AviatorMan

Installation of addons should be straightforward

Recommended Posts

I haven't bought v4 yet, but will in a few more weeks when things settle out a bit. But my observation at this point, as a consumer, is that it is unacceptable that the recommended installation process for addons should be in such a mess. Customers should not have to read through numerous posts on Avsim and other forums to know what they need to do to install their addons. And even then not be sure they are doing the right thing (there are always several posts that have alternate views of what to do.) I think that LM needs to get this in hand and set up installation protocols that automatically install the addons where they should be.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

V3 also recommended to install via "addons" and use the xml method. Nobody really paid much attention except Realair. 

I don't see how v4 is any different in this regard? 

You can still do both methods. Either the old way or the new way. The only benefit I can see to the xml method is that if you do a reinstall all the addons stay intact.  

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, GHarrall said:

V3 also recommended to install via "addons" and use the xml method. Nobody really paid much attention except Realair. 

I don't see how v4 is any different in this regard? 

You can still do both methods. Either the old way or the new way. The only benefit I can see to the xml method is that if you do a reinstall all the addons stay intact.  

If you copy your addons outside Fs you only have to backup your scenery.cfg file and effect folder...

Share this post


Link to post

And some addons can destroy your scenery config installing the "Old Way". As Bic posted above, Lorby Organiser is the way to go. Installed about 30 airports today using PAO.

Share this post


Link to post

it seems that, for some reason, most of the developers (even those that work with LM such as ORBX and Carenado) will not cooperate in the recommended installation procedure.  It's rather frustrating as a consumer.

Share this post


Link to post

They didn't in v3 either. 

Orbx has its reasons for installing into the main folder. Not sure about the others.

Share this post


Link to post


So far I have not encountered problems using this procedure: all scenarios (about 90 GB) I have installed them on an external folder
to Prepar3D v4 and load scenarios that interest me with the World - Scenary Library - Add Area while the planes, boats (even those for AI Traffic) I creating a  \ AddOns folder on C:\. On  \AddOns folder I created the folders \SimObjects - \Gauges - \Effects and \Sound. In \SimObjects folder
I created the \Airplanes and \Boats folders  and in these folders I have installed the related files as if they were the ones in the
main program of Prepar3D v4  then on C: \ProgramData \Lochkeed Martin \Prepar3d v4 with Notepad I opened simobjects.cfg by adding

[Entry.XX]  (Put the number next to the last one)              
Title=AddOn Airplanes
Path=C:\AddOns\SimObjects\Airplanes
Required=True
Active=True

[Entry.XX + 1]
Title=AddOn Boats
Path=C:\AddOns\SimObjects\Boats
Required=True
Active=True

on  gauges.cfg :

[Entry.XX]
Title=AddOn Gauges
Path=C:\AddOns\Gauges
Required=True
Active=True

on effects.cfg :

[Entry.XX]
Title=AddOn Effects
Path=C:\AddOns\Effects
Required=True
Active=True

on sound.cfg :

[Entry.XX]
Title=AddOn Sound
Path=C:\AddOns\Sound
Required=True
Active=True

The only files installed on the main Prepar3D v4 were those on \scenery \World \scenery for AI Traffic files of aircraft and boats.
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Travelling_Wilbury said:

And some addons can destroy your scenery config installing the "Old Way". As Bic posted above, Lorby Organiser is the way to go. Installed about 30 airports today using PAO.

Only if it doesn't use Unicode text.

any addon that has a revised v4 installer should really have this covered. 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

So far the responses here just re-enforce the point I am trying to make - this is all a mess. Whether it began in v3 or v4, LM created the problem and they need to do something about it.

Share this post


Link to post
10 minutes ago, AviatorMan said:

So far the responses here just re-enforce the point I am trying to make - this is all a mess. Whether it began in v3 or v4, LM created the problem and they need to do something about it.

I don't think LM need to do anything. The option is there to use the xml method if you think that doing re-installs is going to be something of value to you. Its just an option. Other than that, just carry on as you were.

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, GHarrall said:

I don't think LM need to do anything. The option is there to use the xml method if you think that doing re-installs is going to be something of value to you. Its just an option. Other than that, just carry on as you were.

Amen. Right now it's an option. Last time LM pulled the plug on backward compatibility there were so many complaints they had to issue a hotfix to bring it back. Go flying and enjoy yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Travelling_Wilbury said:

And some addons can destroy your scenery config installing the "Old Way". As Bic posted above, Lorby Organiser is the way to go. Installed about 30 airports today using PAO.

How do you install an airport with PAO that uses an .exe?

 

Mark

Share this post


Link to post

I find it curious that people are willing to point the finger at L-M and declare that they caused the problem and need to fix the problem, when in fact the problem is caused by developers refusing to conform to the new standards.  Why do you, as customers, allow the developers to not conform?  Why is that acceptable but improvements (and this process IS an improvement) are not?

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
18 minutes ago, WarpD said:

I find it curious that people are willing to point the finger at L-M and declare that they caused the problem and need to fix the problem, when in fact the problem is caused by developers refusing to conform to the new standards.  Why do you, as customers, allow the developers to not conform?  Why is that acceptable but improvements (and this process IS an improvement) are not?

I agree with you for the most part, however unless you are removing and reinstalling P3D itself and even then if you don't mind putting all the addons back in, what real difference does it make?

Having said that, developers should really get on board with this.

 

Share this post


Link to post

This entire process was designed to actually protect an installation.  By moving addon intallations outside the core sim's folders it protects both the sim and the addon.  No sim files get overwritten and addons can be disabled easily (no lengthy, painful uninstall/reinstall).

