TERRAIN.CFG
  • Add, edit or delete scenery layers for you
  • Edit simulator settings settings outside of the simulator (like traffic, graphics settings, etc)

Products that do this will need to be updated before use, so be aware.

We'll all be tempted to see if our favorite addon will work but just be aware that if does not have official word from the vendor that it is compatible with V4, you could run a risk of having to reinstall. So before any USER posts that xyz is compatible, please be sure that there are no hidden side effects.

Vic

The terrific freeware text editor Notepad++ can convert any file with a wayward character set back to Unicode, in the event that one encounters an unruly addon. It's also possible that an addon won't even be able to read a Unicode cfg file in the first place.

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1 hour ago, vgbaron said:

One of the changes in V4 is that LM changed the simulators CFG files to Unicode to support universal character sets in the future

It would be a good idea directly asking LM about this, just because they're saying P3Dv4 will be "Unicode compatible". I did it already, let's them confirm.

Thanks for the heads up. Cheers, Ed

 

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They mentioned over at the Aerosoft forum that SimStarter would support V4 but we would have to wait for an update. In some ways the features I used to help save VAS and improve loading times probably don't matter as much with 64bit however the profiles make switching between them a breeze.

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45 minutes ago, jabloomf1230 said:

The terrific freeware text editor Notepad++ can convert any file with a wayward character set back to Unicode, in the event that one encounters an unruly addon. It's also possible that an addon won't even be able to read a Unicode cfg file in the first place.

Yes, as long as you have perfectly clear what files a certain addon touches...

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I don't think that this issue will cause too many problems. Unicode is backwards compatible with ASCII because ASCII is a subset of Unicode.

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As I understand it, the problem could come if the cfg file format is not maintained by the program making the edits. This could make it unreadable by P3D which could then result in either a reinstall or deleting all created content and letting P3D rebuild them. This would initially result in addons being disabled.

Until there is clarification from LM I would still suggest being aware and making an informed decision.

Vic

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Vic,

It is not the format of the text file but rather how each individual character  is mapped into an 8 bit byte. ASCII uses only 7 bits of each byte to map all its characters. Unicode uses the 8th bit to map a large number of additional  characters, most of which are hardly ever used in written English. Hence, most often the two character sets are interchangeable. However my guess is that LM  wants P3d to be suitable for other languages  that use special characters  qualified  with accents like umlaut, for example.

Jay

 

 

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Yes, I am aware of the difference Jay. Nevertheless, I have been told by developers on the beta team that  programs that modify the  cfg files run the risk of trashing the P3D install.  I feel that is solid enough to warrant a caution.

Vic

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As a beta tester, I saw this show up several times during the testing.  Do not treat this lightly... if any application modifies any .cfg file for Prepar3D v4 without using the correct format, right down to the correct character set (seriously), the file is messed up and what happens next can be that the sim overwrites with a new, fresh file or worse... the sim crashes out with no error message as to why.

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1 minute ago, WarpD said:

As a beta tester, I saw this show up several times during the testing.  Do not treat this lightly... if any application modifies any .cfg file for Prepar3D v4 without using the correct format, right down to the correct character set (seriously), the file is messed up and what happens next can be that the sim overwrites with a new, fresh file or worse... the sim crashes out with no error message as to why.

In the IT business, we see this a good bit with applications designed to be compatible with Unicode. It is a minor, but very real, issue that has to be addressed.

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1 hour ago, WarpD said:

As a beta tester

Nobody likes a show off Ed :)  

Ed,

Were talking about .exe programs that modify's .cfg files through an Add On control panel yes ? 

What about manually adding entries to .cfg files ?    

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I posted this question/issue on the SimStarter forums and Pero is very confident that SimstarterNG is setup to use the correct format and will not cause this problem.

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29 minutes ago, Poppet said:

Nobody likes a show off Ed :)  

Ed,

Were talking about .exe programs that modify's .cfg files through an Add On control panel yes ? 

What about manually adding entries to .cfg files ?    

Our experience is that Notepad++ gets the coding correct based on the original file being edited.

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23 minutes ago, MarkW said:

I posted this question/issue on the SimStarter forums and Pero is very confident that SimstarterNG is setup to use the correct format and will not cause this problem.