Sooner or later they're going to lock this down... what's the point of not complying?

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post

Indeed, it seems to me that it's not LM's fault.  It appears that it is all on the side of developers and to, some degree, end users, who keep force-fitting addons into the sim.

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, AviatorMan said:

So far the responses here just re-enforce the point I am trying to make - this is all a mess. Whether it began in v3 or v4, LM created the problem and they need to do something about it.

You have completely missed the point. LM *HAS* done something about it. They have protocols in place. The only thing they haven't done (YET) is to make them mandatory, but I assure you that WILL occur. P3D needs to have a locked down installation for LM to grow it in the future. They could have locked it in in V3 but the dev's were no where near ready for that. V4 is a stronger push and if any dev doesn't see the writing on the wall - they won't have P3D as a market.

Vic

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

I am leaning to agree with the OP.

There are the currently the two methods to install scenery.

Not all scenery is by a commercial vendor, there are amazing freeware sceneries to think about as well. Do we expect the freeware folks to develop coded installers to make them follow the new install procedure?

Whether one thinks that the xml approach is "easy" once you get the hang of it, this still requires a user to learn and understand the workings of the sim, SDK and a bunch of monkeying around to get it right. Further how the heck are we supposed to know if the scenery.cfg entries stuff is in the right code or not to not end up screwing it up.

And it has taken a third party to offer up a utility (currently free) to help sort out installs in the new format. And I don't know if its all working easily or not.

LM have some obviously superior technical staff (heck they make real fighter jets in their spare time) who could easily develop a small accompanying utility that would carry out the install using the new method, we should not be relying on a third party to provide the utility. I would have paid a small extra fee for this if offered to avoid me monkeying around with code to make it so.

Bryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

Ok... I have an airport scenery... custom done by myself.

To add this to Prepar3D v4 I did the following:

The airport scenery has one folder titled KJYO, inside that folder are a Scenery and a Texture folder.  I have this set of folders in a location of "G:\Addon Scenery\".  To install this scenery I created a folder in "Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons" named "Mindstar KJYO".  In that folder I placed an add-on.xml file that contains the following:

Quote

<SimBase.Document Type="AddOnXml" version="4,0" id="add-on">
    <AddOn.Name>KJYO Scenery</AddOn.Name>
    <AddOn.Description>Mindstar KJYO</AddOn.Description>
    <AddOn.Component>
        <Category>Scenery</Category>
        <Path>G:\Addon Scenery\KJYO</Path>
        <Name>KJYO</Name>
    </AddOn.Component>
</SimBase.Document>

That's all it took.  Any developer of scenery can accomplish this rather easily.  There are a great deal of freeware installers available to be used to create an installer that places files correctly.  There is no longer any valid excuse to not utilize this new method.  None.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
54 minutes ago, WarpD said:

That's all it took.  Any developer of scenery can accomplish this rather easily.  There are a great deal of freeware installers available to be used to create an installer that places files correctly.  There is no longer any valid excuse to not utilize this new method.  None.

Okay, so why doesn't LM develop such a utility and make it the "LM approved" utility for installing addons into their product, the one that they are selling for $200?  Why leave this up to the many developers, with their varying degrees of expertise and resources? True, this standard may be an improvement, and LM may wish to enforce all addon developers to abide by it. But until we get to the point where most developers are prepared to abide by the standard, why leave the customers in the middle of figuring all of this out? I mean, even Orbx, with their expertise and resources, are not abiding by the standard.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

Well, in a way they have - look in the sdk for the Command Line method of installing. You create the files as Ed did above and then just run P3D with the proper options and it will happily install the product for you. At some point the user has to accept SOME responsibility for managing products on their system. And, IMHO, why should LM spend valuable man hours developing a tool that someone else has already provided? Next people will be asking for them to cut out the 3PD's completely and provide their own scenery and aircraft.

Vic

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, newtie said:

How do you install an airport with PAO that uses an .exe?

 

Mark

I created a folder on my HDD called "Addons"  place Prepare3D.exe in that folder and point your installer to that folder.

Share this post


Link to post

Looks like LM has made the cleaner process available for third party developer, however, at this point it is optional. It might be good for those who purchase third party products to ask the third party developers to align their process to the recommended LM method. I can see this being transitional for v4, but required for v5. This is reasonable to give third parties time to change their process during the next two years. 

Share this post


Link to post

When, in pretty much every other flight sim, and in fact with pretty much every other bit of software made in the past 20 years, it is simply a case of double-clicking on an installation file and occasionally pointing it to the main program's path to install things, it is a ridiculous step backwards in terms of user friendliness to have people start learning how to use extensible markup language to achieve that. It shouldn't be called Prepar3D because you have to be prepared start learning about background files and coding, even if it is really basic coding.

I have to teach that stuff when I present many of my more in-depth courses, but we never hit on it on intro courses, and rarely do so on intermediate courses either. And there is a reason for that; it isn't bloody necessary if a base program has a decent GUI which makes doing that stuff user-friendly: I know from experience of teaching for literally years, that lots of people do not want to get into that kind of thing and some people are even anxious about it as they are not inclined to be into that kind of thing. So it's all very well for us computer nerds to say 'it's not that hard' to learn, because that's not the point. It shouldn't be necessary fro and end-user to learn it and it doesn't need to be either if  developers could be arsed to create a more user-friendly method. In a world where people can literally completely reset everything on an iPad by tapping on a couple of options on screen, without even knowing how to type a single character of code, getting end users to start creating xml files just to have something point to a couple of folders, is preposterous. That's the developer's job, it's what they are being paid for when people buy a sim or an add-on.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now