Thanks for raising this question. The big advantage of the SIMSTARTER NG platform is to support multi file Codecs.  It was always a bit difficult because nearly all platforms from FSX to P3Dv4 had their own files with different file Codecs.  NG can handle this because each file has its own codec definition. 

So SIMstarter NG works like a charm. My older freeware won't be able to work but I think most of the users have been switched to NG already.

But there are so many third party tools and installers out that I recommend making backups of all configuration files.

Maybe SIMconfigBackup  (FREEWARE) suites for you. Free download on my website.

http://aviation.pero-online.de

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+1 for SimStarter....love that product

If Pete D. decides to not do FSUIPC5, SimStarter will the best way to do dissimilar control assignments based on aircraft.

 

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19 hours ago, vgbaron said:

One of the changes in V4 is that LM changed the simulators CFG files to Unicode to support universal character sets in the future.

This will present problems to any program that modifies the sim cfg files. There is potential to destroy the formatting which will destroy such configuration files requiring a complete uninstall/flush/reinstall of P3Dv4.

Any product that does the following could potentially destroy your configuration files.   This includes things like:

  • Add, edit or delete texture or autogen entries to TERRAIN.CFG
  • Add, edit or delete scenery layers for you
  • Edit simulator settings settings outside of the simulator (like traffic, graphics settings, etc)

Products that do this will need to be updated before use, so be aware.

We'll all be tempted to see if our favorite addon will work but just be aware that if does not have official word from the vendor that it is compatible with V4, you could run a risk of having to reinstall. So before any USER posts that xyz is compatible, please be sure that there are no hidden side effects.

Vic

Simple solution could be to take a backup of any CFG files before running said add-on installer?

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Perhaps I'm missing a key point in this "molehill" of a thread. Unicode is not an encoding. Unicode can be mapped into a byte (UTF-8, which ingeniously matches the simpler 7 bit ASCII coding) or it can be mapped into a word or larger data structures. Is LM using something other than UTF-8? Is LM providing default cfg files with something other than the characters that are represented in ASCII? Seriously, I hope not.

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They are now supporting extended character sets because the world uses them.

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On 5/25/2017 at 4:43 AM, Poppet said:

What about manually adding entries to .cfg files ?  

Depends on what editor you use, a more modern good editor will not change the format.  An older editor might.  I use UltraEdit (IDM) as it will indicate format and variants within a specification.

Cheers, Rob.

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On 5/25/2017 at 2:02 PM, jabloomf1230 said:

Is LM providing default cfg files with something other than the characters that are represented in ASCII? Seriously, I hope not.

Multi-language support is the reason for UTF-16 ... that and it's the native format for .NET.  For example the current Orbx FTX Central will change the scenery.cfg from UTF-16 to ANSI Latin I or more accurately Windows-1252 (locale associate to my OS).  P3D V4 will still read and write to the converted Windows-1252 scenery.cfg.

I don't know if Orbx (or other 3rd party) plan to change all their installers and/or configuration tools to support UTF-16 ... wait and see.

UTF-16 is a good idea since I'm sure LM reach out to international support based on what I saw at ITEC 2017 held in Europe. 

Cheers, Rob.

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UTF-16 is the default format for inline memory strings in .NET. UTF-8 is the default  format for saving files in .NET.

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On 25/05/2017 at 5:21 AM, jabloomf1230 said:

Vic,

It is not the format of the text file but rather how each individual character  is mapped into an 8 bit byte. ASCII uses only 7 bits of each byte to map all its characters. Unicode uses the 8th bit to map a large number of additional  characters, most of which are hardly ever used in written English. Hence, most often the two character sets are interchangeable. However my guess is that LM  wants P3d to be suitable for other languages  that use special characters  qualified  with accents like umlaut, for example.

Jay

 

 

 

On 25/05/2017 at 4:22 AM, vgbaron said:

As I understand it, the problem could come if the cfg file format is not maintained by the program making the edits. This could make it unreadable by P3D which could then result in either a reinstall or deleting all created content and letting P3D rebuild them. This would initially result in addons being disabled.

Until there is clarification from LM I would still suggest being aware and making an informed decision.

Vic

theres some very clever people on here.....

i'm not one of them..

 

 steve

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